hnaltcrj

CBA boys, RBC girls swim to Shore Conference titles

first_imgCBA boys, RBC girls swim to Shore Conference titles RBC squeaks by Rumson-Fair Haven with their depth By Doug mckenzie Staff Writer The Christian Brothers Academy swim team has won the Shore Conference Swimming Champion-ships every year since joining the conference 11 years ago. So Sunday’s results should be a surprise to no one, as the Lincroft Colts again displayed their overall strength in capturing yet another title. CBA was atop the leader board from the very start, as their 200 medley relay team posted the Colts’ first win of the day by beating a surprisingly good Toms River North squad to the wall in the first race of the day. Senior Joe Davidow swam the anchor for the Colts and touched out at 1:44.03, .14 seconds ahead of TR North, in CBA’s best time of the season in that event. Although that first race was close, CBA once again swam away with the team competition, distancing itself from the field like it has so many times before. Before it was all said and done, the Colts had accumulated 297 points, with Toms River East second (135), Toms River South third (134), Toms River North fourth (102), and Red Bank and Monsignor Donovan tied for fifth (77). It was CBA’s dominance of the relays which allowed them to cruise to another championship. After the team of Kevin Connors, Vincent Tupper, Brendan Connors and Davidow won the 200 medley, the Colts’ 200 freestyle relay team of Davidow, Kevin Connors, Matt Zilinski and Chris Farrell beat out TR South 1:33.09 to 1:33.24. From there it was the 400 freestyle relay team of Andrew Faughnan, Brendan Connors, Zilinski and Farrell who took the final relay of the day in a time of 3:27.88. CBA’s dominance of the relay events did not carry over to the individual events, however, as a number of swimmers from various schools swam away with conference championships. Rumson’s Ryan Matthews beat out CBA’s Farrell in the 200 freestyle, touching the wall in 1:50.52. Matthews used a strong push in the final 25 yards to top Farrell. In the 200 IM, it was Monmouth sophomore Chris Soniak touching the wall first (2:00.2), just ahead of Toms River South’s Carlos Santiago. (2:01.7). Soniak also went on to win the 100 butterfly in a time of 53.83, his best time of the season. But Santiago came back for a win of his own when he posted a 1:02.39 in the 100 breaststroke. The 50 freestyle was the day’s closest race, with St. John Vianney’s Kyle Williams (22.09), a junior who swims for the Red Bank YMCA, beating out Red Bank’s Mike Kelly (22.1). Kelly, however, came back to post a win in the 100 freestyle (48.23) with Williams posting second (49.26). Middletown South senior Greg Elzer got a win as well, touching the wall first in the 100 backstroke (55.13), just ahead of CBA’s Kevin Connors (55.81). CBA got its lone individual win of the day when Farrell won the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:54.12, and had the largest margin of victory (20 seconds) of the day. Meanwhile, on the girls’ side of the pool, the Red Bank Catholic Caseys completed a perfect sweep over rival Rumson-Fair Haven by defending their Shore Conference championship after beating the Bulldogs in their regular season dual meet and the county championships. The Caseys topped the Bulldogs by a score of 265 to 232 on Saturday, even though they won just two of the 11 events. However, it was their depth which made the difference, as they placed at least one swimmer in the top five in 10 events. Their wins came in the 50 freestyle, where junior Sara Schwartz touched the wall in 25.62, and the 200 freestyle relay, where the team of Noreen Faughnan, Carrie Rider, Bridget Pegler and Schwartz swam a 1:45.15, beating a Mary McCue-anchored Red Bank team which finished second at 1:45.31. But several other races saw RBC swimmers place near the front of the field, allowing them to accumulate enough points to distance themselves from the competition. As for McCue, she was one of the meet’s top swimmers, winning the 200 IM (2:10.05) by seven seconds over Rumson standout Bryanne Matthews (the defending champ), and the 100 free (53.76), which was just .37 seconds behind a meet record set over a decade ago. In addition, her spit of 24.37 in the 200 free relay almost led her team to a come-from-behind win over RBC. Red Bank’s Kristen Harris also won a pair of events. In the 500 freestyle, she had to sprint to the finish to top Rumson’s Ashley Bissett 5:07.53 to 5:08.67. Harris’ second win came in the 200 free, where she swam away from the field in 1:58.16. Bissett came back herself to pick up a pair of wins in the 100 fly (1:01.86) and the 100 breaststroke (1:08.98). In the remaining events, Manasquan defended their 200 medley title, while Rumson’s team of Trudy Wojciehowski, Sara Moser-Cohen, Matthews and Bissett won the 400 free relay with a time of (3:46.54). But at the end of the day it was Coach Gail Slevin’s RBC Caseys who were celebrating the team title, and the culmination of a perfect season.last_img read more

