Early NASCAR failings ‘humbled’ 2018 Cup champion Logano

Please note that unauthorised reproduction or translation of any content (including words, data, information, photos, videos and any other intellectual property) published on this page and any other copyrighted content published on Autosport.com is strictly prohibited. Please see our terms and conditions for further information.Source

Chevrolet: New 2018 Camaro, young talent influx caused NASCAR slump

Please note that unauthorised reproduction or translation of any content (including words, data, information, photos, videos and any other intellectual property) published on this page and any other copyrighted content published on Autosport.com is strictly prohibited. Please see our terms and conditions for further information.Source

NASCAR Cup champion Logano gives new 2019 Ford Mustang first outing

Please note that unauthorised reproduction or translation of any content (including words, data, information, photos, videos and any other intellectual property) published on this page and any other copyrighted content published on Autosport.com is strictly prohibited. Please see our terms and conditions for further information.Source

Red Sox must pony up nearly $12M US in luxury tax

Boston should be happy to pay this tax bill. The World Series champion Red Sox owe $11,951,091 US in luxury tax for having baseball’s top payroll, according to final calculations by the commissioner’s office obtained by The Associated Press. The only other team that owes is the Washington Nationals, who must pay $2,386,097, their second straight year with a bill. Because Boston was more than $40 million over the tax threshold, it became the first team to incur a new penalty put in place for the 2018 season: the top Red Sox selection in next June’s amateur draft will be

Return of baseball to Montreal looking ‘pretty good,’ says Stephen Bronfman

Efforts to bring a baseball team back to Montreal are moving forward, but the businessman spearheading that project is trying to temper expectations. Stephen Bronfman was careful when talking about the progress his group has made, but did say his group wants to build something that will last.  “We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that this is sustainable, that this is real and that we’re in it to win it,” he told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak. On Thursday, the so-called Montreal Group released a report suggesting Montreal has everything required to support a major league baseball over the long-term. The Expos left town in 2004

Manchester & London on five-city ATP Finals shortlist

Highlights: Dominant Zverev beats Djokovic to win ATP Finals Manchester has joined current hosts London on a five-city shortlist to stage the ATP Finals from 2021. Singapore, Tokyo and Turin have also made the cut after more than 40 cities expressed an initial interest in hosting the season finale. Manchester lost out to the Chinese city of Shenzhen earlier this year in its attempt to host the WTA Finals – the women’s equivalent of the ATP Finals. A decision on the ATP Finals host will be made by March 2019 at the earliest. London has hosted the event since 2009

Chargers shock Chiefs with wild comeback to clinch playoff berth

Arrowhead Stadium was already emptying by the time Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers jogged to the locker room, triumphantly waving his hand as a satisfying cascade of boos washed over him. He had finally beaten the Kansas City Chiefs. It sounded perfect. Rivers led Los Angeles on a feverish fourth-quarter comeback Thursday night, capped by a debatable pass-interference call, a tense video review of the last touchdown and the gutsy decision to try a 2-point conversion. And for the first time in years against Kansas City, everything turned out perfectly for Rivers and the Chargers in a 29-28 victory that clinched

Tiger Woods: Phil Mickelson clash slammed by legend Greg Norman

‘The Match’, as it was billed, drew praise but also plenty of criticism as Mickelson walked off with the cool $9million (£7m) pay-out in the scrappy encounter. The double Open-winning Norman was asked whether he watched the Las Vegas showdown ahead of this week’s PNC Father-and-Son Challenge in Orlando. “Never watched it and besides I’d rather buy two shares of General Electric and invest those and have a long-term investment than pay $20 to watch,” said the 63-year old. But while the ‘Great White Shark’ was no fan of ‘The Match’ he is a fan of Tiger Woods acting as

Wimbledon expansion plans set to advance after golf club votes to sell

The home of Wimbledon was first established as the All England Croquet Club in July 1868 Wimbledon’s expansion plans have taken a step forward after a neighbouring golf club voted to sell its land. The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) made a £65m offer to buy the Wimbledon Park Golf Club land. AELTC says a vote has gone in its favour with the transfer – pending court approval – set to go through on 21 December. The deal will see AELTC’s land roughly triple in size. It means qualifying will be held on the site by the middle of

Edwin Encarnacion traded to Seattle in 3-team deal

Slugger Edwin Encarnacion has been traded to Seattle and first baseman Carlos Santana has returned to Cleveland in a three-team deal that also involved Tampa Bay. The Rays got infielder Yandy Diaz and minor and minor league right-hander Cole Slusser from Cleveland. Cleveland also acquired first baseman Jake Bauers. The swap came Thursday at the close of the winter meetings. CBC.ca

I dreamed of playing Serena in a Grand Slam final – Osaka

Naomi Osaka is the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam final
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Naomi Osaka says she “always dreamed” she would play her idol Serena Williams in a Grand Slam final after both reached this year’s US Open decider.

