Rafael Nadal Wins 62nd Title With Rio Open Win Over Dolgopolov

World number 1 tennis player Rafael Nadal defeated Aleksandra Dolgopolov of Ukraine in straight sets to win the Rio Open 2014 tennis title.  Rafael Nadal who is considered as one of the greatest tennis player of all time and greatest tennis player of clay court won the final in straight sets. Rio Open was organized for the first time in Brazil and it was $1.5 Million prize money event. This ATP 500 event of Brazil saw the participation from star tennis players like world number 1 Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Nicolas almagro, Fabio Fogini, Tommy Robredo. Playing in the inaugural edition of Rio Open, Nadal looked in his sublime playing on his favorite clay court.

Rafael Nadal with Rio Open trophy (Photo credit : indianexpress.com)
On his way to final of Rio Open, Nadal had to sweat long against the fellow Spaniard Pablo andujar. Nadal won the semifinal against Andujar by 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 to book his final berth. Aleksandra Dolgopolov made a big upset in semifinal when he defeated 2nd seeded David Ferrer of Spain. Dolgopolov defeated David Ferrer in straight sets by 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal made number of mistakes in the semi-final, but he recovered quickly and improved quickly when it needed the most to win the title. Nadal looked in control of the match and won the first set by 6-3 in quick time. The way he played in first set it looked as if it is going to be a one sided affair. But, in second set Aleksandra improved his game and put up a tough fight against the number 1.

King of clay court Rafael Nadal has to struggle against the Ukrainian before winning the 2nd set by 7-5 and also the match in straight sets. With the win in 2nd set Nadal won the inaugural Rio Open 2014 title in straight sets over the Aleksanda Dolgopolov. Rio Open is 62nd tour level title for Rafael Nadal and his 2nd title in 2014 after Sydney International Open 2014 title.

Rafael Nadal is tied 7th with Guillermo Vilas in Open era title winners list and he is two trophies behind of the Bjorn Borg and tennis legend Pete Sampras. The title win in Rio de Janerio made Rafael Nadal richer by $316,400 and also 500 ATP points. Dolgopolov despite losing in final got richer by $142,650 and also by 300 ATP points.

Always, when you win a title, it’s special!- Rafael Nadal

World number 1 Rafael Nadal has a 16-1 win-loss record in 2014 calendar year, he lost in the final of Australian Open against Stanislas Wawrinka. Nadal looked in great shape fitness wise and looked equally potent as he used to be after returning to tennis circuit after the injury. The way he played and won the Rio Open title, he looks pretty much on the way to his 9th French Open Title.

Somdev Devvarman Wins Delhi Open Challenger Title

Somdev Devvarman ace tennis players from India defeated Aleksandra Nedovyesov of Kazak in straight sets to win ONGC-GAIL Delhi Open challenger title.  Delhi Open is a $100,000 prize money event played on hard court. The atmosphere in the RK Khanna tennis stadium was quite electrifying and it was at par with the Davis Cup matches. Inspired by the presence of huge crowd chanting “Somdev-somdev” , Devvarman displayed incredible tennis and won the game and the title with complete authority over Aleksandra in straight sets.   
Somdev Devvarman and Aleksandra Nedovyesov with Delhi Open titles 
(Photo credit : indianexpress.com)
Indian no.1 and world ranked 96 tennis player Somdev defeated Evgeny Donskoy of Russia who was seeded 4th in straight sets by 6-4, 6-2 in 108 minutes to cement his place in final. Somdev also took the revenge of loss against the Donskoy in Semi-final of Kolkata open 2014.top seed Aleksandra defeated unseeded Illija Bozoljac of Serbia by 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 in a tough outing.

In final match Somdev Devvarman took the match under his control from the word go. At one time the score was tied at 3-3 but Somdev broke the serve of top seed and got the lead by 4-3. Somdev won his serve and broke the serve of his opponent again the finish first set by 6-3.  In second set Somdev got the lead of 5-0 in no time and finished the 2nd set by 6-1 to win the set as well as the match in just 59 minutes.

