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jokergreen Dec 21 '19
MADRID, Spain -- Rafael Nadal finally won another clay-court title, although not in a manner that alleviated any concerns about his recent form on his favourite surface. Randy Foye Jersey . The top-ranked Spaniard won his fourth Madrid Open on Sunday after Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw with a hip injury when trailing 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 in the final. And Nadal, who is coming off to uncharacteristic quarterfinal losses on clay, said his mental strength is still lacking just two weeks ahead of the French Open. "I was blocked. There were some moments where, I dont know, I couldnt find myself," said Nadal, whose victory guarantees he will stay No. 1 in the rankings heading into Roland Garros. "It wasnt that I didnt want to play or I was missing intensity, I was just mentally blocked." Earlier, Maria Sharapova bounced back from a poor start to defeat Simona Halep 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to win the womens title. Nadal became the first repeat winner in Madrid but it was only his second clay-court title of the year, and third overall in 2014. Nishikoris aggressive start allowed him to jump out to a 5-1 lead as his powerful groundstrokes overwhelmed Nadal, who struggled to find an answer against his Japanese opponent. "We dont deserve the victory, (Nishikori) deserves it, he played better than us the whole time," Nadals uncle and coach Toni Nadal told Antenna 3 TV. "We had a lot of luck today. We didnt really come back, he was hurt." Nishikori broke Nadal again to start the second set to leave the Magic Box centre crowd, which included Queen Sofia, dumbfounded to find Nadal struggling so badly. Nishikori first experienced discomfort while leading 4-2 and Nadal took advantage to break back. Nishikori soon needed a medical timeout for treatment on his back and hip, and his energy then looked sapped as he hit a shot long to concede the set. Nishikori, who withdrew from next weeks tournament in Rome to recover in time for the French Open, visibly struggled in the third before eventually retiring. "It was very sad, especially (since) I was winning, playing almost best tennis in my life," said Nishikori, who will become the first Japanese player in the top-10 when the new rankings are released. "It was very tough mentally for me. But I get a lot of confidence from this tournament. "You never know what happens today if Im not hurt. I may have chance to win." Sharapova, who lost to Serena Williams in last years final, crumbled in the opening set when she held her serve just once. But Haleps serve dipped in the second set, and Sharapova started hitting pinpoint ground strokes that kept the fifth-ranked Romanian running. The ninth-ranked Russian converted both her break points in the set to even the match. Sharapova then pulled away in the deciding set with an early break to follow up her triumph in Stuttgart with a maiden title in Madrid. Since the 2011 French Open, Sharapova has a 47-3 record on clay -- with all three defeats coming to Williams. The top-ranked American was the two-time defending champion in Madrid but withdrew with a leg injury on Friday. "I dont know how I pulled it off," Sharapova said after winning her 32nd career title. "I came close last year, and I didnt have a great first set today, but I knew it wasnt over until the last point was played." Sharapova planned to continue her centre court celebration on the plane ride to the Rome Masters. "They better have some champagne for me," Sharapova said. "I need a drink." Christian Laettner Jersey .J. - The New Jersey Devils know the odds are against them as they chase a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Radoslav Nesterovic Jersey . Vargas (8-3) allowed four singles and two walks while striking out five, allowing only two runners from a diluted Twins lineup to reach second base. Mike Moustakas and Jarrod Dyson hit RBI singles in the second inning against Kevin Correia (4-10), and that was all Vargas needed.NEW YORK, N.Y. - Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Colome has been suspended for the first 50 games of the season for a positive steroids test. The 25-year-old right-hander tested positive for Boldenone, the commissioners office said Monday. Boldenone is used primarily for the treatment of horses. Colome was 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three midseason starts as a rookie last year. Colome was optioned March 8 to Triple-A Durham of the International League. "We were disappointed to learn of Alex Colomes violation of Major League Baseballs Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the Rays said in a statement. "We fully support Major League Baseballs policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-eenhancing substances from our game. Minnesota Timberwolves Shirts. quot; Colome, a native of the Dominican Republic, reached the majors for the first time last season, defeating the Miami Marlins in his debut on May 30. He was recalled again in June, making two starts against the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers before hurting his pitching elbow. Colome was viewed as valuable rotation depth in light of an off-season elbow surgery that will keep right-hander Jeremy Hellickson out until May. He is the second player suspended this year under the big league drug program following Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was banned for the entire season for violations of the drug agreement and labour contract. ' ' '
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