The 20-year-old became Japan’s first female Grand Slam finalist by defeating last year’s runner up Madison Keys 6-2 6-4 at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Six-time winner Williams is looking to match the record 24 Grand Slam titles won by Australian Margaret Court.

“I shouldn’t think of her as my idol, just as an opponent,” said Osaka.

“When I was a little kid I always dreamed I would play Serena in a Grand Slam final. At the same time I feel like even though I should enjoy this moment, I should still think of it as another match.”

‘I love you Serena’

A shy-looking 16-year-old Naomi Osaka posing with Serena Williams in July 2014 at a WTA tournament in Stanford

Osaka, who was aged just one when Williams won her first Grand Slam in 1999, is well-known for her entertaining interviews on the tour and in the past has discussed Netflix, memes and computer game Overwatch in news conferences.

After winning her first Masters title at Indian Wells earlier this year, she made what she described as “the worst acceptance speech of all time” – nervously saying her ‘thank yous’ before awkwardly lifting the trophy and posing for photographs.

Two years ago, she was asked a question about her career ambitions and responded by saying: “To be the very best, like no-one ever was.”

Realising she had caused confusion, she added: “That’s a Pokemon quote, I’m sorry. That’s the Pokemon theme song. But, yeah, to be the very best, and go as far as I can go.”

And after winning her semi-final win Osaka brought laughter from the crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium with her answers in her post-match interview…

Interviewer: Thirteen break points faced, 13 break points saved, how did you do that?

Osaka: This is going to sound really bad but I was just thinking I really want to play Serena.

Interviewer: Why?

Osaka: Because she is Serena. Like what do you mean?

Interviewer: What was going through your mind as you went to serve it out?

Osaka: Don’t double fault.

Interviewer: Perhaps a message for Serena?

Osaka: I love you.

How Osaka marched to the final

Osaka, who began the season as world number 68, steamrolled her way into her first Grand Slam semi-final with a 6-1 6-1 demolition of Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

And she saw off two Belarusians in the third and fourth rounds – demolishing Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0 6-0 before dropping her only set of the tournament in a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win over 26th seed Aryna Sabalenka.

The Japanese youngster broke into tears of joy following that win over Sabalenka but remained calm after her victory in the semi-final.

“I believe that Naomi is one of those individuals who really craves the big stage,” said her coach Sascha Bajin, who used to work with Williams.

“She always plays better on the big stages than she does on any of the other courts. If she’s sad, she’s going to show it. If she’s happy, she’s going to show it. There are no fake emotions.”

A breakthrough year

Naomi Osaka beat Daria Kasatkina in the final at Indian Wells in California

The 20-year-old was born in Osaka, Japan and moved to New York aged three before relocating to Florida. Her father is Haitian and her mother is Japanese.

The dual-citizen says going to Japan feels like a “super-awesome vacation” rather than home, but will have the hopes of a nation behind her when she faces Williams.

By reaching the semi-finals alongside compatriot Kei Nishikori, it marked the first time that a male and female Japanese player had reached the final four in the same Grand Slam.

And Osaka will break into the world’s top 10 with victory in Saturday’s final – capping off a terrific year that started so well with the victory at Indian Wells in March.

On her way to that title in California, Osaka beat four seeded players, including world number one Simona Halep and fifth seed Karolina Pliskova, as well as five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova.

She also beat Williams in Miami in March – just two years after her first appearance at a Slam at the Australian Open.

She announced herself in New York last year when she caused an upset to knock out defending US Open champion and world number six Angelique Kerber in the first round.

Before reaching this year’s US Open final, Osaka’s best finish at a Grand Slam was in the fourth round of the Australian Open – she had never gone beyond the third round prior to that.

The view from Japan

Japanese tennis journalist Aki Uchida

She became famous in Japan especially after she won in Indian Wells – that was big news.

She is half Japanese and half Haitian-American so she doesn’t look typically Japanese but her name is very traditional Japanese. So that contrast between her looks and her name makes her even more charismatic to Japanese people. And the way she acts on court is very Japanese.

Japan is having a lot of typhoons and earthquakes so it’s not a time for the country to be very happy and excited about sport. But right after she won this match, I was getting text messages from friends back home saying ‘you’re in New York and Naomi just won!’ So based on that, I think people who are not always into tennis are interested in her.

Now she is famous in Japan. I think she is one of the most well-known female athletes now.

BBC Sport

About The Author


Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.