Monthly Archives: December 2019

Andy Murray forced to pull out of 2020 Australian Open and put Grand Slam comeback plans on hold

Andy Murray says he is “gutted” to miss the 2020 Australian Open after a fresh injury setback.

The 32-year-old was hoping to make his Grand Slam return down under at the start of next year but he has been forced to withdraw due to a pelvis problem.

Andy Murray pulls out of planned comeback event to leave Wimbledon participation hopes in doubt
Murray’s Grand Slam return has been delayed once again


It was initially thought the issue was minor and would not affect his participation in either the season-opening ATP Cup or the Australian Open.

But alarm bells rang when Murray cancelled his training block in Miami and on Saturday his management company announced the Scot would not be travelling to Australia.

“I’ve worked so hard to get myself into a situation where I can play at the top level and I’m gutted I’m not going to be able to play in Australia in January,” Murray said.

“After the AO this year, when I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to play again, I was excited about coming back to Australia and giving my best, and that makes this even more disappointing for me.

“Unfortunately I’ve had a setback recently and as a precaution, need to work through that before I get back on court competing.”

“I know how excited Andy was about coming back to compete in Australia in January, and how disappointed he is not to make it for 2020,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said.

“Andy’s last match at the Australian Open was a five-set rollercoaster that none of us who witnessed it will ever forget. His determination and iron will was on display for all to see, and it’s that fighting spirit that has driven him to come back from a potentially career-ending injury to achieve the results he has this year.

“Although we will miss him in January, we wish him all the very best for his recovery and look forward to seeing him back on court very soon.”

Murray has played just three Grand Slam singles matches since Wimbledon 2017

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Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi among Forbes’ top ten highest-paid athletes of the decade

Forbes have released a mega rich list detailing the top ten highest-paid athletes of the decade from 2010-2019.

The ranking totals up all earnings from the world’s biggest sports stars over the past ten years and it’s no surprise to see who comes out on top.

Floyd Mayweather aptly nicknamed himself ‘money’

Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather heads the list, owing to his mega fights with Manny Pacquiao (also included in the top ten) and Conor McGregor in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Football legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi feature not too far behind Mayweather.

There are also stars from the worlds of golf, tennis, basketball and Formula 1 further down the ranking.

Take a look through the top ten below.

Ferrari confirm Lewis Hamilton talks amid doubt over Mercedes future with only one year remaining on deal

Ferrari have confirmed they have held talks with Lewis Hamilton over joining them when his Mercedes contract expires at the end of next year.

Hamilton is nearing the end of his £40million-a-year deal and his future has been one of F1’s key talking points over the past few weeks.

Lewis Hamilton has dominated F1 for years

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The Brit, who won a sixth Formula One Championship last month, has been linked to Ferrari in recent months, with Scuderia team principle Mattia Binotto dubbing him ‘an outstanding driver’.

And Ferrari’s chief executive, Louis Camilleri, said at the Italian team’s end of year debrief: “It has been made public that Lewis has had conversations with our chairman [John Elkann].

“We clearly are very flattered that Lewis in particular, and other drivers, want to come and join us. Every driver on the grid would like to drive a Ferrari.

“We have a long-term agreement with one driver [Charles Leclerc] and with the other driver [Sebastian Vettel] the agreement expires at the end of 2020.

“It would be premature to decide anything now for the future. We will look at our options and see what is the best fit for our team.”

Sebastian Vettel would likely leave Ferrari if Lewis Hamilton joined


Ferrari’s campaign was blighted by a series of errors by their drivers and strategical mistakes.

Leclerc’s breakthrough season has also forced Ferrari to drop Vettel as their number one.

The four-time world champion, who is paid £36million-a-year, would likely be moved on if the Italians signed Hamilton.

“Clearly Charles’ performance has had an impact.” added Camilleri. “That’s inevitable when you’re the world champion and this young kid comes along and has a phenomenal season.

“Charles has a lot of talent. He has surprised even ourselves as to what he has been capable of.

“Their collision last month in Brazil was a nightmare. However, the air has been cleared. And sometimes you need a crisis to put the goalposts in the appropriate place.

“Going forwards it gives Mattia a much better way of managing them because they realised how much they screwed up.”

Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Lionel Messi and Michael Jordan among the world’s highest-paid athletes from the last 30 years

The highest paid sportsmen of the last 30 years has been revealed – and shows exactly why Floyd Mayweather nicknamed himself ‘Money’.

Using data from Forbes, an amazing graphic by NoobNorm has been widely shared on social media documenting the top earning athletes from 1990 through to 2019.

