06.08.2022
Andy Murray takes wildcard to next tournament as Brit has aim to be seeded at US Open

Andy Murray has taken a wildcard entry into the main draw of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, as he sets his eyes on being seeded for next month’s US Open. After a tough spell, Murray has risen back inside the world’s top 50 after reaching the final at both the Sydney International at Stuttgart Open this year.

The Scot returns to the tournament in Montreal where has won three times in his career, and the former British and world No. 1 will be hoping for similar successes this time around as he sets his eyes on Flushing Meadows. The wildcard comes at the perfect time for Murray with the US Open less than a month away.

The 35-year-old knows that if he is to secure a seeded place for the final Grand Slam of the year, he will have to move into the world’s top 32 – a switch that will be hugely boosted with a successful trip to Canada. Murray will be hoping he can bounce back from form after he suffered a first round exit in last week’s Citi Open.

The Scottish star lost 6-7, 6-4, 1-6 to Swede Mikael Ymer to cut his week short in Washington DC. Despite his exit, Murray is still confident that he can book a seeded spot into the US Open draw.

After his clash with Ymer, he said: “It’s still possible. I would just need to have a good run in Canada or Cincinnati really. It’s pretty straightforward if I was to make a quarter-final or a semi-final, which right now — after a loss like that — doesn’t seem realistic.

“I do feel like if I play very well that I could do that. But I’ll certainly need to play better than I did today.” Whilst Murray will be out in Montreal competing, two men who will not be there are two of his oldest rivals, Australian and French Open champion Rafael Nadal, and Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic.

Seven months on from his fiasco with the Australian Open, Djokovic’s vaccination status is once again standing in the way, with the Serbian unable to enter Canada. This seems to be only the beginning though for the world No. 1 as he is also set to miss next month’s US Open, with his entry into the United States set to be declined due to not being jabbed against the virus.

Nadal meanwhile will miss the Rogers Cup due to his ongoing fitness problems, after he was forced to withdraw from his Wimbledon semi-final with Nick Kyrgios last month. Confirming his withdrawal he said: “We have decided not to travel to Montreal and continue the training sessions without forcing anything. I sincerely thank the tournament director, Eugene, and his entire team for the understanding and support they have always shown me. Today was no exception.”

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14.08.2022
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  • 20 минут назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Rafael Nadal US Open injury fears raised by fans after Cincinnati training regime

    Rafael Nadal is making his comeback from an ab injury at next week’s Cincinnati Masters but his fans have already shared their fears ahead of the upcoming US Open. After pulling out of Wimbledon with a 7mm abdominal tear, the Spaniard’s supporters are worried that he could be jeopardising his chances to win the final Grand Slam of the season with a gruelling training regime.

    Nadal has been sidelined for over a month after tearing his abdomen at Wimbledon. The world No 3 battled through a five-set quarter-final against Taylor Fritz, admitting he considered retiring the match through injury, but pulled out of the tournament on the eve of his semi-final.

    He was due to return this week in Canada but announced he had started to feel more “discomfort” with the ab after bringing his service motion back into practice sessions and withdrew last Friday. But just five days later, the 36-year-old confirmed he would be flying to Cincinnati to compete in next week’s Masters 1000.

    The 2013 champion has already been on the practice courts since arriving at the Western and Southern Open, but some Nadal supporters are still weary of their man’s fitness ahead of his return to competition. After a photo from his two-hour hit with Matteo Berrettini was shared to Twitter, one fan replied: “Most likely, Nadal will injure himself before USO”.

    With the 36-year-old due for a second two-hour session later on Saturday, one claimed that four hours worth of practice was “insanity”. “The point is Nadal is workaholic, he wants to practice 24/7,” they wrote. “That’s why he needs someone in his team to tell him the right thing, like “look, Rafa I know you are healthy now, but lets slow things down a bit”, 2 hours a day is enough.”

