Emma Raducanu’s new coach Dmitry Tursunov caught up in Russian propaganda – ‘He is ours’

Emma Raducanu is continuing to find herself in tricky territory after hiring Russian coach Dmitry Tursunov. There were fears the country would use his link with the US Open champion to further their own agenda, and the country’s tennis federation has now fired back after he started working with the 19-year-old on a trial basis, claiming him as their own.

Raducanu linked up with Tursunov for the recent Citi Open in Washington, months after splitting with coach Torben Beltz. Her decision to hire the former pro came with controversy due to his Russian origin, as the chair of the all Parliamentary group on Russia shared his fears that the world No 10 could get caught up in the country’s propaganda.

And it seems the Bromley local is already in an uncomfortable situation as the president of the Russian Tennis Federation staked his claim over Tursunov, despite his new partnership with the Brit. “He is ours, he happens at our training camps, we do not leave him, we support him,” Shamil Tarpishchev said, per TACC.

The RTF boss also stood by the former world No 20 despite his decision to work with Raducanu instead of helping the country’s local talent. He continued: “The question of whom he trains is the personal opinion of the athlete. We once offered him to work, just like Chesnokov, but he chose a different path, it is more profitable to train one of the leading athletes today.”

Tarpishchev’s words come after Labour MP and chair of the all Parliamentary group on Russia Chris Bryant urged the British No 1 to reconsider her decision to enlist Tursonov for a trial. “The Kremlin will portray this as a PR coup and an indication that the UK doesn’t really care about the war in Ukraine, so it’ll be a real shame if Emma goes ahead with this,” he told Telegraph Sport.

“I urge her to think again and at the very least to condemn Putin’s barbaric war.” Raducanu herself has said little on her recept link-up with the retired pro, as he joined her for the tournament in Washington but was not with her this week in Toronto, where he had pre-existing commitments.

Tursunov became a free agent when he parted ways with world No 2 Anett Kontaveir earlier this year, after it was reported that he was struggling to obtain visas to travel for the tour as a result of his Russian citizenship.

Before leading the Estonian to a first appearance at the WTA Finals and a top five debut, Tursunov worked with former world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka. And if his trial with Raducanu proves successful, he could join the reigning US Open champion in Flushing Meadows for her title defence.

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  • 59 минут назад 28.09.2022Sport
    Gregg Berhalter praises USMNT’s ‘great intensity’ despite woeful display against Saudi Arabia

    The United States national team head coach Gregg Berhalter downplayed the side’s two horrific friendlies after they scrambled to a 0-0 draw against Saudi Arabia Tuesday.

    The USMNT failed to score and only registered two shots on target in the woeful display as it failed to clinch the confidence boost it desperately needs ahead of the World Cup.

    Berhalter admitted the side is not as confident as he would like but bizarrely insisted the team was improving.

    ‘I think it was improved [from last weeks friendly]. I still think we’re not as confident as I’d like,’ said Berhalter on FOX Sports after the game. ‘We’re playing tentative. And we see just the connections are not there like we’d want.’

    While trying to place a positive spin on things Berhalter went on to say: ‘The effort was great today. The intensity was great today, especially at the end of the game. We kept pushing, kept trying to score, so I can’t fault the effort but we need to keep improving.

    When asked if there was any specific players needed to step up in order to inspire confidence, he instead pointed to the nerves brought on by squad selection being the bigger issue.

    ‘I think in general it’s nervy times. People are worried about being on the roster or not, and it’s a difficult moment. But having said that we just have to go out and play together. The confidence isn’t there yet but we’ll get there,’ Berhalter said.

    The coach said the message he hopes to express to his players once they finally arrive in Qatar is to be at ease, because that will be the final team.

    Berhalter and his players better hope those ‘connections, get there,’ by the time the team takes to the field in November. Otherwise a group-stage exit and a firing could be in Berhalter’s future.

    The connections between the final third and the rest of the team were so poor for the majority of the game that starting striker Ricardo Pepi recorded a team-low 13 touches before eventually being subbed off in the second half.

    Jesus Ferreira provided a spark when he was substituted in off the bench but was not able to make much of an impact other than recording the teams lone shot on goal in his first minute on the field.

    The striker position has been focal pointed by many observers of the USMNT, due to the lack of uncertainty around the team.

