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Sport | The Guardian

Sports news, scores, blogs and opinion on US and world sports from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Published: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:31:11 GMT2017-07-24T23:31:11Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017

Derrick Rose holds talks with Cleveland Cavaliers, according to reports

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:55:28 GMT2017-07-24T15:55:28Z

  • Eastern Conference champions have had troubled off-season
  • Rose talks come as reports indicate Kyrie Irving wants to leave Cavs

Two people familiar with the negotiations have told the Associated Press that former MVP Derrick Rose is meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rose is discussing a potential contract with Cleveland on Monday, according to the sources. The defending Eastern Conference champions have had serious discussions with Rose and his representatives over the past week.

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Amateur boxing’s president set to be forced out amid financial turmoil

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:08:42 GMT2017-07-24T21:08:42Z

• Allegations of financial irregularities at world governing body Aiba
• Motion of no confidence passed against its president, Wu Ching-kuo

The president of amateur boxing’s governing body, Aiba, is set to be ousted from his position with instability and financial turmoil growing at the organisation.

Wu Ching-kuo will be asked to step down after 13 members voted to pass a motion of no confidence in the president with a further two abstaining from voting at a meeting of executive committee members in Moscow on Monday. There will also be an extraordinary congress in the coming months where Wu will be asked to explain alleged financial irregularities at the organisation, concerns first raised by individuals speaking to the Guardian.

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Clint Dempsey's taste for havoc shows he's not done yet

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:00:32 GMT2017-07-24T09:00:32Z

Christian Pulisic may well be the future of US soccer but during the Gold Cup semi-final the Sounders striker showed he is integral in the short-term

Clint Dempsey’s star turn against Costa Rica in the Gold Cup semi-final did more than win his team the game and help the striker match the US goalscoring record — it may have extended his meaningful international career by another season.

There was a danger that by the time the Russia World Cup came around, Dempsey would represent the kind of selection headache for Bruce Arena that Landon Donovan became for Jürgen Klinsmann in 2014 — no longer a player a coach could build a team around, and potentially as much of a distraction as an asset on the sidelines.

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Why I don’t think Chris Froome will win a fifth Tour de France | William Fotheringham

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:32:20 GMT2017-07-24T14:32:20Z

Team Sky’s champion never looked dominant in the 2017 race despite a lack of seasoned contenders and, at 32, he cannot go on defying the years

With no disrespect to Chris Froome immediately after his fourth Tour de France win I do not believe the Team Sky leader will make it five and thus join the ranks of the immortals: Indurain, Merckx, Hinault and Anquetil – not next year and probably not the year after. I appreciate that accusations that I am indulging in anti-Team Sky, anti-Froome wishful thinking will flood in but I would like to think the judgment is based on logical analysis as well as emotion. That is not emotion in the tear‑your‑hair‑out sense but on the feeling you get in your bones.

This was not actually the closest of the Froome Tours: that was 2015, when Nairo Quintana had the form to win and might well have done so if Movistar had been more dynamic before unleashing him at L’Alpe d’Huez. However, the 2017 race was a Tour in which Froome never looked dominant. Not winning a stage is not a sign of a lack of charisma – winning bike races is hardly simple, as everyone knows – but it is usually an indication that a champion is not quite what he was.

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'David slew Goliath': Jamaica upset Mexico to reach Gold Cup final

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:49:48 GMT2017-07-24T11:49:48Z

  • Kemar Lawrence’s 88th minute free-kick seals game for Reggae Boyz
  • Jamaica will play USA in Wednesday’s final in Santa Clara

After Kemar Lawrence ripped an exquisite shot over Mexico’s wall and into the top corner for one of the biggest goals in Jamaican football history, the defender hushed his team-mates and refused to celebrate. Lawrence’s 25-yard free kick came in the 88th minute, and Jamaica advanced to the final with a 1-0 upset victory over Mexico on Sunday night.

“I think our guys were hungry,” Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore said. “They needed it more than the Mexicans, and we did what we had to do.”

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Premier League at 25: the best player – Eric Cantona | Paul Doyle

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:08:26 GMT2017-07-24T08:08:26Z

In the first of a five-part series we pick the division’s finest player. Cantona was the enigma who exploded the doubt at Manchester United, his arrival sparking a first title win for 26 years and a sustained run of success under Sir Alex Ferguson

We can’t be putting Tina Turner on for just any old hero, nor merely for the most skilful. And the toughest, longest-lasting or most prolific can go whistle because only one player can be serenaded as simply the best and it must be the one who has done more than any other to shape the Premier League years. Show us another player who has radiated as much influence as Eric Cantona and we will show you a figment of your imagination.

The rebranding of English football’s First Division as the Premier League coincided with the dawn of Manchester United’s imperial age. Before that they had been champions seven times in 89 years; since then they have won 13 of 25 available titles. There is a fair chance that followers of Manchester’s red team would be (much less numerous and) still harking back to the black-and-white era if it were not for Cantona, the enigma who exploded doubt.

