Roglič and Pogačar clear likely last hurdle to double Tour victory

Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar, the first- and second-placed riders in this year's Tour de France, braved what was the final tough stage in the Alps on Thursday without major difficulties, reaffirming the likelihood of a historic double Slovenian victory in the general classification.

Finishing fourth in today's 168km stage from Meribel to La Roche-sur-Forontoday in a group arriving just under two minutes behind stage winner Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland, Roglič retained the yellow jersey and his 57 seconds lead on Pogačar.

Pogačar, the best young rider at the Tour, was fifth today. He lost his polka dot jersey of the best climber to Ecuadorian rider Richard Carapaz, who finished second today.

With a relatively easy stage scheduled for Friday and the final stage to Paris on Sunday, the winner of this year's Tour is likely to be determined in Saturday's 36-kilometre time trail with a summit finish at Planche des Belles Filles.

Roglič and Pogačar are both considered strong time trial riders, stronger than Colombia's Miguel Angel Lopez, who is placed third, one minute and 27 seconds behind Roglič.

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Ibrahimovic inspires AC Milan to win in Ireland

Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Hakan Calhanoglu saw AC Milan beat League of Ireland side Shamrock Rovers in their Europa League qualifier in Dublin.

Ibrahimovic clinically fired home from the edge of the box on 23 minutes after playing a one-two with Calhanoglu.

The Swede hit the bar, before playing his part in a precise passing move which set up Turkey forward Calhanoglu, who scored with a tidy finish on 67.

Rovers' Aaron Greene forced three good saves from Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The Milan goalkeeper twice denied Greene in the first half and made another fine stop after the interval at a Tallaght Stadium devoid of spectators in line with Uefa guidelines.



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Tour de France stage 17: Miguel Angel Lopez wins, Primoz Roglic stretches lead

Miguel Angel Lopez won stage 17 of the Tour de France as Primoz Roglic extended his lead in the race.

Astana's Lopez pulled clear of the other general classification contenders on the final climb of the day, beating Roglic into second by 15 seconds.

The stage victory took Lopez into third overall, while Roglic moved almost a minute clear as his fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar came home third.

Rigoberto Uran, who went into the stage in third, was almost two minutes back.

Wednesday's stage had begun without defending champion Egan Bernal, with the Ineos Grenadiers rider announcing his withdrawal after struggling through stages 15 and 16.



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Tour de France: Lennard Kamna wins stage 16 as Primoz Roglic retains overall lead

German Lennard Kamna produced a superb solo break to power to victory on stage 16 of the Tour de France as Primoz Roglic maintained the overall lead.

Bora-Hansgrohe rider Kamna, 24, pulled away on the penultimate climb of the 164km stage from La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans to claim his first Grand Tour stage win.

Roglic finished almost 17 minutes later in a group of the main contenders.

He leads fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar by 40 seconds.

Kamna, whose victory also marked his team's first success at the Tour, finished one minute 27 seconds ahead of Ecuador's Richard Carapaz in second, while Swiss Sebastien Reichenbach took third place.



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French Open: Andy Murray given wildcard for Roland Garros

Britain's former world number one Andy Murray has been given a wildcard to the main draw of this month's French Open.

The 33-year-old Scot, currently ranked 110, required hip resurfacing surgery in 2019 to save his career and reached the US Open second round this month.

Murray, winner of three Grand Slams and French finalist in 2016, has not appeared at the event since losing to Stan Wawrinka in the 2017 semi-finals.

This year's first round begins at Roland Garros on 27 September.

All the other wildcards in the men's competition are French, while in the women's singles, there are places for Canada's Eugenie Bouchard, a French Open semi-finalist and Wimbledon finalist in 2014, and 2020 US Open quarter-finalist Tsvetana Pironkova.



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Tour de France: Tadej Pogacar wins stage 15 in sprint finish with overall leader Primoz Roglic

Tadej Pogacar won stage 15 of the Tour de France to slightly cut Primoz Roglic's lead as defending champion Egan Bernal dropped out of contention.

Pogacar beat yellow jersey Roglic in a sprint to the line and now trails his fellow Slovenian by 40 seconds.

Bernal cracked badly on the final climb to Grand Colombier and lost over seven minutes to slip from third to 13th overall.

