Monthly Archives: May 2022

Emma Raducanu battles to victory on senior French Open debut as fellow Britons Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans also win in first round

Emma Raducanu fought back from a set and a break down to claim victory on her French Open debut at senior level.

The 19-year-old Brit showed brilliant grit and determination to beat Czech teenager Linda Noskova 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-1 in a gripping first round clash.


Raducanu was given a huge fright by 17-year-old Noskova

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But showed tremendous fighting spirit to claim the victory

AFP

The US Open champion broke serve twice in the first set but was pegged back to a tie-break by the 17-year-old qualifier which she lost 7-4.

Raducanu was then broken in the second set but managed to hit back to take the second set 7-5 and send the match into a decider.

It was one-way traffic from there as Raducanu went on to comfortably take the final set. Next up for Raducanu is Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in the second round.

It was generally a good day for the British players with Dan Evans claiming his first win at Roland Garros at the fifth time of asking.

The 32-year-old, a first-round loser in each of his four previous main draw appearances, beat Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo 7-6 (3) 6-4 6-4. Evans takes on Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in the second round.

British No.1 Cameron Norrie, fresh from winning his first title on clay in Lyon at the weekend, made short work of French wildcard Manuel Guinard.

French Open 2022 betting offer: Get £50 in free bets when you bet £10 on Bet365

The French Open has already got into the swing of things with the top-seeded players across both disciplines in action across the week.

New customers can get £50 in free bets when they bet £10 on tennis which includes the French Open action that’s underway with the final set for Sunday, June 5.


Djokovic has been cleared to defend his French Open title

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The men’s French Open is still wide open and there’s plenty of action across the next two weeks as they are whittled down to just two in the final.

Novak Djokovic won this tournament last time and has been cleared to play after hitting the headlines for nearly missing out on multiple competitions with COVID-19 vaccinations affecting eligibility.

French Open Outright Odds

Bet365 odds (correct at time of writing)

  • Novak Djokovic – 2/1
  • Carlos Alcaraz – 11/5
  • Rafael Nadal – 4/1
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas – 4/1
  • BAR 22/1

Now he will be out to defend his title but the betting indicates this is a four-horse race between him, Alvaraz, Nadal and Tsitsipas.

Nadal loves this clay surface though and has won it 14 times, an all-time record.

Tsitsipas was runner-up last year after making a good go of it against Djokovic last year taking it to five sets.

French Open Women Outright Odds

  • Iga Swiatek – 8/13
  • Simona Halep – 14/1
  • Maria Sakkari – 18/1
  • Paula Badosa – 18/1
  • Amanda Anisimova 20/1
  • BAR 22/1

Swiatek is now the odds-on favourite after dominating her first round tie as Naomi Osaka was beaten in hers and leaves the top-seed out in front in the betting.

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Sebastian Vettel chases thieves on scooter after having documentation and AirPods stolen in Barcelona following Spanish Grand Prix

Formula One star Sebastian Vettel chased thieves on a scooter after being robbed in Barcelona.

The German, who has four F1 titles to his name, was in the city for the Spanish Grand Prix at weekend where he finished 11th in his Aston Martin car.


Vettel was the victim of a robbery early on Monday morning

AFP


He was in Barcelona for the GP

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Spanish publication El Periodico reports that Vettel was robbed early on Monday morning – and the 34-year-old later gave chase to the thieves.

The report adds Vettel left his car window open outside his hotel which led to the thieves pinching his bag. It’s understood Vettel had his documentation and AirPods in his backpack.

Vettel was able to pinpoint his headphones through his iPhone’s GPS, which enabled him to trace his belongings to Barcelona’s El Raval area.

It’s claimed he found his Apple headphones abandoned in a shop, however, there was no sign of his backpack or documentation.

Local news outlets claim, per The Sun, that police have opened an investigation after Vettel reported the crime.

It’s believed the documentation were the only valuables Vettel lost.

Monaco Grand Prix 2022 date: UK start time, qualification, standings, race schedule, live stream and how to follow as Verstappen gains F1 title lead but Hamilton now thinks he can win races this season

Max Verstappen has leapfrogged Charles Leclerc in the Formula 1 title race ahead of the latter’s home Grand Prix in Monaco this weekend.

A disastrous retirement from Leclerc’s Ferrari gifted Red Bull a one-two finish in Spain with George Russell following Sergio Perez to cap off the podium.


Verstappen now leads Leclerc ahead of the latter’s home Grand Prix

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Things looked set to be simple for Ferrari after securing pole in Barcelona, with Leclerc assailing to a 13-second lead before losing power on lap 27.

