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Angelique Kerber’s title defence ends but Serena Williams rallies to victory

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It is well over two decades since any woman other than Serena Williams and Venus Williams successfully defended the women’s title at Wimbledon. Angelique Kerber, in such style 12 months ago, will not be joining them after she was ousted 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 by the American Lauren Davis in the second round.

Davis, at 5ft 2in one of the smallest players on the Tour, only got into the draw as a lucky loser. A brilliant mover, she chased down everything and made the usually rock-solid Kerber miss, with 31 unforced errors from the German telling their own story.

“I was trying to find my game the whole match, actually,” said Kerber, who will drop out of the world’s top 10 after . “I was not really feeling good from the beginning. I don’t know why. The energy was not there. I tried. She played well. She was going for it. She took the match in her hand. I was too defensive in the important moments. Of course I’m disappointed. It’s not the way I would like to finish here or to play here. But you have sometimes days like that. You have to accept it. You have to learn from it, try to forget this as soon as possible.”

Davis was ranked inside the top 30 just two years ago but injuries have dropped her down to her current mark of 95. Here, though, with Kerber off-colour, she took full advantage to take her place in the third round, where she will play Carla Suárez Navarro, the No 30 seed from Spain. Having lost in the final round of qualifying, it is almost like she’s playing with house money and she is enjoying the ride.

“It’s definitely been incredible,” she said. “I was super-disappointed, having lost last round of qualies. I found out less than two hours later that I got into [the] main [draw]. I was ecstatic about that. It’s honestly a dream being here. I played qualies last year, so I wasn’t able to come here. It feels amazing.”

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was there to watch in her second-round match against Kaja Juvan, an 18-year-old Slovenian who likes the philosophy of Socrates and Descartes. Her tennis wasn’t bad, either, as she took the opening set against a rusty-looking Williams but the American, trying to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 grand slams, pulled her game together when she needed it. Her 2-6, 6-2,abao Cup semi-final is evenly poised after the first-leg finished 1-1 at King Power Stadium.”I thought we played well,” Rodgers told LCFC TV. “In the first half, we were too slow both in attack and when we pressed the game. We were too passive.”They 6-4 victory sets up a third-round meeting with the 18th seed, Julia Görges of Germany. “It was definitely coming together as the match went on,” Williams said. “I’m just low on matches basically. I could feel it. But I’m getting there.”

She will get plenty of matches if she keeps going deep into the second week as she partners Andy Murray . While the media might like to claim credit for putting the pair together, W-1 defeat of Bournemouth.The Magpies made it successive wins in the Premier League wins thanks to goals from DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark who helped cancel out Harry Wilson’s opener.Bruce admitted there was still room for improvement, he said: “Ifilliams said she and Murray had discussed it a few days before and were excited to get on the court together. “It made sendy on a six-month deal after he was released by Wolves.The 21-year-old Scot began his career with Rangers before moving to Spain with Real Murcia.He joined Bury in 2014 before a three-year stint at Molineux that included loan spells with Oldham, Ayr se for me because I really could use some matches at this point,” she said. “It made sense for him. We both want to do well. We both love Wimbledon. Playing with a British icon like Andy is going to be really exciting. I’m looking forward to sharing the court with him and maybe I can learn a thing or two from him.”

Petra Kvitova, meanwhile, continues to defy expectations as she battles the arm injury that forced her to miss the French Open. The Czech, whose two grand slam titles came here in 2011 and 2014, beat Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-2, serving a whole game of aces early on and saving three set points before pulling away for victory. She will play Mandy Minella, of Poland, a surprise winner over American teenager Amanda Anisimova, who reached the semi-finals at the French Open last month.

Confusion reigns after Suns and Grizzlies nearly trade for wrong player named Brooks

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The traded Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards on Saturday for Kelly Oubre Jrted with their 2-0 win at Norwich City.Gerard Deulofeu’s goal after 76 seconds after some lax defending from Emiliano Buendia set Watford on their way and Andre Gray’s close-range flick from a Deulofeu cross secured the points.But they had to survive and Austin Rivers, according to multiple reports. The deal capped a confusing series of events that unfolded Friday night when a proposed three-team trade fell apart over confusion about whether Dillon Brooks or MarShon Brooks would be included.

The trade, as proposed originally, would have sent Ariza from the Suns to the Wizards, Oubre from the Wizards to the , and Rivers from the Wizards to the Suns. The Grizzlies would have sent Wayne Selden to the Suns. A player named Brooks also was to be involved, but that ended up as the hiccup to the deal. The Suns thought the Grizzlies would be sending them Dillon Brooks. Grizzlies officials thought it was MarShon Brooks they’d be trading.

“What happened last night was unfathomable. I’ve never experienced this before,” Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace told reporters on Saturday.

When the confusion cleared, and all the sides had figured out the parts to the trade, Memphis wouldn’t trade Dillon Brooks, and the Sunsken about the positive influence of manager Unai Emery.The Gunners big money arrival has only come on as a substitute in their first two Premier League games of the season.But Pepe says Emery’s ability to speak French has helped him quickly adjust to didn’t want to acquire MarShon Brooks. The mixup happened because the Suns and Grizzlies didn’t talk to each other. The Wizards were the conduit of information and the identity of the proper Brooks got lost along the way, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. However, the Suns privately claim that they communicated with the Grizzlies directly and were clear about Dillon Brooks, a claim the Grizzlies flatly deny, Wojnarowski reported.

“That forced me to do something I’ve never done in 30-plus years working in this league with seven teams, is to drag two players out of a locker room and tell them they’ve been traded and then eventually have to come back and tell them, ‘Oh, no, you haven’t been traded,’” Wallace said.

MarShon Brooks is a 29-year-old journeyman from New Jersey, while Dillon Brooks is a 22-year-old Canadian who started 74 gap after he led Liverpool to their Champions League triumph last night.Liverpool defeated fellow Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 at the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid on Saturday evening in an all-English Champions League final.Before Kloppmes in his rookie season last year.

The Suns signed Ariza, a 33-year-old swingman, to a one-year, $15m deal over the summer, and with Phoenix at 5-24 and building for the future with youngsters, he became a trade chip.

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.

Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani drawing early Babe Ruth comparisons

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Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani continued to display Babe Ruth-like brilliance in the early stages of his Major League Baseball career as he flirted with a perfect game while pitching for six-plus innings in a victory on Sunday.

The 23-year-old rookie allowed just one hit and struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings as he improved to 2-0 as a pitcher in his team’s 6-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.

