Did we mention it’s hot? We can expect a slow pace to today’s game due to the soaring temperatures. We’re also told there will be water breaks every 15 minutes. The 91F temperature with 49% humidity feels closer to 98F (37C).
Hello and welcome to Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium for today’s friendly between Arsenal and Fiorentina. It’s a scorching Saturday with a temperature of 91F (33C) about a half hour before kickoff as the Gunners look to make it three wins from three in their pre-season tour of the United States. Unai Emery’s side have recorded victories over the Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich already, with tonight’s match leading into a clash with Real Madrid on Tuesday night in the nation’s capital.
• Irishman’s third-round 63 is lowest score so far by two • Tommy Fleetwood four shots back in second after 66
Sometimes sporting outcomes give the impression of being written in the stars. Shane Lowry has enough to occupy his thoughts, without contemplation of becoming the latest symbol for a collective will in Ireland but, should he lift the Claret Jug at a venue deemed unsuitable for the Open Championship amid decades of civil unrest, golf will have delivered a last laugh towards bitterness. Sport’s unifying qualities are such a great strength; how they were endorsed as Lowry pulled Royal Portrush to pieces.
Lowry, who heads into the Open’s final day holding a four-shot lead, was cheered from the rafters on Saturday in a form which demonstrated just how much this Northern Irish crowd want the man from rural County Offaly to see the job through. Although always within boundaries of respect, the gentile sport of golf took on tribal form. A wide grin barely left Lowry’s face; and no wonder.
The 2016 Masters champion shot a 65 to propel himself up the leaderboard after enduring tough times since Augusta triumph
Unless the forecast wind and rain spits and lashes around Portrush on Sunday, scattering the leaders like buckshot, Danny Willett will not win the Open. But after what he has gone through since winning the Masters three years ago he won’t mind. Because after tumbling to 462 in the world, the 31-year-old from Sheffield is confident that the best days are around the corner again.
On moving day, no one got their skates on more than Willett. He started the day seven shots behind the leaders after rounds of 74 and 67 had left him on one under par. A blemish-free round of 65 catapulted him to seven under and into the top 10 of the leaderboard.
• Geraint Thomas suffers on final climb and loses time to leader • Julian Alaphilippe second on Tourmalet stage finish
Thibaut Pinot took the honours at the iconic Col du Tourmalet finish to a punishing stage where the Col du Soulour climb had already caused hopes throughout the field to evaporate. Defending champion Geraint Thomas sagged alarmingly in the closing stages, and with yellow jersey holder Julian Alaphilippe finishing second on the stage, he has taken more time out of his British rival and now leads by 2min 2sec.
The 117.5km stage was abridged by several kilometres after an elongated roll-out was enforced by officials to allow police time to clear the road ahead at Ossun where dozens of environmental protesters were sitting in the road.
Now then, Doc Redman. Doc’s not a nickname, it’s on his birth certificate. (Dr Golf, a mere fictional confection of the HBH, is beyond jealous.) Redman’s parents were certainly creative; his sister is called Karma. Anyway, the 21-year-old from Raleigh, North Carolina looks the real deal. He’s been playing since the age of three, golf one of his two passions along with calculus. He’s been known to hit over a thousand putts a day to groove in his stroke; how many equations he solves per week isn’t on record. Anyway, Redman shot 62 in a qualifier to reach the recent inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic, then went on to grab second place and with it a spot in the Open. He’s admitted to suffering from nerves in the past, most notably when he teed it up at the Masters last year, missing the cut, but he’s looking in control this week. Back-to-back birdies this morning at 2 and 3, the latter the reward for a 40-foot tramliner, and he’s -2.
Now Stanley does extremely well to get up and down from the bottom of a bank at the par-three 3rd, after a weak tee shot. A decent chip up to 15 feet, then a brilliant putt to scramble. He remains at -2. Meanwhile birdies at 2 for a couple of English stars in Eddie Pepperell and Paul Casey, both men rising to -1. And it’s a fast start by this week’s record breaker, Ryan Fox. The Kiwi played the back nine in 29 strokes on Thursday, the best figures in Open history. Now he’s opened today with birdies at 2 and 5. He’s -1. Just to say, he could go on to birdie 6, 8 and 9, and eagle 5, and even then he’d be a shot shy of Denis Durnian’s front-nine Open record of 28, set at Birkdale in 1983. But one rewriting of the history books is enough, let’s not get greedy.
Djamel Belmadi’s side were so exciting throughout the tournament yet allowed their verve to take a back seat to time-wasting and diving to edge out Senegal in the final
Why do Algeria make it so hard for themselves? They have been the best team at this Cup of Nations, and in that sense were worthy champions. But having taken an early lead against Senegal in Friday’s final and seeming dominant, they bafflingly resorted to spoiling, to diving, feigning injury and looking to pressure the officials. It brought victory, and perhaps that’s enough, but play and they might have taken not only the cup but also glory.
It’s not just that the niggliness makes them a hard team for outsiders to love; it presumably also means that no Algerian fan can take much pleasure in watching a rerun of what should be one of the finest moments in their history. See how Baghdad Bounedjah spreads his arms and screams at the referee! Watch as Amir Bensebaini trips a Senegal forward! Wonder as Raïs Mbohli runs down the clock! Marvel as Sofiane Feghouli recovers instantly from seemingly mortal injury! Welcome to the shithouse of fun!
• McIlroy misses the cut by one shot after brilliant round of 65 • JB Holmes and Lowry head halfway field on eight under
Amid spine-tingling scenes, which began on Royal Portrush’s 1st tee and concluded with a standing ovation as Rory McIlroy waved goodbye in failing light, a global superstar reconnected with his own people. McIlroy fought hard, and just about succeeded, to control his emotions.
McIlroy fell short – only just – in his attempt to reach the weekend of the 148th Open Championship but the swell of support afforded to him felt like a victory in itself. Had McIlroy been in pursuit of the Claret Jug here Sundayevening, the spectacle would have broken sporting boundaries.
Algeria have won their first Africa Cup of Nations since 1990 and it is probably a good job that they will not care how. Baghdad Bounedjah’s heavily-deflected early goal gave them an accolade that, over the balance of the tournament, they deserve but this was no performance to remember them by. They proceeded to hold off a frustrated Senegal for the duration, barely attempting to force another chance and much less creating one.
It amounted to a colossal riding of their luck but they ground a route over the line and Djamel Belmadi, their astute coach, could celebrate with his players after overcoming Aliou Cissé, his childhood friend, who must wait to guide Senegal to a first title of their own.
As expected Salis Sané is chosen as the replacement for Koulibaly in the heart of Senegal’s defence, albeit not on his preferred side of the central defensive duo. Up front Ismail Sarr returns after a stop-start tournament so far. Algeria, meanwhile, have plumped for Mehdi Zeffane at right-back, where he tends to be defensively sound but not as enterprising going forward as the suspended Atal.
