Simona Halep believes this year’s French Open victory has helped justify her position as the women’s world No 1, with the Romanian saying she was now playing pressure-free tennis and motivated to add more Grand Slam titles to her resume.
Speaking to a small gathering of reporters in a phone interview on Friday, the 26-year-old also earmarked US Open champion Naomi Osaka as a huge prospect for the future after the Japanese player made her major breakthrough in New York.
“My dream was to become No 1 and I managed that last year and then my goal was to win a Grand Slam because some consider that a sign of being a true No 1,” Halep, who has topped the rankings for 46 weeks in total, explained.
“So my motivation was to win a major after I reached the top of the rankings and now I feel relaxed after achieving both. I am still motivated to win every match and now the pressure feels off, I can just feel the pleasure of playing.”
Halep knows all too well the pain of losing a Grand Slam final after suffering three failures in as many title matches before she rallied past American Sloane Stephens in Paris to prevail 3-6 6-4 6-1 on her favourite clay surface in June. Continue reading “Grand Slam triumph justifies my No 1 ranking – Halep”
Etoile du Sahel and Esperance de Tunis will lock horns in an all-Tunisian 2018 Caf Champions League second-leg quarterfinal clash at the Stade Olympique de Sousse on Friday.
The hosts will be eager to overturn a 2-1 deficit following defeat to their rivals in Radès this past weekend.
All the goals at the Olympic Stadium on the outskirts of Tunis came from defenders in a weekend were only four goals were scored in four Caf CL quarterfinal games across the African continent.
Chamseddine Dhaouadi fired Esperance ahead after only two minutes before Ammar Jemal equalised to make it all square at the break. Sameh Derbali snatched the 77th-minute winner for the two-time (1994 & 2011) champions. Place bet on today’s Europa league matches on NaijaBet
The narrow win leaves the tie in the balance heading into the match in Sousse with Jemal’s away goal in the first leg likely to have a say in the outcome of the match. Continue reading “Tunisian giants battle CAF CL quarterfinal clash”
West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini said the 3-1 victory at Everton on Sunday that moved his side off the foot of the Premier League table was the perfect way to celebrate his 65th birthday.
Pellegrini’s new side played some fine, flowing football as they picked up their first points of the season on Merseyside, on the same day Pellegrini turned pension age in the United Kingdom.
“I was not worried about my birthday today – I just wanted to win the game – it was the best gift my players could give me,” Pellegrini said.
“We believe in what we are doing and we are not going to change. I said last time after we lost I will accept advice but I was not going to change what we are doing.”
Andriy Yarmolenko put West Ham in command with two goals inside the first 31 minutes on his first Premier League start, with the Ukraine international taking time to settle in England prior to his double at Goodison Park.
“I know what the Premier League is and Andriy didn’t arrive here ready to play in the Premier League,” Pellegrini added. “He has a lot of quality, he has demonstrated that but he needs more work. Continue reading “Sinking Everton is a perfect birthday gift, says Pellegrini”
Borna Coric gave Croatia a flying start in their Davis Cup World Group semifinal against the United States, defeating Steve Johnson 6-4 7-6(4) 6-3 in the opening rubber in Zadar on Friday.
The 21-year-old Coric had lost his only previous encounter with the US No 3 at Roland Garros but on Zadar’s clay courts drew first blood for the hosts against Johnson, who was leading his country in the absence of John Isner and Jack Sock.
Coric’s emphatic win just underlined why the Croats, who had won all their four previous ties with the Davis Cup’s most successful nation, were overwhelming favourites to repeat the dose and reach the final of the last Davis Cup to be played in its traditional historic format before next year’s revamp. Place on Live tennis Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Both Coric, the world number 18, and Marin Cilic, number six, are ranked significantly higher than their first day singles opponents with US debutant, 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe, facing the former US Open champion in the second rubber. Continue reading “Coric hands Croatia a flying start in Davis Cup semi”
Watford are one of only three sides with a 100 per cent record in the Premier League this season. The Hornets have incredibly won their opening four matches.
Manchester United have won two and lost two of their opening four and languish down in mid-table. It’s been a difficult start to the season for Jose Mourinho and it shows no sign of relenting here.
United have struggled at Vicrage Road of late. They have conceded on each of their last five visits and have shipped five goals in their last two. Did the international break come at the wrong time for Watford or can they inflict more misery on Mourinho’s side?
Watford- Tom Cleverley, Gerard Deulofeu and Miguel Britos are the only injury concerns for Watford this weekend.
Javi Gracia is not expected to make any changes from the side that started their 2-1 win over Tottenham before the international break.
