Monthly Archives: November 2019

Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari? ‘Knowing Mercedes driver is available in 2021 makes us happy’, says team principal Mattia Binotto

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has made no secret of the fact he is delighted Lewis Hamilton will be on the market at the end of next season.

The six-time Formula One world champion’s Mercedes contract expires when the 2020 season ends, and they wan to to negotiate a new deal with the 34-year-old.

And while the Brit has indicated he will see out his career with the record-breaking team, he has also spoken about the lure of driving for Ferrari.

Hamilton was crowned world champion for a sixth time at the United States Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel’s contract with the Scuderia is up at the end of next year and it is likely the four-time world champion, who crashed with team-mate Charles Leclerc in Brazil a fortnight ago, would be the fallguy.

Asked if he was interested in signing Hamilton, a surprisingly candid Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, said: “Lewis is certainly an outstanding driver, a fantastic driver, and knowing that he is available in 2021 can only make us happy.

“We are happy with our drivers, but at one stage next season we will start discussing and understanding what to do.”

Hamilton has recently hinted that his next move could be determined by the whereabouts of Toto Wolff, the Mercedes boss who has overseen five of his six world championships.

The long-term future of the sport’s chairman, Chase Carey, remains uncertain, and Wolff, 47, has been linked with taking on the American’s role.

Sir Andy Murray outlines Australian Open hopes as he prepares to make Grand Slam return in 2020

Sir Andy Murray has revealed his aim for the Australian Open in 2020 is to simply get through a five-set match without feeling pain.

The three-time Grand Slam champion has been sidelined for 18 months due to a chronic hip injury, but is set to make his return to a major down under in January.

Murray will return to action at the Australian Open January

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The Brit feared he would have to retire at the start of the year due to the injury, but having undergone surgery earlier this year he is now back playing at the top level again.

Murray was speaking to talkSPORT ahead of the release of a new Amazon documentary, charting his remarkable return from injury.

And the 32-year-old unsurprisingly has modest hopes when he returns to action.

“I haven’t played a best of five match since I had the operation,” he said. “A good result would be that I can play a best-of-five set match and have no ill effects from that with my hip.

“That would be a huge step and a really positive thing for me. That means I’d be able to compete and hopefully do well at the grand slams in the future, which is what I would like to do.

Sir Andy Murray tells talkSPORT how he is doing things differently on his return to tennis

Sir Andy Murray has admitted his tireless efforts to become the world number one tennis player may have burnt him out and almost cost him his career.

The two-time Wimbledon champion became the highest-ranked player on the planet in 2017 under trainer Ivan Lendl’s guidance.

But he has been plagued by a hip problem since then which has seen him out of the sport for 18 months.

Murray won the US Open, two Wimbledon titles, two Olympic golds and was world number one across his two spells with Lendl

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The Brit feared he would have to retire at the start of the year due to the injury, but having undergone pioneering hip surgery in January he is now back playing at the top level again.

He won his first singles title back on the ATP Tour in Antwerp to raise hopes he can get back to his Grand-Slam winning best, with his remarkable recovery depicted in the Amazon Prime Video movie, ‘Andy Murray: Resurfacing’ – out this Friday.

While Murray is determined to challenge for the highest honours once more, he admits he may have pushed himself too far in the past – heavily contributing to his hip problem – and now trains much smarter than he did.

“It’s quite difficult for me to look at the results and say it was the wrong way to do it,” Murray said of his previously intense schedule.

“But I think it’s quite important because the operation I had was a really big operation to have at my age.

“Is there a way I could have done things differently? Could I have not worked so hard? Or worked smarter?”

“I used to think the more hours you put in was better for you, but I don’t believe that’s actually the case,” he continued.

“But I know since I’ve started playing again from this operation, I’m practicing less and training less and still able to compete at a really high level.

“I have no option now to do it differently than I did before because of the operation, but I guess I’ll find out more in the next 18 months, two years.

“When you get older you start to question things more about what you were doing and what you could do differently.

“I’m obviously sitting here with a metal hip and I would have rather avoided that.”

Murray will return to action at the Australian Open in 2020


Murray unsurprisingly has modest hopes when he returns to Grand Slam action down under at the start of the year, revealing the best outcome for him would simply be to get through a five-set match.

“I haven’t played a best of five match since I had the operation,” he added.

“A good result would be that I can play a best of five set match and have no ill effects from that with my hip.

“That would be a huge step and a really positive thing for me. That means I’d be able to compete and hopefully do well at the Grand Slams in the future, which is what I would like to do.”

‘Andy Murray: Resurfacing’ will launch exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on Friday

Source: Tennis

Sir Andy Murray says Jose Mourinho would have been ‘great’ Arsenal appointment as tennis legend admits Unai Emery’s time may be over

Sir Andy Murray reckons it could be game, set and match for Unai Emery at Arsenal.

Emery is at break point having overseen just two wins in 11 Premier League games and Murray, a Gunners fan, believes it may be time to serve the Spaniard his notice.

