Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2015 Contents LILLE---Defending champion France
overwhelmed Turkey 76-53 before a
record indoor crowd to make the Euro-
pean basketball championship quar-
Greece set up a showdown with Spain
by beating Belgium 75-54 for its sixth
win in as many games.
Spain pulled away at the start of the
fourth quarter to beat Poland 80-66.
Pau Gasol put the game away with eight
straight points with just over three min-
utes left. Gasol, the tournament s leading
scorer, finished with 30 points and seven
"Poland made it difficult," Gasol said.
"We had 16 turnovers to their nine. In
the end, we figured it out."
France went on a 14-0 run late in the
second quarter and led by 10 at halftime
to practically finish the job. Turkey could
not match France s physical play. France
has won all six games so far.
The match saw the attendance record
for an indoor game broken with a sell-
out crowd of 26,135, according to the
organizers. The previous record was held
by Red Star Belgrade, which drew 24,232
to Belgrade Arena for a Eurocup quar-
terfinal against Budivelnik Kyiv.
The previous record for a Eurobasket
game was also set in Belgrade, with
18,900 fans watching the medal games
Guard Nando de Colo led France with
15 points, seven rebounds and seven
assists. France s defense limited Turkey
playmaker Ali Muhammed to nine points
and five assists.
France will next meet Latvia, which
beat Slovenia 73-66. Latvia won the first
title 80 years ago, but its best recent
placing was eighth in 2001.
Greece seeks its third Eurobasket title,
and first in a decade.
Spain has one of the most impressive
runs in European championship history,
having not finished lower than fourth
in the last eight tournaments. It won in
2009 and 2011, and took the bronze two
That record seemed in real jeopardy
when it and Poland were tied 55-55 at
the end of the third. But a 14-2 run lifted
Spain ahead by 10. If Poland had any
hopes of coming back, Gasol destroyed
them with a jumper followed by two
straight 3-pointers before leaving the
game to a standing ovation.
"We got better and better on defense
with each quarter," Spain coach Sergio
Spain played without guard Rudy Fer-
nandez, who was nursing a sore back.
Belgium, trailing by three at halftime,
resisted well until midway through the
third quarter, when Vassilis Spanoulis
gave Greece a 10-point lead. Greece used
a 21-3 run into the fourth quarter to take
a 23-point advantage, while Belgium
could not score for nine minutes. (AP)
NEW YORK---The blockbuster US Open final
between No 1 Novak Djokovic and No 2 Roger
Federer today is tantalising for so many rea-
They have built a long and riveting rivalry,
this duo with a combined 26 major trophies---
a record 17 for Federer, nine for Djokovic.
This matchup will be their 14th at a Grand
Slam tournament, more than any other pair
of men in tennis Open era, which dates to
1968. Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have played
each other 13 times at majors, Federer and
Nadal 11, and John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl
10.It will be the fourth Federer vs Djokovic
meeting in a Grand Slam final, with Federer
winning at the 2007 US Open, and Djokovic
winning at Wimbledon each of the past two
And it is their 42nd head-to-head match
overall, with Federer barely ahead, 21-20.
"It s just a straight shootout," Federer said,
"and I think that s the cool thing about our
rivalry. It s very athletic."
He explained that he doesn t feel as if either
of them needs to adjust style or tactics too
much for their matches, and that in many
ways, they know how to deal with the other s
strengths and styles.
"We can both handle ... whatever we present
to one another," Federer said. "It s very even."
At the moment, Djokovic is the best baseliner
around, contorting his body this way and that,
going from defense to offense in a blink, and
maybe the best returner around, too. While
so much attention was paid to Serena Williams
oh-so-close bid to complete the Grand Slam,
Djokovic has gone 26-1 at majors in 2015, with
titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon,
and a runner-up finish at the French Open in
Federer, 34, is playing a brilliant brand of
attacking tennis and serving as well as ever,
broken twice in 82 games this tournament.
