Rafael Nadal casts more doubt on US Open by confirming Madrid Open plans

Rafael Nadal has cast more doubt on the prospect of him defending his US Open title by confirming he plans to play in the Madrid Open - which starts a day after the Grand Slam concludes.

The 34-year-old Spaniard won his 19th major title in New York last year.  

The tournament will be played from 31 August to 13 September this year as part of a revised ATP calendar.

"Rafa has confirmed his participation in Madrid," said tournament director Feliciano Lopez.

Nadal responded to the Twitter post from his long-time Davis Cup team-mate by replying: "See you in Madrid in September."

 

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Ferrari bring forward car upgrades for Styrian Grand Prix

Ferrari are bringing forward some planned upgrades to their car after a disappointing showing at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

Lead driver Charles Leclerc was runner-up on Sunday, but the car was a second off the pace in qualifying seventh. 

 

At this weekend's Styrian Grand Prix, Ferrari will introduce some of the parts originally scheduled for the subsequent race in Hungary.

"We have to respond immediately," chief executive officer Louis Camilleri said.

"We know there's lots of work to do. This is certainly not the grid position that a team like Ferrari should have.

 

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Guardiola at a loss to explain Man City defeats

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is struggling to understand why his side have lost nine Premier League games this season.

City lost 1-0 at Southampton on Sunday - a third straight away league defeat.

It is the first time in his career that Guardiola has overseen such a run, while nine losses is the most the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has ever had in a single campaign.

"We played more than good but it is not enough to win the games," he said.

"We cannot say we are not a team who score goals this season. We are leading in goals. We create a lot of chances. We are a team who concede less - no team conceded as few chances as us but we lost a lot of games.

"It's difficult even for me to find a reason why but you have to insist and talk about the game, the way they play and try to do more, concede as few as possible and score up front."

 

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Vettel *surprised* Ferrari did not want to keep him

Sebastian Vettel says he did not expect Ferrari's decision not to keep him after this season.

It emerged after Ferrari announced the German would leave that he had never been offered a new contract. 

The four-time world champion, who turns 33 on Friday, said: "It was obviously a surprise to me when I got the call and Mattia [Binotto, Ferrari team boss] told me there was no intention from the team to continue.

"We never got into any discussions."

He added: "There was never an offer on the table and therefore there was no sticking point."

Vettel's Ferrari seat alongside Charles Leclerc will be taken in 2021 by McLaren's Carlos Sainz, whose position in turn will be filled by Daniel Ricciardo, currently at Renault.

 

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Slovenian Football Restarts Today

The national football championship will resume on Friday after being on hold for almost three months due to the coronavirus outbreak, albeit without spectators. All first league players have tested negative for Covid-19 and are ready to go, but it is expected that they will need a game or two to return to top form.

Entering the pitch first today will be players of Aluminij and Mura, and this match will be followed by a Celje-Rudar encounter in the evening.

The national championship was halted in mid-March after 25 out of the 36 scheduled matches played. Olimpija Ljubljana leads the standings with 50 points, ahead of Celje and Aluminij (45 each). The defending champions Maribor are fourth at 43 points.

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Yarmolenko hits late West Ham winner to stun Chelsea

Andriy Yarmolenko's last-gasp winner settled an eventful London derby with Chelsea and delivered a huge boost to West Ham United's hopes of avoiding relegation.

In a topsy-turvy game, which saw West Ham infuriated when Tomas Soucek's first-half goal was ruled out by VAR, substitute Yarmolenko made the decisive contribution when the finished off a superb counter attack with a classic left-foot finish.

It looked like both sides would have to settle for a point but that late twist not only provides a huge morale lift to David Moyes' side, putting them three points clear of the relegation places, but also completed a good 24 hours for Manchester United in the race for Champions League places after their win at Brighton and third-placed Leicester City's loss at Everton.

Moyes was angry when Soucek saw a first-half goal ruled out because Michail Antonio was adjudged to be offside and in Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's line of vision.

Chelsea then took the lead through Willian's penalty but battling West Ham levelled through Soucek's header right on the stroke of half-time.

