Sports & Entertainment

By Alan Baldwin - Formula E holds its 100th race this weekend with a South Korean double marking the end of an era for the electric series and likely to see Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne take the title in a farewell for Mercedes. From a debut in 2014 around the stadium built for Beijing's 2008 Summer Olympics, Formula E reaches its century milestone on Sunday by racing near the stadium that hosted the 1988 Seoul Games. The season's final race will be the end of the road for the 'Gen2' era, with next season bringing in a new generation of cars that will be faster, lighter and more efficient than anything seen so far. Series co-founder Alberto Longo said the city-based single-seater championship had proven the critics wrong and was here to stay. "Eight years ago everyone was laughing at electric vehicles basically and the limited range that they had," the Spaniard told reporters. "When we launched the c...
By Amlan Chakraborty NEW DELHI - Trent Boult giving up his New Zealand Cricket contract is another sign of a revolution sweeping through the game -- a change happening not at the leisurely pace of a test match but at the breakneck speed of a Twenty20 innings. A key figure in the teams that won the inaugural World Test Championship and finished runners-up in three limited overs World Cups, Boult will from now on have a "significantly reduced role" with the Black Caps. The left-arm quick requested the release from his contract so he could spend more time with his young family but, a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement said, the 33-year-old also wanted to make himself available for "domestic leagues". A crammed international calendar in three formats of the game and the added strain of playing in biosecure bubbles during the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed players like Boult to breaking point. England talisman Ben S...
- New Zealand coach Ian Foster has named the following team to play South Africa in their Rugby Championship test at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday. 15-Jordie Barrett, 14-Will Jordan, 13-Rieko Ioane, 12-David Havili, 11-Caleb Clarke, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 9-Aaron Smith, 8-Ardie Savea, 7-Sam Cane (captain), 6-Shannon Frizell, 5-Scott Barrett, 4-Sam Whitelock, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 1-Ethan de Groot Replacements: 16-Codie Taylor, 17-George Bower, 18-Fletcher Newell, 19-Tupou Vaa'i, 20-Akira Ioane, 21-Finlay Christie, 22-Beauden Barrett, 23-Quinn Tupaea (Reporting by Nick Said)...
MELBOURNE - Evonne Goolagong Cawley is hoping for the emergence of a successor to Ash Barty who can continue inspiring the country's Indigenous children to take up the sport. Goolagong Cawley, the first Aboriginal Australian to win a Grand Slam title, claimed the last of her seven majors at Wimbledon in 1980. It took nearly four decades before Barty became the second Aboriginal Australian player to win a Grand Slam crown at the 2019 French Open. The gap was "too long", Goolagong Cawley said on Thursday as she helped launch the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival (NIDC) in Darwin. "I think Ash has inspired a lot more young girls to get out there and play this lovely game. So who knows?" the 71-year-old told . "Maybe we'll even find a champion here at the carnival." Tennis Australia's NIDC will bring together some 230 aspiring Indigenous Australian juniors from every state and territory to compete i...
BERLIN - Hertha Berlin got their Bundesliga campaign off to the worst possible start with a 3-1 defeat to city rivals Union but will look to make amends on Saturday against Eintracht Frankfurt, who they have beaten more times than any other team in the league. Hertha have won 30 league meetings with Eintracht, losing 20, and will be hopeful of scoring another victory with their opponents set to be without playmaker Filip Kostic. The Serbian did not play in Eintracht's 2-0 UEFA Super Cup loss to Real Madrid in Helsinki on Wednesday and is reportedly set to join Italy's Juventus in the coming days. Eintracht have confirmed the player is in talks with another club, and Hertha midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng said this was a bonus for the Berliners. Kostic was a key player in Eintracht's unbeaten run to the Europa League title last season. "For us it is positive that Kostic will be gone," Boateng, who played for Ein...
TORONTO - Former U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu said she has found the joy in competing again, months after the 22-year-old revealed that she was close to quitting the sport over mental health issues. After returning to the Tour in Stuttgart in April for the first time since her appearance at Indian Wells last October, Andreescu said she was struggling a lot mentally and was no longer enjoying being on court. But she was once again enjoying fighting for victories, Andreescu said after defeating France's Alize Cornet for the first time in three meetings to reach the last 16 of the Canadian Open in Toronto. "Man, I just enjoy pushing myself a lot. I love challenging myself," the Canadian said. "Before it was kind of a hassle for me to do that. But now I really enjoy it. I love testing my limits." In 2019, Andreescu won in Indian Wells and the Canadian Open at home before going on to lift her maiden Grand Slam title at the...
- When Dalian Pro head coach Xie Hui was unable to relay messages to his coaching staff during a Chinese Super League (CSL) match against Shanghai Port, the club's fans took it upon themselves to be the voice of the boss. Xie was serving a one-match touchline ban and was seated among supporters during Saturday's game when the team made a substitution in the 75th minute, prompting the coach to give instructions to his staff from the stands. But the crowd noise meant they could not hear his calls for a change of formation at the back and some fans, who watched him frantically wave three fingers and scream "three defenders" began to repeat his words. "The fans were very helpful, they relayed my words down to the field. They understood my instructions well," Xinhua news agency quoted Xie as saying. Xie, whose side are 15th in the league, said a congested network had also prevented him from reaching his colleagues via communicati...
