Australian Open 2020: Novak Djokovic results and form ahead of second-round match with Tatsuma Ito

Novak Djokov

We take a closer look at Novak Djokovic’s form as his Australian Open campaign continues on Wednesday.

Novak Djokovic heads into the Australian Open second round on the back of dropping a rare set in his first outing in Melbourne.

The Serbian star, a record seven-time champion of the event, needed four sets to get through his opener.

Still, Djokovic remains on track ahead of facing wildcard Tatsuma Ito in the second round on Wednesday.

We take a closer look at the 16-time grand slam champion’s form heading into the clash.

Novak Djokovic’s maiden Australian Open triumph – Australian Open Moments

Form and results

Even Djokovic managed a first in his opening-round win. The 32-year-old dropped a set and won in the Australian Open first round for the first time in his career by getting past Jan-Lennard Struff in four. The last time he had dropped a set in his opener in Melbourne was in 2006, when he was beaten by Paul Goldstein. Djokovic may be better off for the test, having gone 6-0 in singles at the ATP Cup to begin his 2020.

R1: bt Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1

Next up

Due to rain, Ito’s opener was pushed back to Tuesday, but the 31-year-old from Japan needed little time to brush past lucky loser Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-4 6-2 7-5. Ito is the world number 146, but did manage a best ranking of 60 in 2012. However, he has played mostly on the Challenger Tour since 2013 and has never met Djokovic, who will be favoured to ease through.

Draw

If Djokovic gets past Ito as expected, he will face 30th seed Dan Evans or Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the third round. Diego Schwartzman (14th seed) and Dusan Lajovic (24th) are potential fourth-round opponents.

What he said

“It’s great to be back in this arena that has a very special place in my heart. This has been by far the most successful court in my career, I love coming back to Australia, the land of tennis. I want to thank everyone for staying until midnight and supporting both players.”

Australian Open 2020: Serena Williams results and form ahead of second-round match with Tamara Zidansek

Former world number one Serena Williams

We take a closer look at Serena Williams’ form ahead of her Australian Open clash against Tamara Zidansek.

Serena Williams and her quest to equal the grand slam record for most women’s singles titles continues against Tamara Zidansek at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

American superstar Williams has been stuck on 23 major championships since winning the Australian Open in 2017, trailing Margaret Court’s tally of 24.

Williams has reached four slam finals since, however, the 38-year-old has finished runner-up on every occasion.

We take a closer look at where Williams is at as she prepares for her second-round encounter at Melbourne Park.

Highlights – Anastasia Potapova vs Serena Williams

Form and results

Riding a drought-ending triumph at the Auckland Open, Williams started her quest for an eighth Australian Open title with a routine victory over teenager Anastasia Potapova on Monday. Williams needed just 58 minutes to wrap up proceedings on Rod Laver Arena – her 350th grand slam match victory.

R1: bt Potapova 6-0 6-3

Next up

Zidansek stands in the way of Williams and a third-round berth. The 22-year-old Slovenian was too good for wildcard Han Na-lae 6-3 6-3 in the opening round. A runner-up in her only WTA Tour final in May 2019, Zidansek also reached the second round in Melbourne last year, before falling to eventual champion Naomi Osaka.

Draw

If Williams beats Zidansek, Fiona Ferro, Wang Qiang or Pauline Parmentier await, while a showdown with good friend Caroline Wozniacki could await in the fourth round. Former world number one and 2018 Australian Open champion Wozniacki is retiring at the end of this tournament.

What she said

“I think, so to say, monkey off my back, kind of. It was very important for me to get a win in the final [Auckland Open]. It felt like a relief. Like I could move forward now.”

Australian Open 2020: Johanna Konta bows out early again in Melbourne

Brit Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta was well beaten by Ons Jabeur in the Australian Open first round.

Johanna Konta’s recent Australian Open struggles continued with a surprise first-round exit in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The world number 13 was well beaten 6-4 6-2 by Ons Jabeur, marking the third straight year in which she has fallen in the second round or sooner at the opening grand slam of the season.

Konta was left to lament 19 unforced errors, while Jabeur mixed 19 winners with 12 unforced errors in a 63-minute loss.

