Montreal, Aug 9 (AP/UNB) — Top-seeded defending champion Rafael Nadal advanced to the Rogers Cup quarterfinals, beating Argentina's Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4 in the wind Thursday night.
"A tough day in terms of wind. But we are used to playing like this," Nadal said. "When we play on outdoor courts, that's part of the game, too. Of course it is better to play without this kind of wind.
"At the same time, it is beautiful to play under tough conditions because then the player who has different options to play has better chances to survive these kind of days. It's about adapting and being focused mentally. Of course, I prefer to play without these conditions, but in some way I enjoy."
The winner last year in Toronto for his fourth title in the event, Nadal won his 379th ATP Masters 1000 match to break a tie with Roger Federer for the record. Nadal has 82 singles victories, winning the French Open in June for his second title of the year.
In the quarterfinals, the 33-year-old Spanish star will face seventh-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy. Fognini beat France's Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 7-5.
"He's having a great season, one of the best of his career, if not the best," Nadal said. "I need to be playing well. I think today I played better than yesterday, so I hope tomorrow I continue with this improvement. That's what I need if I want to keep having chances to be through."
Sixth-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia beat Montreal teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-3 in the afternoon at windy and raucous IGA Stadium.
Celebrating his 19th birthday, Auger-Aliassime was undone by 12 double faults and a series of mistakes. After the match, the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to Auger-Aliassime, while a video featuring fellow pros also passing on their greetings played on the big screens.
"For sure frustrated because it was a big occasion," he said. "There was a lot of expectations, pressure, you name it. It's tough to see it slip away, but there's reason for that. It just means that I still have things to improve to win these type of matches and to deal better with these type of moments."
Khachanov set up a quarterfinal match against third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany, a 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (5) winner over Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Tied 7-7 in the tiebreaker, Khachanov sent a shot into the net on serve and then fired another ball over the second deck and out of the venue in frustration at the crowd cheering his mistakes, which led to loud boos.
"I cannot deny that I got a little bit crazy," Khachanov said. "But I'm really a bit disappointed ... with the crowd as well. I don't have anything against when they cheer for Felix. It's normal. He's the home favorite, especially from Montreal. I wish they could cheer the same way in Russia for me. But still, not when I miss or not wishing me to miss, screaming during the points. It's disrespectful."
Second-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria beat Marin Cilic of Croatoa 7-6 (7), 6-4. Coming off a victory on clay in Austria for his third title of the year, Thiem will face eighth-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Cristian Garin of Chile.
Tenth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain and No. 16 Gael Monfils of France won late matches to set up the final quarterfinal. Bautista Agut edged Richard Gasquet of France 7-5, 7-5, and Monfils beat Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 6-4, 6-0.
Toronto, Aug 9 (AP/UNB) — Serena Williams won for the second straight night at the Rogers Cup, beating Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals.
Playing her first event since losing the Wimbledon final, Williams opened with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Elise Mertens of Belgium on Wednesday. The 37-year-old Williams won the event in 2001, 2011 and 2013 —all in Toronto — and has a match record of 32-4.
"I definitely feel like it takes a while to get back into the rhythm, because we've had a long season of just clay and then grass, and now we're on hard courts," Williams said. "So it definitely feels different, especially for me now. Usually I don't feel that huge of a difference, but for whatever reason I do this year."
The eighth-seeded Williams will face the winner of the late match between No. 2 Naomi Osaka of Japan and Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek.
"I'm feeling good," Williams said. "Just hopefully just being able to stay in the rhythm and playing this week and next week would be good."
Alexandrova staved off 12 break points, but she was broken five times and had 11 double-faults.
"She hit really, really hard and she was hitting a lot of winners," Williams said. "So I was just happy that I was able to just fight through that."
Third-ranked Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic advanced to the afternoon, beating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-3, 7-5. In position to reclaim the top spot in the world ranking this week, Pliskova set up a match against Bianca Andreescu of Canada.
Pliskova finished off Kontaveit in two sets after taking three against American Alison Riske on Wednesday.
"For sure better than it was maybe yesterday," Pliskova said. "So I guess it's going to get better every day with what I play. And I always was, I am, improving with matches."
