Press Association Diplomat got followers of Dermot Weld and Ruby Walsh off to the perfect start at Galway as the odds-on favourite recorded a comfortable success in the galwaybayhotel.com Novice Hurdle, the opening event of the 2013 festival. Weld, who is in search of a 27th trainers’ title at Galway, said the winner was likely to reappear on Tuesday, when he hoped the Dr Ronan Lambe-owned gelding would settle better. Weld, celebrating his 65th birthday, said: “He did it nicely. He was a little bit keener than Ruby would have wanted and as a result probably didn’t win as impressively as we expected. “I was a little concerned that he was going to tire at some stage. We’ll see how he is in the morning and hopefully we’ll run him back. The ground is beautiful and he’s a relatively fresh horse. “Hopefully we can get him to relax a bit better. He got geed up at the start when a horse bumped into him and it set him alight. “If we get him settled I believe he can come home a lot better than that. We had the right man on board today.” Sent off the 9-10 market leader, the four-year-old – who once beat current Champion Hurdle favourite Our Conor on the Flat – was produced with a double handful by Walsh on jumping the second-last. Sky Khan finished strongly on the run-in but Walsh had enough in hand to prevail by a relatively cosy length.
By Jonathan JurejkoNAOMI Osaka demonstrated her growing maturity to fight back against Victoria Azarenka in a compelling US Open final and claim her third Grand Slam title.Japanese fourth seed Osaka, 22, won 1-6 6-3 6-3 for her second US Open title.Osaka was overwhelmed in the first set and was in danger of trailing 3-0 in the second before recovering to win 10 of the next 11 games to take momentum.Belarusian Azarenka, playing in her first major final since 2013, lost serve for 5-3 in the decider.Osaka shrieked with joy as she took her second match point, then calmly laid out on the court and stared at the New York sky as she contemplated her latest achievement.Osaka’s level raised considerably as 31-year-old Azarenka was unable to maintain the intensity she showed in a one-sided opening set.The fightback ensured Osaka, who won the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open, maintained her record of winning every Grand Slam final she has played in.\”I don’t want to play you in any more finals, I didn’t really enjoy that, it was a really tough match for me,” Osaka jokingly told Azarenka.“It was really inspiring for me because I used to watch you play here when I was younger. I learned a lot, so thank you.”Osaka’s maiden victory at Flushing Meadows two years ago came in straight sets against Serena Williams in a hostile environment following the American’s infamous argument with umpire Carlos Ramos.This second success could not have been more different.Here she had to fight back from a set down against an inspired Azarenka – and navigate a tricky decider which could have swung either way – on a virtually empty Arthur Ashe Stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic.“For me, I just thought it would be embarrassing to lose this under an hour,” said Osaka, who will rise to third in the world after her win.Osaka looked a little lost as Azarenka overwhelmed her in a fast start, hitting 13 unforced errors and struggling to cope with the Belarusian’s proactive play and controlled aggression.Draping a towel over her head at changeovers was a sign of Osaka’s concerns. Her attempts to collect her thoughts and regain her composure did not initially work, however.Another wayward forehand prompted a frustrated Osaka to throw her racquet to the floor in disgust.Eventually, though, the mental resilience which she says she has developed over recent months came to the fore.That resulted in a major momentum shift in her favour as Azarenka threatened to move 3-0 ahead in the second set.A rasping forehand by Osaka proved pivotal, not only in the game, but ultimately in the whole match as she seized control to level.The former world number one maintained that level in the decider to earn a 4-1 lead, but was unable to convert one of three break points to move 5-1 ahead.That might have proved costly when Azarenka immediately put the set back on serve, only for Osaka to battle back again by winning what proved to be the final two games.
New York, United States | AFP |New York City on Tuesday renamed a street outside Madison Square Garden “Muhammad Ali Way” after the late boxing legend who headlined a string of fights at the iconic sports arena.Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the temporary renaming of West 33rd Street next to the MSG arena, where some of Ali’s greatest fights took place in America’s entertainment capital.“Today we are paying tribute to the man in the heart of this city,” de Blasio said. “He deserves this naming honor and more.”Ali, whose remarkable boxing career and civil rights activism made him one of the 20th century’s most indelible figures, died last week after a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 74 years old.Ali boxed at Madison Square Garden eight times, including in his epic 1971 “Fight of the Century” against Joe Frazier.New York streets may be renamed permanently if legislation is passed by the city council and signed by the mayor. There are no plans so far to make the Muhammad Ali Way name change permanent, which would first require a council member to introduce a bill.The city permanently named other streets surrounding Madison Square Garden “Joe Louis Plaza” in 1984 to honor the previous heavyweight champion who lived from 1914 to 1981.Neither Tuesday’s temporary designation nor a permanent one honoring Ali would affect Joe Louis Plaza, the mayor’s office said.Former US president Bill Clinton and comedian Billy Crystal are to deliver eulogies at the boxer’s public funeral in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday.Share on: WhatsApp
Share on: WhatsApp According to the FT report, the Premier League said the loss had done no actual damage to its income or ability to make distributions to its member clubs.The consequences for the Premier League of ‘Brexit’ which, following the referendum, is due to take place in 2019 after two years of ‘divorce’ talks, may not be limited to currency fluctuations.Currently, Premier League clubs can sign EU players without having to apply for work permits on their behalf.Non-EU players must satisfy criteria regarding how many international appearances they have made and how strong their national team is in order to be granted visas, although exemptions can be granted.A study by The Guardian published in September showed that two thirds of Premier League players from the EU would not meet these criteria.Fewer stars means reduced international appeal, potentially making rival championships such as Spain’s La Liga or Germany’s Bundesliga more attractive to overseas broadcasters and so reducing the long-term financial strength of the Premier League. London, United Kingdom | AFP | The Premier League is set to announce a record annual pre-tax loss of £312 million because of the declining value of the sterling and new accounting rules, the Financial Times reported on Friday.English football’s top flight is the wealthiest major domestic football competition in the world, with much of its income generated from lucrative overseas broadcast deals.This season alone is set to see the 20 clubs in the Premier League each take a cut from international media rights agreements worth an estimated £3 billion (3.53bn euros, $3.76bn) in total.The league clubs have usually received their share in sterling, with the Premier League using financial instruments known as derivatives to offset the exchange rate risk that comes from the fact that television contracts are also paid in US dollars and euros — a process called hedging.But UK rules for the reporting of derivatives have changed, with companies now required to value their contracts annually at market prices, instead of waiting until a deal had been completed to make a formal declaration of its worth.Last season’s edition was the first time these new rules had become applicable to the Premier League.On July 31, 2016, the last day of the Premier League’s financial year, the pound was worth $1.32 — a 12 percent decline since Britain voted to leave the European Union in a national referendum.Results for that financial year, which includes 5,000/1 outsiders Leicester City’s shock Premier League title triumph, are due to be published next week.The Financial Times, citing Premier League documents yet to be made public, said the new reporting rules had turned what would have been a slight profit into a multi-million pound loss.