Hello and welcome. Moments after missing the decisive penalty in the shootout at the end of the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations final, Senegal’s Aliou Cissé made a vow. One day, he said, he would go that last step and make his country African champions for the first time. Now, 17 years later, here he is, the manager of the Teranga Lions as they bid to make history.
But in their way stand Algeria, whose yearning his equally strong, not least because most of the crowd in the stadium in Cairo is made up of their compatriots. Djamel Belmadi’s men have looked slightly sharper throughout this tournament and, indeed, beat Senegal 1-0 during the group stages, albeit after Sadio Mané was denied a blatant penalty. But Senegal have been solid grinders, aided by sporadic flourishes from players such as Mané, Idrissa Gueye and Krépin Diatta, plus raids from right-back by Yousouf Sabaly. Their main strength, however, has been their solidity and that is likely to be weakened today by the suspension of the majestic Kalidou Koulibaly.
Hill, 25, cleared to return to Chiefs following investigation
Wide receiver had been accused by fiancee of hurting son
Tyreek Hill has been cleared to report to Chiefs training camp next week after the NFL said Friday it would not suspend the star wide receiver under its personal conduct policy after a domestic violence case involving his 3-year-old son.
The league spent eight hours interviewing Hill late last month about the case, which came to light after a recording of Hill and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, aired on television station KCTV5.
• Three-times champion candid after finishing on six over • ‘I don’t have the flexibility I used to have, and never will’
Tiger Woods looked to be moving into Muhammad Ali territory this summer. He was not Ali in his pomp but the 1974 Rumble-in-the-Jungle Ali, the magician who shook up the world again at 32, convincing millions that destroying George Foreman proved to everyone there was more to come.
Was Tiger’s Augusta triumph in April his Kinshasa? Would there be a knockout blow to make him suffer in Portrush this week? The blow was the wind and rain and one of the best links courses in the world. An underdone Woods, knocked out in the second round, six over, was in no shape to tame his nemesis.
Following a frenetic fortnight of free agency, a new world order is taking shape in the NBA. Here’s a look at the eight top contenders heading into next season
The dust has finally settled on one of the most frenetic free-agency periods in NBA history, a fortnight of splashy transactions that looks to have re-shaped the league for years to come. Questions always outnumber answers during the summer, but eight championship contenders stand out in our assessment of the NBA’s new world order.
‘I’m happy. They were a very good opponent,’ says Pulisic
Brazilian striker Damiao consigned Chelsea to a 1-0 defeat in Japan as J-League side Kawasaki Frontale claimed a famous pre-season scalp. The substitute’s late effort in Yokohama settled a game into which Frank Lampard’s men had gradually grown, but the Premier League side, who brought Christian Pulisic on as a second-half substitute, could not make the breakthrough.
A Chelsea starting lineup which included Willy Caballero, Mason Mount, Kenedy and Michy Batshuayi, struggled to break the hosts down with Pedro forcing an early save and sending another shot just over the bar before Kenedy blasted just wide from distance.
Englert, 96, runs 5000m in 42:30.23 to set age-group record
Virginia native already held the records in 800m and 1500m
Roy Englert, 96, added yet another world record to his collection at last week’s USATF Masters Outdoor Championships, running the 5000m in 42:30.23 to shatter the existing age group mark by nearly eight minutes at the Cyclone Sports Complex in Ames, Iowa.
The Virginia native, who already held the 95 to 99 age group records for the 800m and 1500m and is a member of the world record 4x100, 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams, broke Frank Levine’s decade-old record of 50:10.56.
The England full-back will be working with Oscar Ortega, the Atlético Madrid coach who makes players run until they vomit
Oscar Ortega has a reputation for being a bit of a sadist. Nicknamed El Profe, the teacher, he is part man, part myth, mixing fear, fascination and fondness too, his very name striking terror into footballers’ hearts. Atlético Madrid’s fitness coach, a 61-year-old Uruguayan drill sergeant who spent the morning of the 2016 Champions League final doing laps of San Siro, Ortega likes nothing more than running them until they drop, vomit and pass out – while shouting at them. Or better still, laughing. So, ask Kieran Trippier’s new teammates what awaits him in Spain, and many would smile knowingly and reply, tongue in cheek:El Profedoes.
Which might be just what he needs; it’s certainly a little different.
The sport is in a ‘dangerous moment’ according to a former betting executive and the 2005 Gambling Act is a chief factor
The internal combustion engine, powered flight, electricity, universal suffrage and two world wars are just a few of the transformative inventions, discoveries and events which have occurred since horse racing and bookmaking began their very successful association in the 1790s.
So it is quite something to open this morning’s Racing Post and read that Richard Flint, until very recently the chief executive of Sky Bet, feels that racing and betting face an “existential threat” as a result of increasingly negative attitudes towards gambling, both in Parliament and in the British public in general.
Flint spent 18 years at Sky Bet including a decade in the top job. He was also, almost uniquely for such a senior executive in gambling, willing to engage with punters on social media and explain - or attempt to explain - why his firm restricts the stakes of regular winners.
“The profile of people who think of [gambling] as a vice and harmful, and argue that it is those things, is higher now than it has been in my experience over the last 20 years,” Flint told the Post. “That perspective is more influential among policy makers than other perspectives.
“That is why I think it is a dangerous moment for the betting industry and by extension for the racing industry because there are more politicians with a very negative view of the industry than there are with a positive view.”
When asked if racing and betting face an “existential threat”, Flint pointed to recent regulation in Italy, which raised gambling taxes and banned TV advertising.
“The political situation is very unstable,” he said. “Gambling is something that at the moment all the parties agree needs to be more highly regulated. It is quite conceivable that an Italian-type situation could develop and this could affect racing. If all advertising was banned it would take racing off terrestrial TV, it would stop race sponsorships and it would do vast harm to racing’s finances.
“I don’t think it would do anything to solve the problem of gambling addiction and there is a scenario where that sort of things happens, so the risk could be existential.”
Well, anything’s possible, including 100-1 winners of the Grand National, which is one of the reasons that bookmaking has survived - and thrived - for more than 200 years. And Flint is certainly correct that tighter regulation of the entire industry, and the online sector in particular, is only a matter of time.
But the idea that new rules could effectively regulate betting - and therefore racing - out of existence is quite a leap. The widespread belief that there is a need for tighter regulation of gambling - which I happen to share - is a reaction to the 2005 Gambling Act, which shifted the rules in the opposite direction (so much so, in fact, that it is often difficult to see the boundaries at all).
The 2005 Act did away with the long-standing distinction between betting, where the operator can lose, and gaming, where they cannot. The most obvious effect was the explosion of gaming machines in what had previously been high-street betting shops, and while tighter regulation of the stake levels has recently started to address that monumental mistake, there are no limits online.
As a result, there is a huge temptation - in fact, almost a business imperative - for bookies like Skybet to use betting as a loss leader to attract new customers, who are then pushed towards gaming products via emails, texts and “free spin” offers on their apps. But betting and gaming are not complementary products. It is not “all just gambling”. One is the enemy of the other, and the failure of the 2005 Act to appreciate the difference was perhaps the deepest of its many flaws.
