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Charles Rogers, second overall pick in 2003 NFL draft, dies aged 38

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Charles Rogers, the wide receiver chosen second in the 2003 NFL draft after a prolific career at Michigan State University, has died aged 38.

The Detroit Free Press after a number of his former teammates on social media.

No cause of death has been reported, but several of his former coaches said .

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Charles Rogers,” the Lions said rsenal manager Unai Emery has admitted that losing the Europa League final is a blow for his team.The Gunners were routed 4-1 by Chelsea in a game where they never looked competitive.It means they will be unable to qualify for the UEFA Champions Leagin a statement Monday. “From Saginaw, to East Lansing, to Detroit, Charles’ connection to the state of Michigan and its football community was felt by many during the course of his life. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his friends and family during this difficult time.”

Rogers set a school record with 27 career touchdowns that still stands at Michigan State despite playing only two seasons at the Lansing school, winning the Fred Biletnikoff award as the best college wide receiver in the nation during his junior season.

The 6ft 3in, 220lb star was chosen with the No 2 pick in the 2003 draft behind only Carson Palmer and almost immediately made good on his $9.1m signing bonus with the Lions, catching 22 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns in his first five professional games, but his rookie year was abruptly cut short when he broke his collarbone during a speed drill.

Rogers broke his collarbone again on the third play of the 2004 campaign, ending his second season. By the end of year three, he was out of football entirely, finishing with 36 receptions for 440 yards and three touchdowns in 15 appearances.

The Saginaw native was arrested at least six times from 2008-12 on charges ranging from assault and battery and probation violations to DUI, open container violations and marijuana possession.

In 2017, Rogers that he became addicted to Vicodin during his time with the Lions. He also said he smoked marijuana throughout his time in college and the pros.

“I am getting my life together. … A fresh start,” he said in that interview. “Do I need a little love? Yeah. Am I still trying to find Charles Rogers? Yeah. I stay optimistic and positive. I’ve been to hell and back, but I stay strong. I still have faith. I’m still a young man. It ain’t over. I’m going to be all right, you know? I’m going to be all right.”

Donham boss Harry Redknapp believes Paul Pogba could yet stay with Manchester United.Pogba continues to be linked with Real Madrid and Juventus.But Redknapp told Sky Sports, “I wouldn’t think they’ll take a loss – I think he is a great footballer.”Maybn Durrett, who coached Rodgers at Saginaw High School, told the Free Press he was the best athlete he’d any seen across spo confirmed the club is under an English Football League transfer embargo due to an unpaid tax bill, reports BBC Sport.The Shrimpers will owe £668,000 to HM Revenue and Customs by 11 March, with a further month “stacked up behind”.Sol Campbell’s siderts.

“I’ll tell you, he was – and I’m including Flint, too, since I coached at Flint Northern all those years – he’s the best athlete I ever seen. I mean, honestly,” Durett told the newspaper. “We’re talking about basketball, football and track together. He could have had a scholarship in all three sports. That’s how good. … I haven’t seen nobody that fast that could do it all. He was just a blessed athlete that could do it all.”

Kyrgios clashes with tennis authorities again in US Open row over shirt message

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Nick Kyrgios courted more controversy at the US Open before his second-round match against Antoine Hoang had begun.

The Australian, already in hot water this week , was told to fold his collar down because the motto written underneath it, “Just Do You”, apparently contravened the rules.

Kyrgios called the match supervisor and asked what the rule was. “I’m not going to play until you show me the rule,” he told the supervisor. “I want to know the rule. I want to see the rule. I’ve seen shirts worse.”

He also had another of his familiar tantrums in the third set after the umpire allowed a Hoang challenge having previously called game.

The 24-year-old demanded the supervisor came back onto the court to explain that rule as well.

“I’d won the game. He called game then my opponent challenged. I thought that wasn’t right,” he said. “[The collar] I think it was a misunderstanding. I think they thought it was a slogan but it wasn’t. I knew the supervisor was wrong, but I just folded my collar down.”

The 24-year-old was later told he could di Cutrone.Nuno was happy with the former AC Milan striker for their Europa League win over Pyunik.He said, “Positive performance, as already with Leicester. “Monday will be tough, Manchester United will put us to the test, I’m happy with the ethics ansplay the logo in future matchesEvening Standard says the 19-year-old, who can operate in midfield or defence, is currently on loan at German side RB Leipzig but he has struggled for action.Ampadu has made just five appearances for them this season and it has alerted other clubs to at Flushing Meadows.

He defeated French wildcard 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, and will next meet Andrey Rublev of Russia. Kyrgios already faces two ATP investigations for his conduct during and after his previous two matches and New York.

On Wednesday he called the ATP was long loan.Sky Sports News says a move back to Bramall Lane has been agreed and will be confirmed this week.The United keeper spent last season on loan with the Blades and helped them earn promotion to the Premier League. Henderson is expected to sig“pretty corrupt” for fining him $117,000 for his outburst in Cincinnati a fortnight ago, then back-tracked in accused the governing body of having “double standards” following his first-round win.

Second seed Rafael Nadal moved into the third round after Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew ahead of their night session encounter with a shoulder injury.

Alexander Zverev came through yet another gruelling five-setter to reach the third round, coming through against American Frances Tiafoe, just two days after going the distance against Radu Albot.

Silver defends NBA employees’ right to free speech as China cancels broadcasts

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The NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, said the league is not apologizing for Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s since-deleted tweet showing support for anti-government protesters in , even after China’s state broadcaster canceled plans to show a pair of preseason games in that country later this week.

Silver, speaking on Tuesday at a news conference in Tokyo before a preseason game between the Rockets and the Toronto Raptors, went as far as to say that he and the league are “apologetic” that so many Chinese officials and fans were upset by Morey’s tweet but insisted that the executive has the right to freedom of expression. The NBA has also received criticism from US politicians. Senator Ted Cruz said the league by initially saying it was “regrettable” that Morey’s tweet had caused offence in China.

“Daryl Morey, as general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right [to free speech] as one of our employees,” Silver said. “What I also tried to suggest is that I understand there are consequences from his freedom of speech and we will have to live with those consequences.”

Those consequences are already becoming clear. The state-run China Central Television (CCTV) said it would not show the games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, who will play former Liverpool midfielder was a free agent after his contract with Stoke City expired last month.He has signed a one-year deal with the Royals.Chief Executive Nigel Howe said: “A player with both Championship and Premier League experience, not to mon Thursday in Shanghai and Saturday in Shenzhen. is wildly popular in China, with the Lakers drawing particularly strong support due to the presence of superstar LeBron James

“We’re strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right to freedom of expression,” CCTV said in a statement. “We believe that any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability are not within the scope of freedom of speech.” The broadcaster is also reviewing all its cooperation with the , according to the statement.

Chinese state media on Wednesday accused the NBA of endorsing violence with the Daily accusing Silver of “brazenly endorsing Morey’s secessionist-supporting tweet” and giving “a shot to the arms of the rioters of Hong Kong”.

The state-owned Global Times accused Silver of caving in to political pressure, saying the NBA was treating the Chinese market with disregard.

Silver will arrive in Shanghai on Wednesday and said he hoped to meet officials and some of the league’s business partners in an effort to find common ground. “I’m sympathetic to our interests [in China] and our partners that are upset,” Silver said. “I don’t think it’s inconsistent on one hand to be sympathetic to them and at the same time to signing another English player – 25-year-old winger Turgott,.The ex-West Ham youth scored 18 goals in 46 appearances for National League side Maidstone last season.Ostersunds have embarked on a policy of bringing young English talent to the far nostand by our principles.”

Silver said the NBA did not expect CCTV to cancel plans to show the Lakers-Nets games. “But if those are the consequences of us adhering to our values, I still feel it’s very, very important to adhere to those values,” Silver said.

The rift between China and the NBA started late last week when Morey tweeted a now-deleted image that read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” in reference to months of pro-democracy demonstrations in the Chinese territory that has been mired in violence between protesters and law enforcement.