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Women could cycle the Tour de France route, so why give them La Course?

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:22:54 GMT2017-07-24T12:22:54Z

Annemiek Van Vleuten was a worthy winner of the two-day race but women cyclists deserve more than a shortened mountain stage and a novelty pursuit

By Suze Clemitson of 100 Tales 100 Tours, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Anyone who watched Annemiek van Vleuten’s sickening, bone-crunching crash as she was heading for gold in the women’s road race at the Olympics last summer will have been roaring her over the line in the concluding stage of La Course on Saturday. Van Vleuten was a worthy winner, having battled back to fitness after suffering three spinal fractures and a severe concussion in Rio. Her victory means a Dutch rider has won the race in three of the last four years.

The previous three editions of La Course took place on the final Sunday of the Tour de France, with a sprint on the Champs-Élysées, but the organisers introduced a new format this year. On Thursday, riders raced a 67km mountain stage from Briançon to the top of the fearsome Col d’Izoard. The top finishers from Thursday qualified for a 22.5km pursuit-style individual time trial in Marseille on Saturday.

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Anger, desire, energy: Jordan Spieth finally silences the devil on his shoulder | Andy Bull

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 19:52:26 GMT2017-07-23T19:52:26Z

The memory of his collapse at the Masters in 2016 was the biggest threat to Jordan Spieth’s Open victory – overcoming it shows how tough a golfer he is

The second shot was the one. It flew left and fell deep in the crowd gathered around the 1st green. From there, Jordan Spieth chipped on and missed a putt from 12 feet for a bogey. So he had dropped a shot before he had even made it off the 1st hole. The atmosphere crackled as the crowd realised that whatever else had happened in the last three days, whatever else would happen in the next four hours, one thing Spieth’s final round would not be was easy.

Related: Jordan Spieth’s astonishing 13th-hole recovery paves way for Open victory

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Manchester United beat Real Madrid after farcical penalty shoot-out

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:43:42 GMT2017-07-23T23:43:42Z

  • Manchester United 1-1 Real Madrid (United win 2-1 on penalties)
  • Ander Herrera causes concern after limping off with injury

Despite Julia Roberts, an Oscar-winning member of Hollywood royalty, “measuring her excitement” beforehand, there was an under-capacity turnout for this International Champions Cup encounter in Santa Clara, three years after Manchester United and Real Madrid drew 109,318 to Michigan Stadium for a pre-season friendly.

Levi’s Stadium appeared noticeably under its 68,500 capacity on Sunday, despite the official attendance being given as 65,109. Given Real’s, and to a lesser extent United’s, appeal to California’s large Latino population, there may be questions about why this was not sold-out. That 2014 match in Michigan involved Cristiano Ronaldo who, despite only entering towards the end of the match, was still a draw for US football fans. The forward is not here this time, instead he is in China doing promotional work for Real.

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Manchester City sign £52m Benjamin Mendy to take spending over £200m

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:38:08 GMT2017-07-24T12:38:08Z

• Mendy signs five-year contract from Monaco
• Transfer fee is world record for a defender

Manchester City have taken their summer spending to more than £200m with the signing of Benjamin Mendy from Monaco and increased their total outlay in the transfer market since Pep Guardiola took charge 13 months ago to £385m.

The transfer fee of £52m (€57.5m) for Mendy is a world record for a defender and is Guardiola’s latest signal of intent as he seeks to build a squad capable of winning major silverware in his second season at the Etihad Stadium.

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Chelsea apologise to Chinese fans over Kenedy’s ‘offensive’ Instagram posts

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 13:02:43 GMT2017-07-23T13:02:43Z

• Chelsea say Brazilian has been ‘strongly reprimanded and disciplined’
• ‘Messages caused great offence and hurt the feelings of the people of China’

Chelsea have issued an apology to their Chinese supporters after admitting social media posts by Kenedy had caused “great offence and hurt the feelings of the people of China”.

The defender wrote the messages on his Instagram account before Chelsea’s comfortable 3-0 win over Arsenal at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. The 21-year-old was jeered during the pre-season friendly and has since apologised for his comments, and said any offence caused by now-deleted posts was “not intentional”.

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'I haven't really tried': Bernard Tomic amazed he's done well at tennis

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 21:47:30 GMT2017-07-23T21:47:30Z

Australian player says he was offered ‘insane money’ to play for other countries and that he feels trapped by the sport

Bernard Tomic remains amazed that he has done so well at tennis given that he hadn’t “really tried” and says he was offered millions of dollars to play tennis for other countries.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Seven’s Sunday Night program, the troubled star was unapologetic for the way he played tennis and lived his life.

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World Series of Poker: 25-year-old wins title and $8.1m in first appearance

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 12:39:11 GMT2017-07-23T12:39:11Z

  • Scott Blumstein from New Jersey had sharpened skills online
  • Rookie beat 7,200 other competitors to first place in Las Vegas

A New Jersey man with a degree in accounting is this year’s World Series of Poker champion.

