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Roger Federer’s goodbye will be in doubles, maybe with Nadal – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Associated Press

LONDON — Roger Federer is known for his elegant style of play, for his longevity, for his 20 Grand Slam titles — and for occasional tears in his most emotional post-match moments, whether after victory or defeat.

There was none of that sort of sadness Wednesday, just smiles and some chuckles at his own jokes, as Federer appeared at a news conference to discuss his retirement from professional tennis at age 41 after a series of knee operations. He will close his career with a doubles match at the Laver Cup on Friday — perhaps alongside longtime rival Rafael Nadal.

Federer said he is now at peace with the decision to walk away, which comes a few weeks after Serena Williams played what is expected to be her last match at the U.S. Open, and he wants this farewell to be a celebration.

“I really don’t want it to be a funeral,” Federer said. “I want it to be really happy and powerful and party mode.”

Wearing a blue blazer with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and a white polo shirt, Federer took questions for about a half-hour at the arena that will host the team competition founded by his management company.

“I’m nervous going in, because I haven’t played in so long,” he said. “I hope I can be somewhat competitive.”

Federer, who announced last week via social media that he would be retiring after the Laver Cup, said it took him a bit to get used to the idea of stepping away from competition.

But it was something he understood he needed to do after running into setbacks in July during his rehabilitation from what was his third surgery on his right knee in about 1 1/2 years.

“You try to go to the next level in training, and I could feel it was getting difficult. … Then, I guess, I was also getting more tired, because you have to put more effort into it to be able to sort of believe that it was going to turn around. You start getting too pessimistic. Then I also got a scan back, which wasn’t what I wanted it to be,” Federer explained. “At some point, you sit down and go, ‘OK, we are at an intersection here, at a crossroad, and you have to take a turn. Which way is it?’ I was not willing to go into the direction of: ‘Let’s risk it all.’ I’m not ready for that. I always said that was never my goal.”

And the hardest part came when he knew he needed to stop.

“You’re sad,” Federer said, “in the very moment when you realize, ‘OK, this is the end.’”

The last procedure on his knee came shortly after a quarterfinal loss to Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon in July 2021, which will go into the books as the last singles match of a superlative career that began in the 1990s and included 103 tournament titles, a Davis Cup championship for Switzerland, Olympic medals and hundreds of weeks at No. 1 in the ATP rankings.

In his online farewell message last week, Federer referred to retirement as a “bittersweet decision.”

He was asked Wednesday what aspect was most bitter and what was most sweet.

“The bitterness: You always want to play forever,” he said. “I love being out on court. I love playing against the guys. I love traveling. … It was all perfect. I love my career from every angle.”

And then he added: “The sweet part was that I know everybody has to do it at one point; everybody has to leave the game. It’s been a great, great journey. For that, I’m really grateful.”

He will play doubles for Team Europe against Team World on Day 1 of the event, then will give way to 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini for singles over the weekend. That plan was run by the ATP and both team captains, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, Federer said.

As for his doubles partner for the last hurrah? Federer would not say definitively — he said that’s up to Borg — but the not-so-hidden secret is that it is expected to be Nadal, who holds the men’s record of 22 major championships.

Back in February, when word emerged that Federer would be in London this week, he said Nadal messaged him last year suggesting they play doubles together again. They teamed up to win a doubles match during the first Laver Cup in 2017.

“If we’re able to possibly share the court one more time as a doubles pairing,” Nadal said in February, “then this would be a truly special
experience for us both at this stage in our careers.”

While other contemporaries of Federer and stars of the sport are on Team Europe, such as 21-time Slam champ Novak Djokovic and three-time major winner Andy Murray, the Federer vs. Nadal matchup will go down in history as among the greatest rivalries in tennis or any other sport.

They played each other 40 times in all (Nadal won 26), with 14 Grand Slam matchups (Nadal won 10). Nadal came out on top in their classic 2008 Wimbledon final, considered by some the greatest match in history; Federer won their last showdown, in the 2019 semifinals at the All England Club.

“It could be quite, I don’t know, a unique situation, if it were to happen,” Federer said about the doubles pairing.

“For us, as well, to go through a career that we both have had and to come out on the other side and being able to have a nice relationship, I think, is maybe a great message, as well, to not just tennis but sports and maybe even beyond.”

As for his future?

The father of two sets of twins — girls 13, boys 8 — wouldn’t say exactly what he has planned, other than a vacation, but he did say he would remain connected to tennis in some capacity.

Recalling the way Borg stayed away from the sport for years after retiring, Federer sought to reassure his own fans by saying: “I won’t be a ghost.

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Virat Kohli is going to dominate T20 World Cup, predicts former West Indies pacer – WION

Indian cricket fans breathed a sigh of relief during the Asia Cup with Virat Kohli returning to form. The 33-year-old former Indian skipper was out of action from international cricket, after the end of the England tour, and missed the entire white-ball tour of West Indies and the three ODIs versus Zimbabwe, in the African nation.

