Ronaldo: ‘I’d only play Champions League’

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo admits he is driven by the “important games” and would only play “for the national team and in the Champions League” with Juventus if he could. The 34-year-old has won most of what’s on offer at club level and is motivated by the games where he can feel the “pressure”. “I’ll tell you, if it were up to me, I would only play some important games,” the Portuguese international said in an interview with France Football. “Those of the national team and in the Champions League. “It’s these kinds of games that emerge, those with something at stake, with a difficult environment, with pressure.” But he concedes that he always gives his all when he enters the pitch, whilst he doesn’t care too much about the reactions from the outside world. “You have to be a professional and perform well every day, to honour your family and the club you represent, the ones who pay you. For the rest, I do not give much importance to the reactions I get from the public,” he added. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Inter or Fiorentina for Florenzi?

first_imgAlessandro Florenzi could reportedly leave Roma in January, leaving Inter, Fiorentina, Olympique Lyonnais and Shanghai Shenhua on red alert. Florenzi, who is a Roma youth graduate, has been in the first team since 2011, making over 250 appearances for the Giallorossi and taking over their captaincy after Daniele De Rossi’s exit. However, he has been used increasingly sparingly under Paulo Fonseca, who has gone with Leonardo Spinazzola as his starting right-back this season. Sunday’s match with Parma was the sixth in succession he started on the bench, and Sport Mediaset is now claiming he may seek a move away this winter to be sure of his place in Italy’s Euro 2020 squad. As per the broadcaster, Inter and Fiorentina have both kept tabs on the 28-year old for some time, while Lyon boss Rudi Garcia is an admirer from his time working with him at the Olimpico. There could also be a reunion with ex-Roma teammate Stephan El Shaarawy at Shanghai Shenhua in China. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Pioli brushes off phone controversy

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: Stefano Pioli understands the reaction from the outside but claimed he would be the “first to get angry” if Milan players were on their phones during a tactical meeting. Video footage of Milan trio Franck Kessie, Ante Rebic and Lucas Biglia using their phones in the dressing room caused unease among the fans and Stefano Pioli understands the reaction.  “I understand that certain images might arouse a reaction,” he told Corriere della Sera. “But I would be the first one to get angry if I thought the players were calling or sending messages before a major game. “Now, I don’t want this to become any bigger than it is,” he added and explained that his players can enter an application on their smartphones to study the opponent. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport he already used this app when he was in charge of Fiorentina, where the players get the chance to review the game plan and are updated with videos concerning the opponent of the day. “The use of mobile phones is allowed in the locker room before the game, because each player has his own playlist of music and they need to relax before stepping on to the pitch,” he said. “Above all, it’s allowed to consult the app which we continuously update with videos of the opponent we are facing. This is a useful tool, where they can review movements and phases of play. It’s another way to prepare for the game.” The 1-1 draw against Napoli leaves them on a winless run of three games in Serie A and they are still on the bottom half of the table – 12th in the League after 13 games. “We take into account the complaints and now I hope the results will arrive soon.” Milan are preparing to face Parma at the Ennio Tardini on Sunday.last_img read more

Playing Tests in India will require adjustment, says Ponting

first_imgAustralia captain Ricky Ponting feels playing a Test series in India just ahead of the Ashes at home will require major adjustments in the squad.”It’s obviously vastly different, if you look at the squad that we could probably put out for the first Test in Brisbane compared with the squad you’d think about playing on a spinning wicket in India, they’re probably two completely different squads,” Ponting was quoted as saying by ‘The Age’.”It’d be nice to get some match hardness into the guys, having not played a lot of Test cricket at that stage, but we’ll come home then and be back into one day cricket in Australia anyway so we’ll just have to manage that as well as we can,” he added.Australia’s tour of India later this year was supposed to be a seven-match ODI affair but after India became the world number one Test side, the BCCI requested Cricket Australia to include five-day matches during the tour.CA is yet to respond but there is a possibility that it would not have any problem in accommodating the Indian Board’s request.The Aussies are busy gearing up for the Ashes, aiming to beat old rivals England in the historic series at the end of the year.”We won’t be underdone, there’s no doubt about that, we’ll make sure that hopefully every player will get at least two Sheffield Shield games under their belt leading into that first Test, which I think would be really good preparation,” Ponting said.advertisementlast_img read more