The performance only increased the buzz that Ohtani, who hit home runs in three consecutive games last week, could become the highest-profile player since Hall of Famer Ruth to succeed on both the mound and at the plate.

Ruth managed to dominate both disciplines for the Boston Red Sox in 1918 and 1919 before his fateful move on to the New York Yankees, where he became the Sultan of Swat and seldom pitched.

“I tThe Hornets are struggling this season, with Quique Sanchez Flores struggling to improve on the impact of recently sacked Javi Gracia.But Hoddle believes that Watford have enough quality to string the run of wins needed to get themselves clear of trohink he’s mature beyond his years,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters when asked about the right-handed pitcher before Sunday’s game.

“He’s been challenged at a young age, so he’s seasoned to what a lot of players have to get acclimated to. He’s been playing at a very high level of baseball from a very young age.

“Shohei, he’s very confident, he works very, very hard at what he needs to do, and there’s a lot on his plate. But he has the talent to do it.”

Ohtani showed plenty of that talent when he retired the first 19 batters he faced, throwing a perfect game until Marcus Semien lined a fastball into left field for a single with one out in the seventh.

“Probably my best outing ever was when I was in elementary school,” Ohtani, who shone for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in before joining the Angels in December, said through an interpreter.

He pumped his fist as he walked off the field after striking out the last batter he faced with two ry has turned his focused towards Euro2020.The Villa midfielder has struggled so far this season, having watched peers Mason Mount and James Maddison selected ahead of him for the recent England squad.Asked if an England breakthrough is on his mind, runners on in the seventh inning, receiving a standing ovation from the 44,742 in attendance as he departed.

“I wanted to keep a clean zero on the board,” Ohtani said of his last out. “One hit would have been two runs – that’s a huge difference. I wanted that strikeout and I got it.”

Nicknamed the Babe Ruth of Japan because of his dual threat, Ohtani became the first Major League player with two wins and three home runs in his team’s first 10 games since Jim Shaw for the Washington Senators in 1919, according to mlb.com.

He also joined Ruth (1916) and Ken Brett (1973) as the only players in Major League history with a double-digit strikeout game and a home run in three consecutive contests.

Ohtani homered in his first ever at-bat at Angels stadium last week and has continued to thrill fans with a .389 batting average at the plate, where he has three homers and seven RBIs.

On the mound, which is where the Angels plan to use him primari gone cold on a move for Velez Sarsfield prospect Thiago Almada.Ole says City have had a €12m bid rejected, and are therefore giving up on negotiations.The report quotes an unnamed City official as saying: “A very good offer for a player who will bly, Ohtani has 18 strikeouts in two games, helping to push Los Angeles to an impressive 7-3 start.

Teenagers arrested after Indy 500 pole winner Scott Dixon held up at Taco Bell

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Police say Indianapolis 500 pole-winner Scott Dixon and fellow former race winner Dario Franchitti were robbed at gunpoint while in aTacoBell drive-thru lane.

A police report that the robbery happened shortly before 10pm on Sunday at the fast-food restaurant less than a mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Dixon had hours earlier won the top starting position for next Sunday’s Indy 500.

The police report says two mrts from Turkey linking him with a shock return to St James’ Park, says the Evening Chronicle.Now 34, Cisse is plying his trade in Turkey with Alanyaspor and while he is still passionate about his time spent on Tyneside – with the former number 9 netales ran away after the robbery and that Dixon’s wife, Emma, was also in the vehicle. Officers later arrested two boys, ages 15 and 14.

IndyCar driver Tony Kanaanon Monday that Dixon was making a food run for a group of drivers. “While they were ordering with their windows down two guys approached at gun point,” Kannan said. “They held a gun at Dixon’s head and asked him for his wallet and his phone. You don’t expect that to happen, especially here … Obviously, I’m glad they’re OK. Now obviously I can make fun of them big time.”

Dixon, who is from New Zealand, is the 2008 Indy 500 winner and a longtime Chip Ganassi Racingster United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has refused to comment on interest in Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Haaland.Solskjaer knows his Norwegian compatriot Haaland, 19, very well from their time together at Molde before the former United favourite team-mate of Franchitti, a Scot who retired in 2013 with Indy 500 wins in 2007, 2010 and 2012.

“Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti are completely fine after being held up last night by two men Manchester United veteran Nemanja Matic is pricing himself out of a move to MLS.The Daily Mail says Chicago Fire have pulled out of a proposed deal for Matic.The MLS club were considering a move for the Serbian but deemed him too expensive.Matic’s contract at Old Trafford is set to expire in the summer, however the Red Devils reportedly have the option to extend his deal by a further year.at a fast-food restaurant,” the team said in a statement. “We will allow the Speedway/Indianapolis police departments to handle the situation and while they conduct their investigation we will refrain from making any further comments to allow Scott to focus on the upcoming Indianapolis 500.”

Dallas Seavey wins fourth Iditarod dog race in competition marred by violence

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A new dynasty has been claimed in the world’s most high profile sled-dog race. Running alongside his sled to the finish in Nome, Dallas Seavey won his fourth . He’s onlyteran Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian fullback will become a free agent at the end of this month and is wanted by a number of teams in MLS.The Valencia.html”>Daily Mail says United are looking to give the 33-year-old a chance to stay in the Premier the seventh musher ever to win the race four times, and at just 29 years old, by far the youngest.

“It was a tough one. This one was a little bit harder than last time,” Seavey said from beneath the Burled Arch at the trail’s end shortly after his victory at 2.20am.

It’s the fastest time in the race’s history: eight days, 11 hours, 20 minutes and 16 seconds. When Seavey’s grandfather, Dan Seavey, ran the original race in 1973, the winner took just over 20 days reaching the finish.

“There’s really a changing of the guard happening,” said four-time winner Jeff King during his mandatory eight-hour rest in White Mountain, a community of 209 and the penultimate checkpoint before Nome.

King and other mushers drank Tang and re-heated breakfast burritos in a small office in between quick naps and checking in on their dogs, frequently consulting leaderboards and their wristwatches. Half a dozen gathered around a television to watch a live broadcast of the finish, few saying very Ndombele has explained why he chose to move to the Champions League finalists.Ndombele has left Lyon for Spurs in a deal worth up to €70m.He told L’Equipe: “When we look at it, I think it’s a very good choice. What guided me is the Premier Leaguey much as yet another Seavey title was claimed. The only year in the last five that Dallas didn’t win was 2013, when the champion was his father, Mitch.