The 24-year-old now finds himself six points behind defending champion Verstappen ahead of the famous Monaco Grand Prix.

Yet despite the track being his home race, Leclerc is still yet to register a finish in the Principality in three attempts during his time in F1.

Monaco Grand Prix: Date and UK start time

The race weekend at the Circuit de Monaco is scheduled for Friday, May 27 to Sunday, May 29.

There will be two practices on Friday that start from 12:30pm UK time with the third session at noon on the Saturday.

Qualifying will take place at 2pm while the race itself will also get underway at 2pm UK time on the Sunday.

Monaco Grand Prix: TV channel and live stream

Coverage will again be on Sky Sports F1 throughout the weekend. Their coverage of Sunday’s race build-up begins at 1pm.

Sky Sports customers can live stream this via the app using their mobile, tablet or computer devices.

If not, you can purchase a Sky Sports Day Pass from NowTV for £9.99 while Channel Four will broadcast highlights later in the evening.

talkSPORT will have all of the best of the action from Italy throughout the week while talkSPORT.com will have a live blog for the race.

To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart sparker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

‘Iga Swiatek is like Mike Tyson, she just hits people in the mouth’ – French Open favourite steps out of Ash Barty’s shadow, bullies players like Rafael Nadal and can beat Serena Williams record

Ash Barty’s shock retirement earlier this year left the tennis world reeling and wondering who just might emerge from her shadow.

It didn’t take us long to find out as Iga Swiatek has bullied the rest of the WTA Tour and rightly taken her place as the world number one.


Swiatek has won 28 straight matches, going into the French Open as favourite

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The 20-year-old has won her last 28 matches, the longest since Serena Williams won 34 consecutively in 2013.

Should she win the French Open, and she is such an overwhelming favourite that it would be a shock if she did not win, then that streak would extend to 35, matching Venus Williams’ streak set in 2000.

Her numbers are just frightening, capturing five successive titles – Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and most recently Rome.

It is not just the fact she has won all of these tournaments, it is the way she has been utterly dominant over the rest of the field.

In her 28-match win streak, she has dropped just five sets. This run includes 12 bagel sets (6-0) and another 10 won by a 6-1 scoreline.


Swiatek won the French Open in 2020 and is the world number one

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Max Verstappen takes Formula 1 championship lead from retired Charles Leclerc despite George Russell’s defensive masterclass in revitalised Mercedes

Max Verstappen has leapfrogged title rival Charles Leclerc back to the top of the Formula 1 world championship standings with a win at the Spanish Grand Prix where reliability and wind wrecked havoc.

A disastrous retirement from Leclerc’s Ferrari gifted Red Bull a one-two finish in Barcelona, George Russell following Sergio Perez to cap off the podium.


Verstappen is back at the top of the standings despite Perez and Russell making things difficult

AFP


Leclerc couldn’t believe his luck

AFP

Things looked set to be simple for Ferrari after securing pole in Spain, with Leclerc assailing to a 13-second lead before losing power on lap 27.

“NO! NO! NO! What happened? What happened? Lost power,” Leclerc said over team radio as he paved the way for Verstappen to take a huge win.

It was far from easy for the reigning world champion though, beginning his race with a spin at turn four where win caught out both himself and Carlos Sainz.

The Dutchman then spent a number of laps behind Mercedes’ Russell, who defended valiantly, even with the aid of Verstappen’s defective drag reduction system.

Teammate Perez looked the fastest of the two Red Bulls after Russell made way for his pitstop, and demanded Verstappen let him pass.

That call didn’t last long though, with Perez then labelling a call to let the no.1 car pass ‘unfair’.


Perez was miffed by the team orders

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‘It’s way better’ – Lewis Hamilton delivers upbeat verdict on Mercedes upgrades ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton says he is ‘super happy’ after Mercedes added some crucial upgrades to improve the Silver Arrows car ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Toto Wolff’s team have been struggling with porpoising during the opening races of the season, wreaking havoc in their hopes to challenge for the constructors’ and drivers’ championships.


Hamilton is a happy man in Spain after the upgrades to the Mercedes car

Ahead of the weekend’s race, Mercedes have made a number of changes including a new floor which Hamilton hopes can lead them to some improved performances in the coming weeks and months.

As a result, George Russell will start the Spanish Grand Prix in P4, while Hamilton will start in P6 after Saturday’s qualifying.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start in first place, with defending champion Max Verstappen completing the front of the grid in second. The other Scuderia driver Carlos Sainz is third, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in fifth between Mercedes pair Russell and Hamilton.