The farm fix

first_imgOrganic. That word has increasingly been jumping out at us as the city wakes up to the world of organic living. Caring for the earth is the hottest new thing, and suddenly everyone is scouting for everything organic. Simply Mumbai decided to do some figuring out so that next time,Organic. That word has increasingly been jumping out at us as the city wakes up to the world of organic living. Caring for the earth is the hottest new thing, and suddenly everyone is scouting for everything organic. Simply Mumbai decided to do some figuring out so that next time we spot something organic, it means more than another fancy word.As funky as it gets-IndigreenPure passion translates into some of the city’s funkiest T-shirts, or to be more specific ‘the Indian luxury T-shirt brand’ with elaborate hand-painted poster art adorning them. The icing on the cake is that it’s completely organic, right from the material to the labels.Nidhi Singh, 31, began researching on the Green Revolution and experimenting with possibilities of creating 100 per cent eco-friendly collections. Prior to that she has worked both in the media and fashion industry for almost 11 years and even had her own luxury pret label, ‘Nidhi Singh’.It was in 2008, when she volunteered for The Climate Project, India, that she met Gaurav Gupta, co-founder of the organisation that he helped found with Al Gore. With a bachelors from Oxford and a masters from Yale, Gupta, 32, is an ecopreneur with his fingers in multiple projects that promote sustainable development. Together, they launched Indigreen and did a test run of their t-shirts at the Kala Ghoda festival last year.While all the material used is certified organic and sourced from places that ensure fair trade, the Bollywood theme posters incorporate social messages in their design-their latest line has an anti-terrorism theme, with tees sporting messages like ‘Terrorists Are Ugly’. The artwork is done by former Bollywood poster painters who have been out of work. The care extends to the dyes and paints as well, which are either organic or eco friendly.What: Luxury organic tees, organic accessories, khadi bags, belts, and home decor.Where: Tribal Route, Bilss, Dhoop-Crafts of Asia, Bombay Electric, Melange.Visit: Sweetest thing-Under the mango treeEvery store worth its organic salt stocks jars of honey from Under The Mango Tree. Started by MIT graduate Vijaya Pastala, the brand helps farmers market everything from organic certified cereals to oils, herbs, spice and beeswax. But what is most important to them is the Apis Cerena, or the Indian honey bee. Why? Because almost everything we consume comes from cross pollinated plants (must be pollinated to bear fruit) and the cerena is one of the best pollinators.She has worked towards sustainable development with the Aga Khan Foundation, DFID, India and the World Bank. She promotes community-based beekeeping through ‘The Hive’. It helps indigenous organic farmers install bee boxes on their farms and the results have been stupendous. The yield increased by 50 per cent and their income rose 40 per cent through the sale of honey. That is a lot of food for thought the next time you reach out for that jar of honey.What: Annual honey subscription; gives you a range of gourmet honey delivered every month.Cost: Rs1,700 for 200 gm and Rs3,000 for 500 gm.Contact: 9833154478 or email browsing through produce at the Farmers Market in BandraEverything green-Farmers marketThis is probably the best place to grab your greens straight from the growers themselves. The market is held on Sunday mornings at the Nilgiri Gardens in Bandra. Stalls selling everything, from fruits and vegetables to cloth and candy floss, dot the garden where it is held.Brainchild of Kavita Mukhi, founder of the Conscious Food brand, this is the only farmers’ market in the country where everything is organic. This was something Mukhi had wanted to do for years, “For me it was a dream.”