All posts by phnseo

Nadal reaches semis in Shanghai Open

Rafael Nadal tied Andre Agassi for seventh place on the list of all-time Open Era wins when he reached the Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Friday. Topping Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 was his 870th match win. Nadal also improved his win streak to 15 having won the China Open last week. In Beijing, he defeated Dimitrov in a three-set semi-final.

The Spaniard, 31, breezed through the first set but was unable to break Dimitrov in the second, and the Bulgarian was strong in the tie-break to force a deciding set. Dimitrov, ranked eighth in the world, had break point early in the third set, but Nadal saved it with a backhand volley before winning three consecutive games.

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“Winning a lot of matches in a row, so I’m very happy for everything,” Nadal said. “Of course, being able to win the US Open, Beijing, and being in the semifinals here … I have to try to keep focus and hold that momentum. We’ll see tomorrow if I can have another good day.”

Croatia’s Marin Cilic beat Spain’s Alber Ramos-Vinolas, 6-3, 6-3 and will be facing against Nadal on Saturday, which will decide whom of them will get into the finale. Nadal seemed to be very happy with his victory and will be well prepared when he faces Cilic later this week.

The Spaniard, who has never won the Shanghai showpiece, is chasing a seventh title in a brilliant season and a hat-trick of triumphs on the trot, having been crowned US Open and China Open champion in recent weeks.

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Court Reinstates Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott’s Suspension

A federal appeals court ruling on Thursday allowed the N.F.L. to impose a six-game suspension on the Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over domestic violence allegations.

The court’s decision, which went 2-1 in favor of the N.F.L., was a blow to the Cowboys and, for now, bolstered Commissioner Roger Goodell’s power to dole out penalties for off-field issues. While the suspension is considered to be immediate, Elliott will have some time to pursue means of delaying or overturning the suspension, because the Cowboys do not play a game in the next 10 days. But without another court ruling, Elliott cannot practice with the Cowboys.

The appeals court, in vacating the injunction Thursday, ruled that the district court had lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the players’ union’s appeal of the suspension.

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In a statement Thursday evening, the players’ union said it was “reviewing the decision and considering all options.”

A somewhat rocky start to the season for Elliott — possibly caused in part by the distraction of the looming suspension — has contributed to Dallas’s rocky 2-3 start to the season. At this point last season, Elliott, who helped lead the Cowboys to a 14-2 record as a rookie, had 546 rushing yards and five touchdowns. This year he has 393 yards and two touchdowns, and his average yardage per game is 78.6, a significant drop from his average of 108.7 for all of last season.

When the union filed its case in defense of Elliott in Texas, the N.F.L. filed a separate motion in the Southern District of New York, in which it argued that that court was the appropriate venue for the league and its players to settle their disputes. The league’s headquarters is in Manhattan, and other cases, including a suspension fight between the league and the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, have been heard in Manhattan.

The Cowboys have a bye in Week 6 and do not play again until Oct. 22, so the union has more time to file motions before Elliott’s suspension keeps him out of a game.

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PSG Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi investigated over FIFA ‘Bribery’ case

Nasser Al-Khelaifi is at the centre of a TV rights deal storm, after Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against the Paris-Saint Germain chairman.

Switzerland’s attorney general has opened the case against the Qatari businessman over concerns that he attempted to bribe ex-FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke for the rights to show the World Cup on BeIn Sports – the broadcasting company at which that Al-Khelaifi is chief executive.

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Prosecutors claim that Valcke accepted the bribes from Al-Khelaifi with the intention of awarding media rights to “certain countries” for the World Cups due to be held in 2026 and 2030.

Last year, The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) said it was investigating Valcke for “various acts of criminal mismanagement”. That case is still ongoing. The second investigation that which relates to Al-Khelaifi is being conducted in partnership with authorities in France, Greece, Italy and Spain, and was opened in March 2017, the OAG said.

It added that its representatives had interviewed Valcke in Switzerland as a suspect on Thursday.

The proceeding against Al-Khelaifi is one of the first direct links to Qatar in sweeping investigations by authorities in the United States, France and Switzerland of FIFA, international football, and the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests. Al-Khelaifi’s profile has risen in recent months as PSG pursued and sealed a world-record transfer of Brazil star Neymar from Barcelona for €220 million.

