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NRL live: Raiders face off with Panthers, Dogs meet Sea Eagles

ABC Sport - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 1:30pm

The Panthers are looking to end the Raiders' slim finals chances, while the Bulldogs are simply playing for pride against the Sea Eagles. Follow all the live scores, stats and commentary in our NRL ScoreCentre.

Western Force fans protest against Super Rugby axing

ABC Sport - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 1:26pm

Thousands of Western Force supporters rally in Perth to oppose the decision to axe the WA club from the Super Rugby competition, with captain Matt Hodgson telling the crowd the fight is not over.

Highlights Kyrgios Dimitrov Reach Masters 1000 Final In Cincinnati 2017

ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 1:02pm
Watch highlights of Nick Kyrgios and Grigor Dimitrov reaching the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati on Saturday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Matildas' incredible Kerr scores four in electrifying 5-4 comeback win for Sky Blue

ABC Sport - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 12:44pm

Matildas' star forward Sam Kerr creates more history in electrifying fashion, scoring a sensational four goals to help her NWSL team to an incredible come-from-behind 5-4 win.

Kyrgios Reaches First Masters 1000 Final In Cincinnati 2017

ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 12:44pm
Nick Kyrgios talks about reaching his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati on Saturday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

AFL live: Dees looking to edge closer to finals spot against Lions

ABC Sport - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 12:34pm

Melbourne is aiming to consolidate its place in the top eight when it takes on Brisbane in Sunday's opening AFL match. Get all your live stats, scores and streams in our ScoreCentre.

Ferrer Mad Dash Hot Shot Cincinnati 2017

ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 12:30pm
Watch Hot Shot as David Ferrer hustles to return a perfectly placed drop shot from Nick Kyrgios in Saturday's semi-final showdown in Cincinnati. Watch live matches at tennistv.com. Photo: Getty Images

Skimpy uniforms dumped as WA women tackle full-contact gridiron league

ABC Sport - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 11:41am

A full-contact, full-kit women's gridiron league is kicking off in Perth, after the failure of the "ladies league" which saw players take to the field in skimpy outfits.

Kyrgios does it again, beating Ferrer to reach Cincinnati Masters final

ABC Tennis news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 11:22am

Nick Kyrgios follows up his Rafael Nadal scalp, beating David Ferrer in straight but hard-fought sets to reach the Cincinnati Masters final.

Kyrgios does it again, beating Ferrer to reach Cincinnati Masters final

ABC Sport - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 11:22am

Nick Kyrgios follows up his Rafael Nadal scalp, beating David Ferrer in straight but hard-fought sets to reach the Cincinnati Masters final.

Dimitrov Reaches First Masters 1000 Final Cincinnati 2017

ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 11:00am
Grigor Dimitrov reflects on his semi-final victory over John Isner and looks ahead to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati. Watch live matches at tennistv.com.

Kyrgios Races Into Maiden Masters 1000 Final

ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 10:34am
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If he was away, Nick Kyrgios is without a doubt back, and he's never been in a better position.

The 22-year-old Aussie reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final on Saturday, beating Spanish veteran David Ferrer 7-6(3), 7-6(4) at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. The semi-final win marks the second consecutive victory against a Spanish great for Kyrgios, who upset incoming-World No. 1 Rafael Nadal 24 hours earlier.

“He was a nightmare to play, especially because I'm a tall guy and he's not the tallest guy. He hits the ball pretty flat. The whole time there is nothing shoulder height for me to hit. I'm always trying to hit underneath and trying to hit up and over it,” Kyrgios said.

“It's a tough matchup for me. I thought today I didn't play my best tennis. I certainly didn't serve great during the set. In the tie-breaks I served well, but I definitely didn't bring my best tennis today. I'm just really proud that I managed to scrap out the win.”

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Kyrgios will play in his first title match of the season on Sunday when he faces Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who prevailed 7-6(4), 7-6(10) against John Isner of the U.S. There were no service breaks in either semi-final. “I'm going to go out there and compete and try to serve big and play big. Whatever happens, happens,” Kyrgios said. 

Dimitrov will also be playing in his first Masters 1000 title match. The 26 year old beat Kyrgios in their only prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, a three-set win at 2015 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

But Kyrgios, who has struggled with hip and shoulder injuries the past two months, looks to be healthy and close to the level that saw him reach the Miami Open presented by Itau semi-finals in March, his other Masters 1000 semi-final (l. to Federer) this season.

