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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.

Antonio Brown set for New England Patriots debut despite rape lawsuit

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Antonio Brown is eligible to play Sunday when the visit the Miami Dolphins.

Brown, the , was under consideration for the Commissioner’s Exempt Lismmer are wide open.Speaking with AD, Van de Beek denied claims of an agreement with Real Madrid and left the door open to joining Manchester United.On Real, he stated: “That is said and written, people take over, and then it starts to lead its own t, according to USA Today. But commissioner Roger Goodell will not enact his authority in the matter at this time.

USA Today reported Goodell is reserving the right to place Brown on the exempt list should criminal charges be brought against Brown.

Whether Brown wilWenger has revealed Arsenal made an attempt to sign Lionel Messi as a Barcelona youth teamer.Wenger discussed the move when asked about Arsenal’s failed attempt for current Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.When asked on beIN SPORTS if Arsenal were verl be active and on the field for the Patriots at Miami after three days of practice is up to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Multiple reports indicate the Patriots were not aware of the civil suit Saturday when they agreed to a one-year deal with Brown hours after he was released by the .

Brown, 31, that includes a $9m signing bonus and a $20m team option for 2020.

After bailing on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2018 regular-season finale and sitting out Week 1 this year, Brown could pay for the first time since 23 December if he faces the Dolphins.

Belichick downplayed Brown’s past, responding to a question about Brown returned to the first-team fold after a long injury lay-off.And he has spoken of his pride of still being able to represent the Red Devils.”Honestly, to just sign to play for Man United is a dream,” Bailly told ESPN FC.”To be part of a team this big being a disruption with a name from the past that worked out pretty well.

“That’s the same thing you (the media) said about Randy Moss when we brought him in,” Belichick said Tuesday.

St Louis Blues silence Boston Bruins to move to brink of first Stanley Cup

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Jordan Binnington stopped 38 shots, and Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron scored for St Louis on Thursday night to give the Blues a 2-1 victory over the and a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Blues have won two straight since a and return to St Louis with a chance to clinch the first NHL championship in franchise history. Game 6 is Sunday night and the Blues are riding a red-hot goalie of late.

“Unbelievaaccording to reports.The former Gunners midfielder is currently with the general co-ordinator of the Brazil national team, who won the Copa America final against Peru on Sunday.He has been granted permission to speak with the club’s hierarchy and wilble. He won one for us,” defenseman Colton Parayko said of Binnington.

Tuukka Rask stopped 19 shots and Jake DeBrusk scored for Boston. The Bruins were lifted by the return of captain Zdeno Chara, who left dripping blood after taking a deflected puck off his face. He wore a full-face shield on his helmet, but was unable to provide more than an emotional boost.

Chara followed Rask onto the ice for the pregame skate, and he got a lengthy cheer for his introduction. The Bruins played a video of his highlights during an early whistle, and he went out of the way to deliver the game’s first hit, just 15 seconds in, on Brayden Schenn.

When things United striker Romelu Lukaku has been offered to Napoli and Juventus.The Belgium striker held talks last week with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and told he is no longer first-choice at Old Trafford.But a £75million dream move to Inter Milan with Antonio Co went bad later, the crowd tried to spur the team on with chants of “Chara!”

But the 42-year-old defenseman’s toughness could only carry so far.

O’Reilly scored in the opening minute of the second period, backhanding in a rebound for his third goal in his last five periodsb at Juventus ahead of their Champions League clash at Lyon.Lyon host Juve in the first-leg of their Champions League round 16 tie on Wednesday night.Sarri said, “I feel frankly even more responsibility in Italy to achieve every result. You all see. It was still 1-0 midway through the third when the referees disregarded a leg sweep by Tyler Bozak that knocked Noel Acciari out of the game.

Perron followed with a shot that banked off Rask’s pad and into the net. The fans responded with a vulgar chant and a shower of rally towels; the public address announcer eventually asked them to stop.

Boston did seem inspired – or at least desperate – and cut the deficit to one goal on a delayed penalty with about six and a half minutes left. Torey Krug took a high stick to the face at the blue line but he played on, straightened his helmet and dished the puck to DeBrusk for a one-timer past Binnington.

Boston pulled Rask with a little more than a minute left and earned several chances, but couldn’t get the puck past Binnington.

The Raptors had every advantage against the Warriors. It didn’t matter

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The Raptors could not have asked for a better shot at taking a commanding lead. During Game 2, the Warriors had to deal with various combinations of the following obstacles: no Kevin Durant; DeMarcus Cousins battling back from acould be on the move from Everton in January.The Liverpool Echo says with the January transfer window fast approaching, and with both youngsters coming to the end of their current contracts with the club in 2020, a potential to go out on loan for fir torn quad; Stephen Curry struggling with the flu; Andre Iguodala hobbled; Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney leaving the game with injuries; a raucous home crowd; a 12-point second-quarter deficit; Drake; shooters unable to buy a basket in the final five minutes.

. Golden State won Game 2, 109-104, to tie up the series at one game apiece as the team head to the West Coast. It would be unkind to say the Raptors blew it, but rarely are finals match-ups so weighted in one side’s favor. Only a vintage performance from the Splash Brothers, and added a further nine assists, could spur the Warriors to victory. Golden State ripped off an 18-0 run to open the third-quarter, putting them into a lead they retained for the rest of the game.

Talk of the Warriors’ lack of shooting depth – a source of discussion all season – grew after . Without Durant they were missing that third shooter, detractors claimed. It was hokum: having Curry on the court is like having three shooters. Having Klay is like having an extra two. No play better sums up the breadth of Curry’s range and the pressure that it puts on a defense than this:

There were 34 seconds remaining in the third-quarter with a dwindling shot clock. Draymond Green hit Curry in stride, the shooter some 30-feet from the basket. For most, it would be just a hair out of range. Not Curry. Norman Powell rushed out to defend, and with just a hint of daylight, Curry rose, drilling a three. And, just like that, the lead was 10. Some shots are worth more than mere points: they drain the energy out of the opposition.

No one has the ability to demoralize an opponent in the way Curry does. He is the Warriors’ offensive fulcrum, and helps democratize the offense. Other superstars crave the ball in their hands. Get out of the way and let me do work. And that’s fine because it works – just look at Kawhi Leonard for Toronto. But Curry’s selflessness gives the Warriors extra zest.