“I actually haven’t been to the ground this season,” said Murray. “But from what I’ve been reading the atmosphere has been pretty bad – and I don’t think that’s good news for the players, staff or anyone there.

“Unless that changes quickly, a change has to be made.”

Pressure is growing on Unai Emery after a poor start to the season

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The three-time Gland Slam champion also claims Arsenal may have made a fault by not bringing in Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho, of course, now holds court across north London, having been drafted in by Tottenham as a wildcard replacement for Mauricio Pochettino last week.

“I love it when he’s in the Premier League”, Murray said of Mourinho, who is a big tennis fan and admitted earlier this year that the Brit’s first Wimbledon triumph reduced him to tears.

“I just think he makes it so much more interesting to be honest.

“I think he would do a good job for Arsenal.

“The one thing about him is that you know he will win. He finds ways to win matches, tournaments.

“That would have been a great appointment.”

Murray was speaking to talkSPORT ahead of the release of a new Amazon documentary, charting his remarkable return from injury.

The Brit feared he would have to retire at the start of the year due to a chronic hip injury, but is now back playing at the top level again and is set to make his Grand Slam return at the Australian Open in January.

‘Andy Murray: Resurfacing’ will launch exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on Friday

Source: Tennis

Rafael Nadal secures emotional Davis Cup title win for Spain in tournament run by Barcelona star Gerard Pique

Rafael Nadal sealed Spain’s first Davis Cup title since 2011 on home soil in Madrid.

But it was Roberto Bautista Agut who stole the show with an emotional victory just three days after the death of his father.

Rafael Nadal won the Davis Cup for Spain


The world number nine thrust his finger skywards after beating Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (3) 6-3 and was in tears before addressing the crowd, who stood as one to cheer him.

That set the stage for Nadal, who had won all seven of his previous rubbers this week across singles and doubles, to ensure it was Spain who became the first winners of the new-look event, beating Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6 (7).

Having played in Spain’s first two ties at the Caja Magica, Bautista Agut rushed home on Thursday after his father Joaquin was taken seriously ill, with the Spanish federation announcing the same evening that he had died.

That was assumed to be the end of Bautista Agut’s tournament but he supported from the stands during Saturday’s tense semi-final victory over Great Britain and was brought back into the action for the opening rubber of the final.

Canada had used only two players in making it to their first-ever final, Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil performing heroics in singles and doubles.

But Pospisil was running on fumes against Russia in the semi-finals while their number two, 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime, was fully recovered from an ankle injury that had kept him sidelined for two months.

It was a hell of a stage for the teenager to make his return, especially given this was only his second Davis Cup tie.

He matched Bautista Agut in the opening set until the tie-break, where the 31-year-old, who had been due to get married next weekend, used his experience to tempt errors from the youngster.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Auger-Aliassime looked rusty, with his forehand breaking down far too often and double faults peppering his service games.

Bautista Agut, by contrast, maintained his composure right the way through to the winning moment, when emotion overcame him.

Nadal has been in such tremendous form that it felt like the first rubber was a must-win for Canada, and so it proved.

Shapovalov beat Nadal in his breakthrough tournament on home soil in Canada two years ago but was under the cosh from the start here.

Lewis Hamilton: Formula One world champion explains ‘I feel like giving up on everything’ social media posts

Lewis Hamilton has admitted wearing his heart on his sleeve is not always wise to do while explaining worrying social media posts sent last month.

The Formula One world champion posted a message on Instagram last month which sparked fears for his wellbeing.

“Honestly, I feel like giving up on everything,” Hamilton wrote. “Shut down completely. Why bother when the world is such a mess and people don’t seem to care.

The message shared by the F1 superstar on Instagram

@lewishamilton | Instagram

“I’m going to take a moment away to gather my thoughts. Thank you to those of you who do give a damn about the world.”

Hamilton has been an outspoken advocate for climate change, urging people to become vegan to help the planet.

However, he has been accused of hypocrisy due to his Formula One role and the amount he uses aircraft every year.

And addressing the post in which he said he felt like ‘giving up on everything’, Hamilton told the BBC: “Most of the time, I wear my heart on my sleeve, so it was an emotional post, which is not always good to do.

“It just felt like I was banging my head against the wall and not gaining ground.

Roger Federer left in tears by Diego Maradona’s emotional message calling him ‘the greatest’ during exhibition match in South America

Tennis legend Roger Federer broke down in tears following an emotional message from Diego Maradona.

The former Barcelona and Argentina star was invited to watch Federer, who is playing a series of exhibition matches with Alexander Zverev in a tour of South America, but could not make it.

Instead, Maradona sent a video message, which was aired on the big screen as Federer was on the court, calling the 20-time Grand Slam champion ‘the greatest’.

Roger Federer welled up after hearing Diego Maradona’s praise

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He said: “Hello master, machine, like I call you.

“You were, you are, and will always be the greatest. There is no other like you.

