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Chapter 58 for Djokovic, Nadal at French Open

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PARIS, France, June 10 – Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal clash for the 58th time on Friday on the same court where they first met 15 years ago with a place in the French Open final at stake.

It is tennis’s greatest modern rivalry between two men who have harvested 38 Grand Slam titles between them and 72 Masters.

Djokovic has spent more weeks at world number one than any other player while 13-time French Open winner Nadal has not been out of the top 10 in 16 years.

Nadal will start Friday’s semi-final as favourite, buoyed by his record of 105 wins and just two losses in his Roland Garros career.

The 35-year-old also has the edge over Djokovic on clay with a 19-7 career lead and 7-1 in Paris.

Djokovic hasn’t beaten Nadal on the surface since Rome in 2016.

He can, however, boast being one of only two men to have defeated Nadal in Paris, in the quarter-finals in 2015.

“It’s a well-anticipated semi-final and here we are,” said Djokovic of a rivalry which started on Court Philippe Chatrier in 2006.

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“We had some battles over the years on this court.”

Nadal defeated 2016 champion Djokovic in straight sets in last year’s final, the Serb’s third loss in the championship match in Paris to the Spaniard.

There is plenty at stake on Friday as the two rivals close in on Sunday’s final.

Djokovic can win a 19th Slam and become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four Slams twice.

Victory for Nadal would give him a record-setting 21st major, breaking the tie with Roger Federer.

“The vibes are different walking on the court with him,” added Djokovic. “But that’s why our rivalry has been historic.”

It’s been a topsy-turvy tournament for Djokovic.

After racing through the first three rounds, he had to come back from two sets down to defeat Italian 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti.

In the quarter-finals, he dropped the third set against Matteo Berrettini.

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With the exception of a second-set blip in the quarter-finals against Diego Schwartzman, Nadal has reached his 14th semi-final relatively unscathed.

Despite his clay court stranglehold on Djokovic, Nadal isn’t getting too far ahead of himself.

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– ‘Big difference’ –

“It is a semi-final, not a final. That’s a big difference,” he said.

The latest chapter of Djokovic v Nadal has overshadowed Friday’s other semi-final between Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany.

They have met seven times but just once on clay in Madrid in 2019 when Tsitsipas triumphed.

The 22-year-old Tsitsipas is in his third successive semi-final at the Slams and took Djokovic to five sets in the last four at Roland Garros in 2020.

He arrived in Paris with clay court titles this year in Monte Carlo and Lyon and had a match point to beat Nadal in the Barcelona final.

Zverev is in his first semi-final at Roland Garros having almost fallen at the first hurdle against 152nd-ranked compatriot Oscar Otte.

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Whoever makes it to Sunday’s final will have their work cut out.

Tsitsipas is 2-7 against Nadal and 2-5 playing Djokovic.

Zverev is 3-6 when taking on Nadal and 2-6 facing Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) v Rafael Nadal (ESP x3)

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 29-28

Paths to the semi-final (x indicates seeded player):

Djokovic

1st rd: bt Tennys Sandgren (USA) 6-2, 6-4, 6-2

2nd rd: bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

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3rd rd: bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-1, 6-4, 6-1

4th rd: bt Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) 6-7 (7/9), 6-7 (2/7), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0 – retired

QF: bt Matteo Berrettini (ITA x9) 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5

Nadal

1st rd: bt Alexi Popyrin (AUS) 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

2nd rd: bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-0, 7-5, 6-2

3rd rd: bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

4th rd: bt Jannik Sinner (ITA x18) 7-5, 6-3, 6-0

QF: bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG x10) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0

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Alexander Zverev (GER x6) v Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x5)

Head-to-head: Tsitsipas leads 5-2

Paths to the semi-final (x indicates seeded player):

Zverev

1st rd: bt Oscar Otte (GER) 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0

2nd rd: bt Roman Safiullin (RUS) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 7-6 (7/1)

3rd rd: bt Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-2, 7-5, 6-2

4th rd: bt Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-4, 6-1, 6-1

QF: bt Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) 6-4, 6-1, 6-1

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Tsitsipas

1st rd: bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 6-1

2nd rd: bt Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3

3rd rd: bt John Isner (USA x31) 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1

4th rd: bt Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x12) 6-3, 6-2, 7-5

QF: bt Daniil Medvedev (RUS x2) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5

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Sewage Menace in Pipeline, Residents Cry For Help

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By Milo George

Residents of Pipeline Transami area are decrying poor drainage system that has caused sewage water to overflow in their area of residence.

