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Old 02-11-2018, 09:49 AM   #1 
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MADRID, Spain -- Rafael Nadal finally won another clay-court title, although not in a

MADRID, Spain -- Rafael Nadal finally won another clay-court title, although not in a manner that alleviated any concerns about his recent form on his favourite surface. Chris Sale Jersey . The top-ranked Spaniard won his fourth Madrid Open on Sunday after Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw with a hip injury when trailing 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 in the final. And Nadal, who is coming off to uncharacteristic quarterfinal losses on clay, said his mental strength is still lacking just two weeks ahead of the French Open. "I was blocked. There were some moments where, I dont know, I couldnt find myself," said Nadal, whose victory guarantees he will stay No. 1 in the rankings heading into Roland Garros. "It wasnt that I didnt want to play or I was missing intensity, I was just mentally blocked." Earlier, Maria Sharapova bounced back from a poor start to defeat Simona Halep 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to win the womens title. Nadal became the first repeat winner in Madrid but it was only his second clay-court title of the year, and third overall in 2014. Nishikoris aggressive start allowed him to jump out to a 5-1 lead as his powerful groundstrokes overwhelmed Nadal, who struggled to find an answer against his Japanese opponent. "We dont deserve the victory, (Nishikori) deserves it, he played better than us the whole time," Nadals uncle and coach Toni Nadal told Antenna 3 TV. "We had a lot of luck today. We didnt really come back, he was hurt." Nishikori broke Nadal again to start the second set to leave the Magic Box centre crowd, which included Queen Sofia, dumbfounded to find Nadal struggling so badly. Nishikori first experienced discomfort while leading 4-2 and Nadal took advantage to break back. Nishikori soon needed a medical timeout for treatment on his back and hip, and his energy then looked sapped as he hit a shot long to concede the set. Nishikori, who withdrew from next weeks tournament in Rome to recover in time for the French Open, visibly struggled in the third before eventually retiring. "It was very sad, especially (since) I was winning, playing almost best tennis in my life," said Nishikori, who will become the first Japanese player in the top-10 when the new rankings are released. "It was very tough mentally for me. But I get a lot of confidence from this tournament. "You never know what happens today if Im not hurt. I may have chance to win." Sharapova, who lost to Serena Williams in last years final, crumbled in the opening set when she held her serve just once. But Haleps serve dipped in the second set, and Sharapova started hitting pinpoint ground strokes that kept the fifth-ranked Romanian running. The ninth-ranked Russian converted both her break points in the set to even the match. Sharapova then pulled away in the deciding set with an early break to follow up her triumph in Stuttgart with a maiden title in Madrid. Since the 2011 French Open, Sharapova has a 47-3 record on clay -- with all three defeats coming to Williams. The top-ranked American was the two-time defending champion in Madrid but withdrew with a leg injury on Friday. "I dont know how I pulled it off," Sharapova said after winning her 32nd career title. "I came close last year, and I didnt have a great first set today, but I knew it wasnt over until the last point was played." Sharapova planned to continue her centre court celebration on the plane ride to the Rome Masters. "They better have some champagne for me," Sharapova said. "I need a drink." Clay Buchholz Jersey . The Calgary skip fell 10-8 to Swedens Oskar Eriksson in semifinal action Saturday and will face Switzerlands Peter de Cruz for the bronze medal (Saturday at 10pm et/7pm pt on TSN2). Allen Craig Jersey .com) - Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall left Saturdays game against the Senators in the second period with a left knee injury. http://www.redsoxjerseyauthenticshop...ed-sox-jersey/ . Johansen scored twice and Derek MacKenzie, Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson also had goals to lead the Blue Jackets to a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, ending a three-game losing skid.LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Russ Smith really didnt care about being top scorer in his home finale with Louisville because passing to open teammates was the better choice. The star guard is showing he can be pass-first when needed. Just ask Cardinals forward Montrezl Harrell, who scored 20 points while Smith recorded a career-high 13 assists as No. 11 Louisville routed No. 19 Connecticut 81-48 on Saturday to claim a share of the American Athletic Conference championship. The Cardinals (26-5, 15-3) finished tied with No. 15 Cincinnati atop the league. A postgame coin flip went to Cincinnati and left Louisville with the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. The Cardinals still got to hoist a trophy thanks to Smiths generosity. "Russ does so much for our team," said Harrell, who added 11 rebounds and several thunderous dunks. "He doesnt just worry about scoring. He had like (three) points tonight and 13 assists, so how does he not make us better? ... Right now, hes just worried about us winning, and thats what we need." Smiths performance was appreciated by a sellout crowd that gave him a standing ovation as he went to the bench with 4:22 left in the game. The reception capped a joyous day as he and fellow seniors Luke Hancock, Tim Henderson and Stephan Van Treese were honoured as the programs winningest class. Their achievements included winning last years NCAA championship. All played key roles in Saturdays 116th win together. Smith made just one of two shots but topped his previous assist high by two. Hancock added 16 points while Henderson added an early basket on feeds from Smith. Van Treese grabbed 13 rebounds. "It was just getting the ball to my teammates to get the ball movement going," said Smith, whose audience included nine NBA scouts. "When I looked at the film after the first UConn game, I was very sloppy with the rock. I wasnt handling the ball as well as I should have. I negated any discrepancy about turning the ball over. I just kicked it out to other teammates." Louisvilles defence, meanwhile, frustrated the Huskiies (24-7, 12-6) into season lows in scoring and shooting (29. Jim Rice Jersey. 4 per cent) in completing the sweep. Their previous shooting low was 29.6 per cent in a loss to SMU. "I didnt see anything like this coming," said UConn coach Kevin Ollie, whose team still earned the No. 4 seed. "And Im glad it came because now we know how tough we have to be to be a champion. "We werent tough enough. We werent together enough. Louisville took every opportunity to take advantage of it. ... Thats what champions do." Wayne Blackshear added 11 points and Chris Jones 10 as Louisville won this matchup between two of the past three NCAA champions. While the defending champion Cardinals werent always smooth in beating the Huskies, they shot 45 per cent (26 of 58) from the field and mounted a couple of second-half runs to put the game out of reach. DeAndre Daniels 17 points led UConn, which had its four-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 0-4 at the KFC Yum! Center. Senior guard Shabazz Napier managed nine points on 2-of-13 shooting just days after scoring 26 points including a career-best seven 3-pointers in a win over Rutgers, Emotion preceded the game as Louisville honoured the seniors who helped earn the schools third national championship last spring. Smith as expected drew the loudest cheers from a red-clad sellout crowd as a montage of his and teammates shining moments was played on the video screen, which included a shout-out from rapper Pit Bull. Louisvilles 30-18 lead at the break eventually grew to 34 with 91 seconds left to put fitting end to a fond farewell to the seniors -- especially Smith. "Its a special class because for four years they totally did things for all the right reasons," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. Of Smith, he added, "how would you ever imagine Russ Smith knowing on Senior Night he would pass up all opportunities to score and get 13 assists? That shows you how much hes grown. If any pro scouts wondered tonight whether he could be a point guard, I think the thing is all closed." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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