Scott Blumstein won the no-limit Texas Hold ‘em main event early on Sunday in Las Vegas surrounded a crowd that included relatives and college friends. He is now $8.1m richer after eliminating Pennsylvania’s Daniel Ott on the 246th hand of the final table, more than 60 hands with just the two of them with bricks of bills and a gold bracelet separating them.

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Premier League’s missing men: where have all the Scottish managers gone?

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:08:00 GMT2017-07-24T19:08:00Z

For the first time since England’s top division rebranded there will not be a Scottish manager in charge of one of its clubs when the season gets under way. In 2011 there were seven, so why has their star fallen?

It was a high point at the most curious of times. In 2011, long after Scotland’s national team had slid away from finals participation and its players had been revered in the English top flight, a mini coaching phenomenon was in play. Seven of the Premier League’s 20 managers were Scottish.

To say nothing lasts forever is gross understatement in these short-term football times but the onset of season 2017-18 still provides a grim line in the sand. There will not be a single manager from north of the border when England’s top division gets under way, breaking a record of at least one per seasonal start which stretches back to the league’s 1992 rebranding. The run is technically even longer, given Sir Alex Ferguson took over at Manchester United six years earlier. Context is of course necessary; only five of those in Premier League office are English.

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Swansea reject second Everton bid worth £45m for Gylfi Sigurdsson

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 20:31:31 GMT2017-07-24T20:31:31Z

• Swansea stand firm in £50m valuation for Iceland international
• Everton’s initial £40m bid rejected but negotiations remain open

Swansea City remain resolute in their £50m valuation of Gylfi Sigurdsson, having rejected a second bid worth up to £45m from Everton for the Iceland international.

Everton had a £40m offer for the 27-year-old rejected a fortnight ago, when Sigurdsson stunned Swansea officials and team-mates by pulling out of the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, and an improved deal met a similar fate on Monday. That bid is understood to have been £40m plus £5m in add-ons.

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Transfer round-up: West Ham seal £16m swoop for Javier Hernández

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:32:39 GMT2017-07-24T17:32:39Z

• Former Manchester United striker signs three-year deal
• Federico Bernardeschi moves to Juventus from Fiorentina

West Ham have completed the signing of Javier Hernández from Bayer Leverkusen for £16m. The 29-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker has signed a three-year contract with the Hammers.

Related: Transfer window 2017 – every deal in Europe's top five leagues

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Euro 2017: Mark Sampson’s England enjoy benefits of thorough homework

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:48:00 GMT2017-07-24T17:48:00Z

• Lionesses top Group D with two wins from two matches
• Victory over Spain was based on meticulous preparation

Mark Sampson’s England are arguably football’s equivalent of the ‘Straight A’ students whose assiduous revision camouflages the reality that they are not necessarily the most naturally brilliant pupils.

The Lionesses have done so much homework, so meticulously, that they feel confident of answering any tactical or stylistic question thrown at them during Euro 2017.

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Euro 2017: Holland beat Belgium to qualify as Norway crash out to Denmark

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:24:55 GMT2017-07-24T23:24:55Z

• Belgium 1-2 Holland: hosts win all three games to top Group A
• Norway 0-1 Denmark: goal from Katrine Veje sees off 2013 finalists

Holland became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of Euro 2017 with a 2-1 win over neighbours Belgium.

The tournament hosts took the lead through their captain, Sherida Spitse, who scored a 27th-minute penalty, before Belgium’s Tessa Wullaert hit a bizarre long-range strike to level the scores, the first goal that Holland have conceded all tournament.

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If Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are to succeed, Ederson needs to hit ground running

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:00:34 GMT2017-07-24T11:00:34Z

City suffered for the wrong choice of goalkeeper last season and Guardiola’s hopes will be compromised if Claudio Bravo’s inexperienced replacement does not prove worth the £34.9m outlay

The success of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City tenure could hinge on a 23-year-old goalkeeper who is untested in English football and has only one full season behind him at a major Portuguese club.

Ederson Santana de Moraes was bought for £34.9m from Benfica this summer. The size of a fee close to the world record for his position indicates two things: how good the Brazilian is believed to be and how keenly Guardiola wishes to remedy his problem at No1.

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Bookie in plea to Gambling Commission over ‘matched-betting’ activity

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 22:20:14 GMT2017-07-24T22:20:14Z

• Geoff Banks claims his website was flooded by falsified registrations
• John Gosden will decide in midweek if Enable runs in the King George

Geoff Banks, a prominent figure in bookmaking for the past 20 years, said on Monday that he has lodged a complaint with the Gambling Commission over the activities of a “matched betting” website, which recently flooded his own website with punters hoping to exploit a promotion to make guaranteed profits.

“Matched betting” allows backers to lock in profits by balancing free bets or offers of bets at inflated odds against “lay” bets on a betting exchange such as Betfair. Banks is a critic of the “bonus culture” in modern gambling, which uses promotional bets to entice new customers, and would like to see such incentives banned, but says he is forced to operate such schemes to compete for new clients.