A semi-finalist in Melbourne in 2016 and quarter-finalist the following year, Konta has followed that up with two second-round exits and Tuesday’s loss.

The Bung to face Jabeur, Madison Brengle or Caroline Garcia.

Net buster! Osaka breaks the net with a powerful first serve at the Australian Open

Australian Open 2020: First-round test bodes well for defending champ Novak Djokovic

Serb star Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic wobbled but saw off Jan-Lennard Struff to kick-off his title defence at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic savoured his win over Jan-Lennard Struff, highlighting his grand slam success after difficult first-round matches.

Djokovic – eyeing a record-extending eighth Australian Open title – kicked off his title defence with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1 victory against tenacious German Struff in Melbourne on Monday.

The 16-time slam champion looked set to close out a straight-sets win after surviving a tense first set, in which he committed 12 unforced errors, before Struff rallied to force a fourth on Rod Laver Arena.

Highlights – Jan-Lennard Struff vs Novak Djokovic

Djokovic, though, was not to be denied a 900th ATP career victory and the Serb star told reporters: “I actually like tough first rounds in grand slams particularly.

“Historically I had lots of success in grand slams where I had tough opponents in the first round. Because it gets me going.

“From the beginning I have to be alert, I have to be on a high level. I think I was.”

 

Djokovic, who will face either Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito or lucky loser Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the second round, added: “Overall it was a really solid start, especially in the second and the fourth set I played on a higher level. [I] served pretty good, lots of aces, high percentage of first serves in.

“I felt kind of in control of the match. Even when I lost the third set I just felt like ‘if I am on the right level, I have the upper hand’. I ended this match in a good fashion, in a right way and this is very positive.”

The next Kaka? More promising than Rodrygo? – The expert’s lowdown on Real Madrid new boy Reinier

New Real Madrid signing Reinier Jesus

Following confirmation of Reinier Jesus’ move to Real Madrid, we spoke to a Brazilian football analyst to get the lowdown on the teenager.

Real Madrid lifted the lid on the worst-kept secret in world football on Monday when they confirmed the signing of Flamengo talent Reinier Jesus for a reported €30million.

In completing the long-reported deal, Los Blancos bolstered an already impressive collection of young players on their books, with the club’s future planning seemingly second to none in world football.

In Eder Militao, Federico Valverde, Luka Jovic, Brahim Diaz, Rodrygo Goes, Vinicius Junior, Takefusa Kubo, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Reguilon, Martin Odegaard and now Reinier, Madrid boast a remarkable amount of under-23 talent.

Reinier completed his switch the day after his 18th birthday and, while his price tag appears hefty, it actually led to friction within Flamengo – coach Jorge Jesus accusing the club of not being able to value their players, a comment vice-president Marcos Braz subsequently shut down.

Although a regular in transfer gossip columns of late, Reinier remains something of an unknown quantity and a complete rookie given he has played just 15 matches of senior football.

We asked Andy Walker, a Brazilian football analyst and expert for Football Radar, for the lowdown on the latest Brazilian ‘wonderkid’ to secure a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

What’s Reinier’s favoured role?

“Reinier is at his best in a No.10 role, but he does like to play slightly more advanced than a traditional ’10’, staying close to the striker as much as possible,” Andy surmised.

It is an area in which Madrid are by no means short, but Reinier also boasts the flexibility to fill in right across the frontline. “He has actually been used as a striker at times by Flamengo as a result,” Andy added.

What are his greatest attributes?

A Brazilian attacker coveted by Real Madrid – you might be able to guess at a few of his strongest traits, though Andy has also been impressed by Reinier’s poise when it matters.

“A quick, direct dribbler who can glide past his man with ease, as well as possessing deceptively good close control and technique,” Andy said. “He’s also got a real eye for goal, with six goals in 729 minutes of senior football, with his composure really impressive given his very young age.”

In which areas does he need to improve?

While he is certainly costly, it should not be forgotten Reinier has only just turned 18 and is by no means the finished article. Our expert has reservations over the Flamengo product’s physicality and athleticism at the moment.

