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Madrid Open 2021: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Benoit Paire preview, head-to-head & prediction

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Madrid Open 2021: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Benoit Paire preview, head-to-head & prediction


Match details

Fixture: (4) Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Benoit Paire

Date: 5 May 2021

Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Round: Second round (Round of 32)

Venue: Madrid, Spain

Category: ATP Masters 1000

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: €2,614,465

Match timing: Not before 8 pm local time, 11.30 pm IST

Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Amazon Prime Video

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Benoit Paire preview

Stefanos Tsitsipas is one of the most in-form players on tour right now. The Greek has been unbelievably consistent in 2021 so far, racking up some excellent results.

Prior to the clay swing, Tsitsipas reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and Rotterdam, the final in Acapulco and the quarterfinals in Miami. The 22-year-old then began his European clay season with his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo, following which he reached the final in Barcelona too.

Tsitsipas has already defeated the likes of Rafael Nadal, Andrey Rublev, Jannik Sinner and Roberto Bautista Agut this year. He is now defending points in Madrid as the finalist of the last edition of the tournament in 2019, and takes on France’s Benoit Paire in the second round.

Benoit Paire
Benoit Paire

Paire has made headlines this year mostly for non-tennis reasons. The Frenchman has heavily criticised life in COVID bio-bubbles, and repeatedly spoken about lack of motivation while playing in front of empty stadiums. His mid-match meltdowns this year have caught the attention of people all over the world.

The 31-year-old had only won one match on the ATP tour this year prior to the Madrid Masters, in the first round at Cordoba. He did, however, pick up a confidence-boosting win over recently crowned Munich champion Nikoloz Basilashvili in the Madrid first round on Tuesday.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Benoit Paire head-to-head

The second round encounter in Madrid is the fourth match between the two players, and Stefanos Tsitsipas currently leads the head-to-head 2-1 over Benoit Paire.

The Frenchman won their first encounter, which took place back in 2017 at Metz. Since then, Tsitsipas has got the better of Paire at Washington 2019 and Acapulco 2021.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Benoit Paire prediction

Stefanos Tsitsipas comes into the match as the overwhelming favorite, given his recent form. The Greek was already a formidable claycourt player, but his improved backhand and consistent first serve have made him a lethal force to reckon with this year.

Tsitsipas has also shown in the past that he has no issues dealing with the high altitude conditions in Madrid. The 22-year-old reached the final in 2019, even beating Rafael Nadal along the way.

Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open
Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open

Benoit Paire, on his part, turned several heads by beating the in-form Basilashvili in the first round. With his desire for fans to fill the stadium fulfilled, Paire may well have put the off-court distractions behind him and gained some much-needed focus.

The Frenchman is more than capable of using his skills and wide range of shots to excel on clay, his best surface. But unless there is a monumental drop-off in Tsitsipas’ level from the past few months, it is difficult to see him lose this one.

Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in straight sets.






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Battlegrounds Mobile India to have pre-registrations only for Indian players

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Battlegrounds Mobile India to have pre-registrations only for Indian players


Battlegrounds Mobile India is set to have a pre-registration period before the title’s launch for Indian players before its launch in the country.

PUBG Mobile has been one of the most talked-about titles in Indian mobile gaming in the last few months. The game has a loyal fanbase in India that is exceptionally passionate about it.

There was a public outcry over the title’s suspension, while the Indian version’s announcement in November 2020 had provided users with momentary relief. It has been a while since any further official information was released.

The day that the Indian PUBG Mobile fans had been eagerly waiting for has finally arrived. South Korean gaming giant Krafton has announced Battlegrounds Mobile India is exclusively for players in the country.

Also read: Battlegrounds Mobile India release (2021): Official poster, website, privacy policy, and more


Battlegrounds Mobile India to have pre-registrations only for Indian players

Official logo of Battlegrounds Mobile India
Official logo of Battlegrounds Mobile India

The game’s announcement was made via a post on the new official website that was released today. According to the post, Battlegrounds Mobile India will feature exclusive in-game events, outfits, and geared towards meeting local norms.

The game will be available only to Indian users and will have a specific pre-registration before its launch. The exact details for the same are yet to be released by the developers.


Also read: Battlegrounds Mobile India official privacy policy revealed, game data to be stored in India and Singapore


Other key details of the announcement

Battlegrounds Mobile India will have its own Esports ecosystem, with tournaments and leagues for its players. The South Korean company will be teaming up with partners to grow the competitive scene and bring in exclusive in-game content.

This is like icing on the cake as, after the release, the competitive scene would receive a significant boost and be bigger than ever by a mile.