“I want you to know that if you have any kind of trouble in my country, you can call me and tell me what you need.”

Maradona’s kind words left Federer in tears on the court.

Despite being almost 40, the Swiss star insists he has no plans to retire soon.

Federer said: “My retirement is going to depend on my health. At this moment I see no reason to stop.

Lewis Hamilton crash: Onboard footage shows Mercedes driver’s incident with Alex Albon which earned him penalty at Interlagos

Lewis Hamilton apologised for crashing into Alex Albon at Interlagos and costing the Red Bull driver a shot at his first ever podium finish in F1.

Hamilton tried to get past Albon with only a lap-and-a-half remaining, driving up the inside as the 23-year-old left space on turn nine.

But the world champion could not complete his manoeuvre, as Albon turned in with Hamilton in his blind spot. The youngster, who moved from Toro Rosso to Red Bull earlier this season, came off worse from the clash.

The Hamilton/Albon crash was just one incident in a race full of drama

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He spun and rejoined in 15th, while Hamilton escaped with only a damaged front wing.

Albon continues to wait for his maiden F1 podium, but he will take solace from Hamilton’s apology – and the fact a five-second post-race penalty knocked the 34-year-old off the podium and down to sixth.

“I apologise to Alex, and I hold my hands up for what happened,” said Hamilton, who was also hit with two penalty points on his license. “I totally accept the blame.

“It was not my intention and you hardly ever see me collide with anyone. In hindsight I could have waited to make the move, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

“An opportunity arose and I was in shooting distance of Alex. I gave it a shot because in my mind I was trying to catch Max [Verstappen] for the win.

“That won’t be the last time Alex is in position for a podium. He will have many more great races so, as hard a pill as it is for him to swallow, I hope he can learn from the experience.”

The onboard footage from both Hamilton’s Mercedes and Albon’s Red Bull have since been released, showing Hamilton’s failed takeover attempt and the resulting collision.

Carlos Sainz was the biggest beneficiary of the incident, as he was promoted up to third with Hamilton’s penalty to secure McLaren their first podium since 2014.

Pierre Gasly, who was demoted from Red Bull to create space for Albon’s promotion, also drove superbly, finishing second in Toro Rosso’s best result in 11 years.

Source: Motorsport

Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Dominic Thiem to win ATP Finals at O2 Arena

Stefanos Tsitsipas came of age at London’s 02 Arena with a stunning victory over Dominic Thiem to win the ATP Finals.

The 21-year-old from Athens became the youngest winner of the prestigious season-ending tournament since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001, and the youngest debutant to lift the trophy since John McEnroe back in 1978.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is only 21 years old

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Just a year after winning the NextGen Finals, for players of 21 and under, Tsitsipas mixed it with the very best on the bank of the Thames and came out on top.

Congratulated by his country’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after his semi-final win over Roger Federer, Tsitsipas went on to write his name in Greek sporting mythology with a 6-7 (6) 6-2 7-6 (4) victory.

It was only the third time in 16 years that the final did not feature at least one of the ‘big three’, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Federer, and further evidence surely that the long-awaited power shift in men’s tennis is finally on the way.

At 26 Thiem is just about part of that youthful scene as well, and his notable wins over Federer and Djokovic this week helped him climb to fourth in the world rankings.

But the final belonged to Tsitsipas and the legions of Greek fans who made the 02 feel like a home from home for the new champion.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (right) and Dominic Thiem (left) embraced each other after the match

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The two are close friends on the Tour – Tsitsipas even acted as Thiem’s hitting partner at the tournament in 2016 – and they embraced at the net after a gruelling encounter.

Tsitsipas said: “I was playing with nerves, it’s such a big event. I was a break up in the third set, but couldn’t hold it, but I’m so relieved with this outstanding performance I gave on the court.

“It’s phenomenal, unbelievable to have such an army behind me, they give me energy, and belief, and I just love that. I would like to thank everyone who supported me with a Greek flags and made me feel at home.”

Tsisipas was the aggressor from the start, dropping just three points in his opening three service games while forcing the first break point, from which Thiem escaped with a swish of his forehand.

Stefanos Tsitsipas lit up the O2 Arena with his performance

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There were further chances to break for both players, Tsitsipas serving and volleying his way out of trouble and Thiem finding his first serve when he needed it.

A tie-break was required to separate them, and when the score reached 7-6 each player had won 44 points. But crucially, Thiem had the ball in his hand and an unreturnable first serve clinched the opening set.

Yet if that was tight, the second was a walkover as Tsitsipas broke twice, raced into a 4-0 lead and confidently served it out.

Max Verstappen wins Brazilian Grand Prix as Ferraris crash each other out and Lewis Hamilton collides with Alex Albon in dramatic conclusion

Max Verstappen won the Brazilian Grand Prix as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc crashed out in a dramatic late finish.

Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly finished a surprise second after he took advantage of Lewis Hamilton banging into Alex Albon on the penultimate lap.

Max Verstappen ultimately took the chequered flag

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