first_imgNew Delhi, Jul 20 (PTI) Indian tennis players, who already are struggling to get home tournament, heaved a sigh of relief that countrys only ATP World Tour event has not moved out of the country. IMG (Reliance), owners of the ATP 250 tournament, ended their contract with the TNTA to take Chennai Open out of the southern city and signed a deal with MSLTA. They have rebranded the tournament as Maharashtra Open, which will now be played in Pune from 2018 till 2022. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who won the 21st and last edition of Chennai Open with compatriot Rohan Bopanna, said hes happy that India still has a tournament. “Its sad that its not in Chennai anymore. It is what it is. But I am excited to play in Pune as always. India has one tournament a year which I consider a home event so Im happy that its still in our country,” the Chennai lad told PTI. “It would be nice to see more such level events in India through the year to help us all go higher in the rankings because playing at home is a big advantage. Of course this would only be possible if the AITA has any intent of creating a better system of tournament for the players,” the southpaw added with a tinge of sarcasm. India had hosted four ATP Challengers in 2015 but in 2016 only two were held ? Delhi Open and Pune Challenger. This year not a single Challenger has been hosted in the country so far and half the season has gone, making life tough for the players who have to travel abroad to earn points. The Delhi Open, usually held in February, is also not in the calender with DLTA failing to raise funds through sponsorship for the USD 50,000 event. AITA has expressed inability to raise funds and sought financial support from the government but the Sports Ministry snubbed the Federation, saying that it was their responsibility to raise funds and orgainise the tournaments. Saketh Myneni, who has returned to circuit after a left foot injury and a shoulder issue, said, “Sorry to hear that Chennai wont be the venue for the only ATP tournament in India but glad at least it didnt leave the country.” N Sriram Balaji, who is making good progress as a doubles player now, said he had “great memories in Chennai”. “It was my first ATP tour event in my career and my home event as well. Of course its a big disappointment that the tournament has been taken away from Chennai. It has been there for 21 years. Pune is a nice city too. I loved playing there but it had become a tradition to have the ATP event in Chennai. “I guess if there was another city which I wouldve loved to play would be Pune because of the tennis loving people and the crowd pune can gather for tennis events. Hope it stays like that,” he said. PTI AT ATK ATKadvertisementlast_img read more

first_imgGENEVA (AP) — Germany is out of contention for another international trophy after France handed Joachim Loew’s struggling team its latest loss on Tuesday.The balance of power in European soccer is swinging even further away from the 2014 World Cup champion since its poor title defense in Russia.World Cup winner France rallied for a 2-1 win in the UEFA Nations League against Germany, which fell to a fourth loss in its last six competitive games.The result means Germany, eliminated in the World Cup group stage in Russia, cannot advance to the Final Four tournament in June for the Nations League top-tier group winners.Germany wasted its first-half dominance at Stade de France, having led via a 14th-minute penalty from Toni Kroos.Antoine Griezmann struck twice in the second half — a precisely guided header in the 62nd and a penalty in the 80th — to take France’s unbeaten streak to 15 games and extend its lead in Group 1 of League A.France’s Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring his side’s 2nd goal during a UEFA Nations League soccer match between France and Germany at Stade de France stadium in Saint Denis, north of Paris, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)Germany also risks an embarrassing relegation to the second-tier League B when it finishes the group program against the Netherlands on Nov. 19.Elsewhere in the Nations League, Ukraine won promotion to League A by beating the Czech Republic 1-0 in Group 1 of the second tier.Ukraine, coached by former star forward Andriy Shevchenko, also improved its chances of qualifying for the 2020 European Championship. Nations League group winners are assured of a place in the playoffs for the Euros, if they don’t qualify directly.UEFA created the Nations League to replace most international friendly games, though Belgium’s schedule was free Tuesday to host the neighboring Netherlands in a 1-1 draw in Brussels.France was overrun for a period in the first half after Germany converted a penalty that followed midfielder Paul Pogba being dispossessed too easily in his own half. German winger Leroy Sane was sent clear and his low cross hit the arm of defender Presnel Kimpembe.France drew level when left-back Lucas Hernandez crossed for his Atletico Madrid teammate Griezmann to guide a rising header beyond goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s dive.France’s Kylian Mbappe, 2nd left, challenges for the ball with Germany’s Toni Kroos, left, and Germany’s Toni Kroos while Germany’s Matthias Ginter, right, looks on during a UEFA Nations League soccer match between France and Germany at Stade de France stadium in Saint Denis, north of Paris, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)Griezmann later wrong-footed Neuer from the penalty spot after a foul was called on defender Mats Hummels against midfielder Blaise Matuidi.Television replays showed Matuidi appeared to stand on Hummels’ ankle sliding into the challenge, but UEFA is not using video review in its competitions this season.UKRAINE UPA third straight win for Ukraine ensured it became the first League B team promoted into the top tier for the next edition of the Nations League.Ruslan Malinovskyi’s long-distance shot in the first half was enough to beat the Czechs in Kharkiv.Wales now leads Group 4 in League B after beating Ireland 1-0 in Dublin through Harry Wilson’s second-half free kick. Wales hosts Denmark on Nov. 16.In League C, Norway now leads Bulgaria in the four-team Group 4 after beating the Bulgarians 1-0 in Oslo. Slovenia staved off relegation by drawing 1-1 with Cyprus in a game featuring three red cards.GEORGIA PROMOTEDGeorgia ensured promotion from League De with its fourth straight win, 3-0 at Latvia, ensuring it will win Group 1.The No. 93-ranked Georgians will also have a chance to advance to Euro 2020. One of the fourth-tier League D teams is sure to reach the Euro through the playoff route for Nations League group winners.Gibraltar earned just its second ever competitive victory, beating visiting Liechtenstein 2-1. Gibraltar also closed to within three points of Group 4 leader Macedonia which lost its perfect record in a 4-0 loss at Armenia.The final rounds of Nations League games are played Nov. 15-20. The Euro 2020 qualifying draw, seeded by Nations League standings, will be held Dec. 2 in Dublin.—By GRAHAM DUNBAR , AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more