Against Ferrer, who reached 2014 Cincinnati final, Kyrgios chased down ball after ball as the 35-year-old Spaniard pulled him from side to side in the opening set. Kyrgios came through in the tie-break, though, benefitting from a Ferrer double fault at 1/2 and unloading his serve-forehand combination to gain a one-set lead.

Read More: My Masters 1000: Roddick

He played more comfortably in the second set, seeing two break points at 2-2 but failing to convert. With Ferrer serving at 5-6, Kyrgios would get another chance when he ripped a forehand past Ferrer to earn a match point. Yet the gutsy Ferrer erased it and held.

They headed to another tie-break, where Kyrgios dominated. The Aussie hit his 13th and 14th aces to bring up three match points. He'd need only two as Ferrer lifted a backhand wide to put Kyrgios into the Cincinnati title match.

10 Things To Watch In Winston-Salem

ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 10:08am

1. Best in Class: The Winston-Salem Open, the final men’s event in the US Open Series, was voted by players as the 2016 ATP World Tour 250 Tournament of the Year along with the If Stockholm Open.

2. Back on Top: Last year’s finalists, Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, are the top two seeds. Carreno Busta won his first ATP World Tour by rallying past his countryman 6-7(6), 7-6(1), 6-4 in the longest final by games in tournament history. Bautista Agut is the No. 1 seed for third time at an ATP World Tour tournament (2016 Sofia champion and 2016 Moscow second round).

3. Past Finalists: Carreno Busta and Bautista Agut are joined in the draw by 2011 and 2012 champion John Isner, 2011 runner-up Julien Benneteau and 2015 finalist Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Kevin Anderson, the 2015 champion, withdrew on Saturday due to a right elbow injury.

4. Reigning Champion: Carreno Busta was 49th in the Emirates ATP Rankings and without an ATP World Tour singles title entering the 2016 Winston-Salem Open. He’s 46-23 since then, adding to his Winston-Salem title with two more at Moscow and Estoril. The Spaniard achieved a new career-high ranking eight times in 2016 and nine times thus far in 2017, peaking at No. 15 on 24 July.

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5. Hometown Hero: Isner, a North Carolina native, is 12-0 in matches and 8-0 in tie-breaks at the Winston-Salem Open, winning titles in 2011 and 2012. The No. 1 American and No. 3 seed returns to his home event for the first time since conceding a walkover in the 2014 quarter-finals. Isner won titles at Newport and Atlanta last month, holding in 146 of 149 service games since 19 July (98 per cent).

6. Fab Five: Five #NextGenATP players are in the draw and eager to earn points in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan. American Taylor Fritz received a wild card this week, while No. 13 seed Hyeon Chung, No. 14 seed Borna Coric and No. 15 seed Daniil Medvedev received first-round byes. Unseeded Andrey Rublev broke into the Top 50 on July 24 after winning his first title at Umag.

See Who's Leading The Emirates ATP Race To Milan

7. Wild Title Hopes: Wild cards are 6-3 in ATP World Tour finals this season. Hoping to become the seventh wild card champion of 2017 are Fritz, Coric, Ernests Gulbis and Wake Forest junior Petros Chrysochos. The 21-year-old Chrysochos is a two-time All-American and a Davis Cup teammate of Marcos Baghdatis, who is making his fifth Winston-Salem appearance this week.

8. All-Time Leader: Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei has earned more victories at the Winston-Salem Open than any other player in the tournament’s first six years (2011-16). Lu is 13-4 at the event with a semi-final finish in 2014 and runs to the quarter-finals in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

9. Season of Firsts: No. 10 seed Yuichi Sugita won his first ATP World Tour title in his first final and following his first semi-final at the Antalya Turkey Open. After breaking into the Top 50 on 3 July, Sugita earned his first Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon and reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

10. Still Going Strong: Daniel Nestor and Leander Paes, the 2013 doubles champions, are returning at the age of 44 with different partners -- Nestor with Dominic Inglot and Paes with Purav Raja.

My Masters 1000: Andy Roddick

ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 9:04am

They were some of the finest moments of his career: Andy Roddick, playing in front of home U.S. fans, blasting aces and hoisting trophies at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments. The right-hander won five Masters 1000 titles during his Hall of Fame career, and at the prestigious events, he also scored some of his biggest wins.

Early in his career, Roddick knocked off one of his idols in Pete Sampras and later in his career, he beat one of the all-time greats who's still going, Rafael Nadal.

Roddick, a two-time Western & Southern Open champion in Cincinnati, talked with ATPWorldTour.com about how he beat Sampras in Miami and about which ATP World Tour legend he'd play in his dream Masters 1000 match.

