Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Watson ready to push on

There is no denying that Heather Watson is the current darling of British tennis but that hasn’t stopped the 20-year old already planning for next season in order to fulfil her quest to continue to become a grand slam winner. 
Watson brought her season to a close with her maiden WTA Tour title at the Japan Open last month, jumping from 71 to 50th in the rankings following her victory over Chang Kai-chen in the final. Now a certified member of the top-50, Watson will have the added pressure of expectation on her shoulders next year, with Betfair tennis betting markets predicting great things.
On the evidence of this season, though, that won’t really bother a 20-year old who always looks to be having the time of her life when on the court.
Becoming the first British woman to win a WTA Tour singles event in 24-years, the former US Open junior champion will now head into 2013 knowing she has the tools needed to win tournaments and keep pushing up the rankings. 
"The top 50 was a goal - it will push me to make harder goals," Watson said.
“I’ve improved mentally. I’ve always been strong at not giving up on the court, but I’ve got better at knowing when to take my chances, when to step back a bit, how to play the game. Now I’m going on court thinking I’m going to beat that person no matter who it is.”
Robson will now have an added motivation to go on and win her maiden tour title, but there is little doubt her Olympic medal will have given Watson that added desire when her chance at a title came. 

Both players’ senior careers are still in their infancy, but Tennis betting online markets are buzzing about just how far they can go.
If they can continue inspiring each other to keep improving, then it bodes well for the future of the women’s game in Britain.

Monday, 29 October 2012

England Arrive in Dubai Ahead of India Series

Fans watching the England v India betting odds should be aware that England’s preparations for their tough winter series against India have begun with a trip to Dubai, where they will train in conditions designed to replicate the gruelling subcontinent.
Not only will the fiercely hot weather resemble that of India but the pitches at the International Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy (ICC GCA) in Dubai Sports City are designed to replicate those found in India, with soil from the country imported especially.

The team, now led by Alastair Cook, will undertake several outdoor practice sessions between October 26 and 28. They will also hold net practice sessions at the GCA’s outdoor practice arena.

They are already familiar with the facilities, as they played here last winter against Pakistan, losing the Test series 3-0 before inflicting immediate revenge with a whitewash in the ODI series.

The much talked-about Kevin Pietersen will not be there, however. The controversial batsmen has been recalled to the squad for the upcoming series following rounds of talks with the ECB, designed the repair the damage caused by his critical text messages sent to South Africa players during last summer’s Test series.

However, the 32-year-old has been allowed to play for the Delhi Daredevils side in the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 tournament in South Africa.

If Delhi make it to the semi-finals, which are scheduled to take place on October 25 and 26, with the final on October 28, Pietersen may travel directly to India instead.

England are scheduled to play four Test matches, two Twenty20 Internationals and five One Day Internationals during their India tour. Check out the England v India betting website for the latest picks for the series.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

MLB: Nationals look to break more ground

Washington headed into the eighth season of their history with a little trepidation, having finished in 2011 with a negative 80-81 record.

But healthy activity during the close had filled many with confidence, as much of the dead wood was shipped out in the hope of stimulating a recovery.

A strong start to the 2012 season turned much of that optimism into confidence, and the feel-good factor spread as the National took one or two very notable scalps, much to the surprise of many who are experts at betting on baseball.

The club looked well on course to achieve a first winning season in the history of the franchise, and attentions quickly to turned to chasing another first.

A Baseball club from Washington hadn’t made the post-season since 1933, when the Senators brought pride to the nation’s capital with a tremendous winning habit.

The Nationals even finished with the best record in Major League Baseball, with figures of 98-64, and they rightly headed into the post-season confident of mounting a realistic push for the World Series.

That dream was shattered by a defeat in game five of their Divisional Series showdown with St Louis Cardinals, which eliminated from the race for 2012.

Eyes now turn to 2013 and potential recruitment targets, but the Nationals could retain faith in the team that achieved so much this.

It’s a young team that isn’t breaking the bank, while several players who struggled against injury in 2012 should hit the ground running next year.

The challenge now for the Nationals is to take their winning mentality with them in to 2013, where they will seek to feature in betting MLB World Series discussions.

Any team can mount a streak, but it take true strength to cement a spot among the sport’s leading lights.

The biggest mistake the Nationals could make is to go chasing big names and ignore the young talent developing at the club.

The efforts of general Mike Rizzo should be focused on the next generation of National, and the players who can once again deliver success to Washington.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Tomic Needs to Find Himself

This was no sermon from an exclusive Ivory Tower but a genuine message of support from Novak Djokovic.
The recently-crowned Shanghai Masters champion was irked by an admission from Bernard Tomic that he only turned in "85 per cent" effort when crashing to a first-round defeat at the same competition.

In effect, his Monte Carlo neighbour might as well have been speaking in another language to fans of live tennis online.

The two regularly practice together so Djokovic was as shocked as he was surprised to learn the teenager confess he was not giving his all.

The world number two diplomatically responded, "to be honest, I don't think it's a great answer", most probably because he is at the other end of the spectrum fighting to become world number one.

Tomic will not be the first or last troubled soul to suddenly fall out love with his chosen profession but it may be that he has to take a step back to eventually move forward, if this warning from Djokovic does not hit home.

The Germany-born right-hander is the youngest man in the top 100 but will end 2012 ranked lower than when he started, having not taken a set off a top-20 player since claiming the prize scalps of Fernando Verdasco and Alexandr Dolgopolov at the Australian Open in January.

The 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finalist, who has withdrawn from the Stockholm Open, has spoken of his desire "to sit down and really find myself".

It is hoped among supporters placing Australian Open bets that the sport does not lose his talent and Tomic takes on board advice from his peers and those closest to him. Time moves on and Tomic risks being forgotten if he cannot overcome his demons.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

NHL exodus continues as Zetterberg joins Zug

Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg has agreed to join EV Zug in Switzerland.

The 32-year-old is the latest big-name NHL player to head overseas as the lock-out shows no sign of being resolved.

The NHL has already cancelled 82 games that had been scheduled to take place in the first two weeks of the regular-season and there remains deadlock between the owners and players.

There are real fears that the entire NHL schedule could be scrapped, as was the case in 2004-05.

During that lockout Zetterberg returned to his homeland of Sweden to play for his first club, Timra IK, but is heading to Switzerland this time as he has $50million left on his contract, which requires heavy insurance.
Zetterberg will team up with another Red Wings player at Zug, as forward Damien Brunner, who agreed a one-year deal with Detroit in July, is currently playing for the club.

Two other Red Wings players - Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula - have also signed for clubs in their native Russia and Finland respectively.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Flyers stars Claude Giroux and Danny Briere have agreed to play in Germany while Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pekka Rinne and Ilya Kovalchuk are heading to Russia and Gabriel Landeskog, recently made the captain of the Colorado Avalanche, is playing in Sweden.

Zetterberg has spent a decade with the Red Wings and has been a first-team regular throughout his time in Detroit, helping them compete consistently near the top of the NHL standings.

He helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2008 and was part of the Sweden team that clinched the gold medal at the Winter Olympics and the World Championships in 2006.

Zetterberg is one of only 24 men that are members of the Triple Gold Club - which involves winning Olympic gold, World Championship gold and the Stanley Cup.