Juve ‘spectator’ Buffon brushes off Ronaldo hype

first_imgGianluigi Buffon brushed off questions about the hysteria Juventus signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid has caused.Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri voiced concerns that Ronaldo’s arrival has stirred up “too much euphoria” ahead of the new Serie A season.But the hype in Turin does not appear to have reached club icon Buffon, who sidestepped the topic of the Portugal superstar in a media conference on Sunday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The 40-year-old goalkeeper left Juve for Paris Saint-Germain over the off-season and has moved to detach himself from events at his former home.”What Juve are doing now is something that only concerns me as a spectator,” Buffon told reporters.”Juventus is a great club, like PSG, and I believe that both have done their best, and will continue to do so, to make their teams as competitive as they can.”While Allegri is attempting to cool the excitement around Ronaldo’s signing, the addition of the Champions League’s all-time leading goalscorer has heightened belief Juve could end a drought in the competition which stretches back to 1996.Europe’s most-coveted club crown is one of few trophies to have eluded Buffon, but the veteran insists three final defeats had nothing to do with him leaving Italy. @gianluigibuffon #ICC2018 pic.twitter.com/AhoaM5Xgid— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) July 28, 2018″The meaning of this choice was so I could continue to play … at the highest level,” he said.”Plus, I have always been excited by a challenge in a foreign country … and such an ambitious and important one as Paris.”I think that after 40 years in Italy, changing is something that can help me improve as a man and as a professional because I’m getting into a new world.”last_img read more

BCCI not to take “extreme position” against ICC’s revenue sharing model

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to not take any “extreme position” on the International Cricket Council’s revenue sharing model in a meeting held in New Delhi on Tuesday.India Today learnt that a few BCCI members wanted to send a strong signal by threatening to pull out of the Champions Trophy to be held in England in June. However, another faction was completely against such posturing.The Committee of Administrators (CoA) was adamant against taking such a stance either. The faction which actually wanted to issue the threat had no standing legally. The CoA, it must be noted, controls all legal matters in the BCCI.However, the BCCI decided that it would not accept the current revenue model.With that in mind, joint secretary Amitabhh Choudhary was authorised to put forth India’s case before the ICC. Once he returns from the meeting with the ICC and apprises the BCCI of the developments, the Indian board will hold an SGM to take a call on India’s participation in the Champions Trophy.There were speculations that the member associations may moot a proposal to pull out of Champions Trophy but that looks unlikely now with the Board not ready to take any extreme position.”BCCI will not take any extreme position on the revenue sharing model. We will defend India’s interest to the best of our abilities.  There was some thoughts communicated to the ICC by COA, it was an 11-page letter by Mr Limaye. It was a good effort by COA, will work largely on that,” Choudhary said after the meeting and insisted that relations between CoA and BCCI are cordial.advertisementIn February, the ICC Board had met to discuss the changes pertaining to revenue model where India, England and Australia were supposed to get the major share of revenue as the ‘Big Three’ – a move that was opposed by other Test-playing nations, and also by England and Australia themselves.The ICC will pass the resolution during it’s April Board meeting but BCCI is still expected to gain more than Rs 2000 crore.last_img read more

We are still very confident to go into playoffs, says Gujarat Lions batsman Aaron Finch

first_imgGujarat Lions’ star performer Aaron Finch is confident that their team can win five out of the next six matches to make it to the play-offs of the Indian Premier League after comprehensively defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore.Lions are currently sixth with six points from eight games.”Yes, we are still very confident to go into playoffs. Last year, we won six out of first seven games. We are probably now in a position to win five out of last six. That is a great challenge, though,” Finch’s confident statement was laced with caution.Finch, who smashed his way to 72 off 34 balls, was all praise for young Basil Thampi and Nathu Singh, who kept RCB batsmen under check.”It was a pretty polished performance and we saw some young quicks Nathu and Basil, really stand up with the new ball against some of the best players to have ever played this format,” Finch said.Finch said it was a conscious effort to attack because in a low-scoring match, a batsman can make the mistake batting too slowly.”Sometimes, in a small run-chase, you can make the mistake of trying to bat too slowly and before you know, the run rate gets upto 9 per over,” he said.Finch also said he and Suresh Raina were trying to get ahead of the run-rate so that in an eventuality of losing wickets, the remaining firepower of batting in the form of Dinesh Karthik and James Faulkner, could take charge get the winning runs.advertisement”We were just trying to get ahead of the run-rate. So even if something did happen, there were a couple of guys like Jadeja, Faulkner, Dinesh Karthik, who could still pick up the pieces,” he said.Finch said that at this stage of the tournament, they can’t afford to lose anymore games.”At this stage, you still got to keep winning games. If you are in a position where you can really accelerate and make sure you finish as quickly as possible, it’s great. We are lucky we got into a position like that tonight,” he said.last_img read more

