Sun, Mar

Rafael Nadal crushed fifth seed Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2 to romp into the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals on Friday as he stepped up his bid for the 11th title in style. Thiem was supposed to give the king of clay a run for his money being the last man to beat the Spaniard on his favourite surface. But the Austrian was sent scampering in just over an hour 6-0, 6-2. The Spaniard now leads their head-to-head 7-2.

Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem both had to come from a set down to win their second-round matches at the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday. The fourth-seeded Dimitrov rallied to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, while the fifth-seeded Thiem saved a match point in his 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 win against Andrey Rublev of Russia.

Nigeria’s table tennis team defeated hosts Australia 3-1 in the men’s team quarter-finals event at the ongoing Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Nigerian team had earlier defeated Belize 3-0 and Malaysia 3-1 respectively in their group games. In match 1, Bode Abiodun defeated Heming Hu 3-2 (11-9,10-12,11-4,8-11,11-8) while Olajide Omotayo lost 3-1 (9-11,11-6,7-11,8-11) to Xin Yan in match 2.

Olajide Omotayo

The Nigerian table tennis team began their campaign in the men’s Team – Group 4 at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia on a bright note by defeating Malaysia and Belize in their opening two ties on Thursday.

Olajide Omotayo defeated Chee Feng from Malaysia in three straight sets recording a 13-11, 15-13, 11-7 in his second match of the day.

Omotayo had earlier defeated Rohit Pagarani from Belize 11-4,11-2,11-2 in his first game.

Patrick Reed held off fellow Americans Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler to claim his first major title with a one-shot win at the Masters at Augusta. The world number 24, who had been ahead since the second round, led Rory McIlroy by three shots overnight. McIlroy, chasing his first Green Jacket to complete the Grand Slam, faded with a two-over 74, while Reed parred the last to shoot 71 and win on 15 under.

Novak Djokovic has split with his coach Radek Stepanek and also confirmed that he is no longer working with Andre Agassi. Djokovic, a 12-times grand slam winner, is battling back from a long injury lay-off and lost his opening match at the Miami Masters two weeks ago. Agassi said on Saturday that he was no longer working with the former world No 1, adding: “We far too often found ourselves agreeing to disagree.”

Nigeria's table tennis coach Bello Nosiru is tipping Quadri Aruna to cope with the pressure of being favourite for gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Aruna is the highest ranking player competing at GC2018 and his coach is confident the 29-year-old will thrive under the bright lights.

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