“The next generation is no longer kids,” King said, referring to a crop of young mushers that are filling out the race’s top ranks. Beating King into White Mountain were Wade Marrs, Pete Kaiser, and Joar Leifseth Ulsom – all of them under 30.

Many of the sport’s most accomplished champions had a rough time along this year’s trail. Four-time winner Lance Mackey scratched mid-way through the race, citing concerns for his personal health. Martin Buser, another four-time victor, injured his leg so badly heading in to Unalakleet that he struggled to feed and water his dogs during a rest. And King himself lost a dog named Nash when an during a run along the Yukon River early Saturday morning.

The death, along with injuries to another three dogs, put him at a strategic loss for the second half of the race.

“The other two I dropped are two of my best leaders,” King said, emotion creeping into his voice. “They were really a significant loss to the leadership of the team.”

State Troopers arrested 26-year-old Arnold Demoski of Nulato shortly after he contacted local law-enforcement officer the morning of the incident to confess.

“I don’t know how I can make it right,” Demoski said during an interview with a local television station before his arrest.

Though the incident was first reported as an intentional attack, Demoski said he’d been drinking heavily and didn’t remember striking King, or musher Aliy Zirkle, who was further along the trail, and told race officials what happened upon reaching Nulato. Accoridng to Zirkle’s report to law enforcement, the snowmachiner made multiple passes at her team before pointing the vehicle at her, revving the engine, then driving off.

It was a dark spot on a race that was otherwise marked by its cooperative weather, fast trail conditions and an exceptionally high level of competitiveness among the top 30 teams.

For much of the trail, Dallas Seavey pushing at an aggressive clip to keep up with Brent Sass, a musher from the remote Interior community of Eureka who is a top performer and past winner of the Yukon Quest, Alaska’s other prominent thousand-mile sled-dog race between Fairbanks and Canada.

Sass arrived into White Mountain about two hours behind Seavey. But as he got ready to leave for the last leg of the trail, his team quit on him.

“They don’t want to run anymore,” Sass said during a brief interview after he’d walked his team back to the checkpoint, spread out bundles of straw, and removed their racing booties.

“It was my responsibility to control that. And obviously I didn’t,” Sass said, petting his team. “Sorry guys.”

The protest along the banks of the Fish River, Sass believed, came from pushing the dogs too hard on the last two legs of his run, when he was trying to maintain an edge over Seavey. The tempo had taken its toll.

“I pushed ‘em too hard. Bottom line,” Sass said. “I feel horrible about it. It’s totally my fault.”

As Sass rested both himself and hre targeting midfielder Isaac Hayden from Newcastle United.The Hammers are persisting with a move for Andre Gomes from Barcelona, but their bids have been rebuffed so far.According to the Evening Standard, they see Hayden as an alternative if they cais team, Aliy Zirkle, the fourth musher into the White Mountain checkpoint, left ahead of him. Ultimately she took third place in the race – the fourth time she’s been locked out of a victory by either Dallas or Mitch Seavey.

Mushers will continue to race until the conclusion of festivities on Sunday during the Red Lantern Banquet in Nome.

New York Knicks forward Cleanthony Early shot in early-morning attack

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small forward Cleanthony Early was held up at gunpoint and shot in the right leg during an early-morning attack in Queens on Wednesday.

Early, 24, who had played 29 seconds inrs are holding firm in their demands for Aston Villa target Alfredo Morelos.The Premier League side are determined to sign a new attacker, with the Colombian international the man they believe can get them enough goals to stay in the league.But Footb the Knicks’ 108-96 victory over the Pistons earlier that night, was shot in his right leg while traveling in an Uber car, detectives said. The attack took place at about 4am after Early left a strip club in the Maspeth neighborhood of Queens.

According to the New York Daily News, Early, 24, was surrounded by four to six people wearing ski masks and robbed of his items and jewelry – including a gold necklace and gold caps on his teeth, souool defender Glen Johnson has backed Manchester United’s move for Harry Maguire before the end of the summer window. United and Leicester City are still haggling over terms for the England international.“If United have come calling again, they knowrces said. Early was taken to Elmhurst hospital in stable condition, and was later being transported to another hospital. His injury does not appear to be life-threatening.

“We are aware of what occurred with Cleanthony Early this morning and are relieved that he is not in a life-threatening situation,” the Knicks said in a statement. “We ill not comment any further until we receive more information.”

Early, who grew up in the Bronx, is in his second season with the Knicks. He was drafted in 2014 after attending Wichita State.

The theft comes about 10 days after Knicks forward Derrick Williams was robbed of $617,000 in jewelry from his home. He had taken home two women from a Manhattan club. Police are still looking for suspects.

Williams has declined to comment on the theft, but the case raised questions about whether players should have a curfew like other professional sports. In April, Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copelay Maguire feels they’d be further up the table if not for defensive lapses this season.He would much prefer a few ugly wins and a festive charge that puts United bang in the top-four picture.Ahead of today’s trip to Watford, Maguire admitted: “Thatnd, his girlfriend and another woman were stabbed following a late-night argument on the street near a Manhattan nightclub.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher was asked about the policy at a news conference after Williams was robbed.

“I don’t really have to get into our policies of what you can and can’t do,” he told reporters last week. “We don’t have a curfew like in the NFL or other sports do on certain nights. It’s an unfortunate incident.”

Do the Pirates have a chance against the Cubs’ unstoppable destroyer of worlds?

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The Pittsburgh Pirates were officially eliminated from the postseason on Wednesday night after an 11-1 loss to St Louis .

OK, not exactly “officially.” The Pirates have the second-best record in all of Major League and clinched a postseason berth more than a week ago. But there is a feeling of impending doom hanging over the team because six days from now in the National League wildcard game they will face the unstoppable destroyer of baseball worlds: Jake Arrieta.

After a good start to the season, the 29-year old Cubs ace has put together one of the most dominant second halves in baseball history. Since the start of August, he’s given up four earned runs in 82 1/3 innings. That’s a 0.43 ERA over 11 starts. Not once in that span has he allowed more than two earned runs. In seven of those 11 outings, he didn’t allow a single run. He no-hit the playoff-bound Dodgers at the end of August, and has faced the Pirates three times in the past two months, giving up just nine hits and one earned run in 22 innings. To crush the hopes and dreams of his wildcard foe even more, Arrieta blasted an opposite field home run off the Pirates in his last start against them on Sunday. He didn’t give up a run and he created the only run he needed. Pittsburgh hasn’t face a single man this hellbent on its destruction since Bane.

