Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 19th 2014 Contents A61
Saturday, April 19, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PARIS---Rafael Nadal s mastery
of the Monte Carlo clay courts
seems to be over.
The top-ranked Spaniard hopes
his confidence isn t gone, too.
Nadal lost to fellow Spaniard
David Ferrer 7-6 (1), 6-4 in the
quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo
Masters yesterday, his earliest exit
since 2003 at a tournament that
helped build his reputation as per-
haps the greatest clay-court player
of all time. Nadal won eight con-
secutive titles here from 2005-
12, before losing to Novak Djokovic
in last year s final.
This was Nadal s first loss on
clay to Ferrer since 2004, and the
13-time Grand Slam champion
said he is still trying to find his
best form after a disappointing
loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the
Australian Open final.
"After what happened in Aus-
tralia, (it) was little bit harder for
me to find again the intensity, the
confidence, the inside power that
always I have," Nadal said. "Even
if I won Rio, I played the final in
Miami, you know, (this) remains
something in my mind and in my
Djokovic looked like he might
follow him out, but the Serb final-
ly got the better of the unseeded
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain
4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to set up a 34th
career meeting against 17-time
Grand Slam champion Roger Fed-
"I started very poorly. Garcia-
Lopez played well and I had to
work for this win," Djokovic said.
"I finally started to play as I want-
ed in the second set."
Federer leads Djokovic 17-16 in
head-to-heads and they are 1-1
this year, with Federer beating
him in the Dubai Championship
semifinals and Djokovic winning
their final at Indian Wells.
The Serb was close to losing
against Garcia-Lopez, saving a
break point in the fifth game of
the second set and two more
when trailing 15-40 in his next
Djokovic then made a crucial
break to take a 5-3 lead, served
out the set, and then broke Gar-
cia-Lopez twice at the start of
the third. Ferrer hardly needed to
dig deep as Nadal committed 44
unforced errors and gave away 10
break-point chances on his serve.
A day after becoming the 11th
man in the Open era to reach 300
wins on clay, Nadal was broken
four times in the face of Ferrer s
The first set-statistics make for
ugly reading, with Nadal making
only 54 per cent of his first serves,
and hitting a meager five winners
on his normally trusty forehand.
The sixth-seeded Ferrer next
faces the third-seeded Wawrinka,
who reached his first semifinal
since the Australian Open by
beating eighth-seeded Milos
Raonic of Canada 7-6 (5), 6-2.
Fourth-seeded Roger Federer also
reached the last four in an error-
strewn 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1 win
against No 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
of France, where he was two
points from defeat at 0-30 serving
at 6-5 down in the second set.
Federer, who improved to 11-4
against Tsonga, wasted 15 straight
break points and three set points
in the second set. But at 6-6 in
the tiebreaker, Tsonga hit a wild
forehand into the net and Federer
leveled the match with a volley
winner. Tsonga said the changing
conditions in the late afternoon
as the match went into a third
set suited Federer s style of play
Nadal loses in quarters
in Monte Carlo tennis
KUALA LUMPUR---Pablo Lar-
razabal couldn t believe what was
coming his way. He was playing
in the second round of the
Malaysian Open yesterday when
a swarm of hornets "three times
the size of bees" began an assault.
"They were huge and like 30 or
40 of them started to attack me
big-time," he said. "I didn t know
what to do. My caddie told me to
run, so I start running like a crazy
guy. But the hornets were still
there, so the other players told me
to jump in the lake."
Lee Westwood shot a six-under
66 for a four-stroke lead, but this
day was all about Larrazabal.
The 30-year-old Spaniard has
been playing pro golf for 10 years.
In January, he defeated Phil Mick-
elson and Rory McIlroy to capture
the Abu Dhabi Championship. He
knows of hazards on the course.
This, however, had nothing to do
with bunkers or sand traps.
"I ran to the lake, threw my
scorecard down, took off my shoes
and jumped in the water," he said.