Humans beings will gamble whether it is legal or not, and the most sensible way for a government of any hue to address that fact is to have a legal, well-regulated gambling industry which pays its taxes and embraces its social responsibilities. We are some distance away from that at present, but if the main focus of the next Gambling Act is on gaming, which is where it should be, betting - and racing - could actually benefit as a result.
Koepka knocks in his straightforward birdie putt at 13 to get to -5 and back to tied third. Meanwhile, his rival for ‘coolest in show’ category, Dustin Johnson, knocks in a ten-footer for birdie at 6. DJ’s card, like his walk, has a pleasing rhythm this morning: par-birdie-par-birdie-par-birdie. That’s lifted him to -2 and tied for 17th.
Jordan Spieth is 4-under for his round and 5-under overall but we shouldn’t be surprised by his move today. A check of the PGA Tour’s scoring averages reveals why as it shows that the Dallas native does his best work of a Friday. Spieth ranks 16th in R1 scoring, 2nd in R2, 166th in R3 and 196th in R4. In other words, a typical Spieth performance this season involves a good start, a Friday surge and a gradual slide down the leaderboard on the weekend. He’ll need to reverse that final 36-hole trend to stay in the mix here but you suspect Spieth has something up his sleeve in majors. He’s won three and keeps likening Royal Portrush to Royal Birkdale, the scene of his Open triumph two years ago.
Australian time-trial specialist quits on stage 12
No reason given by rider or his team Bahrain-Merida
World time-trial champion Rohan Dennis has wished his teammates well for the rest of the Tour de France but offered no insight as to why he quit the race dramatically, a day before a stage the Australian was fancied to win.
The time-trial specialist stopped at a feed zone 80km into Thursday’s 12th stage when it was announced that he would be withdrawing from the race. He disappeared for several hours, prompting his team, Bahrain-Merida, to issue a statement on Twitter raising concerns over the 29-year-old’s “welfare”.
• Holmes leads from Lowry with a string of big names well placed • Rory McIlroy reeling from nightmare round of 79
“I don’t feel like I’m the centre of attention,” insisted Rory McIlroy before a ball was struck in this, the 148th Open Championship. Well, he is now – for reasons far removed from the fairytale scenario in which McIlroy would raise the Claret Jug at the venue where he excelled as a 16-year-old. Such a memorable occasion for Northern Ireland instantly lurched towards calamity for one of its most celebrated sons.
One of the most extraordinary – and extraordinarily damaging – rounds of McIlroy’s career began with an eight and finished with a seven. The 30-year-old’s 79, eight over par, on the Open’s historic return to Royal Portrush leaves him embroiled in a desperate scrap to make the cut. That last time McIlroy opened golf’s oldest major with this score, in 2013, he lasted only two days. In four subsequent Open appearances before this wounding day on the north coast of Antrim, McIlroy had not carded higher than 71. McIlroy has not so much drifted as sunk, from one of the short-priced Open favourites to a 400-1 outsider. This was not in anyone’s script.
At 10 past 10 the Northern Irishman was 8-1 favourite for the Open, 10 minutes later he was a 33-1 outsider scrambling to make the cut
Life comes at you fast on the links, where fortunes change as quickly as the weather. At 10 past 10, Rory McIlroy walked on to the 1st hole the 8-1 favourite for the Open, 10 minutes later he walked off it again, a 33-1 outsider, scrambling to make the cut. In between, he played one of the most dismal holes of golf of his life, and made a quadruple-bogey eight. “At that point I was thinking: ‘Well, that’s the worst that can happen, what else can go wrong?’” McIlroy said. He found out at the 16th, where he three-putted from four-feet, and the 18th, where he finished with a triple-bogey that left him eight over on 79.
After it was all over, McIlroy was asked whether he thought there was a way back from that. “There’s definitely a way back to Florida.”
• British rider outwits fellow escapees on first Pyrenean stage • Alaphilippe still in yellow, with leaders finishing together
Simon Yates, winner of the 2018 Vuelta a España, sprinted to victory ahead of Gregor Mühlberger of Austria and Pello Bilbao of Spain on the 209.5km 12th stage of the Tour de France from Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre in the French Pyrenees.
The trio were the last remaining riders from a huge 42 rider break that escaped with 170km of the stage left and slowly dwindled in numbers over the first category climbs of the Col de Peyresourde and Hourquette d’Ancizan.
City that hosts Friday’s time trial has been on a doping ley line, a focal point for scandal, for almost two decades
The foie gras, strawberries and red wine have long been cleared away and in a deserted press tent in Albi, Michael Rasmussen is talking about the time he was kicked off the 2007 Tour de France with final victory in Paris in sight. In a new book, The Yellow Jersey, Rasmussen describes the humiliation and desperation of fleeing the 2007 Tour under cover of darkness after his lies over his anti-doping whereabouts status caught up with him.
Bundled into a rental car at midnight by his team boss, just hours after celebrating victory in the yellow jersey on the Col d’Aubisque, he was left alone in a remote bed and breakfast at the foot of the Pyrenees, where he contemplated suicide. “I walked around and look for some way to hang myself,” the Dane recalled. “If I’d had a gun I would have shot myself. It was almost unbelievable what they did to me considering all that I had done for them.”
The Spanish defender talks about Barcelona, how football became his cure and clears up rumours of liking Napalm Death
Hi Carles. Hi Small Talk.
We’re talking to you because of yoghurt, why don’t you tell us a bit about that? I am very proud to be an ambassador for the Danone Nations Cup, one of the best tournaments out there for U12s to play football. It takes place at a local level in 27 countries and the final will be played in Barcelona in October.
• Defender signs five-year contract as Juve beat PSG to signing • Teenager could earn €460,000 a week after add-ons
Juventus have confirmed the signing of Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax for a fee of €75m (£67.8m), with the 19-year-old defender agreeing a five-year contract worth a basic €16m (£14.5m) a season which could rise to €24m (£21.7m) with add-ons.
The full package could cost the Serie A champions €195m (£176.2m) and earn the teenager a potential weekly salary of €460,000 (£416,000) if all the add-ons are achieved.
Eddie Nketiah proved to be the match-winner as Arsenal made it two wins from two on their pre-season tour of the United States with a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich.
After a goalless first half, Emery’s side took the lead four minutes after the restart when Louis Poznanski diverted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross into his own goal before Robert Lewandowski equalised with a fine header.
Christian Prudhomme on today’s stage: “The Pyrenean part of the Tour will start in the valley and that should motivate the usual breakaway suspects to give it a go but it’ll carry on with climbs up Peyresourde and La Hourquette d’Ancizan,” says the race director. “Only the best climbers among them will be in a position to triumph as they head down to Bagnères-de-Bigorre.”
Currently leading the peloton along in his red Skoda, Prudhomme will give the signal to start racing once the riders have covered another five kilometres or so. “”It’s going to be frantic from the start,” muses Eurosport commentator Carlton Kirby.