Andreescu beat fifth-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-4.
The 19-year-old Andreescu, from nearby Mississauga, improved to 5-0 against top-10 opponents this year. A right shoulder injury has limited her to four events since May.
"Being off for that long and coming into the Rogers Cup and getting into the quarterfinals means so much to me," Andreescu said. "And this time off actually helped me. I figured a lot of things out — and it's showing on court."
Fourth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania, making her first start since beating Williams for the Wimbledon title, beat Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-2, 6-1. Halep will face Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova, a 6-2, 6-2 winner at night over Latvia's Jalena Ostapenko.
American Sofia Kenin beat Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-2. Kenin beat top-ranked Ashleigh Barty in the previous round. In the quarterfinals, Kenin will face sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over 11th-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.
Jersey City, Aug 8 (AP/UNB) — Tiger Woods' first vacation to Thailand was a lot different from when he goes there for work.
"No one knew who I was," Woods said Wednesday with a smile.
That might be true when no one's trying to bother him at a resort with his mother, children and girlfriend. Still, there's no question Woods is one of Thailand's most lauded sports heroes.
His mother was born and raised in Thailand. Since his first Masters win in 1997, Woods' face has been plastered across Bangkok's newspapers and television stations throughout his highs and lows.
Woods identified himself "Cablinasian" — Caucasian, Black, American Indian and Asian — on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1997. Even so, he has always reciprocated the special kinship he has with his Thai roots.
"We wanted to have at least one time where the kids got a chance to experience Thailand with my mom, and so it was special for all of us," Woods said. "The fact that my kids got a chance to be with my mom in her home country was pretty special considering that that may never happen again."
Woods has won his share of tournaments in the Southeast Asian country — he won the 1998 and 2000 Johnnie Walker Classics in Phuket and Bangkok. The 1998 victory was the most memorable — he started the final round eight shots behind Ernie Els, shot 65 and beat him in a playoff. That remains his greatest final-round comeback.
And it was at the 1998 tournament in Phuket that Chuah Choo Chiang, senior director of communications for the PGA Tour who has spent most of his career involved in Asian Tour golf, truly realized the impact Woods had on the region.
"As Tiger was about to win the tournament, one of the Thai players said, 'Hey, it's no problem, it's a win for Thailand as well,'" Choo Chiang said. "And this was a professional on the Asian Tour."
It was like that beyond the borders of Thailand, stretching all over the world. Woods has played in every continent except Antarctica — and returned with a trophy from each. His appeal is massive, and it is particularly strong across Asia.
Woods has played in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Turkey, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The two tournaments he hosts have title sponsors from South Korea and India. He returns to Japan in October for an exhibition and for the Zozo Championship, the first PGA Tour event in Japan.
He played in his mother's home country for the first time in 1997. According to a Sports Illustrated story, Woods landed in Bangkok after a 20-hour flight from Los Angeles. The plane's first-class cabin was bombarded by cameras and journalists from four of the five national TV stations, who began broadcasting live. This was two months before he won the Masters, which set off the first phase of "Tigermania."
Woods was exhausted from the flight and his hectic start to the season. In the delirium, one reporter asked what Woods would like to say to the Thai people.
"I'll sign everything outside," a bleary Woods said, according to the story.
To this day, Thailand's frenzy for Tiger continues. According to Choo Chiang, the excitement levels are the same — if not higher — especially since Woods won the Tour Championship at the end of last season and the Masters in April. It was his first major in 11 years.
"You see young kids in Thailand having the same reaction as to what kids had 20 years before," Choo Chiang said. "They're emulating his swing. They're just in full awe of Tiger."
Thai's own world standing in golf is rising.
Four Thai women were among the top 50 on the LPGA Tour money list last year, led by Ariya Jutanugarn, who won the U.S. Women's Open and ended the year at No. 1 in the world ranking.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the first Thai PGA Tour member, is sometimes referred to as the "Asian John Daly" for his power and girth. Next on the horizon could be 23-year-old Atiwit "Jazz " Janewattananond, who played in the penultimate group at Bethpage Black in his PGA Championship debut. He is on the cusp of cracking the top 50 in the world ranking.
