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

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.


‘Liverpool spirits are high’ despite virus lockdown

Jurgen Klopp
Updated 28 March 2020

‘Liverpool spirits are high’ despite virus lockdown

  • Klopp praised the efforts of Liverpool and other clubs in helping support more vulnerable members of the community during the current crisis

Jurgen Klopp says the mood at Liverpool is upbeat despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, even admitting he has tried to copy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s dance moves to keep himself occupied.
The Premier League leaders were on the verge of their first top-flight title for 30 years when English football was suspended earlier this month.
Klopp said his players’ spirits remained high despite the frustrations of having no football to play and praised the efforts of his backroom staff who are looking after the players’ fitness.
“We spoke a couple of times, we have a really intense, big, big group chat — the whole of Melwood (training ground) are in that,” he said, speaking to the club’s website by videolink from his home.
“The boys are really lively in that, the boys are just interested in what everybody is doing, comments on what everybody is doing — if Ox is on Instagram or whatever.”
Midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain and his girlfriend, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards, performed a dance routine, which she posted on social media.
Teammate James Milner played up to his “boring James Milner” tag by posting a video of himself cutting his grass with a ruler and scissors.
“I didn’t cut the grass but I tried the dance of Ox,” said Klopp. “Not as bad as you probably think. It’s very important in these times that we all show we take this situation seriously, but we are human beings.”

HIGHLIGHT

Jurgen Klopp praises the efforts of Liverpool and other clubs in helping support more vulnerable members of the community during the current crisis. He urges people to abide by the lockdown.

“If the boys do anything on Instagram, as long as it’s in a legal frame I’m overly happy about it — it just shows they are still cheeky and all that stuff,” he added.
Klopp praised the efforts of Liverpool and other clubs in helping support more vulnerable members of the community during the current crisis.
And he urged people to abide by the lockdown.
“The only way to get football back as soon as possible, if that’s what the people want, the more disciplined we are now the earlier we will get, piece by piece by piece, our life back,” Klopp said. “That’s how it is.”
“At one point we will play football again as well, 100 percent,” he added. “I couldn’t wish more for it because of a few really good reasons, how you can imagine. I can’t wait actually, but even I have to be disciplined and I try to be as much as I can.”