    ‘It was tough, it was tough,’ Berhalter said when referencing the No. 9 position. ‘ I mean Jesus came on and got a couple chances. It was tough for Ricardo, he didn’t get many chances. So, it’s really hard to evaluate players when they aren’t getting the opportunities.’

    Berhalter may try to hide behind the lack of opportunities provided to his strikers, but the lack of an impactful difference made by Ferreira, Pepi, and Josh Sargent, who didn’t even see the field, will only make fans call even louder for Jordan Pefok to called up for the final roster.

    Pefok has registered five combined goals and assists for Union Berlin in the Bundesliga this season. This comes on the back of a season which saw him finish as the top scorer in the Swiss Super League.

    He has not only shown to be the most consistent scoring American striker, but the fact he is doing it in also the most completive league of all his counterparts left fans baffled as to why he wasn’t in the team for the current group of friendlies as it was.

  • 59 минут назад 28.09.2022Sport
    Geelong accused of ‘belittling elderly’ over Mad Monday stunt that saw stars dress up as pensioners

    Geelong stars have been accused of ridiculing elderly people with a seemingly harmless Mad Monday stunt that saw them dress up as pensioners in order to hit back at critics who called them too old and slow to win the flag.

    The Cats fielded the oldest team in the league’s history in Saturday’s grand final, when they thrashed the Sydney Swans by 81 points to break an 11-year premiership drought.

    The players delivered a not-so-subtle reminder to all the critics who wrote them off on Monday by arriving at the Wharf Head in Geelong in a nursing home bus dressed up as elderly men – complete with grey hair, makeup and walking frames.

    The ‘too old’ criticism had clearly been a theme within the team this year – and the Cats’ social media team was quick to joke about it after the grand final win by posting a ‘Geelong Retirement Home’ image on Twitter.

    Most footy fans found the teams celebrations hilarious, but others were outraged by the stunt.

    A listener called Norm rang Melbourne radio station 3AW to say: ‘I don’t see the funny side of belittling the elderly. I think it will taint Joel Selwood’s accolades from Saturday.’

    Another listener named Diana was just as outraged by the fancy dress celebration.

    ‘I retired last year and I seem to be the butt of a lot of jokes lately,’ she said.

    ‘I’m demoralised by people saying you’re old and there are old jokes on the radio. And jokes on TV and belittling the elderly. I don’t agree with it at all.

    ‘In this day and age, we should be better than that.’

    Others took to Twitter to condemn the Mad Monday celebrations.

    ‘Disgusted at this stunt. Those in this situation everyday because of circumstances beyond their control do not have to be made fun of by these people. This reduced my wife to tears. Living this way is not a matter of choice. Those who do would love to kick a football for $,’ commented one user.

    However, other fans made the point that the players were actually taking a stand against ageism.

    ‘I can’t believe that Geelong players are being slammed for taking off old people. They’ve legitimately been told they can’t achieve anything because they’re too old for at least 5 years. I don’t even like the @GeelongCats, but this is ridiculous. Fair play to them,’ commented a Twitter user.

    ‘These players were told they were too old to win and they are satirising the commentary around that. Everything I have seen from the Geelong players post grand final win has been exemplary,’ said another.

    3AW host Dee Dee Dunleavy also disagreed with callers who were offended by Geelong’s stunt.

    ‘How can you be offended by someone in an old people’s costume? I do not know,’ she said.

    ‘I disagree on it because I found it very funny. They weren’t having a go. They weren’t saying old people are terrible. They were saying old people can win AFL grand finals. It’s not as if they were saying old people are hopeless and can’t do anything.’

    The players went to enormous efforts to pull off the look on Monday, with Patrick Dangerfield admitting he sat in the hairdresser’s chair for 90 minutes to get the look.

    ‘Well, it’s appropriate – the oldest team ever,’ he told the Herald Sun.

    ‘Coming in on the retirement bus. To be honest, most of their movements aren’t that put on, that’s probably the most concerning part about it all.’

    ‘It’s one thing to do these things and we generally do them pretty well, but I think there’s a little bit of extra sauce on it today, because we were lucky enough to win it all.’

  • 59 минут назад 28.09.2022Sport
    Parramatta Eels grand final legend Paul Taylor was left homeless and begging on the street

    Parramatta Eels legend Paul Taylor has revealed how he went through hell when he ended up homeless after retiring and was forced to live on McDonald’s hash browns while he begged for money.

