Month: December 2019

Happy New Year! Thiem, Medvedev & Wawrinka Ring In 2020

The biggest names on the ATP Tour are gearing up to begin the 2020 season, but took time to enjoy New Year’s Eve festivities from across the globe. Check out the celebrations and well-wishes on social media from your favourite players. You May Also Like: Auger-Aliassime, Monfils Name 2020 New Year’s Resolutions Dominic Thiem is kicking off 2020 by leading Team Austria at the ATP Cup. They’ll aim to get past Argentina, Poland and Croatia in Group E. Daniil Medvedev brought 2019 to a close in Perth with the rest of Team Russia. They’ll begin their quest for the ATP Cup trophy against Italy, United States and Norway in Group D. Stan Wawrinka will start his year as the top seed at the Qatar ExxonMobll Open in Doha. Kei Nishikori made time to greet his fans as he eyes a return to action at the Australian Open. Borna Coric is enjoying his time in Sydney with Team Croatia. He’ll begin his ATP Cup campaign on Saturday against Austria. Jamie Murray celebrated by watching the fireworks in Sydney. He’ll team up with Joe Salisbury as Great Britain takes on Belgium, Bulgaria and Moldova in Group C at the ATP Cup. Fernando Verdasco enjoyed another successful year on the court, but his most memorable moment came off the court with the birth of his first child. The Spaniard begins the new season in Doha. Team Serbia captain Nenad Zimonjic had a great view to watch the fireworks in Brisbane. Serbia battles South Africa, France and Chile in Group A at the ATP Cup.

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Happy New Year! Thiem, Medvedev & Wawrinka Ring In 2020

The biggest names on the ATP Tour are gearing up to begin the 2020 season, but took time to enjoy New Year’s Eve festivities from across the globe. Check out the celebrations and well-wishes on social media from your favourite players. You May Also Like: Auger-Aliassime, Monfils Name 2020 New Year’s Resolutions Dominic Thiem is kicking off 2020 by leading Team Austria at the ATP Cup. They’ll aim to get past Argentina, Poland and Croatia in Group E. Daniil Medvedev brought 2019 to a close in Perth with the rest of Team Russia. They’ll begin their quest for the ATP Cup trophy against Italy, United States and Norway in Group D. Stan Wawrinka will start his year as the top seed at the Qatar ExxonMobll Open in Doha. Kei Nishikori made time to greet his fans as he eyes a return to action at the Australian Open. Borna Coric is enjoying his time in Sydney with Team Croatia. He’ll begin his ATP Cup campaign on Saturday against Austria. Jamie Murray celebrated by watching the fireworks in Sydney. He’ll team up with Joe Salisbury as Great Britain takes on Belgium, Bulgaria and Moldova in Group C at the ATP Cup. Fernando Verdasco enjoyed another successful year on the court, but his most memorable moment came off the court with the birth of his first child. The Spaniard begins the new season in Doha. Team Serbia captain Nenad Zimonjic had a great view to watch the fireworks in Brisbane. Serbia battles South Africa, France and Chile in Group A at the ATP Cup.

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Mikel Arteta not surprised by ‘willing’ Ozil’s energy

Mesut Ozil impressed in Arsenal’s defeat to Chelsea on Sunday, but new head coach Mikel Arteta was not surprised. Mikel Arteta insists he was not surprised by Mesut Ozil’s energetic display against Chelsea, having been impressed by the Arsenal playmaker’s “willing” performances in training. Ozil has long been criticised for a perceived lack of effort as Arsenal have struggled, with the World Cup winner struggling to hold down a regular position in the side. But although the Gunners collapsed to lose 2-1 to Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Ozil was at the centre of a much-improved performance in new head coach Arteta’s first home game in charge. Arteta’s aim now is to build a team that will bring the best out of Ozil, acknowledging he cannot win matches alone. “That’s what I’m hoping, that he can sustain that level every three or four days,” Arteta told reporters ahead of a New Year’s Day meeting with Manchester United. “He’s putting in everything he has to try to do that. “His numbers, physically, have improved so much, and he’s willing. That’s what I can tell you from every day what I see in training. “I’m not surprised. I know the ability, I know the player we have there. The structure has to help him for him to take everything that he has inside. Today’s result hurts after our best performance for a while. We didn’t deserve to lose. But thanks for your amazing support at home this afternoon We go again on Wednesday – together #M1Ö #YaGunnersYa @Arsenal pic.twitter.com/ykQvkiSyfM — Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) December 29, 2019 “On his own, he cannot do it. He needs the collective structure, organisation and his team-mates. There are only one or two players in the world who can do something on their own. “He needs help and he needs the team to play in a certain way to facilitate his strengths more and more every time in the game. That’s what we are trying to do.” Ozil played in an advanced role against Chelsea, forming a front four alongside Alexandre...