Atletico Madrid eye 2015 repeat to stage “impossible” turnaround against Real Madrid

first_imgAtletico Madrid have built a reputation for gargantuan achievements under coach Diego Simeone and have not given up hope of a remarkable turnaround against Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg.Last week’s chastening 3-0 defeat at the Bernabeu left Atletico needing a repeat of their sensational 4-0 win over their fierce local rivals in La Liga in 2015 to prevent a fourth straight European defeat by Real side who have not lost by more than one goal this campaign.Real have also scored in each of their last 60 games in all competitions, increasing the likelihood of an away goal which would oblige Atletico to win by four goals to reach the final.Real thrashed Granada 4-0 on Saturday despite Zinedine Zidane making nine changes from the team that beat Atletico so convincingly, while Simeone only rested one player in his side’s 1-0 victory over Eibar.With Real feeling fresher and their confidence soaring as they remain on track to win the domestic title, all signs point to the 11-times European champions piling more misery on their neighbors who they beat in the 2014 and 2016 finals.Simeone, however, offered a typically defiant message ahead of the second leg, alluding to his side’s remarkable title win in 2014 and their Champions League successes over the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.”On Wednesday we have an extremely difficult game which for some would be impossible, but not for us,” Simeone told reporters.”After the last game I told the players it was very tough, that we’re facing the best team in the world that scores in every game but we can do it. I’m convinced we can, if I wasn’t I wouldn’t say so.”advertisementCaptain Gabi, meanwhile, is taking inspiration from Barcelona’s record-breaking comeback from a four-goal deficit against Paris St Germain this season.”Of course we can do it, look at Barcelona, and they had an even more difficult result,” he said.”We’re convinced we can do it, we’re going to fight for it and if not we can at least go out with our heads held high.”Atletico were boosted on Sunday by the return of defender Jose Gimenez to training although they are still without right backs Juanfran and Sime Vrsaljko, who they missed badly in the first leg as they struggled to cause Real’s defence any problems.Real have won only one of their last eight league games against Atletico but have found the magic formula against their rivals in the Champions League, which winger Lucas Vazquez said was due to their history in the competition.”Real Madrid have a special connection with Europe and the fans feel the same way. Playing in a Champions League game for Madrid gives you goosebumps,” he said.”Every game against Atletico is difficult because they are a great team but we know how to beat them.”last_img read more