Somewhere in Baltimore this week there is a man or woman emerging from a two-year coma. He will hear the name “Jake Arrieta” on TV and think: “No way! That guy is still in the majors?” And then he will hear that Arrieta is the greatest pitcher in all of baseball and he will immediately go back into a coma after suffering a brain aneurysm.

Because two years ago, Arrieta was as bad as he is good now. Maybe even more so, as hard as that is to fathom. In nearly 70 games and 63 starts with the Orioles over four years, he had a 5.46 ERA. You know, just 5.03 above his ERA over the past two months. He couldn’t even hold down a rotation spot in an Oriole rotation desperate for arms and Baltimore repeatedly shuttled him back and forth to Triple-A – and he wasn’t even any good there.

Check the timestamp. That tweet is from June of 2013. Just two years ago, Arrieta was a 27-year old pitcher putting up an ERA over 4.00 in the minors. Guys like that are much closer in their careers to becoming gym teachers than lights-out, don’t-even-bother-showing-up, major league aces. In early July of 2013, the Cubs traded Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Cubs for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger and soon after, things finally started to click for him. There was no dramatic overhaul of his motion or life-changing visits to a sports psychologist. Some slight tweaks to his mechanics found Arrieta able to spot his mid-90s fastball better and make his slider dip and turn at varying speeds most any way he wants it to, making and left and right-handed hitters alike look foolish.

So now the Pirates and their ace, Gerrit Cole, face the reality that if they allow a single run next Wednesday, odds are their 96-plus-win season will end after a few hours of “postseason”. While the Pirates themselves, as confident and accomplished athletes, no doubt feel they have a great chance of beating Arrieta, many Pirates fans are either depressed or left grasping at unrelated, random minutiae and irrational hope.

“Hey, Clayton Kershaw is a generational pitcher and he loses a lot in the postseason. Maybe Arrieta will be the same!”

“Remember when the Pirates roughed up Madison Bumgarner late last season and then he dominated them in the wildcard game? The opposite could happen this year with Arrieta!”

“Kris Medlen had a 0.97 ERA in his final 12 starts of 2013, but then he got shelled in the wildcard game. What if Arrieta is the new Medlen?!”

“He’s been pitching great games for months. He’s due for a bad one, right?”

It’s kind of sad. No, it’s just sad. No “kind of.”

But the Pirates’ best hope might be this: If the worst pitcher in all of baseball can miraculously become the best pitcher in just two years, then it’s really true that anything is possible. Maybe even Jake Arrieta losing a baseball game.

“Sometimes, emotions spill over and that’s what happened today. It’s happened for hundreds of years in this game and I think it will continue to happen.” – Jonathan Papelbon, Washington Nationals closer, on fighting teammate Bryce Harper in the dugout on Monday.

Papelbon is not only an expert on baseball’s “code,” but he is also a student of history. A sport called “base-ball” was first referenced in a British publication in 1744, so the game truly has been around for “hundreds” of years. The American Revolution may have come to a head over taxation without representation, but for all we know, the first fractures between America and Great Britain came when the scrappy colonists were outraged by the entitled British failing to run out pop-ups.

– Astros outfielder Marwin Gonzalez hit the 24th home run of his career Tuesday night in a loss to the Mariners. It was also the 24th solo home run of Gonzalez’s career. Yes, every home run in his four-year career has been a solo shot. Amazing. Gonzalez better hope Papelbon doesn’t land on the Astros next year because that sort of selfish home run hitting would not be tolerated.

Johnny Giavotella, 2B, Angels – 7-for-15, 4 RBI

Matt den Dekker, OF, Nationals – 8-for-18, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Rays – 7-for-16, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB

Jarrett Parker, OF, Giants – 7-for-17, 5 HR, 9 RBI

Nick Tropeano, P, Angels – 11 innings, 16 strikeouts, 1 win, 0.82 ERA

Adam Conley, P, Marlins – 12 innings, 13 strive completed the signing of Porto defender Chidozie Awaziem.The Nigeria international arrives on a straight 12-month loan.Awaziem becomes the ninth summer signing made by Leganes and was due to undergo his first training session today under coach Maukeouts, 2.25 ERA

Thank you for this important question. If the unwritten rules of baseball were ever published, the answer to this would no doubt be revealed. And at considerable risk of being strangled by a Knight of The Baseball Code for answering your question in print, I will attempt to do so anyway. I am not afraid to put my life on the line for you, my dear readers.

Most would assume that you want to choke up, because the top of the human neck is narrower than the base, allowing you to wrap more of your hands around the neck of the baseball code-breaker. And choking up on the bassing out on the England squad.The centre-back was hoping that he would get a call up to the Three Lions squad by manager Gareth Southgate.However, he was left out for their Euro 2020 qualifiers. And the 26-year-old wants to continue focusing on doint is something gritty baseball players who play the game the right way do. Yet choking up on a neck is wrong. The right way to strangle is to grab the neck at the base and dig your thumbs in hard below the Adam’s apple to cut off the wind pipe. At least that’s the way my Little League coach taught me.

The Phillies have won thof manager Nigel Pearson.The Hornets were nine points adrift at the foot of the table prior to their home game against Manchester United and the goalkeeper has revealed that he feared the worst.”When we had nine points just before the Man United gameree in a row and four of five, including two in a row over the playoff-bound Mets. Are they the best team in baseball as the calendar flips to October? (No.)

There is intrigue left in the Phillies season, however. While the franchise has the most losses in the history of American professional sports, the Phillies haven’t lost 100 games in a season since 1961. If they can close the season 2-2 or better, they’ll keep that streak alive. At the same time, the Phillies stand just two games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in the race for the worst record in baseball and the No1 overall pick. They really need to get back to losing to clinch. Choose how you end your season wisely, Phillies. Think what Ruben Amaro would do and then do the opposite.

The Cubs clinched their first postseason appearance since 2008 this week (assuming we’re all pretending the play-in game counts as the real postseason). The franchise made the Divisional Series in 2007 and 2008, but got swept both times. The Cubs haven’t won a playoff game since 2003 and the Steve Bartman NLCS. That’s so long ago now that . No ear buds. No smartphone (the iPhone didn’t come out until 2007). No social media. The Bartman incident essentially happened in ancient history. Hopefully Cubs fans can finally get over it and let the guy live his life in peace. I’m sure he’d love to be able to go out in public and buy one of these fancy smartphones we have now.

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman this week who believe A-Rod’s bat speed has slowed down as the season has progressed, but Rodriguez “remains a wily hitter who works counts well and can play to his strengths.” His No1 strength, of course? Wiliness.