Somdev devvarman who is trying hard to improve his ATP ranking was playing in his final after 2011.  This is 3rd challenger title for while he won last challenger title in 2010. Somdev was very happy with his performance in final of Delhi Open and it can be easily felt in his speech.

“I don’t remember the last time I won a match losing just 10 points on my serve.” – Somdev Devvarman

Somdev Devvarman won 100 points which helped him to climb to the rank of 78 in the world. Somdev Devvarman will next play in Debai Open for which he got wild card entry.

Doubles Final:

Wild card entrants Sanam Singh and Saketh Myneni defeated 2nd seeded pair of Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana of Thailand in final of Delhi Open 2014. Unseeded pair from India defeated the thai players team in straight sets by 7-6, 6-3. This is 2nd consecutive challenger title for Indian pair after the win at Kolkata Open 2014.    
Sanam Singh and Saketh Myneni Winners of Delhi Open Challengers

Asia Cup 2014: India & Pakistan Are Favorite to Win Trophy

The fight to prove supremacy in Asia cricket “Asia Cup” is going to start from Feb. 25th 2014 in Bangladesh. This time there will be a new team in form of Afghanistan apart from the defending champion Pakistan, World Champion India, Sri Lanka along with Bangladesh. Asia Cup was first organized way back in 1984 in Sharjah in United Arab Emirate. This ODI cricket tournament has been organized at the interval of two years regularly since its inception by Asia Cricket Council (ACC).  Asia cup has been won by India 5 times, Sri Lanka 4 times while defending champion Pakistan has won it twice. 

Pakistan Asia Cup 2012 Winners (Photo @Dawn.com)
In Earlier editions this tournament saw the participation of teams like Hong Kong and UAE along with  India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Pakistan is current champion and they defeated Bangladesh in 2012 to win the Asia Cup for the 2nd time. This Asia Cup will be the 12th edition since its inception in 1984.


This edition of Asia Cup cricket tournament is going to be organized from Feb. 25th 2014 to March 8th 2014 in Bangladesh. Pakistan and India are favorites to win this title among other contenders Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Bangladesh is hosting this event second time in row and last time ended up as finalists. In all these five cricket teams India and Pakistan are strongest contenders to win this tournament.


Defending champion Pakistan is favorite to win this edition of Asia Cup and defend their title under the captaincy of Misbah Ul Haq. Pakistan have very well balanced team in the presence of batsman like Md. Hafeez, Misbah Ul Haq, Ahmad Sehzad and Saqib Maqsood. They have very good pace attack in Umar gul, Junaid Khan and Anwar Ali while spin department will be taken care by Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rahman. Shahid Afridi is an asset to Pakistan cricket team especially in ODI format as he is equally useful with bat and bowl.


India will be playing under captaincy of Virat Kohli as MS Dhoni is ruled out of the team due to injury. India have been struggling very badly in abroad but Bangladesh is pretty much home for team India. Presence of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan makes India as very powerful batting line up. India is struggling badly with their bowling still they have formidable attack in bhuwaneshwar Kumar, Md Shami, R Jadeja and R Ashwin. Inclusion of new players like Stuart Binny and Ishwar Pandey can be boon for team India.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka are very unpredictable side with good batting and bowling unit. Presence of T Dilshan, K Sangakkara, M Jayawardene provides strength in batting while Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis,Nuwan Kulasekara and Senanayke makes it good attack for slow pitches in Bangladesh. Pace attack is major concern for the Sri Lanka still they are a good team. Skipper Angello Mathews and Thisara Parerra makes Sri Lanka a very good all round team for ODI tournament.


The host nation is aware with the condition more than any other team in the competition. They have good young team building under the captaincy of Mushafiqur Rahim. Thjey have very good batsman in Nasir Hussain, Monimul Haq, Mahmadullah and Shakib Al Hassan. They were given chance in last edition still they defeated India and Sri Lanka on their way to the finals of Asia Cup 2012. So, Bangladesh is an underdog and hope for some surprise from them in the competition.


Afghanistan is participating for the first time in Asia Cup 2014. So, nothing can be said about them still the way Afghanistan has groomed they will be a team to watch in the tournament. They will definitely add altogether a new flavor in this prestigious cricket tournament under the captaincy of Md. Nabi. 

