Djokovic wins in Miami, surpasses Nadal with most Masters titles

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Miami, April 4 (IANS) World No.1 Novak Djokovic breezed past Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the Miami Open final 6-3, 6-3, thus surpassing Spanish great Rafael Nadal as the tennis player with the most Masters 1,000 titles, with 28.

With his win on Sunday, Djokovic also equalled United States icon Andre Agassi with six Key Biscayne titles and the most consecutive trophies with three, reports Efe.

But his achievement goes beyond that, having won the first two Masters 1,000 matches of the season — Indian Wells and Miami — in each of the last three years, a feat never before achieved.

Djokovic — who has played in 40 Masters 1,000 finals tourneys — proved unstoppable deep in the backcourt during the match lasting an hour and 26 minutes on Sunday, from where he allowed Nishikori, who admittedly was having problems with his left knee, few options.

So far this year, 28-year-old Djokovic has notched 28 victories and one defeat — abandoning the outing in Dubai due to eye problems — and has won four titles: Doha, the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami.

Zenit tops CSKA Moscow 2-0 in Russian Premier League

St. Petersburg (Russia), April 4 (IANS) Two second-half goals from Brazilian star forward Hulk helped Zenit shutout second placed CSKA Moscow 2-0 in a Russian Premier League football.

A CSKA win would have moved them ahead of Rostov at the top of league standings. Instead the win keeps Zenit’s hopes alive for another Russian Premier League title, reports Xinhua news agency.

The win, in Petrovsky stadium here on Sunday, boosts Zenit into fourth place in the overall standings, one point behind Lokomotiv Moscow, who defeated Rubin Kazan, and four points behind league leader Rostov.

“We haven’t won three matches in a row for a long time,” said Zenit head coach Andre Villas Boas on Sunday.

“It’s a very important win but we still have to recover some points.”

Zenit seemingly controlled the pace of the match from the start at home against CSKA. Midfielder Danny sent the ball into the net in the 23rd minute but the goal was ruled offside.

After a scoreless first half for both clubs, Zenit’s Brazilian star Hulk notched two goals, the first in the 54th minute from the box, and in the 79th minute on a winding free kick.

CSKA’s strong league start of 15 consecutive wins has now been nullified after losing five of its last eight games. Zenit meanwhile has won three straight matches.

FC Zenit will both play next Saturday against FK Amkar Perm while CSKA Moscow faces Mordovia Saransk. FC Rostov remains in the top position of Russian Premier League standings following its 2-0 win over Spartak Moscow.

Monchengladbach crush Berlin 5-0 in Bundesliga

Berlin, April 4 (IANS) Borussia Monchengladbach jumped into the top four after cruising to a 5-0 over Hertha Berlin in the 28th round of Bundesliga football league.

Thorgan Hazard’s brace helped Monchengladbach to secure their third straight win here on Sunday and the 14th victory of the season, reports Xinhua news agency.

From the kick-off, Monchengladbach staged a powerful performance to press Berlin on the defensive.

However, the opener came from a failed clearance of Berlin custodian Rune Jarstein that allowed Mahmoud Dadoud to tee up for midfielder Hazard, who slotted home from 15 metres.

Monchengladbach remained a steady threat for Berlin’s defence but had to wait till the hour mark before Andre Hahn finished a combination via Fabian Johnson to double the lead.

Berlin were unable to put up some resistance although goalkeeper Jarstein denied a number of efforts from Monchengladbach. Nevertheless, Jarstein was hapless after substitute Patrick Herrmann poked home the third goal following a rebound in the 76th minute.

The third goal took the wind out of Berlin’s sails. Monchengladbach weren’t done with the scoring as Hazard wrapped his brace in the 80th minute before Ibrahima Traore made it 5-0 five minutes later.

“We played a good game. I am very satisfied. We would like to stay in the top four but wen know how difficult it is,” Borussia Monchengladbach coach Andre Schubert said after the match.

“The 5-0 win for Monchengladbach is the right result as it reflects our performance. There is nothing to sugercoat,” Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai said.

With the result, Monchengladbach climb on the fourth place with 45 points, only three points behind third-placed Berlin.

Elsewhere, Cologne were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Hoffenheim.

Spain’s Marquez wins Argentina MotoGP Grand Prix

Buenos Aires, April 4 (IANS) Spain’s Marc Marquez (Honda) won the second race of the MotoGP championship, the Argentina Grand Prix, at Termas de Rio Hondo.

Marquez’s rival, Italy’s Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), on Sunday finished second after an unusual accident between the two Ducati teammates, Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, in the final turn, reports Xinhua.

Spain’s Dani Pedrosa (Honda) finished third while the reigning champion, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), did not finish after falling off his bike.

With this victory, Marquez gains revenge over Rossi, who took the win in 2015 after a fall by the former.

Shortly before the start, authorities reduced the race from 25 laps to 20 due to wet weather while also forcing every rider to pit between the 9th and 11th laps to change bikes.

Marquez took the lead shortly after the start and while Rossi momentarily overtook him, the Spaniard settled into an unassailable lead after changing bikes.

The Italian legend, who had many fans in the packed stands, lost output and fell back to fourth before finishing in second after the two Ducatis wiped out.

The next MotoGP Grand Prix will take place in Austin, Texas on April 10.

Former Olympian wrestler charged over deaths of 23 horses

Melbourne, April 4 (IANS) A former Australian Olympian wrestler and horse trainer was charged with animal cruelty after the discovery of 23 dead horses in Bulla, north of Melbourne, local media reported on Monday.

Bruce Akers, 63, was charged with 92 counts of animal cruelty and criminal damage offences after neighbours on Sunday found the decaying corpses of 22 horses on his property, as well as 22 other horses suffering from malnutrition, The Age newspaper reported. Another horse was put down, reports Efe.

Akers, who represented Australia as a welterweight wrestler in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games, appeared in magistrate’s court Monday to hear the charges against him.

Police are looking for carers for the malnourished horses, which vets said were emaciated.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said they were warned about the starved horses almost two weeks ago, but that inspectors were unable to investigate without police protection.

“This is an appalling situation. It is a tragedy that animals would be left to suffer in this way,” RSPCA Victoria’s acting chief executive Jon McGregor said.

If found guilty of causing the deaths of the horses, Akers faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to AU$74,620 ($57,952).

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