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Andy Murray has been placed in Rafa Nadals half of the draw for the Madrid Open, wit
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Andy Murray has been placed in Rafa Nadals half of the draw for the Madrid Open, with the Spaniard keen to continue his superb return to form. Brett Favre Super Bowl Jersey . Defending champion Murray comes to Madrid of the back of a much improved showing in Monte Carlo where he reached the semi-final, only to run into a Nadal beginning to show signs that he is back to his very best. Sky Live: Madrid Masters How to follow the Madrid Masters on Sky Sports Murray beat Nadal to win in Madrid last year while Nadal saw off Murray in three sets on his way to the title in the principality before going on to win in Barcelona and a victory in Madrid this week would set him up perfectly for a run at the French Open later this month where he is aiming to win an unprecedented 10th title at Roland Garros. Murray and Nadal are joined by Roger Federer and world No 1 Novak Djokovic in an A-list cast in Madrid and after a couple of years on inconsistency it is the Spaniard who arrives as the form player. Rafa Nadal beat Andy Murray in Monte Carlo Ive been playing well for a while, Nadal said at a promotional event this week. But you need the results to come along with that.Murrays win in Madrid last year gave him his first ever Masters title on clay and the world No 2 practiced with Nadal at the Spaniards tennis academy in Manacor in the lead up to the tournament. Andy Murray claimed his first clay court Masters with vcitory in Madrid last year And Murray, whose season has been disjointed after some time off following the birth of his first child, is well aware of Nadals capabilities Every player goes through periods where they dont necessarily play as well as they have done previously, Murray said.Rafa is still one of the best players on the surface and he still works as hard as he can on and off the court. I am sure he has gone away and worked at things since last year, so its hard to say if hell ever be back up to where he was, I guess we will have to wait and see. Watch highlights as Andy Murray mastered Rafa Nadal in Madrid last year In terms of the defence of his title Murray admits last year he was in top condition before claiming a memorable success over the home favourite.My preparation last year was probably the best its ever been for the clay, said the the Scot.I prepared for the event more thoroughly than I had done in previous years. When you have done everything you can do to ensure that youre ready for the surface, it gives you confidence. Roger Federer has added the Madrid Open to his schedule Federer, a winner in Madrid in 2012, added Madrid to his schedule in the last week as he steps up prepertions for the French Open and he is in the same half of the draw as Murray and Nadal - if the draw pans out he could play the Spaniard in the quarter finals.The Swiss while play either Nicholas Mahut or Joao Sousa, Murray will face either Vasek Pospisil or a qualifier while Nadal faces either Viktor Troicki or Andrey Kuznetsov. Novak Djokovic will be keen to make amends for a shock defeat to Jiri Vesely in his last outing In the other half of the draw, Djokovic will be looking for a third Masters title of the year but after success in Indian Wells and Miami he faces a particularly tricky assignment with clay-court specialist Nicolas Almagro or talented teenager Borna Coric his second round opponent.Djokovics only Madrid title came in 2011 and he will be keen to make amends for a shock second round defeat to Jiri Vesely in Monte Carlo. Masters of their trade Nadal and Djokovic tied on total Masters crowns You can follow all the action on Sky Sports this week with the action getting underway at 11am on Sky Sports 3 on Monday.By purchasing a Sky Sports Day Pass for £6.99 or Sky Sports Week Pass for £10.99, you can enjoy access to all seven Sky Sports channels and watch on a TV with a NOW TV Box or on a range of devices. Also See: Sky Live: Madrid Masters Masters of their trade ATP schedule Tennis on Sky Paul Hornung Super Bowl Jersey . Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee? Green had bounced around the NBA when he wasnt playing overseas. The Pacers gave up on Plumlee after just one season. Now Green and Plumlee are key cogs in the Suns surprising breakout season. Raven Greene Super Bowl Jersey . -- First baseman Carlos Pena and outfielder Brennan Boesch have signed minor league deals with the Los Angeles Angels. http://www.officialgreenbaypackerspro.co...rs-jersey/ . -- James Harden scored 31 points, including 25 in the second half, and the Houston Rockets dug out of a double-digit, first-half hole to beat the Orlando Magic 101-89 on Wednesday night.TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter pulled into the parking lot of the New York Yankees minor league complex on Thursday, walked out of his grey Mercedes-Benz and waved a hand holding a bottle of mineral