Andy Murray: from gangly kid to genuine sporting grownup

20-01-2019

Widely loved and politically progressive, the Scot will retire as arguably the greatest individual British sports person of the modern ageStop all the green and yellow Timex clocks. Put away that union jack tea towel. Stow the Pimms-sodden crash barriers at the foot of the Aorangi Terrace.Andy Murray may yet play another Wimbledon this summer, depending on the state of his chronic, career-capping hip injury. But in the wake of a raw and tearful press conference on Friday morning it seems highly likely that next week’s Australian Open will be the final appearance of a stellar, transformative, broadly-sketched tennis career. Continue reading...



England’s Quad Series hopes hanging by a thread after South Africa loss

20-01-2019

• England 45-48 South Africa• England must now beat Australia by five goals to win SeriesEngland’s hopes of claiming their first Quad Series title appear in tatters after South Africa tore up the script at London’s Copper Box Arena.From the high of a repeat 13-goal drubbing of New Zealand in Liverpool last week to this shock 48-45 loss to outsiders South Africa, England now face the daunting prospect of not only having to defeat Australia on Sunday but needing to do so by at least five goals to have any chance of achieving Quad Series history. Continue reading...



Which football teams doctored their playing surface to hinder opponents? | The Knowledge

20-01-2019

Plus: top-scoring defenders, non-league double delight and strange middle names. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Pep Guardiola says he didn’t leave the Etihad grass long against Liverpool. But which teams or managers have used this tactic to help their own side or hinder an opponent?” asks George Jones.Let’s start with the Poundland Machiavelli, former Cambridge and Lincoln innovator John Beck. Everyone in football knows about the infamous Beck and the stunts he used to pull at Cambridge. He brought in statisticians to lecture his players about how few passes were needed to score. He had the grass grown several inches long in the corners to hold up the ball when his players knocked it over the top. During the week they would rough up the pitch so anybody who tried to play football against them was at a disadvantage. “We just used to boot it upfield, so it didn’t really matter to us,” Steve Claridge recalls in his autobiography. Continue reading...



World sport: 10 photos we liked this week - 22-28 October

20-01-2019

A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.



Joey Carbery helps Munster kick battling Exeter Chiefs out of Europe

20-01-2019

• Pool 2: Munster 9-7 Exeter• Don Armand try not enough in epicSaracens will again be the only English club in the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup after Exeter lost narrowly in a gruelling match at Thomond Park. The Chiefs did not just have to win to top the group and progress but deny Munster a bonus point. It was mission improbable but 14 minutes from time they got their chance.Three times in the first half they had turned down the opportunity to kick for goal to secure a lineout in Munster’s 22, their habit in the Premiership. They scored a try on the first occasion, 11 minutes in, when their driving maul was held up just short of the line and Don Armand forced his way over. Continue reading...



Manny Pacquiao calls out Floyd Mayweather after dominating Broner

20-01-2019

‘If Mayweather wants to challenge me, I’m a champion’Filipino defends WBA regular welterweight championshipPacquiao beats Broner by unanimous decision – as it happenedManny Pacquiao showed on Saturday night he still has plenty of fight in a dominant win over Adrien Broner – and called out Floyd Mayweather in his post-fight press conference.With Mayweather watching from ringside in Las Vegas, Pacquiao showed flashes of his old speed in winning a unanimous 12-round decision over Broner to easily defend his piece of the welterweight title. It was the 61st win of a remarkable career in which Pacquiao has won titles in eight weight classes. Continue reading...



'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

20-01-2019

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?



Women's cricket the winner in WBBL semis

20-01-2019

In one amazing day, the WBBL semis showcased the irrefutable rise of women’s cricketOne thing is clear after Saturday’s two semi finals in the Women’s Big Bash League – women’s cricket is producing some of the most exciting and entertaining sporting contests in the world right now. While Ellyse Perry was clearly the star of the show, the two matches were filled with an incredible supporting cast – each playing their part in creating an anticipation-fuelled drama from start to finish. Related: WBBL's elite level product pays off in numbers | Megan Maurice Continue reading...



West Indies to provide Joe Root’s in-form England side with fresh test

20-01-2019

Visiting fans have every right to feel optimistic of a Caribbean cruise but history suggests choppy waters await in three-Test seriesOver the next few days an estimated 9,000 England supporters will have arrived in Barbados, packing out the hotels, bars and sun-kissed beaches before descending on the famous Kensington Oval for Wednesday’s first Test against West Indies.They would come in their droves regardless of England’s chances, such is the appeal of the Caribbean island known colloquially as “Bim”. But the expectation among them this time is that a team starting to play in the image of its captain, Joe Root, will begin an all-important 2019 by making it successive series victories away from the cold back home. Continue reading...



Milan reach agreement to sign Krzysztof Piatek from Genoa for €35m

20-01-2019

• 23-year-old Polish striker set to sign five-year deal• Higuaín to join Chelsea and Morata Atlético this weekMilan have reached a deal with Genoa to sign the Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek for €35m (£30.9m) plus add-ons. The 23-year-old has been a sensation at Genoa this season, scoring 13 goals in 19 Serie A games so far, after arriving from KS Cracovia in the summer. Related: Transfer window January 2019 – every deal from Europe's top five leagues Continue reading...