The residents claim that the overflowing sewage is not only putting their lives at risk but also causing air pollution.

They have called on Nairobi Metropolitan Services and Nairobi City Water and Sewage Company to come on board and expand the sewer lines before more areas are flooded with raw human wastes coming from the blocked pipes.
“We want Major Badi and our leaders to resolve this menace immediately. It’s terrible many have been forced to shift their businesses because of the foul smell,” they said.
Pastor Joe Ndivoh of Word Evangelistic Explosion Ministries says that they have been forced to call off the Sunday School Service to protect the children from the smelly sewage.
‘‘We now fear that if prompt action is not taken then we will have a bigger health problem than this because we fear there could be an outbreak of water-borne disease anytime,’’ Pastor Ndivoh added.


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Solberg Jnr replaces Pierre-Louis for WRC Safari – KBC

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Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Team has made a change to it’s WRC2 team for Safari replacing Pierre-Louis Loubet with 19 year old Oliver Solberg.

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The change of crew hands young Solberg an opportunity to resume his family dream on the fabled Safari which was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Solberg Senior finished the WRC Safari 5th on the 1999 and 2000 editions driving a Ford Focus and navigated by his eventual Championship- winning navigator Phil Mills. In 200 and 2002, Petter retired on Safari after he lost a wheel and suffering engine gremlins on both occasions.

Oliver was forced to withdraw from last week’s Rally Italia Sardegna after his father, 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, tested positive for coronavirus.

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Oliver was gearing up for his second top flight World Rally Championship outing with Hyundai at last weekend’s s Italian event.

However having been in contact with his father, Oliver was compelled to remain in quarantine in a hotel in Porto for 14 days as per the FIA Appendix S regulations.

The FIA’s Appendix S COVID-19 protocol and national government regulations offer clear quarantine instructions for those in close contact.

“You can imagine, I am more than disappointed by this news. I am a little bit devastated,” The 19-year-old Solberg told www.motorsport.com last week.

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WRC Safari Rally Event Secretary Helen Shiri confirmed Oliver’s Safari participation saying: “Hyundai WRC 2 team car number 7 has changed the crew from Driver Pierre-Lous and co-driver Florian Haut-labourdette both from France to Oliver Solberg (Swedish) and  Co-driver Aaron Johnston (Ireland). The car, a Hyundai i20 Coupé, remains intact.”

Meanwhile, it’s been a meteoric rise for the son of world champion Petter.

Less than two years after his maiden rally in a four-wheel drive car, the teenage sensation was competing at the WRC’s top level.

Aged just 17, Oliver became the youngest winner of a European Championship rally in 2019.

With a father and a mother from a well-known Swedish motorsport family and a former Production WRC competitor in her own right, there was a sense of inevitability that a career at the wheel was inevitable for Oliver Solberg. 

Solberg’s early years were spent racing in crosskarts.

In 2012 he won the Norwegian Championship before a step up to a higher class brought consecutive title wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In 2019 Solberg stepped into R5 machinery, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in the Latvian/Estonian/Baltic Rally Championship. He took to the increased power immediately and racked up five class wins on his way to the championship title.

He also followed in his father’s footsteps to join Subaru Motorsports USA. He drove a latest-spec Impreza STI, winning three of the six rounds

After making his WRC debut at the 2019 Rally GB, Solberg stepped into a full WRC campaign in 2020, driving his own Polo R5 alongside a partial campaign with Skoda Motorsport.

The WRC returns to Africa for the first time since 2002. The Safari of old has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife.

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Three more suspected robbers arrested along Southern by-pass – KBC

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Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent spate of robberies targeting motorists along the Southern by-pass.

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The three were arrested in Kibra by detectives based in Langata.

Their arrest follows a detailed analysis and investigations of the robberies, with detectives employing cyber and forensic analysis techniques to identify the beneficiaries of the crimes.

Boniface Winjira Unganyi, the proprietor of Basement Crew mobile shop within Lindi in Kibra, was arrested as the key suspect after a total of 102 mobile phones suspected to have been stolen from victims were recovered from his shop.

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Also arrested were 35-year-old Alex Mboya, who was found in possession of a victim’s phone, and a 16-year-old minor, studying at a secondary school in Langata.

Five other suspects have been arraigned in recent weeks in connection with the violent robberies.

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