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England Women’s World Cup triumph should transform fortunes of the players

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:49:47 GMT2017-07-24T21:49:47Z

• Exposure from victory could lead to advertising and sponsorship deals
• Win described as ‘watershed moment’ by Anya Shrubsole and Clare Connor

The lives of England’s World Cup-winning team and future generations of female cricketers will be transformed by the victory, according to leading agents and sport marketing experts.

Anya Shrubsole, whose incredible bowling turned almost certain defeat into victory against India, said it felt like a “watershed moment” for the sport played out before a capacity crowd at Lord’s. The £512,000 prize-money has been split equally among the 15-strong squad, meaning £34,000 a player. For players on central contracts worth around £50,000 plus match fees and bonuses, that represents a huge increase in their annual income.

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Ben Proud follows Adam Peaty’s example as Great Britain claim two golds

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:53:17 GMT2017-07-24T19:53:17Z

• Peaty secures second successive 100m breaststroke world title
• Proud takes surprise first place in 50m butterfly in 22.75sec

The Olympic champion Adam Peaty claimed an expected title before proving the inspiration for his Great Britain team-mate Ben Proud to secure a surprise gold medal at the world championships in Budapest on Monday night.

Peaty bettered his own championship record to finish in 57.47sec but his own world record of 57.13, set last August in winning Olympic gold in Rio, was beyond him.

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Women’s World Cup success moves cricket closer to Olympic return in 2024

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:51:16 GMT2017-07-24T14:51:16Z

• Popularity of women’s tournament has helped sway the ICC and the IOC
• India’s BCCI will meet on Wednesday to discuss its support, seen as vital

The success of the Women’s World Cup won by England on Sunday and watched by millions around the globe has propelled cricket closer to a return to the Olympic Games in 2024. The International Cricket Council is determined to capitalise on recent advances in the women’s game and push on with a bid for Twenty20 competitions, for both genders, to be included. Agreement with the Games is considered closer than ever.

After the World Cup the ICC recognises how cricket featuring in the Olympics would give the women’s game even greater profile and open up new funding from national governments. There is stronger support for the concept among the ICC’s 104 members than ever before, recognising the opportunity that the Olympics presents.

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England women’s rugby union squad contracts will end after World Cup

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:09:26 GMT2017-07-24T14:09:26Z

• RFU has defended its switch in emphasis to the sevens game
• Maggie Alphonsi and Labour MPs have expressed dismay at decision

The England women’s rugby union squad will play in the World Cup in Ireland next month knowing that their contracts will not be renewed whether they successfully defend their title or not.

Maggie Alphonsi, who has retired since collecting her World Cup winners’ medal in 2014, has described the news as “very disappointing” and while both she and some MPs have reacted with dismay to the emerging news, the Rugby Football Union has defended the switch in emphasis to the sevens game after the 15-a-side tournament. The RFU’s director of professional rugby, Nigel Melville, said the players were told in the spring.

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Wakefield scheme for new 10,000-seat stadium backed by parliament

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:00:34 GMT2017-07-24T14:00:34Z

• Club hope to become anchor tenants at ground in nearby Newmarket
• Planning approval initially granted in 2012 but project has been stalled

Wakefield Trinity have received parliamentary support in their battle for a new stadium in the city as the deadline for them to inform the Rugby Football League of their plans for next season and beyond approaches.

Trinity are hoping to become anchor tenants in a proposed 10,000 all-seater stadium in nearby Newmarket, which was initially given planning approval in 2012 but has since been stalled by a number of delays.

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Viewers angry after Michael Phelps loses race to computer-generated shark

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:18:21 GMT2017-07-24T15:18:21Z

  • Olympic great loses by two seconds in man v (fake) beast contest
  • Phelps calls for rematch in warmer contest after defeat

Not for the first time in Earth’s history, humans have been found wanting.

Mankind’s latest setback came on Sunday after one of the greatest Olympians ever, Michael Phelps, lost a 100m swimming race to a great white shark. To add to the ignominy, the shark wasn’t even real.

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Michael Phelps races a great white shark (sort of) – video

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:57:55 GMT2017-07-24T12:57:55Z

Olympic great Michael Phelps races a ‘great white shark’ on Sunday as part of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. The shark was in-fact a computer simulation rather than a actual great white but its swim speed was calculated using data collected from the real thing. Phelps finished the 100m course in 38 seconds, two second slower than the ‘shark’

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Jordan Spieth’s Open victory has given him an early shot at greatness | Ewan Murray

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:25:08 GMT2017-07-24T11:25:08Z

The American’s triumph ended the run of maiden major winners and has put a different slant on next month’s US PGA Championship when he can secure a career grand slam

Golf has its mojo back. It should hardly be disrespectful to those who had claimed the seven majors before the Open Championship that Jordan Spieth’s success has a broader appeal. Every sport benefits, after all, from blue-chip players winning blue‑chip events.