Manchester United- Diogo Dalot insists he is ready to make his Manchester United derby but will likely be saved for their EFL Cup match with Derby later this month.
Marcus Rashford starts a three-match suspension this weekend after a straight red card against Burnley before the international break. Continue reading “EPL Match Preview: Watford vs Manchester United”
Naomi Osaka said Serena Williams‘s row with the umpire during the US Open final had not altered her feelings about winning a Grand Slam largely because she had no idea how she was supposed to react, the Japanese said on Thursday.
Osaka’s breakthrough triumph in New York was overshadowed by an explosive row between her opponent Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos which resulted in the 23-times Grand Slam champion being docked a game and fined $17 000.
At Flushing Meadows on Saturday, the 20-year-old world number seven was reduced to tears during the presentation ceremony but on her arrival back in Japan on Thursday, she said she had not been saddened by the incident. Place bet on Live Tennis Events on NaijaBet
“For me, I don’t feel sad because I wouldn’t even know what I’m expected to feel,” she told a news conference in Yokohama. Continue reading “Latest US Open Champion,Osaka not saddened by Serena row”
Liberia president George Weah made a surprise return to international football on Tuesday as he turned out against Nigeria just a few weeks before his 52nd birthday.
The former World Footballer of the Year led Liberia’s attack in a 2-1 defeat to the Super Eagles – a friendly arranged to retire the number 14 jersey made famous by the former Chelsea and Manchester City attacker.
While the match was arranged in his honour, Weah stunned the crowd by leading out his side on Monrovia and the 51-year-old completed 79 minutes of the match.
Weah had last played an international fixture 11 years ago and he added a 61st cap to his collection.
Unfortunately, he was unable to add to his 22 goals, but he showed glimpses of the quality that saw him become Africa’s first and only Ballon d’Or winner in 1995. Continue reading “President Weah made a surprise return against Super Eagles”
Former champion Shawn Porter defeated Danny Garcia by a unanimous decision late on Saturday to win the vacant World Boxing Council welterweight title.
The 30-year-old American won on all three judges scorecards as he threw more punches overall, but Garcia made it razor close by landing a higher percentage of punches at the Barclays Center arena in New York.
It turned out to be a terrific 12-round, 147-pound slugfest as two judges had it 115-113 while the other scored it 116-112. The judges agreed on only four rounds.
Porter solidified his position as being one of the best welterweights in boxing’s deepest division. Latest boxing odds on NaijaBet
“This title means a lot to me,” said Porter. “It means a lot to the history and I wanted to be part of that.”
He is hoping this victory lands him a chance to avenge a loss to unbeaten Keith Thurman, or a unification fight with Errol Spence.
Porter bulled his way through the fight, coming straight ahead and smothering Garcia with jabs and body shots to improve his record to 35-1 with 20 KOs in front of the crowd of 13 000.
“He tried to out hustle me mostly at the end of the rounds. His hustle game was up tonight. I did my best to fight from the outside and the inside,” said Porter.
Continue reading “Porter defeated Danny Garcia to claim WBC world title”
Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku scored twice and won a penalty that Eden Hazard converted as they crushed Iceland 3-0 in their Nations League A, Group 2 clash in Reykjavik on Tuesday.
Bustling forward Lukaku was bundled over by Sverrir Ingi Ingason in the 28th minute and the referee immediately pointed to the spot, with Hazard calmly sending Hannes Halldorsson the wrong way with the resulting penalty. Place bet on LIVE matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Lukaku made it 2-0 to Belgium minutes later, firing a close-range shot on the rebound that was judged to have crossed the line before Birkir Saevardsson managed to clear. The Manchester United striker then added a third with a deft flick nine minutes from fulltime.
It was Belgium’s first game in the new competition and ended a run of 13 competitive matches unbeaten at home for Iceland, who were hammered 6-0 by Switzerland away in their opening Nations League game on Saturday.
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has criticised the introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR) in Spain this season, saying it disrupted the natural flow of games and that he would prefer to see the use of goal-line technology instead.
Suarez scored a goal in Barca’s 8-2 win over Huesca on Sunday which was initially ruled out for offside but later awarded after the referee consulted VAR, leaving the Uruguayan unconvinced by the system.
“VAR stifles celebrations,” Suarez said in an interview on Wednesday.
“Defenders are now asking for something the whole time. I would prefer to just have goal-line technology. With VAR, the game can lose naturalness,” he added.
“Perhaps a play starts with an involuntary handball, you counter-attack and score, then they review the play and rule it out.” Continue reading “Video assistant referee (VAR) disrupts flow of game – Suarez”
Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova crashed out of the US Open on Monday in back-to-back seismic shocks under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.
