All posts by phnseo

F1 teams reject prototype 2020 Pirelli tyre

Formula 1 will stick with 2019-specification Pirelli rubber next year, after teams unanimously voted to reject the new tyres that were being prepared for 2020.

The prototype 2020 spec – which was designed to reduce tyre degradation, provide a wider working range of temperature and lower overheating in dirty air –  had made its race weekend debut during free practice in Austin, but earned largely negative evaluations from the drivers who had sampled it.

As a result, the possibility of sticking with this year’s tyres was broached, such a decision requiring the approval of 70 percent of competing teams, as per item 12.6.1 of the F1 technical regulations.

And while Pirelli said it would be open to such a development, it was hopeful that the two-day post-season test in Abu Dhabi would offer a more representative view of the new tyres. However, GPDA director Romain Grosjean (Haas) said he was left with largely the same impression at Yas Marina – and the FIA has now confirmed a “unanimous decision” has been taken to stick with the 2019 spec.

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“The FIA would like to thank both Pirelli and all the teams for their work and collaboration to improve the tyres for the 2020 season and beyond,” the FIA statement added.

“In any case, the lessons leant will be invaluable for the further improvement of the tyres in the future.”

Pirelli’s motorsport director, Mario Isola, acknowledged peak grip was down on the 2019 tyres, but said that was to lessen the drop off in performance over the tyre’s life.

“The target was to make a tyre better for racing, not qualifying, we were not focusing on qualifying, we were not focused or peak of grip, the absolute performance of the car,”he said.

“The idea was to have tyres where you can push more, this means that probably we have more one-stop races and so on but that was the discussion and agreement we have.

F1 has one more tournament on the current tyres before switching to 18-inch rims for the 2021 season, which will feature a complete overhaul of the series’ cars and rules.

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49ers C Weston Richburg out for year

The San Francisco 49ers suffered a big blow on Sunday when center Weston Richburg left in the third quarter of their victory over the New Orleans Saints with a leg injury.

Test results on Monday confirmed bad news. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that Richburg suffered a torn patella tendon and will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

The 49ers are also looking at key defensive players missing time for the stretch run of the season.

While it sounds like Sherman and Ford could be back for the playoffs — especially if the 49ers earn a first-round bye — losing Richburg is a setback for the league’s fourth-ranked offense and second-ranked running game. But a bye is no guarantee with games versus the Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams and a key Week 17 clash with the Seattle Seahawks that could determine the NFC West champion remaining.

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Richburgh, meanwhile, will need surgery and rehab before he returns.

A six-year NFL veteran, Richburg has anchored San Francisco’s interior line for two seasons.

Ben Garland finished Sunday’s game in place of Richburg and is expected to take over at center in his place.

Garland took first-team reps during training camp as Richburg recovered from offseason surgery. He drew positive reviews from his teammates on Sunday, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The 49ers had 339 total yards to the Saints’ 265 at the time of Richburg’s injury, but they trailed 30-28. 

Center Weston Richburg was carted off the field with an injury to his right knee and ankle. Richburg’s right leg got caught on guard Mike Person’s left leg, causing the center’s leg to awkwardly bend as he went to the ground.  The 49ers signed Richburg to a five-year contract in March 2018. 

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Anthony Joshua wins rematch by unanimous decision

Britain’s Anthony Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz Jr on a unanimous points decision in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to seize back the heavyweight world championship belts he lost to his Mexican-American opponent in a shock upset last June.

The Clash on the Dunes in Diriyah was for the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles and Joshua dictated the pace from the beginning with a measured approach that showed he had learned from the mistakes of the past.

Going into the 12th and final round, Ruiz needed a knockout to pull off another upset but it never came.

The judges scored the fight 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 to the 30-year-old Briton.

“It was his night, man,” said Ruiz as his six-month reign came to an end, calling also for a third encounter that Joshua seemed to welcome. “If you heard, we’re going to do it a third,” said the taller and more athletic Briton.

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California-based Ruiz had stopped the previously undefeated champion in the seventh round at New York’s Madison Square Garden last June.