MELBOURNE - Australian golfers who sign up with the Saudi-backed LIV Series will still be welcome to play in home events, the country's Tour boss said, amid reports British Open winner Cameron Smith has already agreed to join the breakaway circuit. The Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship, two of the biggest tournaments on the PGA Tour of Australasia calendar, are co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, which moved to block some players from its tournaments in June after they played a LIV event. Australia, however, hopes its biggest names can return home to give the local tour a boost after two difficult years disrupted by COVID-19. "The players coming home to play, as long as there is no conflicting event they will be welcome to play," PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman told reporters. "The Australian players that come home from wherever they’re playing at the moment, if they’re members of our organisation they’ll b...
- Nick Kyrgios continued his career best run of form by taking out world number one Daniil Medvedev at the Canadian Masters on Wednesday - a win that surprised everyone but the Australian. Charged with confidence after his run to the Wimbledon final and a tournament win in Washington last week, Kyrgios reacted with dismay at questions that suggested victory should mark some sort of career high."You guys are acting like I haven't beaten world number ones before or something," he told reporters in Montreal. "I've done it before. I've beaten Medvedev before. I've beaten Roger (Federer), Novak (Djokovic), Rafa (Nadal). "I didn't go out there thinking that he was world number one. We played each other three times. He's beaten me once, I've beaten him twice. "I executed well on big points today. I feel like my game and my confidence under pressure is at an all-time high. That's all I did really." Medvedev was joined by three of t...
- Retired batsman Ross Taylor has revealed he was offended by race-based remarks from team mates and staff in New Zealand dressing rooms during his career and said the country's cricket board could do more to bring Polynesian talent into the sport. Taylor, who has Samoan heritage on his mother's side, described in his book "Ross Taylor Black and White" how he and other team mates endured insensitive "banter" from white players. "In many ways, dressing room banter is the barometer," wrote Taylor, who played his last international match in April. "A team mate used to tell me, 'You're half a good guy, Ross, but which half is good? You don’t know what I’m referring to.' "I was pretty sure I did. "Other players also had to put up with comments that dwelt on their ethnicity. In all probability, a Pakeha (white New Zealander) listening to those sorts of comments would think, 'Oh, that’s okay, it’s just a bit of ban...
- Italy's amateur football league (LND) said Tuscan club Figline's promotion to the fourth-tier Serie D has been revoked by a regional Italian football federation (FIGC) court over a controversial 5-1 defeat at Tau Calcio Altopascio in May. Video of the match appeared to show Figline allowing their opponents to score three easy goals in the last few minutes. The result meant fellow promotion rivals Livorno had to beat Tau Calcio Altopascio in the playoffs. Livorno and Tau Calcio Altopascio then lodged a joint complaint with the FIGC prosecutor, both clubs said in a statement. has requested comment from Figline. After the trial date had been set, Figline said they were "confident and serene regarding the (future) decision of the sporting court" but on Wednesday the court ruled against them. LND said Figline sporting director Emiliano Frediani, who is not at the team any longer, had been banned for five years, w...
- All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett said he feared the worst after landing head-first from a terrible mid-air challenge against South Africa but that his team would continue to be courageous under the Springboks' high ball. Barrett was upended by South Africa winger Kurt-Lee Arendse while rising to intercept a box kick and crashed heavily to the turf late in the 26-10 defeat at Mbombela Stadium last Saturday. Arendse was red-carded and subsequently suspended for four matches. "It was quite a big collision and I did think the worst instantly - especially when I was on the ground and - I can't remember who it was - told me to stay still," he said in a video released by the All Blacks. "It wasn't until (the doctor) came on and asked me, 'Can you move your fingers? Your toes?' I was relieved to have passed those tests. I eventually sat up and was able to walk off and get on with it. "But there was a fearful perio...
By Rory Carroll - Demand for tickets to witness tennis great Serena Williams in action at the U.S. Open spiked in the 24 hours following her announcement that she would retire after the hardcourt major in New York, ticket retailer StubHub told . "We typically see demand spike on StubHub when a player announces their retirement, and this is especially the case when it's Serena Williams, arguably one of the greatest players to set foot on the tennis court," spokesman Adam Budelli said. "Over the last 24 hours, we've seen eight times more sales on StubHub for the U.S. Open than the daily average, but the great news for fans is that the average price paid for a ticket has stayed steady, signaling that there is plenty of inventory for people who want to watch this historic moment in sports in-person." Six of Williams' 23 Grand Slam titles have come at the U.S. Open and she reached the final at Flushing Meadows as recently as...
