Dhaka, Jan 28 (UNB) – Public Works Department (PWD) Sporting Club outplayed Bornak Samaj by 11-0 goals in the Green Delta Insurance First Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium here on Monday.
Soyan struck three while Parimal, Akash and Labjat Singh scored two each and Golab Chand and Faridul contributed one goal each for the winners.
In the day’s other match, Hockey Dhaka United played to a 2-2 draw with Bachelors Sporting Club at the same venue.
Imran Ahmed Sohel struck two field goals for Dhaka United while Mohammad Shamim and Meheruzzaman scored one each for the Bachelors SC.
Dhaka Railways will play Shishu Kishore Sangha at 1:30 pm while Combined SC will meet Dilkusha SC at 3:30 pm on Tuesday at the same venue.
Dhaka, Jan 27 (UNB) – Shantinagar Club returned to the winning run in the Green Delta Insurance First Division Hockey League beating old Dhaka outfit Farashganj Sporting Club by 7-3 goals at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium here on Sunday.
Akash struck three, Limon two, Moin and Mohiuddin scored one each for Shantinagar Club, which suffered a humiliating 1-8 goals defeat against Dhaka United Club on Saturday.
In the day’s other match, Railway Sporting Club beat Bornak Samaj by 3-2 goals at the same venue.
Azizuddin Choton struck two and Arpon Das scored one for the winners while Amir Hossain and Mosharraf Hossain contributed one each for the losers.
Melbourne, Jan 27 (AP/UNB) — Novak Djokovic was so good, so relentless, so pretty much perfect, that Rafael Nadal never stood a chance.
Djokovic reduced one of the greats of the game to merely another outclassed opponent — just a guy, really — and one so out of sorts that Nadal even whiffed on one of his famous forehands entirely.
In a remarkably dominant and mistake-free performance that yielded a remarkably lopsided result, the No. 1-ranked Djokovic overwhelmed Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday night to win a record seventh Australian Open championship and a third consecutive Grand Slam title, raising his count to 15 overall.
"An amazing level of tennis," Nadal acknowledged.
After dropping only four games in the semifinals, Djokovic spoke about being "in the zone." Clearly, he did not budge from there, producing 34 winners and only nine unforced errors Sunday.
And this was against no slouch, of course: Nadal is ranked No. 2, owns 17 major trophies himself and hadn't dropped a set in the tournament.
But Djokovic left Nadal smirking or gritting his teeth or punching his racket strings, unable to compete at all.
"Tonight," Nadal said, "was not my night."
So Djokovic added to previous triumphs in Melbourne in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, along with four at Wimbledon, three at the U.S. Open and one at the French Open.
He broke his tie with Roger Federer and Roy Emerson for most Australian Open men's titles. He also broke a tie with Pete Sampras for third-most Grand Slam trophies; Djokovic only trails Federer, with 20, and Nadal.
And he is gaining on them.
"Sometimes, this tournament has been tough for me, in terms of injury," said Nadal, who dropped to 1-4 in Australian Open finals, "and other times, in terms of opponents — like tonight."
A sore right elbow cost Djokovic the last half of 2017. It contributed to a fourth-round loss in Melbourne a year ago, right before he decided to have surgery.
All that is in the past.
The 31-year-old Serb is once again at an elite level. If anything, the gap between him and the rest is growing right now.
"I'm just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months," Djokovic said, mentioning what he called "quite a major injury."
"To be standing now here in front of you today and managing to win this title and three out of four Slams is truly amazing," Djokovic said. "I am speechless."
Nadal also has dealt with all manner of health issues. He retired from his Australian Open quarterfinal and U.S. Open semifinal last year with right leg problems, had an offseason operation on his right ankle, and hadn't competed in about four months when play began in Melbourne.
"It was so important to be where I am today, coming back from injury, and it's good inspiration for me for what's coming," Nadal said. "I'm going to keep fighting hard to be a better player."
Djokovic and Nadal know each other, their styles and their patterns all too well. This was their 53rd meeting — more than any other pair of men in the half-century professional era — and record-equaling 15th at a Grand Slam tournament. It was also their eighth matchup in a major final.
So there should not have been any mysteries out there on Rod Laver Arena's blue court as they began with the temperature, which had topped 105 degrees (40 Celsius) in recent days, at a manageable 75 (25 C) and just a hint of wind.
Right from the start, though, this shaped up nothing like their only previous Australian Open title match, back in 2012, which Djokovic won in 5 hours, 53 minutes, the longest Grand Slam final in history.
Evenly matched as they were that night, this time was no contest. None whatsoever. It lasted a tad more than 2 hours.