Joshua described that shock defeat, to a flabby-looking opponent drafted in as a late replacement, as no more than a ‘minor setback’ and he was happy to make light of it again in victory.

“Man, the first time was so nice, I had to do it twice,” he told the crowd.

“I’m used to knocking guys out but last time I realised ‘hang on a minute, I hurt the man and I got caught coming in’.

“I gave the man his credit. I said to myself I’m going to correct myself and come again.” Another loss in the early hours of Satuday would have sent the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight champion’s career into freefall, with some saying already after the last fight that the Briton was finished.

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49ers improve 11-2 with road win over Saints

The Saints scored a go-ahead touchdown with 53 seconds remaining, the fourth lead change of the day, and had the 49ers on the ropes with a fourth-and-two with 39 seconds remaining.

But New Orleans missed on two two-point conversions, including one after their final touchdown, and the 49ers kicked the game-winning field goal on the final play.

Jimmy Garoppolo hit George Kittle on for a 39-yard gain on that fourth-and-two play, with C.J. Gardner-Johnson missing a tackle that would have ended the game. Marcus Williams added a facemask penalty at the end of the play. It set up San Francisco in field goal range.

Robbie Gould kicked a 30-yarder as time expired to give the 49ers a 48-46 victory in the game of the season in the NFL.

The teams combined for 94 points and 981 yards. The Saints punted once, threw an incompletion on a fake punt that they thought they should have gotten defensive holding and Alvin Kamara lost a fumble. The 49ers punted three times and Garoppolo threw an interception.

The 49ers, who lost a 20-17 heartbreaker to the Ravens on the final play last week, moved to 11-2. The Saints fell to 10-3.

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Tre’Quan Smith scored on an 18-yard pass from Drew Brees with 53 seconds left in what looked like it was going to be the game-winner, but Garoppolo and Gould had the last say.

Garoppolo finished 26-of-35 for 349 yards with four touchdowns and the interception. Brees went 29-of-40 for 349 yards and five touchdowns.

The 49ers picked up a key victory, in terms of their quest to win the NFC West and, potentially, gain home-field advantage in the playoffs.

The Seattle Seahawks entered the day with a 10-2 record but currently are listed atop the NFC West standings because of their head-to-head victory over the 49ers on Nov. 11.

The 49ers can clinch a playoff spot Sunday night with a Los Angeles Rams loss or tie against Seattle. They can take over the top spot in the NFC West — and best record in the NFC — with a Rams victory.

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Wozniacki to retire after 2020 Australian Open

Caroline Wozniacki, a former No. 1-ranked tennis player, announced she will retire from the sport after the 2020 Australian Open. The 29-year-old is presently ranked No. 37 in the world and has 30 career singles titles since turning pro in 2005.

Wozniacki first shared the news during an appearance Friday on “Good Morning America,” telling the hosts she was “ready to move on to the next chapter of my life.” She then shared a statement on social media.

Wozniacki won the 2018 Australian Open, her lone Grand Slam title, with a win over top seed Simona Halep. The Denmark native was runner-up at the 2009 U.S. Open and the 2010 WTA Tour Championships, earning the No. 1 ranking for 71 weeks between 2010 and ’11.

Her most recent match was a semifinal defeat to Naomi Osaka at the China Open. She said the retirement has nothing to do with her health and more to do with what else she wants to accomplish in life, as well as leaving the sport on a high note.

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Wozniacki struggled in 2019, not winning a singles title for the first time in her career as she battled injuries and dropping from the top five.

The year prior, 10 months after winning her first slam title, she announced a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

In June, Wozniacki married former New York Knicks player David Lee, and the couple recently moved to a condo on Fisher Island in Miami. One of the 18 tennis courts at the Palazzo Del Sol facility in Fisher Island is named after the tennis star.

In her social media announcement, Wozniacki said she wants to start a family while traveling and promoting awareness about rheumatoid arthritis. She also started classes at Harvard Business School this past September.

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Reed Builds 3-shot Bahamas lead as Tiger rallies

A tropical breeze replaced the raging wind and made golf a lot easier for Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods and just about everyone else Thursday in the Hero World Challenge.