It is very tough to predict a favorite to win this edition of Asia Cup, still I am putting my money on India. Virat Kohli is captaining India for the first time for full series so expect some great results from him as a captain.

          So, my bet is on team India, what about yours ? Which team you are supporting to win this Asia Cup Cricket Tournament 2014 ?

Thomas Berdych Wins ABN AMRO Title Defeating Marin Cilic in Final

Thomas Berdych of Czech defeated Marin Cilic of Croatia in straight sets to win 41st edition of ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament 2014. The ATP 500 point tennis tournament was organized at Ahoy Rotterdam, Netherlands between Feb. 10th to Feb. 16th 2014 which saw the presence of star tennis players like defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Tommy Haas and many others.  ABN AMRO world tennis tournament is a hard court event with prize money of 1,369,305 Euros and it is also one of the most popular ATP 500 tennis tournamnet.  This tournament is also called as the Rotterdam Open.

Marin Cilic and Thomas Berdych posing with ABN-AMRO-2014 Titles (photo:@atpworldtour.com)
Thomas Berdych defeated E. Gulbis of Latvia in straight sets by 6-3, 6-2 to get into the finals. Marin Cilic defeated wild card entrant and home crowd favorite Igor Sijsling in hardly fought match by 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to make his way into the finals. Before this final they have faced each other 6 times out of which Berdych won 4 matches while Cilic has won 2 of them.

Marin Cilic and Thomas Berdych both had great run in the tournament on their way into the finals. But, Cilic started quite opposite and Berdych took quick lead over him. Cilic committed too many double faults and unforced errors which helped Thomas Berdych to win the first set by 6-4. The story continued in the second set and it got worse with the time in match. Berdych maintained his cool & calm composer which helped him win the second set by 6-2 and also the match in just two sets. Berdych now leads their head to head encounter by 5 wins from 7 matches.

Thomas Berdych ended his 16 months long title drought by winning this ABN AMRO World Tennis title in straight sets.  Thomas Berdych won the ABN AMRO tournament for the first time in his career. This is 9th title of Berdych in the 20 final outings in his tennis career. The way Thomas Berdych dominated over Marin Cilic in the final it is good sign for him for the upcoming tennis tournaments.

Berdych is first Czech player to win this title after the Radek Stapenak who won this title in 2006. Winning ABN AMRO title Berdych added 500 ATP points to his points tally and also got richer by 330,750 Euros while his opponent Marin Cilic got 300 ATP points and also got richer by 149,135 Euros.   

Karn Sharma hits Jackpot, Taylor finds Bidder on day 2 IPL 2014 Auction

The countdown to cricketing bonanza IPL-7 begins with the completion of auction of players in 2 days at Bangalore, India. The totals of 154 players were sold in 2 days of auction out of the 511 players who went under the hammer.  After the jackpot of Yuvraj and Karthik on day 1, it was the day of uncapped players Karan Sharma and Rishi Dhawan who fetched Rs. 3.75 Cr. & Rs.3 Cr. respectively. New Zealand cricketer Ross Taylor also found bidder in Delhi-Daredevils on day 2 of IPL auction.

Karn Sharma : Highest Earner on day 2 of IPL-2014 auction

The second day of the auction was for uncapped players and also for the return leg for unsold cricketers of Day 1.  As most of the teams invested most of their money already on top players so they tried to invest their money very wisely to complete the squad. Young Indian bowler Ishwar Pandey went to Chennai Super Kings for 1.5 Cr while Kedhar Jadhav  received Rs. 2 Cr bid from Delhi Daredevils.

To know about the  Day 1 auctions click on : IPL-7 Auctions 2014, Bangalore

The teams are lined-up for the Pepsi IPL 2014 and this time there will only 8 teams like the previous 3 seasons of IPL. Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Kartihk are the most expensive players of IPL-7 auction. Indian Premier League is supposed to be organized from 9th April 2014 to 3rd June 2014 in India. As general elections are supposed to take place in India at that time so IPL-7 may be relocated to either South Africa or UAE.  

