Madrid, May 8 (AP/UNB) — Roger Federer looked as comfortable as ever on his return to clay.
Showing no signs of rust after skipping clay-court tournaments the last two seasons, Federer cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over Richard Gasquet at the Madrid Open on Tuesday.
The fourth-seeded Federer needed less than an hour to win his first match on clay since 2016 and reach the third round in the Spanish capital.
"It feels good to be back on the clay," Federer said. "I enjoyed it. Some of these rallies, where you get pushed to the side, you slide. You can play in a different manner than you do on the hard courts or the grass."
The 37-year-old Federer skipped the clay season the last two years to make sure he was fit for the rest of the year. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is preparing to make his first French Open appearance since 2015. He has won two hard-court titles this season, in Dubai and Miami. He is a three-time winner in Madrid, with his last title in 2012.
The fourth-seeded Swiss converted his three break points and didn't concede any to the 39th-ranked Gasquet at the "Magic Box" center court.
Gasquet was playing in his first tournament after enduring a going injury early in the year.
"I think Richard was also maybe a little bit hurt from his match yesterday, so it was nice seeing him back after so many months being away from the tour with injury," Federer said. "I think for both of us it was a special match being back here in Madrid."
Earlier, top-ranked Novak Djokovic started with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Taylor Fritz. He broke the American's serve once in the first set and twice in the second, conceding only one break opportunity. The top-seeded Serb had seven aces and lost only two service points in the second set.
"I don't think he was playing at his best today," Djokovic said. "But I think it was a solid opening match for me in the tournament."
Djokovic is seeking his second title of the year, and third overall in Madrid. He began the year by winning the Australian Open.
David Ferrer extended his career with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Roberto Bautista Agut, setting up a second-round meeting with defending champion Alexander Zverev. The 37-year-old Ferrer is retiring after the tournament.
"I want to be with my family and try to enjoy as much as possible the time that I have to play in this center court," the Spaniard said. "And tomorrow I have another opportunity and I'll go out there to try to enjoy every single feeling that I might experience out there."
Stan Wawrinka ended a three-match losing streak in Madrid by defeating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-3.
"I felt good. It was a great match, a first great match," Wawrinka said. "I have been playing good on the practice court, feeling really good, so it was important to start well today and I'm happy with the first match."
Brazil Open champion Guido Pella upset 12th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, while Fabio Fognini beat Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-3.
On the women's side, top-ranked Naomi Osaka defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0 in the second round.
"I feel like in the first set, I got a bit lucky there," Osaka said. "In the third set, I just, like, went zombie mode and then just thought of everything that I had to do to win and not necessarily the outcome."
Third-seeded Simona Halep defeated Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-1, while Caroline Garcia got past Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
Fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber withdrew ahead of her second-round match against Petra Martic because of a right ankle injury.
Dhaka, May 7 (UNB) – Grand Master Enamul Hossain Razib of Saif Sporting Club took solo lead in Category A of the Late Dr. Abul Kashem Chowdhury International Rating Chess Tournament securing 3.5 points after the 4th round matches at conference-room and hall-room of Bangladesh Chess Federation on Tuesday.
Six players shared the 2nd position collecting 3 points each.
They are: GM Ziaur Rahman of Saif Sporting Club, IM Mohammad Minhaz Uddin, FM Kh. Aminul Islam and CM Subrota Biswas of Bangladesh Navy, FM Mehdi Hasan Parag of Golden Sporting Club and Sonkalan Bharati of India.
FM Mohammad Fahad Rahman of Saif Sporting Club and Sumit Kumar of India shared the 3rd position securing 2.5 points each.
Eight players dominated the point table of ‘Category B’ of the meet obtaining full 4 points after the 4th round matches.
They are: Md Masum Hossain, Tahsin Tajwar Zia, Md Matiur Rahman (Mamun), Md Gazi Salauddin, Jewel Khan, Yasir Ali Khan Evan, AB Bappi and Feroz Ahmed.