DDCA defamation row: HC disallows Jethmalanis Qs dragging PM

first_imgNew Delhi, May 15 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today once again disallowed questions by Arvind Kejriwals counsel Ram Jethmalani to drag in any manner the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a civil defamation suit filed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley against the Delhi Chief Minister.Jethmalanis questions whether Jaitley has filed the suit after consulting the Prime Minister and would he like to make Modi a witness in his defence, were disallowed by Joint Registrar Deepali Sharma.When Jethmalani asked Jaitley about consultation with the Prime Minister for filing the suit, the ministers counsel questioned its relevance, which was accepted by the court.”The question is disallowed as it is irrelevant to the issues in the matter,” the Joint Registrar said.Jethmalani, who was expelled from BJP for six years in 2013, has also asked Jaitley “Since you are a minister in the Cabinet, the best character witness for you should be the Prime Minister. Do you intend to examine him?””Question is disallowed as the list of witnesses of plaintiff (Jaitley) is on record,” Joint Registrar said after the ministers counsel Rajiv Nayar and Sandeep Sethi protested against the question.Jethmalani was cross-examining Jaitley who is holding two portfolios as the Minister of Finance and Defence in the Modi cabinet.Earlier in March this year too, Jethmalani had made an unsuccessful attempt to drag the Prime Minister in the matter, alleging that Jaitley was allowed to hold his ministry on the promise to Modi that he will come clean in connection with the irregularities in DDCA.advertisement”The suggestion is denied in its entirety” was the reply of Jaitley who had also said the “Prime Minister had not said anything to him at any point of time. It is incorrect.”The days proceedings also saw Jaitley refuting an allegation of Kejriwal that there was a misappropriation of Rs 57 crore during his term as a president of the DDCA, saying the amounts were spent on creation of sports infrastructure and duly audited.Jaitley, who has a filed a Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit against Kejriwal was subjected to intense grilling by the chief ministers counsel Ram Jethmalani.He termed the allegation as “wrong” and said there is “no controversy except a false allegation” by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief.”All monies have been duly spent during my tenure and are accordingly reflected in the audited accounts,” Jaitley said.Jethmalani sought to know from the BJP leader whether it was correct or not that Rs 57 crore was misappropriate and was shown as expenses in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) account.Jaitely said “The monies have been spent on the creation of a sports infrastructure and assets. The assets which have been created by this expenditure factually exist at the site and are duly reflected in the audited accounts. There is no controversy except a false allegation by the defendants.”The proceedings which lasted for around two hours saw Jethmalani claiming that Jaitley being the president in the year 2003 had delibrately declined the proposals of the central government and Dhirubhai Ambani of more than Rs 22 crore to build Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.He said Dhirubhai Ambani had proposed that he will give financial support, provided his name was put, while the Centre had said they will bear all expenses if the stadium was named after the great leader Syama Prasad Mukherjee.”Some oral suggestions without any firm proposal of this kind were suggested but they never fructified and the DDCA then decided to build the stadium on the basis of resources it mobilises on its own,” was the reply of Jaitley.He said the association had created a new model, under which naming rights of various blocks and corporate boxes, could provide adequate funding to start the construction and its historical name Feroz Shah Kotla was retained.The ministers counsel interrupted with one voice when Jethmalani tried to link Jaitley with senior journalist and now a Minister, M J Akbar, over alleged non-publishing of an article in a national daily regarding the irregularities in the DDCA.There was also an exchange of words between Jaitleys and Kejriwals advocates when Jethmalani asked the minister how he would establish his reputation vis-a-vis the allegations made against him.The court drama also saw Jethmalani, who lost his cool and shouted at Jaitley, saying “he has no reputation of any kind whatsoever”.A bunch of lawyers in support of Kejriwal shouted that the question and point raised in the court was linked to the civil defamation suit filed by Jaitley seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — for accusing him of financial irregularities in the DDCA of which he was the President from 2000 to 2013.advertisementThe senior BJP leaders cross-examination remained inconclusive and will now take place on May 17.The union minister during the cross examination turned down Jethmalanis suggestion that he had taken a decision not to take financial help in construction of the stadium as he did not want any interference in the manner of spending by the cricketing body.”The suggestion is wrong in its entirety. Government of India ordinarily do not fund construction of stadiums.”Further, there was no serious suggestions made to us in writing. In order to ensure probity in spending, the contract for construction of the stadium through bidding process was awarded to a public sector organisation,” Jaitley submitted.In his replies, he also refuted the AAP leaders counsels claim that he did not want any donor from the public life, nor from the government to ensure that no one “pry into the manner in which the DDCA was running”. PTI PPS HMP RKS ARClast_img read more

West Ham United agree terms with Bayer Leverkusen for striker Javier Hernandez

first_imgWest Ham United have agreed a deal to sign Mexico striker Javier Hernandez from German side Bayer Leverkusen, the Premier League club said on Thursday.The 29-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid player, known as ‘Chicharito’, is expected to arrive in London in the next few days for a medical and to finalise personal terms on a transfer British media are reporting to be worth 16 million pounds ($20.75 million).Hernandez joined Manchester United from Chivas in 2010 and scored 59 goals in 156 appearances, as well as having a loan spell at Madrid, before joining Leverkusen in August 2015.In Germany, he netted 39 times in 76 matches, and he is also Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer, after he scored his 47th international goal on his 91st appearance, against Croatia in May.($1 = 0.7710 pounds)last_img read more

Galle Test: Virat Kohli, Abhinav Mukund stretch India’s mammoth lead to 498

first_imgA dominant India spared Sri Lanka the ignominy of a follow-on but Virat Kohli and Abhinav Mukund struck fluent half-centuries to tighten the touring side’s grip on the first Test on Friday.The world’s top-ranked Test team shot out their depleted hosts for 291 to take a 309-run first innings lead and were 189-3 after third day’s play at the Galle International Stadium.Sri Lanka, already a batsman short after Asela Gunaratne fractured his thumb, received a new setback when Rangana Herath, leading the side in absence of ailing regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal, left the field with a hand injury.India captain Kohli was unbeaten on 76 at stumps, after adding 133 runs with Mukund whose dismissal for 81 signalled the end of the day’s play.Earlier, Sri Lanka resumed on 154-5 and could have been in bigger trouble but for Dilruwan Perera’s gutsy 92 not out.Angelo Mathews held the key to Sri Lanka’s survival and the former captain made 83 before Ravindra Jadeja (3-67) sent him back.The spinner sent down a flighted delivery and Mathews moved towards leg and slapped it straight to Kohli at short cover. Mathews hit 11 boundaries and a six.Perera enjoyed an eventful stay at the crease.Two balls after an appeal for a catch off his boot was turned down, Perera was adjudged lbw to Jadeja. The decision was overturned after replays suggested the ball would have sailed over the stumps.Perera hit Ravichandran Ashwin for a six and took a single off the next ball to bring up his fifth Test fifty.advertisementJadeja dismissed Herath for nine and debutant Hardik Pandya castled Nuwan Pradeep for 10 to claim his first Test wicket.Perera was eight runs away from his maiden Test century when he ran out of partners. His belligerent knock included 10 fours and four sixes.Perera then returned to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan for 14 after India opted against enforcing the follow-on and Lahiru Kumara sent back Cheteshwar Pujara for 15.Kohli and Mukund shared a century-plus partnership for the third wicket as India moved 498 runs ahead and in a commanding position to take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.last_img read more