Meanwhile, once Green or Iguodala or any other initiator of the offense gets the ball in his hands, the Warriors slip into pass-happy Warriorsgasms. You know the kind: Curry and Thompson darting here then there. The ball whipping around the court at a break-neck pace. It sows confusion. The Warriors leverage that confusion into easy baskets.Newcastle United.The Irons lost 3-2, after conceding the first three goals of the game.He said, “It’s a bad result and it is a performance that isn’t West Ham like.”We need a reality check and need to know we need to start getting points on the board Defenses jump up, then sag off, then play catch up. At that pace, with that level of intellect, the Warriors almost always find a good shot. The Warriors shot 38% from three-point range in Game 2, the Raptors 28%. Golden State made two more threes. It was the difference.

None of this is rocket science. Curry is the best shooter who has ever lived, whether you go by the numbers or the eye test. Thompson is in the top-five. Reasonable minds can disagree on where he falls in the pecking order, but he’s closer to the second spot than he is the fifth.

Now the Warriors return home for two games. Hold serve, and they will be one win away from a third-straight championship, their fourth in five years. “It was a great win. We got to go home and protect our home floor.” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “We’ll see about all the injuries, but I’m very proud of our team and in particular all the guys off the bench.”

Health looks to be the only thing that can hold Golden State back. How severe is Thompson’s hamstring injury? Even if he plays – – will he be able to scoot around screens with the same kind of vigor we are accustomed to? What about Durant’s calf? And what about Looney’s chest?

Looney has into a fully-fledged starter through the course of the season. On a team slammed up against the salary cap, that added depth has been invaluable. The Warriorsester City are casting a wide net to find a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.City boss Pep Guardiola is driving the search.Rodri of Atletico Madrid, Tanguy Ndombele of Lyon and Real Madrid’s Marcos Llorente make up the list of three potential mi can win at the highest level without Durant, they have proven that. But they can’t pull any of the other pieces out of this carefully constructed symphony. Their season teeters on a game-health Jenga: pull Thompson or Looney or Iguodala out of the line-up for an extended period of time and the whole thing could collapse. Golden State can withstand losing Durant because Curry, Thompson and Green are just that special. But to win the title they cannot afford to lose any more pieces.

Saracens front an American gold rush still seeking the nugget of success

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The American gold rush is showing no signs of slowing down. Last week the Champions Cup organisers were the latest to announce plans to plant a flag on American soil, the Pro14 is casting a covetous eye Stateside, the Six Nations and the British & Irish Lions too. Ireland return to Chicago this autumn, having largely based their bid to host the 2023 World Cup on a promise to break America.

The list goes on: in June, the Sevens World Cup took place in San Francisco in July and in the immediate aftermath, World Rugby encouraged the USA to bid for the 2027 World Cup. Premiership Rugby solidified its relationship at the start of this season when Gallagherce James says he grew up a Blues supporter.The 20-year-old has excelled since returning to west London after a spell on loan with Wigan Athletic.Discussing growing up with siblings Josh and Lauren, he told Chelsea magazine: “We all used to play every took over as its title sponsor. The American market, it seems, is considered an endless source of riches.

Look a little closer and the pitfalls of rugby’s search for Sutter’s Mill are all too evident. Wales’s victory over the Springboks was a washout. The Sevens World Cup generated huge revenues but considerable losses for USA Rugby, which has undergone an overhaul amid the financial plight of its commercial arm, Rugby International Marketing, in which the Rugby Football Union and were investors. There is always a danger of killing the golden goose.

All of which Sport says an offer worth £8.9million has been lodged to commence the bidding on Benrahma.Brentford are braced for a number of clubs showing an interest in the 23-year-old Algerian.In his first year at Griffin Park, Benrahma smashed 11 goals and 17 brings us to the Stoop. Harlequins play Saracens at 7.30 on Saturday night as the first Premiership match to be screened live on NBC’s main channel. There will no matcA coach. The club announced the decision midday Monday. Franc Artiga, from Juvenil B, takes over the role.Valdes’s dismissal was a widely known ‘secret’ since Friday. The coach had an argument with Patrick Kluivert, the head of youth football and thah staged in the US this season, despite a four-year deal agreed last May – the next is likely to be in 2020 – so this is Rugby’s day in the sun. A chance to cement its place in the American landscape.

Ordinarily Premiership Rugby is shown on NBC Sports or Gold service but Saturday’s match is the first club fixture on free-to-air TV in the US. It will be shown at 2.30pm ET and the hope is that – with NBC demonstrating a commitment to broadcasting rugby, having acquired Six Nations and World Cup rights – viewing figures back up the optimism that abounds. “It’s a massive opportunity for us to cast a wider net,” says the New York-born former England international since 2016. “We’ve had a good two-year base, growing our ex-pat, traditional audience but now we have the opportunity to showcase the Premiership brand to a wide audience and pull in new fans – that’s our big emphasis here.”

This is a big deal for Premiership Rugby because of the huge reach NBC possesses – 116 million homes according to the former Bath, Leicester and USA No 8 Dan Lyle, who broadcasts alongside Corbisiero. On both a domestic and international level, administrators have talked plenty recently about unlocking commercial opportunities and unquestionably, this is a shop window for Premiership Rugby. “It’s about organic growth but we’re hoping it will accelerate our curve a little bit and the proof will be in the coming weeks,” says Lyle, the director of the promoter AEG Rugby. “Hopefully, if we get good numbers we can have more windows in the future.”

Rugby may have been identified as the fast-growing team sport in the US but it must be said that short-termism, and with it attempts to make a quick buck, have hindered progress. As Corbisiero says: “If you look in the past, there are some examples where people have been guilty of that but when you’re starting in a market from scratch, there is no best practice or the right way to do it. Sometimes we’ve had to make some mistakes and experience growing pains to get where we are now.”

Premiership Rugby says it is in for the long haul. If its success is to measured by attendances at matches hosted in New York (2016) and Philadelphia (2017) it has been a failure but Dom Hayes, the Premiership Rugby commercial director, argues otherwise. “We’ve tried to be the opposite of the flash in the pan scenario,” he says. “In Philly, everyone focuses on the crowd size but in the week leading up to that we had coaching programmes up and down the eastern seaboard and referee groups coming in to share expertise and best practice. We’re at the very beginning of the journey.”

The quality of the product will determine how well it sells and another try-fest on Saturday, in keeping with the start to the season, should help. “People recognise who are as the defending champions,” Corbisiero says. “There’s almost a Patriots-esque vibe to them. It’s a great story to tell.” There are few better placed to tell it, provided the audience is listening.