In the day’s 4th round matches of Category A, GM Razib drew with FM Amin, IM drew with Sonkalan, GM Zia beat FM Mohammad Javed, FM Fahad drew with Sumit, FM Parag beat Amin, CM Subrota beat FM Syed Mahfuzur Rahman.
In Category B matches, Masum beat Nasiruddin Apu, Mamun beat Swanavo Choudhury, Salahuddin beat Mezanur Rahman, Jewel beat Ariful Amin, Evan beat Habibur Rahman Sohel, Bappi beat Md Shafiqul Islam, Feroz beat Anwar Hossain Dulal while Tahsin got walk-over against Sabyasachi Mandal.
The 5th round matches of both the categories will be held on Wednesday (May 8) at 2:30 pm in the same venue.
Dhaka, May 7 (UNB) - Two newcomers -- Hakim Ahmed Rubel and Susmita Bonik -- shined in their respective ranking rounds in the Stage-2 of the Archery World Cup in Shanghai, China on Tuesday.
Rubel finished 28th among 99 archers scoring 658 on the first day of the men’s recurve singles while Susmita Bonik ranked 18th out of 55 archers scoring 681 in the women’s compound singles.
Among other Bangladeshi archers, Roman Shana ranked 35th scoring 655, Tamimul Islam ranked 47th scoring 650 while Emdadul Haque Milon ranked 68th scoring 640 in the men’s recurve singles.
In the elimination round of 1/48, Hakim Ahmed Rubel will face Finn Matheson (85) of New Zealand, Roman Shana will take on Ding Yiliang (78) of China, Tamimul Islam will face Antti Tekoniemi (66) of Finland and Emdadul Haque Milon will compete against Patrick Huston of Great Britain (45).
In the women’s recurve singles, Beauty Roy achieved 51st position among 76 female archers scoring 612 and will now face Parmida Ghassemi (62) of Iran in the elimination round of 1/48.
In the men’s recurve team, Bangladesh achieved 14th position out of 22 participating teams as Hakim Ahmed Rubel, Roman Shana and Tamimul Islam scored total 1963.
In the elimination round of 1/12, Bangladesh will face Belgium (19).
In the recurve mixed team, Hakim Ahmed Rubel and Beauty Roy ranked 18th scoring 1270. They will face Australia (15) in the round of 1/12.
In the men’s singles of compound division, Asim Kumar Das ranked 60th out of 65 scoring 669.
In the round of 1/24, Asim will play Wong Co Wan (53) of Malaysia while Susmita will face Madeleine Ong Xue Li (47) of Singapore.
In the compound mixed team, Asim and Susmita of Bangladesh scored 1350 to settle for the bottom and will now face 15-ranked Japan in the round of 1/12.
A 10-member team are representing Bangladesh (seven archers and three officials) in Stage-2 of Archery World Cup 2019 .
Hakim Ahmed Rubel joined veteran archers Roman Shana, Tamimul Islam, Emdadul Haque Milon and Beauty Roy in the men’s and women’s recurve divisions while Asim Kumar Das and Susmita Bonik in the men’s and women’s compound divisions.
Around 295 archers from 38 countries are taking part in recurve and compound divisions of the seven-day competition in Chinese city of Shanghai.
Washington, May 7 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump awarded golfer Tiger Woods the nation's highest civilian honor on Monday, describing the 43-year-old as a "true legend" who transformed golf and then fought through years of injury to return to the sport's summit.
Trump awarded Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He's the fourth golfer to earn that distinction and certainly the youngest. While Woods dominated the sport for more than a decade, he won his first major in nearly 11 years at last month's Masters Tournament, a comeback that captivated the sporting world.
"Tiger was back on top," Trump declared during the Rose Garden ceremony.
If there were a Mount Rushmore for golfers, Woods would almost certainly be on it. He ranks second in PGA Tour wins and in major tournament victories. But the president's decision to award the nation's highest civilian honor to Woods also raised scrutiny about whether the president should be boosting the profile of a business associate of The Trump Organization.
Trump understood the importance of Woods comeback to golf and its fans, tweeting shortly after the Masters win that he was awarding Woods the medal because of his "incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE."