The Post also ran a headline this week asking “” I didn’t bother to read the article, but if they meant: “Is Bryce Harper a great player who will spend the majority of his career on the Yankees?”, then I wholeheartedly answer “yes.”

1) I never played baseball at a high level, so I am no expert on the game’s locker room/strangulation culture. What I do know, however, is that if I was a MLB closer like Jonathan Papelbon, I’d probably keep my opinions of my team-mates to myself. Closers are pitchers – – whose entire job is to pitch one single inning AFTER THE REST OF THE TEAM HAS ALREADY TAKEN THE LEAD. If my employment and large income was contingent on everyone else playing well for eight innings every game before I showed up to try to get three outs a few times a week, I’d do everything I could to stay in my lane and hope nobody noticed how unimportant and overpaid I am. I especially wouldn’t call out the best player on my team and the guy whose performance had given me so many save opportunities. I mean, the guy who locked the doors at night at Apple probably never ripped into Steve Jobs for how he did his job, right? Or maybe he did. The tech world may have an uncoded code I don’t know about.

2) Former major league pitcher CJ Nitkowski got a lot of attention this week for his column that gave on the Papelbon-Harper dust-up and featured more than a dozen quotes from current and former major leaguers, all of whom sided with Papelbon. Nitkowski’s piece as advocating for the strangulation of players. Yet I know him to be a thoughtful and intelligent person, and seemingly not the kind of man who would push for mandatory chokings of the non-scrappy. So I contacted Mr Nitkowski and asked him straight out: “Do you support the public strangling of players for not running full speed to first?”

His response, exclusive to the Guardian: “I do not. These kind of things should take place behind closed doors where a player can be properly waterboarded or caned in private. No one is above the hustle.”

So there you go. I think we can all agree with that.

3) And now the dramatic conclusion to : I dug around more and still couldn’t determine if the rules forbid an American League player from being on the lineup card as both a pitcher and the DH, allowing him to stay in the game as a hitter even after being removed from the mound. So I asked ESPN baseball writer David Schoenfield if he knew the answer and he claims that it is not allowed. “You can choose not use the DH – this happened a few times in the 1970s, including twice with Ken Brett (George’s brother) – but you can’t DH the pitcher and let him stay in the game.”

And if you do try to do it? The manager must get waterboarded in the locker room.

4) And since we’re running out of baseball season and time for readers to ask questions, let’s throw in another one this week:

With great feats of consumption, the natural inclination is to think that the larger-bodied are ideal for the task. Someone like Matt Adams or Bartolo Colon. But if you look at the top competitive eaters, none of them are overweight. And Boggs played at a relatively svelte 6ft 2in 190lbs. So I think you want to go with a player who is in shape. There are obviously a lot to choose from in baseball, but just don’t expect Bryce Harper to be the one who pulls this off.

5) Every year since the wildcard was invented, baseball’s more curmudgeonly fans have tsk’d teams for celebrating making the postseason. “You’ve only made the wildcard! You have nothing to celebrate!” these people grunt while eating dinner out of a can in their dimly lit living rooms reeking of cat litter. But I think these people would be the first to say that practice makes perfect, and baseball teams clearly need to practice their celebration fundamentals.

6) The Astros are 8-13 since Taylor Swift performed at Minute Maid Park, falling out of a playoff spot in the process. The Padres are 11-17 since Swift played Petco Park in late August. And the Nationals have gone from first place to fighting each other since Swift performed in their stadium.

It sounds like Taylor Swift has become a major baseball curse. But I’m sorry, the Bambino had one of the best baseball curses of all-time!

7) Fan anthems are almost exclusively horrific. That’s what makes this new St Louis Cardinals anthem remarkable: it’s so awful it has been able to break through and get noticed, like a dirty needle in a rotten haystack.

Congratulations to the Cardinals. You’re the best at baseball AND the best at embarrassing music. That’s two things you’re the best at!

8) Lest we think baseball’s Papelbonian culture is a recent development, behold this note that Phillies manager Pat Moran wrote to Philadelphia fans 100 years ago in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

He references grit with “hustling.” He’s got some traditional sports cliches in there with “a team that goes out there and plays baseball the best it knows how.” But most remarkable of all is this sentence: “Some of these fellows may think that I haven’t a championship ball club, but they have been saying a lot of other things all summer long that they will now have to back water on.” I’m pretty sure this is the first-ever sports instance of “they hate us ‘cause they ain’t us,” but delivered in old timey words. Amazing.

9) You know, maybe Moran’s guts-over-brains viewpoint on baseball is what prompted the infamous “Get A BRAIN! MORANS” sign from this . That has to be it. Cardinals fans know how to spell the right way.

10) It’s October! Playoff baseball is almost here! Who’s pumped to over-analyze every manager move while we try to convince ourselves again that back-to-back playoff participant Ned Yost has no idea at all what he’s doing? Woo! Yes!

Kei Nishikori up to world No4 after downing John Isner in Citi Open final

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On Saturday, after a tight semi-final victory in Washington DC, John Isner told the crowd that he’d need them out in full force the next day to win the title. They did their part on Sunday, showing up and providing him with backing in the championship match against world No5 Kei Nishikori, but it was not enough as the top-ranked American lost in a hard-fought three-setter, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

In a match where Nishikori was only a little better than his opponent, the final outcome was never obvious until late in the match. That’s in part because it featured just three breaks of serve. The first was for Isner, but it was the latter two for Nishikori that were ultimately the difference.

“I just didn’t make enough in-roads on his first serve, which a lot of times I struggle with,” a disappointed Isner said following the match. “And from there, he’s arguably one of the best in the world from the baseline, so it’s tough.”

The 6ft 10in Isner, known as much for his booming serve as his size, was not the better striker on this warm, slightly overcast afternoon. Nishikori managed an impressive winning percentage on his first serve, 91%, to the usually steady Isner at only 76%. Perhaps the Japanese star’s success in hindering Isner’s conversion rate stemmed from having faced and defeated other notable servers during the week: Marin Cilic in the semis in a rematch of the 2014 US Open final, and before him Aussie up-and-comer Sam Groth.

“Yeah, I’ve been returning really well this week,” Nishikori said after taking his third ATP title of the season, and 10th overall of his professional career. “I tried to play a lot of rallies. It’s never easy, but I think I am playing well against these guys.”