HP cabinet approves 3 bills for introduction in Monsoon se

first_imgShimla (HP), August 22 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh cabinet today approved three amendment bills to be introduced in the monsoon session of Vidhan Sabha and decided to withdraw the proposed Food commission bill and Town and Country Planning (Amendment) bill.The cabinet, presided over by chief minister Virbhadra Singh approved the Excise and Taxation (amendment) bill to replace the ordinance promulgated by the government to denotify 16 state highways as major district roads to facilitate opening of liquor vends.The cabinet approved the Transfer of Land Regulation bill 2016 to facilitate the tribals to get loans from scheduled banks by mortgaging the property at district level. It also gave the nod to Himachal Pradesh Single Window Investment proposal and facilitation Bill 2017 to remove the irritants faced by investors.The cabinet dropped the Town and Country (amendment) Bill seeking to delete to clauses relating to real estate developers as these have already incorporated in the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Bill passed by the parliament.The cabinet also withdrew the proposed Dood Commission Bill.The cabinet decided toincrease the remuneration of teachers appointed by School management Committees (SMC) by 20 per cent, approved development plans for Dharamshala and Nadaun towns, creation of 1000 post of JalRakshak and 300 posts of pump operators in Irrigation and Public Health department for maintenance of water supply and irrigation schemes besides creating 26 posts of ground men in youth services and sports department.A proposal to upgrade the Community Health Centres at Baddi and Jaisinghpur to 50 bedded was also given approval besides opening a fire post at Dehra. PTI PCL SMJadvertisementlast_img read more

BCCI a male chauvinist organisation, says CoA member Diana Edulji

first_imgThe Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji blasted the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for looking down upon women’s cricket in India.Speaking at an event, the former women’s Test cricketer said the sports body is a “male chauvinist organisation”. She also claimed some members of the BCCI were not pleased with the stupendous success of Mithali Raj’s women at the Women’s World Cup in England. (Also read: BCCI gets new panel; ex-CAG Vinod Rai to head, former captain Diana Edulji in four-member team)”I’ve always been a BCCI basher, right from the day women’s cricket came into the BCCI fold in 2006. BCCI is a very male chauvinist organisation. They never wanted women to dictate terms or get into this thing. I was very vocal right from my playing days, from when I started,” Edulji said.”Even now, I would still say that it is not yet well accepted within BCCI that women’s cricket is doing well. It is very difficult for them (some BCCI members) to accept the fact that this team has done very well,” she added.Edulji also made another surprising revelation about former president N Srinivasan. She revealed that the former president told her that he was against women’s cricket.”In 2011, When Mr. N Srinivasan became president, I would like to say that I went to congratulate him at the Wankhede Stadium. He said, ‘If I had my way, I wouldn’t let women’s cricket happen’,” said the CoA member.advertisementPTI photo This comes after the BCCI turned down a proposal for a women’s Indian Premier League much like the Big Bash League in Australia. After the tremendous success in England, where India reached the final of the World Cup after 12 years, both male and female cricketers vouched for a IPL like tournament for women. India lost to the hosts in a dramatic final by nine runs but the women won hearts and were given a hero’s welcome by the countrymen. Therefore, a tournament like this made more sense and perhaps it was the perfect time.However, a BCCI official played it down and said that it’s not possible just yet to organise a WIPL.”Even if we want to have a five-team WIPL, we would require at least 40-45 Indian cricketers. If I leave aside the 15, who played World Cup, we would need to analyse that do we have 30 quality uncapped women cricketers,” BCCI official, who has worked with women’s cricket, said.”I am afraid we don’t have that many in India right now. When you are speaking about IPL, that means it’s not about exposure but also quality matches palatable for crowd,” he added.last_img read more