Raptors complete sweep of Warriors without Leonard to fire NBA finals warning

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Minus their top player and with their coach still mourning his mother’s death two days earlier, the put an emphatic stamp on a season sweep of Golden State. They did it with the two-time defending NBA champion Warriors nearly at full strength, too, a very different scenario from when the teams played in Toronto less than two weeks ago.

Kyle Lowry had 23 points and 12 assists to lead a balanced Toronto offense while leading scorer Kawhi Leonard sat out, and the Raptors dominated from the start in routing the Warriors 113-93 on Wednesday night.

“When you play them you haonfidence of his players.Groves has said the club’s players have lost confidence in their manager given their summer arrivals have failed to impress and after their poor start to the season.“The thing with the Arsenal situation with Unai Emery is, ve to do a lot of things well,” said Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin, who spoke with reporters after the game while head coach Nick Nurse left to be with his family in Iowa for his mother’s funeral. “Give our guys credit, they came in ready to play and they fought with great intensity. We knew it was going to be a challenge for us and I thought that Kyle did a phenomenal job leading the team. He is an All-Star, no doubt.”

Serge Ibaka added 20 points, Danny Green scored 15, Pascal Siakam had 13 and Fred VanVleet 10 to help the Raptors improve to an NBA-best 23-7, matching the 2014-15 squad for the best start in franchise history.

They did it despite not having Leonard for a second consecutive night. Toronto’s star forward hUnited boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared Scott McTominay “undroppable” after his performance in victory over Tottenham on Wednesday night.McTominay returned from a three-and-a-half week lay-off with an ankle injury to underpin United’s first winas a sore right hip and was considered questionable before the game. He was ruled out less than 30 minutes before tip-off.

Kevin Durant had 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Golden State. The Warriors had won fols at home with Manchester United.James says his new United teammates have helped make his move from Swansea City as easy as possible.He said: “They’ve all been great. I haven’t been here for long but I’ve made some great friends already and I thinur straight heading into a much-anticipated showdown between two teams many expect to reach the finals. “We didn’t start the game off with a sense of urgency,” Durant said. “I don’t think we overlooked anybody tonight. They just played better than us.”

Despite playing the second half of a back-to-back following a 123-99 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, Toronto appeared to be the fresher team. The Raptors repeatedly beat the sluggish Warriors to loose balls and outrebounded them 48-40. It was Toronto’s first win in Oakland since 2004.

“It’s a different vibe, a different feeling when you’re on the climb like Toronto is and Milwaukee is like we were a few years ago,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s harder to get up for each game. There are certain nights where you can just feel it; you don’t have that energy. It’s not an excuse. It’s just reality.”

Tiger Woods in contention at Valspar Championship after birdie binge

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A last-hole bogey failed to take the gloss off a superb performance from as the former world No 1 continued to impress on the latest leg of his improbable comeback in the Valspar Championship.

Woods showed flashes of his brilliant best in an opening 70 in what is only his fourth event since undergoing spinal fusion surgery– his fourth back operation in three years – last April.

And thhip revenue fall €55.2 million (US$60.6 million) to €75.3 million (US$82.9 million) for the 2019/20 season, reports, /.The Serie A giants pocketed €130.5 million (US$143.6 million) in sponsorship over the 2018/19 campaign, but a new public filie 14-time major winner surged to the top of the leaderboard for the first time since August 2015 before having to settle for a share of second place on four under as the Canadian Corey Conners fired a round of 69 to go into the weekend on six under par.

Starting on the back nine of the testing Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, Woods recovered from a wayward drive on the 10th to make par and also parred the next before holing from five feet for birdie on the 12th. A superb approach to the 13th set up another birdie from a similar distance and, after a run of six straight pars, another gain on the second took Woods into a share of the lead.

Woods enjoyed a stroke of good fortune on the par-five fifth when his hooked drive appeared to hit a cart path and bounce back on to the fairway. And the 42-year-old took full advantage by finding a greenside bunker with his approach, splashing out to four feet and holing the birdie putt to take the outright lead.

The last time that happened was during the third round of thedfielder Matty Longstaff is in the sights of England U21.Aidy Boothroyd and assistant Lee Carsley have both watched Longstaff, whose thunderbolt downed Manchester United on debut last weekend.Friday’s friendly in Slovenia and Tuesday’s European Champ Wyndham Championship in August 2015 and the last time Woods led outright after a PGA Tour round was after his last win in the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone.

The prospects of the outright lead disappeared with a bogey on the ninth when he pushed his approach right of the green and it finished up in a female spectator’s handbag. After taking a free drop, Woods caught the pin with his chip but was unable to hole from six feet for par, leaving him to sign for a 68 and share of the lead on four under par.

“I’m up there,” Woods told PGA Tour Live. “I don’t think this will be leading [at the end of the day] but at least I’m there with a chance going into the weekend. Today was a good daBrad Smith admits Seattle Sounders were overawed in the opening stages of their 3-1 win over Toronto in the MLS Cup on Sunday. The Pacific Northwest club walked out to a record 69,724 crowd at Century Link Field and were thoroughly outplayed in the oy. It was cold early, then the wind started blowing a little bit – it was inconsistent and tough to get a bead on. Did a lot of guessing and guessed pretty good, also got fooled a few times.

“I keep getting a little bit better here and there, making these little subtle tweaks. I’ve done that from tournament to tournament, I just need to get a little bit more tournament time in and I think I’ve done that.

“I’m starting to get a better feel for it, I’m finding the rhythm of the rounds, I’m hitting shots, I don’t have a problem posting scores. I’m able to play more feel golf than just trying to figure out how to play golf again.”

Serena Williams confirms pregnancy and expects her first child ‘this fall’

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is pregnant with her first child, her spokesperson has confirmed.

The tennis star hinted at the good news when she posted a photo of herself on ain coach Robert Moreno hailed Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after victory over Romania.For the fourth successive international match, Kepa Arrizabalaga was selected over David de Gea as the starting goalkeeper and Robert Moreno has explained Snapchat wearing a swimsuit and revealing what appeared to be a large baby bump with the caption “20 weeks” on Wednesday. The snap was deleted less than a half hour later.

top-four after beating Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday.The Red Devils moved up to fifth with the 2-1 victory, taking them five points behind Chelsea.”The top four is in sight but we need to look after our own results and keep trying to get

However, Williams’ team confirmed the implications of the photo later in the day.