Currently, FC Barcelona and Argentina captain Lionel Messi is the world’s highest-paid sportsman having overtaken Ballon d’Or rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, former world boxing champion Mayweather has earnt the most from his craft over the past ten years, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars.

2019 Ballon dOr winner Lionel Messi topped the list for 2019

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As we near the end of the current decade, it is remarkable to see how footballers have overtaken boxers as Formula 1 drivers to become the most lucrative earners in modern day sport.

At the start of the 1990’s, Buster Douglas, Mike Tyson and Sugar Ray Leonard were the three biggest earners, followed by racing legend Ayrton Senna.

Evander Holyfield then proceeded to overtake Douglas as he claimed the world heavyweight title, before lucrative bouts with Riddick Bowe and Michael Moorer.

Michael Jordan’s emergence in the NBA saw his value sky rocket as the Chicago Bulls’ shooting guard began to amass his fortune on the court.

Mike Tyson was beaten by Evander Holyfield twice after losing his undefeated record to Buster Douglas in the biggest upset in boxing history

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Ice hockey legends Sergei Federov and Wayne Gretzky also managed to get his name high up on the list, but it was clear to see a shift had once again occurred as we moved into the 2000s.

Jordan entered the new Millennium as the highest-earning sports star, followed by Michael Schumacher and Tiger Woods.

Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett and Grant Hill all joined Jordan as basketball contracts and sponsorship became more lucrative, with tennis legend Andre Agassi also entering the top ten in 2004.

David Beckham’s move to Real Madrid signalled the start of a new era with football, as two-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldinho began to earn big time after his move from Barcelona to AC Milan.

David Beckham earned more than half a billion pounds during his career, according to Forbes

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In 2006, Muhammad Ali sold his name and image for $50million, putting him in the top three earners for that calendar year – remarkable considering he had not fought since 1981.

Ultimately however, it would be boxing and football which end this decade. Messi took home £97m to make him Forbes’ 2019 Rich List highest earner.

However, this is nothing compared to the £216m earned by Mayweather in 2018 after he defeated Conor McGregor in 2017.

Source: Motorsport

Worst tennis player ever? Unranked Artem Bahmet loses EVERY single point at match in Doha which lasted just 22 minutes

With the exception of Andy Murray, tennis players in the UK can get a lot of stick for not making it far at the Grand Slams.

But let’s be thankful none of them are as bad as this with a Ukrainian being dubbed the worst player in the world.

Artem Bahmet (black top) gives all aspiring tennis stars hope

He goes by the name of Artem Bahmet, and it was at a Futures tournament in Doha where he humiliated himself.

Bahmet was attempting to qualify for the event proper with Thailand’s Krittin Koaykul standing in his way.

But frankly, Bahmet would have struggled even if he had no opponent as he played a number of erratic shots and struggled to get the ball over the net regularly.

The fact that anyone can sign up to play for a Futures event for the modest price of £27 gives you an idea into the standard of the tournament.

You’re probably better than this guy

The winner of the tournament itself will pocket a £2,000 share of the £11,500 pot.

However, Bahmet may be regretting paying that as he did not even win one point in the 6-0 6-0 defeat.

Even qualifying for the main draw would have seen him more than quadruple his money with £118.

Charles Leclerc would welcome Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari amid talk of Mercedes exit

Lewis Hamilton would be welcomed to Ferrari by driver Charles Leclerc.

The Brit won his sixth Formula One world championship last month, but he’s reportedly considering his future with Mercedes ahead of his contract expiring at the end of next season.

Lewis Hamilton has flirted with Ferrari and is expected to sign one more contract in F1

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The highly-rated Leclerc, who finished fourth in the 2019 driver standings, would keep his seat upon Hamilton’s possible move, with the Brit replacing Sebastian Vettel.

And the Monegasque would love to call Hamilton a teammate at the start of the 2021 season.

“Of course I would welcome Lewis,” said Leclerc. “We are in Formula One and we want to fight against the best.

“I have had a big opportunity to have had Seb [Sebastian Vettel] next to me, who is a four-time world champion, and I have learned a lot from him, so you can always learn from these types of champions.”

Leclerc outscored Sebastian Vettel during a season defined by the two Ferrari drivers’ rivalry

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To add to the speculation, Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto dubbed Hamilton ‘an outstanding driver’ and said last week: “Knowing that he’s available in 2021 can make us only happy.”

When asked about Ferrari’s praise of Hamilton, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: “It is never a waste of time being nice to someone.

“It is a team I have always appreciated over the years. To have the respect from someone there who is so high up is not a bad thing.