Aphibarnrat and Janewattananond have talked in length about the effect Woods has had on their lives. It's evident his profound impact is a part of every Thai golfer.
"I could bet you my last dollar every single one has been inspired by Tiger — 110%," Choo Chiang said.
Dhaka, Aug 8 (UNB) – Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) handed over Tk 2 lakh out of total participation fee of Tk 5 lakh, to each of the 13 Dhaka Metropolitan First Division Football League Clubs during a views- exchange meeting at BFF House in Motijheel on Thursday.
BFF President Kazi M Salahuddin, BFF General Secretary Md Abu Nayeem Shohag, BFF Women’s Wing Chairman Mahfuza Akter Kiron, chairman of the Dhaka Metropolis Football League Committee (DMFLC) Harun-ur Rashid, DMFLC Co-Chairman Saleh Zaman Selim, and DMFLC Deputy Chairman Mazharul Islam Tuhin were present at the meeting.
While asked about the outcome of meeting, DMFLC chairman Harun-ur- Rashid said, “We had an open discussion in the meeting with BFF president today and all clubs’ representatives shared their problems.
BFF boss [Kazi Salahuddin] gave patient hearing to our problems and disclosed his future plan for the development club football.”
He further added that the player transfer formalities of the league will begin on August 16 and the league is scheduled to begin on September 1, and league will deferred for one week to 10 days.
Earlier, all the representatives of first division football clubs demanded Tk 5 lakh each as participation fee along with some other facilities for them to BFF
Saif Powertec Limited, who are also sponsoring all the 13 clubs, handed over partial amount of the sponsorship money of Tk 1.50 lakh out of total Tk 3.50 lakh to the representatives of 10 clubs that attended a function on July 29.
Dhaka, Aug 8 (UNB) – Grand Master Ziaur Rahman of Saif Sporting Club emerged unbeaten champion in the Walton Air Conditioner International Rating Chess Tournament securing eight points after the 9th and final round at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room on Thursday.
International Master Mohammad Minhaz Uddin of Bangladesh Navy finished runner-up collecting 7.5 points. FM Mehdi Hasan Parag of Golden Sporting Club became 3rd while Md Sariatullah of Esoft Arena finished 4th bagging 7 points each.
Tahsin Tajwar Zia of Golden Sporting Club became 5th, CM Md Sharif Hossain of Bangladesh Navy was placed 6th, Md Abzid Rahman of Janata Bank Officer Welfare Society finished 7th and CM Sohel Chowdhury of Titas Club became 8th with 6.5 points each.
Seven players earned 6 points each to share 9th to 17th positions. They are: 9th-Abdul Momin, 10th-CM SM Sharon, 11th-FM Syed Mahfuzur Rahman, 12th-Afzal Hossain Sacchu, 13th-CM Subrota Biswas, 14th -Md Masum Hossain, 15th-Mihir Lal Das.
Three players collected 5.5 points each. They are 16th - Swarnavo Chowdhury, 17th--CM Manon Reja Neer and 18th -Kazi Zarin Tasnim became best woman player of the meet.
Other players who received special prizes are: Abu Taher, Jannatul Ferdous, Md Mahbubur Rahman, Md Moinuddin, Kazi Taherul Islam and Mohammad Din.
In the 9th and last round matches on Wednesday night, GM Zia beat CM Sharon, IM Minhaz beat Tahsin, Sariat beat CM Sharif, FM Parag beat Momin, Abzid beat Zarin, CM Sohel beat Javed, CM Subrota beat Taher, FM Mahfuz beat Zoar, Masum beat Din, Sacchu beat Ripon and Mihir beat Monjur.
The prize-distribution and closing ceremony of the meet was held Thursday noon at same venue. Executive Director and Head of Games of Sports of Walton Group FM Iqbal Bin Anwar (Dawn) was the chief guest at the function and later he distributed prizes among winners.
KM Shahidullah, Acting General Secretary and Vice President of Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) presided over the ceremony while BCF another vice president Gazi Shayiful Tarique was also present as special guest.
A total of Tk 1,50,000 handed over to the participants as cash prize money while another Tk 50,000 one were given as Walton home appliances.
Eighty six players took part in the five-day meet on nine-round Swiss-League system.