Konta overcomes Belgium’s Mertens in Kremlin Cup

Konta has dropped to 44 in the singles rankings British number one Johanna Konta beat Elise Mertens 6-3 7-5 in the first round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Konta sent a powerful forehand into the corner to break Mertens to love and take the opening set in 34 minutes. Mertens, ranked 16 in the world, broke her rival for the only time in the first game of the second set but Konta recovered to level at 4-4. The Belgian had to serve to stay in the match at 6-5 down but failed to do so as Konta broke to

Mason Crosby hits FG as time expires to help Packers top 49ers

A pick, a penalty and a game-winning kick. Quite a final minute for the Green Bay Packers. Mason Crosby kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to cap an 81-yard drive set up by Kevin King’s interception with 1:07 left, and the Packers outlasted the San Francisco 49ers for a 33-30 win on Monday night. The final drive was extended after 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman was called for an illegal contact penalty on third-and-15 that wiped out a sack of Rodgers with 43 seconds left. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers rushed up the middle for a 21-yard gain on the next

Brewers blank Dodgers to retake NLCS lead

A veteran starter, an intimidating bullpen and a twice-demoted shortstop who is suddenly flashing power helped the Milwaukee Brewers take a 2-1 lead in the NL Championship Series. Jhoulys Chacin combined with four relievers on a five-hitter and Orlando Arcia hit a two-run homer in a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. Los Angeles loaded the bases against Jeremy Jeffress in the ninth inning, but the struggling closer shut the door. He struck out Yasmani Grandal and pinch-hitter Brian Dozier to complete Milwaukee’s third shutout in six playoff games this year. “Our guys that we’re giving the

Kyle Larson’s speed at Talladega NASCAR Cup race ’embarrassing’

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Red Sox ace Chris Sale released from hospital, will rejoin team for Game 3

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale was released from the hospital Monday and will rejoin the team in Houston before Game 3 of the AL Championship Series. Sale was released from Massachusetts General Hospital, where he had gone because of a stomach illness after he pitched in the series opener. He was hospitalized Sunday night for observation. Manager Alex Cora said “everything is fine” and Sale would be back with the team before Game 3 on Tuesday. When asked about Sale’s status for the rest of the ALCS, Cora said he wanted to see the pitcher first before making that

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, owner of NFL’s Seahawks and NBA’s Blazers, dead at 65

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the man who persuaded school-friend Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard to start what became the world’s biggest software company, died on Monday at the age of 65, his family said. Allen left Microsoft in 1983, before the company became a corporate juggernaut, following a dispute with Gates, but his share of their original partnership allowed him to spend the rest of his life and billions of dollars on yachts, art, rock music, sports teams, brain research and real estate. Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer, the Allen family said

Changing of the guard as Scott Arfield takes over as Canada soccer captain

A changing of the guard is under way with the Canadian men’s soccer team with Scott Arfield taking over as permanent captain from Atiba Hutchinson. Health permitting, Arfield will lead out the 79th-ranked Canadians against No. 177 Dominica in CONCACAF Nation League qualifying play Tuesday at BMO Field. The Glasgow Rangers midfielder also wore the captain’s armband for last month’s 8-0 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands. Arfield, who left practice early Sunday as a precautionary move with a minor knock, has won 13 caps for Canada since making his debut in March 2016. The 35-year-old Hutchinson, arguably Canada’s best

Gleb and Vadim Alekseenko banned from tennis for life for match fixing

Ukrainian twins Gleb and Vadim Alekseenko have been banned from tennis for life and each fined $250,000 (£190,018) for match fixing. The pair were found guilty of multiple match-fixing offences at a number of ITF Futures tournaments between June 2015 and January 2016. They also arranged for another person to bet on matches which they contrived the result. The case was based on an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit. The match-fixing offences occurred at tournaments in Romania, Russia, Germany and Turkey on the Futures tour, tennis’ third-tier of tournaments. Vadim Alekseenko is 1,113th in the ATP rankings, having reached

Toronto FC’s Vázquez has season cut short by arthroscopic knee surgery

Toronto FC midfielder Víctor Vázquez is done for the season after having arthroscopic knee surgery. The 31-year-old Spanish playmaker has eight goals and nine assists in 21 games in a season interrupted by injury. Vázquez has had chronic knee problems in his career but was also dogged by a nerve issue and a sore back this season. He had started the last five games for Toronto, however. Toronto coach Greg Vanney said the decision was made to get the surgery done sooner than later. Vázquez is expected to make a full recovery. Toronto was eliminated from playoff contention in its

Toro Rosso hands Sean Gelael FP1 outing at US Grand Prix

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Ryder Cup: Poulter, Stenson and Rose give Europe better chance than what bookies suggest

As he finalises his 12-man team by naming his fourth wild card tomorrow, USA captain Jim Furyk knows he already has three aces in his pack.

In Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas, Furyk will be fielding the three men currently sitting at the top of the world rankings.

And by naming veterans Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods among his first three wild cards, he has added two golfing legends who dominated the world golf scene for two decades.

In comparison, among the eight players who have qualified automatically for Europe captain Thomas Bjorn’s team are five who will be making their Ryder Cup debut.

Yet there are several key factors which could suggest that the bookmakers have got it wrong by ruling out Europe’s chances of reversing the Hazeltine scoreline.

History is on their side since it is now 25 years since the Americans last won the cup away from their home soil and their 15-13 victory at The Belfry in 1993 could hardly be described as conclusive.

And the tough layout of Le Golf National is a far cry from most of the modern courses they play week in, week out on the PGA tour, where recovery shots from missed fairways are played from lies that are little more than closely manicured semi-rough.

When it has hosted the French Open, the course has been recognised as one of the toughest on the European Tour circuit.

At many holes, finding the right position on the fairway to have a playable approach shot to the green is of paramount importance, with a variety of hazards surrounding every green.

Johnson may be the current world No1, with the power to hit the ball further than 99.99 per cent of the world’s golfers, but accuracy is far from his biggest strength.

Mickelson may have some wonderful short game recovery talents, like his famous ‘flop shot’, but they will not come into play if his ball finds one of the water hazards that dominate the closing four holes.

And since the Ryder Cup is a matchplay team game far removed from the individual strokeplay battles tour golfers face, dressing room spirit could be a key factor in deciding the winners.

In that department, Bjorn will have some key characters. No one can match the fist-pumping that erupts from Ian Poulter when he sinks a key putt to win a hole.

Then there is the humour of Swede Henrik Stenson. When fellow players need a pen to sign an autograph, he has been known to hand them a biro that emits a small electric shock.

And in Justin Rose, the ability to control emotions when a shot goes awry on the course prevents opponents from knowing he is upset.

Television replays will show that Rose walks almost every fairway with a smile on his face and barely moves his lips when telling his caddie under his breath that he has a problem.

Bjorn may have five newcomers in his line-up but in players like Stenson, Rose and Sergio Garcia there is a wealth of experience than can be passed on to upset the bookies’ forecast.


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