He said: “He needs to progress physically as we have seen him struggle to keep up the pace in the latter stages when playing a full 90 minutes, but that should all come as he learns the game and adapts to a more rigorous training regime in Europe. As with any young Brazilian, he will need a lot of growth on the tactical side of the game, but his six months under Jorge Jesus will prove a real benefit, rather than playing under some of the archaic Brazilian coaches.”

Which player could he be comparable to?

Every talented young player from Brazil or Argentina gets labelled as the heir apparent to a previous superstar, and it seems Reinier is no different having drawn comparisons to a former Madrid player.

“The easy comparison to make is with Kaka – or specifically the Milan-era Kaka,” Andy suggested, and he is not the only one to make that link. Guilherme Dalla Dea, Reinier’s former Brazil Under-17 coach, said similar last year.

“I see him as a ’10’ – a Rai, a Kaka,” he told FIFA. “I see these characteristics in Reiner. He likes getting in the box, scoring goals. He also scores goals from outside the box. I’ve so much belief in him. He’s a kid, a youngster, but he’s very level-headed and because of this he’s our captain. I firmly believe we’ll see him playing at a very high level overseas.”

How does his potential stack up compared to Rodrygo and Vinicius?

There is no doubt Madrid are backing their own track record of turning raw young talents into the world’s best, such has been their investment in under-23 players over the past few years. And the consensus is, Reinier’s potential is vast.

“It’s difficult to say given Rodrygo and Vinicius were given more time to show their talents in Brazil before moving, but Reinier’s talent has been obvious since his very first game and I think the general feeling is that, if all goes well, then he could end up being the best of the lot,” Andy observed.

Have there been any concerns relating to his mentality?

Talent can only take you so far. As a teenager moving to a new continent, Reinier will surely face mental challenges and those will likely determine whether or not he achieves success – but in terms of professionalism, he is seemingly well set.

“Reinier’s team-mates and coaches have all been very positive about his attitude and willingness to learn, so he looks well-placed to make the most of his talents,” Andy commented.

Similarly, his coach Jorge Jesus has no worries about that side of the 18-year-old, telling Marca: “I believe a lot in Reinier. I had several talks with him and we talked a lot from the point of view of how he can get better, about his defects, what needs to be corrected. Reinier is a very intelligent kid, he likes to learn and I can say he is a gifted one. I assure you, he is going to mature there. He will arrive in Madrid safe and quiet to do a job, but it is necessary to give him some time.”

We’d need a 400-day year! – Pep Guardiola wants fixtures reduced, not Champions League expansion

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola

Competitions need to be trimmed from the calendar not expanded, according to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes a 400 or 500-day year would be required for Champions League expansion because Premier League clubs already play too many games.

The European Club Association (ECA) and UEFA are said to be in talks about adding another four matchdays to the Champions League schedule, which would result in finalists playing 17 games.

However, with City’s trip to Sheffield United on Tuesday their eighth game in the past three and a half weeks, Guardiola is an advocate of taking a scythe to the gruelling schedule in England.

“I think the solution is you have to make a year of 400 days, that is a solution, 400 or 500, more or less. After that we can book another competition. Maybe UEFA or FIFA can talk about it. We have few days a year, that’s the problem,” said Guardiola.

 

Champions League expansion would likely have negative ramifications for the EFL Cup.

After stating the EFL Cup “wouldn’t be interesting” if Premier League sides withdrew in order to lighten their loads, the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona offered a more ruthless alternative.

“Eliminate competitions. Take them out completely – so less games,” he said.

“Less games, less competitions, less teams, more quality, less quantity. The people are going enjoy it. The people are going to go to the theatre, to the cinema, restaurants, to watch the fireworks. That is what they would do.”

At the crux of Guardiola’s argument is a desire to reduce the physical workload on players.

He said: “There are less games [in Germany in Spain], much less than here. In the Bundesliga there are 18 teams not 20, one cup not two. They have a break, in Spain they have a break.Tthe cup is run with one game, not two. So it’s a big difference.

“It’s just to protect the players … For them they’d enjoy it more, the people too. People say they can’t live without football, they can live without football for a while. It’s too much, honestly.”