hyadcosi

Hawks in battle for first place in NEC

first_imgBY DOMINICK RINELLI JR. Correspondent BY DOMINICK RINELLI JR.Correspondent Above, Monmouth’s T.J. Cerezo returns a Robert Morris fumble for a touchdown during the Hawks 14-0 win in front of a Homecoming Day crowd in West Long Branch. Below, quarterback Brian Boland fires the ball over the defense. The Monmouth University football team (5-2, 3-1 NEC) accomplished a feat Saturday at Kessler Field on Homecoming Day that only two other teams were able to do when the Hawks shut out Robert Morris University (2-5, 1-3 NEC). Monmouth defeated Robert Morris, 14-0, in Northeast Conference play during a defensively controlled contest by holding the Colonial offense to 222 yards of total offense and forcing five turnovers in a game that was affected by the rain and wind of Mother Nature. PHOTOS BY CHRIS KELLY staff Yet to junior middle linebacker Mike Castellano, the weather could not have been better. “I always like playing in the rain,” he said, “especially on defense; the ball pops out a little more.” Monmouth jumped out in front 7-0 as junior quarterback Brian Boland hit junior wide receiver Shane Sharpley on a slant pattern with 10:06 remaining in the first half. “We had one-on-one, basically, and Shane made a great move on the slant. He got inside and made a great play for a touchdown,” said Boland. Sharpley’s TD reception, his first in his career as a Hawk, capped a two-play, 19-yard drive that ticked only 48 seconds off the game clock. Senior Jesse Orbach gave the Blue and White field position within the red zone after recovering a Robert Morris fumble. Less then four minutes later, sophomore linebacker T.J. Cerezo recovered yet another Colonial fumble, which occurred during the center-quarterback exchange. No. 56 scooped up the loose ball and scampered 44 yards down the sideline to pay dirt to put the Hawks in front 14-0. “Well, they did a great job,” said head coach Kevin Callahan when asked about the defense’s performance. “Not only did we a do a good job of containing Robert Morris’ offense, which was averaging about 30 points per game, we were also able to get a couple of turnovers to put us in good field position.” The Hawks defense is ranked eighth in Division I-AA in rushing defense by limiting their opponents to an average of 94.4 rush yards per game. Boland finished 8-of-21 on the day with 99 yards and one interception, while running back Bobby Smith rushed for 100 yards on 15 carries. Both teams’ offenses ended the day five-of-16 on third-down conversion attempts, which resulted in 15 punts. Callahan praised his punter, Sean Dennis, who booted the ball eight times on the day — four of which pinned the Colonials inside the 20-yard line. “Sean Dennis did a good job by pinning them several times down in their 5-yard line and giving them a long field to go,” the coach said. Not a factor in the victory for the Blue and White was senior wide receiver Miles Austin, who recorded one reception for a 12-yard gain. Austin left the game in the first quarter with an ankle sprain, according to Callahan, but should be ready to play in their next game this Saturday. Despite only seeing limited action in the victory, Austin remains first in Division I-AA in receiving yards per game (133.71), second in receiving yards (936) and third in scoring (10.29 ppg). And then there were two Going into Saturday’s Northeast Conference football matchups, Monmouth was in a five-way tie for first place. After all was said and done, Monmouth was left along with Central Connecticut State University to claim the No. 1 ranking in the NEC — a CCSU team that will host the Hawks this coming Saturday. This Saturday’s game, with a slated 1 p.m. kickoff, has a lot riding on it, and Callahan stresses the magnitude of this game. “This is as big as it gets right now,” he said. “We said a week ago that we had four straight weeks of conference games to determine a championship, and the right things have happened outside of our control — with Wagner losing. Now everything is in our control.” Callahan is not overly concerned if Austin is unable to compete Saturday. The wideout underwent an X-ray earlier in the week. “We have guys that can come in and who have made big plays,” the coach said. “We’re fortunate that that position is one that’s not only talented but fairly deep. “It’s important that we get ready to go play a championship game on Saturday,” said Callahan. The Hawks are 7-4 all-time against the Blue Devils, and were victorious, 9-6, the last time the two teams faced off on Oct. 30, 2004, here in New Jersey. Kicker Steve Andriola broke the 6-6 tie as time expired with a 29-yard field goal to win the game.last_img read more

