Indian Wells: Two-time champion Maria Sharapova withdraws

Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova says she is "working through some painful days", after withdrawing from next month's BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

The 31-year-old, who has a shoulder injury, has withdrawn or retired from two out of the three events she has played in since September's US Open.

"It's been an issue last year and going into this year," said the Russian.

"My doctor says it's a day-by-day pain management situation."

 

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Gordon Banks: England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper dies aged 81

Gordon Banks, one of the world's most famous goalkeepers, passed away Tuesday at the age of 81.

Banks was part of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup and was credited with making the "Save of the Century" when he denied Brazilian great Pele at the tournament four years later.
 
His death was confirmed by his former club Stoke City which tweeted a statement from his family.
 
"It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight," the statement read.
 
 
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Jamie Anderson donates prize money to environmental group

American snowboarder Jamie Anderson has donated her World Championship prize money to an environmental campaign group.

The donation comes after the president of the International Ski Federation (FIS), Gian-Franco Kasper said there was no proof of climate change.

Anderson, 28, said Kasper should "not share his unconstitutional ignorant opinions".

Kasper, the head of the FIS for more than 20 years, has since apologised.

 

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Lindsey Vonn wins World Championships bronze in final race of career

Lindsey Vonn won bronze in her final professional race in the downhill at the Alpine World Championships, as Ilka Stuhec took gold.

American Vonn becomes the first female skier to win a medal at six World Championships.

The 34-year-old clocked one minute 02.23 seconds - 0.49 behind Slovenian Stuhec, who was the defending champion.

"It was so fun, I was literally the most nervous I've ever been in my entire life," Vonn told Eurosport.

 

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Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin criticises top bosses for failing to attend VAR meeting

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has criticised "a lack of respect" from top European bosses after 10 managers did not attend a meeting to discuss the use of video assistant referees (VAR).

Ceferin, 51, said the meeting had been held in Frankfurt on Monday with the 16 coaches of the sides left in the Champions League.

But only bosses from Juventus, Lyon, Paris St-Germain, Roma and Schalke arrived with the other clubs sending "assistants, other staff or even marketing people".

Ceferin excused Liverpool from attending as they were playing a Premier League match at West Ham on Monday, which ended 1-1 at London Stadium.

 

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LeBron James landmark as Los Angeles Lakers thrashed by Indiana Pacers

LeBron James became the fifth player in NBA history to pass 32,000 points and fell to the biggest defeat of his career on the same night.

James, 34, scored 18 points for the Los Angeles Lakers in a 136-94 defeat at the Indiana Pacers.

He had not previously lost by more than 36 points in his 16-year career.

James - who was rested for Saturday's defeat at Golden State - said he was "on my way to being myself again" after returning from a groin injury.

 

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No Messi, no problem

Barcelona have named Lionel Messi in the squad to face Real Madrid in Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final first leg, but will "wait until the last moment" to decide if he plays.

The Argentine returned to training on Tuesday after suffering a thigh injury in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Valencia.

"It is true that sometimes we have had doubts with players and we have waited until the last moment," said manager Ernesto Valverde.

"It's the same with Messi."

Wednesday's tie at the Nou Camp will be the first of three El Clasico's in 25 days, with the second leg on Wednesday, 27 February and a La Liga encounter on Saturday, 2 March.

 

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Matti Nykanen: Finland ski jumping great dies aged 55

Finland ski jumping great and four-time Olympic gold medallist Matti Nykanen has died at the age of 55.

Nykanen is regarded as one of the best ever ski jumpers after a glittering 10-year career, which included 46 individual World Cup titles.

He won the large hill event at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984.

He went on to collect three golds at the Calgary Winter Games in 1988, when Britain's Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards became a household name.

 

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Cisar Dominates Pursuit, Winning Second Gold Medal; Baserga Wins For Switzerland

Cisar: a Star In A Making

he youth pursuit competitions were held in difficult, wet conditions yet the youngest athletes put in great efforts with Alex Cisar winning third youth medal for Slovenia in the youth men's pursuit, with one penalty in 27:59.7. Remi Broutier of France won the Silver medal, with one penalty, 59.6 seconds back. The Bronze medal went to Norway's Vetle Paulsen, with three penalties, 1:43.1 back.

Amy Baserga did for Switzerland won the youth women's pursuit in the same demanding conditions, with two penalties in 24:15.6. Clean-shooting Tereza Vobornikova of Czech Republic, moving up from 11th at the start, won the Silver medal, 8.2 seconds back. Norway's Maren Bakken with three penalties wont the Bronze medal, 13.8 seconds back.

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Australian Open 2019: Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal to win record seventh title

Novak Djokovic won a record seventh Australian Open title and a third successive Grand Slam as he swept aside Rafael Nadal in Melbourne.

The Serb, rarely troubled on his serve, won 6-3 6-2 6-3 for his biggest victory in a major final over his great rival.

Spanish second seed Nadal, 32, looked rattled by the world number one's intensity and made 28 unforced errors.

Djokovic, 31, won in two hours and four minutes to move clear of six-time men's winners Roy Emerson and Roger Federer.