The City boss suggested serious injuries sustained by Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford since the turn of the year were a result of the excessive demands.

 

Kane’s hamstring problem and Rashford’s back issue were a blow to Gareth Southgate ahead of Euro 2020, but Guardiola feels those in charge of the game in England cannot be surprised.

“It’s a big blow for Gareth, for the national team. Kane and Rashford are incredibly important players for them. Hopefully there isn’t another one who does that and they can recover,” he said.

“It’s an incredible amount of games. Now we’re talking about it because they are [injured], but looking back at the injuries Newcastle have had, we have had, all the teams. That is normal. With that number of games, sooner or later the players break down.

“I’m not really surprised. I’m so sorry for them, but with this amount of games it happens. The big administration people cannot complain because it’s normal this happens.

“Of course it is [too much to expect]. They arrive in the Euros, playing with the national teams trying their best, then [back here] after no more than 20 days because the business, the show, must go on. It’s unsustainable.

“Sooner or later the players fall down. It’s too much. I’m so sorry for Kane and Rashford because they are incredible and good for the league, but we demand a lot from the players, it’s too much.

 

“They should reflect [on] it but all the managers complained about it and they don’t care. Now Boxing Day is over, another season, and prepare for the next one. A distance of two or three days again and again.

“The players in the end suffer. They want to do well and the clubs have a lot of pressure to win titles or qualify for the Champions League, the players want to do well. We push them and we are being pushed.

“At some moment the body says stop, it’s enough.”

West Brom 0-1 Stoke City: Championship leaders’ slump stretches to sixth winless game

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland

Stoke City claimed a surprise 1-0 win at Championship pacesetters West Brom on Monday, with the Baggies now six without a victory.

West Brom’s slump continued with a shock 1-0 defeat at home to struggling Stoke City, with the Championship leaders now without a win in six league games.

The Baggies were boosted by being able to give Grady Diangana his first start in over a month, but he lasted only four minutes and the hosts failed to make the most of their chances as Tyrese Campbell’s early goal proved decisive.

West Brom gave the ball away in midfield and Stoke pounced in the ninth minute, as Nick Powell released Tom Ince and he squared to Campbell, who beat Sam Johnstone from 12 yards.

Campbell was then forced off injured a 14 minutes later and Stoke unsurprisingly struggled in attack without him, though West Brom failed to get past Jack Butland at the other end, with Matheus Pereira guilty of a couple of suspect misses.

Victory lifts Stoke four points above the bottom three, while the Baggies remain only a point clear of Leeds United at the summit and five above third-place Fulham, with their game in hand now gone.

Aston Villa sign Samatta to help fill striker void

Mbwana Samatta shoots against Liverpool

Mbwana Samatta will look to fill the void left by Wesley after joining Aston Villa.

Aston Villa have signed striker Mbwana Samatta on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Samatta arrives at Villa Park from Belgian side Genk, giving the relegation-threatened Premier League club a much-needed extra option up front.

Former Club Brugge striker Wesley, who joined Villa in a reported £22million move in June, suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in the win over Burnley on New Year’s Day.

Samatta will hope to help fill the void, having scored 10 goals in 28 appearances in all competitions for Genk this season.

The Tanzania international has cost Villa a reported £10m.

Inter director confirms Christian Eriksen bid and agreement for Moses

Christian Eriksen has long been linked with Inter and the Serie A club have now confirmed they made an offer for the Danish playmaker.

Inter have submitted an offer to Tottenham for Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, according to the Italian club’s sporting director Piero Ausilio.

Eriksen has entered the final six months of his contract at Spurs and been the subject of frequent transfer speculation, with Inter long seen as one of the favourites to land him.

Inter have not been particularly discreet with regards to their interest, as CEO Giuseppe Marotta was spotted with Eriksen’s agent, while Ausilio previously suggested he was confident of getting a deal done.

Such tactics have not done down well with Jose Mourinho, who accused his former club of showing a lack of respect – though Inter insisted they have done nothing wrong, reminding Spurs they are fully entitled to open discussions with the midfielder.

They seem to have taken the next step in their pursuit, with Ausilio confirming a bid has been lodged.