Efforts were quickly made to defuse the impact. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said Morey does not speak for the Rockets, and Morey returned to Twitter on Monday in an effort to clarify his original post. NBA streaming partner Tencent which has a $1.5bn contract with the league over the next five seasons said it would not show Rockets games and a sports website in China said it was no longer covering the team.

Further complicating the matter is the fact that China’s best-known basketball player is Hall of Famer Yao Ming, who spent his NBA career with the Rockets. Yao is now the president of the Chinese Basketball Association, which has said aj is ready to leave Napoli in January.”There had been discussions in the summer with Roma, then we stopped when the season began, but we still like them as a destination,” agent Mario Giuffredi told Radio Marte.“I think it is Napoli’s interests toit is suspending its relationship with the Rockets in response to Morey’s tweet. The CBA also canceled plans to have the G League affiliates from Houston and Dallas play preseason games in China later this month. “I’m hoping that together Yao Ming and I can find an accommodation,” Silver said. “But he is extremely hot at the moment, and I understand it.”

The NBA’s reaction to Chinese displeasure is jarring to some, given the fact that the league for encouraging its players to express their views on social issues they believe are important, such as police shootings of African Americans.

Kyrie Irving apologizes after profane dismissal of Thanksgiving

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star Kyrie Irving has apologized after replying to a reporter who wished him a happy Thanksgiving after Wednesday’s loss to the New York Knicks by saying he doesn’t celebrate the holiday, adding “fuck Thanksgiving”.

On Thursday Irving expressed regret over the comments. “I spoke w/ frustration after last nights game and spoke words that shouldn’t be in a professional setting no matter what,” he wrote on Twitter. “Meant no disrespect to the Holiday and those who celebratl return to Liverpool this week to assess his latest injury.The Wales international, on loan at the Cherries this season, was not able to face Chelsea on Saturday due to “strange” leg injury.Asked for an update on the Wrexham-born star’s injury, Howee it respectfully. I’m grateful for the time We all can share with our families. We are always ONE.”

Irving told NBC Sports Boston that he is opposed to the celebration of the holiday due to his Native American heritage. Many in the Native American community and beyond , given the suffering and racism they have suffered since European colonization.

Irving’s late mother, Elizabeth Ann Larson, was a member of the Standing Rock Sioux and lived on the tribe’s reservation until her adoptiours Wilfried Zaha could join Arsenal.The Gunners are trying their best to nab the Ivory Coast international, who reportedly wants to join the North London outfit. He would directly compete with fellow winger Iwobi, but the Nigeria star isn’t fazed byn as a child. In August, Irving and his sister and he was given the name Little Mountain.

Irving is a is a five-time All-Star and won a championship with the Cleveland Cavalierss has been dropped for England’s Nations League clash with Switzerland today.Stones, who was at fault for Holland’s first two goals and played a part in their third in Thursday’s 3-1 extra-time semi-final defeat, will be replaced by Liverpool defende in 2016. His Boston Celtics were tipped as one of the league’s best teams at the start of the season but have struggled in recent weeks and have lost seven of their last 10 games.

Celtics crush Cavaliers in Game 1 of NBA Eastern Conference finals

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Jaylen Brown had 23 points and eight rebounds, Marcus Morris added 21 points and 10 boards, and the Boston Celtics scorched the 108-83 on Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Celtics ran off 17 consecutive points in the first quarter and never allowed the Cavaliers within single digits again. Boston led by 28 when Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue pulled LeBron James for good with 7:09 left. Kevin Love had 17 points and eight rebounds, and James finished with 15 points, nine assists and seven boards. The Cavaliers missed their first 14 three-point attempts of the game and shot just 32 percent in the first half.

By that time, Boston led 61-35 the biggest half-time playoff deficit in James’ career. With injured stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving on the bench in street clothes, the Celtics continued their stunning run this season with what may have been the most surprising turn of events yet. A year after dropping the first two games at home against Cleveland in a five-game East final, the Celtics pounced on James, and the favored Cavaliers were never really in it.

The Celtics took the floor to a hype video that began with the broadcast of Hayward’s injury in the first quarter of the first game, at Cleveland. A variety of commentators predicted the team’s demise, including Hall of Famer Charles Barkley saying: “Their season’s over.”

As more players went down to injury, the prophesies grew even gloomier. But there the Celtics were, back in the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers for the second year in a row with Hayward, Irving, Daniel Theis and Shane Larkin all injured and coach Brad Stevens down to an eight-man rotation.

It was more than they needed.

Morris, starting in place ofncelotti has agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal that runs until the end of the 2023/24 season.He is attending today’s Premier League match against Arsenal at Goodison as a spectator prior to meeting the plgend Alan Shearer believes Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood is ready to be a regular starter.The 18 year-old struck in last night’s 4-1 win over the Toon last night.“The early signs that we’ve seen of Mason Greenwood have been exceptional.ayers and taking up his new role from Sunday. Aron Baynes, backed up his boast that he could cover James better than anyone except Kawhi Leonard and helped pester James into seven of Cleveland’s nine turnovers. (James had eight in the entire four-game, second-round sweep of the Raptors.)

Cleveland scored seven straight points early in the third and finished the quarter with six in a row to make it 78-64. But Boston made the first three baskets in the fourth and, after running off nine in a row to make it 96-68 with 7:0t to make an opening offer for Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff.The Mirror says United are ready to test Newcastle’s resolve to keep Longstaff by making a £30million bid for the midfielder.United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made Longstaf9 left, the Cavs conceded.

Game 2 is on Tuesday night in Boston.

The Joy of Six: seasons from hell

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1) Cleveland Browns (1995)

Ten years before he made his name as the inscrutable, hooded overlord of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick was handed his first chance as an NFL head coach by the , a historic franchise wounded by years of failure.

A giant in the sport’s formative years, the Browns had never made the Super Bowl, and a run of spectacular near-misses in the 1980s had shattered morale. After a 3-13 season in 1990, the owner, Art Modell, lured Belichick from the New York Giants, where he had just won the Super Bowl as defensive coach with a game plan so good that it’s now in the Hall of Fame.

Belichick set out to build a rugged team built for the hard winters on the shore of Lake Erie, where the team shared a rundown municipal stadium with the Cleveland Indians. Progress was slow – the Browns posted narrow losing records in his first three seasons – but the wily head coach engineered a run to the play-offs in 1994.

Despite frequent clashes with Modell over money, Belichick had the Browns primed for a Super Bowl run. Nearly 75,000 fans poured into the Cleveland Stadium to see the win over Kansas City, which sealed a 3-1 start. Off the field, Modell was watching revenues fall after the Indians’ departure. Rumblings began that the owner was about to take a hammer to the sturdy foundations Belichick had built.

On 6 November, Modell announced his intention to relocate the Browns to Baltimore. From dreaming of a Super Bowl, ever-faithful Browns fans were facing the death of their team. Cleveland lost nine of their next 10 games, falling apart on the field as fans turned to mutiny. The final home game of the season against Cincinnati became a riot. Spectators , raw grief giving way to rage.

Somewhere in the NFL’s corridors of power, the anguish poured out that day struck a nerve. The fans won their battle to keep the team in Cleveland (Modell’s Baltimore team became a new franchise), though they had to wait until 1999 for their return. The Browns avoided a death sentence but for the expansion side, the ghosts of what might have been are everywhere.

The relocated, rebranded Baltimore Ravens have won two Super Bowls. Belichick, fired by Modell over the phone, learned from the chaos in Cleveland to build a dynasty at New England. He slipped on a fifth Super Bowl ring this year; the Browns have won one of their last 24 games.

2) Doncaster Rovers (1997-98)

The free market rules in English football, which means pretty much anyone with a bit of spare cash can buy themselves a club. Some teams find their perfect match, a steady hand on the tiller that unleashes a club’s true potential. Doncaster got Ken Richardson. Under his ownership, Rovers lost their league status, their main stand to a suspicious fire, and their dignity.

