Shanghai: Novak Djokovic said on Wednesday that he was “embracing” the pressure of being world number one and reigning champion at the Shanghai Masters this week. The 32-year-old from Serbia made a fast start to his title defence, easing past young Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-3 with minimum fuss. Fresh from winning career title 76 in Tokyo, Djokovic will play big-serving American John Isner in the last 16 in China. The 16-time Grand Slam champion said he had no pain from the shoulder injury that forced him out of the US Open last 16 and is “confident that I can perform at my best”. Djokovic said that sky-high expectations are “part of what we do”. “But it’s also a privilege and a sign or kind of an indicator that you’re doing something that is important and that you’re doing well,” he said. “I think when you feel pressure you’re doing well. It’s something that is inevitable so you might as well embrace it and accept it.” Also in action on Thursday will be Roger Federer, who faces Belgium’s David Goffin, and third seed Daniil Medvedev. The Russian faces Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil. Zverev’s flying racquetTwo rising stars of men’s tennis went toe-to-toe when Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Felix Auger-Aliassime clashed. Tsitsipas defeated the 19-year-old 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/3) for his first victory over the Canadian stretching all the way back to their junior days. The 21-year-old Tsitsipas, who plays Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the last 16, said that he had always been behind Auger-Aliassime in his physical development — until now. Standing 6ft 4ins (193cm), the seventh-ranked Greek insists he is still not as strong as some on the ATP Tour.Also Read | Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal primed to tighten Wimbledon grip “I think something that probably I’m trying to cover that deficiency that I have is not concentrate too much on my power and my strength and how hard I can hit,” he said. “Maybe play smarter and play more with my mind and not with my physical power.” Another of the new generation hoping to usurp the likes of Djokovic and Federer is the 22-year-old Alexander Zverev.Also Read | Novak Djokovic eyes historic Grand Slam calendar year sweep, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal eye French Open gloryThe young German had a bout of dizziness during an incident-packed victory over French underdog Jeremy Chardy, 7-6 (15/13), 7-6 (7/3). Zverev apologised to a television cameraman after he accidentally hit a ball square into his jaw in winning a point. Zverev was also seen by a doctor in the first set and in another colourful moment he smashed his racquet on the floor during the mammoth first-set tie break. The second-set tie break had a lighter moment — Zverev losing his grip while hitting a shot, his racquet flying into the crowd. “It was definitely interesting,” smiled Zverev, who plays Russia’s Andrey Rublev. For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
Junior wide receiver Michael Pittman recorded two touchdowns against Colorado on Oct. 13. (Josh Dunst | Daily Trojan)As the Trojans come off an ugly loss in Utah, they look to right the ship at home against Arizona State on Saturday after a performance that left unanswered questions. The team surrendered a two-touchdown lead, giving up 34 unanswered points as Utah stormed back to win the game in convincing fashion. The Trojans now stand at 4-3 with slim chances of making the Pac-12 Championship. They’ll have the perfect opportunity to get back on track this week, as they face a struggling 3-4 ASU team at the Coliseum, where the Trojans still hold the second longest home game win streak in college football. “This is a big Pac-12 game that keeps you tied up at the top [of the Pac-12 South], and it’s a game that we need,” head coach Clay Helton said.USC offense vs. ASU defenseUSC’s lack of offensive identity manifested against Utah when the defense failed to find a way to move the ball. The run game remained stagnant, just like it had the previous week, as they faced a dominant Utah rush defense. The team gained only 73 yards on 31 carries but most of that yardage came in garbage time. The offensive line has struggled to create any kind of consistent push off the ball in the run game for weeks, making it difficult for running backs senior Aca’Cedric Ware, sophomore Stephen Carr or redshirt sophomore Vavae Malepeai to get going in the past two contests. The passing game fared just as poorly against Utah which presented a major issue as that had been the Trojans’ only source of offense the previous week. The deep ball that had been so successful against Colorado vanished, as freshman quarterback JT Daniels went 6-of-16 for 89 yards and threw two interceptions. A hit late in the second half knocked him out of the game with a concussion. His status for the ASU game is still unclear. As of Thursday, Daniels had not cleared concussion protocol. If he isn’t able to play, sophomore quarterback Jack Sears will take his first game snaps as a Trojan after redshirt sophomore Matt Fink broke his ribs against Utah.