d had a sub-.500 record

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d had a sub-.500 record

Postautor: lw789 » 15 kwie 2018, 06:58

BARCELONA, Spain -- Top-ranked Rafael Nadals clay-court struggles worsened Friday as his 41-match winning streak at the Barcelona Open ended with a three-set loss to Nicolas Almagro in the quarterfinals. Nadal was looking for his ninth title in Barcelona but lost 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, a week after going out in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters to David Ferrer. Nadal, widely considered the greatest clay-court player of all time, hadnt lost in Barcelona since his debut as a 15-year-old in 2003, although he missed the tournament in 2010. He had not dropped a set here since the 2008 final. The 20th-ranked Almagro converted his second match point, smashing a forehand down the line for his first career victory over his fellow Spaniard on the 11th try. "I had a lot of opportunities in the second set," Nadal said. "I didnt take advantage of break points, so credit goes to him." After failing to convert any of his five break points in the second set, Nadal missed a return in the tiebreaker to give Almagro a 6-5 lead. Almagro followed up with a crosscourt forehand winner to level the match and end Nadals streak of 44 straight sets at the tournament. Both players were steady on serve until an exchange of breaks made it 4-4 in the third, and Nadal then sent a shot long to be broken again and give Almagro a chance to serve for the match. Nadal set up two straight chances to break back, but hit a forehand long and then sent a smash into the net with Almagro out of position. Nadal then saved the first match point when Almagros backhand flew wide. But Almagro used a serve-and-volley to save a third break point of the game before Nadals long return set up the second match point. Nadal hadnt been eliminated this early in back-to-back clay-court tournaments since 2004, when as an 18-year-old he also failed to get past the quarterfinals in Stuttgart and Bastad. "This is an important win for my career," said Almagro, who celebrated wildly. Almagro will face Santiago Giraldo in Saturdays semifinals after Philipp Kohlschreiber retired with an injury while trailing 6-4, 4-3. Earlier, Kei Nishikori of Japan and Ernests Gulbis of Latvia overpowered opponents to set up a semifinal meeting. The fourth-seeded Nishikori continued his good run since returning from a groin injury with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Marin Cilic of Croatia, while the ninth-seeded Gulbis dismissed Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-1, 6-4. Gulbis saved all five break points against Gabashvili, who had knocked out the fifth-ranked Ferrer. Brad Marchand Jersey . According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the deal will pay Schenn $2.25 million in the first year and $2.75 million in the second year. In 82 games with the Flyers in 2013-14, Schenn scored 20 goals and added 21 assists. 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The 27-year-old goaltender from Edmonton backstopped the Canadian womens hockey team to Olympic gold Feb.LONDON – The numbers dont look promising for Milos Raonic when it comes to his semi-final showdown against Roger Federer at Wimbledon. Consider the following: * Federer has won 17 grand slam titles, including seven at the All England Club. Raonic, meanwhile, is playing in his first ever slam semifinal. * Raonic has lost seven straight matches against top-four players dating back to 2012. Federer is currently ranked No. 4. * Raonic has never beaten Federer in four tries and the most recent match, at the 2013 Australian Open, ended in straight sets. That was their only previous encounter at a slam. * Federer is the most successful active player on grass with a 130-18 career record and 14 titles. Before this tournament, Raonic had never made it past the second round at Wimbledon and had a sub-.500 record on grass. * Federer has never lost a Wimbledon semifinal in eight previous appearances. Did we mention Raonic has never played in any slam semifinal? So, it seems pretty bleak for the 23-year-old, right? Not so according to Raonic, who is aiming to become the first Canadian man to ever make a major final. Heres what he had to say when asked about facing Federer on a court where hes had the most success in his career - a career that may go down as the best ever. "Im going to step out there andd Im not playing the seven-time Wimbledon champion.dddddddddddd Im not playing a 32-year-old man. Im not playing the father of two sets of twins, which is a very low possibility bet to do. Im not playing the guy thats won whatever hes won, which I could probably list quite vividly. Im playing a guy that is standing in my way of what I want to achieve, and Ive got to focus on everything thats there, on the situation, how best to deal with it to give myself the best possibilities to achieve what I want." Raonic understands how big a win could be for him on Friday. It could be a career-defining moment. "It can be if I get the job done. I focus on what I need to do. Everything else is a ripple effect. Everything else is a reason. I have to create the cause for it by playing good tennis and giving myself the possibility to win." As for those four previous losses to Federer? "Hes gotten the better of me all four times, but I havent played him in more than a year, a year and a bit, so I think Im a different player," Raonic said. "Ive got in close with him in the past. Ive found a lot of those things [that will help me] sort of pull away. That gives me a lot of belief that I can do this. "So theres no point to talk about it. Ive got to step up and do it." 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