Reed took advantage of the back nine at Albany Golf Club for the second straight day. He was tied for the lead until making six birdies over his last 10 holes for a 6-under 66 that gave him a three-shot lead over U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland.

”It’s one of those golf courses that when the wind lays down, it gives you opportunities to make birdies,” Reed said. ”But when the wind starts blowing, the golf course can get really challenging.

You need to give yourself as many opportunities as you can.” Woods, playing for the first time since he won in Japan for his record-tying 82nd career triumph on the PGA Tour, kept a clean card to match Reed’s 66 and remain six shots behind.

Unlike the opening round, when Woods started poorly and ended even worse to wipe out a good back nine, he played bogey-free and made up ground on the back nine.

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It started with a 6-iron that hopped onto the green at the par-5 11th and rolled 7 feet away for an eagle. He followed with a 7-iron to 8 feet for another birdie. He didn’t make up any ground on Reed, but he at least cut down on the number of players ahead of him as he tries to win his holiday event for the first time since 2011.

”I just think it was less windy,” Woods said. ”It was a little bit easier today.”

Once he got through the front nine, where he spent much of the time scrambling for pars outside of a lone birdie, Woods didn’t miss too many shots coming in.

A week before he heads over to Australia as the playing captain for the U.S. team in the Presidents Cup, the game looked to be in order.

Woodland, who makes his Presidents Cup debut next week, lost ground with consecutive bogeys that left him six shots behind at one point. He fixed that by finishing with three straight birdies for a 69 and will be paired with Reed again on Friday for the third round.

The tournament ends Saturday so the American team can board a charter to Melbourne, arriving on Monday.

Dustin Johnson, who withdrew from the Bahamas to have one more week for his knee to recover, plans to fly in on Saturday to join the rest of the Americans on the charter.

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Zack Wheeler joins Phillies on five year deal

The Philadelphia Phillies have signed free-agent starting pitcher Zack Wheeler to a five-year deal worth $118 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Wheeler, 29, ended the 2019 season with a 11-8 record and a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts (in a career-high 195 1/3 innings) for the Mets. The right-hander posted a 1.26 WHIP with a career-high 195 strikeouts last season. 

Wheeler, whose fastball averaged nearly 97 mph in 2019, was considered one of the top second-tier starters on the free-agent market behind top-end arms Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

CBS Sports ranked Wheeler as the seventh-best available free agent on the market this offseason. He became the second notable starting pitcher to sign with an NL East team on Wednesday after veteran lefty Cole Hamels agreed on a one-year, $18 million deal with the Braves.

Wheeler ended 2019 averaging 8.98 strikeouts per nine innings and struck out 23.6 percent of the batters he faced, compared to just 2.30 walks per nine innings. The 2019 season also saw Wheeler post double-digit wins for the second year in a row.

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Wheeler rejected his one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer from the Mets in November, and the club will now receive third-round draft-pick compensation.

Over the last two seasons, Wheeler has proved to be a solid starter, averaging 30 starts while posting a 3.65 ERA and a 3.37 WHIP.

He missed both the 2015 and 2016 seasons following Tommy John surgery and subsequent setbacks, but worked his way back to earn a spot in New York’s rotation.

Wheeler was a highly coveted arm this winter and also reportedly had interest from the White Sox, Reds and Rangers. The White Sox offered Wheeler more than $118 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Wheeler’s wife is from New Jersey and the proximity to Philadelphia played a role in Wheeler’s decision, Rosenthal reported.

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Manchester United defeats Tottenham in Mourinho´s return

This was a return to the Theatre of Dreams that Jose Mourinho will not have wanted to imagine but one that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must have fantasised about.

Mourinho’s re-appearance, a year to the month he was dismissed by Manchester United, ended in a limp loss as Tottenham Hotspur lost for the first time since he was appointed.

The Humble One did not expect to be humbled and although he remained restrained throughout how he will have dreamt of getting one over the club that felt he was not that special any more.

