Lampard seeks improvement at Chelsea to make them title contenders – football

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard mentioned he’s happy with the progress made by his workforce within the Premier League to this point this season, however has referred to as for additional improvement of their quest to turn out to be real title contenders.

The London facet are fifth within the desk with 25 factors from 14 video games, two factors behind second-positioned Leicester City forward of Saturday’s journey to native rivals Arsenal who’ve slipped to fifteenth after a poor begin.

“I’m happy but we always want more as managers,” Lampard advised Sky Sports on Thursday.

“The reality is at the start of the season, we had some new players while others were missing, and we lacked a pre-season. Looking at our early results, we saw some good and some not-so-good performances.

“We then went on a good run which saw a lot of improvement, so I’m pretty happy but we want more. We want to be challenging for titles, but we have to accept that it’s step by step. We’ve made some steps, but we have the potential to make a lot more.”

Chelsea have misplaced their earlier two away video games – at Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers – and are hoping to keep away from a 3rd straight league defeat on the street for the primary time since February final yr.

“This season has shown most teams have had difficult moments and a large part of that comes down to preparation. Preparation for the season is something we didn’t have. We mustn’t get too far ahead of ourselves or too far down the line,” Lampard mentioned.

“We have to think of the short-term and the games in front of us and not be reactionary after defeats last week or even wins and our unbeaten run. It’s about making continual improvement and that’s important for focus.”

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Ankita Raina wins ITF doubles title in Dubai – tennis

Top Indian tennis participant Ankita Raina received her third doubles title of the pandemic-hit 2020 season, clinching the Al Habtoor problem with Ekaterine Gorgodze right here.

The unseeded Indo-Georgian pair received 6-4 3-6 10-6 towards Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov from Spain and Slovakian Kaja Juvan in the ultimate of the USD 100,000 exhausting court docket occasion on Saturday.

It was the fourth doubles ultimate of the season for Ankita however the greatest trophy of the calender since her earlier two titles had been on the USD 25,000 degree.

In February this 12 months, Ankita had made three finals, successful again-to-again titles in Nonthaburi (Thailand) with Bibiane Schoofs and ending runners-up in Jodhpur with compatriot Snehal Mane.

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Medvedev storms back to beat Thiem and claim ATP Finals title – tennis

Daniil Medvedev barged to the pinnacle of the queue of younger pretenders because the Russian captured the most important title of his profession by beating Dominic Thiem 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 in an absorbing climax to London’s final ATP Finals on Sunday.

Thiem was heading in the right direction to develop into the primary Austrian to win the title, following on from his latest U.S. Open triumph, however the relentless Medvedev turned the tide to strike a blow for the brand new era striving to shake up the tennis hierarchy.

There was no huge celebration as he fired an unreturnable first serve on match level to finish the 2 hours and 42 minutes scrap, bringing the curtain down on 12 memorable years on the O2 Arena earlier than Turin takes over as host of the event.

Fittingly the London period ended because it started with a Russian winner after Nikolay Davydenko took the 2009 title.

Sadly for an occasion that attracted 2.8 million followers through the years to the Thames-side area, the finale, a classic version, performed out in a silent area due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the thousands and thousands watching on TV can have appreciated the talent of Medvedev, who grew to become solely the fourth participant in ATP historical past to beat the world’s prime three on the similar event.

He joins David Nalbandian (Madrid 2007), Novak Djokovic (Montreal 2007) and Boris Becker (Stockholm 1994).

“It’s amazing,” Medvedev, who earned $1.56 million as an unbeaten champion, advised reporters. “I beat Novak (in the group), Rafa in the semis and Dominic, the best players in tennis right now. It shows what I’m capable of.”

IMAGINATIVE GAME

Medvedev’s imaginative recreation, a mix of sledgehammer energy, crafty angles and unreadable serving, proved past Djokovic within the group part and then second-ranked Rafael Nadal in Saturday’s semi-ultimate.

The 27-12 months-previous Thiem appeared to have mastered it however in the end was overwhelmed.

“I think Dominic was a little tired in the third set and to make him tired in a three-set match is tough,” Medvedev stated.

His triumph got here a 12 months after a chastening three defeats on his debut. The solely different participant to obtain such a drastic turnaround is Djokovic in 2008.

After such a scorching streak, together with claiming this month’s Paris Masters, the Moscovite was due a dip and it arrived within the first set as he threw away a 40-0 lead on serve at 2-2, gifting Thiem a break with a double-fault.

It proved sufficient for Thiem to pocket the primary set and he went for the short kill within the second as Medvedev’s normally rock-stable serve and forehand wavered.