 

 

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Ausilio said: “We just made an official bid to Tottenham to sign Christian Eriksen and now we’re waiting.

“Many clubs are interested but we are confident, trying to get a top player like Eriksen.”

Ausilio also revealed the club have reached an agreement with Chelsea for Victor Moses after Frank Lampard confirmed the Nigerian’s loan with Fenerbahce had been ended with the view to him going elsewhere.

And Olivier Giroud – also owned by Chelsea – could yet potentially link up with Moses at San Siro.

“We’ve reached an agreement with Chelsea for Victor Moses,” he added. “Giroud is a possibility if we sell one striker in this transfer market.”

 

Barcelona sign former Inter striker Rey Manaj for €700,000

Former Inter striker Rey Manaj has completed a move to Barcelona, where he is set to play for the B team

Barcelona have signed Rey Manaj from Albacete for an initial €700,000, with the former Inter striker agreeing a contract until June 2023.

The fee could rise by €2million in performance-based bonuses over the next three and a half years, with 22-year-old Manaj set to line-up for Barca B in the third tier.

After starting his senior career with Cremonese, the Albania international – who has a €50m release clause in his Barca contract – moved to Inter and made six appearances for the club during a stint that included loans to Pescara, Pisa and Granada.

Manaj joined Albacete in July 2018 on loan with an obligation to buy. He scored nine goals in 39 league appearances for the Segunda Division side.

Mikel Arteta accepts Arsenal may not bring in January reinforcements

Arsenal had been expected to bring in January reinforcements, but Mikel Arteta is now unsure if that will be possible

Mikel Arteta is prepared for the possibility of Arsenal not bringing in reinforcements this month after revealing existing negotiations have not progressed in recent days.

Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League with 29 points, 10 fewer than fourth-place Chelsea, leaving the Gunners in real danger of missing out on a Champions Leaguer return and perhaps European football altogether next season.

Since new coach Arteta took over last month, Arsenal have been linked with numerous new players, particularly given their bad luck with injuries.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Layvin Kurzawa, Thomas Lemar of Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng have all been mentioned as potential targets, with the former the most strongly linked.

But Arteta seems pessimistic about the Gunners’ chances in the transfer market.

When asked if Arsenal might not sign anyone this month, Arteta said: “It’s a possibility, yeah. Things haven’t moved at all since the weekend.”

 

And when quizzed about PSG insisting no offer had been received from Arsenal for Kurzawa, Arteta added: “There is nothing new to say on any individual players and when we have more info, we’ll let you know.”

One player who has bolstered Arsenal’s squad is Eddie Nketiah, the young striker recently returning from an unsuccessful loan spell at Leeds United.

Despite the 20-year-old’s difficulties at Elland Road, Arteta previously suggested he can see Nketiah being of use before the end of the season – but the striker has been warned he will only get chances if he proves he deserves them.

“It would depend on the circumstances, the players we have available, his performance, the way he trains, the impact he makes every time he plays,” Arteta said.

“He’s a young player but I have to try and treat him exactly the same as the other ones. I will put him on the pitch because I think he deserves it.

“The way he trains, the way he shows every day how much he wants it will depend on him.”

Mikel Arteta still learning about Arsenal as Frank Lampard preaches patience

Frank Lampard believes Mikel Arteta will get the time to be a success at Arsenal, as the Gunners prepare to face Chelsea on Tuesday

Mikel Arteta has learned a lot about his side since Arsenal faced Chelsea last month and Frank Lampard has backed the Gunners boss to be a success.

Fourth-placed Chelsea – who suffered a last-gasp defeat to Newcastle United on Saturday – face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

The Gunners have drawn their last two Premier League matches, having conceded late on against Sheffield United in their most recent outing.

Arsenal also gave up a lead in their December meeting with the Blues, losing 2-1 following late goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham, and Arteta conceded his team are a work in progress.

“A lot of things have happened and it feels longer than a month to be fair, the amount of games, the [amount] we’ve trained, the amount of things that happened,” Arteta told a news conference.

“Yes, a lot of things changed, a lot of positives in terms of reactions and the things they are taking on board, the way we have managed to change the energy, atmosphere, relationship and chemistry with our fans was massively important for us.