Ben Stokes will make Bristol brawl evidence public when time is right, says agent

first_imgEngland all-rounder Ben Stokes has promised to give “full explanation and evidence” on what happened in connection with his arrest following the Bristol bar brawl. He has also owned up to the “impact” his actions has had on the England cricket team.  In a statement released by Stokes via his agent, Neil Fairbrother, he has said that he will “continue to assist the police.”The full statement as put across by Neil Fairbrother of International Sports Management:”Ben explained to me the full circumstances of what happened in Bristol and I told him that he has my total support and backing. I am aware that he has fully cooperated with the police inquiry and voluntarily provided a detailed statement on the same day as the incident.  He will continue to assist the police in any way he can.”Ben will also make public his full explanation and evidence when the time is right. On legal advice, that is not possible whilst the investigation continues and no charges have been brought forward. Ben does not wish to prejudice the process.”He is also concerned about the impact the widespread publicity has on everyone involved including the ECB, his team mates and the game of cricket itself which he loves.”We will not be making any further comment relating to this at this time.”It was announced last week that Stokes would not travel to Australia for the Ashes. He was arrested in the early hours of September 26 after an incident in Bristol and missed the fourth and fifth one-day internationals against West Indies last month.advertisementStokes was arrested over his involvement in a brawl outside a pub in Bristol. The news broke as the England selectors were set to meet to finalise the Ashes squad. However, they named Stokes as part of the side.But footage emerged of what looked like someone resembling Stokes landing blows repeatedly on an unidentified person outside a Bristol bar. On Friday, the dashing all-rounder was dropped from the Ashes squad pending investigation.Ben Stokes apologised on Wednesday to TV personality Katie Price and her son Harvey for a video that appeared to show him mocking the disabled boy.last_img read more

Chris Gayle is afraid of being around women, says close friend Donovan Miller

first_imgChris Gayle is now afraid of being around women, according to Donovan Miller, a close friend of the West Indian superstar and a professional cricketer himself.”He (Gayle) always feels someone is out to get him,” said Miller to the NSW Supreme Court.Gayle has been accused of exposing himself to a female message therapist and is on trial in Australia , is suing Fairfax Media for defamation.The media house claimed that he intentionally exposed his genitalia to and behaved inappropriately to Leanne Russel in the West Indies dressing room during the 2015 World Cup in Sydney.Miller said he is a close friend of Gayle and knows him for more than 22 years due to their work together with the Chris Gayle Foundation. He added that everyone thought that the claims were a joke at first and was not serious.”We all thought this was a joke…not serious”, Miller told the court.He also added that Gayle has become very reserved since then and scared, especially around females as he always feels that someone is always after him.”You can see the incident has affected him,” Miller said.”When you look in his eyes you can see he is really hurting about it. I do feel a bit sorry for him,” he added.Gayle recently made a comeback to ODI  cricket in England, scoring 173 from four games. He also hit a swift 40 at Chester-le-Street in the lone T20I against the Three Lions.last_img read more

Yamaha launches the 2018 YZF-R1 in India

first_imgJapanese bike manufacturing company, Yamaha, has launched the 2018 YZF-R1 in India. The flagship sports bike carries a price tag of Rs 20.73 lakhs, ex-showroom, Delhi. The MotoGP inspired bike gets many changes to keep it fresh in the market.The latest R1 also gets an aluminium frame which is called as ‘Deltabox’ by Yamaha. The Japanese bike-makers have also updated the engine and it now gets an all-new 998cc engine. The inline 4-cylinder engine produces a maximum power of 200 PS at 13,500 rpm and 112.4 Nm at 11,500 rpm. The 6-speed manual transmission is also new. The cross-plane engine also gets updated Quick Shift System (QSS) that allows the rider to do clutchless downshifts and upshifts at the fully open throttle. The bike’s engine gets titanium connecting rods that are 60% lighter than steel.The QSS also matches the engine revs during the downshifts to ensure minimal chassis disruption. The new Wheel Lift Control has also gone through an upgrade with smoother intervention. Apart from these updates, the 2018 Yamaha YZF-R1 also gets new colours – Blue and Black.The R1 is the road legal version of the YZR-M1 MotoGP bike. It many of its styling cues from Yamaha’s award-winning bike. The bike also gets a bunch of electronic aids like Launch Control, Slide-Control, braking-sensitive Traction Control and ABS. The bike also gets a quick-shifter, chip- controlled throttle, power delivery mode, anti-wheelie control and unified braking system.last_img read more