The roll-out has begun: The riders are currently wending their way through the streets of Toulouse, with aerial shots showcasing the picturesque terracotta slates and bricks from which many of the locale’s buildings are constructed. The Pink City, they call it and it’s not difficult to see why.
• FIA to award drivers super licence points next season • Leila Lombardi in 1976 is last woman to compete in F1
The all-female W Series has taken a major step towards its goal of a woman in a Formula One car with the announcement that from next season the FIA will award super licence points to the drivers. The points are required before any driver can compete in F1. The publicity the series has engendered has already proved positive for several competitors, who are convinced it will ultimately deliver an F1 driver.
A woman has not raced in F1 since Lella Lombardi 43 years ago. The six-race W Series season began in May, with 18 drivers taking part in the single-make F3 championship, in which they do not have to pay any costs.
Sergiño Dest, an 18-year-old full-back who signed his first professional contract with Ajax in December last year, was born and raised in Almere in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and a US serviceman father. He hadn’t even visited the States until a trip to New York City – his father’s hometown – in 2014, and hadn’t considered representing the US until the possibility came up in a phone call.
Lovely birdie for Shane Lowry at the par-three 3rd. He sends his tee shot over the flag, then guides in a right-to-left curler from 20 feet. Loud cheers as he joins the group at -1. Up on 8, the first backwards stumble by James Sugrue, the amateur left with a ten-footer to save his par. He strikes the putt with confidence, but it lips out on the right. He’s back to -1. Meanwhile - apologies to Peter Hall (8.15am) for bearing bad news - Zander Lombard bogeys 5 to return to level par.
Dark clouds overhead. The wind picking up. But at least no rain at the moment. It’s going to be one of those days. A cloud of similar hue will be following Emiliano Grillo around right now: he’s run up a triple-bogey seven on 5, then followed it up with another dropped shot at 6. He’s just completed the easiest portion of the course in +3. His postman can stand down.
After a 68-year wait Royal Portrush has the potential to prove one of the major’s more exciting backdrops
Counterintuitive though it may seem the Open Championship, in its 148th staging and with a history stretching back to 1860 in Prestwick, has entered uncharted territory. Never before has this tournament been so defined by its venue. Significance of location far outweighs the most illustrious participants. After a wait of 68 years, a stretch marked for so long by grim societal realities, Royal Portrush is the Open’s terrain once more.
German player wins after 11-day competition in Las Vegas
55-year-old is first non-US champion since 2014
Germany’s Hossein Ensan outlasted Italy’s Dario Sammartino and Canada’s Alex Livingston to claim the $10m title early on Wednesday at the 50th World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas.
The 55-year-old, who was born in Iran but moved to Germany 30 years ago, became the oldest world poker champion in 20 years when he finished off Sammartino after nearly eight hours of play at the final table. It’s the first time since 2014 the winner has come from outside the United States and the third time the title has gone to an Iranian-born competitor.
• Proposed plans for 2021 aimed at getting more competitive races • Main proposal is to reintroduce ground effect to help overtaking
Formula One has revealed details on its proposed plans to improve the racing with new regulations for 2021 that are set to be officially confirmed in October. Ross Brawn, F1’s sporting director, has been leading the investigation of ways to reinvent the sport. The most detailed version of their vision, including an intent to bring back the “wow” factor, was unveiled on Wednesday.
McIlroy will contest The Open at childhood course Royal Portrush, but is keen to emphasise the wider context of a major being played in Northern Ireland
When Rory McIlroy says he is treating this like any other Open Championship it is not really clear who he thinks he is kidding. Maybe he is more worried about persuading himself than he is anyone else, that it is his way of coping with all the emotional pressure he feels about playing here, in what he has repeatedly described as one of the most important tournaments of his life. Every major matters, but this one matters more than most, for him, and for his country.
McIlroy lives in Florida, but he still calls Northern Ireland home and he has an interesting, informed perspective on how significant this Championship is. “Sport has an unbelievable ability to bring people together,” he said. “We all know that this country sometimes needs that. This has the ability to do that.
‘I can say that we are going to have a very good team’
Emery not drawn on possible loan for Dani Ceballos
Unai Emery insists Arsenal are working to bring in “three or four” players before the start of the new season.
So far this summer the club have signed only the 18-year-old forward Gabriel Martinelli despite being linked with a host of names. Arsenal have a smaller budget than the majority of their closest Premier League rivals but have still continued to show reported interest in some key targets.
Bruce’s happiest times were at smaller clubs and he starts his biggest Premier League job as a manager with eyes fully open
Steve Bruce is normally a safe if somewhat unexciting pair of managerial hands, though as supporters of Sheffield United, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic will attest, he does have a penchant for resigning or leaving to further his career elsewhere. As recently as January he was claiming his 10th club, Sheffield Wednesday, might be the last he would manage, but presumably he always knew that if the call came from Newcastle he would find it hard to resist.
What he does at most clubs is steady the defence, sort out a settled team and begin to make small but significant improvements. Newcastle are certainly in need of someone who can do that but they have just lost an arch-pragmatist and organisational master in Rafa Benítez, and it remains doubtful whether Bruce is quite up to the Spaniard’s tactical standards or as stoically diplomatic in adverse circumstances.
As this stage is short and pretty damn flat there’s a slightly later start today – racing will get under way around 12.45pm BST with the sprint to the line coming at around 4.30pm. One man who won’t be on the startline is Rick Zabel, the Katusha-Alpecin rider has the flu and has had to withdraw from the race.
While we wait for things to get going here’s some rest day news from our man in France, Jeremy Whittle:
Rest day can often bring some pretty decent #content from teams across their social media channels. It’s not Tour-related but I thought this from EF Education First on the GBDuro event was a really good watch:
South Korea’s women’s water polo team lost their first two games at the world championships by an eye-watering aggregate score of 94-1 – but they celebrated their solitary goal as if they had won gold.
After suffering a record 64-0 defeat by Hungary in their Group B opener at the weekend, the plucky hosts were battered 30-1 by the 2017 bronze medallists Russia on Tuesday.
The striker’s mystifying choice to partner with Barstool Sports, a company antithetical to the USWNT’s values of inclusiveness, has allowed her team’s identity to be co-opted on its victory lap
Since the end of the Women’s World Cup, the US women’s national team has been celebrating in jubilant and brilliant fashion. They have chanted “equal pay!” from atop floats at a ticker-tape parade in New York City beneath showers of confetti made from shredded copies of their gender-equity lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation and appeared on a raft of chat shows, lending an unprecedented mainstream platform for their campaign of justice for women in football.
Their uproarious Instagram presence led by goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, who has shared various moments from their celebrations in real time, has become the stuff of legend, stuffing any and all complaints back into the dark abyss of jealousy and sexism: that the American women are too bold and arrogant in expressing their happiness and political opinions on the pitch and off.
Veteran guard suspended 10 games for December incident
Williams, 29, set WNBA single-game scoring record in 2013
The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident, one of the longest punishments in the league’s history.