“They have two great drivers but who knows what the driver market will be doing over the next few years?

“I’m still in contract and negotiations haven’t started yet. I honestly don’t know how the next phase of the month is going to go when it comes to contracts.”

Source: Motorsport

Damon Hill hails ‘phenomenal’ Lewis Hamilton and says Brit can’t do much more to prove he is a Formula 1 great

Damon Hill has told talkSPORT there isn’t much more Lewis Hamilton can do to prove his greatness in Formula 1.

The British star wrapped his sixth F1 world championship-winning season in style on Sunday with victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the F1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Hamilton is now just one more away from equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles, and yet there are still many – including former McLaren team-mate Jensen Button – who do not place him in the esteemed company of the sport’s greats.

The 34-year-old is a divisive character over his racing style and celebrity lifestyle off the track, and despite undoubtedly being one of most gifted racers ever, people, even his fellow Brits, do not warm to him.

However, a number of Formula 1 legends disagree.

After he was crowed a six-time world champion, Eddie Jordan told talkSPORT Hamilton should be knighted for his incredible achievements in the sport.

And now British hero Hill has also hailed the Mercedes driver as a ‘phenomenal’ champion.

Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, Hill said: “I think if people have a problem with Formula 1 it’s because they think some people get the better equipment and therefore it’s easy.

Could we soon be honouring Sir Lewis Hamilton?

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“But it’s not easy to do what Lewis has done, which is to retain his place in a top team from the beginning of his career right the way through.

“His win rate is phenomenal and I think he’s proven this year that he can take on all comers and all situations.

“To keep up his motivation for as long as he has, and to be within striking distance of equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of world championships, is phenomenal.

“And he seems to do it at a canter, he doesn’t look like he breaks sweat sometimes.”

Source: Motorsport

Lewis Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Manchester United legend Patrice Evra is there to celebrate it

Lewis Hamilton ended his season in style with an 11th win of the year at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton led from the very beginning in a commanding display as he secured the 84th win of his career and moved to within seven of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished runner-up following a fine move on Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who took the chequered flag in third. Verstappen’s drive to second ensured he finished the season as the best of the rest behind Mercedes duo Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

And watching on was Manchester United legend Patrice Evra, who shook the champion’s hand before the race and said ‘I hope it brings you luck’.

Bottas, who started last following his grid penalty for an engine change, took the flag in fourth. But the Finn could yet be promoted one place with Leclerc’s podium under threat following a fuel irregularity. The Monegasque has been summoned to report to the stewards.

Sebastian Vettel passed Red Bull’s Alex Albon for fifth with two laps remaining. Vettel’s race was thwarted by a slow pit stop.

Hamilton ended a nine-race pole position drought on Saturday, and his win under the lights of the Yas Marina Circuit was never in doubt after he beat Verstappen to the first corner.

Such was the ease of Hamilton’s win that he even had time to ponder over the radio with his team what might happen if the safety car was deployed.

There would be no such concerns for the 34-year-old Briton – his Mercedes team performing a routine one-stop strategy midway through the 55-lap season-concluding race – as Hamilton took the chequered flag 16.7 seconds clear of Verstappen, lapping the entire field up to sixth.

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Hamilton was already champion by the final race of the season[/caption]

Hamilton, who claimed his latest world title with two races to spare, is the only driver to score points at all 21 races this term.

His total of 413 is the greatest any driver has ever recorded, beating his previous record from two years ago by five points.

Writing on Instagram afterwards, he said: “The journey this year has been so special, so different but I am forever grateful for the lessons learnt. The growth all round brings me such pride and joy. Big thank you to @mercedesamgf1 for continuing to push with me through the ups and downs.”

Verstappen bemoaned a series of technical issues throughout the second half of the race, but that did not stop him from passing Leclerc to take second.

On lap 32, Verstappen drew alongside Leclerc on the run down to the left-handed Turn 8 before stamping on his brakes later than his Ferrari rival and making the move stick.

Leclerc had a nibble back at Verstappen four corners later, but the Red Bull man saw off his rival’s advances to keep the place.

Leclerc deserves great credit for finishing above Vettel in the standings in his first year with the Scuderia. But Leclerc’s campaign could yet end on a sour note if the stewards decide to take action.

McLaren’s Lando Norris kept Sergio Perez at bay to finish the final race of his debut campaign in seventh, while his fellow British rookie George Russell was 17th.

Russell’s team-mate Robert Kubica, who escaped action for banging wheels with Antonio Giovinazzi, took the flag in 19th on his final appearance in the sport.

Source: Motorsport