HELSINKI - Champions League winners Real Madrid outclassed Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 on Wednesday to clinch the UEFA Super Cup for a record-equalling fifth time. A first half goal from David Alaba and another from Karim Benzema in the 65th that lifted him to second in Real's all-time scoring list with 324 goals, wrapped up the title for the Spaniards. Europa League winners Eintracht had offered some resistance in the first half and had chances to score but were eventually overrun by the Spaniards. The win also means Real's Carlo Ancelotti becomes the first coach to lift the trophy four times. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Pritha Sarkar)...
- Rafa Nadal confirmed on Wednesday that he will compete at next week's Cincinnati Open after being forced to withdraw from the ongoing Canadian Open due to an abdominal injury. The world number three opted out of the U.S. Open tune-up event in Montreal with the same strain that has limited his service motion and forced him to forfeit his Wimbledon semi-final last month. "(Flying) tomorrow to Cincinnati," the Spaniard posted alongside a photo of himself shirtless and smiling. "Very happy to play again in Cincy." Nadal, who has won a men's record 22 major titles, will be the only one of tennis' Big Three in the draw of the hardcourt tournament as rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will both be absent. Federer is still undergoing rehab after undergoing knee surgery while Wimbledon champion Djokovic is unable to compete in the North American tournaments due to his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-1...
- World number four Carlos Alcaraz's game inexplicably unravelled as he blew a match point before being beaten 6-7(4) 7-6(7) 6-3 by American Tommy Paul in an absorbing second round encounter at the Canadian Open on Wednesday. Norwegian Casper Ruud survived a tight first set to push past Slovakian Alex Molcan 7-6(3) 6-3. Alcaraz had the momentum after he bagged the first-set tiebreak before opening up a 4-1 lead in the second. But the 34th-ranked American clawed his way back, converting break points in the seventh and ninth games. Alcaraz stood on the cusp of victory when he earned a match point during the second set tiebreak but once Paul saved it, the 19-year-old Spaniard's challenge faded as he struggled to overcome the disappointment of not wrapping up the match in straight sets. The American, who won his sole ATP title at the Stockholm Open last year, fired off 14 winners in the third set....
MELBOURNE - The PGA Tour of Australasia will expand to 16 events in 2022/23, offering struggling Australian and New Zealand golfers more chances to make a living from the sport after the ruinous impact of COVID-19. The Australian Open, the regional circuit's most prestigious event, returns in Melbourne at yearend as an integrated men's and women's tournament after being cancelled twice during the pandemic. The Dec. 1-4 event, to be held at Victoria Golf Club and Kingston Heath, is one of two events co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, the other being the Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane held the previous week. The back-to-back events, along with the New Zealand Open at Millbrook Resort in February-March, will each have prize money of over A$1.5 million ($1.04 million), the Tour said in a statement on Thursday. “We’ve worked hard to build the schedule back after COVID knocked everyone around in the tournament space, and...
MONACO - World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce scorched the track with the fastest time over 100 metres this year at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on Wednesday, winning the race in 10.62 seconds to comfortably beat Shericka Jackson and Marie-Josee Ta Lou. Fresh from a fifth world title in Eugene, Oregon last month, Fraser-Pryce had produced blistering performances to clock 10.66 at the Silesia Diamond League event on Saturday and 10.67 at the Hungarian Grand Prix two days later. She went even quicker in ideal conditions at Monaco's Stade Louis II to easily break the 10.70 barrier for the sixth time in a stellar season, while Jackson (10.71) and Ta Lou (10.72) also ran personal bests in an absorbing race. "I did what I needed to and we had fun and let the clock do the talking... to be able to run 10.60 consistently means a lot. It's remarkable. It's hard to keep up the speed at this high level," the 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce said....
By Fernando Kallas MADRID - European champions Real Madrid will begin their LaLiga title defence against promoted Almeria on Sunday but they will be under no illusion that the biggest obstacle in their pursuit of a 36th title will be a revamped and hungry Barcelona side. Real completed the double last season by claiming a record-extending 35th LaLiga title before conquering Europe too, winning a record-extending 14th Champions League title. Carlo Ancelotti will be relying on almost the same group of victorious players to leave their mark on this season. The additions of former Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger as a free-agent and France midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco for a fee that could rise up to 100 million euros will further strengthen the squad. With 34-year-old French striker Karim Benzema and 22-year-old Brazilian winger Vinicius Jr forming a potent duo up front, Real have a fine mix of youth and exper...
By Rory Carroll - Rory McIlroy welcomed Tuesday's court decision that prevented three players suspended by the PGA Tour for joining LIV Golf from competing in the lucrative FedExCup playoffs, saying that the competition can now go ahead without unecessary distractions. A U.S. District Court Judge on Tuesday denied Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford's request for a temporary restraining order against the ban that would have allowed them to compete in the playoffs, which kick off Thursday in Memphis. "From my vantage point, common sense prevailed and I thought it was the right decision," McIlroy told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the first round at TPC Southwind. "And now that that has happened, I think it just lets us focus on the important stuff, which is the golf, and we can all move forward and not have that sideshow going on for the next few weeks, which is nice." McIlroy, a two-time PGA Player o...