“I’m happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this fall,” a spokesperson for Williams told the Guardian by email.

The Women’s Association, which listed Williams as scheduled to enter next month’s Madrid Open as recently as Monday, said they had yet to be contacted by anyone from the American’s team regarding her status.

“We have not been informed, nor do we have confirmation,” a tour spokesperson told the Guardian. “We will let you know once we have further information.”

Williams, 35, to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in December. The announcement left the sport’s chattering class wondering to what degree she was looking ahead to life after tennis.

She answered that speculation with brio at the Australian Open, capturing her 23rd major singles title without dropping a set, to eclipse Steffi Graf’s record for grand slam titles in the Open era and regain the No1 rankingteta does not need his help.The Spaniard left Guardiola and his job as City’s assistant coach to join Arsenal as their manager midway through the season.As the two sides prepared to meet on Wednesday, with the match since cancelled due to coronavirus she had ceded in the fall to Germany’s Angelique Kerber.

But she has been inactive since her win over elder sister Venus in the final at Melbourne Park. Last month, Williams pulled out of Indian Wells and Miami, citing a left knee injury. That enabled Kerber to retake the top ranking, though Serena is assured a return to No1 in next week’s table when the points from last year’s Porsche Grand Prix drop off.

The announcement comes one week after Victoria Azarenka, the former world No1 and two-time grand slam champion, announced she will return to the tour after 14-month layoff that included the birth of her son, Leo, in December.

Williams’ win at Melbourne Park made her the oldest player to win a major singles championship in the Open era, breaking a record she set herself last year – and again the year before that. She has won grand slam titles in her teens (one), 20s (12) and 30s (10, more than triple the previous mark). No one could think less of Williams, now closer to 40 than 30, if she called it a career.

But there’s equal if not more reason to believe Williams has unfinished business.

She remains tantalizingly close to the all-time grand slam record held by Australia’s Margaret Court, whose 24 major titles were split between the amateur and professional eras. She still plays at an extraordinary high level, having won 125 of her 138 singles matches since Wimbledon 2014. And while there are no shortage of young lions on the tour, among them Garbiñe Muguruza, Karolína Plíšková and Madison Keys, none has offered a sustained challenge of Williams’ dominance the way Monica Seles swiftly ended Graf’s stranglehold on the sport.

Nor would Williams be the first mother to excel on the tour.

Kim Clijsters was already a borderline Hall of Famer when she retired abruptly at 23, having won the 2005 US Open and spent 19 weeks atop the women’s rankings. But the Belgian was even better after a 28-month layoff that included the birth of her daughter, winning once more at Flushing Meadows as an unseeded wild card in only her third tournament back. That made her the first mother to win a major singles title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980, setting the stage for a final act that included two more grand slam titles and a return to the No1 ranking.

England didn’t beat Australia in the Four Nations. Will Great Britain do better?

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League fans envious of in a row when their national team hasn’t beaten the Kangaroos for a decade, have something to look forward to. Great Britain are coming back. Yes, I know, you’ve heard it all before. But this time it’s true – apparently. As union’s British and Irish Lions gear up to dominate the media next summer when they head to New Zealand, a relaunch of the League Lions is being planned, at last.

It’s nine years now since Richard Lewis brought the curtain down on the Great Britain story after 60 (at times) glorious years, 10 since GB played down under and 24 since an Ashes series was held in Australia. But I am reliably informed that plans are evolving for the return of Great Britain & Ireland and the Ashes, last competed for on these shores in 2003 when Great Britain contrived to turn three laighted with their 2-1 victory over Sampdoria on Wednesday night.Cristiano Ronaldo jumped 71cm off the ground to nod in Alex Sandro’s cross and win the game, after a Paulo Dybala volley had been cancelled out by Gianluca Caprari’s effort.“Dybala’s gte leads into three narrow defeats.

With World Cups down under next year and up here in 2021, an Ashes series in 2018 would most likely be in the UK. Alternatively, Great Britain could go back to Australia in 2020. With Australia’s players union still demanding a fallow year between World Cups, it will be one or the other, not both.

So what would a modern Ashes tour look like? The whole point of bringing it back would be to give players and fans a different experience to the Four Nations or World Cup. It would mean warm-up or midweek matches at provincial venues, and three Tests. While it would not go on any longer than the current four to five weeks, more could be packed in.

But how could Great Britain & Ireland look any different to England? Assuming they took the traditional rugby union Lions’ philosophy of having every home nation contributing, there would be management and players from all four camps, surely led by a British coach. If you were choosing it now, a Lions squad could include Scotland’s Matty Russell, Danny Brough and possibly eays the Armenian is the Gunners’ fourth best-paid player but has flattered to deceive at the Emirates since his 2018 swap deal with Alexis Sanchez, who moved to Manchester United in Mkhitaryan’s place.The 30-year-old, who earns £180,000-a-week, is cven Adam Walker, the Welsh flavour could come from Lloyd White, Ben Flower or Rhys Evans, and from Ireland, possibly Ben Currie and the Kings brothers from Warrington. None of these players would be guaranteed a spot in a GB XIII picked on merit alone, but the Lions should be more than that.

The main reason Great Britain was mothballed in 2007 was that it had become an all-English team anyway. Other than Tony Smith’s bizarre selection of Samoan Maurie Fa’asavalu in 2007, as far as I can fathom, Irishman Brian Carney is the only Great Britain player not born in England since Welshman Rowland Phillips played in Papua New Guinea in 1996, bringing to an end a century of union converts from the celtic nations.

Nowadays the celtic contribution to Great Britain – or rather the “British Isles XIII” as the crest on my cherished old GBRL shirt declares – will most likely be English-born. But they could certainly bring the spirit and grit missing from Wayne Bennett’s England side last month.

Goal-line drop-out

So that was the 2016 season. Farewell rugby league; see you again in February. Unless that is you live in or near Yorkshire, are into the women’s game or have Wednesday afternoons free. In which case, the season is just getting into its stride!

The 14-team Hull League remains in winter while the Pennine League may have shrunk a little since the RFL’s bizarre “summer season” campaign yet still has 54 teams up and running this year. That’s just one more than the number of university teams playing now, from Northumberland to Brighton. There are 41 sixth form and further education colleges playing, including newcomers Leyton Sixth Form and Sir George Monoux in Walthamstow, neighbours in east London.