Add to that Nishikori’s strategy of methodicallyo di Vaio is in Los Angeles today speaking with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.Off contract next month from LA Galaxy, Ibrahimovic plans to return to Europe in January and favours a move to Serie A.Former club AC Milan have been regarded as favourites for the Sw wearing down his 30-year-old challenger with his groundstrokes during the two-hour match, and it’s easy to see why the Japanese star continues to rise in the ATP rankings. On Monday, he’ll return to a career-high of No4 after the victory. Nearly $350,000 in earnings from the week-long event doesn’t hurt either.

“His backhand is world-class,” said Isner. “He knows what he’s doing with the ball. But he also works his tail off, too. You combine those things and it’s a recipe for some good tennis.”

The turning point of the match for Nishikori actually came after Isner suddenly broke him at 5-4 to take the first set. In the pause ahead of the second, Nishikori sat dejected with a towel wrapped over his head, as much to dodge the heat as hit reset. But it gave him the motivation to respond, and respond he did. In the very next service game, Nishikori broke Isner back, taking the second set by the throat and never looking back, despite a tiny bit of trouble closing it out up 5-4 on serve.

“I got a little bit tight,” Nishikori admitted after dropping the first set. “I just tried to focus again and it was great to have the first game [a break of] his serve. Then after that I was more confident and more relaxed. Everything went well after that.”

In thgan to their preseason tour squad.The Liverpool Echo says Lonergan has joined Liverpool for their pre-season tour of the US.With Alisson yet to return and Liverpool’s younger goalkeepers sidelined, Simon Mignolet is the only senior goalkeeper in the e deciding set Nishikori again struck Isner’s serve early, this time in the third game, on his way to championship point at love.

The contest featured a clash of styles, and demeanors. While Isner is your prototypical big serving athlete, he is also the much more excitable player, riding the wave provided by the moment just as much as by the audience. Isner was emphatic with fist pumps on important and timely points won, and slumped his head just the same after losing others. Meanwhile, Nishikori is calm – a stealth assassin with a racket, a consummate returner. His game is efficient and deliberate, and he rarely takes an unnecessarymant Christian Pulisic will not be allowed to leave on loan in January.The summer arrival has played just ten minutes in the last four Premier League matches. “No,” was Lampard’s reply when asked if Pulisic could be loaned out. “With Christian he’s c swing let alone an additional step on the court. It provided for an exciting matchup for the sold-out crowd of 7,500 in DC, even if the winner was not the American for whom they were mostly pulling.

Both players now head to Montreal as they continue their preparations for the US Open, which starts on 31 August. Nishikori was a finalist in New York last year and is still looking to take the final leap and become the first Asian man ever to win a grand slam singles title. “I just can’t wait to play the US Open,” he said. “I’m just excited again to play on a big stage. I like that tournament.”

Isner listed many of Nishikori’s strengths after the match, from his pacing of play to his ability to place the ball with pinpoint precision. But it was the latter that Isner said was decisive. “I thought he played a pretty good match,” said Isner. “No panic, for sure. [He] made a lot of first serves, and was running me around the court. That’s what he does best.

“He’s a great player,” he added, “and a great champion.”

Deflategate: Tom Brady’s four-game suspension upheld by NFL

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Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension over the Deflategate scandal has been upheld, and the Super Bowl champions will be without their best player for a quarter of the regular season.

The league said in a statement Tuesday that “Brady wre beaten 3-1 by AFC Bournemouth thanks to goals from Harry Wilson, Callum Wilson and a Pascal Gross own-goal, and the Australian says it is vital the team uses this break in action to learn where they can improve.He said, “It was disappointing becas aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules,” based on evidence presented at an appeal hearing and the 243-page report compiled jointly by executive vice-president Jeff Pash and prominent attorney Ted Wells.

NFL commissioner , who heard the appeal, cited “important new information disclosed by Brady and his representatives in connection with the hearing” that had previously been withheld.

The league confirmed that Brady “directed the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed” on the day of his 6 March meeting with Wells and his colleagues, adding the destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until 18 June, or nearly four months after the electronic information (including nearly 10,000 text messages) had been initially requested.

“The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relvant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs,” the league said.

The NFL’s report into the Deflategate scandal, , had found “it is more probable than not” that at least two Patriots employees improperly deflated footballs in the team’s over the Indianapolis Colts and that Brady was “at least generally aware” of the wrongdoing.

That led to a four-game suspension for Bradinsists he’s happy to stay with Manchester City next season.Despite there being just over a year to run on his current deal, the midfielder says he wants to stay”Personally, I do not set a deadline for day X or Y, I’m relaxed as I still have a year. y and a $1m fine for the Patriots. The team was also stripped of two draft picks.

It’s now expected that Brady will challenge the as and they have been unsuccessful in their search thus far.Names such as Chris Hughton and Lee Bowyer are being linked to the club.According to Sky Sports, West Brom want Northern Ireland boss O’Neill to take the job.He has already met with the club’ppeal in federal court. An NFL Players Association source that Brady’s argument for a reversal would center on five points:

The league’s policy for ball inflation pertains to club personnel and not players and thus doesn’t apply to Brady.The Wells Report’s finding that Brady was “at least generally aware” of the wrongdoing is an insufficient legal standard.If it’s determined the league’s policy for ball inflation did apply to Brady, he was issued a punishment without precedent, which is illegal under the collective bargaining agreement.The NFL will argue the punishment was arbitrary citing the example of the Minnesota Vikings, who last year received a letter from the league and no further reprimand after being caught playing balls in a dryer.The NFL doesn’t have proper techniques and standards for measuring the inflation and deflation of footballs.

While the Patriots accepted their punishment, Brady chose to contest his suspension with the backing of the NFLPA.

Lance Armstrong’s Usada meeting good news, says ex-team-mate Vaughters

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Jonathan Vaughters, a former team-mate of turned team chief executive, has welcomed reports of a meeting between the disgraced cyclist and the United States Anti-doping Agency.

Vaughters, chief executive of the Cannondale-Garmin team, competed alongside Armstrong for the United States Postal Service team that was subject of the Usada report that led to the Texan’s downfall.

In August 2012 Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles before admitting to using performster United fullback Matteo Darmian has joined Parma as their biggest earner.The Italy international was snapped up last week by Parma for a fee of €1.4m.And it’s been revealed his deal to 2023 is worth €1.5m-a-year, making him the club’s highestance-enhancing drugs.

Vaughters gave evidence to Usada and has admitted to doping himself, but Armstrong refused to cooperate with the investigation into US Postal. Now it has been reported Armstrong met Usada’s chief executive, Travis Tygart, perhaps in an effort by the cyclist to see his life ban reduced.

