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New page 45 stories Serena powers past Sadikovic in Wimbledon opener World number one Serena Williams cruised past Amra Sadikovic in straight sets, 6-2 6-4,…

New page 45 stories

Serena powers past Sadikovic in Wimbledon opener

World number one Serena Williams cruised past Amra Sadikovic in straight sets, 6-2 6-4, to reach the second round of Wimbledon.

The top seed took an hour and 13 minutes to progress past the Swiss in comprehensive fashion on Centre Court.

The six-time champion at SW19 assumed total control of the match with a 3-0 lead in the opening set and refused to relinquish control at any stage.

Williams will next face compatriot Christine McHale in the second round with Britain’s Heather Watson in the same quarter of the draw.

Looking ill-at-ease, as though her quest for an elusive 22nd grand slam title was weighing heavily on her shoulders, Williams struggled with her serve and sprayed balls wide on both sides of the court. She served three double faults in the fifth game of the first set.

It was Williams’s first match since she lost the French Open final to Garbine Muguruza this month and the American should have had few problems against Macedonian-born Sadikovic, ranked 148th in the world and with little main tour experience.

By turns urging herself on and telling herself off, Williams eventually secured match point when her opponent just missed a lob and sealed victory after challenging a wrong call when her shot landed on the far baseline.

FG: We can’t afford foreign coach for Eagles

By Isiaka Wakili & Orkula Shaagee

The Federal Government has said that it cannot afford hiring a foreign coach for the Super Eagles.

Addressing State House correspondents yesterday, Sports Minister Solomon Dalung said unlike indigenous coaches, a foreign coach would not tolerate non-payment of salaries.

According to him, although the selection of coaches is handled by the technical team, his ministry has a role in guiding what is best for the country.

“I’ve always maintained that if we cannot pay indigenous coaches, we still owe them some months of salaries, some of them have even died without those salaries, do we still go and look for a foreign coach and will he be able to tolerate us without salaries for some time, also that we may also be paying him in hard currency? So, it’s a fundamental contradiction to swallow easily,” he said.

The minister said Nigerian indigenous coaches had always recorded poor performance in football because they had not been able to grow above parochial sentiments.

“An example is that, a coach will train a team, the team will qualify for the next stage, once it becomes international, they will now submit a different list of people, not the entire people who qualified. This already has violated what’s referred to as team spirit in football. A team that played is different from the one going.

“We’ve that crisis on our hands now, especially with the list of those going to Rio. Those who qualified are fundamentally different from those that have been sent to go and play at the finals, making it looks like those wheelbarrow pushers. You know the wheelbarrow is an instrument that’s not important, but can only be kept under perennial sun. Since there is a load, you go and pick it,” Dalung stated.

Alo yesterday, the president of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA), Mr. Bitrus Bewarang, cautioned the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to jettison the idea of hiring of a foreign coach to tinker the Super Eagles.

He made this caution in view of Nigeria’s preparation for the Africa’s qualifying series of the 2018 FIFA World Cup scheduled to kick off in October.

Bewarang said that it is time for the NFF to give the indigenous coaches the rightful place rather than taking technical decisions without the input of the coaches.

According to the former Nigeria assistant coach, the difficult group Nigeria find herself in the qualifiers calls for a home grown approach to getting the ticket for Russia 2018, emphasizing that those who understand African football terrain, especially Nigerian coaches, should be given the nod to handle the Super Eagles.

Bewarang also paid tribute to Stephen Keshi and Amodu Shuaibu describing the two former Super Eagles coaches as world-class coaches who were not sufficiently recognized until their death.

He said as a mark of respect for the deceased coaches, the NFF should look inward and identify from the pool of competent coaches in Nigeria and appoint the Super Eagles handler.

“Is there anything wrong if you support the current Super Eagles coach, Salisu Yusuf to carry on with the work he has started rather than bringing in a foreign coach to mess up an ongoing work?” he asked.

Besides, Bewarang reminded the NFF that the current economic hardship calls for a reduction in any form of capital flight, including the hiring of a foreign coach.

Wimbledon Open: Murray sweeps past Broady in round one

Andy Murray made short work of his first ever British opponent at Wimbledon as he swept past wild card Liam Broady in the opening round yesterday.

Murray, seeded second, saw off the 22-year-old world number 235 from Stockport 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 on Centre Court.

It was the first all-British meeting at the All England Club since Tim Henman beat Martin Lee in 2001.

Murray, 29, goes on to face Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei in the second round tomorrow.

The Scot needed just one hour and 43 minutes to end Broady’s Centre Court debut, the 2013 champion and world number two not surprisingly outclassing a player with just one tour-level win to his name.

Murray might have been playing a familiar face but he was in aggressive mood, dropping just six points on his first serve and winning 18 of 19 at the net.

Having gone 10 years without playing a fellow Briton, he has now beaten three this month following wins over Aljaz Bedene and Kyle Edmund at Queen’s Club.

“When we start the match we are both trying to win, but it does not make it any easier,” Murray told BBC Sport.

“Liam played better as the match went on and fought through to the end and played some good stuff.

“The crowd is always very fair here, getting behind both players and knowing what a good shot is. Liam got a good ovation when he left court and I’m sure he will have enjoyed that.”

Clinical Murray beats Broady and the rain

Murray, watched by recently returned coach Ivan Lendl at Grand Slam for the first time in three years, began his 11th Wimbledon campaign with a comfortable win.

Broady, 22, had experienced the Murray game first-hand during practice sessions earlier this year but could not bridge the gulf in class once their first competitive meeting got under way.

Within five minutes he was a break of serve down, and moments later he was literally playing a shot off his knees as Murray ran him ragged.

Liam Broady

Broady found himself having to improvise as he chased down Murray from the baseline

There was a sense of relief from the Centre Court crowd when Broady got on the scoreboard at 3-1 down but he could make no impression on the Murray serve.

A wayward Broady forehand into the tram lines gave up the first set and a double fault handed Murray a 3-1 lead in the second.

There was little reason for Murray to get fired up but a trademark cross-court backhand brought a “Come on!” en route to a two-set lead, and it was now a case of closing it out as clinically as possible.

Murray suffered physically in the recent French Open final after getting dragged into two five-set matches earlier in the tournament, and he was determined to avoid a repeat at Wimbledon.

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