I feel I need to find out more. Add 12 women’s teams (including Liverpool University), the Girls League and the Yorkshire Junior League and there’s rather a lot of competitive league being played in December and January after all.

Foreign quota

While our professionals are back in pre-season training, across the channel the action never stops – especially for Toulouse and Catalans. Both have their reserves in Elite 1 again, providing a testing ground for their best young talent which, in theory, will emerge into the sunlight in spring. Catalans’ reserves, coached by Jerome Guisset, have dispensed with the name Saint-Estève-XIII-Catalan, ending about 80 years of those two historic clubs, and want to be known as Catalans U23, a sorry and unnecessary Anglicisation. Les Baby Dracs pushed table-toppers Carcassonne all the way recently, coming from 26-6 down to lose just 28-20, with Belgium rugby sevens winger Marc Sowell Tchangue among their scorers. They will continue playing once the Elite 1 season ends in May, facing British reserve teams.

While Catalans’ second team are looking strong, Toulouse Broncos – AKA Toulouse Olympique’s reserves – are without a win in their opening seven games. Coach Sylvain Houles will no doubt fish out some exciting young talent as 2017 unfolds. Look out for a full-length interview with Houles here on the Guardian in the bleak mid-winter. Lezignan look strong again and have gone top, while Catalans play Toulouse in a friendly on 21 January.

Clubcall: Toronto Wolfpack

The Wolfpack are the club that keep on giving. Press launch, media release, new signing, breaking story; repeat. Who knows what will happen when they actually start playing. Since I was last with you they have signed a deal with cool Italian kit manufacturers Kappa; abandoned plans to share Bradford Bulls’ Tonge training base and instead decided to set up camp at Brighouse Rangers; announced pre-season fixtures at Hull FC and against Wigan; and signed a second American-born player, with 19-year-old Gold Coast Titans prop Jerome Veve joining Virginian flyer Ryan Borroughs in their ranks, alongside some chap called Fui Fui Moi Moi. The 18 trialists they are bringing over to Brighouse from the Americas include a 17-year-old from Vancouver Island and USA internationals Terrance Williams from Georgia and Casey Clark of Montana.

The Wolfpack might also cause a stir expected to replace Maurizio Sarri in the Stamford Bridge hotseat.”After the season he has had with Derby and with Chelsea’s transfer ban in place, there is no-one better equipped than Frank to succeed at Chelsea,” the 38-year-old was quoted in Chel in Manchester. They will play home Challenge Cup ties and any play-off games at Manchester Regional Arena, next to the Etihad. On 5 February, Wigan will provide the first visitors to the home of Manchester Rangers, the amateur club who the RFL apparently lined up to replace York City Knights in League 1 before former London Skolars GM Jon Flatman rescued York on Thursday night. Intriguing.

Fifth and last

The confirmation that USA and Canada have been granted hosting rights for the 2025 World Cup went down well. However, we will not have to wait that long to see major international action over the pond. Despite the Kangaroos supposedly bringing down the curtain on the Four Nations, there is discussion over there being one more – in 2019… in the US!

This would act as a first test of the Moore Sports International’s capabilities in hosting a major tournament and prove a leg-up for the professional league they hope to launch that year. Expect the fourth team to be a top Pacific nation or the US Hawks. The US are also in the running to host the first Intercontinental Cup, which looks like being delayed until 2022 to avoid Rugby Union World Cups in 2019 and 2023. That would be a practice run for the 2025 World Cup.

NFL weekend preview: Beckham and Giants to push past sinking Eagles

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Some people just never learn. People like me, apparently. Despite being caught out by a tied game in week seven, neither I nor anybody else taking part in our Pick Six contest thought to predict one in week eight. So that’s no perfect scores for anybody. Honestly, what weken aim at Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.Walsh sold Lukaku, now of Inter Milan, to Manchester United and recalled offering former United manager Jose Mourinho a warning about the Belgian.He told The Athletic: “It is not about collecting players, it isre we thinking?

Still, it couldn’t happen three weeks in a row … could it?

This feels like a pivotal moment for both teams in the NFC East. The losers will drop to 4-4, and almost certainly finish the weekend three games back of the Cowboys (currently 6-1, and set to face Cleveland on Sunday). Recent history favours the Eagles, who have won four straight against the Giants and five out of six showdowns at MetLife Stadium since it opened in 2010. But could a bye week tip things in New York’s favour? Odell Beckham Jr claims that his injured hip feels “10 times better” for the rest, and his participation in practice has increased. On the other side of the ball, the Giants are finally seeing signs of life from their pass rush – with five out of nine sacks arriving in the last two games. The Eagles have had a harder time protecting Carson Wentz since right tackle Lane Johnson was suspended.

In what is starting to feel like an annual tradition, the Steelers are sweating on the status of Ben Roethlisberger ahead of a meeting with Baltimore. The quarterback has missed seven games against the Ravens over the course of his career (curiously, he has never missed one against another division rival – Cincinnati) and his team has usually suffered as a result. The Steelers are 11-9 against Baltimore when Roethlisberger plays, and only 1-6 when he does not. So this is a tricky pick to make on a Thursday, with his status still very much up in the air.

But I think I might take the Ravens in any case. There is something about this matchup that brings the best out of John Harbaugh’s teams, and they swept the series last season despite finishing 5-11. Baltimore also recovered two key offensive linemen – left tackle Ronnie Stanley and right guard Marshal Yanda – from injury during the bye week.

Both teams have three wins on the season, after recording back-to-back victories in the past fortnight. Both teams made hard work of beating the Cleveland Browns. But only one team, Miami, has Jay Ajayi. The London-born running back has caused quite the stir by rushing for more than 200 yards in consecutive games, and now has a shot to become the first player ever to do so in three straight. That will be easier said than done against the Jets, who boast the stingiest run defense in the league – giving up just 74 yards per game and 3.3 per attempt. But if the Dolphins can oblige their opponents to stack up all their resources against Ajayi, then Ryan Tannehill is a capable enough quarterback to exploit a sparse secondary. It is no coincidence that his two most efficient performances of this season have arrived in the past fortnight as well.

