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Federer, Djokovic Pay Tribute To Retiring Briton

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Swiss great Roger Federer hopes retiring Briton Andy Murray can finish his career “the way he wants” at Wimbledon later this year.
Meanwhile, world number one Novak Djokovic says he will carry “beautiful memories” from his time on and off court with the Scot.
Murray, 31, plans to retire after Wimbledon but admits the Australian Open could be his final tournament.
“The news has hit us top guys hard,” Federer, 37, said.
“I hope he can play a good Australian Open and he can keep playing beyond that.”
Although Federer is the defending champion at the Australian Open, and Djokovic goes into the tournament as the top seed, Murray’s impending retirement was – understandably – a prominent part of their first news conferences at Melbourne Park.
Murray has often been considered, alongside them and Rafael Nadal, as one of the ‘big four’ on the ATP Tour, even though he is well short of the Grand Slam victories recorded by his rivals.
Despite Federer turning 38 this year, and Nadal struggling with injury throughout his career, it is Murray who looks set to quit playing first after battling his hip injury for almost two years.
“I was disappointed and sad, a little bit shocked, to know now we’re going to lose him at some point,” said Federer, who has won an all-time record 20 Grand Slam singles titles.
“But we’re going to lose everybody at some point. It’s just now that it’s definite.”
In addition to his major titles, Murray also won two Olympic golds and 45 ATP tournaments, and led Britain to the 2015 Davis Cup.
“He won everything he wanted to win. Anybody would substitute their career with his,” added Federer.
“It’s a tough one, but on down the road he can look back on and be incredibly proud of everything he has achieved.”
Andy Murray was in tears as he spoke to journalists ahead of the Australian Open
Serbia’s Djokovic and Murray were born just a week apart in May 1987, meaning they grew up together on the junior circuit before moving on to the senior tour.
The pair have regularly battled for the biggest titles, with Murray beating Djokovic to claim his first Grand Slam at the 2012 US Open and then again to become the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years in 2013.
However, 14-time Slam champion Djokovic has triumphed in five other major finals, including four at Melbourne Park.
“I will carry beautiful memories from the court and off the court with him. We’ve played lots of epic matches,” said Djokovic, who starts against American qualifier Mitchell Krueger on Tuesday.
“To see him struggle so much and go through so much pain, it’s very sad and it hurts me as his long-time friend, colleague, rival.”
The pair played together in a practice match in Melbourne on Thursday, hours before Murray made his announcement the following morning, but Djokovic insisted he was not holding back against the Scot.
“It was very obvious for everyone, you didn’t need to be on court, to notice he’s struggling and not moving as well as he normally does,” he said.
Djokovic says he can relate “a little bit” to Murray’s predicament after having elbow surgery last year before recovering to win the Wimbledon and US Open titles.
“I think his injury of the hips is something certainly far worse than my injury, because it’s obviously something he’s been carrying for couple of years,” he said.
“He’s unable, even after surgery, to get back to the desired level.
“As an athlete, injury is probably the biggest obstacle and enemy that you can have.”

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Aisha Buhari Cup: FIFA, CAF Presidents Grace Kick-Off, Falcons Win 2-0

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Substitute Gift Monday handed Nigeria a sweet 2-0 victory on the opening day of the maiden edition of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament in the City of Lagos.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State led eminent political big-wigs, and FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and CAF President, Patrice Motsepe led football’s top echelon, including President of NFF and FIFA council member, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to the showpiece at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.
Monday, interestingly a player of FC Robo Queens of Lagos, spurned in the air to meet a cross by Captain Asisat Oshoala in the 83rd minute and nodded past goalkeeper Fatoumata Karenta, six minutes after coming into the fray for Francisca Ordega.
The goal put the Super Falcons in the lead after a rather turgid day on Lagos island, with the Malians showing greater zest and desire in the opening half and returning after the recess with the same impressive fighting spirit.
The visiting Female Eagles had survived a raid on their area in the 5th minute as Nigeria looked to go into the lead with a corner, but the defence cleared. Nine minutes later, Ordega sidenetted from another quick dash upfront, and in the 18th minute, Ageusissa Diarra tested Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie from a 30-yard free-kick.
In the second half, Uchenna Kanu sidenetted in the 67th minute, before Oshoala, who should have scored with only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to get past Karenta. In the 74th minute, Karenta again saved from Kanu.
In the 83rd minute, Monday rose highest in the box and nodded past Karenta, bringing so much excitement to the arena.
One minute into added time, Monday was again at the end of an Asisat’s assist, and looped the ball over an advancing Karenta to put huge smiles on the faces of Nigerians.

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Enyimba Appoints Finidi George As Head Coach

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The former Ajax and Real Betis winger, George Finidi, who replaces Fatai Osho whose contract expired at the end of August, has joined the eight-time Nigerian champions, Enyimba FC, on a two-year contract.
George, a legend of Nigeria’s men’s senior national team, made 62 appearances for the Super Eagles in an illustrious playing career that lasted up to fifteen years.
He was a key member of the glorious era that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and represented the country at two FIFA World Cups, the 1994 and 1998 editions.
Tidesports source reports that at club level, George won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and went on to play for Real Betis, RCD Mallorca, and Ipswich Town.
His first official game as Enyimba head coach will be the CAF Confederation Cup’s second preliminary round fixture against Senegalese side, Diambers FC in mid-October.
Speaking to Enyimba’s media immediately after putting pen to paper, George said, “I have to say it’s a great opportunity for the club to have this confidence in me.
“I want to thank the chairman, the members of the board, and the supporters for even thinking about me. On my own part, I will be here to just work and do the job. It’s never going to be easy but I’m here to work and make the team win.”
Chairman of Enyimba, Felix Anyansi Agwu, stated that the arrival of George represents a new chapter for the club.
“I believe that the time has come for us as a club to open up a new chapter, a chapter that will showcase the many hardwork that has been going on behind the scene and usher in lots of success.
“For us to have engaged a coach like Finidi George who is coming from Europe is a clear statement of intent about our aspirations,” Agwu said.

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Arteta Sees Light For Arsenal

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he sees a bright future for the club despite suffering their worst start to a season for 67 years.
The Gunners climbed off the bottom of the Premier League table with their first goal and first points of the campaign by beating Norwich 1-0 last weekend.
However, Arteta’s position is still under scrutiny ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Burnley after spending £150 million ($207 million) on new players during the transfer window.
The Spaniard claimed after beating Norwich he had enjoyed the “best 10 days of his career in this industry” during an international break when his side was rock bottom of the table.
And Arteta was equally optimistic on where Arsenal are headed with all six of his summer signings aged 23 or under.
“I’m telling you I’m very positive most of the time. I’ve seen the light and I can see bright lights,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“There can be bumps in the road within that light, but I can see a lot of light.”
Arteta is also hopeful the criticism his squad suffered after defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City will only serve to make them stronger.
“It’s tough because it hurts, because you want to see something different. But what you want is not always what happens,” he added.
“Things happen for a reason and maybe what is happening had to happen and it’s going to be really good for the club and really good for myself and everybody experiencing that situation. We have to believe that.”

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