Federer, the five-time champion and looking to end his 10-year wait to add to his total in New York, was beaten by Australia’s world number 55 John Millman 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3).
It was 20-time major winner Federer’s first loss against a player outside the top 50 in 41 meetings at the US Open.
He finished with 77 unforced errors and 10 double faults.
“It was very hot. I felt I couldn’t get any air and I was sweating more and more and became more and more uncomfortable,” explained Federer.
“I guess I was happy when the match was over.” Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
He added: “John dealt with it better – he’s from Brisbane, one of the most humid places in the world!”
It was the world No 2’s earliest defeat at the tournament since a fourth round loss to Tommy Robredo in 2013.
The result meant there would be no quarterfinal showdown with old rival Novak Djokovic who will now face Millman instead.
“I have so much respect for Roger and everything he’s done for the game. He’s been a hero of mine,” said Millman.
“Today he was definitely not at his best. But I’ll take it.” Continue reading “US Open Update: Federer, Sharapova crash out on Monday”
World Cup champions France travel to Joachim Loew’s under-pressure Germany on Thursday in an eye-catching start to the inaugural UEFA Nations League, a competition introduced to replace most international friendlies.
France boss Didier Deschamps has retained the entirety of the squad that triumphed in Russia, with the exception of captain Hugo Lloris and fellow goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, both ruled out by injury.
As just the third man to win the World Cup as both a player and coach, Deschamps is more aware than most of the increased exposure that comes with such success but believes it can serve his team well.
“It’s a galvanising effect to have this title, in terms of confidence,” Deschamps said. “This title of world champion, you have to manage it but it’s not a weight or a burden to carry. It’s quite the opposite.” Latest odds are available on Site, Bet now on NAIJABET.COM
“With all the positive aspects being world champion has brought, on the sporting front but also from a human and psychological standpoint, it’s a huge boost.
“It won’t prevent them from going through tougher times, but it’s not necessarily linked to the tag of world champion,” he added. Continue reading “France, Germany to launch UEFA Nations League on Thursday”
More trophies and children are hopefully in Serena Williams future, said tennis’ most famous working mother on Sunday, adding that she has a new appreciation about how difficult it is to raise both.
A day after celebrating her daughter Alexis Olympia’s first birthday, Williams had a little celebration for herself on Sunday, securing a place in the US Open quarterfinals with a topsy-turvy 6-0 4-6 6-3 win over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi to leave her on track for a record-equalling 24th career Grand Slam.
Always an imposing physical presence, Williams conceded that she had expected to be back at her best sooner but learned quickly that her life has changed forever and along with that the way she must approach the sport.
“I was just living in this world where I thought it would just automatically come together,” said Williams, who is just seven events into her comeback that began in March in Indian Wells. Place bet on today’s tennis games on NaijaBet
“I think society puts it out there that you’ll just kind of snap back and that’s just a myth.
“I feel like it’s important for women to know that it doesn’t happen like that in the Instagram world. Continue reading “Williams hopes to win more trophies and grow her family”
Serena and Venus Williams set up a 30th career meeting on Wednesday as the US Open reeled from a sexism row sparked when a player changed her shirt on the court.
Six-time champion Serena eased into Friday’s third round encounter against her sister with a 6-2, 6-2 win over German world number 101 Carina Witthoeft on the back of 30 winners and 13 aces.
Venus, the 2000 and 2001 champion, made the third round for the 17th time with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Camila Giorgi of Italy.
Friday’s match will be the earliest the sisters have met at a Slam since the 1998 Australian Open in what was also their first ever clash. It will be their sixth face-off in New York. Naija and Bet
“Friday will be incredibly hard,” said Serena before jokingly hitting back at Venus’s claim that when they last met at a Slam in the final of the 2017 Australian Open her sister had an advantage as it was “two against one.”
That was a reference to Serena being in the early stages of pregnancy with her daughter Olympia.
“I guess I had a little advantage but it’s going to be hard for me on Friday,” said 36-year-old Serena. Continue reading “Venus and Serena set to meet again in US Open”
Serena Williams made a triumphant return to the US Open on Monday, launching her bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam victory with a straight-sets win as top-seeded Simona Halep made dubious history with a first-round exit.
Williams, who counts six US Open titles among her 23 Grand Slams, can match Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors with another title at Flushing Meadows.
She missed last year’s edition as she gave birth to daughter Olympia on September 1, but showed every indication she’s ready to make up for lost time in a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Poland’s Magda Linette.