In an interview earlier this week, Tygart insisted Usada was still in contact with Armstrong’s legal representatives. Press Association Sport has contacted Usada about the meeting.

On the reports, Vaughters, speaking at the Tackling Doping in Sport conference in London, said: “I don’t know what his motivations are but to me that’s good news. My experiences with Travis have been nothing but positive.”

, the president of the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, for his plan to return to the Tour route this summer , who like Armstrong has suffered from cancer.

Cookson described Armstrong’s presence alongside Thomas, who plans to ride the entire Tour route one day ahead of the professional peloton as “coms the players were delighted with their Copa del Rey thumping of Leganes.Barca won 5-0 in their best performance under recently-appointed coach Quique Setien.De Jong said at the final whistle that “the team wanted to take a step forward” and stressedpletely disrespectful”.

“I understand that opinion,” Vaughters added. “I sincerely hope his reasons for wanting to do that are altruistic.

“I have no idea what his motivations are. If it’s altruistic then it’s hard to condemn anything altruistic, across the board. If it’s part of a greater commercial strategy or legal strategy, then I feel like that’s disingenuous.

“One of the biggest penalties that guys face when they are caught for doping is the loss of their social group. They’re no longer accepted amongst their tribe, their people that they were once close with. He would like socifuted the idea that he has lost his passion for winning trophies.Ozil has been in-and-out of the Gunners team this season under Unai Emery.And many fans believe that after signing a bumper new contract, he is not as motivated as he was before.But Ozial acceptance again. I’m assuming that’s a little bit what he’s after.”

Armstrong has added “7 x TdF champ” – a reference to his Tour titles, from 1999 to 2005, which have been expunged from official records – . Armstrong had removed a prior reference to his seven Tour wins following his confession to Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

NCAA Tournament 2015: Wichita State roll past Kansas as No7 beats No2

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No wonder Kansas never wants anything to do with Wichita State.

Behind another steady performance from Fred VanVleet and the hot shooting of Evan Wessel, the No7 seed Shockers rolled past the second-seeded Jayhawks 78-65 on Sunday, earning a trip to the Sweet 16 at the expense of the school that has caused them so much chagrin.

Tekele Cocht.Former City skipper Vincent Kompany became player-manager at the Belgian club in May and Sandler will be able to continue learning from one of Europe’s best defenders on a daily basis.He passed a medical yesterday ahead of the two clubs confirmintton led the way with 19 points for the Shockers (30-4). VanVleet finished with 17 aken aim at the Premier League’s foreign managers.Allardyce, 65, has been out of management since 2018, when he left Everton as the Toffees turned to Marco Silva.It was a similarWilliam Saliba’s agent has been spotted in the UK.The Saint-Etienne defender is being targeted by Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City.The Mirror says his agent Djibril Niang posted a photo on Instagram at the Ivy Asia in Manchester.The Ligue 1 outfit rate 18-year-old Saliba at £26M. tale at Crystal Palace in his previous job, having kept the Eagles in thnd Wessel hit four three-pointers to score 12, sending the Missouri Valley champions to Cleveland for the Midwest Regional semi-final against third-seeded Notre Dame.

Devonte’ Graham and Perry Ellis had 17 points each, and Frank Mason added 16 for the Jayhawks (27-9), who blew an early eight-point lead and never really threatened in the second half.

Pittsburgh Pirates: picture of militant in team’s hat ‘absolutely sickening’

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The released a strongly worded statement distancing themselves from the Islamic State after a photo surfaced of Mohammed Emwazi – the knife-wielding militant known as ‘Jihadi John’ – wearing a cap with the team’s inswoe-is-me stuff. If Romelu Lukaku maintains this approach at Inter Milan, he’s not going to last long.In context, there is a rationale to his complaints. In his two seasons with Manchester United, Lukaku was barracked by a section of the support. He ignia.

Sky News published a photo on Friday of Emwazi obtained from University of Westminster student recordsanchester City hero Micah Richards has questioned the importance of the Manchester derby after Sunday’s defeat at Manchester United.Richards, who played for City between 2005 and 2015, expressed his concerns for City who showed a lack of hunger for m in which the 26-year-old is wearing a Pirates hat.

“It is absolutely sickening to everyone within the Pirates organization, and to our great fans, to see this murderer wearing a Pirates cap in this old photo,” the team said in a statement issued from their spring training camp in Bradenton, Florida.

“The classic gold P stands for Pittsburgh and is worn by our players, coaches and fans with a great sense of pride.”

The Guardian that Emwazi was Jihadi Jing Juventus and Barcelona.Both have made an offer of a professional contract to the young defender, says Sport.Lacroix is an U17 international with France and is training with the Metz first team, even though he hasn’t signed an official contract yeohn, the masked man who has beheaded several Western hostages in a series of gruesome videos widely disseminated online.

The name was first published Thursday morning .

Sergey Kovalev too powerful for Bernard Hopkins in title fight

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Never in an unparalleled 26-year career had Bernard Hopkins been on the losing end of a definitive beatdown. Until Saturday night.

Time didn’t catch up with the 49-year-old Hopkins, who lost every minute of a light heavyweight title unification fight with Sergey Kovalev at Boardwalk Hall. The north Philadelphian’s skills and reflexes are still intact. Instead, it was a stronger, primer fighter who appears poised to dominate the division for years to come.

Kovalev dropped Hopkins in the opening round and outboxed him comprehensively in the middle stages before hurting him badly in the final round. When the bell sounded with Hopkins in full retreat, the judges’ scorecards were merely a formality. All three gave the fight to Kovalev, who unified three of the major 175lbs titles and redoubled his reputation as one of boxing’s most formidable seek-and-destroy punchers.

Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs), who turns 50 on 15 January, entered with the WBA and IBF versions of the 175lbs championship, which made him the oldest champion in boxing history. No longer.

“He was a really tough opponent.” said Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KOs), who added Hopkins’s titles to his WBO belt. “He is very good at keeping distance. I really respect him for the fight, but he needs to stop his career, because he’s already done a lot in the boxing world and he needs to give an opportunity to younger fighters to be champions. I’m next.”

Saturday marked Hopkins’ eighth consecutive fight against an opponent born in the 1980s, but none of those foils were considered as dangerous as Kovalev, a heavy-handed Russian who had never been defeated, scored all but two of his victories by knockout and literally less than three years ago.

The 31-year-old’s power was beyond dispute – the oddsmakers had installed him as a 3-1 favourite – but some believed he was too linear and plodding to solve the slippery defence of the man formerly known as “The Executioner” and now known as “The Alien.”

