Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal will be played at Wimbledon 2019 after over a decade and predictably, the ticket prices for the contest have all gone quite silly.
Rafael Nadal made light work of big-serving American Sam Querrey while Roger Federer had to overcome a first set blip against Kei Nishikori to book his spot in the semifinals.
However, Federer came through eventually and will go on to face his greatest rival (and good friend) Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2008, when the duo played one of the all-time great tennis matches in the Wimbledon finals.
The ticket prices for the event, as reported by Yahoo, start at £7000, which translates to nearly USD 9000.
To lend perspective to the pricing, the entry-level ticket at the NFL Superbowl earlier this year was around USD 3500, while a ticket for the Masters – which Tiger Woods won – cost around USD 2000-3000.
The silly pricing for the ticket only serves to underline the kind of expectation fans and the organizers have for the match. The victor of the contest will go on to face the winner between Bautista Agut and Novak Djokovic, in the finals.
Rafael Nadal made light work of Roger Federer when they played each other in the recently concluded French Open tournament. But that isn’t figuring into the Swiss maestro’s psyche ahead of his semifinal clash with the Spaniard at Wimbledon 2019.
It was just about a month ago when Rafael Nadal recorded a straight-set victory over his greatest rival Roger Federer in the French Open semifinals.
However, the result of that match isn’t something that the number two seed is bothering himself with as he readies himself to take on the Spaniard in the Wimbledon 2019 semifinals.
“Not so much the French Open, I do believe. I feel like conditions were slightly different. It was so windy. It was just insane,” he said, brushing away the importance of his defeat to Nadal.
“I haven’t heard it was going to be the same in a couple of days, so I hope not, even though that would be funny again.”
However, Federer’s string of victories against Nadal has mostly come on hard court, with the victory in the Australian Open final in 2017 particularly standing out – something the Swiss legend acknowledged may be relevant in predicting the winner of their upcoming clash.
“Maybe Australian Open final [is relevant]. Obviously, best-of-five-set match, five sets. Then again, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter anyway. Who cares?
“It’s going to be tough. Rafa really can hurt anybody on any surface. He’s that good. He’s not just a clay-court specialist,” he concluded.
Number two seed Roger Federer weighed in on exactly what gives him, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic the edge to keep performing at the highest level in Wimbledon 2019.
All three of the top seeds in the tournament came through unscathed in their respective round of 16 match-ups, that too in straight sets. Federer outclassed Berrettini, Nadal made light work of Sousa and Djokovic eased past Humbert.
Speaking after his match, Federer outlined exactly why the ‘Big 3’ of tennis continue to extend their dominance over the men’s circuit and why they’re pulling out all the stops at Wimbledon 2019.
“I think the best guys now are fully engaged, they know exactly what to expect from the court and the conditions. That helps us to play better. I think with experience, that’s good. We haven’t dropped much energy in any way.
“It’s not like we’re coming in with an empty tank into the second week,” he said.
Welcome to FOX Sports Asia’s Ballon d’Or 2019 rankings. Here, we make a monthly appraisal of the five favourites to win the most prestigious individual award depending on their performances and achievements.
#5 Kylian Mbappe
The French sensation has taken over from Neymar as PSG’s attacking spearhead in the 2018/19 season and with good reason. His goal involvement numbers in the season are second only to Lionel Messi’s.
39 goals and 17 assists in 43 games. That alone earns him a spot on this list.
Mbappe could have been ranked higher though, had it not been for PSG’s shock Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester United and their defeat to Rennes in the French Cup finals.
Alisson didn’t just win Copa America 2019 with Brazil, but he also won the Golden Glove award for conceding the least number of goals in the tournament.
He won the same award in the Champions League and in the Premier League too. And his performance in the UCL finals against Tottenham to preserve Liverpool’s clean sheet was nothing short of supreme.
A lot of credit must go to Virgil van Dijk for tightening that Liverpool defence, but Alisson has been phenomenal when called upon. The fact that two separate teams with him in goal have gone on to win silverware this season gets him up on this list at number 4.
#3 Cristiano Ronaldo
There is no Ballon d’Or list without Cristiano Ronaldo. Yes, the Juventus star didn’t live up to his own lofty goal scoring standards of previous seasons but he was still an integral part of teams that won silverware.
He won the Italian Super Cup and the Serie A with Juventus and managed to bag the UEFA Nations League trophy with Portugal as well. In the process, he also collected a number of personal records.
The quarterfinal exit in the Champions League, however, is still a sticking point and is reason why he isn’t higher up on the list.
#2 Lionel Messi
A couple of months back, Ballon d’Or number 6 looked destined for Lionel Messi’s trophy cabinet. But a shocking 4-0 reverse to Liverpool at Anfield – and a subsequent Champions League exit – saw it all unravel for the Argentine.
That debacle was quickly followed by a Copa del Rey final loss to Valencia.