MENACING MEDVEDEV

The Russian hung powerful although, saving break factors at 2-2 and 3-3, and started to look menacing because the tiebreak arrived.

Thiem led 2-0 however Medvedev reeled off seven factors in a row to guarantee London’s farewell would go the gap.

Thiem, who had additionally overwhelmed Nadal and Djokovic this week, had spent two extra hours on court docket than Medvedev to attain the ultimate and his silky recreation started to fray.

Medvedev stalked him together with his energy and accuracy and the Russian secured the very important break of serve at 2-2 with a stealthy method and volleyed winner.

Thiem dug in however world quantity 4 Medvedev by no means appeared like letting his lead slip as he grew to become the fifth successive first-time winner of the title.

Medvedev’s friends Alexander Zverev, 23, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, 22, gained the final two titles right here however neither have gone on to claim a Grand Slam.

Medvedev will enter 2021 as the person most certainly to make that breakthrough for the a lot-hyped subsequent era.

“For tennis there are exciting times coming,” Thiem stated of the brand new vanguard. “Super important for the sport in general.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis/Ken Ferris/Paul Simao)

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Nadal adapts, ATP Finals title still remains elusive – tennis

In the seventh recreation of the deciding set in opposition to Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal resorted to serve and volley thrice, dropping the purpose every time because the volley wasn’t brief sufficient, handing Medvedev the break at 3-3. But consider it: when was the final time one noticed Nadal serve and volley thrice in a single recreation, or perhaps a set?

The Spaniard’s first semi-ultimate in 5 years on the ATP Finals resulted in defeat, failing to serve out for the match in a 6-3, 6-7(4), 3-6 loss to the on-music Russian in London on Saturday evening. It meant his huge trophy cupboard still has one huge vacuum—the season-ending indoor arduous-courtroom title fought by the highest eight males.

Nadal has 86 profession singles titles, zero on the ATP Finals. Zero regardless of qualifying for the celebrated occasion for 16 seasons; solely Roger Federer (18) has made the lower extra instances, and he has six titles to flaunt. Out of the 9 earlier appearances (an damage-susceptible Nadal has pulled out of the occasion six instances), the Spaniard has had 4 group stage exits.

It’s a title Nadal has craved for, regardless of profitable actually in all places else. It’s a title for which Nadal, even at 34, confirmed willingness to make tactical adjustments to his tried, examined and environment friendly recreation that has rewarded him with document-setting feats throughout surfaces. “This event is a big one and I am going to keep fighting for it,” he stated earlier than the match.

This yr, Nadal didn’t simply attempt to keep afloat and combat, however got here up with methods to dictate play on an indoor floor the place he has a grand complete of 1 title (2005 Madrid). In all his 4 matches, Nadal unveiled totally different methods, making delicate adjustments to his recreation type not often seen from the claycourt maestro.

In his first spherical robin tie in opposition to in-kind Andrey Rublev, Nadal persistently positioned himself contained in the baseline to return the Russian’s second serves. The sight of Nadal nearly touching the promoting boards to obtain serve on the crimson filth is widespread, however not in opposition to Rublev on the low-bouncing London arduous courtroom. The outcome? Nadal received 13 out of twenty-two factors whereas returning the second serve, the standout stat in his 6-3, 6-4 thrashing of Rublev.

Against Dominic Thiem, one of many few gamers who can match Nadal when it comes to high quality and amount from the baseline, the Spaniard took the onus of shortening the factors. He rushed to the online on 20 events, succeeding 14 instances. Nadal had two set factors within the first set and was finally overwhelmed in two shut tie-breakers; however not earlier than forcing the US Open champion to play at “a little bit higher level than at the US Open”, as Thiem analysed. “I think my chances are bigger to have a very good result now,” Nadal stated about his match prospects after that recreation.

In the knockout match with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nadal knew which space of his recreation wanted to be at its sharpest in opposition to a participant who doesn’t possess the perfect returns among the many high guys—the primary serve. The southpaw placed on a serving masterclass—a wholesome 65 per cent first serves in and an much more spectacular 80 per cent factors received on first serve—to storm into his first semi-ultimate in London since 2015.

There he met an opponent who was coming off an indoor title in Paris and who hadn’t dropped a set within the group stage, together with in opposition to the highest-ranked Novak Djokovic. Against Medvedev, Nadal typically deployed the serve and volley, and continuously sliced the ball off his backhand to not give the Russian any tempo to fireplace his ammunition. Leading 6-3, 5-4, it gave the impression to be working with Nadal on target for his first ultimate spot since 2013. But an unusually steep drop in stage whereas serving for the match noticed him damaged to like. Shot within the arm acquired, the large-putting Medvedev bagged the second set tie-breaker and dominated the out-of-fuel Spaniard within the decider.