Richardson had a curious hands-on/off approach, rarely investing in or even visiting the club’s run-down Belle Vue home but regularly interfering with team affairs. He would fax in team talks from the Isle of Man with missives like “show the bastards” scrawled on them. After a string of managers walked out, he installed a “general manager”, Mark Weaver, to do his bidding.

With Richardson’s cash cut off and home gates dwindling to below 1,000, Doncaster descended into little more than a Sunday league side. A followed the farcical final acts of the 1997-98 season, from angry supporters’ meetings to players training in the park, and getting trapped in the dressing room by a faulty door. On the pitch things were no better.

As the owner focused on selling off their ground, Doncaster’s motley crew of loanees and youth players were left to sink slowly, finishing the 46-game season with a record 34 defeats. They lost 7-1 to Cardiff City, and 8-0 at Leyton Orient. In the League Cup, Nottingham Forest beat them 10-1 on aggregate. Coach Danny Bergara tried swapping players’ numbers in a tactical move, outfoxing only himself.

Witzkid James Maddison, according to reports.The attacking midfielder shone in his debut Premier League season after moving from Norwich City last summer.At 22 years of age, Maddison’s potential has got the top clubs vying for his signature.The Independh Richardson absent, fans turned on Weaver, a yes-man installed above his station to do the owner’s bidding. At the final home game, fans staged a mock funeral for a club they expected to fold. Weaver turned up having vowed to stay away. The police advised him to leave for his own safety.

As the club fell apart, police were closing in on Richardson over his involvement in a fire in the summer of 1995 that had almost gutted the main stand at Belle Vue. He was eventually charged with offering a former soldier £10,000 to start the fire, part of a hare-brained scheme to get his hands on lucrative land. Detectives labelled him “the type that would trample a two-year-old to pick up a 2p piece”.

From the ashes, Doncaster at least found the owner they deserved. As Richardson was sent to jail, the local businessman John Ryan stepped in, and set about reviving the club. Ten years after their season in hell, with a new ground built and Belle Vue left behind, to seal promotion to the Championship.

3) Vince Spadea (2000)

Some tennis players are driven by rivalry, or a quest for sporting immortality. Vince Spadea’s motivation was more practical. “No one wants to travel the world to lose money,” he wrote in 2006. “Tennis players are paid to win.”

The year 2000 was a lean one for Spadea, a journeyman pro who had just enjoyed a breakthrough season. He had reached No19 in the world, and upset Andre Agassi on his way to the 1999 Australian Open quarter-finals. Spadea flew out to Melbourne seeking a repeat run to kick-start flagging form, but lost in the first round to the world No95, Adrian Voinea.

That early exit proved the catalyst for a historic run of defeats. Winter turned to spring, the hard courts gave way to clay, and Spadea lost, lost and lost again. By the time he reached Wimbledon, he had lost 21 straight matches. In the first round, he drew the British No2, Greg Rusedski. His parents decided to stay in Florida.

What happened next was predictable in its own way. Spadea overcame two lost tie-breaks and a two-hour rain delay to win the deciding set 9-7. The shame shifted to Rusedski and for the watching world, that’s where the story ended. “I can lose to anyone, but I can battle,” a jubilant Spadea told the crowd. “Because I got game.”

How much game? As it turned out, not much. Spadea lost his next match at Wimbledon, crashed out of the US Open and Olympics at the first hurdle, and lost in Tokyo to a player ranked outside the top 300. Dropping down to the Challenger circuit in autumn to regain his form, he lost his first match 6-1, 6-0.

Spadea ended the year with three wins and 28 losses at ATP Tour level, and a world ranking of No237. He would fight his way back up the rankings in tenacious style, but his losing run still hit him where it hurt – his pocket. Spadea has claimed that his season was so bad, he actually lost money on the tour. For him, that was the true price of failure.

4) Ferrari (1980)

Dominance in can be a fragile thing. With cars constantly tweaked and tuned up to stay ahead of the field, a wrong turn in the garage can wipe out years of progress. McLaren found that out in 2015, when a switch to Honda engines saw the historic team, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button on board, reduced to a laughing stock.

In 1980 made a more subtle change, updating the 312T car that had won them four of the previous six constructors’ titles. The upgrade proved to be an unmitigated calamity in a tumultuous season blighted by safety concerns. The first two races, in Argentina and Brazil, saw drivers including Ferrari’s defending world champion, Jody Scheckter, threaten a boycott over track conditions.

1980 proved a turning point for the sport, with Bernie Ecclestone winning a power struggle with the F1 chief, Jean-Marie Balestre. It also proved a watershed for the Scuderia, who were outclassed in the early races as Williams and Brabham emerged as title contenders. Ferrari suffered reliability issues with their retooled engine, and did not pick up a point until Scheckter came fifth at Long Beach.

While his team-mate Gilles Villeneuve at least battled for the odd podium place in a chronically underpowered car, Scheckter took only two points all year, failed to even qualify for one race, and promptly retired at the end of the season. Scheckter’s sharp exit was, however, more than an indictment of his car.

He had once been the bad boy of F1, causing crashes and winding up rivals with his daredevil antics. Then, in 1973, he was first on the scene at team-mate François Cevert’s fatal crash at Watkins Glen. What he saw changed him profoundly and, after winning the world title ahead of Villeneuve in 1979, he saw no reason to put himself at risk any longer.

Villeneuve was not so fortunate. The Canadian was killed in a qualifying crash in Belgium two years later, perhaps the highest-profile victim of F1’s most unsafe era. Scheckter spoke at his funeral in a rare, fleeting return to the spotlight. The South African retired to Hampshire, where he now runs an organic farm.

Ferrari switched to a brand new car in 1981, and promptly returned to the podium places in the constructors’ championship. The previous season still left its maraller and Romelu Lukaku.The £40m signing from Eintracht Frankfurt has drawn comparisons with Manchester United striker Lukaku for his ability to score goals and hold up play.And Diop thinks his France U21 teammate, who scored 20 goals last season, wk – they did not produce another world champion driver until Michael Schumacher, some 20 years later.

5) Milan (1981-82)

Under the leadership of Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello, Milan’s 1987-94 vintage won 14 trophies in seven seasons, blending Italian defensive nous with Dutch attacking flair to formidable effect. That golden age was forged in response to the club’s greatest embarrassment, only five years earlier.

For Serie A’s elite clubs, not winning the Scudetto is failure enough; they rarely have cause to consider the other end of the table. Internazionale have never been relegated, and Juventus’s only demotion . Milan were also relegated “off the field” once, in 1980, after the Totonero match-fixing scandal.

Milan bounced straight back and expected to breeze up the table, with a defence built around Franco Baresi and their new striker Joe Jordan banging in the goals. But Baresi missed four months with an injury, and in his absence Milan picked up eight points in 12 games. Jordan was the first player to score that season – in their eighth game.

Milan had returned to a league that was no longer afraid of them, and a run of one point from games against Catanzaro, Ascoli and Como appeared to confirm the unthinkable – relegation “on the field”. The youth coach Italo Galbiati replaced Gigi Radice and the club still had a chance of survival on the final day at Cesena.

After going 2-0 down early on, the team with 18 league goals all season found three in 15 minutes to grab victory. With Genoa behind at Napoli, Milan appeared to have avoided eternal shame, and their fans raced onto the pitch to celebrate. Then Genoa won a last-gasp corner, and scored.

Milan fans maintain that the Napoli goalkeeper, Luciano Castellini, intentionally threw the ball out to hand Genoa that corner. You can judge for yourself . Either way, this was not an experience the rossoneri ever planned on repeating. After securing an immediate return, Silvio Berlusconi bought the club, brought in Sacchi and signed Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten. The rest is history.

6) Derbyshire (1920)

County cricket’s meticulous record-keeping means no landmark season of any description will be forgotten. Which, for Derbyshire in particular, is a shame. After regaining first-class status in 1894, they failed to win a County Championship match in three separate seasons: 1897, 1901 and the historically abysmal 1920 campaign.