21-year-old Goa footballer commits suicide

first_imgPanaji, Jan 1 (PTI) Sporting Clube de Goa player Averistho Fernandes committed suicide early today morning, police said.The body of the 21-year-old footballer was found hanging from the ceiling of bedroom in his house at Saligao village near Panaji, police said.”Family members said he had returned from a New Year party around 4 am,” said inspector Santosh Desai.He latched the door of his bedroom from inside and hanged himself, the police officer said.”When he didnt open the door in the morning, the family members peeped in from the window and found him hanging,” Desai said.Police were conducting further probe, he added.Avaristho had played for Sporting in under-15 age group. He then joined the SESA Football Academy for three years before returning to Sporting as an under-20 player.The young mid-fielder was known for his good technique and passing and shooting ability.He had represented Goa in the U-16 BC Roy National Tournament in 2010-2011.Elvis Gomes, president of the Goa Football Association, expressed shock at the young footballers death.”It is a great loss for Goa. He was a most promising and talented player who could have made it to the national squad,” Gomes said. PTI RPS MCS KRKlast_img read more

Elina Svitolina lifts Brisbane International title

first_imgElina Svitolina warmed up for the Australia Open in style by winning the Brisbane International on Saturday.The world No.6 Svitolina eased past qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-1 in the final.Svitolina fired 10 aces and never faced a break point on the way to a 10th career tour title.She raced to a 3-0 lead before 23-year-old Belarusian Sasnovich found her range with some lethal backhands and briefly threatened to make it a contest.Svitolina, however, unleashed a series of powerful groundstrokes to break again and clinch the first set, before running away with the second to claim the title in just over an hour.”It was a tough, tough offseason,” third seed Svitolina, also 23, said on court after the match. “To start with a trophy is always very, very special.”World number 88 Sasnovich, bidding to become the first qualifier to win the title in Brisbane, ran out of gas in her eighth match of the week and only her third career encounter against a top 10 player.She had stunned sixth seed Kristina Mladenovic in the opening round and defeated last year’s runner-up Alize Cornet in the quarter-finals before battling past Anastasija Sevastova in the last four.”Sorry for my play today,” Sasnovich told the Brisbane crowd. “It was an incredible week for Elina – she was better than me and deserved to win. It was a good week for me.”Svitolina, having landed her first silverware of the season, heads to the Australian Open with her eyes fixed firmly on a maiden Grand Slam trophy. The tournament begins on January 15 at Melbourne Park.advertisement(Courtesy: Reuters)last_img read more

Manchester United, Basel, Roma, Juventus advance in Champions League

first_imgManchester United advanced to the Champions League knockout stage after rallying to beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 on Tuesday to remain unbeaten at Old Trafford for a club record-equaling 40 successive games.Basel joined United in the next phase from Group A by downing Benfica 2-0.Paris Saint-Germain won Group B despite losing at Bayern Munich 3-1, the second straight loss for the French league leader.Roma beat Qarabag 1-0 to top Group C ahead of already-qualified Chelsea. The latter was held to 1-1 at home by Atletico Madrid, which was eliminated after reaching the final in two of the last four years.England could have five teams in the last 16 for the first time if Liverpool advances on Wednesday.Last year’s runner-up, Juventus, had to wait until the last group game to qualify. Juve won at Olympiakos 2-0 and joined group winner Barcelona, which beat Sporting Lisbon 2-0.Here is a look at what happened on Tuesday:GROUP ARomelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford scored in a 66-second span for United, which became the third English team to finish top of its group. Manchester City and Tottenham were already assured of first place heading into their final group games on Wednesday.Lukaku volleyed in just his second goal since September for the 64th-minute equalizer, and strike partner Marcus Rashford drove home an angled winner to complete the comeback.Vitinho gave the visitors a 1-0 lead seconds before halftime.Basel forward Mohamed Elyounoussi headed in a cross by Michael Lang five minutes into the game and Dimitri Oberlin doubled the advantage with another header in the 65th.advertisementUnited won the group with three more points than Basel. CSKA was left with the Europa League, and Benfica completed a poor campaign without a single point.GROUP BPSG’s impressive attack extended its tournament record of 24 goals in the group stage with another one. Kylian Mbappe scored the record 25th in six games.But it was not enough for PSG to win and rebound from a stunning 2-1 loss to promoted Strasbourg in the French league over the weekend.Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start and Corentin Tolisso doubled Bayern’s lead before the break. The home side needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the teen to head home.Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won in Glasgow 1-0 but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place.GROUP CDiego Perotti scored early in the second half for Roma against Qarabag.The Chelsea-Atletico match in England still had a couple of more minutes to go after the final whistle in Rome. All of the Roma squad waited in front of their fans and, as soon as the big screen showed it was over, there were huge cheers from players and supporters.Demoted to the Europa League, Atletico will miss the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in five years.But even if Atletico had held onto the lead secured in the 56th minute by Saul Niguez, it would not have been enough to finish in the top two due to Roma’s victory.Chelsea equalized to finish second in the 75th minute; defender Stefan Savic turned Eden Hazard’s shot into his own net.Qarabag finished on the bottom.GROUP DJuventus, a finalist in two of the last three seasons, secured its berth in the next phase courtesy of goals from Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi.Cuadrado lunged forward to meet a cross from Alex Sandro and beat Olympiakos goalkeeper Silvio Proto in the 15th minute.Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri left striker Mario Mandzukic on the bench as he recovered from a calf injury, but the Bianconeri looked comfortable in low gear. The hosts tired toward the end of the game at Karaiskakis stadium, leaving Bernardeschi with little to do for the second goal in the 90th.With Lionel Messi rested by Barcelona for the first hour, forward Paco Alcacer took full advantage of the opportunity by scoring a header in the 59th. Former Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu added an own goal in stoppage time.last_img read more