 

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Messi scores 700th goal with Panenka penalty but Barcelona draw

Lionel Messi scored the 700th goal of his career with a Panenka penalty in Barcelona's La Liga draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The Spanish giants' all-time top scorer hit the landmark goal for club and country by gently chipping the ball into the net as Jan Oblak dived the wrong way.

The goal had put Barcelona 2-1 up but Atletico hit back to draw 2-2.

Barca remain second, one point behind Real Madrid, who have a game in hand.

Messi's penalty was also his 630th goal in his 724th appearance for the club.

 

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Ryder Cup 2020: Postponement likely as Whistling Straits announcement nears

Postponement is the most likely outcome as golf bosses on both sides of the Atlantic hold complex meetings to decide whether this year's Ryder Cup can be played.

A European Tour spokesman was only prepared to say "fingers crossed" when asked whether a final decision will be revealed this week, but chief executive Keith Pelley had promised an announcement by the end of June. 

This is the time when the build programme for the biennial match between the United States and Europe, currently scheduled for 25-27 September at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, would need to begin.

Ever since coronavirus forced sporting shutdown in March there has been speculation that the Ryder Cup would be postponed. Expectation continues to grow that there will be an extra year before Europe's trophy defence.

Playing golf's biggest event behind closed doors is unappealing and top stars, led by world number one Rory McIlroy, have said the match should not be played without fans present.

 

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Goran Ivanisevic: Novak Djokovic's coach has coronavirus

Novak Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic is the latest person involved with the world number one's Adria Tour to test positive for coronavirus.

Former Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic, 48, was the director of the Croatian leg of the event organised by Djokovic. 

Serbia's Djokovic apologised after becoming the fourth player - along with Grigor Dimitrov, Viktor Troicki and Borna Coric - to test positive.

Ivanisevic urged people he has been in contact with to "take extra care". The Croat said he is "feeling good" and does not have any symptoms.

He added: "I will continue to self-isolate as I have been doing already. I wish everyone who got infected a speedy recovery."

 

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Liverpool win Premier League: Reds' 30-year wait for top-flight title ends

Liverpool's 30-year wait for a top-flight title is over after Manchester City lost 2-1 at Chelsea to confirm the Reds as Premier League champions.

Jurgen Klopp's side needed one victory to seal the league but City's failure to win means they cannot be caught.

It is Liverpool's 19th top-flight title and their first since 1989-90.

Despite being urged to "stay home" by the city's metro mayor because of coronavirus, thousands of fans gathered at Anfield to celebrate.

Many of the supporters who congregated at the club's ground wore face masks and some lit flares.

 

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New York City and Berlin marathons cancelled because of coronavirus pandemic

The New York City and Berlin marathons have been cancelled because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

This year's New York City Marathon, due to take place on 1 November, would have marked the 50th running of the event. 

It is the world's largest marathon, with 53,640 finishers in 2019.

The Berlin Marathon was due to take place on 27 September, but has been cancelled because the "fun, joy, health and success" of participants cannot be guaranteed.

Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners - the New York Marathon's organisers - said: "Cancelling this year's New York City Marathon is incredibly disappointing for everyone involved, but it was clearly the course we needed to follow from a health and safety perspective."

 

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Rakitic goal sends Barca top of table

Ivan Rakitic scored the only goal as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao to move back to the top of La Liga.

The substitute latched onto Lionel Messi's pass before slotting home with 19 minutes to go.

It was a 15th La Liga assist of the season for Messi, who remains on 699 career goals despite going close himself on two separate occasions in the closing stages.

Real Madrid can go back to the top if they beat Mallorca on Wednesday.

Barcelona were far from their best but did enough to grind out this victory. With Real Madrid having a better head-to-head record, Barca need their rivals to slip up even if they win every remaining game.

 

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Ronaldo scores as Juventus beat Bologna

Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Juventus resumed their Serie A title defence with victory at mid-table Bologna.

Juve, who have won the past eight titles, are four points clear of Lazio, who visit Atalanta on Wednesday.

Ronaldo gave Juve the lead with a penalty after Matthijs de Ligt was fouled by Stefano Denswil.

Paulo Dybala curled home an excellent second from Federico Bernardeschi's backheel but Juve ended with 10 men following Danilo's red card.

Maurizio Sarri's side were in control in the second half and could have scored more with Bernardeschi hitting the post and Ronaldo having a goal ruled out for offside.