With county cricket returning to normality after the first world war, the captain, John Chapman, fielded 38 different players across 16 completed matches. It was an early example of over-rotation; Derbyshire lost them all – on six occasions, their opposition only had to bat once to get the job done.

This was a team caught between two eras; the previous captain, George Buckston, had retired, but came back to reorganise the side for the following season. Billy Bestwick, a 45-year-old seamer with a quick arm and quicker temper, featured in only one match. They were replaced by nent Wanyama is eyeing a move to AC Milan.While Club Brugge are in talks with Spurs over a fee for the Kenya international, any move could hinge on the Rossonero.Soccer Link says Wanyama favours a switch to Italy at Milan, where he is under consideratiwcomers who would go on to better things. The wicketkeeper Harry Elliott went on to earn England caps, as did the batsman Harry Storer – in football.

Guy Jackson, a 24-year-old batsman with a season-high score of 14, later became the county captain under the tutelage of Buckston. According to Wisden, Jackson “steadily raised the standard” within the county, laying the foundations for the 1936 season, when Elliott and Storer helped deliver Derbyshire’s only County Championship.

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Innovation helps Emirates Team New Zealand take 3-0 lead in America’s Cup

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Peter Burling and Emirates Team are threatening to sail — and cycle — away with the America’s Cup.

The 26-year-old Burling calmly steered the New Zealanders’ 50-foot catamaran to two more dominating victories against Jimmy Spithill and two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA on Sunday to remain undefeated in the showdown on the Great Sound.

Although they’ve won four races, the Kiwis lead Oracle 3-0. Because Oracle won the qualifiers, the challenger started the 35th America’s Cup match with a negative point.

Burling, an America’s Cup rookie who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke, steered the Kiwis to victories of 49 seconds and 1 minute 12 seconds on the turquoise waters of the Great Sound.

Team New Zealand need to win four more races to return the Auld Mug to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in d ahead of Manchester United in the battle for Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes.Real Madrid are also in contact with Sporting, though it’s Spurs which are regarded as favourites, says Record.Spurs made a €60m offer last week, which was turnedAuckland, where it resided from 1995-2003. Oracle need to win seven to keep the trophy in the hands of .

Oracle Team USA now have five days to try to come with some answers to counter the design innovations of the scrappy New Zealanders, who are getting by with much less funding. Racing resumes on Saturday and Sunday.

This is anston Reid is set to make a playing return with New Zealand.Reid has been sidelined by a knee injury since March last year, but is poised to pull on his boots once again in Dublin on Thursday evening as he captains New Zealand in their friendly clash rematch , when Team New Zealand, then skippered by Dean Barker, reached match point at 8-1 before Spithill lead Oracle Team USA to eight straight victories on San Francisco Bay to retain the oldest trophy in international sports.

So far, the New Zealanders and their cycling grinding system have proven too fast for Oracle in light, shifty wind. They’ve also made the right choices on which foils to use on the ends of their daggerboards. The New Zealanders used the same foils they did in speeding to two victories on Saturday while the American-backed crew appeared to use two different foils.

Burling and his team are using a “cyclor” grinding system. They’ve built four stationary cycling stations into each hull to tap leg power instead of traditional arm power from the grinders to power the hydraulic systems that control the wing mainsail and the daggerboards. Simon van Velthooven, who won a bronze medal in cycling at the London Olympics, was aboard for Race 3. Olympic rowing champion Joe Sullivan replaced him for Race 4.

Spithill, an Australian, is trying to win his third straight America’s Cup before he turns 38.

Oracle made an unforced error when its catamaran came off its foils early on the downwind second leg. That was enough for Burling to speed awa.City assistant manager Arteta is in advanced talks to take the manager’s job at Arsenal this week.And should Arteta leave the champions, former Feyenoord coach Van Bronckhorst is available to step in to fill the void.The Dutchman is now part of the y around the seven-leg course for a 49-second victory. In Race 4, the Kiwis held a slim lead at the first mark and simply sped away.

Life as a Muslim-American Olympic champion: ‘Travel has become a worry’

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When she slowed to a stop in the Olympic stadium on that warm night in Rio, Dalilah Muhammad knew life would never quite be the same.

The New Yorker had just , catapulting herself into a limelight she never anticipated, offering her a platform she never expected. In the six months since, she has kept her counsel on the issues dividing her country, but now she feels it’s time to make her voice heard.

“It’s insane what’s going on and what America is becoming,” Muhammad told the Guardian in New York this weekend, where she opened her season with a 500m race at the . “It’s frightening and a little scary.”

, where she grew up in what she describes as a liberal Muslim household, and where her father, Askia, is an imam who leads prayers at a local mosque. When Donald Trump was inaugurated as US president last month and swiftly issued an executive order , Muhammad was watching on from her training base in Los Angeles.

Her reaction?

“It’s kind of crazy,” she says. “It’s just an unfortunate situation.”

While the background of her US Olympic team-mate and fellow Muslim, Ibtihaj Muhammad, , Dalilah Muhammad’s faith passed largely under the radar despite her winning gold, in part, she believes, because of her decision not to wear a hijab.

“A lot of people said it to me: ‘you’re not the stereotypical Muslim’, but there are a lot of people who are Muslim and we express our religion in different ways,” says Muhammad, who admits that her parents have been concerned with events in the US in recent months.

“I definitely think it’s scary for my mother, more for me and having a daughter who is now so much in the public eye,” says Muhammad. “My father is more with it, and he loves it. He wants the world to see Muslims in a different light. They’re different but we all have the same beliefs.”

On Thursday last a court ruling blocked Trump’s travel ban, though the US president has since said he is confident he would win a court battle and that he as early as this week.

Though Muhammad is a US citizen, she admits there are lingering concerns about travelling abroad to race on the track and field circuit. Later this week she will fly to the UK, where she will compete over 400m.

“My Nike reps were a little nervous about me travelling just because of my name,” she says. “It makes me a little bit worried, given I travel so much. To have the name Muhammad attached to me makes it a little scary.”

At the Millrose Games on Saturday night, other Muslim athletes echoed Muhammad’s concerns about the travel ban, such as Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed, who was born in Somalia who lives and trains in Portland, Oregon.

“Because of my place of birth and my name, I’m always going to get stopped at airports and get extra screening,” he said. “I’ve had to deal with that my whole life. I’ve spent a lot of hours at airports, missed flights. When I was younger it annoyed me a bit, because I was like: what’s wrong with me? As I’ve got to experience that more, I’ve come to realise that they’re doing it for a reason, as bigoted as it might seem.”

Sifan Hassan, a Muslim athlete from the Netherlands, admitted that she had similar concerns after relocating to Portland in recent months to train under famed coach Alberto Salazar. “I feel so bad,” said Hassan, who fled Ethiopis time with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund.This season, Immobile has scored 26 goals and is leading the race for European Golden Boot.But his time with Liverpool boss Klopp at BVB was anything but successful and he conceded: “Our roads were crossea as a refugee at the age of 16. “It’s very painful. In the Netherlands it’s much better. What Trump is planning to do to Muslims, it’s not good. It’s just going to cause more problems.”

Hassan, who took victory in the prestigi Bergwijn.The new Tottenham signing scored on debut in victory over Manchester City on Sunday.Van Hanegem told AD: “I heard that at PSV they thought he was five kilos overweight after the winter break. I thought it was not nice to say that here andous Wanamaker mile on Saturday night in 4:19.89, the fourth fastest indoor time in history, said she has been encouraged by the response of the American people to Trump’s travel ban. “The people are so fantastic here,” she said. “But I just wish [Trump] would look at everybody like himself.”

And as for Muhammad, what words would she offer to her Real Madrid goalkeeper Santiago Canizares says no-one wanted Keylor Navas to leave.Keylor was sold by Real to PSG on transfer deadline day on Monday.Canizares told L’Equipe: “This season, the club has relied on (Thibaut) Courtois and did not allow Kepresident, if given the chance? “Oh man,” she says, before pausing for thought. “I guess I would say to him we’re all the same, no matter what our beliefs.”