Such a theory will be borne out in a matter of weeks as Spieth attempts to become the youngest player in history to claim all four major titles. Among those entitled to savour spine‑tingling events at Royal Birkdale on Sunday was the PGA of America; its US PGA Championship has suddenly been ramped up a notch.

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Manchester United 1-1 (2-1 pens) Real Madrid: International Champions Cup – as it happened

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:24:52 GMT2017-07-23T23:24:52Z

• Manchester United win poor penalty shootout over Real Madrid
• Slow game in Santa Clara, California, finishes 1-1 after 90 minutes
• Reserve teams from both sides outshine starters in each half

Final thoughts: Precious little to celebrate in this one, though Martial’s work on the United goal will make his highlight reel, and Lindelof’s “work” on Real Madrid’s equalizer will make his blooper reel (as will his own penalty attempt).

The politest thing you could say about both teams was that they were keeping their powder dry for the SuperCup. Certainly we saw two halves in which the respective first XI’s were up against the fringe players from their rivals, so it was hard to discern just where the teams are at this stage of their pre-seasons. By the same token there was no marked distinction in how the two teams performed when their stars were on the field versus when they weren’t.

Well, that penalty shootout at least brought some comic relief to proceedings. Seven misses from ten taken just about sums up a damp squib of a match. Final thoughts in a minute.

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Jordan Spieth: memories of Masters meltdown drove me on at Open

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 22:53:00 GMT2017-07-23T22:53:00Z

• ‘Closing in a major was extremely important for how I look at myself’
• American apologises to Matt Kuchar for 18-minute wait at 13th hole

Jordan Spieth admitted memories of his meltdown at the 2016 Masters inspired him towards triumph on the final day of the Open on Sunday.

The Texan, who won two majors in 2015 but blew a five-shot lead on the back nine in the final round of the 2016 Masters, completed a one-under 69 after starting with a three-shot margin this time.

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Austin Connelly to stay in Europe after Open and sharpen ‘killer instinct’

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 21:12:55 GMT2017-07-23T21:12:55Z

Young Canadian who earned praise from Jordan Spieth finishes his first major appearance with a fine two-under total at Royal Birkdale

Jordan Spieth said so many nice things about Austin Connelly this weekend that it was easy to believe the 20‑year‑old Canadian could mount a respectable chase on the final afternoon of the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale. He almost did, in a rollercoaster round of highs and lows. There will be plenty of the same, and better, to come.

Related: Anger, desire, energy: Jordan Spieth finally silences the devil on his shoulder | Andy Bull

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The gifs that keep on giving: laughter, face football and two big clearances

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 10:00:32 GMT2017-01-21T10:00:32Z

Featuring two UFC fighters trying to pretend, a new form of badminton, fast fists, a very short game of pool and an exceedingly chamring basketball player

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The forgotten story of … how the white ball was dismissed as an unwanted fad | Simon Burnton

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 09:42:22 GMT2017-06-09T09:42:22Z

The white ball was widely disliked during trials in 1927 and one manufacturer declared it ‘practically impossible to make’. It would take another 24 years for the Football League to give it the go-ahead

In 1939 the Football League made the wearing of numbers on the backs of shirts mandatory, and in 1951 it officially allowed footballs, previously a shade of mud brown that given the state of many pitches at the time must have been extremely unhelpful, to be white. These novelties stand as two steps on football’s long journey to modernity though superficially they have little in common, separated as they were by 12 years and a world war. In fact, however, they were introduced in a single pioneering week during the pre-season of 1927, a time of wild experimentation which appears to have gone forgotten or unnoticed in the game’s many histories and timelines.

Herbert Chapman, who had already won two leagues titles and an FA Cup with Huddersfield Town and was in due course to repeat that feat at Arsenal, has been credited with playing a decisive role in both. In fact he seems to have been supportive but only tangentially involved, with credit for player numbers more rationally belonging with Chelsea’s manager, David Calderhead, his chairman, Claude Kirby, and later with Everton’s William Cuff, and for the white ball with a certain Mr EL Roberts of Kingsland, Shrewsbury.

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Lovingly taking turns to land a punch on their new friend | The Fiver

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:57:09 GMT2017-07-24T15:57:09Z

Today: Mr Wimpy, Ronald McDonald, Antonio Cassano, Phil Jones and Skegness

When The Fiver was young and bright-eyed in the early 1990s, it would sometimes attend birthday parties at Wimpy restaurants. Its own parties, obviously, because the dog apparently ate any invites to others’ as soon as they came through the letterbox. Halfway through the salty feast a weirdly taciturn character in oppressive layers of plasticky fancy dress would emerge from a doorway and engage in mime-based badinage with the children present, some of whom would lovingly take turns to land a punch on their new friend. The Fiver mentions Mr Wimpy because it therefore knows exactly how Manchester United and Real Madrid’s players must have felt when, undertaking the deadly serious business of pre-match handshakes before their under-attended friendly in Santa Clara, they were obliged to clench flesh with a certain Ronald McDonald – which sadly wasn’t the name of a Scottish referee flown in for the occasion.