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Giants’ Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suspended indefinitely

Rodgers-Cromartie, the veteran Giants cornerback, reported to the team facilities on Thursday and was told he was suspended indefinitely, according to numerous reports. Coach Ben McAdoo said Wednesday that Rodgers-Cromartie would be suspended, apparently over an argument last Sunday. Giants safety Landon Collins called it an “altercation.” Rodgers-Cromartie left the Giants facility on Wednesday.

Rodgers-Cromartie loses $410,588 for every game he’s suspended according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. Neither Rodgers-Cromartie nor McAdoo was immediately available for comment. Players can be suspended a maximum of four weeks under the collective bargaining agreement.

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The Giants suspended Rodger-Cromartie on Wednesday for leaving the team facility before practice. McAdoo had told him on Tuesday night that he would be inactive for Sunday night’s game in Denver because he left the bench in the second half of a loss to the Chargers and went to the locker room.

The Pro Bowl cornerback left a recovery session Friday and threw his helmet in disgust when he was taken off the field late in Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, sources told ESPN. He was in apparent pain and hobbling around the field at that time and went into the locker room with the intent to leave the stadium. He later returned to the field.

He has one more season remaining on a five-year, $35 million deal signed in 2014. To replace Rodgers-Cromartie, the Giants signed cornerback Donte Deayon off their practice squad.

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Arjen Robben retires from international football

A 2-0 win over Sweden was not enough to secure passage to Russia next summer as the Oranje finished third in their group. Robben announced after the game his time with the Netherlands was over and explained he had been thinking about calling it a day for a while.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid winger, 33, steered his side to a 2-0 win against Sweden on Tuesday in what proved to be his final international appearance as they missed out on a play-off place. The Netherlands needed to win by seven goals to have the chance to reach next year’s World Cup in Russia.

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It is the second major tournament in a row the Netherlands have failed to qualify for, but Robben will be remembered as part of a golden generation for his country. Robben scored 37 times and provided 29 assists in 96 appearances, averaging a goal or assist every 112 minutes for his country. True to form, Robben scored the Netherlands’ second against Sweden.

The Dutch also progressed to the last four at the 2014 finals before losing to Argentina on penalties.

“Fourteen years, it’s beautiful, magnificent even,” said Robben, who made his international debut against Portugal in April 2003.

“I will always remember the 2010 World Cup and 2014. Those are my best memories. During those two competitions we formed a real team.”

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Lebron makes preseason Debut

LeBron James made his preseason debut Tuesday after missing Cleveland’s first three games with a sprained left ankle. He scored 17 points, but also had eight turnovers in the 108-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

It was the first chance for James to play with close friend and former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade as the Cavaliers showed off their new starting lineup. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue brought out his new starting group for the first time now that James is back. Wade, Kevin Love and newcomers Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder joined him. Lue announced the lineup, which includes three former MVPs Monday. James and Rose have won regular-season MVPs and Wade was the 2006 Finals MVP. Rose finished with 13 points and Iman Shumpert added 12.

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James committed seven turnovers (all in the first half) and looked like a guy who spent the past two weeks rehabbing while the players around him were sharpening their games. James reiterated that he’s still not 100 percent but said he was motivated to return to the lineup to gauge where he is at. With that said, James’ 17 points still led the Cavs and he shot 8-for-13 from the floor with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.

The Cavs finish off the preseason Friday on the road against the Orlando Magic and will look to avoid a 0-5-exhibition record.

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Winner-take-all Game 5 Yankees vs Indians

The Yankees bested the Indians 7-3 in Game 4 of the ALDS. It was another elimination game for the Yankees, who after dropping the opening two games of the series have now evened the best-of-five set at two games apiece.  Luis Severino, Aaron Judge and the Yankees are headed back to Cleveland for a decisive Game 5, thanks to lots of help from the Indians.

Severino rebounded from his playoff debacle, Judge delivered a big hit and the Yankees took advantage of shoddy defense by Cleveland to beat the Indians 7-3 Monday night and even their AL Division Series at two games apiece.

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Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer struggled on three days’ rest and was chased in the second inning. But it was on the wet Yankee Stadium field where the Indians flopped; committing a season-high four errors that were a franchise record for a postseason game and led to six unearned runs. The defending AL champions made only 76 errors all season, fewest in the league.