But Messi’s cloud of failure also followed him to international duty, as Argentina finished third in Copa America as his wait for his first international trophy continues.
Despite all of this, there is still a good chance he wins the Ballon d’Or because his numbers have been nothing short of phenonemal this season.
He’s got 51 goals and 22 assists in 50 games. If that doesn’t deserve the award…
#1 Virgil van Dijk
The only other player this season who can have a realistic claim to the Ballon d’Or apart from Lionel Messi is Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.
Usually the prestigious award is decided on goal involvement numbers – or at least, it has been in 10 of the last 11 years. But Luka Modric’s win last season signalled a paradigm shift that focuses on a player’s importance to a team’s performance.
Under that judging criteria, Virgil van Dijk has, arguably, been the most important player to a team you can find in Europe’s top leagues.
Not only did Liverpool win the Champions League with him commanding their backline, they also finished the Premier League season 1 point behind Manchester City – perhaps an even more coveted achievement.
Yes, based on numbers this year’s Ballon d’Or should go to Lionel Messi. But football isn’t played on paper, is it?
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Lionel Messi met Neymar in the hallway following Argentina’s 2-0 defeat to Brazil in the Copa America 2019 semifinal and the duo exchanged words.
Diario Gol reports that the two spoke regarding Neymar’s move back to Barcelona from PSG, with the Argentine wizard detailing to him exactly what he had to do to push through the move.
The report claims that Messi asked Neymar to apologize publicly to Barcelona and its fans for leaving in the first place and to tell the powers that be in PSG that he wants out of the club.
While that will give Barcelona leverage in negotiations, Messi has promised the Brazilian that he will also put out a statement that he is in favour of the signing – something he hasn’t done for Antoine Griezmann.
The report also states that the resignation of Jordi Mestre, former vice-president of Barcelona, has facilitated the Neymar transfer as he was a strong proponent against bringing the Brazilian back to the club.
FOX Sports Asia probability ratings: 2/5: Although it is well documented that Neymar and Lionel Messi are good friends, it seems hard to conceive that the Argentine would be discussing transfer strategy with Neymar on the back of a stinging Copa America semifinal defeat for his country.
Nick Kyrgios sent down a thunderbolt that clocked 143mph on the speed-o-meter in his Wimbledon match against Rafael Nadal- just 1mph short of the all time ATP record for a second serve held by Ivo Karlović.
Kyrgios would eventually end up losing in an entertaining 4-setter to the number three seed, but the match certainly threw up a raft of talking points – one of them being Kyrgios’ mega serve.
In fact, the Aussie sent down the serve after becoming upset at losing a challenge for his first serve.
In keeping with the serve narrative, the game also featured Kyrgios’ classic underhand serve as he twice caught out Nadal successfully. However all the power and tricks in the book couldn’t help him at the end of the day as the Spaniard proved too technical for him to overcome.
Nadal would eventually go on to win the game 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 and progress to the third round in the tournament. Kyrgios, meanwhile, stirred up controversy yet again by lambasting the referee for allowing Nadal to take too long in between serves.
Nick Kyrgios stirred up more controversy after his entertaining 4-set loss to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon- claiming that he purposely tried to hit his opponent during the match.
Kyrgios faced off with Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon in a gritty contest, taking a set off him en route to a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 loss.
However, the match itself wasn’t without its controversial moments and saw the Aussie successfully execute two underhanded serves that Nadal had no answer to. While the audience lapped that up, they didn’t exactly take well to Kyrgios trying to hit Nadal with a mega forehand in the third set – something that also elicited a cold stare from the Spaniard.
Don't ever tell me Lionel Messi is the GOAT ever again. Dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League and International Football, but he can be the GOAT of La Liga if he wants. Must be fun scoring braces against Huesca and Getafe every weekend.
How can you call Lionel Messi the greatest of all time when he has never won a major trophy with Argentina's national team. All his major achievements are tied to Barcelona. That's an insult to real GOAT'S like Cristiano Ronaldo, Maradona and Pele. pic.twitter.com/A4s5kISUwH
Lionel Messi was clearly not a happy man after Argentina’s 2-0 loss to Brazil in the Copa America 2019 semifinal and vented out his feelings after the match.
Lionel Messi was an anonymous spectator as a well-drilled Brazil side put Argentina to the sword in the Copa America 2019 semifinal – but the match wasn’t without controversy.
There were a couple of instances where the usage of VAR could have easily resulted in an Argentina penalty – namely when Dani Alves took out Sergio Aguero in the penalty box but the referee didn’t stop play, only for Brazil to counter-attack and score at the other end immediately.
Speaking to the press after the match, Lionel Messi was not a happy camper.
He questioned why the officials never used VAR throughout the match and even went on to suggest that CONMEBOL should look into the refereeing – before taking a jibe at Brazil by suggesting that it won’t happen since they’ve got too much influence.