vsgsbcmn

Sports Shorts

first_imgThe Lincroft Knights, a U11 boys travel team, is seeking competitive players for a travel team on Sundays. Player must be born after April 30, 1994. Season begins in April. For more info call (732) 530-7305 or e-mail bepirro@yahoo.com. Players from all towns are welcome. A new men’s modified softball league is forming in Middletown. Anyone interested should contact Dom Buonomo at (732) 787-7025 or (732) 266-6056. The Hazlet Wrecking Crew boys U16 soccer team will hold tryouts at 5 p.m. March 6 at the Hazlet Soccer Complex for the spring season. The team will be playing in the top flight in the Mid-Jersey league. No town residency is required. Call Bill at (732) 888-1550 or e-mail wwntz@comcast.net for additional information. The Hazlet 10U girls won the Monmouth Youth Basketball League Championship. The Monmouth Youth League was made up of 19 teams from throughout Monmouth County. The Hazlet girls capped off the most successful season in the Hazlet Girls Youth program’s history by rolling through the playoffs with victories over Wall Township, an unbeaten Manalapan team, and an unbeaten Matawan team in the championship game. The Hazlet Girls team is made up of Michelle Bauerlein, Laura Gesario, Kerry Ginda, Megan Lunney, Chris Marzelli, Caitlin Ouano, Amanda Pellegrino and Julie Tonuzi. The girls are coached by Sam Tonuzi and Joe Pellegrino, who are assisted by Gerard Gesario. Congratulations to all the girls, coaches and parents for their hard work, dedication and well-deserved title. The Husky Soccer Association will be accepting registration for its 3-vs.-3 Outdoor Soccer League. The cost for the eight-week program is $35 for an individual, $65 for two members of a family, and $100 for a family of three or more. The league is open to all children presently in kindergarten through adults. The games will be played on Sundays for the months of April, May and June at Matawan Regional High School’s soccer fields. Registration will be accepted on an individual basis; no team registrations. For more information, call Art Perri at (732) 566-0154 or e-mail huskysport@aol.com..last_img read more

