Nadal pulls out of French Open

first_imgPARIS, France (AP):For a decade, Rafael Nadal ruled Roland Garros the way no other man has dominated any Grand Slam site.Yesterday, his powerful left wrist wrapped in a blue brace, Nadal delivered the surprising news that he was withdrawing before his third-round match at the French Open because of an injury that would prevent him from delivering the whiplike, spin-heavy forehand that carried him to a record nine championships and a 72-2 record on the tournament’s red clay.”To win the tournament, I need five more matches,” Nadal said, his face expressionless, his arms crossed in front of him. “And the doctor says that’s 100 per cent impossible.”His announcement, at what he called “one of the toughest press conferences in my career”, overshadowed everything else going on around the grounds on Day 6 of the French Open, from the straight-set victories by defending champion Stan Wawrinka and No. 2-seeded Andy Murray, to the out-of-nowhere 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-0 upset of two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova by 108th-ranked Shelby Rogers, a 23-year-old American.Nadal’s withdrawal robbed the event of more star power, coming a week after 17-time major champion Roger Federer pulled out because of lingering back problems.AIMING FOR FOURTH TITLEIt cleared one potential obstacle from the path of No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who is attempting to win a fourth consecutive major title and his first in Paris – and could have faced Nadal in the semi-finals.Fourth-rounders established Friday included No. 3 Wawrinka against No. 22 Viktor Troicki, No. 5 Kei Nishikori against No. 9 Richard Gasquet, and No. 8 Milos Raonic against unseeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas.Women’s fourth-round matches will be Rogers against No. 25 Irina-Camelia Begu, No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska against unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova, No. 4 Garbine Muguruza against No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova, and No. 6 Simona Halep against No. 21 Sam Stosur.last_img read more

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first_img Comments   Share   For what it’s worth, the respect goes both ways. Two weeks ago, Arians said he’d give his Coach of the Year vote to Rivera. – / 40 LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals head coach Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera was hired for his first NFL coaching job in 1997 as a defensive quality control coach for the Chicago Bears. A year later, Bruce Arians returned to the NFL after a one-year stint as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.Neither has left an NFL sideline since.Their paths have crossed even though they’ve never been on the same coaching staffs. At combines and league events, they’ve at the very least gotten to know each other in passing. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Your browser does not support the audio element.center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo As their Panthers and Cardinals prepare to clash in the NFC Championship game, Rivera was asked at a Charlotte press conference about their relationship.Rivera said he looks up to the Arizona head coach.“When I was a coordinator, certain guys you say, ‘gosh I want to understand him a little bit better,’ ” Rivera said Monday. “You look at what he does, how he does things. I appreciate who he is, how he stays steady. I also appreciate how he stays true to who he is.“Everything he does is attack mode.”The chess match between the offensive play-calling of Arians against the Panthers’ head coach with a defensive background will be a main storyline this week. As ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wrote Sunday, Arians’ decision-making late in games — such as passing against the Packers on Saturday despite the need to wind the clock — may be controversial but may not be as risky as conservative-minded analysts and fans may believe.It’s predictable but nonetheless difficult to coach against.“He’s a little older than me,” Rivera added of Arians. “In coaching, there’s certain people you look up to. He’s always been one of those guys. I’ve always appreciated who he’s been.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, left, greets Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians before an NFL wild card playoff football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)last_img read more

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