#CopaAmerica Messi evidentemente molesto hace llamado a @CONMEBOL por los arbitrajes. Hace un repaso al VAR y la calidad de los colegiados: "en esta copa se cansaron de cobrar boludeces. Mano boludas, fueras boludas, penales pelotudos". pic.twitter.com/1f8ApRqMFM
Lionel Messi was a non-factor for most of the match, barring a freekick that Alisson saved easily and a wicked half-volley that crashed off the post. Brazil, on the other hand, was a well-drilled collective that put Argentina to the sword with their intensity and fluidity in attack.
Gabriel Jesus was, undoubtedly, the best player on the pitch and finished with a goal and an assist to his name.
Wayne Rooney scored one of the goals of the season for DC United against Orlando City – a ridiculous first time shot from inside his own half – and Manchester United fans were clamoring to have him back at the club.
The former Manchester United player has been central to a footballing revolution at DC United ever since he moved there from Everton at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
This season, he has recorded 10 goals and 5 assists in 18 games for the MLS side as they push towards qualifying for the playoffs.
Wayne Rooney has been doing this for a long time . Dating back to when he played for Manchester United. Great goal scorer, an All Time Great & leading scorer before age and injuries started catching up with him.⚽️⚽️
Letting him go from Man United is the equivalency of Spurs
Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly left a mega €20,000 tip for the staff at the hotel he stayed in to thank them for allowing him to enjoy his holiday in peace.
Ronaldo has been on holiday, as has been well publicized on his Instagram account, in the France Riviera with his family and friends. Apart from hiring a private yacht to enjoy the sun and the sea, the Portuguese sensation has also been on holiday in a hotel in Greece.
It was there that he reportedly met Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri to discuss his role in the Sarriball system next season and the targets for the team going forward.
It is being reported by the Greek media, via AS, that Ronaldo tipped the hotel staff heavily when he left as a token of his thanks for not leaking his whereabouts to the paparazzi.
Ronaldo, who is on holiday with his partner, children, and friends, was reportedly thankful to have enjoyed a peaceful stay away from the cameras and media attention.
Contrary to popular opinion, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not be allowed to spend massive sums of money to rebuild the squad. In fact, only £100 million is available to him.
ESPN’s Mark Ogden reports that Manchester United only have a transfer kitty of about £100 million that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can spend in an attempt to refurbish an ailing squad.
If he wanted extra funds to reinvest, he would have to procure it from selling players on.
The report suggests Ed Woodward and co. feel that the emerging talent purchased with £100 million should suffice, in addition to Paul Pogba, David de Gea and Romelu Lukaku staying, to allow the club to finish in the top 4 spots under the Norwegian.
However, should either Pogba, De Gea or Lukaku be sold, funds will be made available to him for reinvestment.
So far, Manchester United have only spent £15 million on Swansea winger Daniel James, with Crystal Palace’s Aaron wan Bissaka, Leicester City’s Harru Maguire, Newcastle’s Sean Longstaff and Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes among other names to be linked with the club.
FOX Sports Asia probability rating: 2/5; Though the bit about player sales fuelling the market seems true, the notion that Manchester United will only have £100 million in transfer budget available doesn’t seem true.
The Malaysian badminton legend addressed the press gathered at the office of the Minister of Youth and Sports and confirmed that he would be stepping away from the sport due to health reasons.
Chong Wei was diagnosed with nose cancer in September of 2018, and despite making a recovery since, hasn’t been actively training for competition.
He last competed in July of 2018 and is currently ranked 191 in the world.
Chong Wei also mentioned in the presser that he would have liked to retire after the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 but that it was brought forward on his doctor’s advice.
The legendary shuttler has won 3 Olympic silver medals for Malaysia and an incredible 69 singles titles in all. He was also ranked world number 1 for a consecutive 199 weeks.
After he announced his retirement, tributes poured in on social media from all parts of the world and not just Malaysia. Fans wished him the best of health in his retired life and thanked him for his indelible contributions to the sport of badminton.
Here are a few of the reactions for you to scroll through.
Lee Chong Wei a legend retires! may his life beyond badminton also be as illustrious and happy as was his with the sport. may he win every battle of life including cancer and its post cancer effects. #badminton
— #Ayurvedatweets (Dr. Nitin Chaube) (@drnitinchaube) June 13, 2019
Before Saina and Sindhu, it was @LeeChongWei and Gopi Chand made me fall n love wit Badminton Thank you Lee Chong Wei for your contribution to the sport Though that Olympic gold was elusive,ur rivalry on the court with Lin Dan will be cherished,watched nd loved for ages#ThankYou
Im so proud of Lee Chong Wei, he's our hero, we all come together, all races united under one sport which is badminton, i still remember we're all so excited, you're a legend, truly in the eyes of the world. Always remain legendary
“In 16 years the numbers speak for themselves. What else can I do? Do I deserve the Golden Ball ? I do not know. I leave that to you, who are the ones who evaluate my performance. I’m not going to value myself.”
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