Miami Gardens, Mar 20 (AP/UNB) — When John Isner first got to town for his Miami Open title defense, he went for a practice session at the old tournament site in Key Biscayne instead of the new location at the stadium used by the NFL's Dolphins.
It wasn't that he wasn't sure where to go, of course. Nor was he trying to soak up the good vibes at the place where he won an ATP Masters 1000 trophy for the first time.
"It was just about convenience. Close to my hotel. I just wanted to break a sweat and went out there. It was pretty weird, actually. Kind of quiet. The place still has its allure to it, but it definitely seems different," Isner said Tuesday. "We're all used to pulling into that parking lot and the place is bustling. Wasn't like that."
There wasn't much bustle at the new-look Miami Open on the initial day of scheduled main-draw play, which was completely wiped out because of rain throughout Tuesday.
They'll try again to get started Wednesday; No. 9 Isner and other seeded men such as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer won't play before Friday thanks to first-round byes.
Isner, 10-6 this season, arrived at the hard-court tournament in 2018 with a 1-6 mark. He proceeded to win six matches in a row, three against men ranked in the top six.
"I do know that, look, odds are, I probably won't defend this title," he said with a chuckle after touring the Humane Society of Greater Miami with Alexander Zverev, the runner-up at the Miami Open a year ago. "At the same time, it is cool coming back as the defending champion of a tournament of this magnitude. Never been in this situation before. Just looking forward to it. No pressure. I don't look at it as, 'Oh, I'm going to lose a bunch of points.' You can't look at it like that. It's just another tournament you want to do well in."
Isner says his performance in Florida gave him a boost that helped him later in the season, including his semifinal showing at Wimbledon in July, the best he'd ever done at a Grand Slam tournament.
So did that carry over into this season, too?
"Unfortunately, I feel like it has a shelf life," said Isner, who lost to Reilly Opelka in an all-American matchup in the first round of the Australian Open in January. "Every player is different, but I feel like, for me, when you start the new year, everything is reset. Even if you played fantastic at the end of the year last year, you have two months off, and everything resets."
Dhaka, March 19 (UNB)— Bangladesh Special Olympics teams have won 16 gold medals in the ongoing Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
They also raked in seven silver and two bronze medals until 6pm Tuesday.
A 139-member contingent is representing Bangladesh in 11 disciplines — athletics, swimming, bouchi, table tennis, badminton, handball (women’s), handball (men’s unified), football (men’s and women’s unified), volleyball and basketball (unified).
About 7,000 athletes from 190 countries are taking part in the eight-day meet.
On Monday, Bangladesh secured 13 gold, six silver and two bronze medals.
They won five gold medals, two silver and one bronze in swimming, four gold in Bouch, two gold each in table tennis and badminton, four silver in athletics and one bronze in basketball.
Bangladesh team will return home on Friday night after taking part in the closing ceremony on Thursday (March 21).
Dhaka, March 18 (UNB)-Bangladesh Special Olympics teams earned 13 gold, six silver and two bronze medals in the ongoing Special Olympics World Games’2019 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) till 6 pm on Monday (March 18).
A 139-member contingent are representing Bangladesh in 11 disciplines of sports—Athletics, Swimming, Bouchi, Table Tennis, Badminton, Handball (women’s), Handball (men’s unified), Football (men’s and women’s unified), Volleyball and Basketball (unified).
Some 7,000 athletes from 190 countries from all over the world are taking part in the eight-day meet.
Bangladesh have secured five gold, two silver and one bronze medal in swimming, four gold medals in Bouch, two gold each in table tennis and badminton, four silver in athletics and one bronze in basketball, said a media release in the evening.
After participating in the closing ceremony on Thursday (March 21), Bangladesh team will return home Friday night.
Indian Wells, Mar 16 (AP/UNB) — It's Federer vs. Nadal again, only this time it'll be in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.
Roger Federer beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-4 and Rafael Nadal got by Karen Khachanov 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) on Friday to set up the old rivals' 39th career meeting and first in 16 months.
Neither Federer nor Nadal has dropped a set in four matches in the desert. Federer has been broken just once, while Nadal has dropped serve three times, twice against Khachanov.