? Her interest in the organic way of life began years ago when her son was born and she started looking for healthy food.Farmers get a free spot to sell their produce while the others are either paid for or sponsored stalls. In both cases, costs of middlemen and high rentals is eliminated. Mukhi says, “The response has been fantastic, but the scale is still relatively small for a city like Mumbai.”?At the organic cafe, every item served is at least 80 per cent organic. Not surprisingly, plastic is not welcome here-the grains are held in sacks and sold in paper bags. The market is closed now, but will be back in October.What: A huge variety of organic foods and products and eco-friendly options for just about everything.Where: Nilgiri Gardens. Coming up in Cuffe Parade.Contact: 9821142700, 9820089378.Reetha Balsavar and Lata Sharma of Navdanya, the store that stocks every kind of grain you can think ofFinal pit stop-NavdanyaThe store is a tiny organic haven in an Andheri by-lane, with shelves neatly lined with most grains than you can think of, and many that you can’t. Fret not, the caretakers Reetha Balsavar and Lata Sharma will come to your rescue the second they sense hesitation. Their offerings come packed in plastic bags, but they encourage you to get your own jar or recycle old plastic bags.It is this personal touch that has seen sales pick up 200 per cent since the store opened three years ago. Mumbai’s only Navdanya store is part of a nation-wide organic movement launched 23-years ago by renowned scientist and environmentalist Dr Vandana Shiva. For Balsavar and Sharma the association goes back six years.The movement started as seed banks across the country and has now established itself as a cooperative that helps farmers from 16 states market their produce. Navdanya means nine crops that represent India’s collective source of food security. All their produce is certified organic and sourced directly from their cooperative.What: A wide range of dals, rices, spices, flour, oil, pickles, papads, snacks, etc.Where: No 10, Mayfair Housing Society, Andheri (W).Contact: 99204 18027, 66790081.What is Organic?Produce grown naturally, without using chemical pesticides or fertilizers or even genetically modified seeds. Organic meats and dairy products come from animals that have not been reared with antibiotics and growth hormones.What’s the fuss about?Since organic food and products are grown the natural way, without the use of chemicals, they are good for the body. The added advantage is that they are also good for the environment as they do not contaminate the soil and the water. Organic cultivation is cheaper for the farmer who doesn’t have to invest in pesticides and fertilisers. Organic food is considered to be healthier and more nutritious than conventional food.DownsideLow shelf life, wastage, expensiveWhy is it expensive?Good quality, labour intensive, they spoil faster, leading to higher wastage; usually grown on small farms without economy of scale.How to care for organic foodsRub organic castor oil into grainsUse neem leaves in containers or ash from agnihotra puja to ward off pestsTry to buy in smaller quantitiesRefrigerate your stocks New products Amore Gelato has two new organic gelatos – Organic Gulkand & Cashew, and Organic Figs Gelato.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Performing and winning is of utmost importance: Dilip Vengsarkar