Both should be well-rested for Sunday,
because both are coming off remarkably easy
semifinal victories Friday that each lasted only
about 1 1/2 hours. Djokovic beat defending
champion Marin Cilic 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 in the
most lopsided semifinal in New York in the
Open era. Federer eliminated two-time major
champion Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
Djokovic will be playing in his sixth final at
the US Open, but the only one he won came
Federer, a five-time US Open champion, is
into his first final at Flushing Meadows since
2009. Each of the following two years, he lost
in the semifinals to Djokovic, each time 7-5
in the fifth set, each time after Federer held
two match points.
After his 2011 loss, Federer scoffed at the
return winner Djokovic hit to erase a match
point, comparing him to a kid who swings
away with his eyes closed because, well, he s
got nothing to lose.
"I never played that way," Federer said that
day. "I believe in the hard-work s-going-to-
pay-off kind of thing, because early on, maybe
I didn t always work at my hardest. So for me,
this is very hard to understand how can you
play a shot like that on match point. But, look,
maybe he s been doing it for 20 years, so for
him it was very normal. You ve got to ask him."
Lately, it s been Djokovic s coach, Boris Beck-
er, who has been quoted as criticising Federer,
including voicing a distaste for the Swiss star s
latest maneuver. The "SABR"---it stands for
"Sneak Attack by Roger"---is when Federer
races forward on an opponent s second serve
and essentially half-volleys a return while
heading to the net.
"It s an exciting shot for him. For the player
(on the) opposite side of the net, not so much,"
Djokovic said, noting he hasn t considered
trying it. "So I have nothing else to say about
A reporter told Federer that Becker reportedly
characterized the "SABR" as something that
"No, it s not disrespectful," Federer replied.
"Pretty simple." (AP)
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 13, 2015
Roger Federer, right, of Switzerland, clasps hands with Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, after the
men's final at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament, on August 23 in Mason, Ohio.
Federer defeated Djokovic 7-6 (1), 6-3. Today the duo meet again in the US Open final. AP PHOTO
Men's final features No 1 Djokovic, No 2 Federer
France's Tony Parker, center, shoots over Turkey's Cedi Osman, right, and Semih
Erden, left, during the EuroBasket European Basketball Championship match, round
of sixteen, between France against Turkey, at Pierre Mauroy stadium in Lille,
northern France, yesterday. France won 76-53. AP PHOTO
MOSCOW---Vladimir Putin has given Russian cit-
izenship to former world heavyweight boxing cham-
pion Roy Jones Jr.
A decree published on the Kremlin s Web site in
the Russian president s name yesterday said the
American, a four-weight champion once regarded
by many as the world s best boxer, had been given
Jones asked Putin for citizenship in August over
a cup of tea when they met in Crimea---the territory
annexed by Russia last year---saying it would make
doing business in Russia much easier.
Putin said this would be possible if Jones planned
to spend a significant part of his life in Russia, while
the boxer said he hoped sport could help "build a
bridge" between the US and Russia.
After the decree was published, Jones told Russian
news agency R-Sport that he planned to learn the
"I want to speak so well in Russian that people
understand me without any problems," Jones said.
"I think that ll take about a year. I hope that next
year I ll already be speaking like a Russian."
He added that he now wanted to "earn two or
three billion dollars," open boxing schools in Russia
and develop his rap career.
Still fighting at cruiserweight against mostly lit-
tle-known opponents, the 46-year-old Jones has
competed three times in Russia in the last five years,
most recently knocking out Egyptian fighter Hany
Atiyo last year in the southern city of Krasnodar.
While Jones insists he has no plans to hang up
his gloves and still wants to win a world title, he
has also begun working as a trainer for Russian fight-
ers---including unbeaten WBA super middleweight
champion Fedor Chudinov and his brother, ex-WBA
interim middleweight champion Dmitry Chudinov.
Putin gives Jones Jr
France, Spain, Greece, Latvia
advance at Eurobasket
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