    Several fans also raised concerns in the comments of Nadal’s Instagram post announcing his participation. “Hope you can stay healthy enough to play both Cincinnati and US Open,” one wrote. Another cast doubts over his participation in Cincinnati instead. “Huge Rafa fan but I have seen this move many, many times… Get there, practice here and there, and then withdraw… See you at the US Open,” they commented.

    It wouldn’t be the first time Nadal’s fans were concerned about his participation in a Masters event this season. The world No 3 picked up a stress fracture in his rib during his Indian Wells semi-final earlier this year, losing the championship match to Taylor Fritz the following day.

    The injury forced the 22-time Major champion to miss the majority of the clay season – famously his most successful surface – as many questioned why he chose to play the Californian Masters instead of preserving himself for the European dirt.

    But it seems Nadal has no fear about overdoing it in Cincinnati, as he still has his second practice session scheduled for Saturday after two hours on the court with the Italian earlier in the day. The second seed said he was “happy to be here” as he arrived at the tournament for the first time in five years.

    Nadal will receive a bye directly into round two, where he will face the winner of a clash between former world No 12 Borna Coric and a qualifier. The Spaniard is also playing for the world No 1 ranking next week, as he can dethrone Daniil Medvedev by winning a second Cincinnati title.

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  • 20 минут назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Max Verstappen verdict given by Pierre Gasly after ‘aggressive’ F1 start – EXCLUSIVE

    Max Verstappen has changed from a “very aggressive” racer to someone who has “proven his potential”, according to former Red Bull team-mate Pierre Gasly. The Alpha Tauri star said the reigning champion was a bit “raw” when he first joined the sport and often made mistakes on track.

    However, Gasly stresses Verstappen’s character has changed as he developed under the Red Bull package. He says Verstappen is now one of the most impressive drivers on the grid who delivers for the team every week.

    The Dutchman has gone on to score eight victories from 13 races this season despite having the second-fastest car at most tracks. Speaking exclusively to Express Sport, Gasly said: “I’ve been racing with Max for the past 15 years, even before Formula One, it’s been always intense to race against.

    “That’s what I always loved, the battles we’ve had in the past. The close racing. He’s obviously extremely talented. He’s excellent. I think the experience and the combination of what he built with Red Bull Racing is just an incredibly efficient package.

    “They proved it. He was probably a bit raw when he came in F1, very aggressive and made a couple of mistakes at the start even if he was always super competitive. But I think now over the last few years he has just completely proven his potential.

    “He is barely doing any mistakes and delivering weekend in and out and really performing at the best of what Red Bull provide him. It’s very impressive but as I said, always entertaining to race against him and I hope to have some really good and intense battles in the future against him.”

    Gasly was paired alongside Verstappen at Red Bull for the first half of 2019 after replacing Daniel Ricciardo. But, he struggled to match the Dutchman’s results and was demoted back to Red Bull’s junior team after he was lapped by Verstappen at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    He has since gone on to star for Alpha Tauri, picking up his first F1 win at an action-packed Italian Grand Prix in 2020. There have since been calls for him to have another shot alongside Verstappen at the top team but this now looks unlikely,

    Gasly’s current deal with the squad expires at the end of the 2023 season with Sergio Perez now signed up at Red Bull until 2024.

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  • 1 час, 7 минут назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has been accused of mocking football fans

    Match of the Day host Gary Lineker was last night accused of mocking football fans angered by the BBC’s decision to ditch the Saturday night football results on Radio 5 Live.

    And as if to rub critics’ noses in the dirt, Match of the Day kicked off last night with last week’s Premier League results.

    A grinning Lineker smirked: ‘Just in case you couldn’t find the scores anywhere else last week.’

    One fan tweeted: ‘Not impressed with their snide p***-taking re results.’

    Another accused Lineker of ‘complete arrogance’.

    The BBC issued a response to fans calling for them to reinstate the classified football results on its flagship Sports Report radio programme last week.

    On Sunday night, Sportsmail revealed that the broadcaster had unceremoniously ditched the long-standing, Saturday 5pm British institution, loved by generations.