The Yankees could have gone with Sonny Gray in Game 5 but will hand the ball to CC Sabathia, who pitched better in Game 2 than Gray did in Game 1. For the Indians, there is no second choice: they will go with Cy Young candidate Corey Kluber, who the Yankees spanked in Game 2.

The fourth elimination game is Wednesday when the Yankees attempt to be the seventh team in Division Series history to climb all the way out of a 0-2 hole.

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Vikings’ Sam Bradford aggravated knee injury

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford was once again forced to the sidelines during Monday’s 20-17 victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Head coach Mike Zimmer confirmed Bradford hurt his knee in the first half. However, Zimmer remained “hopeful” in regard to the quarterback’s future availability.

Bradford missed three games at the start of the season due to a knee injury, although his health issues aren’t as bad as they were earlier in his career.

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Knee injuries limited him to just seven games from 2013-14, although he missed just two games because of injury over the next two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and Vikings. His only other absence was when he sat behind Shaun Hill for Week 1 last year.

Bradford completed just 5 of 11 passes for 36 yards before Keenum replaced him late in the second quarter. Bradford was sacked four times in just 26 total snaps for the Vikings before leaving the game. One of the sacks also went for a safety to give the Bears an early 2-0 lead. The Vikings managed just three first down offensively with Bradford in the game.

Bradford was listed as questionable to play for Minnesota despite practicing throughout the week. It was clear early in the game that he didn’t have anywhere close to his typical mobility and wasn’t able to perform to his usual standard. Keenum has played well in Bradford’s absence. He completed 17 of 21 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in his half of work at quarterback for Minnesota.

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Nadal takes sixth title of the season

World number one Rafael Nadal demolished Nick Kyrgios to win his sixth title of the season at the China Open. The Spaniard won nine games in a row on his way to a comprehensive 6-2 6-1 victory to reclaim the trophy he last won in 2005. Top-ranked Nadal, who was tied with Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev at five titles this season, picked up his 75th career singles trophy with the win in Beijing.

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Nadal’s latest triumph, following successes in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and grand slam glory in Paris and New York, came after the Spaniard saved two match points in his tournament opener against Lucas Pouille. Victory also further boosted the 16-time major champion’s chances of holding off Roger Federer to finish the season atop the rankings for the first time since 2013.

Despite losing, Kyrgios will climb to 15th in the ATP Race to next month’s World Tour Finals in London.

The last time Kyrgios played a No. 1 it was also against Nadal. In that 2014 Wimbledon fourth-round encounter, the then 144th-ranked Kyrgios emerged a four-set winner. This was Nadal’s second China Open title in four trips to the final. He won his first in his Beijing debut in 2005. Nadal leads Kyrgios 3-2 in career meetings, and 2-1 this season.

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Pelicans’ Rajon Rondo may need surgery

The Pelicans point guard may need to undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia suffered last week, according to coach Alvin Gentry.

Rondo is scheduled to get an opinion on the hernia Monday in Philadelphia before deciding on the next step in his recovery. Until the extent of the injury is determined, Gentry and the team will not provide a timetable on his return. Rondo was injured in the first half of Friday’s preseason loss to the Thunder and sat out Sunday’s win in Chicago against his former team.

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Rondo, 31, joined New Orleans in July on a one-year deal worth $3.3 million. The four-time All-Star averaged 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 69 games with the Bulls last season. The Pelicans are scheduled to open the regular season Oct. 18 in Memphis against the Grizzlies.

Rondo hasn’t been a stranger to injury recently after he missed a handful of games last season because of wrist and ankle injuries before he fractured his thumb in the Chicago Bulls’ first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics. However, none of those ailments dissuaded the Pelicans from signing Rondo to a one-year, $3.3 million deal to make him their new starting point guard.

Rondo’s latest injury will force the Pelicans to adjust, but they do have the personnel necessary to make due. So long as Rondo is banged up, Jrue Holiday should downshift from shooting guard to point guard, with Ian Clark and E’Twaun Moore the primary candidates to pick up the slack at the 2. Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate adds that initial estimates are that the former All-Star guard will be sidelined for roughly a month.

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