A long road trip for the Panthers, but at this rate owner Jerry Richardson might want to consider swapping coasts on a more permanent basis. His team is 2-0 this season against opponents from the NFC West, and 0-5 against everyone else. It is hard to know whether last week’s win over the Cardinals marked a return to form, or Carolina simply felt the muscle memory kick in against the team that they crushed in last year’s Conference Championship Game. Having Jonathan Stewart back in the lineup certainly seemed to help, but the greatest gains were made by a defense that almost doubled its sack tally for the season in a single afternoon. If Star Lotulelei and company can repeat that performance, this this one might not be close.

Don’t look now, but the Titans are only one game out of first place in the AFC North. Three wins in four weeks have elevated them to a .500 record at the season’s midway stage. Marcus Mariota has thrown 10 touchdowns against just a single interception in the past month – giving him a quarterback rating (120.7) that is second only to Tom Brady (133.9) over the same stretch. So is it too much to believe that they could beat San Diego on the road? The Chargers, for all their talent, are a banged up 3-5 team, whose top three reception leaders – Travis Benjamin, Tyreose Mourinho says he is willing to wait for the right opportunity despite being “full of fire” ahead of a return to management.The Portuguese has been without a job since December after being sacked by Manchester United.And Mourinho insists he will cll Williams and Hunter Henry – all missed time in practice this week. For a group that already lost Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson and Danny Woodhead, it feels like a lot to take.

If that old maxim about offenses winning games and defenses winning championships holds true, then this round ought to go to the Raiders. Averaging 26.9 points, and more than 400 yards, they rank among the most explosive teams in the league. Derek Carr is being mooted as a potential league MVP, and Oakland’s offensive line, despite () its ill-discipline, has been dominant. But this is a different order of challenge to what they have faced so far. By Carr’s own estimation, Dare set to hold shock talks with Arsenal over a potential deal for Mesut Ozil.The MLS club will lose Wayne Rooney in January after the former England International agreed a switch to Derby County.The Mirror says DC have identified Ozil as their next enver’s cornerback pairing of might be the best tandem in the NFL. Even if that line does succeed in keeping Von Miller and company off his back, the quarterback may still have a tough time finding guys open downfield.

USA’s Kayla Harrison wins second straight Olympic judo gold

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This time was nothing like 2012. But nothing would ever be like 2012. For on that July day in London when Kayla Harrison went from unknown to American judo sensation, everything exploded inside her: the sexual abuse from of a previous coach, the years of fighting to prove herself strong and the realization that she was the first US woman to win a judo gold. She ran. She jumped. She screamed. She cried. Rare has been the Olympian who celebrated the way Kayla Harrison celebrated when she got her first gold medal.

On Wednesday she still ran and jumped and screamed. Just not as much. Instead, she stood on the medal stand and sang the Star Spangled Banner. The women beside her must have heard. Half the arena might have heard. But she has long shed any sense of shame. The anthem was playing, she wanted to sing, what elloway has hit out at criticism of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Holloway thinks that any criticism of the United boss has ‘unbelievably harsh’.He told the TheSackRace: “I’m a bit sick and fed up of it to be honest. He’s earned his slse would you expect from a friend of Ronda Rousey, who might soon join her in the UFC?

“I’m a woman of many talents and singing is one of them,” she said. “You should have seen me dancing.”

Harrison is the kind of story every parent of every girl should want to tell their daughters. Like Rousey the UFC star who won a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games, she is a survivor, a fighter and a woman who refuses to believe gender defines anyone in a combat sport. Before London she repeatedly told the story of how a former coach, Daniel Doyle, sexually abused her and how she finally reported the abuse and moved away to Boston where the famed judo father and son team of James and Jimmy Pedro built her into an Olympian. After London she became an essential voice on sexualalks with Carlo Ancelotti to become their new manager.The Italian was sacked by Napoli just an hour after he helped the club advance to the Champions League knockout stages.Ancelotti was with the Serie A club for 19 months.Sky Sports says Arsenal are abuse, starting a foundation for victims that she called “Fearless”.

Her fights on Wednesday in the 78kg division were indeed fearless. Her Olympicond half of the Club World Cup final against Flamengo.Before victory was secured in extra-time, the midfielder appeared to suffer an ankle injury in a tackle and was on visible distress on the turf.A stretcher was brought on and it looked as if Oxlacs was fearless. Her closest fight was the gold medal match when she forced France’s Audrey Tcheuméo to tap out with only three seconds left. She ran off the mat and leaped into Jimmy Pedro’s arms. She tried to jump into the stands. She draped herself in an American flag and she threw back her head and screamed.

When she finally stopped she said the last four years since London had been “the hardest of my life”. There had been the pressure to repeat, the demands she appear at every judo tournament everywhere and push and struggle to maintain her elite status. There, too, was the aching left knee that turned out to be a ligament issue and required a reconstruction in 2013. Nothing was easy. Everything hurt. Many times she wanted to stop. “I didn’t think she would come back from that,” Pedro said. And yet she did.

“When I showed up today I knew I had worked harder than everybody and no one was going to take that away from me,” she said.

Then came the UFC questions. Harrison gets these almost daily now. Given the way Rousey has gone from a judo bronze to superstardom, the natural assumption is that Harrison will too. Back in March she told the Guardian she had two post-judo career choices She did not say what the other was then, though she has talked in the past about wanting to be a firefighter. She was uncharacteristically vague about a UFC future on Wednesday, saying she wanted to enjoy her second gold medal for a few days before deciding on her next pursuit. Whatever that is, it won’t be judo. “I’m retired,” she said.

She may have to decide if she likes hitting people or being hit. Many non-boxers cannot adjust to this aspect of MMA fighting. She has said in the past that this is something she was still getting used to during her few ventures into the sport.

But all of that is for another day. The UFC can wait.

“I’m sure they were watching today,” she said. “If they weren’t, they were missing out.”

Someone asked about the “Fearless” shirt some family members wore in the stands on Wednesday. She smiled and she said this was a constant reminder for not only herself but the children who who are helped by her foundation. The words is more than just a collection of letters, she said, it’s a mindset, a belief, a beacon.

“I want these boys and girls to feel fearless and to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a gold medal too,” she said.

“And maybe two gold medals.”

Then she laughed again.

Conor McGregor admits Joao Carvalho’s death affected appetite for promotion

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Conor McGregor has spoken at length about his “publicized civil war” with UFC .

The disagreement between UFC and its biggest star came in April when . McGregor believed that his publicity duties ahead of UFC 200 were getting in the way of his training schedule. McGregor was due to fight Nate Diaz, .

