Iain's Feed
May 11, 2014

Tennis-Sharapova rallies past Halep to win Madrid title

MADRID, May 11 (Reuters) – Maria Sharapova recovered from a woeful start and fought back to overwhelm rising talent Simona Halep 1-6 6-2 6-3 in the Madrid Open final and claim her 31st career title on Sunday.

Russian Sharapova, a former world number one, needed to draw on all her experience on clay in the Spanish capital to see off the 22-year-old Romanian fourth seed, who was appearing in the final of a premier event for the first time.

May 9, 2014

Nadal coasts past Berdych to reach Madrid semis

MADRID (Reuters) – World number one Rafa Nadal thumped Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-2 on Friday to set up a semi-final against the Madrid Open’s surprise package, unseeded fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista.

Defending champion Nadal has not been at his dominant best on his favored clay this year, losing in the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

May 9, 2014

Tennis-Nadal coasts past Berdych to reach Madrid semis

MADRID, May 9 (Reuters) – World number one Rafa Nadal thumped Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-2 on Friday to set up a semi-final against the Madrid Open’s surprise package, unseeded fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista.

Defending champion Nadal has not been at his dominant best on his favoured clay this year, losing in the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

Apr 30, 2014

Ancelotti close to delivering Real’s elusive ‘decima’

MADRID (Reuters) – In mild-mannered Italian Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez may finally have found the man capable of sculpting his expensively assembled squad into a unit capable of delivering an elusive 10th European crown.

Ancelotti’s side produced a devastating performance at Bayern Munich on Tuesday to humble the holders 4-0 and advance 5-0 on aggregate to their first Champions League final since they won a record-extending ninth continental title in 2002.

Apr 30, 2014

Soccer-Ancelotti close to delivering Real’s elusive ‘decima’

MADRID, April 30 (Reuters) – In mild-mannered Italian Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez may finally have found the man capable of sculpting his expensively assembled squad into a unit capable of delivering an elusive 10th European crown.

Ancelotti’s side produced a devastating performance at Bayern Munich on Tuesday to humble the holders 4-0 and advance 5-0 on aggregate to their first Champions League final since they won a record-extending ninth continental title in 2002.

Apr 29, 2014

Costa Rica in safe hands with “Falcon” Navas

By Iain Rogers

(Reuters) – Costa Rica may have little chance of World Cup success but in Keylor Navas, who plays his club football in Spain for Levante, they know that at least their goalkeeper is among the best in the business.

The 27-year-old was even hailed recently as the world’s number one by Levante coach Joaquin Caparros and his performances this season prompted the official La Liga website (www.ligabbva.com) to proclaim him “the league’s best” ahead of the likes of Victor Valdes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois.

Apr 29, 2014

Soccer-World-Costa Rica in safe hands with “Falcon” Navas

April 29 (Reuters) – Costa Rica may have little chance of World Cup success but in Keylor Navas, who plays his club football in Spain for Levante, they know that at least their goalkeeper is among the best in the business.

The 27-year-old was even hailed recently as the world’s number one by Levante coach Joaquin Caparros and his performances this season prompted the official La Liga website (www.ligabbva.com) to proclaim him “the league’s best” ahead of the likes of Victor Valdes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois.

Apr 28, 2014

Boy wonder Alexis carrying Chilean hopes in Brazil

MADRID (Reuters) – There are many examples of players who have shrugged off the poverty of formative years to become household names but Chile forward Alexis Sanchez can point to a background that was about as tough as they come.

Born in Tocopilla in Chile’s northern mining region, a grim port city dominated by a gigantic power plant and a saltpeter processing facility, Alexis barely knew his father and was raised by a mother who scraped a living as a cleaner at her son’s school.

Apr 28, 2014

Spain’s dominance faces ultimate test in Brazil

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s desire for glory on the international stage is as strong as ever but the champions will need something special if they are to become the first Europeans to win the World Cup in the Americas.

The only nation from the continent to triumph in soccer’s global showpiece outside Europe, thanks to their triumph in South Africa four years ago, La Roja got an indication of the task facing them when they were humbled 3-0 by hosts Brazil in last year’s Confederations Cup final.

Apr 28, 2014

Spain’s Costa a potential thorn in Brazil’s side

MADRID (Reuters) – A World Cup final featuring hosts Brazil and holders Spain is not an unlikely scenario and Diego Costa could find himself playing a starring role for his adopted country against his native one on July 13.

The Brazil-born forward raised hackles among his compatriots when he accepted an invitation late last year to play for world and European champions Spain.