Thunder play ugly brilliantly as they shock Warriors in conference finals

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This year’s NBA playoffs have found their villain now, thumping into the title holders with frosty glares. The Oklahoma City Thunder became the bad guys of the postseason when what was probably Tim Duncan’s last championship run. And now they ao deciding where to go next.A Arsenal-wanted-Jose-Mourinho-Unai-Emery.html”>reported boardroom split regarding the club’s long-term direction is to blame for the paralysis as their shortlist gets longer, not shorter. It is an apt symbol of the chaos re trying to ruin the Golden State Warriors’ joy.

OKC swaggered onto the Warriors floor Monday night no longer the young, happy team of a few years back but gruff outsiders scarred by disappointments and looking to stomp on sunshine. There’s nothing fun about this Oklahoma City team. Almost an afterthought in Steph Curry’s Western Conference, the Thunder have remade themselves as a rugged spoiler of pretty basketball, ready to shove, elbow or wrestle their way to a victory. This is what makes them the most serious threat to the Warriors’ dance to a second straight title. They lug with them a world of resentment with nothing to lose ­­– a lethal combination in playoff basketball.

“I mean we hear it all the time, defense wins games,” Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant said in a leaden, passionless voice after the Thunder’s 108-102 victory over the Warriors in the first conference final game.

The team that was supposed to be the Warriors’ latest victim on their march to the next title will not go quietly. All those beautiful passes, skipping shots and delicate player movements that dazzled the this season do not impress a core of Oklahoma City players all these years on. The Thunder use words like “resilient” and “focus,” which usually fill the dreary, heavy talk of a team that looks at the playoffs as a long, tedious slog of games to be endured rather than won.

In Game 1 they forced Golden State to rush perfection. Their aggressive lunges at the ball forced the Warriors out of the precise and delicate pace. Passes were thrown a foot too far, shots were an inch too far to the left or right. The Warriors didn’t miss by much. But all the Thunder needed to turn a Golden State party into a seven-game war was nudge Curry (26 points on the night) and Klay Thompson (25) to shoot a couple of seconds too soon and from just the wrong angle. The Golden State machine broke down after that.

They are the antidote to the effortless brilliance that has been Golden State for nearly these last two seasons. If they are going to win they will win ugly and this is something they are more than fine with. That determination was never more obvious than in the fourth quarter as they fought their way to victory – at one point in the game they had been 14 points down to the Warriors. Durant picked up 26 points, including a crucial jumper with 30 seconds left, and Russell Westbrook scored 24 of his 27 in the second half.

“I mean what’s to celebrate?” Durant said of his team’s dour look after what should have been a momentous victory. “We didn’t win the championship.”

He did not smile.

concerned about losing Jurgen Klopp.The Reds manager is being tipped to replace Max Allegri at Juventus this summer.”We don’t really want to discuss his situation publicly, especially so close to the final,” Werner told the Liverpool Echo.”But I thinOnce the Thunder were the Warriors. Once Durant was Curry, a player who played as if he loved every minute he was on the court. to his postgame press conferences and . They were everybody’s darlings, the team the world wanted badly to win back.

Late on Monday night, long after Curry had dressed and left the arena, Durant lingered in the hall outside the Thunder locker room. He had on ripped jeans and a denim jacket. He didn’t wear a backpack. He didn’t look young and happy. He waited impatiently for Westbrooall Lane.The Daily Mail says McCabe has been told he will not be welcome at Bramall Lane if he fights the High Court ruling which awards full control of the club to his co-owner Prince Abdullah.McCabe, who has been on the board for more than 25 yearsk who was several steps behind and looked less like a fashion icon and more like someone out to walk the dog in an oversized orange sweatshirt. The Thunder have grown up into something far less fun but far more dangerous. They are forgotten and experienced and they know just how to make the Splash Brothers struggle to make everything look easy.

Defense wins games.

Who knew years ago this would become the mantra of Westbrook and Durant? But if they are to ever win a title together that is the stand they have to take. They never could win everything by being pretty but they might just take it all by playing ugly.

The new Thunder will never be as loveable as the boundless Warriors who skip passes through games with a splendid ease that can resemble a world-class soccer team.

“They didn’t make many mistakes on the defensive end which forced us into bad shots,” Curry said.

“Offensively we sucked,” Golden State’s Draymond Green said.

This was, of course, but just one game of a long series and the shots Curry took that looked dumb on Monday would have been brilliant had they fallen. He has a way of turning shots that no one should take into works of art. If two of those attempts that clunked of the rim and instead swished through the net we would be talking about another chapter in the never-ending Curry story.

But he didn’t make them and with seven turnovers, many on sloppy pass attempts over the Thunder’s formidable front court he fell into the trap set by the new Thunder, the one that will try to grind their way to a championship. In two weeks they have beaten the Spurs and the Warriors three times on their home courts which is as many times as San Antonio and Golden State lost at home all season.

After years of despair they have learned to deliver despair to others. Suddenly there is a threat to the Warriors. Few saw the Thunder coming.

A brief guide to … the complex rivalries of Midlands football

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With the Guardian’s unstoppable rise to global dominance** we at Guardian US thought we’d run a series of articles for fans wishing to improve their knowledge of the sports history and storylines, hopefully in a way that doesn’t patronise you to within an inch of your life. A warning: If you’re the kind of person that finds The Blizzard too populist this may not be the series for you.

** Actual dominance may not be global. Or dominant

Like the Oscar Peterson Trio, we get requests. And here’s reader Grant Tennille of North Carolina with another cutting-edge musical reference sure to go down a storm with the pop pickers of the internet age. “It would be fun to read about the Midlands, and all the rivalries within. I mean, everyone in the USA knows Robert Plant is a massive Wolves fan, but beyond that …”

Let’s start by splitting the region down the middle. To make it simple, we’re dividing the Midlands into two halves, based on the UK government’s . So we know Stoke isn’t really in the West Midlands but just for today we’ll go with .

The big clubs in the East Midlands are two-time European Cup winners Nottingham Forest, 1970s league sensations Derby County, and current Premier League leaders Leicester City. Also in the region: Notts County, the oldest professional club in the world and the team whose black-and-white-striped shirts inspired Juventus; Chesterfield, as a third-tier team, had there been goal-line technology back then; Northampton Town, who in the 1960s went from the lowest to highest divisions of the time, Fourth to First, and all the way back down again; and Mansfield Town, who don’t care for nearby Chesterfield much but keep themselves to themselves.

Nottingham Forest’s biggest rivalry should by rights be with Notts County, situated a stone’s throw away in the city, across the River Trent. But the pair rarely play in the same division, so most of the opprobrium is saved for . Forest and Derby contest the East Midlands derby (and yes, calling it the Derby derby would just confuse things unnecessarily).

Their rivalry today is mainly shaped by , who managed Derby to the 1972 league title and the semi-finals of the European Cup the following season. It was all going swimmingly until Clough had an argument with chairman Sam Longson over the keys to the office booze cabinet – , but not much more – and resigned. After unsuccessful but fabled sabbaticals at Brighton , Clough rocked up at Forest, leading the team to promotion, the league title, and two European Cups. Clough won a couple of League Cups at the tail end of the 80s with Forest, and retired in 1993. Forest haven’t won a major trophy since he left, though Derby landed the 74-75 league title under Dave Mackay (who made more changes to Clough’s team than he was ever given credit for by the neutral, ).

