David Goffin defeated Marin Cilic 7-6 (4), 6-4 on Thursday to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open, the best result so far of the Belgian’s career.Cilic was the second higher-seeded player to lose to 15th-seeded Goffin, who upset No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round. Cilic lost to Goffin nearly two weeks ago on clay in Belgium during first-round Davis Cup play.Goffin needed a third-set tiebreaker to beat Wawrinka after the 25-year-old Belgian served for the match at 5-3 in the second and third sets. The 10th-seeded Cilic fell to 0-8 in quarterfinals at Masters 1000 events.Goffin, a slender 5-foot-11, withstood the power of Cilic, who is 6-6 and outweighs Goffin by 46 pounds.”I knew that on my serve I had to battle to win every service game because sometimes he can serve bombs and in 10 seconds can win his games,” said Goffin, who fell down at 5-4 in the first set.”It was just bad for me, but at the end I stayed focused in the tiebreak. It was the key of the match to win the first set and be more relaxed in the second to play much better.”Another bigger and taller opponent awaits Goffin in the semis, Milos Raonic, who is 6-5. Raonic served and volleyed his way to a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Gael Monfils.”It’s good in tennis that you don’t have to be big or a tall guy to be good. Otherwise I had no chance to get in the top 20,” said Goffin, ranked 18th. “Maybe I’m quicker. I can take the ball earlier than a big guy. Of course I don’t have a big serve. I have other weapons. That’s why tennis is a nice sport.”advertisementVictoria Azarenka shut out Magdalena Rybarikova 6-0, 6-0 in 67 minutes to reach the women’s semifinals. She will play Karolina Pliskova, who beat 18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2 in an hour.Azarenka broke Rybarikova six times and connected on 60 percent of her first serves. Rybarikova had 25 unforced errors and just nine winners. After losing the first set, she took a medical timeout to have her upper thigh taped heavily.Azarenka has dropped one set in four matches so far; when she won Indian Wells in 2012, she also dropped just one set. She has won 11 of 12 matches this year.”Confidence for me this year comes from being very well prepared and feeling healthy,” she said. “What I want to do on the court is apply things I have been working on on the practice court and bring it to the matches because I feel that was going to push me to get better results.”Pliskova had 30 winners and 10 unforced errors. She fired nine aces and won all six of her points at net.About an hour later, Pliskova teamed with Julia Goerges to reach the doubles final, defeating Sara Errani and Oksana Kalashnikova 6-4, 6-3.”(I’m) happy also for the doubles (win), because it’s one of the biggest tournaments in the world,” Pliskova said. “It’s my first biggest final in the doubles, and especially happy to be there with my partner Julia.”Pliskova ended last year at a career-high No. 11 in the WTA rankings. Her semifinal singles showing here is her first at a Premier Mandatory event.”I played some good tennis this week, and especially there is Miami (next week),” she said, “and so I have chances to go and improve the ranking and get close to top 10 again.”
In the wake of ghastly terror attack in Pulwama where 40 CRPF personnel were killed earlier this week, Cricket Club of India (CCI) secretary Suresh Bafna on Sunday said that India should not play a match against Pakistan in the forthcoming World Cup.Speaking to ANI, Suresh said that since Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has not come out openly about the attack in Kashmir, it shows that they are at fault somewhere.”We condemn the terror activities carried out against our army and CRPF personnel. Though CCI is a sporting association but nation comes first even before sports,” he said.”He [Imran Khan] should respond. He is the Prime Minister and if he believes that Pakistan has no role to play in the attack then why is he not coming out openly. He should come out openly. People should know the truth. He is not coming out openly which means that there are stains in their folds,” Suresh added.After the terror attack, CCI had covered the portrait of Imran Khan at its Brabourne stadium headquarters in Mumbai. The secretary said that the step was their way of condemning the barbaric attack on their security personnel.”We called a meeting on the very next day of the attack and to condemn the attack, we decided to cover the photo. We’ll be deciding soon how to remove the photo,” he said.Imran has twice played for Pakistan against India at the Brabourne Stadium. He had led Pakistan in a festival game against India in 1987. He also played an ODI at the venue when he led Pakistan to victory against Australia in a Nehru Cup Game in 1989, where he was also declared as the Man of the Match.advertisementHours after the attack on February 14, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry issued a wishy-washy statement, terming as “a matter of grave concern” the terror attack on the CRPF convoy which was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit based in that country.In the statement, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said, “We have always condemned acts of violence anywhere in the world.” The Pakistan Foreign Ministry has also been claiming that the link of the attack to it without an investigation was “insinuation.”However, India asserted that the Pakistan Foreign Ministry’s argument was “preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM” and there is also “other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack.”Also Read | 14th February was a black day for India: Sania Mirza on Pulwama terror attackAlso Read | Shikhar Dhawan to donate money to families of CRPF martyrsAlso Read | Pakistan Super League telecast suspended in India
The man accused in the 2017 slaying of a Nebraska woman slashed his neck and fell from a wheelchair during his murder trial Monday.Fifty-two-year-old Aubrey Trail yelled “Bailey is innocent, and I curse you all” before swiping something across his neck in the courtroom in Wilber.Deputies rushed to help as Trail lay bleeding on the floor.It is unclear when the trial will resume, or how badly Trail is injured.Authorities say he’s had a stroke and two heart attacks since his arrest.Trail and 25-year-old Bailey Boswell are charged with first-degree murder in the killing and dismemberment of 24-year-old Sydney Loofe.Prosecutors say the pair planned Loofe’s abduction and killing .Trail’s attorney says her death was an accident during a consensual sex fantasy.Boswell is awaiting trial.