    Following backlash from company legends such as Des Lynam, John Motson, Mark Lawrenson and more, the BBC have released a statement to suggest ‘there are good reasons for the change’.

    The statement read: ‘We appreciate the strength of feeling towards the classified football results within Sports Report. It’s always difficult when a programme with a special history changes, but there are good reasons for the change.

    ‘With the addition of the 5.30pm live Premier League match to our coverage, Sports Report has been condensed into a shorter programme – cut from 1 hour to 25 minutes. The classifieds were taking around 5-7 minutes to read, which would have taken up around a third of the programme – constraining the range of sport we could cover.

    ‘We’d like to assure our listeners that results from across the football leagues will still be shared during the programme and through the afternoon.

    Results are also available in full on the BBC Sport website and during Final Score on BBC One. Having a live match at 5.30 is a great addition to the 5 Live schedule.’

    BBC insiders disclosed that there was no consultation with bemused staff, who have privately questioned the move.

    In a statement to this newspaper, the broadcaster claimed the decision was made because Sports Report had been condensed following the addition of the 5.30pm Premier League match.

    They added a comprehensive goal service was provided ‘on air, on the BBC Sport website and Final Score on BBC One’.

    Motson, 77, who spent 50 years with the BBC before retiring in 2018, responded: ‘I’m very disappointed. I’ve been a fan of Sports Report for 60 years and I will miss the classified results very deeply.’

    Lawrenson, 65, a former Match of the Day regular, added: ‘I worked for the BBC for 25 years and I love it. I also understand it, or at least I thought I did. Certain things should be sacrosanct and this is one of them.

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  • 1 час, 7 минут назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Gold Coast Titans coach Garth Brennan admits NRL coaching takes its toll after Paul Green death

    Sacked Titans coach Garth Brennan says he struggled with private pain after his 2019 dumping – talking about the immense pressure as a club top dog following the tragic loss of ex-Cowboys coach Paul Green.

    The former NRL coach agreed to bare all after the devastating news of Green’s passing on Thursday morning.

    Brennan was appointed Gold Coast head coach at the back end of 2017, having spent time within the lower ranks at Penrith.

    The 50-year-old spend 40 games at the helm of the developing club, losing 28 of those clashes which forced his early exit.

    After his dismissal, Brennan says he went through a tough few months where he was ‘uncontactable’.

    ‘There were things said about me that hurt. It was f***ing hard. I shut down and closed things off,’ Brennan told the Daily Telegraph.

    ‘It’s tough … it takes it’s toll.

    ‘Greeny went through a lot of s**t when he lost the Cowboys and then the Maroons Origin job.

    Everyone has got an opinion but there’s a human element that we all have to think about.’

    The Newcastle-born coach, who just left the Knights Head of Pathways role, says his previous role in the New South Wales Police force helped him deal with the media post-sacking.

    Brennan escaped overseas with his wife to New Zealand to ignore rugby league for a while, as friends Gus Worland, Shane Flanagan and Ivan Cleary reached out in support.

    2022 has been full of coach drama, featuring a barrage of behind the scenes buildup at Belmore, Wests Tigers and the Warriors.

    Michael Maguire was the 40th coach to be sacked mid-season since the NRL’s 1998 inception – following the separation of Trent Barrett and Nathan Brown.

    Paul Green stepped down in 2020 as the Cowboys head having coached 167 games, after leading the club to four finals series in his six years at the club, which included their inaugural NRL premiership in 2015.

    Green was sacked from his one-year Maroons coaching gig in 2021, losing two of his three appearances.

    Brennan beat current Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou for the Titans role in 2018, while Michael Maguire and Laurie Daley were also in the hunt.

    For help in a crisis call 000. If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact Lifeline 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

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  • 1 час, 7 минут назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Ex-MLB star Alfonso Soriano shares support for Fernando Tatis Jr. after 80-game PED suspension

    Seven-time MLB All-Star Alfonso Soriano took to Instagram Saturday night to share some words of support with suspended star Fernando Tatis Jr., who was punished on Friday for violating the league’s drug policy.