He is pretty good, says Alyssa Healy after husband Mitchell Starc pockets historic hat-trick

first_imgAustralia pacer Mitchell Starc’s second hat-trick in the same Sheffied Shield match drew rounds of applause from Mitchell Johnson and skipper Steve Smith but the most special reaction came from the wife.Alyssa Healy, Starc’s wife, is an Australian cricketer too and she watched her husband make history online.The 27-year-old Starc will be Australia’s pace spearhead in the Ashes which start later this month. He has so far picked 148 wickets from 36 Tests but has not played any international cricket since June.Starc was rested for Australia’s tour of India but he has found ominous form, days before cricket’s oldest series gets underway.Great win by the Blues. 2 hat tricks in 1 match by @mstarc56 was something special to witness? https://t.co/4Rq5N04nqy- Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) November 7, 2017Seriously 2 hat tricks in the same game @mstarc56 ?? Now time to rip in to the poms- Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) November 7, 2017Starc became the eighth bowler and first since 1979 to achieve the feat. R.O. Jenkins, Amin Lakhani, T.J. Matthews, C.W.L. Parker, J.S. Rao, A. Shaw and A.E. Trott had also claimed two hat-tricks in the same match. In fact, Rao and Trott had taken two hat-tricks in the same innings.Starc removed Jason Behrendorff and David Moody with the last two balls of his 15th over. He then returned to see off Jon Wells with the first of his 16th over. The left-arm quick finished with seven wickets to help New South Wales crush Western Australia by 171 runs. Josh Hazlewood, who is almost certain to partner Starc with the new ball, took six wickets.advertisementlast_img read more

California Chrome Nasal Strip OK’d

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares NEW YORK — California Chrome beat out an idiosyncratic horse racing rule — by a nose.An only-in-New York equipment ban appeared ready to put a kink in the colt’s U.S. Triple Crown try at the Belmont Stakes.But the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner was cleared to wear the nasal strip he has worn all through a six-race winning streak that has set him up for a chance at U.S. horse racing’s 12th Triple Crown.New York racetracks have a rule prohibiting any equipment not specifically approved by stewards, and nasal strips were not on their list.A statement from the New York Racing Association and the state’s Gaming Commission on May 19 said the track’s three stewards unanimously agreed to lift the ban.The strip worn by California Chrome is thought to assist airflow through the nostrils — something that should come in handy on June 7 for Belmont’s grueling run.“It opens up his air passage and gives him that little extra oomph that he needs, especially going a mile and a half,” trainer Art Sherman said. “Any time you can have a good air passage that means a lot for these thoroughbreds.”Sherman raised the possibility his horse wouldn’t run in the Belmont if barred from using a nasal strip. Two years ago, Doug O’Neill trained I’ll Have Another to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness with the colt wearing a nasal strip.New York officials told O’Neill his horse couldn’t wear one in the Belmont. The issue became moot when I’ll Have Another was scratched the day before the race because of a leg injury.There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, and the sport’s popularity has waned in the nearly four decades since. But it gets a boost every time a horse heads to the Big Apple with a Triple Crown on the line.(RICK FREEMAN, AP Sports Writer)last_img read more