The league office handed down the suspension on Tuesday. Williams was arrested on 29 April and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.
Europe’s heavyweights have all been busy. Catch up on the big moves in La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1
After an underwhelming title race and struggles in Europe, Spain’s top three have all been very busy already. Real Madrid have spent more than £250m to sign Eden Hazard, striker Luka Jovic and defenders Ferland Mendy and Éder Militão, along with Brazilian forward Rodrygo, who arrives after agreeing a move last summer. The sale of fringe players like Mateo Kovacic has helped offset the outlay – but there may be more to come.
Woods is short of tournament practice but, with three Open wins, he knows he can work his way around Royal Portrush
According to the nice lady at the tourist office, 200,000 people will swarm into Portrush for the Open Championship this week. Early on Tuesday great swathes of them were already tracking Tiger Woods as he scuffed around, hoping to find his groove and his game. Eight holes later he was still looking.
“It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like to have it right now,” the winner of 15 majors admitted. “I still need to shape the golf ball a little bit better, especially with the weather coming in and the winds are going to be changing.
• England defender due for medical in Spanish capital • Trippier excused from flight to Singapore for pre-season tour
Kieran Trippier is on the brink of sealing a move to Atlético Madrid in a deal worth £20m plus add-ons and he has been given permission by Tottenham to travel to the Spanish capital for a medical.
The full-back, who starred for England at the World Cup in Russia, endured a difficult season last time out and Mauricio Pochettino, the Spurs manager, has decided to cash in on him as he reshapes his squad for what he has called the “next chapter” of his tenure.
• Former world No 1 says new calendar is too condensed • Rose targeting second major win in Open at Royal Portrush
Justin Rose has broken ranks from golf’s leading players by criticising the new schedule for 2019, which features four majors in as many months. This week’s Open Championship rounds off a major season that used to end with the US PGA; that tournament has been brought forward to May from August and Rose believes the new calendar is detrimental to competitor preparations.
The former world No 1 said: “In my opinion they’re too soon. It’s too condensed. As a professional in terms of trying to peak for something, the process that’s involved in trying to do that can be detailed and it can be longer than a month. So that’s my reasoning for that.”
Briton says 8 November bout in Saudi Arabia lined up
Confirmation rests on Pacquiao beating Thurman
Amir Khan has claimed that he and Manny Pacquiao have signed up for a fight and are targeting a meeting in Saudi Arabia later this year. The 32-year-old Briton said the pair have agreed terms, with Riyadh the venue for a long-awaited bout.
Khan won the WBC international welterweight title with a fourth-round stoppage of Billy Dib in Jeddah on Saturday night. Now he intends to return to Saudi Arabia on 8 November to face his former sparring partner Pacquiao, if the Filipino comes through unscathed against Keith Thurman in their WBA welterweight title fight in Las Vegas this weekend.
Employees will stay home for two weeks as part of mass trial to take pressure off crowded public transport system
Hundreds of thousands of employees in Tokyo will work from home for two weeks as part of a trial of measures designed to reduce congestion during next year’s Olympics.
With more than 8 million people commuting into Tokyo every day, the influx of visitors for the Games in 2020 is expected to pile more pressure on the Japanese capital’s infamously crowded train system.
We’re playing with the spirit to create a new way, says manager
Martinelli, Saka and Olayinka score in win over Colorado Rapids
The Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has said he is awaiting a decision on Laurent Koscielny after the captain refused to travel with the squad for their pre-season tour to the United States but added the Premier League club must “keep moving ahead” regardless.
The 33-year-old French centre back, who has a year remaining on his contract, has been linked with a switch to the Ligue 1 clubs Bordeaux and Lyon.
Guardian and Observer photographer Tom Jenkins spent seven weeks working on the Cricket World Cup from the first game between South Africa and England at the Oval to the dramatic finale at Lord’s. His images here focus on the friendly and colourful tournament that showcased the country’s multicultural population
Click on the information icons for more details on each image
Everybody is allowed to be themselves, and everybody should be a little bit different as well.
Sunday’s Wimbledon triumph means Djokovic has 16 majors, just four behind Federer, and overhauling the Swiss is not a subject he is shying away from
Any reasonable analysis of the 2019 Wimbledon men’s singles final – as opposed to the fan letters that drive fringes of the tennis media – would surely conclude that Novak Djokovic will finish his career with more slams than Roger Federer but a bucket less of love.
It must have been difficult for the world No 1 to endure the disrespect of large swathes of Centre Court crowd on Sunday, emboldened by Pimm’s and their one-eyed adoration for the Swiss, cheering Djokovic’s every mistake, of which there were too many, and occasionally acknowledged his indomitable spirit.
One in eight British men believe they could take a point off Serena Williams in a tennis match. Are they all delusional?
She has a serve that once topped 128mph, has won 23 grand slam singles titles and is regarded by many to be the best female athlete of all time, but 12% of British men would still fancy their chances of taking a point off Serena Williams. “Good luck with that,” tweeted Judy Murray. The sports broadcaster Catherine Whitaker tweeted: “If you’re one of the 12% you should be required to declare it on online dating profiles. Like a CRB check but for delusional morons.”
According to a YouGov poll, one in eight men – in the general population, that is, not necessarily people who enjoy playing tennis – said they thought they could win a point against Williams (one in 33 women thought the same). Could they? It depends who you are asking, says David Sammel, the head coach at Team Bath Tennis. “If you get a good club player, I’m sure they’d take a point off her. If you get a beginner, the only way they’ll take a point is if she serves a double fault. If you’ve never played tennis, then absolutely not.”
• Pinot, Fuglsang, Urán and Porte lose time in crosswinds • Van Aert takes stage win, Alaphilippe keeps yellow
The defending champion Geraint Thomas gained time on a handful of rivals as crosswinds caused chaos in the peloton in the climax of Monday’s 10th stage of the Tour de France.
Thomas was on the right end of a bunch split 35km from the finish of the 217.5km ride from St Flour with France’s Thibaut Pinot, Dane Jakob Fuglsang and Australian Richie Porte trapped behind. The trio finished 1min 39sec off the pace, according to a provisional result.
• Still no official bid for French midfielder • Only three and a half weeks left of transfer window
Paul Pogba’s hopes of leaving Manchester United this summer are becoming remote with the club receiving no bids for the midfielder and the transfer window closing in less than a month.
The deadline of this summer’s transfer window is 8 August and is an issue regarding any potential deal. Ole Gunnar Solskjær has already lost a midfielder in Ander Herrera, who joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent, so if Pogba was to depart it would be difficult for the manager to have to replace a second midfielder in the three and a half weeks left of the window.
Four-weight champion struck by car on Sunday night
Considered by many to be greatest defensive boxer of all time
Pernell Whitaker, widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive boxers of all time, has died after being hit by a car. He was 55.
Police in Virginia Beach said Whitaker was killed as he crossed the road at an intersection on Sunday night. “When officers arrived on scene they located an adult male victim who had been hit by a vehicle. The victim succumbed to his injuries on the scene,” a Virginia Beach Police Department spokesman said in a statement. “The driver of the vehicle remained on scene with police.”