“I’ll tell you what, [the retirement announcement on Twitter] blew up,” McGregor told ESPN. “I was kind of having fun to startear vision of his summer transfer targets.The Austrian wants to bring quality to St. Mary’s in order to push his side up the table next season.He said: “It is a very clear picture for me now what we are still missing in our game.”Maybe we know that w, half-hearted. Then all of a sudden it’s, ‘you’re off 200!’ I was like, ‘alright, well fuck you too, then.’

“All said and done, there were times [I thought], ‘I should have just jumped on the damn flight [and done the publicity tour].’ But sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for you and not what’s right for everybody else, especially if you’ve done what’s right for everyone else a million times over.”

McGregor has since and said he has held talks with the UFC president, Dana White. He added that his relationship with the organization is “good”.

“I’m committed to the fight game,” McGregor said. “I enjoy competition. I enjoy challenges. If a challenge is in front of me and it appeals to me, I will go ahead and conquer it.

“Did I do all the media? Did I dance like a monkey? No. Am I still here? Am I still fighting? Am I still collecting? Yeah. So, [UFC] saved face, I saved face – there was no loser. We all won in a way. I had them realistically, but they couldn’t bow down, so there was no loser. I was over here, they were there and now we’re in the middle. We’re in a good spot.”

McGregor added that his reluctance to go on the publicity tour in April had been influenced by at a fight in Ireland. Carvalho’s death came a week before his retirement tweet and McGregor said the death had affected him.

“I had fucking journalists knocking down my mother’s door, you know what I mean?” McGregor said. “That’s not what I signed up to do – have people knocking on my mother’s door, talking about a kid dying. It’s not nice to see a kid die like that. It does something to you. And there’s been show after show canceled in Ireland since that. It’s fucked up to be a part of it, and I didn’t want to bring it back up and put it more on a public scale.

“After all t believes his qualities can fit into manager Jose Mourinho’s system.The France international admits he’s a changed character when on the pitch.He told Foot Mercato: “I am a player who is crazy. “I have a certain carelessness. Maybe it’s due to my agehat, I did not want to be put in front of a camera and made to dance. I just wasn’t feeling it.”

In the ESPN interview McGregor also dismissed , saying the sums involved were beneath him.

“I hear [Mayweather] talking. The leak came out, it was him that leaked the rumor and it said he gets $100m and I get $7m – that’s a pay cut to me. I don’t take pay cuts. I thought boxing was where the money was at. The $7m is absolutely laughable. He’s talking $100m – I’m also talking $100m,” McGregor said. “I’m 27 years of ageident Sertac Guven says talks are underway with Daniel Sturridge.The former Liverpool striker is a free agent after being allowed to come off contract last month.Sturridge’s mother and uncle were in Trabzon this week to meet with club officials and l and I’m just about halfway through a $100m contract. At 27 years of age, was on Oscar De La Hoya’s undercard.

“Who doesn’t want to conquer both worlds? He’s getting old now. He needs me, I don’t need him. Who else can he fight?”

Once sure things, Griffin III and Kaepernick now linked by vague futures

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The NFL never knew what to do with and Colin Kaepernick. Neither fit a simple script for a quarterback.

There was a time in a not Che Adams.The Telegraph says Southampton might be in for a battle to keep hold of Adams this month with Leeds planning to offer the striker first-team football at Elland Road.Marcelo Bielsa is in the hunt for a new striker with Eddie Nketiah recalle-very-distant past when Griffin III and Kaepernick were the future of the – two quarterbacks who would change everything about the way the professional game was going to be played. Now they twist in limbo, their trust broken with the organizations that made them, unsure of their next destination.

But are they really donepointment after the 1-0 home defeat to Valencia for their Champions League opener.With quarter-of-an-hour to go, Valencia took the lead from a free-kick and subsequently Chelsea failed to convert a penalty that was awarded after VAR had intervened.”W as football players? Or are they simply on the verge of something big and new?

Griffin will soon be released or traded by and will be off to rebuild himself in Dallas or Denver or someplace where he is not known as the franchise’s fractured savior. Kaepernick is locked in a more complicated battle with the 49ers who seem to want to keep him while he fights to be traded away. As with Griffin, it seems likely he could soon be somewhere else himself – perhaps the New York Jets.

While both quarterbacks crashed last season, living all or much of 2015 on the bench, they are hardly old. In fact, Griffin at 26 and Kaepernick at 28 are the perfect ages for a professional renaissance. Their careers might not be done, rather they might be at the start of another rebirth.

Perhaps more than any professional sport, the NFL is a league of instant reactions. Players, especially quarterbacks, are judged too much on day-to-day performance rather than their long-term growth and potential. Coaches have too much data and too much time between games to see big-picture development. They grade every game, every practice and build cases for or against a player in these small sample sizes.

Often the player who has a basic understanding of that coach’s system will thrive the way Kirk Cousins did with Jay Gruden in Washington. Griffin didn’t grow up in college football with an offense like Gruden’s. It didn’t come naturally. Likewise, Kaepnerick never seemed comfortable trying to do what the 49ers wanted last season. Both seemed lost.

But to discard them now is to forget what things they have always been able to do. Both are smart men who received praise from their teams for quickly grasping complicated offenses. Both have strong arms and quick releases – accurate on throws both long and short. Both have been good at taking care of the ball. Griffin has 40 touchdown passes against 23 interceptions in his career, compared to 56 touchdowns and only 29 interceptions for Kaepernick.

Teams love numbers like these. They long to have quarterbacks with the skills Griffin and Kaepernick possess. With the right coaches in the right systems and the right amount of patience, there is no reason either can’t be a star in this league again.

Griffin is a gregarious but sensitive man. No one had seen a quarterback quite like him in Washington, sharing his life on Instagram, begging everyone to like him. When he won Washington loved him. When he got hurt and couldn’t play, Washington dect how his side have proven the critics wrong about their Premier League chances.The newly promoted club were written off by most pundits as certainties to go down.But they have thrived in the top flight and could win European qualification for next sided he was moody and passive aggressive.

Kaepernick was as reticent as Griffin was effusive. He seemed dismissive of everything that came with his fame and this appeared to confuse people. As with Griffin, Kaepernick didn’t act the way people expected a quarterback to behave. When the 49ers winning turned to losing, he became easy for everyone to dislike.

One of the great ironies of the NFL is that their coaches are forever striving to innovate while at the same time closing their minds to quarterbacks who don’t fit in a proper box. Even after Cam Newton dominated the NFL, won the MVP and took his team to the Super Bowl, he faced criticism in his own league for his and the .