Yet Kovalev, improbably, managed to outbox a master boxer. “He used his reach and his distance and that was the key to the victory,” Hopkins said. “He has very good mechanics and patience.”

A cautious opening round for both fighters rapidly gave way to a flashpoint of action when Kovalev connected with a right hand to the temple that sent Hopkins to the canvas for the fifth time in his career. He was up quickly, but absorbed another punishing right hand shortly after that made him hesitant to open up.

Early on, Hopkins succeeded in using deft footwork and veteran wile to make Kovalev appear less than his best, no small task against a knockout machine whose previous 13 fights had ended inside the distance. Yet after two rounds, he had landed only six punches.

By the fourth, Hopkins was in survival mode, moving laterally on the ropes and slipping punches in the corner but offering little in return.

As the rounds wore on, it became clear Kovalev was too much for Hopkins. No amount of smoke and mirrors could solve his opponent’s relentless advance. Occasionally, the Philadelphian scored with a slick counter or shrewd lead, but the moments of success proved too sparse.

Kovalev had never been taken past the eighth round in 26 pro fights. These were the rounds Hopkins had been waiting for — the opportunity to drag his opponent into deep waters aafter defeat at Brighton.Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have all been linked with moves away in the summer but none of those outgoings came to fruition, leaving their Spurs careers in limbo.Jenas said: “I love Mauricio and rend test his conditioning — yet he was no closer to solving Kovalev in the final act than in the first.

Not content to sit back in the final round despite a wide lead on the scorecards, Kovalev instead went for the knockout. Both fighters exchanged fire with the crowd of 8,545 on its feet, yet it was Hopkins — appearing truly vulnerable for the first time in 66 pro fights — who caromed off the ropes in wait of the final bell. Never in six previous losses had Hopkins, a stingy dictator of pace even in defeat, been in serious trouble. Not so Saturday night.

Kovalev landed 38 punches in the final round, the most in a single round against Hopkins in 41 fights tracked by CompuBox. The future Hall of Famer finished on his feet. Barely. Another 15 seconds might have demanded the referee’s intervenAmazon’s December 2019 debut as a domestic broadcast partner for the Premier League peaked with an audience of approximately two million viewers for the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, according to online media outlet Digiday, reports, /.The figure is comparable to the audience on pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports when the two clubs last played each other in March.tion.

“Tonight he was the better man,” said Hopkins, who landed 65 of 195 punches (33%), compared to 166 of 585 for Kovalev (28%). “Cut and dry.”

For Kovalev, a unification bout with the WBC champion Adonis Stevenson makes sense, though it’s doubtful the Canadian will be in a hurry to make that fight after watching Sez.The Sun says the Gunners have reportedly joined Inter Milan in the race for £25million-rated Perez .Napoli are also thought to be chasing the Spanish forward, 25, after netting a career best 12 Premier League goals this term.Arsenal boss Unai Emeaturday’s dominating performance against one of the finest technical boxers of his generation.

When pressed on his future, Hopkins – less than 10 weeks from – was glib. “Asking me to fight again right now,” he said, “is like asking a woman who was just in nine hours of labor to have another baby.”

Score four, allow two, lose? Return of bad rule almost cost Royals

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The scored four runs Thursday. They gave up two.

That’s a win, a rare win, a thrilling win on the day Royals legend George Brett returned to the dugout to try to help save a once-again sinking team.

That’s a win — except that by baseball rules, it almost wasn’t.

And that’s a problem.

Remember the damage control had to do a few weeks back after two straight bad umpiring decisions? Imagine the damage control that would have been required if the team that scored more runs had been declared the loser. Imagine trying to explain how the Royals woke up with a nine-game losing streak after a game they where they outscored the .

It could have happened. It easily could have happened, because last winter, baseball quietly reverted to one of the worst rules that was ever on the books.

Here’s what happened:

The Royals trailed 2-1 after eight innings but scored three times in the ninth to take a 4-2 lead. Then the rain got so heavy that there was no way the game could continue. The rain kept up for five hours, then finally let up in time for the bottom of the ninth to be played a little after 3 a.m. local time. Royals closer Greg Holland pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, and the Royals had their 4-2 win.

However … if the rain hadn’t let up, eventually the game would have had to be called. And in that case, under a rule change implemented last winter, the score would have reverted to what it was at the end of the last full inning (the eighth). The three Royals runs in the ninth wouldn’t have counted, and the Cardinals would havNuno Espirito Santo has moved in favouritism to replace Unai Emery at Arsenal, according to SkyBet.Emery hasn’t been sacked yet, but pressure is mounting after a poor start to the season.Wolves manager Santo is paying 5/2 to take his place, with Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta next in line.Rafa Benitez and Mauricio Pochettino are also options according to the bookmakers.e won, 2-1.

Seriously.

The new rule was put in place only for the final game between two teams in a season. From a scheduling and logistics standpoint, it makes perfect sense, avoiding the need to potentially fly a team across the country to get three outs. It also encourages umpires to do exactly what wait as long as possible in an effort to resume the game.

West gets plenty of criticism, much of it justified. But in this case he was right.

It’s the rule that’s wrong.

Years ago, the “revert back” rule was in the books for all games. One of the best rules changes baseball has made was to dump it, and replace it with the suspended-game rule. If the visiting team ties the game or goes ahead in the top of an inning and the bottom of the inning can’t be played, the game is suspended. Runs that score aren’t taken off the board.

Last winter, the rule was changed again. saying that for the final scheduled game between two teams in a season, the “revert back” rule i be a success at the Nou Camp.The former Atletico Madrid attacker moved to Barca last week for a massive €120m.Xavi, now coach of Al Sadd in Qatar, said: “Antoine Griezmann is a world class player. Barça have recruited a very great player.”Former s back. With unbalanced sll meet in the round of 16 next year.And Sport1 says Chelsea have reportedly offered Bayern prospect Torben Rhein a contract starting in 2020.The 16-year-old is one of Germany’s biggest starlets having represented his country’s Under-16 side on numerchedules and interleague play every day of the season, the final scheduled game between two teams could be as early as the third day of the regular season.

The Cardinals and Royals played four times this year. Thursday’s game was their last, so the “revert back” rule was in play.

It nearly cost the Royals a memorable win. It nearly gave baseball a needless black eye.

Fortunately Joe West waited. Fortunately the rain stopped before the sun came up.

The next time, baseball may not be so fortunate.