• Fourteen supporter groups unite to express dismay at owner • Fans want problem of ‘soulless’ Emirates Stadium to be tackled
Supporter groups have united to express their dismay at the way Stan Kroenke is running Arsenal and urged the American owner to make “new and dynamic appointments” to reinvigorate a club that “feels like an investment vehicle”. In a combined statement on behalf of 14 separate supporter groups the signatories said Arsenal fans have “never felt more marginalised”, questioned whether the board is fit for purpose and called on Kroenke to explain how he intends to get the club in a position where it is capable of winning major trophies again.
The statement, which reflects the growing sense of exasperation among Arsenal supporters about the way the club is going about its business on and off the field, read: “As Arsenal fans we have watched with frustration as the team’s football performances have declined over the past decade. When Stan Kroenke began buying Arsenal shares the club had just competed in a first Champions League final. Twelve years on Arsenal are about to play in the Europa League for the third year running.
150km to go: The gap remains just below three minutes on a stage that is very low on excitement. Because today is a national holiday in France, in the wake of Bastille Day yesterday, so the riders have been forced out of their beds to race on what is traditionally a rest day. They’ll have tomorrow off instead, although all of them will probably still do 100 kilometres or so just to keep their legs from seizing up. A lot of the main GC contenders and big name sprinters will also have media duties to attend to. For the journalists covering the race, it’s a low pressure day that brings with it a welcome opportunity to do some much needed laundry!
After a machine beat poker players hands down, athletes can take comfort from the fact that computer technology could help them significantly improve their performance
And still the machines rise. First chess was conquered. Then Go. Now, as revealed in the journal Science last week, artificial intelligence has cracked the most popular form of poker, six-player No-Limit Texas Hold’Em, by self-playing thousands of hands against itself to learn which strategies worked – and then applying them in real games against professionals.
The results were startling. After playing 10,000 hands of poker against more than a dozen top pros across 12 days, the Pluribus – a program designed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Facebook AI – would have made about $1,000 an hour if playing with $1 chips, researchers calculated.
Back to reality, then. After an extraordinary sporting weekend, at least talk of a record-breaking £80m move to Manchester United for Harry Maguire is not just rumbling on but hotting up, with suggestions in some quarters that a deal is in place for a player affectionately known as “Slabhead”. The Leicester City centre-back supposedly has his heart set on a summer switch but his club want a dizzying world-record fee for the defender, and will force United to eclipse the £75m Liverpool shelled out on Virgil van Dijk to get their man.
The World Cup-winning football star Megan Rapinoe does not think she is qualified for public office, as some have suggested since she clashed publicly with Donald Trump. But she has promised to “fight for equal pay” for the rest of her life.
The women’s champion aims to use her emphatic victory over Serena Williams as a springboard for further success, with 2020 Olympics in Tokyo a major goal
Shortly after her stunning victory over Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final on Saturday, Simona Halep made her way to the players’ lawn, the area at the All England Club where families, team members and friends often congregate after a match. Sometimes the champion chooses to enjoy the moment in private but Halep marched straight into the middle of the lawn and spent the next hour receiving congratulations from anyone and everyone. It is hard to think of a more popular champion or one who has worked harder to earn it.
The former USA coach admitted he ‘failed’ during his brief stay in the Premier League. But his new team are close to unstoppable this season
Los Angeles already had the most successful franchise in Major League Soccer history. A team that have won more championships (five) and made more MLS Cup finals (nine) than any other. Between 2011 and 2014, three titles were delivered by an array of global superstars and a coach once dubbed the Sir Alex Ferguson of American soccer.
LAFC’s unashamed aim was always to usurp the Galaxy when they made their MLS debut last year. The way they saw it, Los Angeles didn’t even have a team, with the Galaxy playing their games out by the tennis courts and suburban communities of Carson. LAFC, on the other hand, play so close to downtown that the skyline is visible between the stands of the Banc of California Stadium.
Wimbledon champion says Swiss rival is an inspiration and he hopes that he will still be competing at the age of 37
At the end of this seesawing and tempestous epic, which was not only the longest final in Wimbledon history but perhaps its most dramatic, Novak Djokovic pointed one finger to the sky in triumph. He might as well have been waving it in defiance at the Centre Court crowd, who had spent four hours and 57 minutes willing and baying Roger Federer to victory.
Afterwards the Serb explained that he had tricked his mind so that every time he heard “Roger” he felt that people were actually cheering for him. “If you have the majority of the crowd on your side, it helps, it gives you motivation, it gives you strength, it gives you energy,” he admitted. “When you don’t, then you have to find it within. I like to transmutate it in a way. So when the crowd is chanting ‘Roger’ I hear ‘Novak’. It sounds silly but it is like that. I try to convince myself that it’s like that.”
England have won the Cricket World Cup for the first time after a thrilling victory over New Zealand at Lord’s in a match that had to be settled by a super over.
After winning the toss and opting to bat Kane Williamson’s New Zealand side yet England a victory total of 242, Henry Nicholls top scoring with 55 and Tom Latham adding a useful 47 lower down the order. Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett took three wickets apiece.
Novak Djokovic has won his fifth men’s singles title at Wimbledon after beating Roger Federer in an epic five-set final.
Djokovic drew first blood in the men’s singles final by winning the opening set against Roger Federer on a tie-break. It was nip and tuck throughout, with Djokovic saving the only break point in the third game. Federer turned a 1-3 deficit in the tie-break into a 5-3 lead but paid the price for costly errors, sending a final backhand wide as Djokovic claimed it 7-5.
• British driver leads Mercedes one-two with Bottas second • Charles Leclerc finishes third, with Vettel out of the points
Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix, taking the victory after an initial dogged fight with his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas fell in his favour, during a safety car period. Once in the lead he ran a controlled race from the front to ensure a record sixth win at Silverstone.
Bottas was second, in front of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc who had enjoyed an almost race-long scrap with the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen who was fifth and Pierre Gasly who was fourth. Sebastian Vettel also vied with Verstappen but came off badly. He hit the Dutchman and was given a penalty, finishing in 16th place.
The summer has been dominated by the Pogba saga but quietly the manager has reordered the first-team and under-23 set-ups
As Ole Gunnar Solskjær grapples with the formidable challenge of overhauling his Manchester United squad, the manager is being granted unequivocal backing regarding his backroom staff.
Paul Pogba is this summer’s transfer market soap opera, Solskjær having to manage the midfielder’s wish to depart while balancing the desire to gain an optimum price for the Frenchman and his own need to maintain dressing-room cohesion.
Quote of the tournament: “If. If. If. Doesn’t exist” – Rafael Nadal, 4 July 2019. The Spaniard had just been asked whether Nick Kyrgios is capable of winning a grand slam if he focuses on tennis and his answer offered a telling insight into the mindset of a champion. Put simply, Nadal doesn’t deal in what ifs and maybes. He deals in cold, hard facts and was in no mood to indulge all the ifs surrounding Kyrgios. If. If. If. Doesn’t exist. The contempt flies off the screen, doesn’t it?