water as about 50 fans applauded his mere arrival. After taking batting practice in an indoor cage and throwing on a field, he drove out of the parking lot about 90 minutes later -- the car cleaned and polished, its silver hub caps shining. He stopped and rolled down the drivers side window to sign photographs, baseballs and other memorabilia for the first dozen people or so who had waited in line. Already the most adored player on the baseball team with the highest profile, the New York Yankees captain figures to be the recipient of an ever-heightened level of adulation during the next 7 1/2 months as he circumnavigates the major leagues in a farewell tour that could be called Pinstriped Parting 2 following Mariano Riveras emotional exit last year. Asked whether he felt good about the decision he announced Wednesday, Jeter responded: "I do." But he didnt want to get into an extended discussion. Jeter will hold a news conference at Steinbrenner Field next Wednesday, the reporting day for the teams position players. "Ill address it when we get over there the first day of spring. Its easier that way," he said. Jeter took the Yankees by surprise with his Wednesday morning telephone call to owner Hal Steinbrenner, and his Facebook announcement later in the day jolted fans accustomed for nearly two decades to the constants of his hot hitting and cool demeanour. Speculation began about a suitable replacement: Hanley Ramirez, Asdrubal Cabrera and J.J. Hardy are among the players eligible for free agency after the season. "I wish hed have quit in 05," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said, laughing, remembering Jeters many performances against his Boston Red Sox. "If youre a baseball fan, he is the walking example of whats good in baseball. You respect him so much, and yet you want him to have as little to do with the outcome of the game if youre his opponent -- and thats probably the biggest compliment you can give him. Hes going to find a way to beat you whether its on the bases, on defence or at the plate. "And again, because I was in that division, I saw it too much," Francona went on. "He ranks right up there with the most respected players. Im glad hes walking away on his own terms. Well probably get to see him seven, eight times. I hope he goes 0 for 28 and we give him a nice plaque or something, but I dont see that rreally happening. Tony Brown Super Bowl Jersey. " By Wednesday night the Yankees had sent out an email with links to Jeter gear and ticket information. They announced Thursday that general individual ticket sales will start Feb. 24 -- up from March 5 last year. Stubhubs lowest price for the Yankees regular-season home finale on Sept. 25 was $307.50 for a single upper-deck seat and its highest was a fanciful $66,432.90 for a pair in the bleachers. Asking amounts for game No. 162 at Boston three days later were similarly inflated. Mariano Riveras farewell season turned into a marketing opportunity, Already Steiner Sports is selling Jeter game-used equipment that includes jerseys ($15,000 and up), cleats ($1,049.99 and up), batting gloves ($599.99 and up) and even a sock ($525). "This was all sudden. Well sit with Derek and Casey and his people and come up with a plan," Yankees President Randy Levine said, referring to Jeters agent, Casey Close. Jeter had no desire to switch positions or change teams. He wanted to be a member of the Yankees and a shortstop, and nothing else. He was limited to 17 games last season after breaking an ankle in the 2012 playoffs, and he turns 40 in June. He could join Luis Aparicio and Ozzie Smith as the only one-position players with 2,500 or more major league games, according to STATS. If he is able to regain his place on a regular basis, he would be a superannuated shortstop. Only Honus Wagner (1914, 15), Luke Appling (47, 49) and Omar Vizquel (2007) have appeared in 100 or more games at the position in the year they turned 40 or later. "With the captain, its an experience Im going to tell all my kids and the people that I know," Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said, "because I think hes the greatest player Ive ever seen in my life." NOTES: Masahiro Tanaka also was at the complex, wearing a Yankees T-shirt and shorts, and threw a bullpen session of about two dozen pitches. Jeter joked about having to learn more Japanese to communicate with Tanaka. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Tanaka threw two- and four-seam fastballs, splitters and sliders. "It was good. Hes still trying to catch up I think with the time change and everything. Just trying to ease him into things," he said. "Were going to go slow with it." ... The Yankees will play exhibition games against the Miami Marlins in Panama City on March 15-16 to honour Rivera, the first visit of Major League Baseball to the Central American nation since 1947. AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Goodyear, Ariz., contributed to this report. ' ' '
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