    Tatis Jr. tested positive for Clostebol, a banned performance-enhancing substance under MLB’s Joint Treatment and Prevention Program, and has been suspended for 80 games.

    But Soriano offered kind words to the 23-year-old as he prepares for a lengthy stretch on the sidelines.

    ‘God bless you and protect you always,’ Soriano said on his Instagram story, via translation.

    ‘I know it’s a very difficult time, but God is with you. I know you’re a good boy.’

    Tatis Jr., just 18 months into a 14-year, $330 million contract, was working his way back from a wrist injury and had yet to play this season.

    His suspension will carry into next year, and he likely won’t see the field until next May, as he’s set to miss 32 games next season as well per Bill Shaikin of the LA Times.

    In a statement, Tatis Jr. apologized and claimed he took the medication to treat ringworm, rather than to gain a competitive advantage.

    ‘I want to apologize to [Padres owner] Peter [Seidler], [general manager] AJ [Preller], the entire Padres organization, my teammates, Major League Baseball, and fans everywhere for my mistake. I have no excuse for my error, and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game I love.’

    ‘It turns out that I inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol,’ Tatis said. ‘I should have used the resources available to me in order to ensure that no banned substances were in what I took. I failed to do so.

    Soriano played mostly for the Yankees and Cubs throughout his 16-year career, and last appeared in an MLB game in 2014.

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  • 1 час, 7 минут назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Fans slam the ‘shocking attitude’ of Kylian Mbappe who appears to stop running

    Fans are slamming Kylian Mbappe as he appeared to stop running during a Paris Saint-Germain’s counter attack in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Montpellier.

    The French giants have started the campaign brightly under new manager Christophe Galtier by winning both their opening two Ligue 1 matches and scoring an impressive 10 goals.

    Superstar Mbappe opened his account for the season in the second-half of their latest win, despite looking a frustrated figure for most of the match.

    The 23-year-old had a penalty saved with the scores level at 0-0 and just before half-time, it seemed as though Mbappe threw a strop when PSG had a glorious chance to go 3-0 ahead.

    Vitinha brought the ball out from the back and had the option of passing to Mbappe on the left or Lionel Messi on the right.

    PSG’s new midfield signing opted to go out wide to Messi, which saw French international Mbappe throw his hands up in the air and slow down.

    Achraf Hakimi ended up putting his shot wide, but there was clearly space for a winger to dart into on the opposite flank, where Mbappe could have found himself if he had kept running forward on the counter attack.

    Fans were furious with the attitude shown by the 2018 World Cup winner and took to social media to share their views.

    One fan said: ‘Did yall see that??? Counterattack. Vitinha gets Messi the ball. Mbappe stops running and walks to the left like he doesn’t want to be involved.

    A second posted: ‘Yep, his attitude sucks in this game. All that hype and pressure getting to him. People can’t handle pressure like @neymarjr.

    A third added: ‘Mbappe throws a strop, stops running and misses the chance of an easy tap in…….. great player, shocking attitude!!!

    Another tweeted: ’23 years old with this attitude. He’s never gonna make it to the top. If I was the manager I would have subbed him off immediately.’

    Other fans believe the youngster’s new mega-money deal has turned him into a monster and it is already showing.

    One simply posted: ‘PSG turned Mbappe to a monster… with that contract he got… i’m sure the new coach will be having a hard time now… man has been acting above everyone in the club! once you don’t pass to him he stops running! his feeling too important now.. Bad signs.’

    Neymar scored twice as Paris St Germain thumped Montpellier 5-2 in Ligue 1 at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

    Kylian Mbappe and debutant Renato Sanches were also on target for PSG, who were set on their way following an own goal by Montpellier defender Falaye Sacko as the home side made it two wins from two at the start of their title defence.

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Sport Andy Murray takes wildcard to next tournament as Brit has aim to be seeded at US Open