The pair did contest the 1898 FA Cup final, though. Derby were the hot favourites, having got to the showpiece at Crystal Palace after beating a pair of Midlands rivals – holders Aston Villa and – plus the Merseyside duo of Liverpool and Everton. Forest, on the othue semi-finalists are paying 15.7 million euros for Promes, significantly less than the 20.8 million euros that Sevilla paid Spartak Moscow for the winger last summer.However, with variables, the transfer could reach up to 17.2 million euros plus a per hand, had been the beneficiaries of a fortunate draw, West Bromwich Albion their only top-flight opposition en route to the final. Derby also had the double over Forest in the league, winning 4-3 away and thumping the not-so-Tricky-Trees 5-0 at the Baseball Ground on the Monday before the final. Sure enough, Forest ran out easy 3-1 winners and lifted their first FA Cup.

scored Derby’s consolation that day, though otherwise failed to make much of an impression. He’s the second greatest goalscorer of all time in the English top flight, his 317 goals only bettered by the 357 scored by Jimmy Greaves. But he won nothing. Derby made the final again the following year, but Bloomer missed a golden chance with the Rams a goal to the good against Sheffield United, and his team ended up losing 4-1. County made a third final in 1903, but Bloomer was injured and missed that one, which was lost 6-0 to Bury, still an FA Cup final record. There were suggestions that Derby had been jinxed by some travelling types who had been turfed off the land required to build their new Baseball Ground stadium ( of another Midlands team, Birmingham City), but good luck proving that.

Anyway, we’ve gone well off piste here. Forest aren’t wholly enamoured with Leicester either, and vice versa. That state of affairs that may or may not have its historical roots in Forest’s 12-0 win over Leicester in 1909, which remains the Foxes’ darkest day, but can be explained away by the whole team being still half-cut after a player’s wedding the night before. Leicester also keep a pot on a rolling boil for Derby, and they’ve had the better of that rivalry in recent(ish) years: four goals in the first 15 minutes of a 4-0 win the Premier League back in 1998, future Liverpool striker Emile Heskey the star man there, and a 2-1 win the First Division promotion play-off final of 1994, club legend Steve Walsh the two-goal hero.

Time to go west, but before we leave, anyone interested in Northampton Town’s Swinging Sixties – a story which features the captain of the 1958 Wales World Cup team, Barcelona, victories over West Ham’s future World Cup winners and, more importantly, local rivals Aston Villa – should read .

The West Midlands, then. A larger selection of big names here. The behemoth, whether rival fans like it or not, and regardless of how they’re doing right now, is Aston Villa. Also from the Premier League: Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion. Big clubs labouring in the Championship now: Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. And other league concerns: Coventry City, the winners of the 1987 FA Cup and scorers of ; Walsall, whose 2-0 FA Cup win over the famous Arsenal in 1933 is still considered by many to be the greatest shock in the competition’s long history; Shrewsbury Town, (another for Grant Tennile there); Port Vale, Stoke’s lower-league city rivals; and Burton Albion, who held Manchester United to a goalless draw in the 2006 FA Cup while a non-league team.

We could draw a map of all the inter-club rivalries, but it’d make look like Route 66. Space and time constricts ently Manchester United striker James Wilson.The on-loan forward has spent this season at Pittodrie and is set to become a free agent.The Aberdeen-transfer-news-James-Wilson-Man-Utd” target=”_blank”>Daily Express says Derek McInnes wants to land the us to the bigger rivalries. We start in England’s second city, and the pretty intense brouhaha between the generally more blue collar Birmingham City and Aston Villa, who draw some of their support from well to do areas of the city such as Sutton Coldfield. Villa, the bigger club (sorry Blues), have registered more wins in the Second City derby. But on the other hand, Birmingham have a few trophies to show for it. They beat Villa in the final of the 1963 League Cup to win their first ever major trophy, Ken Leek their two-goal hero in a 3-1 aggregate win over two legs. Then in December 2010, Nikola Zigic scored late at St Andrews to beat Villa in the League Cup quarter finals; they went on to win .

This one’s got pretty nasty of late, though. Ask most folk of the first thing they think about when the Second City derby is mentioned, and it’ll be September 2002, the first game between the two sides for 15 years, Villa defender Olaf Mellberg throwing the ball back to keeper Peter Enckelman, the hapless netminder letting it roll into the net. Bedlam. Enckelman then had to deal with a Blues fan running onto the pitch and getting right up in his grille. You couldn’t have blamed Enckelman if he’d have battered the fan – professional sports stars tend to be a bit handier than oafs full of ale and pie – but the keeper retained a quiet dignity in the face of extreme provocation. OK, dignity is probably the wrong word, but you get the point. He didn’t retaliate, and .

Enckelman went on to play well for the next six months, restoring his reputation, only to make a perhaps worse blunder when Villa faced Birmingham again, bottling out of a headed backpass and allowing Geoff Horsfield to round him and roll the ball into an empty net. Sssh, nobody mention E, the man’s suffered enough.

Over to , up the road from Birmingham. Historically, their animosity was saved for Villa, this one going back a long way. The two teams contested the 1887, 1892 and 1895 FA Cup finals. West Brom were hot favourites for the first, but were defeated 2-0, losing the place completely after Dennis Hodgetts scored an unchallenged opener from an offside position. Having expected the referee to stop play before Hodgetts netted, or at least rule the goal out, the Baggies threw a three-minute tantrum. The referee didn’t budge. They never budge.

Five years later it was Villa’s turn as hot favourites. Sure enough, the result again went the other way, West Brom battering their Midlands rivals 3-0. John Reynolds was man of the match, and was absurdly accused by his own board of only putting in a shift at the big events, in the hope of getting a transfer. Reynolds, understandably piqued, left in high dudgeon. No guesses who he signed for: yep, Villa. Also plumping for the “bugger this” option was Villa keeper Jimmy Warner, who left England for good after being accused of throwing the Cup final on purpose, having bet heavily on West Brom.

Another three years on, and the 1895 final was decided in the first minute, the ball pinballing around the Albion area and clanking off a surprised John Devey. Reynolds was in the Villa winning side, a fact presumably noted by the Baggies board. Villa then proudly put the FA Cup on display in the window of local cobbler William Shillock, only for it , melted down for coins.

West Brom also enjoy locking horns with Wolverhampton Wanderers, and this rivalry – the Black Country derby – has probably superseded the Baggies-Villa one, simply because the teams, having both spent plenty of time out of the top flight during the last few decamp; Star reports that Podence is the main target for the Premier League side in the remaining days of the transfer window.The 24-year-old striker is much sought after, and he is preferred to Nelson Oliviera, who is another Wolves target.Wolves are hades, meet more often.

But despite it being primarily a lower-division phenomenon, the signature season came back in 1953-54. West Brom were under the yoke of Vic Buckingham, a coach heavily influenced by the famous Hungary team that thrashed England 6-3 and 7-1 and should have won the 1954 World Cup. Buckingham would go on to coach Ajax and Barcelona, but right now he was going for the English league title, and his West Brom team came within a hair’s breadth of becoming the 20th-century’s first league and FA Cup double winners. West Brom were a pretty pass-and-move team. Ronnie Allen and Johnny Nicholls had scored 55 goals between them by March, and the title looked on. But injuries scuppered their chances, they crumbled on the run-in, and were pipped at the post by a more tactically prosaic side: Wolves. West Brom did win the cup that year, at least, while Wolves went on to dominate the rest of the decade along with Manchester United.

So there you have it. Or at least some of it. Villa and Coventry don’t get on. Birmingham dislike Wolves, Stoke don’t have much time for Wolves or West Brom, Birmingham and West Brom don’t mind each other too much, Walsall get a few too many patronising pats on the head for their own liking, and everyone has it in for poor old Villa – something not helped in modern times by the fact that ever popular PM David Cameron is among their fans (). Yes, we’ve only just scratched the surface here.

A special Thanksgiving hat-tip to Matthew Lutz, , for his help with this article.And if you have any topics you’d like covered for future Field Notes, jot a note to

Andy Murray warms up for US Open by reaching Cincinnati semi-finals

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After a week playing in the dark, with thunder and lightning for occasional companions, burst into the warm midwest sunlight on Friday afternoon and heads for New York this week with renewed vigour and a smile on his face.

The glow of victory was still hard won, Richard Gasquet delaying by a set Murray’s progress into the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Masters, but the Scot looks good for a shot at his third title here.

