Tomic stuns Djokovic in Hopman Cup

Updated 03 January 2013
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Tomic stuns Djokovic in Hopman Cup

PERTH: Serbia beat Australia at the Hopman Cup despite world No.1 Novak Djokovic suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Bernard Tomic yesterday.
It was Djokovic’s first defeat on Australian soil since 2010, with the Serbian aiming for his third straight Australian Open title in Melbourne later this month.
With the 20-year-old Tomic showing the undoubted talent he has only displayed in flashes so far in his short career, a rusty Djokovic was broken in the ninth game of each set, losing 6-4, 6-4.
Tomic applied great pressure to the Djokovic serve throughout, holding 13 break points during the match.
He also hit 25 winners, to just 12 from Djokovic.
It was the first time the Serbian had been beaten by Tomic, ranked 52nd in the world, in four official meetings.
Djokovic, 25, dismissed the setback, having arrived in Perth only a few days ago after winning in Abu Dhabi.
“I knew I was coming here to Australia very late and it takes me time to get used to it,” he said.
“I know I am not close to my maximum, but I expected that.
“I was always on the back foot and he was the better player.” Djokovic said he was fully aware of Tomic’s talent, the Australian reaching a career-high ranking of 27 at June. Tomic was a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in 2011 and made the fourth round at last year’s Australian Open.
“He is right up there with the up-and-coming players, he is very talented,” Djokovic said of Tomic.
“He knows the game well and tactically plays very well for someone his age.
“He definitely has the game.” Tomic said it was the best win of his career and a result that he needed to build on.
“I am still improving and I have got a lot more to improve,” he said.
“This is a good sign and I have to continue to play like this.” Ana Ivanovic then leveled the Group A tie with a 6-2, 6-3 win over teenager Ashleigh Barty.
Serbia clinched the tie and remained unbeaten with a 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 10-6 win in a match tiebreak in the mixed doubles.
Earlier yesterday, former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone showed her fighting qualities as Italy beat Germany 2-1.
Needing to win her singles match to keep Italy alive in the tie and the mixed teams tournament, the world number 35 was a set and a break down while battling stomach pain against little-known German Tajana Malek, but rallied determinedly to win in three sets.
Things were going to script when Schiavone won the first three games of the match, but the 112th-ranked German then won the next eight games in succession, before the Italian steadied to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Schiavone and Andreas Seppi then clinched the tie with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Tommy Haas and Malek in the mixed doubles.
Haas had given the Germans the lead in the tie with a hard-fought straight sets win over Seppi, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (9/7).


Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

The gunners could not defeat 10-man Atletico Madrid. (AFP)
Updated 27 April 2018
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Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

  • The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes
  • Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week

LONDON: Arsenal’s hopes of sending outgoing manager Arsene Wenger off with a trophy suffered a major blow as they could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal on Thursday.
The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, with Sime Vrsaljko’s early red card handing them the initiative.
However, they were made to rue a host of missed chances before and after Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front on the hour mark.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands shortly after Vrsaljko’s dismissal, but the Spaniards resisted manfully and pounced when their chance came as Antoine Griezmann prodded home a vital away goal eight minutes from time.
Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week if Wenger’s last game in charge is to be the final in his homeland in Lyon on May 16.
Moreover, Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football next season also hang on becoming the first side other than Real Madrid to eliminate Atletico from Europe for five seasons.
There was a far more highly-charged atmosphere for Wenger’s penultimate home game in charge than there had been for last weekend’s game against West Ham United.
And the hosts were given plenty of encouragement early on, even when still up against Atletico’s full complement.
Lacazette volleyed off the outside of the post and forced Jan Oblak into the first of a series of fine saves with a header from close range.
Vrsaljko had been booked within two minutes for bringing down Jack Wilshere.

And the Croatian left his side a man light after just 10 minutes when French referee Clement Turpin showed no leniency for another late challenge on Lacazette.
Moments later, Simeone was also dismissed by the officious referee for taking his protests too far when an Arsenal player wasn’t booked for what he thought was a similar foul.
Atletico’s excellent defensive record is what has carried them to five European semifinals in seven seasons under Simeone.
The visitors battened down the hatches with 10 men, but were reliant on Oblak to keep them in the tie.
Wilshere headed straight at Oblak when unmarked at the back post at the end of a flowing Arsenal move.
And the Slovenian then spread himself well with an outstretched leg to deny Danny Welbeck.
Having weathered the Gunners’ early storm, Atletico only began to threaten themselves late in the first half and David Ospina had to be alert to parry a fiercely struck Griezmann shot following a fine run from Thomas Partey.
Atletico retreated ever deeper toward their own goal after the break and were finally punished on the hour mark when Wilshere’s deep cross found Lacazette rising above Lucas Hernandez to head in his seventh goal in seven games.
However, the French international and Arsenal could have had more.
Laczette’s dangerous ball across goal found no takers before he headed another good opportunity wide.
And Arsenal paid heavily for their profligacy, and some comical defending, when Atletico grabbed a vital away goal on 82 minutes.
Griezmann outmuscled French international team-mate Laurent Koscielny and then benefited from a slip by Shkodran Mustafi after his initial effort had been saved by Ospina to prod his 27th goal of the season into the roof of the net.
There was still time for Oblak to show why Griezmann isn’t the only Atletico player wanted by Europe’s elite with a spectacular one-handed save to turn Aaron Ramsey’s header behind and keep Los Rojiblancos on course for another European final.