Nadal ends season to recover from left wrist injury
LONDON Former world number one Rafael Nadal called time on his 2016 season on Thursday saying he needed to fully recover from the left wrist injury he suffered midway through the year.
LONDON Arsenal striker Theo Walcott expects Bulgarian side Ludogorets to be fearful ahead of their visit to the Emirates for the Champions League group stage tie on Wednesday.
Walcott, who scored a brace to help 10-man Arsenal hold on for a 3-2 win against Swansea City at the weekend, believes the club's six-game winning streak will put the Bulgarian champions on the back foot in north London.
"I don't think they (Ludogorets) will be looking forward to playing us, that's for sure," said the 27-year-old.
"Especially with the way we're playing and the amount of goals we've scored this season already. I am really looking forward to Wednesday now.
"Everyone will say that this is a fixture we should win and we know we should win it. But we've got to make sure we're ready and we can't be too complacent. That's really important."
Arsenal have been dumped out of the Champions League last 16 in the last six campaigns but Walcott is confident his side have learnt from their mistakes.
"I'll be digging into the players and all the players know that there are no givens in football these days. We've struggled against Olympiacos at home in times gone by," he said.
Walcott's brace against Swansea has given him five League goals for the season, already matching his modest tally in the previous campaign.
"It's my biggest step forward. It's a different sort of energy that I've never really had before," he said.
"I was disappointed not to score three or four (on Saturday) because I should have killed it off. But it's three points and that is all that matters.
"I am happy with the goals, the general play and defensive play as well -- which is probably even more important because I know how well I can go forward, it's just the other bits to do. But now I've been doing that."
(Reporting by Claire Bloomfield; Editing by Ian Ransom)
BARCELONA Barcelona are in the middle of an injury crisis as they head to Valencia for Saturday's La Liga game looking to keep up with pacemaking pair Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
AUSTIN, Texas Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel put talk of a contract extension to one side on Thursday and emphasised that his main priority was to help the team build a better car to take on dominant Mercedes.