Watching things swing so immediately and irrevocably in Djokovic's direction really was rather hard to comprehend, as was how someone of Nadal's experience and excellence could come out of the gate quite so poorly.
Nerves? Perhaps they played a role. So, of course, did Djokovic, whose defense was impenetrable.
No ball, no matter how well-struck, seemed to be out of Djokovic's reach. He slid and stretched and occasionally even did the splits, contorting his body to get wherever he needed to.
Djokovic grabbed 13 of the first 14 points, including all four that lasted 10 strokes or more. A trend was established.
Of most significance, Nadal was broken the very first time he served Sunday. That gave Djokovic one more break of Nadal than the zero that the Spaniard's five preceding opponents had managed combined. But none of them is Djokovic, the best returner in the game now — and maybe ever.
Not a shabby returner, either, Nadal could make no headway on this day. Djokovic won each of the initial 16 points he served and 25 of the first 26.
By the end of the second set, after 75 minutes of action, Djokovic had won nearly twice as many points (59-30), made more winners (23-14) and far fewer unforced errors (20-4), while taking 14 of 17 points that lasted at least 10 strokes.
The longest was a 22-shot point, which ended when Nadal netted a backhand to give Djokovic a set point at the end of the first. Djokovic raised his right fist and held it there while staring at his guest box.
He was on the right path. Nadal could do nothing to stop him.
Melbourne, Jan 26 (AP/UNB) — So close to victory, Naomi Osaka suddenly was letting the Australian Open final slip away. Three championship points? Gone. A sizable lead? Soon all gone, too.
She was playing poorly. She yelled at herself. Slammed a ball. Tugged at her visor's pink brim. Trudged to the locker room between sets with a towel draped over her head.
And then, after returning to the court, Osaka turned it all around just as quickly as she had dropped 23 of 27 points. Refocusing and reasserting herself, Osaka edged Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4 on Saturday night to win the Australian Open for a second consecutive Grand Slam title.
"I felt like I didn't want to have any regrets," Osaka said. "I think if I didn't regroup after the second set, then I would have looked back on this match and probably cried or something."
On top of that, Osaka will rise to No. 1 in the rankings.
"Amazing achievement," two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova said. "Definitely she is a great one. We'll see what the future will bring."
Osaka added the Australian Open trophy to the one she collected in a U.S. Open final last September that forever will be remembered for the way runner-up Serena Williams was docked a game after arguing with the chair umpire.
Unlike that day, there was no jeering from the confused crowd. No controversy. No chaos. No sharing the spotlight.
Clearly marking herself as tennis' bright new star, Osaka is the first woman to win two major championships in a row since Williams picked up four straight in 2014-15.
Almost didn't happen.
Osaka held three match points in the second set at 5-3, love-40 as Kvitova served. But Osaka couldn't close it out. Instead, she completely lost her way.
That allowed Kvitova to come back and make a match of it, reeling off five games in a row to take the second set and go up 1-0 in the third.
At that point, Kvitova would say later, she figured it was going to keep going her way.
"In the end," she said, "it wasn't."
After Kvitova double-faulted to offer up a break point at 1-all, Osaka converted it with a cross-court backhand winner. There was still more work to be done, of course, and some additional drama when it began raining at the changeover right before Osaka tried to serve for the match at 5-4 in the third set.
This time, Osaka would not falter. She would not let this lead disappear.
"I knew that Petra couldn't keep it up for that long if Naomi could just manage those emotions," said Osaka's coach, Sascha Bajin, "and she did that beautifully."
Osaka was born in Japan — her mother is Japanese, her father is Haitian — and she moved to New York at age 3. Now she's based in Florida and has dual citizenship. Osaka already was the first player representing Japan — female or male — to win a Grand Slam singles title. Now she also is the first to top the WTA or ATP rankings.
At 21, Osaka is the youngest No. 1 in nearly a decade; Caroline Wozniacki was 20 when she first ascended to that spot in 2010.
And to think, a year ago, Osaka was ranked 72nd.
What a climb. What a quick climb.
Kvitova was playing in her first Grand Slam final since winning Wimbledon in 2014 — and the first since she was stabbed in the hand by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic a little more than two years ago.
Kvitova needed surgery, missed the first 4½ months of the 2017 season, including the Australian Open, and couldn't be sure she'd ever get back to the top of tennis.
"You've been through so much," Osaka told Kvitova during the trophy ceremony. "I'm really honored to have played you in the final of a Grand Slam."
On a somewhat cloudy, rather comfortable evening, with only a slight breeze and the temperature around 75 degrees (25 Celsius), both women hit the ball as hard as can be. Exchanges were mostly at the baseline and filled with flat, powerful groundstrokes that barely cleared the net and made retrieving and replying as much about reflexes as anything.