There would be no knee slide, no fist pump, no tapping of his chest for Mourinho as he watched Marcus Rashford inspire United to victory and in doing so went a long way towards relieving the mounting pressure on Solskjaer in what feels like a defining week for him ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby.

United also had the bonus of going above Spurs in a Premier League table which suddenly looks far more healthy for them.

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At the end, Mourinho sought out each United player, as well as those from Spurs, but maybe it was telling that he lingered longest with the impressive Scott McTominay who was something of a project for him.

Bizarrely, United have now defeated Chelsea, Leicester City and Tottenham in winning just five of their 15 league matches so far this campaign and are the only team to have taken points off Liverpool, while Spurs will have felt this was a reality check – “a wake-up call,” Alli said – after the euphoria of Mourinho’s initial impact.

It was their first loss after three victories but in every match they have conceded two goals which is very un-Mourinho-like and something he has little time to work on with fixtures coming thick and fast.

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Andy Ruiz vs Anthony Joshua rematch preview

Three of the four recognized heavyweight titles will be at stake on Saturday when Andy Ruiz Jr. looks for a second straight upset of former unified champion Anthony Joshua.

Eight months after Ruiz’s epic knockout at New York’s Madison Square Garden in Joshua’s U.S. debut, the stage shifts to Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, and the makeshift outdoor Diriyah Arena as the British superstar looks to regain his WBA, IBF and WBO titles.

The 30-year-old Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs), a native of California, became the first heavyweight champion in boxing history of Mexican descent when he floored Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs), 30, three times en route to a seventh-round TKO in April.

“I’m confident about the rematch, but I don’t underestimate any fighter. I know AJ’s going to come stronger and more focused but inside the gym, like Mike Tyson says, everyone has a plan until they get hit.”

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“I’m sure everybody was trying to look for an excuse and reason why he didn’t perform and why he lost. I think it was down to the style. Styles make fights and I’ve been calling AJ out for a while. I knew his style was perfect for me and that’s why I plan to do the same thing.” Stated Ruiz.

“It’s about how you come back. I have a different challenge in my head. When you’ve walked the road once, you can do it again.”​ 

“I am looking at myself in the mirror and saying I know I’m better than that [losing last time round]. Andy is still the same person. He will come game and I’ve got to change some of my bits and bobs.”​ Stated Joshua when asked about fighting Ruiz for the second time.

Both boxers’ game plans could be significantly different for the rematch, though, Ruiz said. And despite his increased prominence in the boxing world as a result of his victory, Ruiz said he hasn’t lost his fire.

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NY Jets put C.J Mosley on IR, to have surgery

New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley, who signed a record-setting free-agent contract last offseason, is done for the season after playing in only two games.

Mosley, who suffered a severe groin injury in Week 1, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. He will have surgery to repair what he described as a groin/abdominal issue.

“It gives us a chance to get him back in the spring and get him going in the offseason program,” coach Adam Gase said.

After sitting out four matches following the initial injury, Mosley returned Oct. 21 versus the New England Patriots and aggravated it. At the time, the Jets called it a six-week injury, so they gave him an opportunity to rehab instead putting him on IR.

This will go down as one of the most disappointing moves in recent free-agent history.

The Jets lured Mosley away from the Baltimore Ravens with a five-year, $85 million contract — then a record-setting deal for an inside linebacker. It included a franchise-record $43 million in guarantees.

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They anointed him as the “quarterback” of their defense and expected him to galvanize the unit. Without Mosley, the defense has played well; the Jets are ranked sixth in yards allowed.

Mosley got off to a terrific start, scoring the Jets’ first touchdown of the season on an interception return in the opener. He was dominant in that game, an eventual 17-16 beat to the Buffalo Bills, but injured his groin in the third quarter.

His stat line for the season: two games played, 108 defensive snaps, nine tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery. His 2019 compensation is $19 million. Mosley isn’t going anywhere because his 2020 salary ($6 million) is fully guaranteed. So is $8 million of his $16 million salary in 2021.

The Jets claimed safety Bennett Jackson off waivers from the Ravens in a corresponding move Tuesday.

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