Nadal, Thiem advance at rain-hit ATP Montreal Masters

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point against Daniel Evans of Britain during their match in Montreal Masters on August 7, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 08 August 2019
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Nadal, Thiem advance at rain-hit ATP Montreal Masters

  • Nadal is seeking his third title of the season and now stands 38-6 in 2019

MONTREAL: Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem advanced into the third round of the ATP Montreal Masters on Wednesday, with Thiem achieving a personal best in Canada.

Top-seeded holder Nadal suffered through a two-hour rain interruption before dismissing Britain’s Daniel Evans 7-6 (8/6), 6-4.

Austrian second seed Thiem, who claimed a clay title at the weekend at home in Kitzbuehel before crossing the Atlantic, won his first match in Canada after five losses, defeating home hero Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

With weather forecasts dicey for the next few days, the Spanish top seed got a taste of the conditions he might face as the 18-time Grand Slam champion defends his Canadian title.

“Today, the main thing was win. I’ve been playing and practicing more or less well. Now is the moment to compete,” Nadal said. “Today I competed enough well to be through. Tomorrow is another challenge.”

That test will be against Argentina’s Guido Pella, who beat Radu Albot 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2).

Nadal is seeking his third title of the season and now stands 38-6 in 2019. He was playing for the first time since losing a Wimbledon semifinal to Roger Federer a month ago.

Thiem was relieved to have broken his duck in Canada by finally winning a match.

“It’s a great feeling. It’s not only the first match win here, but also against a great player,” he said.

“The court is pretty fast. It was a huge transition from clay to here.

“I’m very happy with the way I served. I’m also happy that I could swing free some flat serves again.”

Thiem on Thursday faces 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who defeated Australian John Millman 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal said that re-starting on cement after a long post-Wimbledon pause takes some adjustment.

“This is just the first day, first matches are always tough the first time on hardcourt,” he said.

“After Wimbledon always the mind goes down a little bit. I had a long clay court season, then grass, so you don’t relax.

“When you finish Wimbledon, your body loses a little bit that tension, so it needs little bit of time to recover.”

Nadal advanced after two hours of play but because of rain it took almost four and a half hours after the first ball was struck.

Injury-prone Milos Raonic retired to hand 18-year-old fellow Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime a 6-3, 3-6 win.

Raonic, a 2013 finalist here, was unable to go on after winning the second set to square the contest.

Auger-Aliassime got a walkover win against his compatriot last June on grass in Stuttgart when Raonic suffered a back injury.

The senior Canadian beat the youngster in spring, 2018 in Indian Wells in their only completed match.

Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas, last year’s Canada runner-up, was dumped out 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 by Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, whom the world number five had defeated in three prior matches. Japan’s fifth seed Kei Nishikori was unable to profit from a match point, losing in 3 hours nine minutes to Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Spain’s 10th seed Robert Bautista Agut advanced while number 12 John Isner was sent out in straight sets.


Ex-England forward Beardsley suspended over racist comments

Updated 54 min 33 sec ago

Ex-England forward Beardsley suspended over racist comments

  • Peter Beardsley suspended from all football-related activity for 32 weeks
  • Beardsley, who denied the allegations, has also been ordered to complete a face-to-face education course

LONDON: Former Newcastle Under-23s coach Peter Beardsley has been suspended from all football-related activity for 32 weeks after he was found guilty of making racist comments.
The England international, who played for Newcastle and Liverpool, was charged earlier this year by the Football Association with three counts of using racist language.
The 58-year-old’s departure from the Premier League club was confirmed in March after he was placed on leave while an investigation into bullying was carried out.
An FA statement said: “All three breaches of FA Rule E3 were denied but subsequently found proven based upon the results and findings of Newcastle United FC’s disciplinary proceedings.”
It added: “An independent regulatory commission has suspended Peter Beardsley from all football and football-related activity for a period of 32 weeks until 29 April 2020.”
The commission’s report described Beardsley as a “towering figure in football” and said his football reputation was “beyond question.”
But it found: “On the three occasions which are the subject of the charges, he made remarks which were obviously racist and were wholly unacceptable.
“Even if he did not intend to do so, he plainly did cause offense. It is particularly important at a time when racism in football is prevalent that remarks of the kind made by Mr. Beardsley are punished severely.”
Beardsley, who denied the allegations, has also been ordered to complete a “face-to-face” education course.
In a statement released on his behalf by his solicitors, Beardsley spoke of his disappointment at the decision, but vowed to return to football.
It said: “Peter Beardsley is very surprised and disappointed by the decision of the regulatory commission.
“It was almost impossible for Peter to clear his name because of the serious flaws and contamination of evidence that occurred in the disciplinary process before Newcastle United and by the unusual fact that the FA Rules put the burden of proof on him to prove his innocence in the proceedings.
“After a long process which has been unnecessarily protracted, Peter feels vindicated that the commission has expressly found that he is not a racist.”