Less than 16 hours after that finished closer to midnight than he would have liked, 10 days before the US Open – – Murray overcame early jitters to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in just over two hours.

If Murray reaches Sunday’s final, he will squeeze out Roger Federer from the second seeding and that will considerably boost his chances of adding to his 2012 breakthrough major at his favourite tournament outside Wimbledon. He won that with a bad back, against a rampaging Novak Djokovic; after surgery and a long recovery period, Murray is as fit now as he has ever been. His odds, surely, have shortened since then. It could be his time again.

“I think I did well to come through that one,” said Murray after the game. “I wasn’t feeling great last night. I had a much shorter warm-up today [after his late finish against Dimitrov]. I only hit fs of the Carabao Cup after beating Burton Albion.Despite making nine-changes to the side that beat Southampton 9-0 on Friday, the Foxes were dominant against the League One outfit.Kelechi Iheanacho opened the scoring after seven minutes, with Youri Tor like 50 minutes.

“It’s important in terms of seeding for the US Open. That would be nice, to have that locked up, knowing I’ll be on a separate side of draw to Novak and possibly Roger. It could still turn out I don’t have to play either of them, as I may notthis summer.The Mirror says Bournemouth are eying another raid on the Championship for Leeds midfielder Phillips.The Cherries have already signed defender Lloyd Kelly from Bristol City for £13m and are keen to add Phillipfailing to qualify for the Champions League this season.Tuttosport says Juve are eager to bring Paul Pogba back to Turin this summer and are concerned by reports the Frenchman is prepared to now stay and sign a new deal at Old Trafford.However, whiles, 23, to their rostrum of r make the semi-finals. I don’t take anything for granted. But if you do get there it’s slightly easier if you don’t have to come up against one of those two.”

Djokovic, , will still start as favourite at Flushing Meadows but he has to manage the sore elbow that inhibited him in Montreal and again in the third round here – which did not prevent him for defeat in the French Open final.

Djokovic has an unexpected opponent in the semi-finals, Alexandr Dolgopolov, whose quirky game was too much for the sixth seed, Tomas Berdych, the Ukrainian qualifier winning 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and a quarter.

• This article was amended on 25 August 2015 because Alexandr Dolgopolov is Ukrainian, rather than Russian as an earlier version said.

NBA brings the stars to Africa – but can basketball compete with soccer?

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has been a child refugee, played on the biggest stages of the NBA and met Barack Obama at the White House. And on Sunday he heads to war-torn South Sudan to visit his family. Yet it was the prospect of appearing before a few thousand people that gave him butterflies.

“It’s the first time I’ve played in front of the continent of Africa,” the 30-year-old said of an exhibition game in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday. “Before the game I had to run back to the locker room. I don’t know why I got nervous but I did.”

Deng, said to be Obama’s favourite player, captained “Team Africa” against “Team World” in the . It was an experiment, and statement of intent, on a continent where you are never more than six feet from someone wearing an English or Spanish soccer shirt.

If truth be told, most of the players were content to phone in their performances for the first three quarters, with some casual defending and wayward passing – never more so than when Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls hurled the ball without looking then saw it bounce into empty hinterland.

At the stage Team Africa were well ahead, but then – who knows, perhaps not entirely by chance – Team World roared back with the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal and Memphis Grizzlies’ Jeff Green sinking several three pointers. The final quarter moved up several gears and finally animated the crowd, who cheered the Africans and booed their opponents, though nobody really minded that Team World ran out 101-97 winners.

Deng, who was a refugee from what is now South Sudan when he was three and – he still has a home in Brixton, south London – was certainly looking at a bigger picture. “This game is quite hopefully the first of many,” he said on court afterwards. “I was happy to see the the joy it brought to faces.”

Asked if basketball could compete with soccer and others sports in Africa, the Miami Heat forward replied: “Of course it can. Even if you have 30 sports in Africa, it’s never enough when you have so many people here and so many talents. The potential audience is big. Even if could bring a smile to a kid’s face for two hours, it brings me happiness.”

Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, who captained Team World, was also enthusiastic. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” he said. “In this day and age it’s hard to be pioneers of anything so it’s a privilege to be part of it. This is the first game here but I guarantee it won’t be the last.”

Deng scored 20 points. He and Paul were named most valuable players.

Among Saturday’s highlights, NBA legends Dikembe Mutombo and Hakeem Olajuwon took off their business suits to put on their old team strips again for a short burst in the second quarter. A turnaround jumper by Olajuwon, who in 1984 became the first African drafted into the NBA when he joined the Houston Rockets, prompted current stars to jump off the benches with their arms aloft.

Al-Farouq Aminu of the Portland Trail Blazers and Nigeria said: “It was special. I think the fans really got into it, especially in the second half, and I know the players enjoyed it. You can see the potential is there in Africa.”

Team Africa included NBA players who were first or second generation Cameroonian, Congolese, Nigerian, Senegalese and South Sudanese, but no South Africans – the country has never won the African championship. But Johannesburg has reTorreira.It was claimed in Italy yesterday that Milan have opened talks with the Uruguay midfielder’s representatives.And Tuttosport says Torreira is a dream signing for Milan management with Franck Kessie potentially being offered for the Uruguayan.gularly hosted the NBA’s camps.

Not everything hit the right note. The game was played at the scruffy 4,000-seat Ellis Park arena, much smaller than NBA stars are accustomed to. Tickets had reportedly sold out within two hours of becoming available, but dozens of empty seats were visible in the stand – possibly reflecting competition from the between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, which sold all 94,000 tickets.

Entertainment before the game, and during timeouts, lacked the razzmatazz of an American sporting spectacle. And some were puzzled that the players wore the shirts of their home teams instead of ones specifically designed for the contest. “I’m disappointed they’re wearing their own teams’ shirts,” said one local radio commentator. “If you’ve never seen basketball before, you’re going to be very confused.”

After previous forays in Brazil, China and Europe, NBA commissioner , who attended the match, said “it was only a matter of time before a pre-season game was staged in Africa”.

He told Agence-France Presse: “This match was an experiment. Among the reasons I am here is to investigate new facilities. We would want a larger, modern arena before staging a pre-season or regular season NBA match.”

Ellis Park arena has previously hosted events including an exhibition tennis match between Serena and Venus Williams. It is adjacent to the stadium where South Africa won thEverton have confirmed the loan of Sandro Ramirez to Real Valladolid.The Spanish striker will return to La Liga for the 2019/20 campaign, after spending time with Real Sociedad last season.The 23-year-old striker joined the Toffees from Malaga in 2017.Sandro also spent time on loan at Sevilla in 2018.e rugby World Cup 20 years ago with Nelson Mandela .

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who was in charge of Team Africa, said earlier this week: “You know, over here they’ve got soccer, rugby, cricket – it’s cricket, right? I don’t know if I’m saying that right – but basketball is just growing and doing something like this will help it grow even more.”

South Africa relaunched its basketball league in 2013 and games are televised. , the sports minister, tweeted on Saturday: “The NBA game was broadcast to alliker Samuele Longo has moved to Deportivo La Coruna.Longo goes to Deportivo La Coruna on loan with obligation to buy at the end of the season.He spent last season on loan at first Huesca and then Cremonese.The striker has only ever made two substitut states in the USA. The power of sport once more my country is on the map thru sport.”

The crowd was a mix of male and female, black and white. Buyile Gaga, 30, a data analyst, said: “I’m a fan and it’s one of those opportunities that don’t come very often. I’m very excited. Since basketball start in South Africa it’s been getting exposure. We’re going to see people getting used to it.”

Carlo Manna, 25, a chartered accountant, said: “It was interesting. The first three quarters they were taking very relaxed and that was disappointing, but in the last quarter they really got into it. Overall they did it very well. I hope they come back, with less of an exhibition feel.”

He added: “Basketball is big in schools here. Something like this will help raise its profile nationally. It definitely has a chance.”