 

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Relive Barcelona's win over Sevilla as it happened

Barcelona overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit as they thrashed Sevilla to reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Sevilla, 2-0 winners in the first leg, went behind through Philippe Coutinho's penalty, before Ever Banega had a spot-kick saved by Barca's Jasper Cillessen.

Ivan Rakitic prodded in a second, Coutinho headed in a third and Sergi Roberto gave Barca a 4-2 overall lead.

Guilherme Arana pulled one back for Sevilla, but fine team goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi sealed the win.

 

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UFC 229: Conor McGregor suspended for six months for post-UFC 229 melee

Conor McGregor has been suspended for six months and fined $50,000 (£38,095) for his part in the ugly scenes which marred UFC 229 in October.

His opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov, received a nine-month suspension and has been fined $500,000 (£380,950).

Russian Nurmagomedov began a brawl by the octagon after beating McGregor, before the Irishman was involved in a bust-up with his opponent's team.

Both suspensions have been backdated to the date of the Las Vegas fight.

However, Nurmagomedov's suspension could be reduced to six months if he participates in an anti-bullying campaign in Nevada.

If it is, it is not expected he will return to action until after 5 June because the practising Muslim will honour Ramadan.

 

 

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Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says club are 'looking to win trophies'

Manchester United will not settle for a top-four finish this season and are "looking to win trophies", says interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United are sixth in the Premier League and are still in the FA Cup and Champions League.

"We're Man United, you should always aim to win the league," said Solskjaer, who has won all six league games since replacing Jose Mourinho in December

"We can't do that this year but we've just got to look forward to it again."

United are 16 points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League table but only three points off the top four.

 

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Fernando Alonso: Former Formula 1 champion wins Daytona 24-hour race

Former Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso added another motorsport trophy to his cabinet with victory in the Rolex 24 in Daytona.

Alonso, 37, retired from F1 at the end of the season but won a rain-affected race alongside Renger van der Zande, Kamui Kobayashi and Jordan Taylor in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac.

The 24-hour race at the Florida circuit was red flagged twice because of rain.

"Just an amazing experience - perfect execution for the race," Alonso said.

"We were competitive in everything - dry, wet, night, day.

 

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Tiger Woods to open 2019 at Farmers Insurance Open looking for 81st PGA Tour title

Tiger Woods will begin his 2019 season at the Farmers Insurance Open on a Torrey Pines course that has yielded incredible success for the American.

The former world number one is chasing an 81st PGA Tour title at a venue that has hosted about 10% of those wins.

The last of Woods' 14 majors came at Torrey Pines in 2008, with his US Open triumph part of a four-year undefeated streak on the California course.

"It's great to be back," said Woods, now ranked 13th in the world.

The 43-year-old, who will head out for Thursday's opening round alongside Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele, is coming off the back of a win on his most recent official start at the Tour Championship in September.

 

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Cristiano Ronaldo pays €19 million fine for tax evasion to avoid jail sentence

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has paid a fine of almost ‎€19 million for tax fraud in Spain on Tuesday but will avoid a 23-month prison sentence as part of the deal.

In 2017, Ronaldo was accused of four counts of tax evasion between 2011 and 2014 by a Spanish prosecutor who claimed the football player hid‎ €14.7 million in companies outside Spain. 

The accusations did not relate to the salary Ronaldo received from Real Madrid after he was transferred from Manchester United in 2009.

The Juventus forward agreed to settle the case by paying an ‎€18.8 million fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence.

 

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Barcelona: Kevin-Prince Boateng makes 'dream' loan move from Sassuolo

Kevin-Prince Boateng has completed a "dream" move to Barcelona on loan for the remainder of the season.

The former Tottenham and Portsmouth forward was handed the chance to make a surprise return to La Liga as Barca needed attacking cover for Luis Suarez.

Boateng made Italian side Sassuolo his ninth club on a free transfer last year and Barca have the option to sign the 31-year-old for £7.1m in the summer.

"It's a big dream come true," he said. "It's a big honour for me to be here."

After leaving Hertha Berlin in 2007, Boateng played for Spurs and Pompey before earning a move to AC Milan in 2010, helping them win Serie A in his first season.

 

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Tennis: Serena Williams back to physical and emotional best, says coach

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Serena Williams is back to her physical and emotional peak for the first time since returning from childbirth last year, according to the American's coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

The 37-year-old Williams produced a dazzling display to beat world number one Simona Halep in three sets in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Monday and looks in the mood to add to her 23 Grand Slam titles in Melbourne.

Williams, who won the 2017 Australian Open when pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia, came close last year but lost two finals - at Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber and at the US Open to Naomi Osaka.

But Frenchman Mouratoglou believes she is now ready to matching Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Slams.

 

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Slovenia's Stuhec sweeps World Cup speed races in Val Gardena

Overcomes mistake to narrowly win super-G after Tuesday's downhill victory.

Slovenian skier Ilka Stuhec overcame an error in the middle of her run to win a World Cup super-G on Wednesday and sweep the speed races on the Saslong course in Val Gardena, Italy.

Following her downhill victory from Tuesday, Stuhec finished a slim 0.05 seconds ahead of Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein and Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria, who tied for second.

Stuhec's run was far from perfect. She lost her balance for an instant near the start then ventured way out wide midway down, hitting a gate as she slammed on the brakes to make it back into the course.

 

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