Evans joins Murray in Australian Open fourth round

first_imgDAN Evans joined Andy Murray in the last 16 of the Australian Open tennis yesterday with a brilliant performance to give Britain two men in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2002.Top seed Murray made short work of American Sam Querrey, winning 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in one hour 59 minutes.Evans, the world number 51, then upset Australian 27th seed Bernard Tomic with a 6-3, 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-3) victory.Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski reached round four at Wimbledon 15 years ago.It is the first time Evans has made it so far at a Grand Slam, and he next faces French 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.Murray, meanwhile, plays Germany’s Mischa Zverev, the world number 50.Querrey was the man who upset then world number one Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last summer, but Murray made sure he did not fall victim to another shock after the Serb’s surprise defeat by Denis Istomin on Thursday.With six-time champion Djokovic out, Murray is a clear favourite among many observers to finally land the third leg of the career Grand Slam.Dan Evans“I don’t worry about that, really,” said Murray, who has lost four Melbourne finals to Djokovic.“Obviously, if you’re to get to the final, then it has an effect. A lot of the times when I’ve been in the final here, I’ve played against him. Had some tough ones.”Andy Murray column: Everyone needs to give Djokovic a break.Querrey gave the Scot plenty to think about in the early stages of their third-round match, attacking the net and hurrying the top seed, but a first-serve percentage of just 57% was not enough to keep Murray at bay.The American missed a fleeting chance with a break point in game eight and Murray immediately took advantage, getting the break himself in the next game with a beautiful lob.He took a firm grip on the match with a run of six out of seven games, easing through the second set with two more breaks.There was a flurry of resistance as Querrey reeled off three straight games to lead 3-2 in the third set, but Murray once again turned up the pressure with his return to break for a fifth time on his way to a comprehensive victory.“Sam, especially in the first set, was hitting a huge ball,” added Murray, who had no problem with the ankle he turned during his previous match.“There was a key moment at 3-4 when I saved a break point and then managed to break the next game and had the momentum after that.” (BBC Sport)last_img read more

Schofield, Graham taken in 4th round

first_imgUW\’s O\’Brien Schofield was drafted 130th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2010 NFL Draft.[/media-credit]Former Wisconsin captain O’Brien Schofield knew his torn ACL during senior bowl practices greatly affected his draft stock. He went from a first- or second-round pick in mock drafts to a potential undrafted free agent when his cleat got caught and his left knee turned the wrong way.But after a stellar senior season where he recorded 12 sacks and was second in the nation in tackles for loss, Schofield also knew it only took one team to take a chance on him.And in the fourth round, with the 130th selection in the 2010 NFL draft, the Arizona Cardinals took that chance.“It’s a privilege to get picked this high by a team,” Schofield said in a conference call with reporters. “The Arizona Cardinals taking a chance on me, knowing the person that I am, know that I’ll work hard to get back and produce on the field.”Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt thinks the organization got “first-round talent” with its fourth round selection and Schofield’s accomplishments could not be ignored.“It comes to a point that you can’t ignore the grade that we had on him, and you can’t ignore the production,” Whisenhunt said at the post-draft press conference.The Cardinals appear to be a great fit for Schofield who projects as an outside linebacker at the next level. But before he finds a spot in their 3-4 scheme, Schofield must rehab his knee injury.Scouts believed the torn ACL would rule Schofield out for the 2010 season, but the ex-Badger is determined to make an early impact.“I was told midway through camp I should be able to start doing some things with contact,” Schofield said in the conference call. ” I’m really planning on trying to play this year; I want to go real hard on my rehab to get ready for the 2010 season.”Arizona general manager Rod Graves knew the risks accompanying Schofield’s injured knee, but the Cardinals’ staff is confident he will return with no limitations.“We certainly discussed his injury,” Graves said at the post-draft press conference. “When you look back at the ACLs that we’ve had and the progress we’ve had bringing those players back, we felt like the risk is not like it used to be in respect to those types of injuries.”It’s been a long and stressful few months for Schofield, who thought his career was over after his injury. But behind strong faith and the support of his collegiate family, Schofield remained focused on his NFL dream.“I just had to stay positive. My faith in God really helped me out. I felt like my career was over,” Schofield said in the conference call. “I went back to school and my coaches, teammates, other players in the Big Ten were calling and encouraging me to keep working.”Graham joins Daniels in HoustonYears ago, Owen Daniels took high school senior Garrett Graham on a tour of the Wisconsin campus on his recruiting visit.Now, six years later, Daniels once again will serve as Graham’s tour guide — this time in Houston.“I know quite a bit about Owen Daniels. I was a freshman when he was a senior at Wisconsin. I followed him quite a bit,” Graham said in a conference call with reporters. “He is a great guy to watch and definitely be a great guy to learn under.”The first Badger picked in the draft, Graham was selected in the fourth round by the Houston Texans, and the former UW captain will get a chance to learn behind the 2008 pro bowl tight end, who was also a fourth round pick after graduating from Wisconsin.Texans head coach Gary Kubiak now hopes to have similar success with another Badger tight end.“We think [Graham] is a fine player. We had a little luck catching a fourth-round tight end out of Wisconsin a few years ago so this kid kind of reminds us of Owen,” Kubiak said in a post-draft press conference. “Owen knows the young man and spoke very highly of him. He does a lot of things well. He’s been a captain and been very respected; he is the type of kid we’re looking for.”Graham joins an explosive Texans offense led by quarterback Matt Schaub, wide receiver Andre Johnson and Daniels, who is recovering from a knee injury, and the New Jersey native is excited about his future in Houston.“I’m just grateful to get the opportunity to play in the NFL and have a great opportunity to go to a franchise like the Texans,” Graham said in a conference call with reporters. “I’m just really looking forward to it.”Maragos and Stehle sign free agent dealsSchofield and Graham may have been the only Badgers drafted, but several other Badgers will get a chance to make an NFL roster.Former UW captain, Chris Maragos, signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers.Defensive tackle Jeff Stehle signed with the Denver Broncos and linebacker Jaevery McFadden will work out for the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins over the next two weeks.–Editor’s Note: The original printed version of this story had Jaevery McFadden having signed with the Washington Redskins on Sunday based on several sources posting such information. We have since confirmed that he has only scheduled workouts with the Redskins as well as the Minnesota Vikings. We regret the error.last_img read more