    The former fullback, 63 – who was a favourite of legendary Eels coach Jack Gibson and played surrounded by superstars such as Peter Sterling, Brett Kenny, Mick Cronin and Ray Price – won four premierships with the team in the 1980s.

    But a decade later, the glory days were well and truly over – Taylor was flat broke and living rough on the streets.

    ‘I once had two houses. I had a four-acre property in Matcham [on the NSW Central Coast] and another place at Umina,’ Taylor said.

    ‘I [also] got divorced but it wasn’t her fault. It was just the way things went.’

    When he moved to Queensland in a bid to be closer to his son Jamie, Taylor’s life began to unravel.

    Victory laps at the SCG with his Eels teammates were a distant memory as he was forced to exist on a diet of $1 McDonald’s hash browns and stolen teabags.

    Taylor also slept in parks around Brisbane’s CBD, from the Botanic Gardens to the Story Bridge, where he begged for money and wore the same clothes, sometimes for up to a week.

    The brutal existence lasted around 18 months, and was roughly 15 years ago – but Taylor isn’t sure of the exact dates of the lowest point of his life.

    ‘One day you’re playing in front of 50,000 people and the next minute you’re sitting in a park with two homeless people,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.

    ‘It toughens you up. It was all about existence.’

    Eventually Taylor turned his life around, securing employment near Uluru in the Northern Territory.

    He worked three jobs and was earning $3000 a week while on the books of Longitude 131, a luxury resort near the famous rock.

    These days he runs a landscaping business on the Gold Coast and resides on the water at Main Beach.

    He also had a message for Parramatta ahead of their grand final showdown with Penrith this Sunday: fight for everything.

    ‘You [might] only get one shot at it,’ he said. ‘If what you are doing isn’t working, change it.

    ‘If I didn’t fight, I would still be in the park.’

  • 59 минут назад 28.09.2022Sport
    Christian Pulisic ‘CANNOT be trusted’ and is not the ‘focal point’ of USMNT, warns Brian Dunseth

    Former MLS and USMNT player Brian Dunseth has warned the US cannot trust captain Christian Pulisic ahead of November’s World Cup in Qatar.

    The USMNT stumbled in its final preparations for the World Cup after failing to find the target in either of its international friendlies this month with a 0-0 draw against Saudi Arabia and 2-0 defeat to Japan.

    Chelsea star Pulisic has been hailed as ‘Captain America’ for the side and fans will be hoping he can rally the US in Qatar but Dunseth claimed he has been overhyped.

    Speaking on his SiriusXM podcast, Week in the Tackle, Dunseth produced a strong and almost certainly controversial take on the Chelsea man.

    ‘You can’t trust Pulisic,’ Dunseth said on his weekly podcast.

    ‘As much as you want to believe in Pulisic, as much as he’s been hyped to be the everything that everybody thinks he can be or wants him to be, the reality is he’s not.

    ‘He’s a really good player but he’s, he is a complimentary piece. He is not a focal point and that’s what people have to understand.’

    Pulisic has not scored since a hat-trick against Panama in a 5-1 CONCACAF World Cup qualification game back in March.

    The former Dortmund star failed to push his team past Saudi Arabia in a 0-0 stalemate in Spain on Tuesday.

    ‘Christian Pulisic makes your team better but Christian Pulisic isn’t going to be the guy that is the Christian Eriksen of the US men’s national team,’ Dunseth continued.

    ‘[The guy] that becomes the tempo player, the connecting player, the guy that’s going to create something out of nothing, the guy that’s going to hit a final pass every single time or is capable of the final pass every single time.’

    While belief across the country may be wavering in the USMNT after a three-game winless streak, time is on their side.

    There are 55 days for Gregg Berhalter’s to find a sharpness unseen in Spain before their matchday one clash against Wales.

    Regardless of Dunseth’s comments, much of the US public will pin their hopes on Pulisic firing his squad to the knockout stages in a difficult group comprised of England, Iran and Wales.

    Dunseth made one appearance for the USMNT throughout his career and played in the MLS from 1997-2005.

  • 2 часа, 58 минут назад 28.09.2022Sport
    Clarke hails his ‘fantastic’ players after Scotland seal promotion to top tier of the Nations League

    Steve Clarke hailed his Scotland heroes after they secured Nations League glory against Ukraine in Krakow.

