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Monday, Aug 02nd

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Tennis Canada announced Tuesday that world No. 3 Roger Federer and world No. 4 Rafael Nadal have withdrawn from Rogers Cup in Toronto.

“I have made the tough decision to withdraw from Rogers Cup,” said Federer. “Toronto is one of my favourite events on the calendar and I am disappointed that I won’t be able to compete in front of the great tennis fans in Canada. Looking ahead, it is best for me that I take more time after Wimbledon. I look forward to coming back to Canada next year and I wish Karl Hale and everyone at Tennis Canada a very successful tournament.”

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nadal_champFalling to his back at the end of it all, Rafael Nadal confirmed yet again his status as the King of Clay claiming a record 8th championship at Roland Garros – the first man in history to do so at the slams. The 3rd seed was the prohibitive favourite coming in to the final and defeated compatriot David Ferrer in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. It was scoreline that in some ways belied the fight that Ferrer put up but Nadal was too often the stronger player and the gutsy Ferrer often faltered at the big moments in his first appearance at a slam final. This was Nadal’s 4th straight championships here in Paris, his second such streak having triumphed here between 2005 and 2008 before being famously upset in 2009 by Robin Soderling. That remains his only loss on the red clay here as he became the “winningest” player with 59 wins moving ahead of the great Roger Federer.

Nadal was understandably pleased with his triumph and thanked his family, team and his fans for their support. He recalled the difficult layoff period but was thrilled to return to Roland Garros and achieve this 8th championship which was unimaginable to him. He gave credit to Ferrer too, for making his first slam final. Ferrer repaid the compliment calling Nadal the 'best'. He was happy to have made his first final and stated that he would all he could to come back next year.

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In a match that has all the makings of a potential blockbuster, World No.2 Roger Federer could meet his long time nemesis Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Amazingly it has been exactly a year since the two great rivals faced each other with Federer getting the better of the Spaniard right here at Indian Wells, 6-3, 6-4 in their last meeting.

In what could be a tricky draw for the defending champion, World No.2 Federer would have to go past Julien Benneteau in the third round and then either countryman Stan Wawrinka or last year’s runner up John Isner in the fourth round before his potential match with Nadal. Nadal on the other hand, opens his campaign either against local boy Ryan Harrisson or Japanese Go Soeda and he should go unscathed till the fourth round where he’s drawn to play Serbian No.2 Janko Tipsarevic.

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rafael nadal12009 champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next month's Australian Open.

A stomach virus has plagued the Spanish superstar's preparation for the summer as he attempted to rejoin the tour for the first time since a mid-year knee injury. Ironically, in the end it was the virus, and not the knee, that prompted his decision.

"I am sorry and very sad to announce that I will not play in the Australian Open," the former champion said. "My knee is coming along okay, but a stomach virus has left me unable to get ready in time to tackle the rigours of a Grand Slam.

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roberto_di_matteoChelsea owner Roman Abramovich is known for having an itchy finger, and the Russian billionaire wasted no time in sacking his 8th manager, giving Champions League and FA Cup double winner Roberto di Matteo the old heave ho just 5 months since offering the former Chelsea caretaker manager a new 2 year contract.

Chelsea have had a poor 4 weeks by their illustrious standards, and their showing in Turin last night was particularly appalling as they were beaten 3-0 on the night by Juventus, and truth be told the scoreline could have been a lot worse. The Blues have lost top spot in the Premier League, having gone win-less in 4 games, and are on verge of making an early exit from the UEFA Champions League unless Shakhtar Donetsk do them a favour and beat Juventus at the Donbass Arena in a fortnight's time.

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