“He was able to throw a few routes on air today, but he has not been cleared for contact,” Helton said after Thursday’s practice. “With it being late in the week and still not cleared, its 50/50 at best if he’s even cleared. It’s probably leaning more toward not.”The way the coaching staff approaches the offensive game plan will probably vary heavily based on which quarterback begins the game under center. If Daniels is the starter, expect the offense to try to replicate what worked for them against Colorado with an explosive deep passing game. “I think [head coach Tee Martin has] done a nice job of saying, ‘Hey we’re not going to reinvent the wheel, we’re going to do things that [Sears] can handle,’” Helton said. The one thing that has worked for the Trojans is junior receiver Michael Pittman — he’s been the only consistent bright spot on the offense, as he’s gone for 262 yards and three touchdowns in the last two contests.Luckily for the Trojans, they’ll face a Sun Devil defense that’s ranked No. 65 in pass defense and No. 66 in rushing defense, offering them the perfect opponent against which to find their groove.“I thought we paid ultra attention to detail this week on trying to get fundamental technique things fixed, so we’re not losing those one on one battles that we lost last week,” Helton said.ASU offense vs. USC defenseThe ASU offense is a three-headed monster, led by redshirt senior quarterback Manny Wilkins. Wilkins has played at a high level this year, completing about 63 percent of his passes for nearly 1,800 yards and 11 touchdowns compared to only two interceptions. He benefits from having one of the best receivers in the country to throw to in junior N’Keal Harry, who will likely be the first receiver to have his name called in next year’s NFL Draft. Harry is a dynamic force on the outside, with tremendous size at 6-foot-4 and special explosiveness. He’s accumulated 572 yards and six touchdowns on the year. The duo will be a tough challenge for a USC secondary that was shredded last weekend, as Utah junior quarterback Tyler Huntley torched them for 341 yards and four touchdowns. Both USC safeties struggled mightily against Utah. Senior Marvell Tell and freshman Talanoa Hufanga both found themselves lost in coverage and missing tackles badly throughout the night. One of the few bright spots for the Trojan pass defense from last week was the performance of the pass rush, which collected five sacks despite having been subpar throughout the year and losing their best player in senior linebacker Porter Gustin due to injury. However, the tackling defense displayed will be a serious problem if it carries into this matchup. Sun Devils sophomore running back Eno Benjamin is a playmaker in the backfield, with 753 yards and seven touchdowns. His ability to make defenders miss in open space could be a serious issue for the Trojan defense if they play like they did last week.“They’ve had a good week of preparation and now it’s time to go play the game,” Helton said. “It’s going to be fun to play in the daylight and be back in the Coliseum.” Prediction: USC 24, ASU 20Though in their current condition it’s not a stretch to think USC could lose to any team, especially if Daniels can’t play, expect them to find a way to keep their home win streak alive. The ASU defense shouldn’t be too tough of a challenge, allowing the offense to find a bit of a groove and for Daniels to regain some confidence. Though the ASU offense features serious playmakers across the board, the USC defense will likely continue to bring a solid pass rush and improve their tackling. Expect them to pull this one out — although it might not be in impressive fashion.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on October 9, 2018 at 12:08 am Contact Max: email@example.com Syracuse (6-4-1, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) dominated Ohio State (1-9-2, 0-3-1 Big Ten), 3-0, on Monday at SU Soccer Stadium. The Orange won its third-straight for the first time since 2016 and imposed its will on the Buckeyes, with the help of Ryan Raposo and Massimo Ferrin, who combined to score all three of SU’s goals.Here are the best shots from the game.