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The Joy of Six: Wimbledon wildcards | Niall McVeigh

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:30:16 GMT2017-06-28T09:30:16Z

From the glorious apex of Goran Ivanisevic’s career to a remarkable run from Zheng Jie, via a famous headband and a Houston high school student

Wimbledon has been handing out wildcards since 1977, sprinkling the draw with young guns, home hopefuls and fading stars in a bid to spice up the opening week. Only one player has taken their golden ticket and run all the way to a singles title, like a fun runner breaking the tape on the Mall. Sometimes, you have to start with the obvious one.

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It's time to introduce a two-legged MLS Cup - with a twist

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:00:10 GMT2016-10-24T09:00:10Z

The single final is insufficient, and the two-leg final doesn’t reward the higher-seeded team for their regular-season performance. So why not combine the two?

Do US soccer leagues need their own Super Bowl, a week-long festival of the sport at a neutral site? Or should they reward the best regular-season team with home-field advantage for the final game?

Related: Didier Drogba fined but not suspended for Montreal Impact tantrum

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Rory McIlroy's best moments, indoor cricket and expert drone destruction | Classic YouTube

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:16:46 GMT2017-07-20T08:16:46Z

This week’s roundup also features baseball behemoth Aaron Judge, an inspired catch from a cricket fan and a furious bodybuilder

1) With the Open starting, Rory McIlroy isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders. Let’s look back at some happier times, starting in 2007 when he burst on to the scene with a fine performance as an amateur at that year’s Open. Here he is winning the Silver Medal at Carnoustie. McIlroy had to wait a few years for his first major but managed it at the 2011 US Open. Here is the fresh-faced champion being interviewed on the 18th after breaking his duck. The following year he won the US PGA Championship, and did so again in 2014. In the same year he won the Open, this time at Royal Liverpool. Finally, here he is sinking a monster at the Ryder Cup. So Rory, if you’re reading and feeling glum, watch all that and cheer yourself up a bit.

2) Drones may be the first hint of Earth’s dystopian future, but they are no match for an expertly flung toilet roll, as this Argentinian football fan proved:

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Benjamin Mendy: It's a dream to play in the Premier League – video

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:30:36 GMT2017-07-24T15:30:36Z

Manchester City’s latest signing Benjamin Mendy says he has dreamed of playing in the Premier League since he was a child. The full-back joins City from Monaco on a five-year contract in a deal worth £52m, a world record fee for a defender. ‘I bring a lot of creativity to the game,’ the Frenchman says

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Tour de France 2017: how the race unfolded – video

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:46:39 GMT2017-07-24T09:46:39Z

The 2017 Tour de France will live long in the memory after featuring numerous moments of high drama. From Peter Sagan’s controversial disqualification and Richie Porte’s crash during stage nine to Warren Barguil winning on the Izoard and Chris Froome collecting his fourth yellow jersey. Here, watch how the 2017 Tour unfolded

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Chris Froome wins fourth Tour de France title – video highlights

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 19:51:12 GMT2017-07-23T19:51:12Z

Chris Froome has won his fourth Tour de France title, finishing 54 seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran. This year’s race was only the seventh time a Tour has been won by a rider who failed to win a single stage. Froome wins his third in a row, with only four riders having won more overall

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England beat India in dramatic Women's Cricket World Cup final – video

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 18:53:16 GMT2017-07-23T18:53:16Z

England win the Women’s Cricket World Cup, beating India by nine runs in a thrilling final at Lord’s on Sunday. It took a match-winning spell from Anya Shrubsole, with the bowler taking five wickets for just 11 runs at the end, taking the final wicket with just nine balls remaining

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Tour de France: Chris Froome all but secures his fourth title – video highlights

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 18:43:48 GMT2017-07-22T18:43:48Z

Chris Froome came third in the time trial stage, the penultimate stage of the 2017 Tour de France, but extended his overall lead to 54 seconds, all but guaranteeing his fourth title. The final stage is a largely processional affair, Tour etiquette dictating no challenges to the leader.

Tour de France – in pictures

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Tour de France: Edvald Boasson Hagen wins stage 19 – video highlights

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:43:43 GMT2017-07-21T17:43:43Z

Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen wins stage 19 of the Tour de France in Salon-de-Provence on Friday. The Dimension Data rider finally gets a stage victory on the 2017 Tour after twice missing out in a photo finish. Team Sky’s Chris Froome stays in yellow before Saturday’s decisive time trial in Marseille

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Mourinho and Guardiola content after Manchester United's win over City – video

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 09:03:15 GMT2017-07-21T09:03:15Z

Manchester United manager José Mourinho says he is satisfied with his side’s 2-0 win in the pre-season meeting with Manchester City on Thursday night in Houston. Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford sealed the victory for United in the first Manchester derby to be played on foreign soil. City manager Guardiola is also pleased with his team’s showing despite the loss

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Tour de France: Barguil conquers Col d’Izoard as Froome retains yellow – video highlights