“In terms of results it could have been a little bit different, I think we have been very unlucky and other aspects have influenced that.”

 

Arsenal have scored first in their last five matches, but have only claimed two wins from those games, a fact which concerns Arteta.

“The way we conceded, I think the last two goals hurt a little,” Arteta added.

“We have to try to make a difference when we are first on the scoreline. We have to have the ambition to score the second and third goal where we have the opportunities to do so. In the final moments in the Premier League the game is never closed.”

Arteta’s Chelsea counterpart Lampard believes Arsenal have a talented coach in the form of the Spaniard, but says the former Manchester City assistant will need time.

“What I know is that they’re a good team with players who can hurt you,” Lampard said on Monday.

“Think we’ve seen a bit of a change since Arteta came in with some of their performances. We felt that in the first 30 minutes at the Emirates, particularly, so we must be on guard and be at our best.

“I think offensively they were brilliant. Small tactical changes and maybe an energy boost which came from a change of manager.

“He’ll want a lot more time. They’re a good team and I think he’s a good coach and he does deserve and will get time to get it right. He’s already had an effect and I’m under no illusions as to how tough it will be.”

West Ham flop Roberto joins Deportivo Alaves on loan

Roberto has failed to impress in the Premier League and has been allowed to leave West Ham on loan for Deportivo Alaves

West Ham goalkeeper Roberto has signed for Deportivo Alaves on loan for the rest of the season after a disappointing first six months in the Premier League.

The 33-year-old was brought to London Stadium on a free transfer at the end of May as a back-up to established number one Lukasz Fabianski, signing a two-year deal.

But an early hip injury for Fabianski handed Roberto his opportunity in the first team.

The Spaniard played eight times in the league but was at fault for a number of goals during a slump in form and was eventually replaced by David Martin.

Fabianski suffered another injury earlier this month, yet West Ham have brought back Darren Randolph from Middlesbrough in a reported £4million transfer.

Roberto has subsequently been allowed to return to LaLiga on a temporary deal.

 

 

Alexandre Lacazette right to say Arsenal should be nastier, says Mikel Arteta

Arsenal must beat Chelsea to keep their top-four hopes alive according to Mikel Arteta, who has agreed with Alexandre Lacazette’s comments

Mikel Arteta agrees with Alexandre Lacazette’s assessment that Arsenal need to be a nastier team ahead of a must-win encounter against Chelsea.

A 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United on Saturday left the Gunners 10 points adrift of the top four and Lacazette urged his team-mates to become “nastier”, branding the team “naive”.

Ahead of Tuesday’s key Premier League contest away to rivals Chelsea, head coach Arteta was asked if he agreed with the striker.

“Yes, I think it’s part of the game management,” he said of Lacazette’s comments at his pre-match news conference.

“I think there were things we could have done better to put more pressure on the opponent, to bring the ball into certain areas where we could rest with the ball and control the game better.

“That will come. It’s a good process for us to learn about those situations.”

 

Arteta, whose side lost 2-1 to Chelsea at Emirates Stadium last month, agreed Arsenal needed a victory to keep their top-four hopes alive, adding: “It’s very important if we want to have the aim to fight for that.

“The game at home could have made a big difference as well and we were very close to it, so Tuesday, we need a win.”

The 37-year-old insisted his players were buying into his methods as he responded to a question asking if it was proving difficult to convince the squad about progress while results remained disappointing, Arsenal having won just two of his first six games in charge.

Arteta said: “I don’t have that feeling. The feedback I’m getting from them is very positive, they know when we haven’t won the reasons why and there are many different aspects to that.

“Some aspects we can influence, some we cannot influence, but they are there, and they are very aware of that.

“A lot of things have happened, and it feels longer than a month to be fair. The amount of games, the amount we’ve trained, the amount of things that happened.

“Yes, a lot of things changed, a lot of positives in terms of reactions and the things they are taking on board, the way we have managed to change the energy, atmosphere, relationship and chemistry with our fans was massively important for us.

“So yes, in terms of results it could have been a little bit different. I think we have been very unlucky and other aspects have influenced that.”