Striker Demba Ba has vowed to fight for his Chelsea place, whether Wayne Rooney joins or not. “I will stay,” Ba said. “I think we need competition and we welcome the best players in this club. “More competition is going to make me better anyway. All players want to play, not only centre forwards. “We will all work in the same direction, for the club, to try and win the games.” Ba scored in the final match of the Asia tour, an 8-1 victory over the BNI Indonesia All-Stars in Jakarta. Competition for places will resume – without Rooney – next week when the squad reconvene at their Surrey training base ahead of four matches in the United States, beginning against Mourinho’s former club Inter Milan next Thursday. Torres and five other players involved in the Confederations Cup – Juan Mata, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Oscar and John Obi Mikel – will join up with the squad after missing the three-match tour to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Mourinho declared the tour of Asia a success after rapturous receptions in each location, including on the Blues’ first trip to Indonesia. The Portuguese suggested that 10 years ago, prior to Roman Abramovich’s revolution of Chelsea, the club’s reach would not have been so great. “It is fantastic for us to see how big this club is becoming,” Mourinho said. “Our winning history is recent. In this club we have had a fantastic evolution and our success has come recently in football terms.” Press Association Ba signed from Newcastle in January to support Fernando Torres, but with Romelu Lukaku back from his loan at West Brom and Chelsea’s pursuit of Manchester United striker Rooney ongoing, there has been speculation that his time at Stamford Bridge could soon end. Jose Mourinho has insisted none of his players will be sold, but Ba would fall down the pecking order if Chelsea can successfully recruit Rooney, for whom they had a bid turned down last week.
By Rory CarrollNEW YORK, USA (Reuters) – Rafa Nadal faced his stiffest challenge yet at the U.S. Open but raised his game to beat Marin Cilic 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 on Monday and continue his quest for a fourth Flushing Meadows title.The second-seeded Spaniard was in cruise control as he took the first set behind some superb serving and stout defence but the big-hitting Croatian battled back to snatch the second.That was as good as it would get for Cilic, however, the momentum shifting decisively in Nadal’s favour when he jumped in the air to hit a spectacular overhead smash that electrified the crowd. Cilic would double-fault later in the game to give Nadal a 3-1 lead and he would never threaten again on a hot and humid night in New York, with Tiger Woods among the star-studded crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium cheering on the Spaniard.“It means a lot to me to have him supporting,” said Nadal.“He’s an amazing inspiration, all the things that he accomplished in sport, the way that he managed to keep fighting that hard.” Nadal fired a forehand winner on match point to seal the victory and make his 40th quarter-final at a Grand Slam event.“For some moments in the second set I felt there were too many points in his hands,” said Nadal.“He was pushing me back … after (the) second set I thought something needed to change.”The 33-year-old has had a relatively stress-free time at the tournament so far, dropping just one set and getting a walkover in the second round.Next up for the 18-time Grand Slam champion is a meeting with Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who toppled Alexander Zverev in their round of 16 clash earlier in the day. The diminutive Argentine has faced Nadal seven times and lost every meeting but has proved a difficult test in the slams, forcing the Spaniard to go four tough sets at the 2018 Australian and French Opens.“He is one of the most talented players on our tour,” said Nadal, who sometimes trains with Schwartzman. “He has everything, amazing control, amazing speed.“He has the ability to read very well your shots and to understand very well the game. It is not a surprise he is there.“I know people can think that Zverev was favoured before that match. Honestly for me, today, Schwartzman was favoured. “I saw him play a couple of matches during this tournament, he was playing great.“I need to play my best in the next round to have the chance to be in the semifinals.”Nadal is on a collision course with third seed Roger Federer and could meet his old rival in Sunday’s final if both players advance. Federer was down to face Grigor Dimitrov in the quarters yesterday.
County Minor A Football Final: Clonmel Commercials v Galtee Rovers/St Pecaun (4, Cahir)County Intermediate Hurling Relegation Replay: Ballybacon/Grange v Cahir (4, Clonmel)North Junior A Hurling Final: Kildangan v Nenagh Éire Óg (4;30, Templederry)South Junior B Hurling Quarter-Final: Mullinahone v Marlfield (4;30, Fethard)North Junior Football: Ballina v Shannon Rovers (5, Cloughjordan), Inane Rovers v Lorrha (6, Lorrha) South Junior A Football Semi-Final: Newcastle v Ballingarry (5, Ned Hall Park)West Junior A Football Group 2 Semi-Final: Emly v Rosegreen (6, Golden) West Junior A Football Group 2 Semi-Final Replay: Sean Treacy’s v Solohead (6, Cappawhite)West Junior Football: Éire Óg Anacarty/Donohill v Cashel King Cormacs (6:15, Bansha)Mid Senior Football Semi-Final: Loughmore-Castleiney v JK Brackens (6:30, Templetuohy) County Minor B Football Final: Golden-Kilfeacle v Kilsheelan-Kilcash (2:30, Cahir)South Junior B Hurling Quarter-Final: Carrick Swan v St. Patrick’s (3, Fethard)County Ladies Junior D Football Final: Lattin Cullen v Thurles Gaels (3, Leahy Park)