The Worlds Favourite Playground

Monday, Apr 06th

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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini notched up his first piece of silverware of the season as his all conquering Citizens beat Sunderland 3-1 at Wembley to claim the 2014 Capital One Cup. A 10th minute goal from Sunderland forward Fabio Borini, on loan from Liverpool, had given the Black Cats' fans an opportunity to dream of glory as they held on to that lead heading into the break, but two high quality goals from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri, within barely a minute of each other put City comfortably on the path to glory. Substitute Jesús Navas came off the bench to seal the win for the Citizens, scoring late in the piece, having been well picked out by Toure.

It was an especially crucial win for Pellegrini, who personally hadn't won a trophy in over 10 years, and gives the Manchester City Management confidence that they have the right man at the helm of affairs at the club.

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Top seed Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) produced near flawless tennis tonight on Ken Rosewall Arena, capturing the Apia International Sydney 2014 title with an emphatic 6-3 6-1 victory over defending champion and local favourite Bernard Tomic.

Tomic wasn’t given any opportunities as Del Potro swept to a straight-set victory in just 53 minutes, clinching the win with a 208km/h ace and raising his arms in triumph. Things won't get any easier for Tomic, who has drawn world no.1 Rafael Nadal in the first round of the Australian Open.

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In her third semifinal appearance at a WTA tournament, Eugenie Bouchard overcame that hurdle for the first time in her career to reach her maiden WTA final at the HP Open in Osaka, Japan, an International Series event.

Bouchard went up against Japanese wildcard Kurumi Nara, ranked no. 87 in the world, who upset eighth-seeded Monica Puig en route to the semifinals. The 19-year-old Canadian showcased her superiority in posting a convincing 6-2, 6-2 victory after 86 minutes of play. In the win, Bouchard won 75 percent of her first serve points, and lost her serve only once in the match. She becomes the first Canadian since Rebecca Marino at Memphis in 2011 to reach a WTA final. Aleksandra Wozniak is the last Canadian to win a title, at Stanford in 2008.

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Milos Raonic was trying to win his second title in as many weeks and the sixth of his career on Sunday against Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, top seed at the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo, an ATP World Tour 500 event.

The two players had met once previously, this summer at the Rogers Cup, and it was Raonic who came out on top on that occasion. The 22-year-old Canadian was unable to make it two in a row though as he fell 7-6(5), 7-5 to world no. 7 to lose the Tokyo final for a second consecutive year.

Although Raonic had three break point chances in the first set, it was Del Potro who nicked it in a tiebreak before securing the only break of the match at 5-5 in the second set before serving out the match in the following game.

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Las Vegas loves the No. 21, and on Saturday night at the Party Rock Open the Vegas tennis fans celebrated with 21-year-old Southern Californian CoCo Vandeweghe, who shuffled into the final round of Redfoo’s USTA Women’s $50,000 Pro Circuit event with a dominating 6-1, 6-3 win over Georgia’s Anna Tatishivili at the Darling Tennis Center.

Vandeweghe will have to get past her junior rival Melanie Oudin if she is to walk away with the $7,600 singles prize money on Sunday as Oudin, born in 1991 like Vandeweghe, knocked out 17-year-old Japanese amateur Mayo Hibi, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, in a tight match that ended on two consecutive net cords in favor of Oudin.

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Milos Raonic advanced to his ninth career final and third of 2013 on Saturday at the Thailand Open in Bangkok, an ATP World Tour 250 event.

The 22-year-old Canadian, seeded third in the tournament, avenged his tough five set loss to Richard Gasquet in the Round of 16 at the U.S. Open last month with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over the Frenchman in the semifinals. Raonic hit 23 aces, won 81 percent of his first serve points, and managed to break Gasquet’s serve twice in the match.

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The 2013 US Open women's semi-finals failed to live up to their billing as the two favourites Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka powered their way into the final without too much ado. Serena continued to be at her dominant best as she annihilated another former French Open champion, veteran Chinese star Li Na, 6-0, 6-3 to advance to her 21st Grand Slam final.

Not quite as dominant was Victoria Azarenka, who had to battle through a tight first set before romping home in the second against world no.83 Flavia Pennetta, 6-4, 6-2.

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