Dominic Thiem stuns Roger Federer at Stuggart

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Austrian youngster Dominic Thiem pulled off a surprise victory against Roger Federer in Stuggart by 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4.

They met in a rain-interrupted Mercedes Cup semi-final in Tennis Club Weissenhof. Early on, Federer had threatened to end the game early after he pulls even in the second set despite being 5-0 down.

In the subsequent tiebreaker, Federer, playing on his favourite grass surface, squandered one match point with a smash into the net. He then wasted another as tried to serve and volley behind a second serve but was passed by an impeccable return.

Thiem then won the set with a smash. He went on the win the match as Federer delivered a backhand wide on Thiem’s second match point.

“I can’t believe it. To beat Federer on grass is a dream,” said Thiem after the match. “You need a little bit of luck to beat him on his best surface. I’m the happiest person on the Earth now.”

Earlier, Thiem had won against Federer on clay in the third round of the Italian Open before Federer took a month off due to a back injury. With three ATP titles already under his belt, he reached his first grand slam semi-final at the French Open, and leapfrogged to No7 in World Rankings.

His current encounter against Philipp Kohschreiber in the final was as it ties at 6-6 in the first set. The match delayed till Monday due to rain after the first set.

Indeed, the weather had not been ideal in Stuggart Thiem’s match against Federer either. It was twice interrupted by rain for 30 minutes; the second delay came immediately after Thiem broke for 4-3 in the third set.

On the other hand, Federer has not won a title this calendar year. There were injury issues that plagued the serial grand slam winner, first a knee surgery after the Australian Open, flu in the States and a back injury that forced him out of the French Open. But the 34-year-old remains optimistic.

“Any match you lose is disappointing. But to lose when you have match point means it was a close one,” he conceded. “We both had our chances throughout. After coming back from 0-5 in the second, it was tough to lose the tie-break.”

“It was a tough match for both of us,” Federer added. “I could have played better at some of the bigger moments. At the same time, Thiem came up with some really good shots when he needed them. It’s just unfortunate. It’s just a matter of working hard and maybe things will go my way next time.”

Brazil eliminated from Copa America by Peru’s hand of God

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Brazil had been eliminated from the Copa America by Peru after a handball by Raul Ruidiaz was ruled as a goal, winning his team 3 points and into the tournament’s quarter finals.

In what Group B’s final match, the Peruvian forward received a cross in the 75th minute right in front of Brazil’s goal and knocked the ball into the net. It appeared that he had used his right hand for the action, and it was ruled as a goal.

In scenes reminiscient of Diego Maradona’s infamous hand of god goal against England, Brazil furiously appealed to referee Andres Cunha for a handball on Rubidiaz and disallow the goal. The official went ahead to confer with his assistants and linesmen, but five minutes of discussions he upheld the decision.

Rubidiaz claimed that the ball hit his thigh after the game.

Early on, the five-time world champions had looked to progress comfortably with just a point needed to advance. The goal set them into frenzy in search of an equalizer.

Elias almost salvaged the required draw but the unmarked midfielder failed to score inside the six-yard box with three minutes left to play.

The win was Peru’s first against Brazil since 1985, with the win on Sunday marking just the fourth time the small South American nation has beaten the neighbouring football giants.

And with that, Dunga and his team will woe the efficiency of match officials for their exit, as there were also incidents in the first half where Peru could have conceded penalties in two instances. Instead, the referee merely gestured play on.

But Brazil was not entirely blameless. Their 7-1 victory against Haiti seemed to have dulled them, and clearly cut themselves short of their typical killer’s edge even with their well-coordinated plays.

 

Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon with wrist injury

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Tennis fans will have one less star to cheer for at Wimbledon this year as Rafael Nadal withdraws from the grand slam due to his wrist injury.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion, who had won twice at the grass court, had confirmed the news of his withdrawal on his social network channels earlier yesterday.

“I’m sad to announce that, after talking to my doctors and receiving the results of my last medical revision, I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon,” Nadal wrote on his Facebook page.

“As you can all imagine it’s a very tough decision but the injury I suffered at Roland Garros needs time to heal,” he added. “Thank you all for your support, especially my fans. Your kind messages mean so much.”

Nadal hasn’t competed since withdrawing after two quick wins at the French Open in an emotional press conference. His hand was shown to be encased, to calm the effects of shredded tendons.

This marks yet another injury issue for Nadal since missing the competitive equivalent of a year through injuries from his feet, up to his knees, his back. Now, with the effectiveness of his most important joint called into question, the Spaniard faces an uncertain career ahead of him.

His victories of 14 majors from 20 finals, 28 Masters titles, an Olympic gold medal and a total of 69 trophies in all competitions were essentially won with the most lethal, top-spun, left-handed forehand in history.

It is difficult to imagine him winning without it, and there had been alarming signs after he lost to Andy Murray on clay in the Madrid Open on clay – his favourite surface.

 

Brazil overcompensated, destroys Haiti 7-1

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Brazil overcompensated and destroyed Haiti by 7-1 in Group B of the Copa America.

The Selecao ran rampant as Philippe Coutinho’s powerful shot kick-starts the scoring after 14 minutes, and the Liverpool player tapped home another 15 minutes later. The team looked absolutely in control as Renato Augusto added a third.

Haiti looked stronger after the break, but could not find scoring opportunities to answer Brazil’s onslaught. Then the inevitable ensued.

Half-time substitute Gabriel slotted home for the fourth, and Lucas Lima heads past Johnny Placide for Brazil’s fifth. By that time it was already a consolation goal when James Marcelin scored Haiti’s first in close range. The game then headed into the dying minutes, as Augusto found his second.

As Coutinho scored a knuckleball to bag a first hat-trick for his national team, it was a 7-1 that Brazil can be proud of, after their decimation by Germany with a similar scoreline at the 2014 World Cup semi-final on home ground.

They can now put critics to rest up until their next group stage match after their lackluster opener against Ecuador which ended at 1-1. With their last opponents fighting to a 2-2 stalemate against Peru, Brazil can enjoy their advantage on top of Group B, however long it lasts.

Haiti, now having suffered two consecutive defeats, is all but fated for an early exit out of the tournament.