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:01:45 GMT2017-07-20T18:01:45Z

Frenchman Warren Barguil won stage 18 of the Tour de France on the summit of the Col d’Izoard on Thursday. His compatriot Romain Bardet was third up the Alpine climb just ahead of Chris Froome who stayed in yellow. With just three stages remaining, the Team Sky rider is now firm favourite to pick up his fourth Tour title

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USA striker Jozy Altidore bitten in Gold Cup win over El Salvador – video

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 11:20:07 GMT2017-07-20T11:20:07Z

American striker Jozy Altidore is bitten by El Salvador defender Henry Romero during a Gold Cup quarter-final in Philadelphia on Wednesday night. Romero also appears to twist the US player’s nipple for good measure. Away from the skirmishing, the United States won the match 2-0 and will now face Costa Rica in the semi-finals this weekend

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Jordan Spieth’s astonishing 13th-hole recovery paves way for Open victory

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 18:57:00 GMT2017-07-23T18:57:00Z

• American beats Matt Kuchar by three shots to claim Claret Jug
• Recovery from mishit drive off driving range re-energises final round

Whatever else Jordan Spieth’s career yields – and expect it to be plenty – there will never be anything as remarkable as this. The 23-year-old will go to the US PGA Championship in under a month’s time needing only that title to complete the Grand Slam. If that seems partly logical given Spieth’s talent and ferocious mental strength, hard facts do a huge disservice to a truly astonishing afternoon on Merseyside.

At the end of it all, he became the youngest recipient of the Claret Jug since 1979. It is fitting that the man who prevailed then, Seve Ballesteros, had a propensity to play the central character in a drama. If a scriptwriter had delivered a script for this, the conclusion to the 146th Open Championship, the odds are it would have been rejected on the grounds of being fanciful.

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Jordan Spieth wins the Open 2017: final round, as it happened

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 18:07:36 GMT2017-07-23T18:07:36Z

Jordan Spieth won the Open at Birkdale – his third major title – after a heroic performance along the closing stretch. Scott Murray was watching

All that’s left, after another Open Championship for the ages, is a rundown of the final standings at the top of the leaderboard.

-12: Spieth
-9: Kuchar
-6: Li
-5: McIlroy, Cabrera-Bello
-4: Southgate, Leishman, Noren, Grace, Koepka
-3: Casey, Kim, Stenson
-2: Z Johnson, Wood, Dufner, Poulter, Matsuyama, Connelly
-1: Schauffele, Hoffman
E: Scott, Lovemark, Bland, Fowler, Ramsay

Spieth is given the Claret Jug, and he takes to the mic to give his winner’s speech. “Thank you. We as players look very much forward to this event, it’s top class. You’re the most respectful and educated fans in the world, and we couldn’t appreciate it more. I want to thank the membership at Royal Birkdale for allowing us to tear up your course for a few days. Boy, what an incredible venue. We owe you guys a lot of thanks. I’d like to thank my caddy Michael after keeping me in it after not quite an ideal start! I was getting down on myself, as anybody I think would. It’s as much his as mine, and you deserve all the credit in the world. This is a dream come true for me. I was able to drink a little wine out of it when Zach Johnson won it a couple of years ago, and a lot of people told me that was bad luck ... I started to believe them a bit through the front nine holes today! What an incredible day. Matt, I enjoyed the battle, it could have gone to either one of us, and I got the breaks today. What a great champion Matt Kuchar is, and what a class act. I took about 20 minutes to play one of my shots today. Matt took it in his stride and smiled, and there’s not many people who would have done that. It speaks to the kind of man you are, and you set an example to all of us. I’m going to take this back to America which might upset a few of y’all here, but I’ll return it again. What an incredible honour!”

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Tour de France 2017: final stage – as it happened

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 18:04:05 GMT2017-07-23T18:04:05Z

Dylan Groenewegen wins the final stage of the race but Chris Froome is the hero of the day, winning his third straight Tour and fourth overall

Related: Chris Froome wins fourth Tour de France after Champs Élysées procession

That, then, is more or less that. Thanks all for your company and comments these last three weeks, and enjoy the rest of your weekends!

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Anya Shrubsole: ‘It is quite hard to remember everything that happened’

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:02:43 GMT2017-07-24T18:02:43Z

England’s hero from the Women’s World Cup final victory over India says she was so focused during the match the scale of her achievement took time to sink in

The power of recall among sports people is a peculiar thing. Perhaps it is because their work relies on reaction and instinct but many are prone to misremembering their own spectacular feats: forgetting dates, venues or even the details of the performance itself. For example, in cricket, it is common for batsmen looking back on their careers to recall an early breakthrough knock as a century when it may have only been a match-winning 60. Slowly but surely the sands of time scrape away at authentic memory.

During England’s celebrations deep into the London night, after the most miraculous of World Cup wins against India at Lord’s, Anya Shrubsole, player of the match award stuffed in her bag after a match-winning six for 46 (such is her modesty her medal was buried deeper instead of around her neck), was given a piece of advice: to write something down – her feelings, her emotions or simply the thoughts running through her head; to commit to paper a moment that deserves permanency.

