Good Week/Bad Week

Novak Djokovic ended Rafael Nadal's reign in Monaco, Sebastian Vettel dominated in Bahrain, while Celtic are the kings of Scotland. Luis Suarez is in the spotlight once again with Kevin Pietersen in a fitness race ahead of this summer's Ashes.

Last Updated: 22/04/13 at 12:59 Post Comment   

Novak Djokovic: finally ended Rafael Nadal's run at the Monte Carlo Masters

Novak Djokovic: finally ended Rafael Nadal's run at the Monte Carlo Masters

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Good week

Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal may have only recently returned to competitive tennis following a lengthy lay-off, but he remained the 'King of Clay'.

The Spaniard showed he was nearing his best form with a relatively one-sided semi-final success of Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Djokovic would have his work cut out if he were to succeed in the Monte Carlo Masters final.

Nadal was gunning for a ninth straight title in Monaco while he also boasted an imposing 46-match unbeaten run in the principality.

However, the number one seed ensured Nadal would not come out on top again as he overcame his old rival in straight sets. The Spaniard is not one to lie down and showed moments of class, but it proved to be the Serb's title - his first following a third final appearance.

Graeme McDowell

The Northern Irishman enjoyed a weekend to remember by claiming the RBC Heritage at a windy Hilton Head in South Carolina.

He did it the hard way, however, by seeing off Webb Simpson in a play-off. A par at the first extra hole was enough after his rival's birdie putt from off the green was blown well beyond the hole just as it seemed to have stopped dead.

Simpson then missed his attempt for a four, handing McDowell - who had started Sunday's play four shots back of overnight leader Charley Hoffman - his second PGA Tour victory.

Bahrain Grand Prix - Sebastian Vettel

After spending the previous weekend bemoaning the tyres in China and dealing with the fallout from his very public spat with team-mate Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel had no such worries in Bahrain as he eased to a comfortable victory on Sunday.

The win increases the Red Bull driver's lead at the top of the Drivers' Championship to 10 points over Kimi Raikkonen as he goes in search of his fourth successive title. With Vettel's other main title rival, Fernando Alonso, experiencing DRS problems which limited him to eighth at the chequered flag, the German can now afford a non-finish, safe in the knowledge he will remain ahead of the Ferrari driver.

Next up for Vettel is the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, a track which rewards aerodynamic performance - something Red Bull have in abundance. Thus, having cemented his place at the top of the standings in Bahrain, the 25-year-old can head back to Europe knowing he is in good shape to continue his march towards the title once again.

Celtic

Even without Rangers in the SPL, Celtic going on to win the title was not a forgone conclusion. The Bhoys were the resounding favourites, but fulfilling expectations is another matter.

However, Neil Lennon's side clinched yet another Scottish crown following a 4-1 success over Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Parkhead - their 44th title which leaves them ten behind rivals Rangers.

Celtic were made to sweat for just over an hour before Gary Hooper broke the deadlock in Glasgow. Joe Ledley's goal shortly afterwards settled the nerves before Hooper's second and a fourth from Georgios Samaras sparked scenes of joy. Aaron Doran replied in injury time, but it failed to take the icing off the cake. Also notable mentions go to Cardiff and Gillingham for securing the Championship and League Two titles respectively and also Bournemouth for winning promotion from League One.

Bad Week

Luis Suarez

The Liverpool striker is no stranger to controversy. Even before the Uruguay international had joined the Reds he had built up quite a reputation at Ajax. While his ability and quality cannot be questioned he has an uncanny knack of producing moments of madness at precisely the wrong time.

The Reds' Super Sunday clash against Chelsea will provide yet another chapter in the Suarez book, one he no doubt would prefer not to be published. When tussling with Branislav Ivanovic in the Blues' penalty area Suarez appeared to bite the arm of the Serbian defender.

Video evidence does not look good for the Liverpool striker and it certainly will be interesting to see what action the FA decides to take. One thing is certain, he will need a change of mentality going forward if he is to remain a Liverpool player. The PFA have already offered anger management counselling to the player.

Kevin Pietersen

It was revealed the England international would be missing the upcoming New Zealand Test series due to a knee injury.

The South Africa-born batsman has been a key performer since returning to the side, but a stint on the sidelines means he will not be a part of Andy Flower's squad for the May matches.

Pietersen is due to undergo a scan this week to determine when he might be able to return to action. The 32-year-old has until July 10 to return to full fitness if he intends to play in the Ashes against Australia which starts at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

Wigan Athletic

FA Cup finalists Wigan might be going to Wembley, but a more pressing concern for owner Dave Whelan will be the club's ability to avoid dropping out of the Premier League. The Latics have done fantastically well to set up a clash against Manchester City in the capital, although it seems their league campaign has suffered.

Wigan were unlucky not to pick up at least a point from their midweek clash at City and they followed up that result with a 2-0 loss to West Ham at Upton Park that leaves them three points adrift of Aston Villa, who also have a game in hand.

It is now looking a straight fight between Wigan and Villa for the drop with weekend wins for the likes of Stoke City, Sunderland and Norwich, although one suspects there are plenty more twists and turns in the relegation scrap still to come.

Fed Cup - Great Britain

Great Britain saw their hopes of securing a place in the Fed Cup World Group II end after slipping to a 3-1 defeat to Argentina in Buenos Aires.

The loss was confirmed when Elena Baltacha was beaten in three sets by Maria Irigoyen, with British No 1 Laura Robson also having been defeated in three earlier on Sunday.

It means Judy Murray's team must once again return to the Euro/Africa group and attempt to secure qualification once again next year.

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Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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