Daily Archives: November 7, 2016

Andy Murray celebrates world No.1 rank with Paris Masters

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Great Britain’s Andy Murray celebrated his ascension to world number one by beating American John Isner 6-3, 6-7(4-7), 6-4 to win his first Paris Masters title.

After double-faulting on the first point of the first game, Murray soon brought his a-game, breaking for a 4-2 lead, and showing watertight defence to close the door on Isner.

Murray managed only six points on his opponent’s serve in the set, but that was enough to take it in 35 minutes. The unseeded Isner continued to put pressure on Murray, showing an increasing deftness at the net to take the second set to a tie-break.

And the 31-year-old had too much for the Scot in the decider, serving imperiously to take the breaker 7-4.Twice in Isner’s first two service games of the third set Murray saw break points snatched away by his opponent’s huge serve.

But Murray was not to be denied, and he finally forced a break at 5-4, firing in a rapid backhand that Isner could only dig into the net, to take the third set and the match.

The victory brought Murray his sixth ATP title, in a memorable 2016 where he also added his second Olympic and Wimbledon titles on his way to the top of the rankings this year.

He will be officially confirmed as Britain’s first singles number one since computerised rankings were introduced in 1973.

Murray’s place as the new leader in men’s tennis had been confirmed by Milos Raonic’s withdrawal from Saturday’s semi-final with a leg injury, but the hype around his accomplishment did nothing to knock his concentration.

He now heads to the season-ending World Tour Finals as top seed for the first time.

However, should previous number one Novak Djokovic wins every match at the Finals he could reclaim the top ranking he held for 122 weeks.

Liverpool tops Premier League table with Watford rout

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Liverpool tops the Premier League table for the first time under manager Jurgen Klopp with an emphatic victory over Watford at Anfield.

The fluid play of Phillippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino carved out chance after chance from the start. While Watford were at times sloppy in possession, there was little they might have done better to withstand Liverpool’s 28 attempts on goal.

Mane’s acrobatic header finally put the Reds ahead after a host of missed chances, before Coutinho drilled in a second from 20 yards three minutes later.

Lallana then crossed for Emre Can to nod home before half-time– putting them firmly in control of the game by 3-0 before the break.

Watford were abject and Liverpool masterful as Roberto Firmino tapped in a Lallana cut-back before the Brazilian turned provider and Mane slotted in Liveprool’s fifth amidst slack defending.

It was also Mane’s fifth goal in his five Premier League appearances at Anfield for Liverpool.

Georginio Wijnaldum completed the scoring in the 91st minute with his first goal for the club, after substitute Daniel Sturridge had struck the bar twice.

It is the fifth time Liverpool have scored four goals or more in the league this season. With 30 goals from their 11 matches, they are unquestionably the highest scorers of the English top flight.

But Watford’s consolation through Daryl Janmaat still meant that Klopp’s side have only kept one clean sheet in the league this season.

Barca narrowly defeats Sevilla to keep pace with Real Madrid

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FC Barcelona narrowly defeated Sevilla in La Liga thanks to goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, which in turn kept them in contention with Real Madrid.

However, the defending Spanish champions looked set to lose ground on their rivals when Vitolo deservedly put Sevilla ahead at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan after some poor defensive play from Sergi Roberto but Barca hit back just before half-time through Messi.

The Argentinian side-footed past Sergio Rico from the edge of the area, though there was a suspicion of offside against Ivan Rakitic, and he also sets up Luis Suarez’s 61st-minute winner.

Luis Enrique’s team were dominated in the first half, but created numerous chances after the break as they started to open up their opponent’s defence. As a result, Sevilla were overawed in the second half, but did go close when former Blackburn player Steven Nzonzi headed narrowly wide of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s left-hand upright.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid enjoyed better circumstances in maintaining their two-point lead on top of the La Liga table with an easy 3-0 victory over Leganes.

Gareth Bale latched on to Isco’s pass and, with the aid of a lucky ricochet, took the ball past Leganes keeper Jon Ander Serantes and slotted into the unguarded net, before pouncing to stab in a second from close range just before half-time.

Alvaro Morata added a third in the 76th minute to secure Real’s fourth straight win.