Suspended Greek Soccer in Chaos

first_imgATHENS — A retired FIFA referee in charge of appointing match officials in Greece has suspended his duties after his assistant was injured in a street attack that triggered the indefinite suspension of the country’s football leagues.The Greek Football Association says Hugh Dallas will limit his duties to referee training following a Nov. 14 attack on referee Christoforos Zografos, who was severely beaten with wooden clubs.The 57-year-old Dallas was appointed earlier this year to oversee refereeing in an effort to combat perceived corruption in the sport.The Greek federation is planning an emergency board meeting Nov. 19 to consider its domestic suspension, as well as the formal replacement of national team coach Claudio Ranieri, who was suspended after Greece lost to the Faeroe Islands last week.A prosecutor who deals with sporting issues has called the chairmen of two of Greece’s biggest soccer clubs as well as the head of the country’s soccer federation to answer questions relating to an assault on a referee last week, Kathimerini said.Prosecutor Constantinos Simitzoglou has asked Olympiakos President Vangelis Marinakis, AEK chairman Dimitris Melissanidis and Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) chief Giorgos Sarris to provide more information on the attack suffered by Zografos, who is also the Vice President of EPO’s refereeing committee.Zografos was attacked with an iron bar after receiving threats on his phone. According to reports, Marinakis alleged during a meeting of soccer chiefs that Melissanidis ordered the assault. The AEK head denies any involvement.Sarris claimed in an interview with state broadcaster NERIT over the weekend that the head of the refereeing committee, Dallas, told him he has also been threatened. Sarris said he had not alerted authorities as Dallas did not give him any more details.(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Syndergaard Overpowers Brewers, 3-1, Mets Sweep

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares NEW YORK — Thanks to some solid pitching, the Milwaukee Brewers were close in every game at Citi Field all weekend. They just never managed to hold off the New York Mets.Noah Syndergaard struck out 11 in seven overpowering innings and Michael Conforto homered to help the defending NL champions beat the Brewers 3-1 on May 22 for a three-game sweep.“This is the series that I expected. You expected low-scoring, close games. They don’t allow runs. They don’t walk people. That’s what happened,” Milwaukee Manager Craig Counsell said. “We pitched well enough to put ourselves in every game. But, they pitched a little better.”Asdrubal Cabrera broke a fourth-inning tie with a two-run single. Conforto connected early for a long drive off Chase Anderson, who has given up a team-high 12 homers.Anderson (2-6) took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning of his previous outing against the Chicago Cubs and came within one out of a shutout.This time, he lasted five innings and was hurt by Ryan Braun’s misplay in left field while losing for the sixth time in seven starts.“Only pitch I’d like to have back is the Conforto home run,” Anderson said. “Other than that I feel like I battled pretty well.“Obviously, it’s not where I want to be after pitching well last time, but I feel like I’m still building to get back on track and I feel like I’m getting to where I want to go,” he added.Back in the lineup after missing four games with a stiff back, Braun singled once in four at-bats.He also let Yoenis Cespedes’ shallow blooper bounce past him in the fourth for a double that put runners at second and third.“I think I was kind of caught in-between sliding, diving. I actually thought I got a decent jump, just kind of in no man’s land,” Braun said. “It would have been a lot better if I was able to hold him to a single than let it get by me and end up a double.”One out later, Cabrera put New York ahead.The 23-year-old Syndergaard (5-2) yielded six singles and an unearned run that followed David Wright’s first-inning error at third base. He threw a season-high 109 pitches and won his third straight start, saving a taxed bullpen.“We’ve done a good job of getting on base via walk and he just didn’t give us any opportunities,” Counsell said.The big right-hander, who beat Milwaukee last May for his first major league win, mixed his 98-99 mph fastballs with effective off-speed stuff. He has gone 18 innings without issuing a walk.“That’s about as big of a challenge as it gets in today’s game,” Braun said. “His pure stuff is probably the best of any starter in baseball. Unbelievable command of all three off-speed pitches. Fastballs to both sides of the plate. He’s really, really good.”Jonathan Lucroy had an RBI single for Milwaukee, and Hernan Perez got three hits.Syndergaard escaped a jam in the seventh after the Brewers ran into a costly out on the bases for the second straight day.With runners at the corners and nobody out, Alex Presley was cut down trying to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt.“It’s his read, but that’s a spot where, down 3-1, you’ve got to be sure,” Counsell said.Jim Henderson tossed a scoreless eighth against his former team before Jeurys Familia, perfect in 15 save chances, got Presley to ground into a game-ending double play.Familia had two saves and a win in the series as the Mets came from behind each day and completed their first three-game sweep of the Brewers since September 2008 in Milwaukee. It was New York’s first home sweep of the Brewers since April 2002 at Shea Stadium.“I think we’re all understanding of the position that we’re in, but the goal is still to win games,” Braun said.“We’re encouraged by the fact that our starting pitching has been really good the last couple of times through. Those guys are throwing great. We’re putting ourselves in a position where if we’re able to get some big hits or make big pitches, we’re going to start winning a lot of games.”(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer)last_img read more