“I think I’m getting there,” said Williams, who turned up the heat on a steamy New York night that opened with a gala celebration of the US Open’s 50th anniversary. Latest tennis odds are available on site
“I love opening for Serena Williams,” Grammy-winning singer-song writer Kelly Clarkson told the crowd before she launched into her anthem “Stronger”.
The spotlights were still blinking when Williams, in a black outfit featuring asymmetrical sleeves and a tulle skirt, took the court. Continue reading “US Open: Serena surges into next round as Halep crash out”
Serena Williams, who is aiming for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at this year’s US Open, was handed a difficult path to the final after being drawn on Thursday in the same quarter as older sister Venus and world No 1 Simona Halep.
Serena, a six-time champion in New York who is seeded 17th, will start her campaign against Polish world number 60 Magda Linette and could face Venus in the third round before a possible fourth-round showdown with Romanian top seed Halep.
In her last bid to match Australian Margaret Court’s record haul of Grand Slam titles, the 36-year-old Williams, who missed last year’s US Open due to her pregnancy, came up one win shy as she fell to German Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final.
In the men’s draw Rafael Nadal, who last year won his third crown at Flushing Meadows, starts his defence against fellow Spaniard and long-time Davis Cup teammate David Ferrer, while second seed Roger Federer meets Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. Place bet on today’s tennis games and Win Big, NaijaBet
Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, who could face Federer in the last eight, starts against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
Defending women’s champion Sloane Stephens will play Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina in the opening round and could face former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the third, Belgian 15th seed Elise Mertens in the fourth and seventh-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals. Continue reading “Serena handed tough path to US Open final”
The most anticipated season in the entertainment industry; Hennessy Artistry, is officially back this July!
Celebrating the world’s premium cognac brand with amazing music experiences, the biggest music artistes and the most promising talents, this season brings with it the most exciting innovations and events’ line up.
Since 2009, the Hennessy Artistry platform has become an integral part of Nigeria’s social fabric – creating iconic moments and collaborations within the Entertainment Industry across various music genres
In the spirit of Hennessy’s tagline – The Art of Blending, this year’s Artistry will be a fusion of the best of Nigeria’s musical talent from the mouth –watering selection of the nation’s hottest rappers to the upcoming acts that will battle for this year’s VS Class crown.
Our Headliners include a line-up of musical royalty who will thrill audiences across the country during our Club tours and Artistry concerts. Continue reading “NEVER STOP, NEVER SETTLE! HENNESSY ARTISTRY RETURNS WITH A BIGGER AND BETTER ENTERTAINMENT SEASON”
Novak Djokovic is looking forward to possibly forming a doubles dream-team with Roger Federer as Europe prepares to take on the Rest of the World in the Laver Cup next month.
Djokovic and Federer will spearhead the European challenge in the second staging of the tournament, which takes place in Chicago from September 21-23.
Team Europe completed their roster for the event with Britain’s Kyle Edmund being added to a strong team which also includes Germany’s Alexander Zverev, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, and Belgium’s David Goffin.
In last year’s inaugural event, Federer teamed up with Rafael Nadal in the doubles for the first time. Place bet on today’s us open fixtures on NaijaBet
But with Nadal missing this year’s tournament, Djokovic is now expected to form a partnership with Federer.
“I am looking forward to it if it comes to that,” said Djokovic, who was ruled out of the 2017 event through injury. Continue reading “Djokovic excited forming a doubles dream-team with Federer”
Novak Djokovic finally clinched the title missing from his resume with a 6-4 6-4 win over Roger Federer on Sunday to win in Cincinnati and become the first player to complete the sweep of Masters series tournaments on Sunday.
Having made five previous finals and lost to Federer in three of them, Djokovic finally broke the ice to continue his stunning revival after a long comeback from elbow surgery.
The Wimbledon champion is the first to claim the Career Golden Masters, having won all nine titles in the elite series that began in 1990.
“Obviously it’s a very special moment to stand here for the first time with the winning trophy,” former world number one Djokovic said after defeating seven-times Cincinnati champion Federer. Place bet on Live matches 24/7 online
“The hard times I went through, it’s been a rollercoaster ride in my career with injury, taking time off and having a surgery earlier this year.
“This seems a bit unreal to be back at this level and winning Wimbledon and obviously Cincinnati for the first time.” Continue reading “Djokovic beats Federer, become the first player to win Masters Series”
Novak Djokovic edged closer to a long-sought Cincinnati Masters title on Friday, beating Milos Raonic 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the combined WTA and ATP event.
Five-time finalist Djokovic is dreaming of finally breaking through at the only one of the prestigious Masters 1000 events that he has never won.
It was his second match of the day after he polished off defending champion Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a rain-disrupted third-round match.