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Frank Lampard: Maybe Chelsea are asking too much of Callum Hudson-Odoi

Callum Hudson-Odoi has come in for criticism for his recent performances, but he has the backing of Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard. Frank Lampard suggested Chelsea may be asking too much of Callum Hudson-Odoi but vowed to stick with the 19-year-old and protect him against criticism. The England winger sparkled in his early senior appearances but has struggled to make an impact of late, failing to impress as he started a Premier League match for the first time in over two months in a 2-0 Boxing Day defeat to Southampton. While head coach Lampard acknowledged Hudson-Odoi is yet to find the consistency required to be a Chelsea regular, he is determined to stay patient with the teenager. “Maybe [it is about consistency], and maybe we’re asking too much,” Lampard told reporters ahead of the New Year’s Day trip to Brighton and Hove Albion. “Because at 19, there’s not many in the Premier League that are playing every week, especially at a club like ourselves. “He has competition in those areas, so his consistency needs to be in how he works, how he trains every day, how much pressure he puts on me to play him. That is one thing he’ll strive for. “From all the conversations I’ve had with him, he understands what he needs to do on and off the pitch, and I will certainly stick with him.” Hudson-Odoi was reportedly concerned by social media criticism after the Southampton game, but Lampard is confident Chelsea fans will back their player. “I’ve not spoken to him about that, and unfortunately, with social media, that’s par for the course,” he said. LONDON IS BLUE Great comeback and end to the year!!!#CFC pic.twitter.com/exZjE8P07B — Callum Hudson-Odoi (@Calteck10) December 29, 2019 “It doesn’t make it right or wrong. I haven’t seen it, but that’s something you have to have a very thick skin about. “But I said it after the Southampton game: he’s a young player, he’s just 19, he’s had a lot of talk about him for different reasons, which is not all of his doing. There’s been a...

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Pep Guardiola: We must work harder, play better and pray to close gap to Liverpool

The 2019-20 Premier League title race looks to be run, but Pep Guardiola still loves his “fantastic” Manchester City team. Pep Guardiola says Manchester City must “work harder, play better and pray” to close the gap to Liverpool, but he is confident a fully fit squad could still compete for the Premier League title. City have won the league in each of the past two seasons, yet they are now 14 points off the rapid pace set by Liverpool, who also have a game in hand heading into 2020. While an ageing City squad have fallen below the standards set in previous campaigns, Guardiola is keen to emphasise the impact of key injuries on his team – with Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane out for long periods and David Silva and Sergio Aguero also dealing with issues. Asked what his team must improve on to catch Liverpool, the City manager told reporters: “Work harder, play better and pray. “With all the squad, yes, [City can compete]. There are some things that we cannot control. We can do what we can do. “But other issues we cannot control, like what a fantastic team like Liverpool have done so far and other issues. If everybody’s fit, we can do it.” #MCISHU #ManCity pic.twitter.com/0wG9VQsUIq — Manchester City (@ManCity) December 29, 2019 Guardiola refused to accept, however, that the failure to bring in signings in the previous transfer window had contributed to their problems. “No, I think the team is fantastic. I love it,” he said. “We have had problems with injuries – these things happen – and then Liverpool are incredible. “They are the champions of Europe and have dropped two points. After that, we just congratulate them. I know the distance we are [behind] is not what it should be, but it’s what it is.” As 2019 drew to an end, Guardiola also wanted to offer a reminder of City’s success in 2019 – winning the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Community Shield before slumping to third in the table. “How was 2019? Now the people say it was a disaster. We won four titles...

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