But, according to the seven-time world champion, things are looking up for the Silver Arrows after their early-season struggles.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about the upgrades, Hamilton said: “It was positive.

“I’m super happy with the progress so a big, big thankyou to everyone back at the factory for not giving up and if we continue to push – we’re not the quickest, but if we continue in that way.

Red Bull Racing hilariously mock Aston Martin amid Formula 1 copying allegations as Christian Horner drinks from ‘Green Edition’ can and Max Verstappen’s team say ‘imitation is the greatest form of flattery’

Christian Horner and Red Bull Racing have hilariously mocked Aston Martin by drinking cans of Green Edition Red Bull, suggesting their competitors have copied their 2022 car design.

Red Bull team principal Horner and his staff have been seen on the pitwall with cans of the energy drink at the Spanish Grand Prix, in a reference to the new Aston Martin being dubbed a ‘green Red Bull’.


Horner and his team were seen making the rather amusing dig

@SkySportsF1


And were clearly unhappy about Aston’s redesign

@SkySportsF1

Aston Martin’s AMR22 challenger underwent a drastic redesign ahead of the Barcelona race in an attempt to make up for a poor start to the season.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and teammate Lance Stroll have combined for just six points from the opening five racings, leaving their squad ninth in the constructors standings.

Now though, they’ve completely redesigned the sidepods of their car, radically changing their aerodynamic philosophy to one more similar to Red Bull’s RB18.

So similar in fact, that Max Verstappen’s team have noticed the lookalike, and joined in on the joke that Aston are now driving a ‘green Red Bull’.

Red Bull asked the sport’s governing body – the FIA – to investigate claims of copying, but Aston Martin have since been cleared of any wrongdoing.

A Red Bull spokesperson said: “While imitation is the greatest form of flattery, any replication of design would obviously need to comply with the FIA’s rules around ‘Reverse Engineering’.


The Aston Martin struck a recognisable pose

Wimbledon stripped of ATP points for banning Russian and Belarusian players as call ‘undermines principle and integrity’ of ranking system

Wimbledon has had its ATP ranking points removed due to the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the 2022 championships.

The ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals] said the move came with ‘great regret and reluctance’ but their principles had been undermined by the UK’s Grand Slam.


Medvedev is one of the biggest names who will miss out at Wimbledon

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Wimbledon made the decision following Russia’s Belarus-backed invasion of Ukraine, as sports and governments imposed sanctions on the country.

Ramifications have been felt all across the world of sport, with Roman Abramovich forced to sell Chelsea due to his relationship with Vladimir Putin, while Russian teams have been banned from UEFA and FIFA competitions.

Most bans have impacted teams rather than individuals, except for Wimbledon’s call, which sees a number of stars such as men’s world number two Daniil Medvedev out of the prestigious tournament.

But the ATP have disagreed with the move, explaining why in a statement.

“The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our tour,” the statement read.

“The decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP ranking system.

Red Bull hilariously mock Aston Martin amid copying allegations as Christian Horner drinks green Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s team say ‘imitation is the greatest form of flattery’

Christian Horner and Red Bull Racing have hilariously mocked Aston Martin by drinking cans of Green Edition Red Bull, suggesting their competitors have copied their 2022 car design.

Red Bull team principal Horner and his staff have been seen on the pitwall with cans of the energy drink at the Spanish Grand Prix, in a reference to the new Aston Martin being dubbed a ‘green Red Bull’.


Horner and his team were seen making the rather amusing dig

@SkySportsF1


And were clearly unhappy about Aston’s redesign

@SkySportsF1

Aston Martin’s AMR22 challenger underwent a drastic redesign ahead of the Barcelona race in an attempt to make up for a poor start to the season.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and teammate Lance Stroll have combined for just six points from the opening five racings, leaving their squad ninth in the constructors standings.

Now though, they’ve completely redesigned the sidepods of their car, radically changing their aerodynamic philosophy to one more similar to Red Bull’s RB18.

So similar in fact, that Max Verstappen’s team have noticed the lookalike, and joined in on the joke that Aston are now driving a ‘green Red Bull’.

Red Bull asked the sport’s governing body – the FIA – to investigate claims of copying, but Aston Martin have since been cleared of any wrongdoing.

A Red Bull spokesperson said: “While imitation is the greatest form of flattery, any replication of design would obviously need to comply with the FIA’s rules around ‘Reverse Engineering’.


The Aston Martin struck a recognisable pose