zadttguj

State to seek proposals for sale of Monmouth Park

first_img BY DAN HOWLEY Staff Writer The state will solicit proposals for the sale of Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority is preparing a request for proposals for the sale of Monmouth Park.The announcement came as Gov. Chris Christie signed several bills into law aimed at helping to keep the state’s ailing horse-racing industry afloat.According to NJSEA spokesman John Samerjian, the authority has begun drafting the request for proposals (RFP), but he said last week information on guidelines and qualifications of those who submit proposals were not yet available. OceanportMayorMichaelMahon said the borough was expecting the authority to issue the RFP.“The governor’s announcement … that the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority would issue in the near future a request for proposals for the sale of Monmouth Park, including assignment of additional off-track wagering operations, comes as no surprise to the Oceanport Task Force [on Monmouth Park],” Mahon said.“Representatives have maintained an open dialogue with the Hanson Commission, the NJSEA, the [N.J. Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association] and others that will likely play a key role in preserving horse racing at Monmouth Park.”Christie made the announcement about the RFPin a statement released last week in which he also announced his approval of Assembly billsA-2926 andA-3200.A-2926 establishes a system of exchange wagering for in-state and out-of- state horse races, while A-3200 authorizes horse-racing permit owners to establish a single-pool betting system.“These measures represent the next steps in following through on my administration’s commitment to securing a strong, independent, self-sufficient horse-racing industry in New Jersey,” Christie said Jan. 31.“Along with our ongoing efforts to transform racing at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park through private management, these measures will place horse racing on a path to economic stability and sustainability without public subsidy that New Jersey taxpayers can simply no longer afford,” he added.In addition to the wagering bills, Christie also signed Senate bill S-11 into law, which allocates up to $30 million over three years in purse subsidies for races at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands racetracks.The funding will come from proceeds from Internet gaming and savings realized through casino deregulation.Although the $30 million will not be made available immediately, Christie could choose to provide it to the racetracks if he deems it a necessity, according to the 12th District legislative office.Christie conditionally vetoed a fourth bill, Assembly bill A-1705, which provides revisions to the Off Track and Account Wagering Act to expedite the development of off-track wagering facilities throughout the state.“While I wholeheartedly endorse the objectives behind A-1705, a conditional veto is necessary to give us the necessary flexibility and latitude in negotiations, as it relates to the assignment of off-track wagering locations, and that any future OTW locations not be hampered out of the gate with additional fees on their operations,” Christie said.District 12 legislators Sen. Jennifer Beck and Assembly members Caroline Casagrande and Declan O’Scanlon praised Christie for signing the legislation into law. “Horse racing is a vital part of our regional economy and helps preserve significant amounts of open space in our state,” Beck said last week in a press release.“Exchange wagering and pari-mutuel betting will help the industry adapt to a changing market and consumer preferences and lend a much-needed boost to the racing industry’s revenues,” she said.Casagrande said the bills were a step toward creating a horse-racing industry that is able to stand on its own two feet.She went on to add that the off-track betting bill was a “critical component” of the equation for a stronger horse racing industry.“I call on my colleagues to swiftly take up the changes recommended in the governor’s conditional veto, which are neither unreasonable nor a threat to the overall objective of the bill,” she said.Mahon also thanked Christie as well as the 12th District representatives for their help in moving the legislation forward.“Horse racing is an important and vital cog in not only Oceanport’s economy and the economy of Monmouth County but the entire state of New Jersey as well,” Mahon said last week.“Horse racing contributes 7,000 jobs, $110 million in federal, state and local taxes, and 57,000 acres of working agricultural landscape and open space to our ‘Garden State.’“In addition to A-2926 authorizing exchange wagering, and the enactment of [A- 3200] to permit racetrack permit holders to provide a single pari-mutuel pool for every horse race, we applaud the governor’s signing of the bipartisan bill, S-11, … that would enable horse racing to not only survive, but to thrive,” he said.Mahon added that the Oceanport Task Force on Monmouth Park continues to believe that virtual lottery terminals, slot machines or a gaming casino in the Meadowlands are the only way to secure the future of horse racing in New Jersey.“The surrounding states of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland now have some form of gaming at their racetracks. This uneven playing field enables our competitors to lure New Jersey horsemen out of statewith larger purses and better quality horse racing,” he said. Local officials laud bills aimed at saving horse racing last_img read more

vqvgmktm

Special Edgbaston crowd can be our 12th man, says Cook

first_imgBy Tony JimenezEngland want to bounce back from a disastrous showing at Lord’s by playing well enough to get a special Edgbaston crowd on their side in the third Ashes Test against Australia, said captain Alastair Cook.Cook’s team were humiliated by 405 runs in the second Test at the home of cricket as Australia levelled the five-match series 1-1.“The crowd really get behind us here,” Cook told a news conference on Tuesday. “If we get on top we feel as if we’ve got an extra man playing for us because of the noise.“It’s almost a different atmosphere to anywhere else we play. We are 1-1 in an Ashes series coming to Edgbaston, a fantastic ground where we know that if we play good cricket the crowd will get behind us.“Lord’s was an absolute disaster but that’s gone. It’s like a three-game series now and we need to win two of them to create something really special,” Cook said.England have rejigged their line-up, bringing in batsman Jonny Bairstow for Gary Ballance, and may also need to call up paceman Steven Finn in place of Mark Wood who has an ankle problem.“With the rainy weather today Woody can’t bowl outside so we’re a little bit concerned about making a call on him,” said Cook.England have made a series of poor batting starts recently and the skipper is hoping the in-form Bairstow’s inclusion and Ian Bell’s promotion from four to three in the order can spark a turnaround.“We’ve found ourselves three wickets down early on too many occasions in the last six months or so and we’ve had a little bit of a rejig,” said Cook.“Congratulations to Jonny, he’s knocked the (selection) door down while playing for Yorkshire. He’s averaging over 100 which is fantastic cricket at any level.”Cook had a warning for Chris Rogers despite saying he was pleased to hear that Australia’s opening batsman was fit again after a dizzy spell forced him to retire in the second innings at Lord’s.Rogers feared he had suffered another bout of concussion following the head knock at training that ruled him out of both Tests against West Indies but subsequent checks showed it was an inner ear issue.“It’s good that he’s physically okay, we don’t want anyone getting head injuries…but certainly we’ll have to test him,” Cook said.last_img read more

