Nadal reigns in Mexico

Updated 04 March 2013
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Nadal reigns in Mexico

ACAPULCO, Mexico: Rafael Nadal blasted past top seed and defending champion David Ferrer 6-0, 6-2 in yesterday’s final of the Mexican Open in a powerful performance that indicated he has quickly returned to near his best after a long-term knee injury.
Ferrer was a three-time defending champion and had won 19 straight matches in this event, but he could find no answer to Nadal, losing to his Spanish compatriot in just one hour and five minutes.
Nadal surprised himself with the one-sided victory.
“I did not do anything wrong today, I had a great match, almost perfect,” Nadal said. “I would have never imagined playing at the level that I played today, I’m leaving happy and surprised.
“I played a great match against one of the top players in the world, a specialist in clay who did not look like himself out there, he had a bad day.” The women’s final was similarly one-sided with Italy’s Sara Errani beating Carla Suarez-Navarro of Spain 6 — 0, 6-4.
Nadal missed seven months with a left knee injury before making his comeback in the Latin American clay court season.
He has played three tournaments: making the final but surprisingly losing to Horacio Zeballos in Chile, taking out the Brasil Open by beating David Nalbandian and now cruising past Ferrer for his 38th clay title. Seven of those 38 have been against Ferrer.
So well had his knee stood up that Nadal was ready to test it on the more jarring hardcourt surface at the upcoming Indian Wells tournament after an exhibition appearance at Madison Square Garden.
“Indian Wells is one of my favorite tournaments and I want to keep competing because the knee is holding up and my heart says that I can do it, and compete is what I want to do now,” Nadal said.
“Those seven months are in the past, hopefully forever. I played like that did not happened, but it did happen.” The 11-time major champion broke Ferrer five times from eight opportunities, winning 58 percent of his return points. He improved his record against Ferrer to 17-4.
Ferrer had successfully defended titles already this year at Auckland and Buenos Aires but was not able to make it four straight Mexican Opens.


The world's eyes are on Mohamed Salah as hopeful Egypt take on Russia

Updated 19 June 2018
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The world's eyes are on Mohamed Salah as hopeful Egypt take on Russia

  • Egypt are counting on the return of Mohamed Salah on Tuesday as they face Russia
  • The Liverpool wizard missed his team’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Friday

SAINT PETERSBURG: Egypt are counting on the return of Mohamed Salah on Tuesday as they try to salvage their World Cup against a Russian side who know a win could seal a place in the last 16.
Liverpool wizard Salah missed his team’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Friday as he struggles to recover from the shoulder injury he sustained during last month’s Champions League Final.
Salah’s shoulder has continued to cause him problems in Russia, and at the weekend he needed the help of three team-mates to put a shirt on during a training session in Grozny.
Egypt’s Argentine coach Hector Cuper said on Monday Salah was fit to play but will undergo a test before kick-off in Saint Petersburg.
“I hope he will be fit to play, I’m sure he will be able to play. He is a central piece in our team,” Cuper said.
If Egypt lose, it will likely end their competitive involvement in their first World Cup since 1990, so 96 million Egyptians are willing him to be on the pitch.
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov was bullish that his team can rein in the explosive striker, who scored 44 goals in a remarkable debut season at Liverpool.
“We know how to play against him,” he said. “We are ready to stop Salah and we will.”
Russia got their World Cup off to the perfect start on Thursday with a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia, but are under no illusions that the seven-time African champions pose a far tougher test — providing Salah plays.
“Egypt’s game with Salah is different from the one they play without him,” forward Alexei Miranchuk said.