Krafton also reiterated that privacy and data security are their top priorities. The company will work with its partners to ensure that data collection and storage comply with Indian regulations.


Also read: PUBG Mobile India’s official YouTube channel renamed to Battlegrounds Mobile India






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Indian Premier League 2021: How Coronavirus Entered IPL Bio-Bubble? Sourav Ganguly’s Reply | Cricket News

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Indian Premier League 2021: How Did Coronavirus Enter IPL Bio-Bubble? What Sourav Ganguly Said | Cricket News





Days after the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was postponed, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly defended the board’s decision to stage the T20 tournament in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. The former India captain, while explaining it is difficult to contain the virus even inside a bio-secure environment, cited the example of virus breaching Premier League bubble and affecting football players in the UK. 

Speaking about a potential breach in the bio-bubble, Ganguly, in an interview with the Indian Express, said the report received by the board suggests there was no breach. 

“I don’t think so. The report we got is that there’s no breach of the bubble. How it happened is very difficult to say. How so many people are getting (infected) in the country is also very difficult to say,” Ganguly was quoted as saying. 

Four franchises, Kolkata Knight Riders, SunRisers Hyderabad, Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings, reported positive Covid cases within their camps after which the 14th edition of the IPL was postponed indefinitely. 

“Professional hands around the world can’t control it (virus penetrating the bubble). When it was happening in England (second wave of the pandemic), there were cases in the English Premier League. Manchester City, Arsenal players got infected,” Ganguly said. 

The former India skipper mentioned that due to a rigid schedule, it is difficult for the board to reschedule games easily. 

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“(Premier League) Matches got rescheduled. Because their season is six months long, they can do it. But our season is tight. Since we have to (release) players to their respective countries, rescheduling was very difficult,” Ganguly added. 

The former left-handed batsman further said that there were discussions to host the 14th edition of IPL in the UAE but since there were not many cases back then in the country, the BCCI decided to stage it in India. 

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New Zealand’s IPL-Based Test Players To Leave For England On May 11, Says NZC | Cricket News

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New Zealand’s IPL-Based Test Players To Leave For England On May 11, Says NZC | Cricket News





Four members of New Zealand’s Test contingent involved in the now-suspended IPL, including captain Kane Williamson, will leave India for the United Kingdom on May 11 while the rest will make their way back home on Friday, the country’s cricket board has announced. New Zealand are scheduled to play hosts England in a two-match Test series, beginning on June 2, before facing India in the World Test Championships final at Southampton from June 18. “We’ve worked closely with the BCCI and the IPL franchises on the various departure strategies and we’re very appreciative of their support during what is, clearly, a very challenging time,” New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said in a statement on Thursday. 

Skipper Williamson, pacer Kyle Jamieson and spinner Mitchell Santner, as well as physio Tommy Simsek, will remain in a mini-bubble in New Delhi before departing for the UK, ahead of preparations for the Test series against England, and the WTC final against India. 

There were 17 New Zealanders involved in the IPL, including 10 players. 

“We are also very grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board for accommodating the early arrival of the four members of the Test squad currently in India.” 

NZC said May 11 is the earliest date it could obtain for the team’s arrival in the UK. 

However, pace spearhead Trent Boult will return home briefly to see his family before joining the Test squad in early June, for the second match against England and the WTC final. 

The New Zealand-based Test squad members will depart for England on May 16 and 17. 

“Along with the balance of the New Zealand-bound IPL players, support staff and commentators, Boult is scheduled to depart New Delhi tomorrow on one of two charter flights, arriving in Auckland on Saturday before undergoing managed isolation,” the NZC stated. 

“…Boult will leave MIQ (Managed Isolation and Quarantine) on May 22 and will spend a week at home with his family, training at Mt Maunganui before departing for the UK in early June,” it added. 

New Zealand team trainer Chris Donaldson, who has been with the Kolkata Knight Riders, will also return home briefly to see his family before reconnecting with the Test squad. 

White said Boult and Donaldson will return home for the three-week period with the “blessing” of the cricket board and the national team management. 

“We’re completely supportive of Chris and Trent taking the opportunity to see their families before heading to the UK,” said White. 

“They’ve always been the consummate professionals and we’re more than happy to accommodate these arrangements.” 

White said IPL players, support staff and commentators returning to New Zealand would adhere to all regulatory protocols, including pre-departure COVID-19 tests. 

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Those returning home from India also include Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Shane Bond, Mike Hesson, Tim Seifert, Adam Milne, Scott Kuggeleijn and James Pamment. 

The league was suspended after four players and two coaching staff members from three different teams tested positive for COVID-19 inside the bio-bubble.

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