first_imgThe ascension of Dilip Vengsarkar to the chairmanship of the BCCI’s selection committee was marked by a change of temperature. Call it turning up of the heat or the onset of early frost, the 50-year-old was determined to demonstrate his clear points of difference from his predecessors. He did so,The ascension of Dilip Vengsarkar to the chairmanship of the BCCI’s selection committee was marked by a change of temperature. Call it turning up of the heat or the onset of early frost, the 50-year-old was determined to demonstrate his clear points of difference from his predecessors. He did so in a manner that the Indian team’s now not-so-new regime would recognise from its own early days in charge last season.Vengsarkar’s first few weeks in the job featured forceful talk in his first meeting, the demand to know why the players’ individual games had fallen away inside a year and finally, the maverick rabbits pulled out of the hat during the selection for the tour of South Africa. Vengsarkar’s comment on India’s bench strength-“Frankly, there’s no exceptional talent I’ve seen”-has set the rumbles going across Indian cricket.One of the top four Indian batsmen in Test history, a former captain, and one of the few modern cricketers of lofty stature involved in hands-on administration, Dilip Vengsarkar is in the limelight again. He spoke to Deputy Editor SHARDA UGRA in Mumbai. Excerpts from the interview:Q. What are your expectations from the team for South Africa? What result are you looking for? A. I want them to win, there’s no question about that. I hope they win. It is difficult to predict a result, so I hope the tour turns out to be a good experience for everyone. It is a tough tour and those who have not been there before will, I think, gain quite a lot.Q. Going by their Champions Trophy form, where do you think the South Africans stand as opposition? A. They have good fast bowlers who can exploit the conditions and I expect the wickets to definitely be made to suit them. On the other hand, I hope our fast bowlers-we have a good pack-can also make use of the same conditions.Q. India’s batting overseas has fallen away from a few years ago. What is going wrong? A. It is important to adapt to different wicket conditions quickly to be successful. We have batsmen with great potential and records too.Q. Why do you think ODI results have not gone India’s way recently? A. We had a bad match against the West Indies. It was a crucial game. Had we won, we would have been in the semi-finals. And semis onwards, it could have been anyone’s game. Some of our key players were out of form, our batting was not in great shape. Same with the bowling too? we had great hopes from Irfan Pathan-but it is really not correct to pin hopes on one or two persons, everyone has to contribute. That is what a team game is all about.Q. The impression given by the last committee was that its accent was on youth. With the return of Anil Kumble and Zaheer Khan, has your committee sent out a message that the door is not closed on anyone? A. Who are we to close doors on anyone? We have an open mind. Those who do well will surely be there in the running. We are not there to close doors on anyone? God is there-He closes the doors!Q. With Yuvraj injured and the middle order lacking experience, what is your take on V.V.S. Laxman in ODIs? He was surprised by your comments on his fitness? do you need to re-examine his fitness? A. Laxman is a fantastic player who has an excellent record at the highest level, but I think his fitness is a key issue. He has a bad knee and for the last couple of years or so he has not been in the best of physical fitness. In the conventional sense, he looks fit and in shape but in ODIs you have to be 100 per cent fit. I think he falls short on that count. It’s not that we have to go and check his fitness? You can see a cricketer’s movements when he plays on the field.Q. The bowling line-up still looks unsettled-shouldn’t we have established our core bowling group? A. I think we’re in a good state. We have a group of six-seven fast bowlers present whom we would like to play with all the time and also with the spinners. Q. Given that there is no senior pace bowler in the Indian team set-up, do you think that the side needs a specialist bowling coach? A. I have always advocated for a bowling coach. We had the services of former international bowlers in the past when John Wright was the coach. It will definitely be of great help.Q. Are your hands tied when it comes to dropping players when they are not performing because the World Cup is so close? A. Not really. Form and fitness are very important. In cricket, nobody is indispensible even though experience at a mega-event definitely helps.”Sehwag has a great record, knows how to adapt to all conditions but he needs to be more consistent.”Q. What is your advice to a key player like Virender Sehwag? A. I think he knows how best he should play. He may play his own game with his own technique. At this level, your technique is perfect for you. Sehwag has a fantastic record at the highest level and he knows how to adapt. The important factor is that he should be more consistent. At this level, consistency is most important.Q. The previous selection committee was said to be too close to the team. Should selectors be close colleagues of the team or their critics? A. It depends on individuals, on how they really gel with the management. I am not the one to go too close to the team management and prefer to give them their space. Sure, it’s important to be on the same wavelength with the management and not force one’s views on them. But there must be a healthy discussion.Q. What should the team do for long-term development of players with the everyday need to keep performing and winning matches? A. Performing and winning is of utmost importance. One has to strike the right balance between experienced players and young, quality players. No complacency must creep in. If a young player is selected, he must be given enough opportunity to show his worth. And for his part, potential must be backed by performance as well.Q. Recently, we have seen a lot of young, untried players being pitched into the Indian team without a good foundation in first-class cricket. Is that the way to go now? A. It is very important for players to have a solid base of first-class matches. Throwing them into the deep sea could be detrimental to their future. But India’s first-class standard is not that high enough to test the players’ calibre, technique or temperament. That’s why I feel there is a strong need for India A tours abroad.Q. Your comment that there is no pool of talent in Indian domestic cricket has worried a lot of people. A. What I meant when I said that was that there is a lot of talent in the country but there is no exceptional talent which could be inducted straightaway into the Indian team. Our structure is possibly one of the best in the world, but the wickets we play on have no bounce and that’s a big worry. The NCA (National Cricket Academy) could be of great benefit if it runs it 12 months a year. Not all states have great infrastructure and players spotted by TRDOs (Talent Resource Development Officers) have been groomed in NCA. The NCA has produced a lot of good cricketers. If it is turned into an year-round academy, through the year it can have more batches and become a place where umpires, trainers, physios can be coached-not only Indians but other Asians too. It is also important to have jobs created for all first-class players by having a corporate tournament on an all-India basis.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Pranab links fall of rupee to euro-zone crisis; asks for austerity measures

