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Serena survives Stephens in third-round U.S. Open test

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Serena Williams survived a third-round scare at the U.S. Open to topple 2017 champion Sloane Stephens 2-6 6-2 6-2 and keep alive her bid for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title.

A sure-footed Stephens pounced early as third seed Williams struggled with her first serve and committed 13 unforced errors in the first set, claiming an early break for a 2-1 lead.

The 26th seed kept Williams on the run as she saved two break points, with the 38-year-old struggling to find her rhythm.

But the momentum dramatically shifted in Williams’ favour in the second set.

She opened up a 4-2 lead as she cleaned up her game and kept psyching herself up in the absence of the legions of fans who regularly flock to Flushing Meadows.

The stands sat empty this year due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

“It was intense, I have to say,” Williams, chasing a seventh title at the New York major, said in an on-court interview.

“It always brings out the best in my fitness when I play Sloane.”

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Austin Eguavoen reveals he was a master tactician before AFCON (Video)

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Newly trending video posted on ATHLST’s YouTube channel shows Super Eagles coach Austin Eguavoen breakdown Nigeria’s football philosophy and his preferred playing style while looking back at some of Nigeria’s most historic teams.

It’s a much watch.

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AFCON: Super Eagles to face Tunisia in next round

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria will square off with Tunisia in the round of 16 stage of the African Cup of Nations following the North African nation finishing one of four best losers at the group stage.

The Carthage Eagles lost 1-0 to Gambia on Thursday night to finish third in Group E on three points, but this was good enough for Tunisia to scramble into the knockout rounds.

Both Eagles met at the bronze medal match at AFCON 2019 in Egypt with Nigeria getting the better of Tunisia 1-0 thanks to Odion Ighalo’s goal.

The teams will face off in Garoua on Sunday at 8 pm.

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NFF to allow Eguavoen remain Super Eagles’ coach

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said Augustine Eguavoen can keep the national team job on a permanent basis if he wants.

The 56-year-old stepped in on an interim basis after Gernot Rohr was sacked in December.

Eguavoen has so far impressed at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, with the Super Eagles winning all their Group D fixtures.

However, he was supposed to hand over to Jose Peseiro after the tournament.

But ESPN reports that the NFF is having second thoughts about that.

“We will have to leave him there, unless he doesn’t want the job,” an NFF source said.

Eguavoen is currently the NFF Technical Director, but the football house would allow him handle both roles.

“What we are even thinking of right now is to give Eguavoen the two jobs. The national team plays about 10 matches a year, so during those times when they are not playing, he can carry on with his other responsibilities.

“Coaching is very touch and go. Right now, he has a stable job being Technical Director where he gets paid by FIFA. To leave that for being a coach where things can change any moment and he can get fired would be very risky.

“That is why we want him to keep the two positions. So, whatever happens, he has shown that he can excel in both and if anything happens with the coaching, he can go back to just being technical director,” the official added.

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