Which ATP World Tour Masters 1000 host city is your favourite and why?
[Indian Wells] is great, being there in March in the mountains and everything, that’s tough to beat.

Which Masters 1000 title that you’ve won is your favourite and why?
Miami is very important, I was lucky to win that twice (2004, 2010)... I went to high school not too far from there, so a lot of times there were friends and family present, which is always fun, to perform and do your thing in front of people that mean the most to you. So Miami was probably the most important one for me.

Do you have a favourite off-court memory at a Masters 1000 tournament?
I probably do… probably not one that I should share right now.

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What’s your best Masters 1000 match win?
One of the Masters 1000 wins that was extremely surreal at the moment was when I was ranked 160 in the world and Pete was 3 in the world, and it was my first match on ESPN ever. It was my first match against Pete also.

I went out and won, six and three [7-6(2), 6-3 at 2001 Miami] and the whole time I just couldn’t get over it. I’m playing the match and I’m looking across and he’s doing the thing, wiping the sweat off the eyebrows, and he’s doing the little pump fakes with his serves.

I had to stay in the moment. Don’t get overwrought because you’re looking across at Pete Sampras and his mannerisms. I remember just repeating that to myself 57 times during that match, “It’s not Pete Sampras, it’s someone else. You just play your match.” And I ended up winning, so that was pretty special.

What would be your dream match at a Masters 1000 tournament?
I would like to play Arthur Ashe. I’ve been really lucky to play with, or at least hit tennis balls with, most of my heroes. And I’m not scared. I went up to Steffi Graf in '05 at Indian Wells and said, “I have to hit with you for 20 minutes.”

But obviously Arthur is someone who regrettably I never got that chance to do it with, so I’d probably want to play Arthur.

And where would it be?
Anywhere Arthur wanted to play.

Sport likened to wrestling in space is making a splash

ABC Sport - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 9:00am

Think playing rugby is hard? Try holding your breath while playing it under water.

Kyrgios vs. Dimitrov : Cast Your Vote!

ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 8:55am

View FedEx ATP Head2Head matchups for the Western & Southern Open final and vote for who you think will win!
Kyrgios vs. Dimitrov

[POLL]46462[/POLL]

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    Is Manchester United back for good? Its attack looks utterly monstrous

    ABC Sport - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 8:48am

    Megabucks signing Romelu Lukaku looks totally at home in front of a monstrous-looking Manchester United attack, which scores four goals for the second straight game to blitz Swansea City late on.

    Lynagh savages woeful Wallabies but Cheika backs defensive coach

    ABC Sport - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 8:18am

    World Cup-winning fly half Michael Lynagh lashes the Wallabies' "non-existent" skill levels as "schoolboy level" following another Bledisloe Cup bloodbath.

    Frenchmen To Face Murray/Soares For Cincy Title

    ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 7:09am
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    Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut continued their ruthless run through the North American summer ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, improving to 7-0 with a 6-4, 7-6(9) win against Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus in the Western & Southern Open semi-finals.

    Herbert and Mahut lifted the trophy at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal last week and will battle for their 10th team title on Sunday against Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. Herbert/Mahut are also bidding for a sixth Masters 1000 crown together, all at different tournaments.

    The last team to win in Canada and Cincinnati in the same season was Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, who accomplished the feat last year.

    The fifth seeds needed one hour and 35 minutes to dispatch Harrison and Venus, converting their fifth match point. They fired eight aces, while saving the lone break point faced.

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    Earlier on Saturday, Murray and Soares advanced to their 10th final as a team, downing Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 7-5 in Cincinnati. There were just two break points in the one-hour and 22-minute affair and the British-Brazilian duo converted both.

    Murray and Soares will vie for their first Masters 1000 title together, appearing in a third such final. They finished runners-up in both Monte-Carlo and Toronto in 2016. The team is 3-1 in ATP World Tour finals this year, however, having won three straight title matches in Acapulco, Stuttgart and The Queen's Club.

    It has been a dominant week for Murray and Soares, who have not dropped a set en route to the final. They got their revenge over Kubot and Melo on Saturday, having dropped both previous encounters this year at the Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami.

    Dimitrov Roars Into First Masters 1000 Final

    ATP news - Sun, 20/08/2017 - 6:26am
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    Grigor Dimitrov will play in the biggest final of his career after edging John Isner 7-6(4), 7-6(10) in a gripping semi-final encounter at the Western & Southern Open.