first_imgAs the Indian rupee hit all-time low and the BSE Sensex fell over 300 points, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the country needed to put prime focus on measures to protect against the ongoing euro-zone crisis. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha during a debate on the Finance Bill, the finance minister said the government was not passing the buck, but it was time to wake up to the reality. Mukherjee attributed the rupee hitting an all-time low of 54.46 to a US dollar and the sharp slide in Sensex to the crisis in Greece that has kept the euro-zone on the edge. With no let-up in global crisis, the finance minister said the challenge for India was to generate domestic demand and ensure growth in the rural sector. The minister called it a complex economic situation and said fresh austerity measures were required to tackle the crisis. He said even the growing global oil prices were a cause of concern.last_img read more

Back to the front

first_imgThe seeds of future successes are often sown by failures and disappointments. For Indian hockey, not making the grade for the 2008 Beijing Olympics was the blow that forced the powersthat-be presiding over the fate of the national game to wake up and smell the astro turf.With eight Olympic gold medals, six of them in succession between 1928 and 1956, India had developed the bad habit to rest on past laurels, even as the rest of the world raced by. Be it Pakistan, the European heavyweights or Australia, they all first caught up with the erstwhile powerhouse and then left it far behind.But never did India fear that it will lose its seat at the high table. We believed that a spot in the Olympics will always be there for us. That is why the 2008 debacle at the qualifiers in Santiago, Chile, came as such a shock to the system.”We realised that we cannot continue to make the same mistakes,” forward Tushar Khandker, who was part of that team and will make his first Olympic appearance next month, said at the Pune camp. “The disappointment of Chile made us more determined to turn the corner.”One major point of view that needed to be changed was that pure skill and stickwork were enough to beat the top sides in the modern game. First under Spanish coach Jose Brasa and now with Aussie Michael Nobbs, much more emphasis was laid on the physical aspect of the game and technological inputs such as video analysis. “Just skill was never enough. The rest of the world realised that long ago. We are just catching up now,” Nobbs said in between warmups in Pune.advertisementOf course, a floundering India was not good news for the world game, so FIH, the international hockey federation, also did its bit by arranging for its master coaches to work in India and bringing major events to the country. The latter initiative not only maintained the enthusiasm for the game despite poor results, but also swelled the world body’s coffers.A look at the present bunch of players shows that they have bulked up considerably over the last 12 months. That is the demand of the modern game which lays great emphasis on power, speed, fitness and endurance. “It has become a power game now. Apart from working on the skills, one needs to spend quality time at the gym as well,” coach Clarence Lobo said.Devices such as the hypoxic chamber, which simulate conditions likely to be faced during matches in the laboratory, are a relatively new addition to the training regime. The team thus was well prepared for the high altitude and rarefied atmosphere when it went for the Champions Challenge I in Johannesburg last December.The players went through the chamber once again recently in an effort to have an edge in endurance at the Olympics, which will be held in much cooler conditions. “Previously, we used to concede late goals because of lack of fitness. But now we have turned the tables and regularly score in the final few minutes,” forward Danish Mujtaba said.One factor that has also worked in India’s favour is the relatively settled look to the side. Players such as Sandeep Singh, Sardar Singh, Khandker, Bharat Chetri, Shivendra Singh, Ignace Tirkey and Gurbaj Singh have been together for a long time. Some of them have matured with experience and are now at their peak while others are keen to give their best at what could be their last shot at the Olympics. Only Sandeep and Ignace have prior Olympic experience.Add to the lot, talented youngsters like S.K. Uthappa, Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra and goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh, and one has a pretty formidable line-up.Though Nobbs and his coaching staff believe that a top-six finish will be a very good achievement, several of the players have made no secret of the fact that they are eyeing a spot in the semi-finals and a podium finish.The authorities have also stepped up and provided the necessary support. Frequent exposure to top teams has boosted the team’s confidence and the Sports Authority of India has provided all the facilities asked for. It must be said that most of the equipment was available, but was not used due to lack of technical know-how. “The hypoxic chamber costs crores of rupees and was there for a long time, but was not used till three or four years ago,” Nobbs said.Financial security has been a major concern for the players, and this is where Hockey India has stepped up to the plate. After the top players refused to turn up for the rival Indian Hockey Federation’s league, Hockey India has announced retainerships and annual contracts for the players. A similar system is on the anvil for the juniors. Also, it is starting its own league next year, promising higher earnings than those in the Federation’s league.advertisementIt has taken a sustained effort from all stakeholders to get the national game back on track. After the ignominy four years ago, the entire nation is hoping that its heroes will ensure that the Tricolour gets its moment of glory in London.last_img read more

