INDIAN WELLS: World number two Rafael Nadal raced into the third round of the ATP Indian Wells Masters as Roger Federer made a less speedy but still successful start to his quest for a sixth title on Sunday.
Nadal, a three-time Indian Wells winner, needed just 72 minutes to get past overmatched Jared Donaldson 6-1, 6-1.
Federer, who is seeking to break out of a tie with top seed Novak Djokovic for most titles in the California desert, looked set for a similarly easy time of it, but had to turn back a second-set challenge from German Peter Gojowczyk in a 6-1, 7-5 win.
Fourth-seeded Federer said he was relieved not to go to a second-set tiebreaker after falling behind 3-1 to the free-swinging German who is ranked 85th in the world.
The Swiss regained the break and, after saving four break points to make it 4-4 he cruised home.
“I struggled a little bit with my serving in that second set and that gave him chances. Because he was serving better he started to swing more freely and then it was tough,” Federer said. “I’m really happy I found a way in that second set.”
Federer next faces compatriot Stan Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion currently unseeded as he continues his return from injury.
Wawrinka won a taut thriller against 29th-seeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, finally sealing it on his fifth match point after three hours and 24 minutes when Fucsovics lofted a lob long.
Tennis: Zverev wins Geneva final!
GENEVA: Alexander Zverev saved two match points to beat Nicolas Jarry in Saturday’s Geneva final.
The fifth-ranked Zverev made a poor start to the clay season and crashed out in his opening match in Rome last week, and the German was in danger of throwing the title away against Jarry after taking the opening set.
A 90-minute rain delay interrupted play and Jarry twice had championship point in a final set tie-break before Zverev prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10/8) to earn his first title of the season.
“It was a very tough match. He was playing aggressively, serving big and hitting everything he can,” Zverev told the ATP website.
“I thought I was in control until the rain came, but I’m happy to find a way. I felt it could have gone either way.”
Zverev, who has never got past the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament, will open his Roland Garros campaign against Australian John Millman next week.
“When I start playing good, I don’t worry about titles. I know that I can be one of the best players in the world when I find my rhythm,” said Zverev. “This week definitely helped with that.”
Warner booed as Australia bat against England in World Cup warm-up
SOUTHAMPTON: Australia’s David Warner was booed and heckled on Saturday in his first match against England following a year-long ban for ball-tampering.
Both Warner and former Australia captain Steve Smith only returned to international duty earlier this month after completing 12-month suspensions for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
Their first match in England this tour was a hastily arranged, unofficial warm-up match against the West Indies on the nursery ground at Southampton.
But that fixture was played in front of fewer than 30 spectators whereas there were few thousand in the main arena on Saturday when Warner and Australia captain Aaron Finch walked out to open the innings after England won the toss.
The jeers that greeted Warner were audible, although the Hampshire Bowl ground was far from full, however.
And when the left-hander arrived at he crease, one fan shouted: “Get off Warner you cheat.”
Australia are set to be in England for over four months on a lengthy tour that includes both the World Cup and the subsequent five-Test Ashes series.
A report in Thursday’s edition of Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper said Warner’s manager had sought security assurances from Cricket Australia, with the batsman’s wife wanting to give birth to their third child in Britain.
Finch, speaking at this week’s World Cup captains’ press conference, said: “Once the World Cup gets under way and you start getting into the tournament, probably the game against England, and then further on the Ashes there’s no doubt the crowd will start to play a bit of a part but that’s expected.
Pakistan U19 to take on Sri Lanka U19 in first 50-over match on Sunday
LAHORE: Pakistan U19 will open their tour of Sri Lanka on Sunday with the opening match of the five-match 50-over cricket series in Hambantota.
The two captains – Sri Lanka’s Nipun Dananjaya and Rohail Nazir of Pakistan – attended the trophy unveiling ceremony with Rohail hoping to play a competitive series. Rohail said he was contented with the team’s preparations and believed side was capable of winning the series against their counterparts.
“The series against Sri Lanka is going to be an exciting and tough series, which will help players from either side to prepare for next year’s ICC U19 World Cup in South Africa.
“Our coaches have prepared us keeping in mind the spinning tracks in Sri Lanka, so I feel that the conditions won’t be a problem for us,” Rohail said.
He added: “We have a great bunch of players in this team that is capable of winning matches on their own. Sri Lanka is a tough opponent to beat especially at home, so we are ready for the challenge.
Wicketkeeper batsman Rohail was one of the star performers in the Inter-Region U19 One-day tournament held in August last year (238 runs in seven matches).
Saim Ayub, a lefty top-order batsman from Karachi, is another performer from the Inter-Region U19 tournament where he scored 325 runs in seven matches at an average of 65 including two centuries and a half-century.