    Beset by all manner of injury and illness problems in the build-up, the Scots fought magnificently despite being down to the bare bones. Clarke lavished praise on the defensive heroics of Ryan Porteous and Jack Hendry, in particular, branding the pair ‘outstanding’.

    Hibs star Porteous, handed an international debut, was immense at the back alongside Hendry as Scotland clinched the point they needed to win their group.

    They are now promoted to Group A and have the safety net of a play-off for Euro 2024 to fall back on.

    They will also go into Pot Two for the main European qualifying draw — and Clarke was delighted with the effort shown by his players.

    ‘We wanted to show people that what happened in the summer wasn’t us’, he said in reference to defeats to Ukraine and the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup play-offs and Nations League respectively.

    ‘We wanted to be better this week. We pressed a big button to reset. Three fantastic performances, all different, but all vital.

    ‘Ryan Porteous was outstanding for a debut. I’m so pleased for the boy, it shows that he listens that he learns.

    ‘I’m also so pleased for Jack Hendry – it was a big ask for Jack. Everyone expects Callum McGregor and John McGinn to play three games with that intensity.

    ‘But I had to ask Jack to do that again – he was struggling a bit with a cold, but he was outstanding in all three games.

    ‘Ukraine are a very good team, we knew they’d have moments in the game and ask Craig [Gordon] to make saves – he did that as he always does.’

    Scotland will be in among the big guns of European football when they are promoted to Group A of the Nations League.

    Tuesday night’s goalless draw in Krakow rounded off an excellent week for Clarke’s side, on the back of victories over Ukraine and the Republic of Ireland at Hampden.

    Clarke was delighted to see his players show grit and desire to overcome a sickness bug which had ripped through the camp on the eve of the match.

    He also insisted that Scotland should be looking to qualify for the next Euros directly, rather than relying on the play-off.

    ‘Sometimes that can galvanise you. Maybe I over-egged it a bit to galvanise us,’ he said. ‘It was a big night for us. We wanted to win the section.

    ‘I sat down with my staff and said we had to be more demanding of the players (after the summer). These players are desperate to do well for their country and have taken it on board.

    ‘I told them to take us to the next step, to make sure we do. This will make us feel good about ourselves. The supporters, too. The connection between players and supporters is fantastic.

    ‘I don’t want to stop. We want to keep getting better and better. The play-off is secured, but I don’t think we’ll need it.’

  • 2 часа, 58 минут назад 28.09.2022Sport
    Sir Mo Farah is urged to take inspiration from world record holder Eliud Kipchoge

    Sir Mo Farah should take inspiration from Eliud Kipchoge’s ongoing defiance of age before deciding to retire, according to TCS London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher.

    The 39-year-old has been non-committal on his future ahead of Sunday’s race in the capital, with sources close to the four-time Olympic champion indicating he could call it quits if his performance falls short.

    Farah, who lost to a club runner at the Vitality 10k in May, has previously raised those doubts by saying: ‘If I can’t compete with the best, why bother?’ But Brasher is adamant Farah should not be ‘written off’ and pointed to Kipchoge breaking the marathon world record at the age of 37 last Sunday.

    Asked about the uncertainty around Farah’s future, Brasher said: ‘I think Eliud is proving that the age barriers that we used to think existed do not necessarily now exist.

    ‘One bad performance, a couple of bad performances, do not mean that people should write off somebody off.’

    Sunday’s race is the final commitment in Farah’s current contract with the race organisers, but Brasher says he will have a place in the field if he ever wants one. He also harbours a hope that when Farah does retire, it will be at the London Marathon.

    He said: ‘Firstly the door will always be open to Mo – he is Britain’s greatest endurance athlete in terms of number of Olympic gold medals and world championship gold medals.

    ‘We have a long history with him, going back to the mini marathon through the fact that we supported him through his university time.

    ‘Paula Radcliffe had her final run in the London Marathon in 2015. It was the most incredible send-off that I think that the British crowd were ever able to give any athlete.

    ‘They came out in their droves. Whenever Mo decides to do his last marathon we would absolutely love it to be to be London. I think the crowd would love it. He should be celebrated.’

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Sport Emma Raducanu's new coach Dmitry Tursunov caught up in Russian propaganda - 'He is ours'