Trump has been using Woods' cachet to attract fans to his properties for decades. Trump got Woods to show up at his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, a day after the golfer's first Masters victory in 1997. The place was mobbed. Two thousand fans showed up as Woods walked down a 320-foot red carpet, some of them storming steel barricades to get a closer look.
Trump has also struck business deals with Woods.
Golfers at Trump's club in Doral, Florida, can stay at the Tiger Woods Villa. At a ribbon cutting ceremony in 2014, Woods lavished praise on the future presidential candidate, calling changes he made to the club "phenomenal."
In Dubai, Woods designed an 18-hole course to be managed by The Trump Organization.
Ethics officials have criticized Trump for not selling off his assets completely and holding the money in a blind trust. Instead, he set up a trust to hold his assets, handed day-to-day management responsibilities to two sons and hired an ethics lawyer to vet business deals. Trump can draw money from the trust and can benefit if his properties increase in value.
"You have to ask whether it's his true belief Tiger Woods deserves this award or whether he's doing it to help his business," said Jordan Libowitz, communications director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-leaning public policy group.
Christopher Devine, an associate professor of political science at the University of Dayton, said Trump may have a business angle, but when he stacks up Woods' accomplishments against other recipients, he believes Woods deserves it.
"If President Obama or Hillary Clinton had given the award to Tiger, no one would have batted an eye," said Devine, who has studied the history of the award, established in 1963.
President George W. Bush presented the Medal of Freedom to Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Obama presented it to Charlie Sifford, sometimes referred to as the "Jackie Robinson of golf." Woods noted that he named his son after Sifford. "He was like the grandpa I never had," Woods recalled.
Devine also noted that previous presidents have presented the award to supporters and political donors. For example, Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom to Bruce Springsteen, who performed in concerts to support Obama's election efforts. He also awarded it to his vice president, Joe Biden.
Woods was joined at the ceremony by his mother, Kutilda; daughter, Sam Alexis, 11; son, Charlie Axel, 10; and girlfriend Erica Herman. Woods' father, Earl, passed away more than a decade ago. Woods' longtime caddie, Joe LaCava, also attended.
Woods became emotional as he spoke of his parents, and he thanked those who have supported him over the years, saying, "You've seen the good and bad, the highs and lows, and I would not be in this position without all of your help."
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is given to individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," according to the White House. Presidents have complete discretion over whom they honor with the medal.
Some athletes and sports champions have resisted visiting the Trump White House because of their differences with the president.
Rick Reilly, who wrote a book about Trump's golfing entitled "Commander in Cheat," said Woods has brought golf to people of color all over the world, while Trump has promoted it as a sport for the rich. He said Woods has not been one to take stands on political issues, but should have declined the award in this case.
"I can see how it would be hard to resist, but I still think it's hypocritical to do it," Reilly said.
Dhaka, May 6 (UNB)- Bangladesh District and Divisional Football Association (BDDFA) on Monday signed a 5-year sponsorship deal with 53 young booters at Hotel Executive Inn in Gulshan area.
The booters were selected from the Sheikh Kamal U-20 National Football Tournament from April 17-28 with participation of all eight divisional teams of the country.
Secretary General of BDDFA Tarafder M Ruhul Amin said that the young booters will get long-term training under their talent hunt campaign.
As per the sponsorship deal, the booters will get chance to join a one-year residential camp in Chattogram starting from next June. During the camp, each of booters will get Tk 5,000 per month.
The booters will also get chance to play two international matches and four Premier League matches by the first six months.
Then, BDDFA will select around 25-35 booters for a 6-month special training session in abroad.
BDDFA also help them to continue their study in the educational institutions under Chattogram City Corporation.
Later, Secretary General of BDDFA handed over the prize money to the champions Rajshahi division and runners-up Khulna division of the Sheikh Kamal U-20 National Football Tournament.
Former national booter Hasanuzzaman Bablu, Sheikh Md Aslam, Imtiaz Sultan Jony and other BDDFA members were also present at the function.