“I played a bad game. That’s it. But I had a big opportunity. I lost a big opportunity,” Nadal stated.

An alternative whereas feeling bodily contemporary owing to the pandemic-shortened season; a possibility whereas taking part in out of his consolation zone that confirmed he can compete once more for that one lacking crown.

“I don’t want to pretend to be arrogant at all, because I am not. But I really don’t need to show even to myself or to no one that if I am playing my best tennis, I think I can win in every surface and against any player,” Nadal stated.

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Hamilton’s road to his seventh title, race by race – other sports

Lewis Hamilton secured his seventh Formula One world championship on the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday, matching Michael Schumacher’s file tally.

The Mercedes driver, with a file 94 wins, is essentially the most profitable Formula One driver of all time. The following particulars his development to the 2020 title.

AUSTRIAN GP (Valtteri Bottas 25, Charles Leclerc 18, Lando Norris 16)

Bottas received from pole place, with a time penalty dropping Hamilton to fourth. There had been solely 11 finishers, with Norris setting quickest lap. An error in qualifying dropped Hamilton from the entrance row to fifth.

STYRIAN GP (Bottas 43 factors, Hamilton 37, Norris 26)

Hamilton received from pole whereas Bottas began fourth however completed second. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen accomplished the rostrum. Leclerc and Ferrari staff mate Sebastian Vettel collided on the opening lap and retired.

HUNGARIAN GP (Hamilton 63, Bottas 58, Verstappen 33)

Hamilton received once more from pole, and for a file eighth time in Hungary, to wrest the championship lead from Bottas who completed third after a botched begin. Verstappen was second, regardless of crashing on the way in which to the grid.

BRITISH GP (Hamilton 88, Bottas 58, Verstappen 52)

Hamilton received from pole, his file seventh British victory, however crossed the road on three wheels after a final lap puncture. Verstappen was second however took quickest lap. Leclerc was third. Bottas completed eleventh after a late puncture when second.

70TH ANNIVERSARY GP (Hamilton 107, Verstappen 77, Bottas 73)

Bottas took pole however Verstappen received to finish Mercedes’ successful streak. Hamilton handed Bottas with two laps to go for second place and in addition set quickest lap. Hamilton’s podium equalled Schumacher’s file of 155.

SPANISH GP (Hamilton 132, Verstappen 95, Bottas 89)

Another win from pole for Hamilton, his fourth of the season. Bottas began on the entrance row however dropped to third in the beginning.

BELGIAN GP (Hamilton 157, Verstappen 110, Bottas 107)

Hamilton began on pole and led each lap to beat Schumacher’s F1 file of 24,244km within the lead. Bottas completed second, his finest consequence at Spa.

ITALIAN GP (Hamilton 164, Bottas 117, Verstappen 110)

Hamilton’s 94th pole however he completed seventh with the quickest lap (his fiftieth). The Briton led however had to serve a ten second cease/go penalty for a security automotive infringement. Bottas began on the entrance row, made a poor begin and completed fifth.

TUSCAN GP (Hamilton 190, Bottas 135, Verstappen 110)

Hamilton’s ninetieth win and sixth of the season got here from pole. He additionally set the quickest lap and took a file 222nd factors end. Bottas was second.

RUSSIAN GP (Hamilton 205, Bottas 161, Verstappen 128)

Bottas celebrated his second win of the season and set the quickest lap. Hamilton began on pole however collected two 5 second penalties for pre-race observe begin infringements. The race was the Briton’s one hundred and fiftieth for Mercedes.

EIFEL GP (Hamilton 230, Bottas 161, Verstappen 147)

Hamilton, beginning second, equalled Schumacher’s all-time file of 91 wins. Bottas began on pole however suffered his first retirement of the season.

PORTUGUESE GP (Hamilton 256, Bottas 179, Verstappen 162)

Hamilton began on pole and took a file 92nd win in addition to the quickest lap. The Briton received by 25.592 seconds, his largest margin of the yr. Bottas was second.

EMILIA ROMAGNA GP (Hamilton 282, Bottas 197, Verstappen 162)

Mercedes clinched the constructors’ title and made positive of the drivers’ title — with Bottas now Hamilton’s solely rival — for a file seventh yr in a row. Bottas began on pole however collected particles on lap two and broken his automotive. Hamilton took his ninth win of the season and 93rd of his profession.

TURKISH GP (Hamilton 307, Bottas 197, Verstappen 170)

Hamilton took his 94th profession win after beginning sixth on a moist observe to safe his seventh world championship in model, ending 31 seconds away from Mexican Sergio Perez. Bottas, lapped, completed 14th.

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