Wiesberger takes lead in Dubai

Gulf Daily News Friday, 30th January 2015
Villarreal set up Barcelona clash in Copa semis
BARCELONA: Villarreal won 1-0
at Getafe to advance to a Copa del
Rey semi-final against Barcelona
on a 2-0 aggregate score last night.
Barcelona knocked out Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Getafe were first to threaten at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez when Pedro Leon
fired an effort towards the far post in
the fifth minute, but the ball was tipped
away by goalkeeperSergio Asenjo.
However, Villarreal were able to
work their way into the game and, on
the quarter-hour mark, Manu Trigueiros’s curling effort took a deflection
and looped just over the bar.
n Murray reacts during
his semi-final match
against Berdych
Andy Murray stormed into
his fourth Australian Open
final with a commanding
four-sets win over Czech Tomas
Berdych yesterday.
The dual Grand Slam champion,
seeded six, beat the seventh seed 6-7
(6/8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 and will play either
Novak Djokovic or defending champion
Stan Wawrinka in Sunday’s decider.
The tournament has been a heartbreak
Grand Slam for the Scot with three runner-up finishes, but he has given himself
another chance to break through and add
to his Wimbledon and US Open titles.
The world number six was too strong
for Berdych, who wasn’t the same player that eliminated Rafael Nadal in the
On the stroke of half time, Getafe
came within a whisker of opening the
scoring on the night, but a well-placed
Leon scuffed his shot wide of the post.
The hosts continued to threaten after the break and caused panic in the
Villarreal defence when Freddy Hinestroza’s cross from the left smashed
against the bar.
Changes were made by Quique Sánchez Flores as his team tried to put
the Villarreal defence under pressure
but the deadlock was proving hard to
break. In the end, it proved to be a double blow for the home side who conceded while committing men forward
to try and salvage the tie.
The deciding goal arrived in the
78th minute, through a familiar source
in cup competitions for Villarreal this
season – Gerard Moreno. After a rather
fortunate pass arrived to him inside the
box, he rounded Jona confidently to tap
into an empty net and seal the tie.
After losing a marathon 76-minute
opening set in a tiebreaker, Murray finished strongly to clinch the match in 3hr
26min on Rod Laver Arena.
There was plenty of friction between the two and a
few glares at each other at
changeovers during the opening set sparked by Berdych’s
decision to hire former Murray team member Dani Vallverdu as his coach.
“I was disappointed to lose
the opening set after I had a
couple of chances at the end but I felt I
was playing better as the set went on and
I was very aggressive at the beginning of
the second set,” Murray said.
Murray admitted there was extra tension in the match caused by the attention
over Vallverdu in the Berdych camp.
“A lot was made of Dani working with him. Me and Dani have been
friends since we were 15 and I felt that
was a little bit unfair and unnecessary,” he said.
Murray broke Berdych’s
serve six times and hit 40 winners, while Berdych served
more double-faults than aces.
The Czech broke the Scot
in the eighth game but was
himself broken as he served
for the set at 5-3.
Berdych fought off break points in the
11th game but prevailed in the tiebreaker after Murray had set point at 6-5.
It was a psychological lift for the Czech
coming out on top after a 76 minute tussle.
There were some sparks when
Berdych said ‘Good play, Tomas’ to
himself as he passed by Murray after
winning the set to the Scot’s displeasure.
But the dual major champion raced
through the second set with a triple service break over disengaged Berdych in
just 30 minutes.
Murray went on the offensive and broke
Berdych after trailing 0-40, hitting a forehand winner to the corner on break point.
Berdych was serving more double
faults than aces as the Scot stormed to a
two sets to one lead.
Murray’s greater variety of shots
caused Berdych problems and had the
Czech frequently off balance and he got
the decisive break of serve in the 11th
game, clinching the match with an ace
in his next service game.
Sharapova to face Serena – Page 31
Wiesberger takes lead in Dubai
DUBAI: Austrian Bernd Wiesberger
emerged the sole leader at Omega
Dubai Desert Classic after yesterday’s
first round featuring a deluge of birdies at
the Emirates Golf Club yesterday.