And this is the truth before today’s men’s singles final at Wimbledon. Ultimately we know that the last point is all that matters – but we all have ideas about the journey Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will take to get there. So if Federer hits his spots with his serves - like he did against Nadal - he could well win his ninth Wimbledon title. If he goes for the lines in the rallies, he’ll be in with a chance of beating the world No1. If his backhand doesn’t break down, he could overcome the Serbian cyborg for the first time at a grand slam since their 2012 Wimbledon semi-final. And if he holds his nerve in the big moments, this year’s Wimbledon champion could be a father of four who turns 38 next month.
Sky interview Steve Coogan, who “was invited down here by Lewis”. They’re unlikely chums, are they not? “I’m quite friendly with him,” he adds. “He keeps threatening to make an appearance on Alan Partridge. Hopefully Lewis will do what he normally does.”
This is a good thing:
Over 50 years, Frank Williams has amassed 9 constructor titles, 7 driver titles, 114 race wins, and countless unforgettable memories
143km to go: We’re climbing now, through really beautiful countryside it must be said, and we now have an established and strong break of 14, headed by Nico Roche and followed by Herrada and Stuyven. Benoot, Boassen Hagen, Naesen and Martin are among them. In no-man’s land around 50 seconds behind them is Marc Soler, with Rui Costa on his own a minute and 40-odd seconds further back. Alaphilippe heads the peloton, which is around two and a half minutes behind the front.
Major returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951 and the Ryder Cup captain believes it is a symbol of moving forward
The innocence of youth was useful as the Troubles raged in Northern Ireland. Padraig Harrington bears testament to that, even if an inquisitive nature took over eventually. As border checks and bombs reflected a grim way of life, Harrington was – in theory anyway – flirting with danger when travelling north from Dublin to participate in amateur championships. A journey that started as a teenager in 1987 will have travelled full circle by the time Harrington arrives at Royal Portrush for the 148th Open Championship that starts on Thursday.
“There were four of us driving up to Warrenpoint to play a match and we were stopped on the road, there was a big tailback, an hour of traffic before we get to a soldier redirecting us on to a detour,” Harrington says. “The driver was told: ‘Ah, there is just a wee problem up the road.’ On the news later there was a 500lb bomb on the road.
Aston Villa have been the most active of the promoted clubs; Arsenal look to have work to do; Tottenham have secured their top target; Newcastle are still looking for a manager
What have they done so far? Nowhere near enough. Teenage striker Gabriel Martinelli has arrived from regional football in Brazil and is expected to need some adaptation and development time. David Ospina has departed for a modest fee.
The two great champions know each other’s game inside out and the Swiss is going to have to find something extra to halt Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final
There are no secrets between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, nothing new to learn after 47 matches staring at each other across the net, 15 of them in slam events, nothing to fear except the fear of embarrassment.
So when they meet at these championships for the third time, in the 52nd Wimbledon final of the Open era, any surprises will likely arrive when one or the other, in desperate circumstances, ignores all that accumulated knowledge and tries something that maybe makes no tennis sense but might change the course of the match. The conundrum is: who has the greater capacity to deliver it? Which one of these exceptional champions can shock the other with a move or a strategy the other has not seen before?
The Romanian’s work on her mentality as well as groundstrokes paid dividends as she dismantled Serena Williams
It took 56 minutes into the biggest match of Simona Halep’s career for her legs to go finally wobbly. But at that point her opponent, Serena Williams, was shuffling towards the net, head bowed and hand outstretched. And Centre Court was rising and roaring to salute a performance of staggering intensity.
Watching on it seemed impossible that when Halep was a young child in Romania she used to cry before going onto court because she was so shy. Yet on the game’s biggest stage the tiny introvert was transformed into a lion with ice in her veins, producing a near-faultless display to dismantle the greatest women’s player in history.
For who can say what manner of fugue state they fell into as they answered a simple polling question? Could they have collectively imagined, as they pictured the holder of 23 grand slam titles shaping up to serve, a freak calamity overtaking her? A sinkhole opening up on her side of the net, perhaps, or a thunderbolt sent by a jealous athletic god; or, in more sinister fashion, a tripwire rigged up by an incel saboteur to fell her as she rushed in for the volley.
• Thomas De Gendt wins stage eight in St-Étienne • Alaphilippe leads by 23 seconds from Giulio Ciccone
Julian Alaphilippe reclaimed the Tour de France’s yellow jersey in St-Étienne as his fellow Frenchman Thibaut Pinot underlined his title credentials in Saturday’s eighth stage.
Thomas De Gendt of Belgium won the 200km hilly stage from Mâcon from a breakaway, ahead of Pinot, the only rider able to follow Alaphilippe’s brutal attack in the last climb with about 13 kilometres left.
• Finn fastest by 0.006sec ahead of Mercedes teammate • Leclerc third for Ferrari, Red Bull’s Verstappen fourth
Valtteri Bottas took pole for the British Grand Prix, putting in a fine performance in qualifying under great pressure from the challenge of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who was in second place at Silverstone by just six-thousandths of a second. Charles Leclerc was in third for Ferrari but his teammate Sebastian Vettel could manage only sixth. Max Verstappen was in fourth for Red Bull with his teammate Pierre Gasly in fifth.
Bottas had to pull out an exceptional lap to deny Hamilton and delivered with an almost perfect run on his first flying lap in Q3. On the first hot runs in the final third, Hamilton was quickest in the first and third sectors but had a moment of oversteer through Brooklands in the middle sector and Bottas was able to best his teammate by three tenths, with a time of 1min 25.093sec. Ferrari, however, had work to do, with Leclerc behind Verstappen in fourth and Vettel in sixth.
Marcus Rashford and the teenager James Garner got Manchester United’s pre-season tour off to a winning start, with the new boys Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka showing promise in a comfortable 2-0 victory against Perth Glory.
Rashford finished nicely before 17-year-old Garner came off the bench to score in the win at the mammoth Optus Stadium in Western Australia’s state capital.
Simona Halep produced a spectacular display on Centre Court to deny Serena Williams a record-equalling 24th grand slam title and secure her first Wimbledon crown in the process.
The Romanian blitzed her way through a near-flawless first set, taking it 6-2 in just 26 minutes. And despite Williams raising her performance levels in the second, Halep broke in the fifth and seventh games, before serving out to win the set 6-2 and, with it, the championship.
“What Williams and Halep both share is a lingering fight with their emotions. Until Halep calmed her outer shell over the past couple of years, she was among the most volatile of competitors on the WTA Tour. Williams, as she admitted on Thursday after her best performance of the tournament – a 59-minute demolition of Barbora Strycova – cannot be sure from day to day how she will handle the pressures and expectations of her calling, even though she is by overwhelming consensus the finest player of her era ... She alternates between handling the responsibilities and rewards of greatness and being consumed by them.”