"It was the scariest moment of
my career, for sure. I ve never been
The aerial attack came on the
14th hole, the fifth of his round.
Larrazabal ran for safety, tossing
his hat and shirt before being
pulled from the lake. He was left
with multiple stings and needed
medical treatment, including
Remarkably, Larrazabal birdied
the 14th hole en route to a two-
under 68 at Kuala Lumpur Coun-
try Club in the European and
Asian Tour event.
Larrazabal, who opened with a
74, knows he ll have to confront
the 14th hole again.
"Tomorrow (today) it will be
very, very scary to play that hole,"
Westwood, once ranked No 1,
was an afterthought in the hor-
nets buzz as he pursues his first
title in two years. He was at 131
with two rounds to go. The Eng-
lishman had eight birdies, his only
error a double bogey when he hit
into water guarding the green at
the par-three 11th hole.
Antonio Lascuna of the Philip-
pines carded a 65 to hold the lead
at nine under before being over-
taken by Westwood. Lascuna has
won twice on the Asian Tour, and
he shares second with Nicolas
Colsaerts of Belgium. Defending
champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat
of Thailand was tied with Larraz-
abal after a pair of 71s. (AP)
Larrazabal jumps into water to escape hornets
BRISBANE---Australian No 1 Sam Sto-
sur will meet Germany s second-ranked
player Andrea Petkovic in the opening
match of the Fed Cup World Group
semifinal in Australia.
Yesterday s draw also pitted Casey Del-
lacqua against Germany No 1 Angelique
Kerber in the second match today on
outdoor hard courts at Pat Rafter Arena.
The reverse singles will be played
tomorrow, followed by doubles.
Barty and Casey Dellacqua, who
reached three Grand Slam doubles finals
last year, are expected to play doubles
It is Australia s first semifinal appear-
ance since 1993, and the country is trying
to win the Fed Cup for the first time
since 1974 when Evonne Goolagong led
Australia to victory.
Czech Republic and Italy are playing
in the other semifinal this weekend. The
winners meet November 8-9 in the final.
Safarova opens Fed
Cup against Errani
OSTRAVA---Lucie Safarova of the Czech
Republic will face Sara Errani of defending
champion Italy in the opening singles of
their Fed Cup semifinal today in Czech
The 26th-ranked Safarova and the 11th-
ranked Errani have met twice at WTA tour-
naments and are 1-1.
No 6-ranked Petra Kvitova will play the
second singles for the host against the
54th-ranked Camila Giorgi.
After tomorrow s reverse singles, Klara
Koukalova and doubles specialist Andrea
Hlavackova are expected to team up against
the Italian pair of Karin Knapp and Roberta
The winner faces Australia or Germany
in November s final.
The two have won the last five Fed Cups:
The Czechs in 2011 and 2012, and Italy in
2009, 2010 and last year. (AP)
Malaysian Open semis
KUALA LUMPUR---Top-seeded Dominika
Cibulkova of Slovakia rallied to beat Zari-
na Diyas of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
yesterday and reach the semifinals of the
The 10th-ranked Cibulkova saved 20
break points to prevail over her sixth-seed-
ed opponent after more than 2 1/2 hours.
Cibulkova will play third-seeded Karolina
Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who
defeated Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey, 6-
In the other semifinal, second-seeded
Shuai Zhang of China will take on Donna
Vekic of Croatia.
The 45th-ranked Zhang fought off 10
break points to beat Magda Linette of
Poland 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.
Vekic, who is yet to win a title on the
circuit, hit 10 aces to overcome fourth-
seeded Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria
6-4, 7-5. (AP)
Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after dropping a point against David
Ferrer of Spain during their quarterfinals match of the Monte Carlo
Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, yesterday. Nadal lost 7-6 6-4.
Pablo Larrazabal, left, of Spain, is pulled out of a lake after being
attacked by a swarm of hornets during the second round of the
Malaysian Open golf tournament at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country
Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Links Archive April 18th 2014 April 20th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page