Selectors want Yuvraj Singh back in Indian squad for World T20 in Sri Lanka

first_imgYuvraj Singh is back to training after recuperating from a rare germ cell cancer and selection committee chairman Kris Srikkanth said he wants the attacking left-handed batsman back in the side for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. The squad for the mega event in September will be announced later this month.”Yuvraj has started practice, which is a very good thing.A guy who has won the World Cup should come back. We are all hoping for that. We want Yuvraj back for T20 WC ,” Srikkanth said after the selectors picked the Indian team for Sri Lanka’s July-August tour.”We still have time. The squad will be picked later this month,” he added.Srikkanth said the side is picked after due consideration with national coach Duncan Fletcher.”One good thing is that Duncan Fletcher is with us. We have discussions over phone. They are healthy discussions,” he said.Yuvraj, who recently started practice , is undergoing a rehabilitation programme at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.He was diagnosed with a malignant tumor between his lungs and underwent chemotherapy in the US earlier this year.He was man-of-the-tournament in India’s 50-over World Cup glory last year and was brilliant in the inaugural World T20 which India won in 2007 in South Africa.He had smashed England’s Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over in that edition of the event.This year, the World T20 tournament starts on September 18.last_img read more

Nadal to play Kooyong exhibition ahead of Australian Open

first_imgDo we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Tournament director Peter Johnston on Sunday said negotiations with Nadal accelerated after the 16-time major winner withdrew from the Brisbane International.“Rafa was looking for match play and of course we were more than happy to oblige,” Johnston said. “The addition of both Novak and Rafa changes our schedule and the way we will run the four days but that’s what Kooyong is all about, we are here to help the players get ready for the Open.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingNadal, who lost last year’s Australian final to Roger Federer and went on to win the French and U.S. Open titles, has been struggling with a right knee problem and withdrew from the ATP tournament in Brisbane to give himself longer for recovery. He is scheduled to play Tuesday at Kooyong, which regularly hosted the Australian Open on grass before the tournament moved to hard courts at Melbourne Park.Djokovic is returning from a right elbow injury that has kept him off the tour since July. Last week he said he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play at the Australian Open, and wouldn’t confirm until after the two exhibition events. LATEST STORIES Drummond, Harden sit as Pistons beat Rockets Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims FILE – Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after scoring a point against Lucas Pouille of France during men’s singles match in the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)MELBOURNE, Australia — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will make his return from injury at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament to prepare for the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 15.Nadal joins former No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, a six-time Australian Open champion, in using the Kooyong event to warm up for the year’s first Grand Slam tournament.ADVERTISEMENT BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives View commentslast_img read more