The words of our tennis correspondent, Kevin Mitchell. You can read his full preview here:
Atlético Madrid are not happy, even with €120m, and there are doubts that the Frenchman will fit in with Messi and Suárez
The moment of Antoine Griezmann’s departure to Barcelona was broadcast live on television, 393 days after the Frenchman announced his decision to turn down Barcelona and stay at Atlético Madrid in a TV documentary. It had just gone 1pm on Friday when his legal representative arrived at the headquarters of La Liga wheeling a silver suitcase into the building, where he deposited the €120m (£107.6m) buyout clause that releases the striker from his contract, five years after his arrival. Barcelona confirmed the transfer two hours later.
Griezmann’s new deal will run for five years and contains a buyout clause – a legal stipulation in Spain – worth €800m. For all the twists in the plot, the crossed words and accusations, this signing had been set up from the start. It was only going to end one way and if it took longer than expected it was concluded when Griezmann’s lawyer, Sevan Karian, arrived at La Liga’s HQ – although Atlético say that €120m is not enough, claiming the true value to be €200m.
Shane Lowry and Ashley Young lead the sides out onto Optus Stadium to the strains of This is the One by The Stone Roses, United’s traditional walk-out music at Old Trafford.
In case it wasn’t clear, savannah (the colour of United’s new away strip) is a mucky creamy colour. Apparently it’s something to do with Manchester’s Northern Quarter, possibly the flaking paint on an inside wall of Affleck’s Palace?
Paul Pogba is not in the starting XI but that doesn’t mean he won’t be making tomorrow’s headlines.
As the breakaway group nears a five-minute lead on the peloton, Jonathan Harris-Bass is talking about beaujolais wine on Eurosport. The leaders are about a kilometre out from the intermediate sprint, the day’s first point of action.
De Marchi has now joined De Gendt, Terpstra and King at the front. The four-man break has around 3min 55sec on the peloton.
Both Wimbledon finalists will be fighting their emotions in what should be a momentous duel, with the American well placed for a 24th slam
When Sabine Lisicki lost the final at Wimbledon to Marion Bartoli in 2013, she could not control the flow of tears that showed her desolation. Within 41 days Bartoli had retired, at only 28, after losing to Simona Halep in Cincinnati, unable to stand the aggregated pain of a long career, becoming the first Wimbledon champion not to defend her title since the 1969 winner, Ann Jones.
The antagonists in the final six years ago handled the aftermath in their own ways. Bartoli contemplated a comeback, thought better of it and found a home in the commentary box, while “Boom Boom” Lisicki, the fastest server in the game between 2014 and 2016 at 130mph, never quite got back the magic. At the Australian Open this year, and only 29, she went out in the first round of qualifying, for the third time on the spin at a slam.
Swiss justified the All England Club’s decision to make him No 2 seed as he came back from a limp second set against his old friend and rival to avenge 2008 final defeat
Two old friends played some tennis for a shade over three hours on a sunny Friday evening and everything felt right with the world. When it was over the crowd gave both their heroes standing ovations and prayed for an encore. Everyone agreed: this simply cannot be the last time Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet at Wimbledon.
Did it have to end? Unfortunately it did and, when it was over, the majestic Federer had reached the second Sunday for the 12th time, made up for his defeat by Nadal in their 2008 final and demonstrated precisely why the All England Club chose to make him the second seed at the expense of his oldest adversary.
Conservatives wanting to carry the culture wars to the sports field have a new and discomfiting adversary
Megan Rapinoe stood on a parade float on a sun-splashed morning in lower Manhattan, the World Cup trophy in one hand and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame in the other. “I deserve this!” howled the purple-haired co-captain of the US women’s national team.
Rapinoe, 33, had overcome a somewhat ragged performance in the group stage to score the deciding goals in three of her side’s final four matches in France, earning the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer and the Golden Ball as the best overall player, helping the US become only the third country to successfully defend a World Cup, men’s or women’s, since the second world war.
• Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 • Federer to face Novak Djokovic in final on Sunday
It was too much to expect a reprise of the 2008 Wimbledon classic from adversaries with a combined age of 70 but Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played with the verve one would expect of grand old troupers before the Swiss prevailed in four sets to reach his 12th Wimbledon final.
He has a day to rest before taking on Novak Djokovic for the 48th time and the first time here since the 2015 final, when the Serb won in four sets. Federer, 38 next month, will need every second of that interlude after a tense semi-final that stretched sinews and, at times, belief over three hours and two minutes, as the quality soared and dipped and soared again before he ended the argument 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Italy’s heartbreak and Brazil’s mastery are memorable moments of an event that proved a catalyst for the game’s global expansion
A quarter of a century ago on Saturday millions of people all over the planet stopped what they might normally be doing to watch the World Cup semi-finals. Both games were played on the same day. First up Italy v Bulgaria at the Giants Stadium, New Jersey. Roberto Baggio was one of those players blessed with a style and personality that always felt singular. He arrived at USA 94 as the reigning World Player of the Year, was at the peak of his powers, and had elevated himself from an underwhelming group stage to inspire his nation through the knockouts with goal after important goal.
• Dutchman earns third stage victory for Jumbo-Visma • Ineos manager says Colombian is still on learning curve
While the dust settled on the gravel climb to La Planche des Belles Filles, the Tour’s longest stage, a 230km haul from Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône, was also its most soporific to date, illuminated briefly by a first sprint victory in this year’s race for Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands.
As Groenewegen’s Jumbo-Visma team celebrated their third stage win in the 2019 Tour, there was more speculation over the hierarchy at Team Ineos after Geraint Thomas’s resurgence in the Vosges mountains and Dave Brailsford’s suggestion that those tipping the Welshman’s teammate, Egan Bernal, for final victory in Paris, were “getting carried away”.
Midfielder says wedding ring and key to New York were taken
Long, 31, made long-awaited World Cup debut against Chile
De Blasio promises city will replace symbolic key on Twitter
The celebration was cut short for a member of the World Cup champion United States women’s soccer team after she discovered someone had burglarized her hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Los Angeles.
Allie Long tweeted on Thursday it happened after the team was honored at the ESPY awards on Wednesday night.
The release of Nelson Mandela. The fall of the Berlin Wall. The inauguration of President Obama. Just some of those “where were you when …” moments in history. And if any tennis match merits a place on such lists, surely it’s that Wimbledon final of 2008.
The match widely seen as the greatest of all time had it all: a five-times defending champion against a fierce rival who he had beaten in the past two Wimbledon finals but had just denied him the French Open title for the third consecutive year; the contrast in styles between the calm and artful Swiss and the punkish and piratical Spaniard, all fist pumps and jumps and whose game plan was to wear his opponent down and drive him to despair; a quite staggering level of play punctuated by two rain breaks that added to the drama; a recovery from two sets to love down and the saving of two championship points to force a decider; and a 9-7 final-set finale in near darkness in which a new champion was crowned after the longest Wimbledon final in history. This wonderful piece from Andy Bull is well worth a read if you want to relive the spectacle.