fsukgtgh

Champions League results

first_imgResults from the Champions League Qualifying Round 3 first leg matches on Wednesday:Celtic (Scotland) – Qarabag Agdam (Azerbaijan) 1-0 (halftime: 0-0)Steaua Bucharest (Romania) – Partizan Belgrade (Serbia) 1-1 (halftime: 0-0)Salzburg (Austria) – Malmo (Sweden) 2-0 (halftime: 0-0)HJK Helsinki (Finland) – Astana (Kazakhstan) 0-0 (halftime: 0-0)Lech Poznan (Poland) – FC Basel (Switzerland) 1-3 (halftime: 1-1)Tuesday, July 28, first legDinamo Zagreb (Croatia) – Molde (Norway) 1-1 (halftime: 1-1)Videoton FC (Hungary) – BATE Borisov (Belarus) 1-1 (halftime: 0-0)Young Boys (Switzerland) – Monaco (France) 1-3 (halftime: 0-0)Fenerbahce (Turkey) – Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) 0-0 (halftime: 0-0)Panathinaikos (Greece) – Club Bruges (Belgium) 2-1 (halftime: 1-1)Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) – Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic) 1-2 (halftime: 0-2)Midtjylland (Denmark) – APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus) 1-2 (halftime: 0-2)Milsami Orhei (Moldova) – Skenderbeu (Albania) 0-2 (halftime: 0-0)CSKA Moscow (Russia) – Sparta Prague (Czech Republic) 2-2 (halftime: 1-1)last_img read more

qjrbvrhw

Jamie Murray set for British first in doubles rankings

first_imgJamie Murray will become Britain’s first world number one professional tennis player since computerised rankings were introduced in the 1970s after the ATP World Tour confirmed on Sunday he will take top spot in doubles from Marcelo Melo.The 30-year-old, whose brother Andy is ranked world number two in singles, will take top spot from the Brazilian when the new rankings are published on April 4.Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association hailed Murray on Twitter as a history maker.Murray won the Australian Open doubles title in January alongside Brazilian Bruno Soares.Melo’s failure to reach the doubles quarter-finals in the Miami Open on Sunday means he will drop points and fall behind Murray in the rankings, despite the Briton’s earlier elimination.“He really deserves it,” the BBC quoted Melo as saying. “He made the final in Wimbledon, final US Open, won the Davis Cup, won the Australian Open, so he deserves it a lot. I’m happy for him.”Murray posted a picture on his Instagram account of himself sitting on a beach with the number one written in the sand.“Last night I went to bed wondering if that was the closest I would ever get,” he said. “Today driving in my car my phone started to go crazy.”Britain’s Virginia Wade was also world number one in women’s doubles in 1973, before computer rankings were introduced.last_img read more

fsukgtgh

Sharapova marks comeback from doping ban with win

first_imgFormer world number one Maria Sharapova made a winning comeback to the tour on Wednesday following her 15-month doping ban, beating Italian Roberta Vinci in straight sets in the first round of the Stuttgart Grand Prix.The 30-year-old Russian, three-time winner on Stuttgart’s clay courts, received a controversial wild card for the German tournament, having had no ranking points after more than a year out following her suspension for banned substances.She had a nervous start in front of a supportive crowd but quickly found her strokes and her trademark shrieks to power past the world number 36 7-5 6-3 and set up a second-round clash against fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova.“It’s the best feeling in the world. To know I would be walking back into the arena was very special,” Sharapova said in a courtside interview. “I was waiting for this moment for a long time.”She added: “When I am on the court, because I have been doing it for so long, even though you are rusty and trying to get a rhythm, you try to block everything out. I am a competitor by nature. That’s when I am at my best.”Sharapova has also received invitations to play in Madrid and Rome and will find out in May whether she will be given a wild card for the French Open.Her initial two-year suspension was reduced to 15 months after she tested positive at the 2016 Australian Open for meldonium, a medication the Russian had been taking within the rules but which was then reclassified as a banned drug.“It’s important to play, points, games, sets. It is a journey that officially starts today and I look forward to playing as many matches as I can.”Sharapova was clearly nervous at the start, firing three forehands long in the first game, double-faulting on her first service game point and being broken by the Italian for a quick 2-0 lead.It took 15 minutes for Sharapova to win her first game but she gradually improved her service, started attacking Vinci’s serve and clinched the first set after an hour.Sharapova, growing in confidence with every point despite a dozen unforced errors in the first set, broke the Italian early in the second, and her 11th ace put her 5-3 ahead.She broke the 34-year-old again to secure her first win on her first match point.last_img read more