Nate Solomon thrives in off-ball role for Syracuse offense

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Some of Nate Solomon’s most important goals this season have come as a direct result of things he did without the ball. The SU attack has earned nods from more than half of the Orange’s coaching opposition this season for his work. His acrobatic goals against the likes of Hobart, Notre Dame and Cornell — 10 tallies in a three-game stretch, typically shooting and scoring seconds after receiving the ball — have cemented him as one of Syracuse’s top weapons despite sharing an offense with other players who need the ball in their sticks far more often.“He’s pretty sneaky,” said Binghamton coach Kevin McKeown. “He’s opportunistic when he cuts. … He’s a good cutter off ball and takes advantage of you if you’re ball-watching too much.”The sophomore from Alpharetta, Georgia, has had coaches saying similar things all season, and Solomon didn’t even score on any of his five shots against Binghamton. Hobart head coach Greg Raymond, who watched the SU attack score four times in an Orange win on April 5, shook his head at the mention of Solomon’s name.He’s found the back of the net 22 times this season, second-highest on the team, along with six assists for the top-ranked Orange (11-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) that starts the ACC tournament on Friday at 6 p.m. against North Carolina in Durham, North Carolina.“He’s very good off-ball,” SU head coach John Desko said. “He’s a pretty courageous player. He puts himself in those spots where he can catch it and finish, and some of them you know he’s going to get hit. The whole defense collapses in front of the crease. He’s got a lot of moxie.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPrior to the season, Desko and assistant coach Lelan Rogers stressed heavily thatSolomon, the fourth attack in 2016, had the physical capability to be an important piece for the Orange, but needed to learn the offensive systems and spacing. In practices, Rogers threw different slide packages at Solomon, sometimes faking him out, and, he said, generally confusing Solomon.But three months later, it seems to be the other way around, and the key has been his improved dodging. Teammates, coaches and Solomon himself have praised his dodging progression this season. He keeps his head up during them, makes them into open space, feels more confident in them and looks for the ball.“I can feel where I am on the field, even when I’m not even looking at the goal,” Solomon said. “I know where I’m shooting. I’ve tried to look, but I just know when I’m open so I’ll take that shot.”In SU’s matchup against North Carolina, the Tar Heels put defender Austin Pifani on Solomon to lock him down. Desko praised Pifani as one of the best close defenders Solomon would face this season, but said his player beat the UNC defender two or three times going to the goal. The sophomore wriggled free for a goal and two assists by evaluating his opponent — Pifani is 6-foot-2, 215 pounds to Solomon’s 5-foot-10, 177 — and exploiting his advantages: speed and change of direction. “Off-ball movement was really huge,” Solomon said.On his only goal of the day, the one that started a 7-1 run to save the game for SU, he dodged Pifani on the left side of the goal, curled up toward the middle and unleashed a shot with his momentum going all right, mirroring his process for off-ball work.“He’s really good at moving around,” sophomore defender Tyson Bomberry said. “He’s able to find the open spaces, follow the slide and get to the open spot, where you know he’s going to be. It’s hard for the second slide to get to him.”When Bomberry switches onto him in practice, he keeps his stick in Solomon’s chest so he can feel where the attack is going and follow. Solomon recognizes that strategy employed by defenders and credits his off-ball prowess to practice time against those defenders. Scott Firman covers him most practices, Solomon said, and he’s limited nearly every opponent’s best player to below his season average.As Firman puts his stick in Solomon’s chest, the attack feels where that is and tries to lead him one way and cut back the other. His best ability is change of direction, Solomon said, which also comes in useful in an offense typically piloted up top by senior midfielders Sergio Salcido or Nick Mariano. He looks to those two to dictate where he should go. And goalies are aware of where he is on the field.“He’s always moving, you have to be aware of where he is, telling defenders,” Syracuse goalie Evan Molloy said. “A lot of guys catch the ball, wait, analyze the situation. Mariano is like that. But Nate catches and goes right away. … So, he’s pretty hard to guard in that sense.“He always keeps you on your toes.” Comments Published on April 26, 2017 at 12:22 am Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TRlast_img read more

CHARLIE COLLINS TALKING SPORT NOMINATED FOR WEB AWARD

first_imgSports Pundit Charlie Collins has been nominated for the Best Independent Podcaster prize in the 2013 Realex Fire Web Awards.Since leaving Highland Radio in June this year, he has brought his match analyses and news roundups online to charliecollinstalkingsport.comThe “Charlie Collins Talking Sport” podcasts are uploaded weekly to his website, where listeners can download or stream them online. Charlie’s podcasts cover a range of sports like GAA, Athletics and Tennis, with special guests each week, such as Jim McGuinness and John Joe Doherty.The website was recognised by 2013 Realex Fire Web Awards, along with 15 other nominees in the category.The winner of the award will be announced on November 6 in the Four Seasons, Dublin.CHARLIE COLLINS TALKING SPORT NOMINATED FOR WEB AWARD was last modified: September 18th, 2013 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Charlie Collins Talking SportNominationweb awardlast_img read more