Things like performance and ability do matter and Griffin and Kaepernick have both thrived in the NFL. They have taken teams to the playoffs and won big games. There is no reason they can’t do this again. Griffin has now spent two seasons learning to be a pocket passer, something he never was in college or early in his NFL career when his coaches – hungry to win – let him run free. Perhaps the time he worked on a rhythm-based offense in practices will pay off in his next opportunity.

Kaepernick will either be working in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense or starting new somewhere else. Whether he stays in San Francisco – where he could be a good fit for Kelly’s system – or goes to New York or Cleveland or Buffalo or whatever team wants a quarterback who has won three road playoff games, he will get every chance to be the starter.

And maybe he, like Griffin, will show that this isn’t the end of a brief career but another chapter in a life that helped to change a league.

Safety is paramount but motor racing will never be run without element of risk

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That Justin Wilson was aware of the dangers involved in motor racing does not make any easier to cope with. It does, as with all fatalities in the sport, however, raise again the question of how to best manage what will always be a fundamentally difficult proposition – that of making frail bodies safe in vehicles designed to run at high speed in close proximity to one another. Perhaps the most difficult part of coming to terms with such a tragedy is that the nature of motor racing means that goal is simply unreachable.

“You’ve got to know the risks and work out if those risks are acceptable – to me, it’s acceptable,” Wilson said, after breaking a bone in his back in an accident in 2011. “But I’m not going to stop trying to improve it. All the drivers, this IndyCar, we’re always trying to make it safer but at the end of the day, it’s a race car. We’re racing hard, we’re racing Indy cars and it’s fast. When it goes wrong, it can gntus.Juve and Milan drew 1-1 in the first-leg of their semifinal at San Siro on Thursday.Ante Rebic saw his opener cancelled out by a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty in the final minute, while Theo Hernandez was sent off.“I told my lads to leave the pitcet messy.”

The 37-year-old British dri of Aleksey Miranchuk.Miranchuk scored in defeat to Juventus in this week’s Champions League clash, with the Bianconeri said be considering him for the January market.Asked about the rumours, Semin stated yesterday: “Miranchuk and Lokomotiv are verver had been in a coma after being hit on the head by a piece of debris at Pocono Raceway on Sunday and it was announced that he had died of his injuries on Monday night. Wilson competed in 16 races and achieved seven wins durinSterling’s development.Sterling scored 25 goals last season and has already has six to his name this term.Xavi worked under Guardiola at Barcelona and knows his methods inside and out, and he says the Spaniard’s close guidance has benefited Sterling.g 12 seasons of US open-wheel racing, which included two championship second places in the Champ Car series. He also won the Daytona 24 Hours in 2012. An investigation into the crash will take place and changes will likely be made, not least in IndyCar, which already has many critics over safety issues.

The previous driver to die in an IndyCar race was Britain’s Dan Wheldon, twice a winner of the Indianapolis 500, who was killed when his car went airborne and crashed into the catch-fencing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. The IndyCar of the next season was named after him as the DW12 and incorporated safety features designed to prevent a similar accident.

After Wheldon’s death, Wilson was a driver representative who liaised between competitors and the series organisers on safety issues. Yet only two years later, in the new car, Dario Franchitti suffered an accident similar to Wheldon’s at the Houston IndyCar Grand Prix, an airborne incident into the catch-fencing that broke his back and injured 13 spectators, after which he retired from racing. In this case one of the specific dangers the car had been designed to avoid had happened again. Three cars went airborne in practice for the Indy 500 this year.

There are technical ways of addressing that risk and IndyCar have being doing so but in Wilson’s accident he was also terrifically unlucky. He appears to have been hit by a piece of the nose from the car of Sage Karam, who had crashed at turn one. The debris was there because the cars are designed to break apart, to dissipate energy, in order to protect the driver. It worked for Karam but Wilson took a huge blow. Inches to the right or left and it may have missed him.

The concept of fitting canopies then will doubtless be raised again. It has come up before not least after Felipe Massa was hit by a spring at the Hungaroring in 2009. The FIA tested canopies in the aftermath but they were not brought in. Impact tests revealed that a hard polycarbonate version shattered and an aerospace canopy flexed too much. An alternative, placing a roll hoop in front of the drivers was rejected by the F1 strategy group as too ugly to implement. That, too, is a factor that cannot be downplayed – part of the appeal of open-cockpit racing is the open cockpit – many believe that is an integral part of the sport and thus a risk that must be borne.

Nor would they necessarily guarantee a driver’s safety. Such was the force of the crash in 2014 that ultimately led to Jules Bianchi’s death in July, the FIA concluded a cockpit canopy would not have saved him.

What then of tethering more parts to the car so heavy items such as the nose cone cannot cause further damage? It will, rightly, be looked into but again the forces involved mean no system is foolproof. Six days before Massa’s incident John Surtees’s son Henry was killed at Brands Hatch in a Formula Two race. He was struck by a wheel from another car that had broken its tether in an accident.

Nonetheless, the sport will always strive towards greater safety and lessons can be learned. A year after Massa’s was struck almost all of motor racing’s sanctioning bodies brought in mandatory improvements to helmet design. Wilson’s impact was too hard for them to make a difference but they may have been a factor when James Hinchcliffe was hit by debris at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis last year. He suffered only concussion.

Equally, in 2013, the deaths of Allan Simonsen at the Le Mans 24 Hours and Porsche Super Cup driver Sean Edwards at a private test in Australia were both due to sudden deceleration injuries when hitting barriers that did not have enough give – Simonsen from a tree behind the Armco and Edwards a concrete barrier behind a tyre wall. Circuit design can directly influence such accidents and the next year the Le Mans organisers ensured there were two separate tyre barriers before the repositioned stretch of Armco.

Yet, ultimately, there remain no guarantees. Changes in the interests of safety to the racing, the cars and the circuits have been going on apace since Ayrton Senna was killed in 1994 but as fatalities prove they have failed to take the risk out of racing.

Wilson’s team owner, the former driver Michael Andretti, called the accident “a perfect storm”, which does not make his death any more palatable but it does say something about the nature of the sport in which he adored to compete – one where sometimes the very nature of the beast means events are beyond your control. He knew that, as Andretti pointed out: “Motor racing is never going to be 100% safe.”

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.