Firstpost Spodcast Episode 130: Novak Djokovic outclasses Rafael Nadal to clinch Australian Open, Saina Nehwal win Indonesia Masters title and more

Novak Djokovic won his seventh Australian Open title on Sunday in an unexpectedly one-sided match where he crushed Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. It was an exhibition of near flawless tennis from the world no. 1 as he beat the formidable Nadal in just over two hours.

Rafael Nadal came into the final having dominated nearly every opponent he faced. His serve had not been broken since the third set of his first round match, but his own blistering form was no match for Djokovic who took the first set in just 36 minutes. By the fifth game of the second set, Djokovic had conceded just two points on his own serve in the match. Nadal threatened to break back in the next game, but Djokovic held on to take a 4-2 lead and eventually broke Nadal’s serve again to take the second set 6-2. In the third set, Nadal’s serve was broken in the third game, and it was clear that Djokovic was too good for the Spaniard on Sunday.

India’s badminton ace Saina Nehwal notched up her first World Tour title win of 2019 at the Indonesia Masters on Sunday. She won the final after her opponent Carolina Marin retired hurt during the first game due to a leg injury.

Some updates from Indian football now. First up, the I-League. East Bengal beat archrivals Mohun Bagan 2-0 on Sunday to remain in contention for the I-League title.
25-year-old Jobby Justin from Kerala was once again the star for East Bengal. He set up the first goal for Jaime Colado in the 35th minute, while his own header in the 75th minute made it 2-0 for the red and gold brigade. East Bengal picked up three points from the win, taking them to fourth position on the table. They now have 25 points from 13 matches. Third placed Real Kashmir have 25 points as well, but are just ahead on goal difference.

Meanwhile, Neroca FC suffered a setback in their title chase after a goalless draw against Aizawl FC on Sunday.

An ISL update now and Mumbai City FC halted Bengaluru FC’s unbeaten run this season with a 1-0 win in Mumbai on Sunday.

Mumbai captain Paulo Machado scored the solitary goal in a tense and thrilling encounter. Bengaluru made a typically aggressive start, creating two scoring opportunities within the first seven minutes but both kicks went above the bar. Mumbai FC were no slouches either, having a crack at the Bengaluru goal in the fifth minute, only for goalie Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to collect the ball safely.

An FA Cup update from Europe now. Tottenham Hotspur suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace while titleholders Chelsea beat Sheffield 3-0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

Chelsea had no such trouble as they defeated Sheffield 3-0. Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Willian scored twice as they dominated the game against second-tier side Sheffield Wednesday FC. Willian scored his first goal off a penalty in the 26th minute. Callum Hudson-Odoi scored Chelsea’s second goal in the 64th minute and Willian scored once more in the 83rd minute.

The Pakistan cricket team’s captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been suspended for four matches after he was caught racially abusing South African bowler Andile Phehlukwayo.

The Pakistan skipper accepted that he was in breach of the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code for Participants in an incident that occurred during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban on January 22. As per the Anti-Racism Code, Sarfraz will also be required to undergo an education programme to understand the issue.

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Updated Date: Jan 28, 2019 13:36:58 IST

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