The 29-year-old Wiesberger appeared
to be struggling on the greens as he did
not make a single birdie in his first five
holes, but warmed up his putter nicely,
needing just 25 putts to complete a round
of eight-under par 64.
It kept him one ahead of American Peter Uihlein, Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts
and the English duo of Lee Westwood and
Andy Sullivan.
And gave him a two-shot advantage
over the world number one Rory McIlroy
and the defending champion Stephen Gallacher, who both shot matching 66s.
The scoring conditions were ideal, with
not an iota of wind on the course for much
of the day with the greens extremely receptive and rolling well.
The scoring average for the field was
more than a shot less than par - 70.97 - and
as many as 80 players in the 132-man field
submitted sub-par scores.
Westwood, who closed his 2014 season
with a win in the Thai Golf Championship,
started his year well, and two huge birdie
putts in his last five holes – one was from
35 feet on the fifth hole and the other from
18 feet on the ninth – saw him close on a 65.
McIlroy also finished on the tough par-4
ninth, but he made his only bogey of the
day there after struggling to find fairways
off the tee.
Colsaerts met with a similar fate as
McIlroy, and having started from the 10th
tee and making eight birdies, he too closed
with a bogey on the ninth for a 65.
Wiesberger, who finished inside the topsix in the previous two events, could have
closed his round with six straight birdies, but
missed a chance on the par-5 18th for his 64.
“Just a bit disappointed to miss that last
birdie. It would be my first 63 out there
but still a great day,” said Wiesberger, who
could move into the top-50 of the world
ranking with a good result this week.
Defending champion Gallacher joined
McIlroy on 66, while Martin Kaymer and
Graeme McDowell were among a group
on 67. World number two Henrik Stenson could not get enough birdies in his
two-under par 70, while number five Sergio Garcia was one of the few who struggled on the course, making a 75.
n Crouch signs new
Stoke City contract
LONDON: Former England striker
Peter Crouch has settled his
immediate future by signing a twoyear contract extension with Stoke
City, the Premier League club said
The news ends speculation that
Crouch, who has scored 37 goals
in 140 appearance for Stoke,
would leave when his current deal
expires at the end of the season.
Crouch, who will be 34 today,
joined the Midlands club from
Tottenham Hotspur in a club record
£10 million ($15.05m) deal in 2011.
n Aussie golfer Nagle dies
SYDNEY: Australia’s former
British Open winner Kel Nagle
died yesterday, aged 94.
Tributes began flowing in after
the PGA of Australia released a
statement saying golf’s oldestliving major winner had passed
away at a Sydney hospital.
Nagle was one of Australia’s most
successful and popular golfers,
winning 81 professional titles in his
long career, including at least one
every year between 1949 and 1975.
n Miller to replace Narine
ST JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda:
Left-arm spinner Nikita Miller was
called up by the West Indies for the
World Cup yesterday to replace Sunil
Narine who withdrew from the squad.
Miller, 32, has featured in 45
one-day internationals, taking 40
wickets with a best of 4-43 against
Zimbabwe. His last appearance for
the West Indies in a one-dayer was
in March last year against England.
Narine withdrew from the squad on
Tuesday, citing the need for more
time to confidently bowl for sustained
periods with his new action.
n Yuvraj in MCC team
LONDON: India batsman Yuvraj
Singh has been called up to play
for Marylebone Cricket Club
(MCC) in March’s Emirates
Twenty20 tournament in Dubai,
the invitational team announced
He joins Alastair Cook, Michael
Carberry and Nick Compton
in the MCC squad for the
tournament, which also features
English county sides Lancashire,
Yorkshire and Sussex.
n Collins claims 60m win
Collins continued to roll back the
years to claim victory in the 60
metres at the Duesseldorf indoor
meet yesterday.
The St Kitts and Nevis sprinter, 38,
ran a season’s leading best time of
6.52 seconds despite having only
the seventh best reaction out of the
blocks of the eight competitors.
The 2003 world outdoor 100m
champion was pushed all the way
by Briton James Dasaolu.
Dasaolu was beaten into second
by thousandths of a second in a
savage dip of heads at the line.
American Mike Rodgers came in
third in 6.58sec.
n Wiesberger plays a bunker shot
on the 18th hole
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