Here's one measure of how even it was: Each finished with 33 winners.
Points were swift and blunt; of 86 in the first set, only four lasted nine strokes or more. There was plenty of strong serving, clean hitting and good movement.
It was Osaka who was the first to get ahead, tearing through the tiebreaker by grabbing five points in a row — four via winners — to go up 5-1. When Kvitova sailed a backhand wide moments later, ceding a set for the first time all tournament, Osaka pumped her fist and screamed, "Come on!"
How pivotal was that moment? Kvitova had won her last 22 Grand Slam matches after winning the first set. Osaka, meanwhile, entered the day having won 59 matches anywhere after going up by a set.
When Osaka broke to lead 3-2 in the second set, and then got to 5-3, the outcome seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Turned out, that wasn't the case. Not at all.
All that really matters, of course, is that Osaka righted herself in time to win.
"It didn't really take that long," she said. "I didn't have a choice."
Melbourne, Jan 26 (AP/UNB) — It was fascinating to hear Novak Djokovic explain what it will be like to face Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.
"The intensity that he brings on the court is immense," Djokovic said. "Without a doubt, probably the most intense tennis player that I have witnessed and played against."
"It makes you be alert, so to say, from the very first point," Djokovic said. "He doesn't allow you to kind of ease your way into the match."
All sounds rather similar to the way someone might describe competing against Djokovic.
When the No. 1-ranked Djokovic and No. 2 Nadal meet Sunday night at Rod Laver Arena for the tournament championship, there will be differences, right down to the most obvious: Djokovic is a righty, Nadal a lefty. The similarities are far more compelling, among them an ability to go from suffocating defense to "How did he put the ball there?!" offense by aggressively staking out territory at the baseline, and an unwavering commitment to playing every point with full effort and desire, as though the ultimate outcome of the match hinged on each racket swing.
This matchup is their 53rd, the most between two men the professional era. Djokovic leads 27-25.
It is their 26th on a hard court. Djokovic leads 18-7.
It is their 15th at a major, equaling the record. Nadal leads 9-5.
It is their eighth in a Grand Slam final. Nadal leads 4-3.
It is their second in an Australian Open final. Djokovic won a five-setter in 2012 that lasted 5 hours, 53 minutes, the longest Slam final ever.
"Nadal has historically, throughout my life and career, been the greatest rival that I ever played against, on all the surfaces. Some matches that we had against each other were a great turning point in my career. I feel they have made me rethink my game," Djokovic said.
"I had some disappointing moments where I lost to him. ... I won, also, some great matches. Those kind of encounters have also made me the player I am today, without a doubt," the 31-year-old Serb said. "These are the kind of matches that you live for, finals of Slams, playing the greatest rivals at their best. What more can you ask for?"
Djokovic is to collect a record seventh Australian Open title, breaking a tie with Roy Emerson and Roger Federer.
That would lift his Grand Slam haul to 15, pushing Djokovic one ahead of Pete Sampras.
The only men with more? Federer is at 20, Nadal at 17.
For Nadal, this represents a chance to cut into Federer's lead and become the third man with at least two championships at each major. The 32-year-old Spaniard's previous title in Australia came in 2009; he's lost three other finals, while Djokovic is 6-0.
Both were outstanding in the semifinals. Nadal beat 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0; Djokovic defeated 24-year-old Lucas Pouille 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.
Tsitsipas on Nadal: "Just has a talent to make you play bad."
Pouille on Djokovic: "Not so many players can beat him, for sure. Maybe one or two."
He put Nadal in that category, and it's easy to see why. A tweaked serve and that lasso of a forehand are making Nadal as dangerous as ever; he hasn't dropped a set in Melbourne.
And to think: He is coming off a series of injuries on unforgiving hard courts.
Nadal retired from his Australian Open quarterfinal last year because of a right leg problem; stopped again during his U.S. Open semifinal in September with pain in his right knee; had offseason surgery on his right ankle; pulled out of a tuneup tournament this month because of a bothersome thigh.
He was rusty. He acknowledged being a "little bit worried" because of "issue after issue."
"After four, five months without action at all," Nadal said, "then, of course, you know that you can come here and anything can happen, no?"
Djokovic dealt with his own health scare: A sore right elbow that cost him the last half of 2017 and contributed to a fourth-round loss in Melbourne a year ago before he had an operation.
Like Nadal, Djokovic is once again at the top of his game.
They're ready to resume their rivalry.
"Hopefully," Djokovic said, "we're all going to have a good time."