LONDON (AP): Guus Hiddink returned to Chelsea for a second spell as manager yesterday, hired until the end of the season with the tough task of turning around the struggling Premier League champions following Jose Mourinho’s firing. As Chelsea beat Sunderland 3-1 under the temporary command of Steve Holland, Hiddink watched from the stands at Stamford Bridge with owner Roman Abramovich and former striker Didier Drogba, who has been linked with a coaching role. Drogba scored in Chelsea’s 2009 FA Cup final win when Hiddink previously filled the Chelsea managerial void for around four months after the exit of Luiz Felipe Scolari. The 69-year-old Hiddink’s latest firefighting role comes with Chelsea only four points above the Premier League relegation zone following an alarming slump just seven months after sweeping to the title. “I am excited to return to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world, but is not where it should be at the moment,” Hiddink said. “However, I am sure we can all turn this season around.” Chelsea said they viewed the Dutchman as a coach with a “wealth of top-level experience and success”. The club highlighted how fans were “singing his name following our final home game” of the 2008-09 season, but it was Mourinho’s name they were still chanting yesterday. Hiddink’s fortunes have faded since he was last at Chelsea. He quit as manager of Turkey after failing to qualify the team for the 2012 European Championship and did not win a trophy with Anzhi Makhachkala during a spell with the Russian club. He has been out of work since being fired by the Netherlands in June during the latter stages of his country’s unsuccessful attempt to qualify for Euro 2016. He had five losses, four victories and a draw during his year in charge of a team that finished third at the 2014 World Cup under Louis van Gaal, now the manager of Manchester United.
IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer LATEST STORIES He also expressed confidence that the surface at Centre Court would be able to hold up over the second week.Simona Halep, whose quarterfinal loss to Johanna Konta was the third match on Centre Court on Tuesday, said she didn’t notice the hole Djokovic had mentioned.And Djokovic said the issue wasn’t one of safety as much as it was about fair play.“Grass is probably the most demanding and complex surface for maintenance,” he said. “The more you play on it, the worse it actually gets, unfortunately.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ MOST READ View comments Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend “(The) courts, honestly, are not that great this year and many players feel the same, but it is what it is,” Djokovic said in a television interview after his match ended. “I’m sure they’re trying their best, but I’ve played on better courts.”Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon champion and 12-time Grand Slam winner, initially expressed his disappointment with the court condition following a third-round victory over Ernests Gulbis on Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’On Tuesday, playing with the roof closed, Djokovic could be seen after points picking up or kicking away small portions of grass that had loosened up on the baseline.The second-seeded Serb lodged his disappointment with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes during the match and pointed out the issue afterward. Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission Pacquiao: Until passion is gone, I’ll continue to fight Members of the ground staff work on the baseline after play finished on center court on day eight at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)LONDON — Bothered by what he called a “hole” at Centre Court, Novak Djokovic complained about the condition of the grass at Wimbledon on Tuesday.Djokovic, who defeated Adrian Mannarino in the fourth round, said the courts are among the worst he’s played on in his 13 years at the All England Club.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “He wanted me to show him, so I showed him,” Djokovic said at a news conference. “His reaction wasn’t that great.”Mannarino, who had not played on Centre Court until he faced Djokovic, said his only concern about the surface was that he had to make sure he didn’t slip during the match.“To me, the Centre Court (was) really good, actually,” Mannarino said. “Maybe he was complaining a little bit, but compared to the other courts I’ve been playing on before, it was good.”Tuesday was the first day persistent rain moved over southwest London since Wimbledon started. Because of the dry conditions, the 18 courts saw nearly uninterrupted play over the first seven days of the tournament, which led to consistent wear.Neil Stubley, the club’s head of courts and horticulture, said on Saturday that the measurements his staff had taken over the first week of play showed that the grass was considered to be healthy and within the acceptable standards of use.ADVERTISEMENT
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