 

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Real Madrid go top of La Liga with win

Real Madrid went to the top of La Liga thanks to a hard-fought victory at Real Sociedad.

Zinedine Zidane's side are level on points with Barca, who drew 0-0 with Sevilla on Friday, but go top because of their superior head-to-head record.

Sergio Ramos' penalty after the lively Vinicius Jr was fouled gave the visitors the lead.

Karim Benzema doubled their advantage before Mikel Merino's strike set up a tense finale.

There was controversy when substitute Adnan Januzaj thought he had made it 1-1 with a strike from outside the area but it was ruled out for a Merino offside. Merino did not get a touch but the officials deemed he was blocking goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois' view, so interfering with play.

 

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US Open 2020: Serena Williams 'excited' to play in New York

Serena Williams says she intends to play at this year's behind-closed-doors US Open and bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam.

The event will be held without fans in New York from 31 August, despite some players voicing concerns. 

But Williams, 38, said: "I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the US Open 2020."

The ATP and WTA Tours, suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, will resume in early August.

This year's Wimbledon Championships were cancelled for the first time since 1945 as a result.

 

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Napoli beat Juventus on penalties to win Coppa Italia

Napoli held their nerve to claim a first major trophy in six seasons by beating Juventus 4-2 in a penalty shootout in the Coppa Italia final.

Arkadiusz Milik scored the winning spot-kick after Paulo Dybala had seen his first for Juve saved, before team-mate Danilo blazed the second over.

This followed a hard-fought 0-0 over 90 minutes of few chances, played behind closed doors at the Stadio Olimpico.

It gives Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso his first major trophy as a manager.

However, for his opposite number Maurizio Sarri it is another lost piece of potential silverware.

 

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The Premier League returns - all you need to know

The Premier League returns on Wednesday... but not exactly as we know it.

After a 100-day absence because of the coronavirus pandemic, Aston Villa v Sheffield United will kick off the English top-flight's resumption.

It is the first of 92 league games that will be packed into a frantic 40 days before the season concludes on 26 July.

Fixtures will be played behind closed doors as one of a host of measures to prevent any further cases of the virus.

A minute's silence to remember those who have died with coronavirus will be held before the first matches, while heart-shaped badges in tribute to frontline NHS staff will also be worn on kits.

 

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V-Series Women's Tour: BBC Sport to broadcast 17-19 June event

BBC Sport will broadcast the V-Series Women's Tour from 17-19 June.

The cycling event will bring riders from around the world together for three stages of a virtual race on the RGT Cycling platform. 

Classic routes from previous tours taking in Suffolk and Warwickshire will make up the first two stages, using 'magic road' software.

The final stage of the charity race, in aid of Mind and Breast Cancer Now, is 35 laps of London's Canary Wharf.

Fans can watch on the BBC Sport website, app and BBC iPlayer and enjoy commentary from Marty MacDonald and Great Britain's Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shand.

 

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Real Madrid resumed their La Liga campaign by marking boss Zinedine Zidane's 200th game in charge with a win over Eibar in unusual surroundings.

Real Madrid resumed their La Liga campaign by marking boss Zinedine Zidane's 200th game in charge with a win over Eibar in unusual surroundings.

The Bernabeu stadium is being renovated so Real are playing their remaining home games at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano at their training ground.

Toni Kroos ensured there was no settling in period, driving in a brilliant goal after just four minutes.

Sergio Ramos and Marcelo scored before half-time in a routine win.

The hosts faded badly in the second half, with Marcelo in particular looking dizzy at one point and needing to take on fluids, and Eibar pulled one back through Pedro Bigas' fortunate strike.

 

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James Anderson says England may join West Indies in anti-racism protest

England will consider joining West Indies if the tourists make an anti-racism gesture during the forthcoming Test series, says James Anderson.

Windies captain Jason Holder said on Wednesday he will discuss with his team if they will add to the protests seen since the death of George Floyd.

"It's been a very thought-provoking few weeks for everyone. It's made me do a lot of thinking," said Anderson.

"We will have conversations about what we can do as players to make a stand."

Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died after his neck was kneeled on by a police officer for nearly nine minutes while he was being restrained.

 

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