In the semi-finals, Djokovic will face Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic, a 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 winner over Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta. Cilic had earlier defeated young Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-4. Djokovic beat Raonic for the ninth time without a defeat, overcoming early breaks in the first and third sets. Various tennis betting options are available on site for today’s game
The Serb broke for 5-3 in the final set and connected on a passing shot to clinch victory after two and a half hours.
Roger Federer wasted no time in defeating Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) as the rain-plagued event made up ground after two days of disruption. Continue reading “Federer, Djokovic, Del Potro win; Anderson Out”
Wayne Rooney scored twice as DC United, fighting for their Major League Soccer playoff lives, beat the Portland Timbers 4-1 on Wednesday.
With MLS still buzzing from the dazzling tackle and pass from Rooney that led to DC’s stoppage-time game-winner over Orlando on Sunday, former England and Manchester United star was again the difference maker.
After Portland took the lead on Samuel Armenteros’ 35th-minute strike, Rooney scored the equalizer shortly before halftime, finding open space to receive a through ball from Yamil Asad and firing a left-footed shot past an on-rushing Jeff Attinella. Naija and Bet
Jamaican defender Oniel Fisher put DC United ahead 2-1 in the 47th, and two minutes after bouncing a shot off the crossbar Rooney scored again, blasting a free kick past Attinella.
Darren Mattocks came on for Rooney in the 86th minute and rounded out the scoring in stoppage time. Continue reading “Rooney goals help DC United to sink Portland”
Life without Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane was already looking like a struggle for Real Madrid after the triple Champions League holders lost the UEFA Super Cup to local rivals Atletico Madrid 4-2 after extra time on Wednesday.
After falling behind to an early strike from Diego Costa, goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos put Real back into a familiar winning position against Atletico in European games but they uncharacteristically surrendered the lead.
Real, now led by former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, looked stronger and slicker than Atletico for large parts of the game but failed to see it out, a marked contrast to many big matches under Zidane, when they would often snatch victory without playing particularly well. Latest Europa League Odds are available on NaijaBet.
Real lost stability in midfield when Casemiro was forced off due to injury and four minutes later Costa grabbed his second goal of the game to make it 2-2.
Saul Niguez and Koke struck in the first half of extra-time as Atletico finally get revenge on Real in Europe after losing the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals and being knocked out of the competition by their neighbours in 2015 and 2017. Continue reading “Life without Ronaldo and Zidane starts badly for Real”
Julen Lopetegui’s side have gained some momentum recently in their friendly preparations, with Gareth Bale getting among the goals as Real Madrid try to quickly adjust to life without Cristiano Ronaldo.
Los Blancos have lifted the UEFA Super Cup in the last two seasons, beating Sevilla and Manchester United in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Atleti are unbeaten against Real Madrid in three of their last four competitive attempts, with Simeone’s side a tough adversary for Lopetegui to come up against so early in his reign.
Real Madrid- Luka Modric shouldn’t be rushed back for Real Madrid after recently returning from his post-World Cup break. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Keylor Navas will continue in goal despite the recent signing of ex-Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Continue reading “UEFA Super Cup Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid”
Veteran Cameroon star Samuel Eto’o has signed for Qatar league side, Qatar Sports Club, it was announced Monday, just days after he ended a brief stay at Turkish side Konyaspor.
The former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea striker will be unveiled on Tuesday, said Qatar Sports Club, the latest big-name edition to Qatar’s domestic league as it gears up to host the 2022 World Cup.
The club said on social media that it would “present the international star Samuel Eto’o” at a press conference.
It is understood he underwent a medical earlier in the day. Place bet on Live matches on NaijaBet
The four-time African player of the year will join former colleagues in Qatar, including ex-Barcelona teammate Xavi Hernandez, who plays for Al Sadd, and Wesley Sneijder who was at Inter with Eto’o.
In 2009, Eto’o won the Champions League with Barcelona playing alongside Xavi. Continue reading “Samuel Eto’o join Qatar league side from Turkey”
Manchester City midfielder David Silva on Monday called time on his distinguished 12-year international career with Spain.
Selected for the first time in November 2006, the 32-year-old helped his country be crowned world champions in South Africa in 2010 and won two European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012.
“I leave proud and happy, bringing an end to a time full of emotions and memories, like of the figure of Luis Aragones, a maestro who will never be forgotten,” he said. Naija and Bet
“I lived and dreamed with a team that will forever be remembered.
“I’ve spent days and weeks considering this. The national team gave me everything and helped me grow as a player and a person.” Continue reading “David Silva announce his retirement from Spain national team”