    With the partisan home crowd firmly in Isner's favour, Dimitrov played the role of spoiler, reaching his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final after two hours and three minutes. The seventh seed fired 10 aces, while overcoming 14 blasts off the Isner frame.

    Dimitrov has found his top gear this week at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, not dropping a set en route to his 12th ATP World Tour final and third of the year. He lifted the trophy in Brisbane and Sofia to open his 2017 campaign.

    The Bulgarian will face either Nick Kyrgios or David Ferrer in Sunday's final.

    "I think it's a good step," said Dimitrov. "It's a good step. I have been on the tour for quite some time now, and I appreciate those moments. I'm starting to appreciate them even more.

    "Being able to compete at a final, it's always a great feeling. No matter Masters 1000 or 250, it's always something that you work for. It all comes down to that.

    First @ATPWorldTour Masters 1000 final for @GrigorDimitrov!#CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/sD2vfF3Tis

    — Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 19, 2017

    "For me, as I said, right now is just all about just going step by step and just building up not only my confidence, my game, to be able to do that pretty much every time I'm entering a tournament. And I feel good. I think the body is responding well. I have been playing good tennis, as well. So that actually helps.

    "Hopefully tomorrow is going to be one of those days that I can, again, produce good tennis. But not only that. I just kind of want to make sure that I'm going in the right direction." 

    More than two years removed from their lone previous encounter on the hard courts of Miami, Dimitrov struggled to adapt to Isner's heavy game as proceedings got underway on a hot and humid afternoon. The Bulgarian found his own serve under attack as well, converting just one of his first six second-serve points.

    Isner applied the pressure midway through the set, earning a pair of break points at 3-2 15/40. But Dimitrov held his ground, turning aside both opportunities and escaping a deuce game at 4-3. The opener would move to a tie-break, where Dimitrov's first backhand winner of the match arrived at a critical juncture. A 95 mph laser into the corner earned him the decisive mini-break for 3/2 and he would take the opener after 50 minutes.

    Dimitrov entered the match with a staggering 26-4 record in 2017 when winning the first set. He survived a 12-point opening service game in the second set, striking a sublime drop shot winner to hold.

    Both players would have their chances as the set moved towards an inevitable tie-break. Isner was clutch in the crucial moments. Serving to stay in the match at 5-4, he saved a match point with a thunderous serve out wide and turned aside two more at 7/6 and 9/8 in the ensuing tie-break.

    Painting line after line, Dimitrov saved a set point at 10/9 with a brilliant backhand winner down the line and carried the momentum into his fourth match point, which he converted as Isner netted a forehand. Both players fired 27 winners during the two-hour clash, but it was Dimitrov who was steadier from the back of the court, hitting 22 unforced errors to Isner's 37.

    "Today was, I think, one of those matches that I really had to just be patient. I think that that was the key. I knew I'm not going to have that many rallies against John. I knew that he's going to serve big, bold serves.

    "I just had to be very composed and use every opportunity that I had," Dimitrov added. "I think in the end of the match, it was just a few points that made the biggest difference for me.

    "I'm just happy obviously with the win, but I'm just happy with the way I kept myself together throughout the whole match. Just remained calm in those tough moments. I mean, I know it's nerve-wracking from outside, but it's even tougher when you're in there and have to receive a serve that comes 141 miles an hour."

    Dimitrov is the fourth player to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final this year. He joins Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Monte Carlo), Dominic Thiem (Madrid) and Alexander Zverev (Rome) as final debutantes.

    Isner was bidding to reach his fourth Masters 1000 final and second in Cincinnati. The 2013 finalist (l. to Nadal) is in the midst of a staggering service rhythm despite the loss, holding in 146 of his last 149 service games. The North Carolina native will next move to Winston-Salem where he is the third seed.

     "I think the difference was he was a bit more decisive in the big moments," said Isner. "Maybe a little calmer, as well. Sometimes you take the court and everything is going well and you're not thinking too much out there and things are free flowing. At times that was the case out there for me, but at times maybe it wasn't. And I think that cost me a little bit. I just think he was, as I said, a little more decisive and a little more free flowing in the big moments. And of course in a match like that, separated by a few points here or there, that was the case. So credit to him.

    "I think I stepped up this week, which is what I was doing prior to this week, as well, and that's just sort of going for my shots. There are some times when I didn't, but all in all, I think I just gotta keep that up. It's the only way I can play.

    "And looking ahead to the US Open, I have a good team, got a great coach and great person to keep me healthy, so just keep working on the right things and I should be in pretty good shape heading into that tournament."

     

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