Britain's Adam Yates moved up to fifth in the general classification.

Roglic was expertly delivered to the finish after another supreme display by his Jumbo-Visma team but Pogacar again showed he will attempt to reduce the deficit at every opportunity.



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Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel's move to Aston Martin is ideal, says Lewis Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel has made the "ideal" choice in moving to Aston Martin next season, says Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel's move to the team currently known as Racing Point was announced on Thursday, one day after current driver Sergio Perez said he was leaving.

Hamilton said: "I was really pleased to hear it, the team has new ownership and has already taken huge steps forward."

The world champion feels Vettel's nous will "help steer that team in a better direction in terms of car development".

The world champion, speaking on the eve of the Tuscan Grand Prix weekend at Mugello, added that he was "sorry for Sergio" but said the Mexican was a "great driver and hopefully he will other options".



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Jadon Sancho: Man Utd break impasse in potential deal for Borussia Dortmund winger

Manchester United have made progress in their efforts to sign England forward Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

United have broken an impasse by agreeing a deal over wages and agents' fee around any move that could materialise for their main target.

But there is still no guarantee of an agreement between the clubs before transfer deadline day on 5 October.

Sources close to German side Dortmund are adamant they will not alter their demand for a fee in excess of £100m.

It had been suggested they needed to sell the 20-year-old, and would soften their approach as deadline day neared.



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Tour de France 2020: Sam Bennett claims first stage win as Primoz Roglic retains lead

Ireland's Sam Bennett won stage 10 of the Tour de France as Primoz Roglic retained the leader's yellow jersey.

Bennett, 29, edged out Australia's Caleb Ewan in a sprint finish to give the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider his first stage win on the Tour.

Roglic safely negotiated the flat 168.5km route from Ile d'Oleron Le Chateau-d'Oleron to Ile de Re Saint-Martin-de-Re to retain the lead.

The Slovenian remains 21 seconds ahead of defending champion Egan Bernal.

"You dream of it and never think it will happen," an emotional Bennett told ITV4. "It hasn't hit me at all yet."



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Lionel Messi reports for Barcelona training after confirming he will stay

Barcelona's all-time top scorer Lionel Messi has returned to training following his failed attempt to force a move away from the club.

Messi, 33, submitted a transfer request on 25 August but said last Friday he would stay because it is "impossible" for any team to pay his release clause.

It is the first time the Argentine has trained at the club since the arrival of new manager Ronald Koeman.

Barcelona begin their La Liga campaign against Villarreal on 27 September.

Messi trained on his own, as did Philippe Coutinho, while the rest of the squad trained together.



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Novak Djokovic apologises after hitting line judge with ball at US Open

Novak Djokovic has apologised for hitting a line judge with a ball at the US Open, saying he is "extremely sorry for creating her such stress".

World number one Djokovic, 33, was disqualified from his fourth-round match against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta because of the incident.

The Serb took a ball out of his pocket and hit it behind him, striking the woman in her throat.

"This whole situation has left me really sad and empty," said Djokovic.

"I checked on the linesperson and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling OK.



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Paris St-Germain: Three more players test positive for coronavirus

Three more Paris St-Germain players have tested positive for coronavirus, putting the start of their Ligue 1 season in doubt.

On Wednesday, three players were revealed to have tested positive.

The French champions, who lost to Bayern Munich in last month's Champions League final, have not revealed the identities of the six players involved.

PSG are due to start their title defence at Racing Lens on 10 September after being given an extended break.

"The latest Sars CoV2 tests carried out on the Paris St-Germain playing staff have confirmed that there are three new positive cases," the French champions said in a tweet.



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Tour de France 2020: Adam Yates takes yellow jersey after Julian Alaphilippe penalised

Britain's Adam Yates moved into the lead of the Tour de France after Julian Alaphilippe was given a 20-second penalty on stage five, which was won by Wout van Aert.

France's Alaphilippe, who is now 16th overall, was penalised for taking a bottle from a team support member inside the final 20km.

Yates leads Primoz Roglic by three seconds in the yellow jersey.

"This is not the way I'd imagined taking the yellow jersey," said Yates.

"If I'm honest, no one wants to take the jersey like this.



