PERTH: Roger Federer has become the most successful player in Hopman Cup history after leading Switzerland to a 2-1 win in an enthralling final of the mixed teams tournament in Perth Saturday.
In what is tipped to be the final edition of the unique tournament, the best was saved for last as Federer became the first player to win three Hopman Cups, teaming with Belinda Bencic for the duo’s second consecutive title.
For the second year in a row, the Swiss beat the German pairing of Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber by claiming a deciding mixed doubles rubber loaded with drama.
It was Switzerland’s fourth title overall, behind only the United States with six. Federer first won the Hopman Cup back in 2001 when he teamed with Martina Hingis.
The 37-year-old gave the Swiss the early ascendancy with a straight sets win against Zverev before Kerber squared the tie by beating a dogged Belinda Bencic to set up the mixed doubles decider.
Federer was a dominant figure in an extraordinary doubles match as the Swiss claimed the abbreviated format 4-0, 1-4, 4-3 (5/4) to clinch the title.
Fittingly, it was Federer who served out the match in the third set tie-break, having been unable to do so earlier in the set, when after an extended rally Zverev dumped a backhand into the net to hand the Swiss victory.
In the men’s singles, Federer bounced back from a November loss to Zverev in London to beat the big-serving German 6-4, 6-2 and make it a clean sweep of his singles matches in Perth for the second year running, less than two weeks before he defends his Australian Open title.
It was a high-octane match, with plenty of big serves and clean winners, but Federer was able to answer everything the 21-year-old threw at him. He broke Zverev in the 10th game of the first set and then tightened the noose on the German, with two more breaks in the second set.
Federer, who also beat Zverev in three sets in last year’s Hopman final, clinched the match with a typically crisp forehand volley. He was pleased to maintain his unbeaten singles record during the week, during which he never dropped his serve.
“I am happy I was able to maintain the good, high-quality tennis I showed all week,” he said.
“It is good to finish on a singles performance like this, I was able to come up with some good serve and volley and it all worked out today.”
Cricket 2nd ODI: Australia beats Pakistan by 8 wickets
SHARJAH: Pakistan, that had opted to bat after winning the toss in the 2nd one-day international match against Australia failed to give maximum performance.
Pakistan: Shoaib Malik (captain), Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas
Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa Umpires: Michael Gough (ENG) and Ahsan Raza (PAK) Tv umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI) Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)
International cyclist wins Pakistan Day Cycle Race
PESHAWAR: International Cyclist Mohsin of Sui Southern Gas grabbed the title of the Pakistan Day Cycle Race after paddling past his rival cyclists in the 14 kilometer dash in 18.04.33 sec of the Individual Team Trial here at Northern Bypass on Saturday.
There were great enthusiasm witnessed and the spectators were standing on both side of the road wherein the cyclists took part in the Individual Time Trial, Scratched Race and Team Time Trials.
President KP Chamber of Commerce and Industries Fayyaz Muhammad was the chief guest on this occasion who gave away the trophies and cash prizes to the position holders.
Secretary General Pakistan Cycling Federation Syed Azhar Ali Shah, President KP Cycling Association Nisar Ahmad and former international record holder cyclist Murad Ali, players and spectators were also present.
The KP Traffic Police has taken all appropriate measures by overtiring the traffic on one-side of the main Northern ByePass so that to provide much open space for the cyclists.
Mohsin has better idea of road and that is why he dashed toward the finish.
He clocked 18.04-33sec, followed by Farman Muhammad of SSGC with 19.95.14sec and Ali Ahmad of Swat got third position with20.21.22sec.
Farhan Khan of Sui Gas won the Scratch Race title with his clocking showing 22.22.54sec, followed by Mohsin of SSGC with 21.02.24sec and Habib Ullah of Islamabad with 21.03.29sec.
Islamabad won the Team title and time of three top cyclists comprising Abdullah, Usman and Habib Ullah was taken for the position. Islamabad clocked 19.22.21sec, followed by Peshawar White team including Zeb, Akhtar and Ahsan Ullah and Peshawar Green comprising Sajid, Sadiq and Irshad.
Out of six participating teams Islamabad won the Team Time Trials title.
The Pakistan Day Cycle Race is an annual feature of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cycling Association wherein teams from Peshawar White, Peshawar Green, Sui Gas Corporation, Mardan, Islamabad and Swat took part as each team have six cyclists and time of three top cyclists counted for the overall position.
People of the district came out in sizeable number to enjoy the race on a sunny day. In an interview, General Secretary Pakistan Cycling Federation Syed Azhar Shah informed that event was comprised on three races including Team Race, Scratch Race and Individual Race and started from Northern Bypass to Charssadda Road and back which covered approximately 14 kilometers.
Gautam Gambhir joins BJP, likely to contest this year’s polls in India
NEW DELHI: Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has joined Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is likely to contest election from the country’s capital.
Former Indian cricketer will contest elections from one of the seven seats in Delhi. The elections in India will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19.
Gambhir played a key role in India’s victory in the finals of 2011 and 2007 World Cups.