dqpldvbr

Olympic Values goes to Mendi

first_imgThe programme was held last month and was run by the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee.The programme was presented in two parts;1.  Why values are important to them2.  Understanding the Olympic ValuesTeam PNG’s HERO programme athletes and 2015 Pacific Games basketballers, Dia Muri, Betty Angula and Karate athlete, Andrew Molen facilitated the OVEP sessions.Having athletes facilitate the sessions allowed for a more powerful interaction with the students.The first session was held on March 30 at Kumin Primary School followed by North Mendi Primary school the next day.They also had to opportunity to run a session with students from the Mendi School of Nursing. The sessions incorporated fun activities designed to emphasize the values.A session on basketball drills was also held with local players on April 1 and was led by Muri and Angula.Programme coordinator, Shareena Tanabi said they were very excited about running the programme in Mendi and enjoyed the experience in meeting and working with the students and the local athletes there.“The OVEP programme provides educational awareness on the important Olympic Values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship and how our own PNG athletes and other athletes around the world use this to better themselves in their sporting career and in their personal lives as well,” said Tanabi.She said the programme had also been received well in other centers in the Highlands including Hides and Mt. Hagen and the team was pleased with delivering another successful session for the students in Mendi.“These are very important values for us and we are glad that we can share that with the students and athletes in Mendi this time,” said Tanabi.Tanabi thanked ExxonMobil PNG for their support of the OVEP and Basketball PNG for providing resources for the visit.last_img read more

dqpldvbr

Murray gets Ramos-Vinolas revenge

first_imgRamos-Vinolas beat the world No 1 on Murray’s return from an elbow injury in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters last week, and he looked poised for a repeat.But Ramos-Vinolas missed a chance to serve for the match and it was Murray who came through 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in a little under three hours.In the semi-finals he will face fourth seed Dominic Thiem, who will be looking for a third British scalp of the week after knocking out Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans.”It was obviously a very tough match,” said Murray. “It was kind of the opposite of the match we had last week, where probably today he deserved to win, he created a lot more chances, he served for the match and couldn’t quite get it.”Last week I had 4-0, I felt like I had all of the chances and sometimes on clay matches happen this way so I’m very happy to get through.”I started coming to the net more and volleying, I felt like I started to dictate more of the points and that was a big difference.”Ramos-Vinolas is in the form of his life having risen to a career high ranking 19 and he dominated the opening stages, taking five straight games after Murray started with a comfortable hold.The second set went with serve for the first nine games, but Ramos-Vinolas was left to rue three missed break points to serve for the match as Murray held and then immediately broke for the first time in the match to level at one set all.The Scot, though, failed to build on that momentum as he was broken in the first game of the third set.However, Ramos-Vinolas had to take an injury timeout for blisters when leading 2-1 and Murray pounced to break back at 2-2.Ramos-Vinolas had the chance to serve it out when he broke again for 5-4, but nerves seemed to get the better of him as three errors handed Murray the break back.Murray raced out to a 4-0 lead in the tie-break and saw it out as Ramos-Vinolas’ efforts took their toll.Murray will have at least one more match to work on his fitness before he heads to the key French Open warm-up events in Madrid and Rome.The Wimbledon champion faces Thiem in Saturday’s semis after the Austrian ended Japanese lucky loser Yuichi Sugita’s unlikely run to the quarters 6-1 6-2.”I knew he was in great shape after beating three great players before me,” Thiem said. “My game plan was to take him out of his comfort zone. I sliced a lot and tried to play with high spin.”Rafael Nadal’s quest for a 10th Barcelona title continued with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 win against Korean qualifier Chung Hyeon. He will face the winner of the match between Russia’s Karen Khachanov or Argentine Horacio Zeballos.last_img read more