Controversial former NFL player Greg Hardy disqualified for illegal knee on UFC debut

20-01-2019

Former Cowboys star was convicted of assaulting womanDonald Cerrone calls out McGregor at UFC Fight NightThe controversial former NFL star Greg Hardy’s UFC debut ended with a disqualification loss after he hit Allen Crowder with an illegal knee to stop the fight in the second round. Hardy left the NFL after he was convicted of assaulting and threatening to kill his former girlfriend. The charges were later dropped after prosecutors said they couldn’t locate the accuser and believed she reached a settlement with the athlete. Continue reading...



Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea’s players are ‘extremely difficult to motivate’

20-01-2019

• Manager furious after side’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal• Sarri attacks lack of ‘ferocity’ among his playersMaurizio Sarri launched a stinging attack on his Chelsea players’ mentality after a meek defeat to Arsenal, accusing them of being “extremely difficult to motivate” and lacking “ferocity” in their game.For the first time since taking over at Stamford Bridge six months ago, Sarri felt compelled to revert to his native Italian and lean on an interpreter to express his exasperation at a defeat which means Chelsea’s lead over Arsenal and Manchester United has been cut to only three points. Continue reading...



Laurent Koscielny’s unusual goal seals victory for Arsenal over Chelsea

20-01-2019

This was a defeat to leave all Chelsea’s frailties brutally exposed and the head coach reverting to his native tongue to make clear the depths of his dissatisfaction. Overwhelmed as Arsenal ripped into them through a one-sided first half, Maurizio Sarri’s team had no incision of their own with which to muster anything approaching a riposte. A side lacking a focal point to their front-line limped away in defeat attempting to recall what had constituted their solitary shot on target, and with the gap to fifth and sixth place trimmed to a precarious three points.Their efforts had been feeble. They are a team treading water at present and Gonzalo Higuaín, a short-term fix at 31 and a striker with no previous experience of the helter-skelter of this division, cannot arrive on loan from Juventus soon enough. How they could have done with the Argentinian in his pomp here as they attempted to retrieve the deficit shipped in that furious opening period, though that lack of firepower was only one aspect of the problem. Continue reading...



Wimbledon chairman criticises 'nonsense' tournament scheduling

20-01-2019

Philip Brook is worried by scheduling that will see two important tournaments clashPhilip Brook, who retires in December after nearly 10 years as Wimbledon chairman, has made a rare foray into tennis politics, describing as, “nonsense” scheduling that will pit the Davis Cup against the new ATP world team competition.The competitions have already divided loyalties, with most of the leading players abandoning the 119-year-old Davis Cup – relaunched by the ITF in a fortnight-long team format in November in Madrid - in favour of more money, as well as ranking points, in the ATP’s World Team Cup, which will be held in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney ahead of the 2020 Australian Open. Continue reading...



The unapologetic feminism that turned Andy Murray into a global icon | Jacob Steinberg

20-01-2019

Murray’s views on equality and the women’s game have had huge impact, exemplified by his decision to hire a female coach in Amélie Mauresmo in 2014Once the empty feeling subsides and the lump at the back of his throat stops threatening to leap from his mouth, perhaps it will console Andy Murray to consider how much he means to people from all walks of life. Even at this early stage of the healing process, with the emotions swirling and his heart shattered as he contemplates how brutally his body has given up on him in the past two years, it might raise his spirits to know he is showered with affection not only for his achievements on a tennis court but also for what he represents on a human level. Related: 'He’s an idol': Dunblane reacts to Andy Murray's impending retirement Continue reading...



European roundup: PSG win 9-0, new low for Henry and Dortmund march on

20-01-2019

• PSG hammer Guingamp in Ligue 1• Real Madrid battle to victory over SevillaThe runaway Ligue 1 leaders, Paris Saint-Germain, avenged their League Cup loss to Guingamp by demolishing the Brittany side 9-0.PSG prevailed following hat-tricks from Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé, a Neymar double and one from Thomas Meunier. PSG’s only downside was the loss of the influential Marco Verratti to an ankle injury after 13 minutes. Continue reading...



The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian's sport coverage

20-01-2019

With the best of our sports journalism from the past seven days and a heads-up on the weekend’s action, you won’t miss a thingLet our team of editors be your guide to the best of the Guardian’s award-winning sport coverage from the past week. We’ll email you the stand-out features and interviews, insightful analysis and highlights from the archive, plus films, podcasts, galleries and more – all arriving in your inbox at 12pm every Friday. And we’ll tee you up for the weekend and let you know our live coverage plans so you won’t miss a thing. Continue reading...



Liverpool ‘had to dig in with all we had’ against Palace, says Jürgen Klopp

20-01-2019

• Premier League leaders held on in 4-3 thriller• Klopp: ‘The game is never over until it is finished’Jürgen Klopp admitted relief was his overriding emotion at the end of a game that could prove crucial in the title race, with Liverpool only just holding on for the points in the face of spirited Crystal Palace resistance.“A game like this can go in all directions,” the Liverpool manager said. “We dominated the first half but went in 1-0 down. When Sadio Mané scored the fourth goal in stoppage time I looked at my watch and though: ‘OK that should be enough.’ But football always teaches you the game is never over until it is finished. Continue reading...