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Overcoming ankle injury, Serena advances to U. S. Open quarter-finals

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Serena Williams needed a medical time out in the second set of her 6-3 6-4 win over Petra Martic on Sunday to get treatment on her right ankle.

Williams, however, recovered to advance to the U.S. Open quarter-finals.

She fell to the court at 2-2 in the second set after charging to the net to hit a volley that sailed long.

The 37-year-old American eighth seed suffered an ankle injury during the changeover and appeared to be fine, smacking 38 winners on a sunny day at Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

Williams blasted her fourth ace on match point to see off 28-year-old Croatian Martic and reach the last eight, where she will face Wang Qiang of China for the first time.

Following her 6-3 6-4 win over Petra Martic, Williams said, “I usually know if it’s horrible early on. I mean, I had a really bad ankle sprain in January. I was like, instantly, ‘No, this can’t happen. I’m finally healthy.

“But I’ll see tomorrow. So far I’m good. I have been managing it. We’ll see tomorrow.”

Williams rolled her ankle in the fifth game of the second set, having raced to the net and landed hard on her right foot after a backhand volley that sailed long.

Williams took about 15 seconds to get to her feet but won the next two points to earn a crucial break for a 3-2 lead and then took a medical timeout so a trainer could look at her already-wrapped ankle.

Her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, later told reporters that Williams was not in too much discomfort.

“It doesn’t seem — there is the video, but what is more important is how she feels and how the ankle looks. The ankle looks okay,” said Mouratoglou.

“She doesn’t feel much pain. She feels, but it’s acceptable. And we will know tomorrow when it’s going to be cold.”

Williams, who is seeking a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title and her first since the 2017 Australian Open, will face China’s Wang Qiang in the quarter-finals.

(Reuters/NAN)

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Super Eagles drop in FIFA ranking

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The Nigeria national team, the Super Eagles, have dropped one place in the latest FIFA world rankings released on Thursday by the world football governing body.

According to the August/September 2019 edition, the Super Eagles are now placed 34th in the world, down from last time’s 33rd position.

The team recently played 2-2 draw against Ukraine in an international friendly game at the Dnipro Stadium, their first game after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, where the team finished third.

Coach Gernot Rohr’s men, however, gained one point, cumulating 1482 points from the previous 1481 points.

In the African ranking, Nigeria maintained its third-place despite the drop in the world ranking, with Senegal and Tunisia also maintaining their first and second positions respectively.

Algeria climbed two places in the world rankings and are fourth on the African ranking behind Nigeria, while Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo DR, and Cote D’Ivoire occupy the fifth to tenth positions respectively.

Meanwhile, Belgium remained top of the world ranking, with France, Brazil, England, and Portugal making up the top 5.

Belgium continues to hold its place as the topmost country on the FIFA world ranking.

Uruguay, Spain, Croatia, Colombia and Argentina are the other countries who make up the top 10 of the latest FIFA rankings.

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Frankfurt vs Arsenal: Unai Emery lists strong squad for Europa League clash

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Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has left out Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, from the squad that has travelled to Eintracht Frankfurt, for their Europa League group game.

Rob Holding makes the trip, having not yet made an appearance on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury.

Also featuring in Emery’s 19-man squad are youngsters Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe.

Thursday’s game in Germany kicks off at 5.55pm UK time, with Group F rivals Standard Liege and Vitoria facing off in Belgium the same night.

Arsenal squad:

Goalkeepers – Leno, Martinez.

Defenders – Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac.

Midfielders – Guendouzi, Torreira, Willock, Xhaka, Ceballos, Smith Rowe.

Attackers – Martinelli, Nelson, Pepe, Saka, Aubameyang.

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Chelsea vs Valencia: Livescore from Champions League clash

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Frank Lampard takes charge of his first Champions League tie at Chelsea, when they welcome Valencia to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

Lampard will be without Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante and Emerson Palmeri due to injuries, while the LaLiga side arrive with a full squad.

Chelsea and Valencia have met six times previously in European competition, with the Spanish club not winning any of these matches

Kick off is 8pm West African time.

Chelsea XI vs Valencia: Kepa, Christensen, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso, Willian, Mount, Abraham

Valencia XI vs Chelsea: Cillessen, Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya, Kondogbia, Parejo, Coquelin, Cheryshev, Rodrigo, Gameiro

Tuesday, September 17
First half: No goals.

Half time.

Second half: Rodrigo scores for the LaLiga club. 0-1.

Full time: Chelsea have lost 1-0 to Valencia.

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