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Kyrie Irving wants to leave Cavaliers and LeBron James's shadow

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:33:48 GMT2017-07-21T23:33:48Z

  • All-Star point guard wants trade away from Cleveland, say reports
  • News continues troubling off-season for 2016 NBA champions
  • Possible trade with Knicks could bring Carmelo Anthony to Ohio

Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ All-Star point guard, has asked the Cavaliers to trade him, sources told the Associated Press on Friday. Irving is understood to have made the request last week to owner Dan Gilbert.

A four-time All-Star, Irving has spent six seasons with the Cavs, who selected him with the No1 overall pick in 2011. The 25-year-old has overcome injury issues and blossomed into one of the league’s elite point guards and biggest stars. But now that he’s finally established himself playing alongside LeBron James, Irving wants out.

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Whatever your opinion on Lance Armstrong, liking his podcast is not a sin | Barry Glendenning

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 08:30:33 GMT2017-07-22T08:30:33Z

Forgiveness may still be a long way off but the disgraced cyclist’s Tour de France podcast is proving popular and he is well qualified to have an opinion

Opinions vary among cycling fans on just how good or bad this year’s Tour de France has been. With only two stages left we find ourselves in the welcome situation where the top step of the Paris podium is still up for grabs but many have felt short-changed by a route that has been heavily criticised, not to mention the more unforeseeable early exits of a clutch of the peloton’s finest through injury or controversial disqualification.

What few who have heard it can contest, however, is that some of the most intelligent, insightful and amusing analysis of this year’s race has been offered from the back of a converted Winnebago generally parked up somewhere in Colorado. There’s just one small or very big problem: the man delivering these forthright opinions is Lance Armstrong.

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Chris Froome wins fourth Tour de France after Champs Élysées procession

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:20:50 GMT2017-07-23T17:20:50Z

• Team Sky rider tops overall standings 54sec ahead of Rigoberto Urán
• Dylan Groenewegen wins final stage in Paris sprint finish

The French capital was in lockdown on Sunday, with extra rings of security around the Champs Élysées, which had been turned into a vast sterile zone as a foretaste of what awaits the French capital when the Olympics arrive in either 2024 or 2028. In an understandable attempt to put Paris on display as never before, the race was routed through the Grand Palais with the riders racing under the famous glass roof, originally erected in 1897 for the universal exposition of the turn of the century.

For Chris Froome it was but a novel diversion en route to confirmation of his fourth Tour de France victory. The Team Sky rider crossed the line in the bunch behind the stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen, to win the yellow jersey by 54 seconds from Rigoberto Urán.

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Wimbledon 2017 day three: Murray, Konta and Nadal through, Kvitova out - as it happened

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 20:11:31 GMT2017-07-05T20:11:31Z

Related: Two-times Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova ousted by Madison Brengle

Related: Daniil Medvedev faces hefty fine after emptying wallet for umpire

Related: Rafa Nadal offers ominous signs of form in straight sets win over Donald Young | Sean Ingle

The final balls are hit on day three, as Jelena Ostapenko beats the light and the qualifier Francoise Abanda to advance 4-6, 7-6, 6-3, but Madison Keys’s Wimbledon has come to a disappointing end with a 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 loss to Camila Giorgi. Thanks for reading/emailing/tweeting etc. Do come back for more of the same tomorrow. Bye!

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England beat India by nine runs to win Women's Cricket World Cup – as it happened

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:20:48 GMT2017-07-23T17:20:48Z

England were crowned Women’s World Cup winners, winning by nine runs after a pulsating finish against India at Lord’s

Match report: England beat India in thrilling final to win World Cup.

Related: England beat India in thrilling final to win Women’s Cricket World Cup

A tournament that deserved a grandstand finish got exactly that. 7-for-28 was the India collapse, just at the moment they looked to have this trophy. But then came Anya Shrubsole. Her five wicket spell are what dreams are made of. Simple as that. What a tournament, what a final. Cricket, ay? On behalf of Vish and myself and the others who have been on the OBO today and during the Women’s World Cup, thanks for your company. It’s been a lot of fun. England: World Champions. Brilliant. G’night.

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Losing control: outrage at non-send off highlights core problem with NRL referees | Nick Tedeschi

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:00:31 GMT2017-07-24T18:00:31Z

As long as there have been referees, there have been complaints about them but it is apparent the head official no longer controls on-field action

To label the standard of current NRL refereeing a crisis would be to undersell through cliché just how damaging poor officiating has been to rugby league – the standard at which officials are operating is having a more negative impact than nearly anything else in the sport.

Getting universal agreement on any matter in rugby league is about as likely as spotting the Loch Ness monster in Sydney Harbour but almost to a man there was agreement that Sia Soliola should have been sent off for his tackle that was both late and high, and left Billy Slater splayed motionless on the Canberra Stadium turf.

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