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Djokovic, Federer Win In Shanghai Masters

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World number one Novak Djokovic produced another high-quality display to ease past American John Isner in the Shanghai Masters third round.
Serb Djokovic, 32, did not face a break point as he won 7-5 6-3 against the big-serving 16th seed.
Switzerland’s Roger Federer, 38, also reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 win over Belgium’s David Goffin.
Goffin could not convert any of five set points in the opener.
Federer, who won the Shanghai title in 2014 and 2017, will take on German fifth seed Alexander Zverev in the last eight, while Djokovic faces Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Zverev, 22, won 6-0 7-6 (7-4) against Russian Andrey Rublev, who trailed 3-0 and 5-2 in the second before finally pushing his opponent, with 21-year-old Tsitsipas beating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-5).
Defending champion Djokovic, who won the Japan Open last week, has not dropped a set in seven matches since injury forced him out of the US Open.
“I’m very happy with the way I am playing. This is one of the best serving matches I’ve played,” said Djokovic, who won 85% of his service points.
Later on Thursday, Djokovic and compatriot Filip Krajinovic lost 6-3 6-2 to British pair Jamie Murray and Neal Skuspki in the doubles.
Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev saved five set points in the first set before squeezing past Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil.
The US Open runner-up, who won the St Petersburg Open last week, earned a 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 victory to extend his record to two defeats in his past 24 matches.
Those losses came against Spanish world number two Rafael Nadal, who is not playing in Shanghai, in the US Open final last month and the Rogers Cup final in August.
Medvedev, 23, will play 10th seed Fabio Fognini in the last eight after the 32-year-old Italian beat Russian seventh seed Karen Khachanov 6-3 7-5.
Italian 11th seed Marco Berrettini progressed with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, boosting his chances to qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month.

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NNL Confirms Relegation Of 12 Clubs  To NLO

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Ahead of the 2024/2025 season, the board of the Nigeria National League (NNL) has confirmed the relegation of 12 clubs  across  the four groups that played in last season’s league to the third tier National League One (NLO).
Similarly, the promotion of four clubs from the NNL  to  the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) was also  confirmed.
The  NNL had recently concluded the season with its super eight championship at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium in Enugu, where the quartet of  Nasarawa United, El-Kanemi Warriors, Beyond Limits and Ikorodu City FC gained promotion to the elite league.
The NNL in a letter dated July 13, 2024 to the NFF, confirmed the relegation of Stormers FC, Abeokuta, Ekiti United FC of Ado Ekiti and 1472 FC of Lagos from conference A. Also confirmed  were FC One Rocket of Uyo, Giant Brillars FC of Enugu and Trade Safe FC of Lagos from conference B  while NAF FC of Abuja, ABS FC of Ilorin and EFCC FC of Abuja dropped to the NLO from conference C.
Similarly, Mailantarki Care FC of Abuja, Jigawa Golden Stars of Dutse and City FC of Abuja completed the dropped clubs from Conference D.
Confirming the promotion and relegation of the clubs, chairman of the NNL, George Aluo, said the board has formally notified the NFF ,its parent body  about the final outcome of the 2023/2024 season.
The veteran journalist added that the board is currently preparing for its Annual General Meeting (AGM), where it will formally receive all the clubs that would participate in the new season.
“To the glory of God,  the 2023/2024 NNL season ended with giant strides recorded by the board. We have formally notified the NFF of the promotion and relegation of the various clubs that gallantly participated in the league last season,” Aluo said. “Our next program is the Annual General Meeting of the board and clubs, where we will receive the four clubs that dropped from the NPFL and the eight that got promotion from the NLO.”
He added: “We are set and have promised Nigerians that we will improve on our last season’s performance. We have raised the standards at NNL and the new season will no doubt be competitive as our performance has propelled many of the clubs that participated in last season to become giant killers in Nigerian football,” Aluo stated.

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Super Falcons To Land In Bordeaux

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2004 quarter-finalists Nigeria were scheduled to arrive in the French city of Bordeaux yesterday night as the countdown begins for their first outing at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 16 years.
The nine-time African champions, who must negotiate an interesting group that also includes Brazil, Spain and Japan, will depart Spain aboard an Air France flight and arrive in Bordeaux minutes before 11pm.
The delegation of 18 players, four alternate players and officials is scheduled to arrive at the team’s Hotel Mercure abode minutes before midnight.
Quarter-finalists at the Athens 2004 Olympics, the Super Falcons last featured at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in China in 2008, when they lost 0-1 to Korea Democratic People’s Republic, 0-1 to Germany and 1-3 to eventual silver medallists Brazil.
Women’s football began as a demonstration sport at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. The Super Falcons made their entry in 2000 in Australia, where they lost 1-3 each to China, eventual winners Norway and eventual silver medallists USA.

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Nwokolo Donates Kits To Lagos Community

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Nigeria-born boxer, Emeka Nwokolo, has expressed his desire to fight in Nigeria in 2025 while donating boxing kits to young pugilists in Lagos during a press briefing at the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control office in the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos State.
The United States-based fighter, who recently won his fourth and fifth professional titles in June, is on a visit to his homeland where he was born before migrating with his father, legendary boxer Charles Nwokolo.
“I think by next year, by the grace of God, I’ll have a fight coming up in Nigeria. I am going to fight in Lagos or in my hometown, where my dad comes from, in Anambra,” Nwokolo said.
The 31-year-old, who currently holds the WBA North American Boxing Association super welterweight and Universal Boxing Organisation world super welterweight belts, donated gloves and other boxing equipment to aspiring boxers in Lagos.
Secretary General of the NBBofC, Remi Aboderin, praised Nwokolo’s gesture, stating, “This guy is an inspiration to other young ones in Nigeria. More Nigerian boxers are looking up to him to be like him and even maybe want to surpass him.
“He has come in and given back to the society, he came with gloves and other kits and he has shared them among the young ones. On behalf of the NBBofC, we want to thank the Nwokolos for their impact in Nigerian boxing.”

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