Top trainer Charlie Hills aims to keep racing dynasty on track at Breeders’ Cup

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Life sure has a cruel way of balancing the books.

The highs have been plenty for trainer Charlie Hills this year. Just the Judge bagged him a top-flight trophy when she won the Grade I EP Taylor stakes at Woodbine earlier this month. He’s done great trade in the group race department back home, sending out a squadron of nice prospects for next year, including Gimcrack and Acomb victors, Muhaarar and Dutch Connection. And his piggy bank is again showing Wall Street profits – a mere victory or so short of breaking through the million-marker for the year in domestic earnings.

Hills’ low, however, was one that puts all dizzying career accomplishments into a box marked “trivial”. His older brother in June of this year from pancreatic cancer – an especially tough punishment for a racing dynasty that could teach even the Waltons a thing or two about family values.

“John dying over the summer … it was very hard for all of the family,” said Hills. “He meant a lot to all of us. And it wodar.Liverpool are the club most likely to sign Cantwell this summer, claim The Athletic.Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham are all interested in signing the 21-year-old.Cantwell has been one of the Canaries’ most impressive performers iuld be nice to have a bit of good news, really.”

Much-needed good news for the Hills family could come thick and fast this weekend. In Just the Judge and Commemorative, Hills has two solid chances of repeating his Breeders’ Cup success with Chriselliam, who won last year’s Grade I Juvenile Fillies Turf (her last race, sadly, for Chriselliam was put down earlier this year with a severe foot infection – another kidney punch for Hills).

Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares Turf candidate Just the Judge would appear to hold the greater chance of Hills’ duo. And he reports that his horse, having headed straight from Canada to southern California by way of Memphis, has come out of her win bouncing.

“It’s quite a long journey from Canada, seven hours door-to-door, but she got off the plane fresher than she did at Woodbine,” he said. “She certainly takes her travelling well, which is great to see.” And having settled in well to her sunny surroundings, Just the Judge is poised on the cusp of a bold showing, Hills believes.

“She’s got a nice draw, and as long as she gets away smartly and gets in a good position the first half of the race, I would say that she has a huge chance, really.” he said. “In my mind, I think she’s been improving between each race this year, And I think she’s even better than she was in the first half of last year when she had those two massive runs [a second in the 1000 Guineas followed by a win in the Irish version] quite close together.”

Their greatest obstacle to success appears to be Sir Michael Stoute’s Dank – last year’s Fillies and Mare’s Turf heroine. “She could be a massive danger, but I don’t think any filly has ever won this race two years on the trot. It’s such a hard thing to do. She’s been off the track for a long time, but she does look very well.”

Then there’s the home team’s Stephanie’s Kitten, who pipped Just the Judge for second in the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington in August. “We’ve got to turn that form around, obviously.”

Whatever happens on Saturday, however, it would be fair to say that Just the Judge would have to perform feats of unimaginable horror to tarnish the esteem she’s held in by her trainer. She has been the mainstay of Faringdon Place for a significant portion of Hills’ short training career. She was his first classic winner, when she won last year’s . “She’s won group races at two, three and four. She’s just been amazing for my career.” And whilnt Kompany says he knew his Manchester City career was over after his stunning goal against Leicester City.The defender scored a long-range piledriver to clinch a 1-0 victory for City, who eventually won an unprecedented domestic treble.Kompany has de she is entered in Tattersalls December Sales, Hills intimated that her racing days might not yet be numbered.

“There are lots of nice opportunities for her next year, races in Dubai and maybe Japan – those types of races,” he said. “She’s owned in a partnership between Qatar Racing and the Sangster Family…Obviously first, something will have to be sorted out.”

While the gable is poised over Just the Judge’s racing career, Commemorative’s best years are still ahead of him judging by a commanding victory in the Group III Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last time out. That day, he licked ‘em from the front, seeing out the stiff mile comfortably. And Hills sees the stamina he displayed at Newmarket as especially beneficial in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on the Friday.

“We know he’s going to stay a mile really well, which will be an important factor. I think he’s got a great chance of getting into the first three,” said Hills. “It looks a pretty open race. Obviously, the likely favorite [Hootenanny] has yet to provictory on Sunday.Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala goals settled the 2-0 win.“It was a very balanced encounter up until the goal and we had started the second half much better than them, but that Ramsey goal changed everything, above all psychologicalve himself over the trip. Commemorative is improving the right way, and he’s got to have a great chance.”

Another plus is Santa Anita’s firm turf course. Despite his size, (he weighs 524kg – racehorses can weigh as much as 100kg less), Commemorative has an action built for the road. In a spin on the turf earlier this week at Santa Anita, for example, the way he floated over the green carpet had the touch of a Rudolph Nureyev about it. Hills even toyed with the idea of supplementing Commemorative for the Racing Post Trophy, until the heavens opened over Doncaster, bringing Santa Anita and a crack at the Breeders’ Cup into play.

“It was a bit of an afterthought,” he admitted. “But he’s a very strong two-year-old, he’s huge. My only concern is that, because he’s drawn four, I wonder whether he’s got the tactical speed to get in a good position.”

Irrespective of what happens this year, Hills sees a mile and a quarter well within Commemorative’s compass next year. “We’ll see how he winters, and see where we are in the spring as to where we go,” he said, not discounting races like the 2000 Guineas.

Circumspection though can be forgiven. Given those events since Hills last stood here on world racing’s main stage – when the likes of Willie Carson, one of Chriselliam’s co-owners, brought a New Year’s Eve atmosphere to the winners enclosure – it’s no wonder that his thoughts are often underpinned with reserve, if not a little humility.

“Obviously last year, when we had our winner, it gave us a great thrill. We were all very proud of her,” he said. “Santa Anita, though, it’s one of the greatest tracks in the world, and we’re just very honored to have runners.”

b to re-ignite their interest in Nabil Fekir.The R

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A league source said the have told closer will for a trade leading up to the July 31 non-waiver deadline, according to .com. Cishek is under team control this season, will reach arbitration next year and won’t be available for free agency until 2018.

Cishek is 1-4 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through 24 appearances this season. He is 5 for 7 in save chances.

More News 29D ago • by RotoWire Staff 03/20/2020 • by RotoWire Staff s form.Referring to Everton’s defeat to Brighton, Cascarino wrote for The Times: “Yet another entry in the catalogue of Jordan Pickford errors shows why the Everton keeper’s days as England’s number 1 are numbered… beaten easily by a set piece, (wh 01/07/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 08/21/2019 • by RotoWire Staff ws where Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba plans to with the club’s summer signings.Che Adams has joined from Birmingham City and Moussa Djenepo from Standard Liege.”Southampton have strengthened pretty well,” he said.”Ralph identified the areas of the squad that were a bit lacking and pace was one omove.Pogba’s future is up in the air at United, with Real Madrid and Juventus both keen.Former Juve coach Conte was seen in conversation with Pogba before Inter’s defeat to United in Singapore 08/19/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/17/2019 • by RotoWire Staff

porting director Michael Zorc accepts they’re on b

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The have fallen on hard times during its seven-game losing streak. The team is batting .191 (er Barcelona whizkid Jordi Mboula is back in Spain.The AS Monaco winger has been sent on-loan to Huesca for the remainder of the season.Mboula left Barca in 2017 for Monaco, but has struggled to break into the first team. He was sent to Club Brugge l43 for 224) with no home runs anent regarding Kante’s transfer to the Blues from Chelsea a few years ago.It got to the stage where an armed thug threatened to kill the star’s agent.Mediapart has revealed details aa Dortmund fans.For the final home game of the season, USA international Pulisic was presented with yellow flowers on the Westfalenstadion pitch minutes before kick-off in the Bundesliga match with Fortuna Dusseldorf.”Dortmund will always feel like hbout the saga through their investigative reporting.The site reportedd just 11 runs scored during the losing streak, according to .com.

Chicago has also been shut out three times and the last time the White Sox lost seven in a row was Sept. 9-17, 2011.