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Nadal cruises into Madrid last 16, Barty faces surprising Badosa in semis

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MADRID, Spain, May 6 – Rafael Nadal began his bid for a sixth Madrid Open title in simple fashion on Wednesday, easing past youngster Carlos Alcaraz 6-1, 6-2 to reach the last 16.

Nadal, who returned to number two in the world last week after his thrilling win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona final, strolled past his 18-year-old opponent in the Spanish capital.

Ranked 120 in the world, Alcaraz walked out to fans singing ‘happy birthday’ — and later received a cake — as he celebrated his birthday playing against his childhood idol.

Alcaraz battled bravely and even broke his compatriot Nadal’s serve in the second set but was predictably overwhelmed by one of the game’s greats.

“The victory in Barcelona helped me a lot. Things have got better since,” said Nadal, reserving special praise for his vanquished opponent.

“He has a lot of potential. He’s young and a good guy. He already has a great level of tennis today, but I really believe that he’s going to be a fantastic player in the near future.”

“I wish him all the very best,” added Nadal. “(As a) Spanish player and Spanish (tennis) fan, I really believe that we need somebody like him, and it’s great to have him here.”

Nadal will take on Alexei Popyrin in the next round after the Australian knocked out rising star Jannik Sinner 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.

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Tsitsipas, the 2019 runner-up, demolished Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-2 in less than an hour, with the Frenchman hampered by an abdominal injury.

The Greek fourth seed picked up his joint ATP-leading 27th win of the season and will meet Norway’s Casper Ruud for a quarter-final berth.

Earlier second seed Daniil Medvedev, returning to the circuit after testing positive for Covid-19 in mid-April, picked up his first win on clay for two years when he came back from a set down to beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

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The Russian has always struggled on clay.

In four attempts, he has failed to get past the first round of the French Open. Nor has he won a match in Rome while this was his first win in Madrid in his third appearance.

“I love clay,” he said ironically into the camera at the end of the match.

In total, the 2021 Australian Open finalist has only 11 wins on the surface although he will have the chance to make that 12 when he takes on Cristian Garin in the last 16.

Fifth seed Alexander Zverev swept past Kei Nishikori in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.

World number nine Diego Schwartzman was dumped out by Aslan Karatsev 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. In-form Russian Karatsev will take on Alexander Bublik in the next round.

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– Barty faces surprise package Badosa –

In the women’s draw Ashleigh Barty will take on Paula Badosa in the semi-finals after beating Petra Kvitova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 on Wednesday.

World number one Barty is chasing her fourth singles title of the year after her triumph in Stuttgart 10 days ago.

In the last four she faces the woman who knocked her out in the quarter-finals in Charleston in early April.

On Wednesday, the Australian came out on top against two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, the winner in Madrid tournament in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

The match appeared settled when Barty surged 3-0 ahead in the deciding set.

Kvitova broke back in game five to close to 3-2. But, after saving two break points, she lost her serve for a second time in the set in game six.

Barty then saved three break points on her way to going 5-2 up and held again two games later to see out the match.

Wildcard Badosa became the first Spanish woman in the tournament’s 12-year history to make the semis with her 6-4, 7-5 win over eighth seed Belinda Bencic.

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The 23-year-old’s win over the world number 11 was her third against a player in the top 20 following her victories over Bencic and Barty in her run to the semi-finals in Charleston.

Badosa kissed the clay court in celebration of a win that will shoot the world number 62 up the WTA rankings.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Karolina Muchova 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/2) and will play Aryna Sabalenka for a spot in the final.

Fifth seed Sabalenka advanced when her doubles partner Elise Mertens retired from their quarter-final with a thigh injury while trailing 6-1, 4-0.

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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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