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US Open 2020: Andy Murray fights back to beat Yoshihito Nishioka

Andy Murray staged a stunning comeback against Yoshihito Nishioka in the US Open first round on his long-awaited return to Grand Slam singles tennis.

The 33-year-old came from two sets and a break down against the Japanese to win 4-6 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

The Briton, whose last major singles match was at the 2019 Australian Open before career-saving hip surgery, started flat and dispirited.

But he found his fight and saved a match point to set up an epic win.

The Scot, who eventually claimed victory in four hours 39 minutes, will face Canadian 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round.



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Zlatan Ibrahimovic signs new one-year AC Milan deal

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has signed a one-year contract extension with AC Milan.

The 38-year-old Swedish forward scored 11 goals in all competitions after returning to Milan in January.

Ibrahimovic, who first signed for the club in 2010 and won a Serie A title that season, resumed pre-season training with his team-mates on Monday.

He previously featured for Serie A rivals Juventus and Inter and played for Paris St-Germain, Manchester United and LA Galaxy between his Milan spells.



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Lewis Hamilton knows how frustrating winning every week can be for fans

On Sunday, after his fifth win in seven races this year, Lewis Hamilton recalled how, as a teenager, he responded to watching Michael Schumacher's seemingly endless series of victories with Ferrari in the early 2000s.

Hamilton says he "would have woken up, had my bacon sarnie and watched the start and gone to sleep and woken up at the end, then watched the highlights because it's much shorter".

So the Mercedes driver has sympathy with those who may feel the same way about his success now, which will before too long see him break the records Schumacher set 15 or so years ago.

"I can't speak for the fans but, having been a fan growing up and lived in different eras and watching the Schumacher era, of course I know what it's like," Hamilton said.

"I enjoy myself in the car. I am still able to enjoy the battle, looking where Valtteri (Bottas, his team-mate) is, what times he's doing, the gaps, trying to get the perfect balance every lap. That is still a massive challenge for me but it is just not as fun for people to watch.



Paul Pogba: Manchester United midfielder tests positive for coronavirus

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has tested positive for coronavirus, says France manager Didier Deschamps.

The 27-year-old will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

He will miss France's Nations League game in Sweden on Saturday, 5 September and the home game against Croatia three days later.

However, Pogba could be eligible for selection for United's Premier League opener against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on 19 September.

His club said: "Everybody at United wishes Paul a speedy recovery ahead of the new season."



Silvio Berlusconi: AC Monza's Serie A ambition under ex-Italy prime minister

What are the former Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his old AC Milan cohort Adriano Galliani doing at AC Monza?

It's a good question.

Situated 12 miles north-east of Milan, the city of Monza, best known for being the home of Italian Formula 1 races, now has a football team with a new-found ambition and, courtesy of the millions of euros and contacts Berlusconi brings, links to players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kaka.

Berlusconi, who oversaw five Champions League titles and eight Serie A championships as Milan owner between 1986 and 2017, and Galliani, his former chief executive at I Rossoneri, have already taken their new club from Serie C to Serie B for the first time in 19 years.

And while Berlusconi's motivations for buying the club in the summer of 2018, just 18 months after he left Milan, are still not clear, the target is much more obvious: to take Monza to Serie A for the first time in their history.



Lionel Messi hands in Barcelona transfer request

Legendary Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has asked to leave this summer.

The Argentina international, 33, sent a fax to the club on Tuesday saying he wishes to exercise a clause in his contract, allowing him to leave for free with immediate effect.

Barca were beaten 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals on 16 August.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner made his debut for Barca in 2004 and has won the Champions League four times.

Barcelona, though, believe the clause has now expired and Messi is contracted to the club until 2021 with a 700m euro buy-out clause.



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Serena Williams reaches Western and Southern Open third round

Serena Williams overcame a scare against Dutch qualifier Arantxa Rus to reach the Western and Southern Open third round in New York.

American Williams, 38, stopped Rus serving out the match at 6-5 before winning 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 7-6 (7-0) in almost three hours.

Two-time champion Williams will play Greece's 13th seed Maria Sakkari in the third round.

Fourth seed Naomi Osaka of Japan beat Karolina Muchova 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-2.

The world number 10 was playing her first match since the WTA resumed after it was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.



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