Firstpost Spodcast Episode 125: Stefanos Tsitsipas inflicts shock defeat on Roger Federer, former India player Jacob Martin battles for life and more
In today's episode, we discuss Roger Federer's shock defeat in fourth round of the Australian Open, Jacob Martin's critical situation as he struggles between life and death and more.
Welcome to Spodcast, where we look at the big sports headlines of the day.
We open with tennis today, and news from the Australian Open. Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece inflicted a shock defeat on defending champion Roger Federer on Sunday, quashing the veteran’s hopes of a seventh Australian title.
37-year-old Federer, who claimed the first set, seemed to struggle against the energy of 20-year-old Tsitsipas who eventually won 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6. The Greek player, seeded 14th, is the first tennis player from his country to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. He said, “I'm the happiest man on Earth right now, I cannot describe it. I've been idolising him (Federer) since the age of six. It was a dream come true for me just being on Rod Laver facing him. Winning at the end, I can't describe it.”
Switching to cricket news, former Australian captain Michael Clarke said on Sunday, “To me, Virat Kohli is the greatest batsman to have ever played one-day cricket. I have no doubts after seeing what he has achieved for India.” Kohli had a triumphant tour of Australia, winning both the Test and ODI series 2-1, and drawing the T20 series. Clarke, who is a huge Virat Kohli fan, said, “You have to respect Virat's passion to win games for his country. Yes, he has aggression but no one can question his commitment, how much he has achieved. He is the greatest in ODIs.” Michael Clarke also said Hardik Pandya would prove useful for India during the 2019 World Cup. He said, “A talented player like Hardik is very necessary for the balance of the side. He can win games alone with his batting and I am confident he will be in that World Cup squad.” Speaking about the controversy around Pandya, the former Aussie skipper said, “Professional sportspersons are role models, recognised and they have a responsibility. Having said that, everyone makes mistakes and one needs to move on and learn from them.”
Former Indian cricketer Jacob Martin is in critical condition after suffering severe injuries to his lung and liver in an accident on 28 December. Martin is now on life support and his wife Khyati had written to CEO Rahul Johri seeking assistance for the treatment that amounts to Rs 70,000 per day. A Mumbai Mirror article quoted Khyati’s letter as saying, “Since yesterday they have stopped providing medicine to Mr Martin though he is in ventilator. I earnestly request you to send me help at the earliest so that I can save his life. Due to emergency, may I request you to kindly deposit in the bank account of Sterling Hospital?” Media reports indicated that the board promptly transferred Rs 5 lakh for his treatment. Martin played 10 ODIs for India between 1999 and 2001.
Cosmas Lagat of Kenya and Worknesh Alemu of Ethiopia won the $405,000 Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. Lagat, winner of the 2016 Sevilla Marathon, completed the 42.195-km race in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds, the second best in the 16-year history of the race. At one point, he looked set to break even the course record of 2:08:35 set by fellow Kenyan Gideon Kipketar in 2016 but that did not come to pass. Aychew Bantie of Ethiopia finished second in 2:10:05. Third place also went to another Ethiopian athlete, Akalnew Shumet, who finished the Marathon in 2:10:14.
It is beginning to get close at the top of the EPL points table. Manchester City are now just four points behind leaders Liverpool after a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Sunday.
City were under a bit of pressure after Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. Danilo, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane delivered for Manchester City in a decidedly one-sided match against bottom rankers Huddersfield. City are in such good form that Pep Guardiola even benched Gabriel Jesus, who has scored seven goals in three matches, along with David Silva.
India have also sent back four of their designated net bowlers back to India as the tournament proper starts on Sunday.
T20 World Cup 2021: Ajinkya Rahane urges India to back Hardik Pandya, says Rishabh Pant a 'game changer'
There has been a lot of debate regarding Pandya's inclusion in the squad as he did not bowl in the recently-concluded IPL
Rahul made batting look easy with six boundaries and three sixes in his 24-ball-51 while Kishan was retired hurt after a chiselled 70 off 46 balls that had three sixes apart from seven boundaries as India chased a target of 189 with an over to spare.