Nadal stands in the way of Federer's pursuit of a record sixth title at Indian Wells.
Still, the Swiss superstar was rooting for Nadal to advance against his 22-year-old opponent.
"Playing against young guys to eventually get to Rafa, that's exciting," said Federer, who also faced an opponent the same age as Khachanov.
Nadal's right knee flared up in the second set for the first time during the tournament. He called for a trainer who applied tape just below the knee. The trainer returned again with Nadal leading 3-2 in the second set.
"My goal and my idea is be ready for tomorrow," Nadal said. "I cannot guarantee how I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning."
Knee problems have dogged the 32-year-old Spaniard in recent years, and they cut short his 2018 season after the U.S. Open in September.
"I love to play on hard (courts), but probably my body doesn't love it that much," Nadal said. "As I say before, is not only about today, is about tomorrow. Maybe we're going to pay the price at the age of 45 or something. That will be not nice. When I see some old legends walking around the tour, is tough to see."
Federer is on a five-matching winning streak against Nadal, who lost to him all four times they played in 2017, including the last time at the Shanghai Masters in October of that year.
"You look back at what I did well there, but you can't just copy-paste and play exactly the same thing again," Federer said.
The other semifinal Saturday pairs Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem.
In the women's semifinals later Friday, Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu took on No. 6 Elina Svitolina and No. 8 Angelique Kerber faced No. 23 Belinda Bencic.
Nadal improved to 6-0 against Khachanov, although it was tougher and longer than Federer's win.
Nadal trailed 6-5 before Khachanov's forehand error forced the second tiebreaker, which Nadal dominated to close out the match that lasted just over two hours.
"He's unbelievable in defense," Khachanov said. "When you want to try maybe just to play more safe then he suddenly steps in and he counterattacks. He steps in and then he starts moving you, and then you are again in trouble."
Federer believes Nadal is playing better than he did in losing the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic, who was upset earlier in the week.
"When Rafa is healthy, especially in a place like here in Indian Wells where he feels comfortable, he's clearly very tough to play," Federer said.
Against Hurkacz, Federer fought off two break points in the second set, including the last game when he closed the match with a forehand winner off a short ball.
"Not that I didn't expect it," Federer said, "but it definitely went better than I thought it would."
Hurkacz, a 22-year-old Pole, earned three-set upsets of No. 28 Lucas Pouille, No. 6 Kei Nishikori and No. 24 Denis Shapovalov to make his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal against his childhood idol. Federer was playing in his 83rd at this level.
"Playing against him for the first time on the big stadium of a great crowd here was for sure different feeling," Hurkacz said.
Federer won his 100th career title in Dubai recently, leaving him eight from tying Jimmy Connors' record for most in the Open era. At 37, he became the oldest player to win a tour-level title since Marty Riessen won at Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1979 at the same age.
"I'm holding my serve comfortably. I'm in a good place mentally when I go into my service games," Federer said. "It showed this week thus far, so I hope I can keep that up."
Federer earned the only break of the first set in the fifth game. Trailing 3-2 in the second set, Hurkacz had a break point, but Federer closed the game with consecutive forehand winners and an ace.
Hurkacz aced Federer to trail 5-4. Federer netted back-to-back volleys to give Hurkacz hope and another break point. But he came up with a big serve to get to deuce. Hurkacz's backhand down the line just missed to give Federer match point, and the Swiss superstar won with a forehand.
"Roger was playing great in the crucial moments. Today was a great lesson for me," Hurkacz said. "I had some small chances, so also give me motivation to work and to get there sometime."
Dhaka, Mar 14 (UNB) – A five-member Bangladesh Athletics team reached Hong Kong Thursday (March 14) morning to participate in the three-day 3rd Asian Youth Athletics Championship beginning there on Friday (March 15).
The five-member team, all from BKSP, consists of four athletes and one manager cum coach Abdullah-Hel Kafi.
Athletes are with participating events: M Rajib Raju (100-meter sprint), M Sohel Rana (200-meter sprint), Sonia Akhter (100-meter sprint) and Jannatul (high Jump).