However, the break seemed to have worked wonders for Kohli who regained form in the Asia Cup, in the UAE. The right-hander returned with scores of 35, 59*, 60, 0, 122* to end as the second-highest run-getter in the tournament (276 runs in five outings) despite Rohit Sharma-led India’s dismal campaign, where they failed to enter the final. He continued his good form in the India-Australia home T20Is, ending on a high with a crucial 63 in the final encounter that helped India clinch the series 2-1.

Ahead of India’s last T20I series — where they face South Africa — before departing for Australia for the forthcoming T20 World Cup, former West Indies pacer Fidel Edwards has made a bold claim on Kohli.

In an exclusive interaction with Times Now, Edwards — who is part of the second season of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) in India — said, “Virat has a point to prove and being in the World Cup, others need to watch out for him and I think he is going to dominate in the T20 World Cup. They say class is permanent has Virat has it all. Bowlers should be really worried for him.”

Kohli is the fifth-highest run-getter in T20 WC history, second-most among Indians, with 845 runs including two Player-of-the-Tournament awards (in 2013 and 2016).

ALSO READ | IND vs SA, 1st T20I: Virat Kohli only 35 runs away from leapfrogging Rohit Sharma in elite list

On Rohit & Co.’s chances of winning the T20 WC title, Edwards opined, “India is one of the best teams around playing T20 cricket. I am hoping to see them perform well in Australia. Bumrah is a real talent and he is going to come good in Australia. So I don’t think India should be worried about their bowling attack. In fact, other teams should be worried about India.”

India host SA in three T20Is, starting on Wednesday (September 28), before leaving for Australia for the T20 WC. In their opening fixture, they face Pakistan at the MCG, Melbourne on October 23.

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Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Iyer and Shahbaz Ahmed added to India`s squad for T20I series against South Africa – WION

The trio of pacer Umesh Yadav, batter Shreyas Iyer and all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed was on Wednesday added to India’s squad for the three-match T20 series against South Africa, starting here.

Senior pacer Mohammad Shami, who had missed the recently-concluded T20 series against Australia after contracting COVID-19 infection, is yet to recover completely and thus won’t be a part of the T20 matches against the Proteas.

Deepak Hooda has also been ruled out of the series owing to a back injury. The all-rounder is at the NCA for “further management of his injury”.

“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Umesh Yadav as Shami’s replacement and Shreyas Iyer as a replacement for Hooda,” a BCCI release stated.

“Shahbaz Ahmed has also been added to the T20I squad,” it added.

Also Read: Rishabh Pant, Arshdeep Singh to return? India’s predicted playing XI for 1st T20I vs South Africa

Umesh was brought in as Shami’s replacement in the series against Australia. He has competed in the series-opener but did not play the second and third T20Is.

On the other hand, left-arm spin-all-rounder Shahbaz is still uncapped. He was picked in the Indian ODI squad as Washington Sundar’s replacement for the Zimbabwe series in August but did not get a game.

Rookie pacer Arshdeep Singh, who was rested for the series against Australia, has linked up with the squad for the three T20Is.

Also Read: India vs South Africa, 1st T20I: Will rain play spoilsport in series opener at Trivandrum?

The series against South Africa will serve as a final dress rehearsal for both side ahead of the marquee event in Australia next month.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya and senior seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who have been rested for the series ahead of the T20 World Cup next month, have also reported to the NCA for “conditioning-related work”.

Revised India squad for South Africa T20Is:

Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Iyer and Shahbaz Ahmed.
 

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Cricketer Shubman Gill smashes maiden county century against Sussex – Economic Times

Young Indian batter Shubman Gill registered his first-ever county cricket century, playing for Glamorgan against Sussex in their ongoing County Championship Division Two match on Tuesday.

In the match, the stylish batter from Punjab smashed 119 runs in 139 balls, consisting of 16 fours and two sixes. He struck the ball at a solid strike rate of 85.61. He was, however, dismissed by Jack Carson.

Gill is having a solid stint in county cricket so far. He started off the season with a bang, slamming 92 runs in 148 balls against Worcestershire. However, his next outing against Middlesex saw him scoring only 22 and 11. In this match against Sussex, he outdid himself by scoring 119. So far, he has scored 244 runs in four innings at an average of 61.00, with a century and fifty each.

Earlier in August, it was announced that Gill will be playing for Glamorgan for the remainder of the County Championship season. It came after he won two back-to-back ‘Man of the Series’ awards in series against Zimbabwe (245 runs, one century and fifty in three matches) and West Indies (205 runs, two fifties in three matches).

Gill is the third Indian to wear the Glamorgan jersey after former India head coach Ravi Shastri played for the team from 1987-1991 and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly in the year 2005 donned the jersey of the English County club.

Sussex is struggling in the second division of the championship. In 14 matches they have played so far, they have won only one, lost six and drawn six. They are at the second-last position in points tally with 120 points.

Coming to the match against Sussex, after opting to bat first, Glamorgan posted 533/9 declared in their first innings, with centuries from Gill (119), Chris Cooke (141) and fifties from skipper David Lloyd (56) and Ajaz Patel (51*) taking the side to a huge score.

Sean Hunt (3/84) was the best bowler for Sussex.

Sussex is currently at 88/1, with skipper Tom Haines (38*) and Tom Alsop (3*) unbeaten. They trail in the match by 445 runs after Day two.

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