This is how the teams of all 8 franchise looks after the auctions:

Delhi Daredevils :

Dinesh Karthik
Murali Vijay
Ross Tayor
Kevin Pieterson
M Shami
Coutler Nile
Q de Kock
JP Duminy
Manoj Tiwary
J Unadkat
K Jadhav
Rahul Sharma
LR Shukla
M Agarwal
Wayne Parnell
Saurabh Tiwary
S Nadeem
James Neesham
Siddhartha Kaul
Rahul Shukla
Jayant Yadav
Milind Kumar
HS Sarath

Kings XI Punjab :

David Miller
Manan Vohra
Mitchell Johnson
Sandeep Singh
George Bailey
Glen Maxwell
Rishi Dhawan
W Saha
Virendra Sehwag
Gurkirat Singh
Shaun Marsh
Beuran Hendricks
Murli Kartik
C Pujara
Tishara Parera
Mandeep Singh
L Balaji
Shivam Sharma
SN Thakur
P Awana
Karanveer Singh
Anurret Singh

Akshar Patel

Kolkata Knight Riders:

Gautam Gambhi
Sunil Narnie
Robin Uthappa
Morne Morkel
Jacques Kallis
Piyush Chawla
Vinay Kumar
Yusuf Pathan
Shakib Al Hasan
Manish Pandey
Chris Lynn
Ryan Doeschate
Pattrick Cummins
Umesh Yadav
Andre Russell
Kulddep Singh Yadav
S Yadav
Veer Pratap Singh
Debabrata Das
M Bisla
SS Mandal

Royal Challebgers Bangalore:

Virat Kohli
Chris Gayle
AB De Villiers
Mitchell Starc
Yuvraj Singh
Nic Maddinson
Albie Morkel
Vijay Zol
Abu Nechim
Parthiv Patel
Ashok Dinda
Sachin Rana
M Muralitharan
Varun Aaron
Shadab Jakati
Ravi Rampal
Harshal Patel
Sandeep Warrier
Yogesh Takawale
YS Chahal
Tanmay Mishra

Sunrisers Hyderabad:

Shikhar Dhawan
Dale Steyn
Parveez Rasool
Ishant Sharma
Amit Mishra
Venugopal Rao
Darren Sammy
Aaron Finch
P Parameswaran
Moises Henriques
Karn Sharma
Amit Paunikar
Naman Ojha
Irfan Pathan
S Anirudha
Brendan Taylor
KL Rahul
Ricky Bhui
Ashish Reddy
Jason Holder
Chama Milind
Manprit Juneja
B Kumar

Rajasthan Royals :

Shane Watson
Stuart Binny
James Faulkner
Ajinkya Rahane
Bradge Hodge
Sanju Samson
Kane Richardson
Steven Smith
Dhawal Kulkarni
Ben Cutting
Rajat Bhatia
Abhishek Nayar
Karun Nair
Tim Southee
Iqbal Abdullah
Kevon Cooper
Unmukt Chand
Deepak Hooda
Rahul Tewatiya
V Malik
Dishant Yagnik
Ankush Bains
Amit Mishra
Pravin Tambe

Mumbai Indians:

Rohit Sharma
Lasith Malinga
Harbhajan Singh
Mike Hussey
Ben Dunk
Ambati Rayudu
Kieron Pollard
Zaheer Khan
Pragyan Ojha
Corey Anderson
Aditya Tare
Jasprit Bumrah
Pawan Suyal
CM Gautam
Josh Hazlewood
AV Wankhade
Shreyas Gopal
MD Lange
Sushant Marathe
K Santokie
Kalaj Saxena

Chennai Super Kings:

MS Dhoni
R Jadeja
Dwayne Bravo
Suresh Raina
R Ashwin
Dwayne Smith
Faf Du Plesis
B McCullum
Ashish Nehra
Ishwar Pandey
Mohit Sharma
Matt Henry
Ben Hilfenhaus
John Hastings
Samuel Badree
Mithun Manhas
Ronit More
Vijay Shanka
Baba Aparajith
Pawan Negi

Now the question arises, which franchises has succeed to build the strongest team ? 

Are we going to see a new winner in IPL-7 ?

Please share your views and thoughts through the comment box !

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