Positive virus test scuppers Howe’s debut as Newcastle manager

Positive virus test scuppers Howe’s debut as Newcastle manager
Eddie Howe, has tested positive for Covid-19. (AFP)
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Updated 20 November 2021

Positive virus test scuppers Howe’s debut as Newcastle manager

Positive virus test scuppers Howe’s debut as Newcastle manager

LONDON: Eddie Howe will miss what should have been his first match as Newcastle manager, at home to Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday, after testing positive for Covid-19.
“I’m very disappointed that I won’t be there with you all at St. James’ Park tomorrow, but it is incredibly important that I follow the guidelines and self-isolate,” Howe told Newcastle’s website on Friday.
“I’d like to reassure everyone that I feel fine, and while this is unwelcome news for me, I know it hasn’t derailed our preparations for what is an important game.”

The 43-year-old former Bournemouth manager added: “I have been, and will be, in constant communication with my coaching team and the players, both tomorrow and during the week, and I know they will be giving everything on and off the pitch.”
Assistant coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones will lead Newcastle in Howe’s absence, the club said.
Newcastle are still searching for a first Premier League win of the season but there is renewed optimism at the northeast side following a recent Saudi-led takeover.


Djokovic breezes through to third round as Murray exits Wimbledon

Djokovic breezes through to third round as Murray exits Wimbledon
Updated 6 sec ago

Djokovic breezes through to third round as Murray exits Wimbledon

Djokovic breezes through to third round as Murray exits Wimbledon
  • Top seed Djokovic brushed aside 79th-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia and will face Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic for a last-16 place
  • Former world No. 1 Murray, the 2013 and 2016 champion, went down to big-serving John Isner in his second-round clash

LONDON: Defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon third round for the 16th time on Wednesday as career-long rival Andy Murray suffered his earliest-ever exit from the All England Club.

Top seed Djokovic brushed aside 79th-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and will face Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic for a last-16 place.

“I’m very happy with my performance. I started very well, solid from the back of the court,” said Djokovic, who is looking to join Pete Sampras as a seven-time Wimbledon champion.

“I made him work for every point and worked him around the court,” added the 20-time major winner.

Kokkinakis had likened Djokovic to a “brick wall” before the match.

“It was one-way traffic. I got chopped today,” said the 26-year-old Australian after his Center Court torment.

Former world No. 1 Murray, the 2013 and 2016 champion, went down 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (3/7), 6-4 to big-serving John Isner in his second-round clash.

Murray, now 52 in the rankings, failed to break serve once against 2018 semifinalist Isner, who unleashed 36 aces and 82 winners in total.

“He didn’t give me lots of chances,” said Murray, whose previous earliest exits came in the third round in 2005 and 2021.

“My game was in a good place. I felt good on the court, just couldn’t get the win.”

Isner, 37, was gracious in the aftermath of his first win in nine meetings against the Briton.

“I am most definitely not a better tennis player than Andy Murray. I might have been a little bit better than him today,” said the American.

Isner also took his career aces total to 13,724 to sit just four behind the record held by Ivo Karlovic.

Third seed and French Open runner-up Casper Ruud, who was scheduled to face Djokovic in the semifinals, was knocked out by 112th-ranked Ugo Humbert, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.

But Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz stayed on course to meet the six-time champion in the last eight by reaching the third round for the first time.

Alcaraz, just 19, triumphed over Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands, 6-4, 7-6 (7/0), 6-3.

The flamboyant Spanish shotmaker goes on to face Germany’s Oscar Otte for a place in the last 16.

Otte needed just 15 minutes to reach the third round when American opponent Christian Harrison retired injured at 3-1 down in their second-round tie.

Alcaraz’s compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina suffered a controversial exit at the hands of Jiri Vesely.

At match point down in the final set tiebreak, Davidovich Fokina hit a ball out of the court, was penalized a point and lost the tie.

“I don’t agree with it. That’s crazy... what a lousy way to end it,” US tennis great John McEnroe told ESPN.

In the women’s tournament, second seed Anett Kontaveit, ninth seed and former champion Garbine Muguruza as well as 10th-seeded US Open winner Emma Raducanu all exited.

Kontaveit lost 6-4, 6-0 to Germany’s Julie Niemeier as the Estonian endured another Grand Slam to forget.

Kontaveit has made the quarterfinals of a major just once in 29 attempts.

Muguruza, the 2017 champion, lost her delayed first-round clash 6-4, 6-0 to Belgium’s Greet Minnen.

Raducanu, bidding to become Britain’s first female champion at the All England Club in 45 years, was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by France’s 55th-ranked Caroline Garcia.

“I really enjoyed playing on Center Court, it was my first time and very special,” said Garcia, who fired 25 winners past the British teenager.

There were no such dramas for third seed Ons Jabeur or fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari, who went through to the last 32 in straight sets.

Lesia Tsurenko came out on top in three sets over Ukrainian compatriot Anhelina Kalinina to make the third round for the second time.

Tsurenko, ranked at 101, proudly wore a ribbon in the colors of Ukraine on her shirt.

“It was a big court. Two Ukrainian players but a lot of people were watching us. We felt amazing support,” said Tsurenko after her 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win.

“Today on the way from hotel to the club, we got a driver,” she added. “She has taken two people from Ukraine into her house.

“I think it’s amazing when people help Ukrainians so much.”


Ronaldo lawyers seek $626K from woman’s lawyer in Vegas case

Ronaldo lawyers seek $626K from woman’s lawyer in Vegas case
Updated 30 June 2022

Ronaldo lawyers seek $626K from woman’s lawyer in Vegas case

Ronaldo lawyers seek $626K from woman’s lawyer in Vegas case
  • In a bluntly worded court document, Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter Christiansen, asks US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey to make the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, personally responsible for the amount
  • Dorsey on June 10 kicked the case out of court to punish Stovall for “bad-faith conduct” and the improper use of leaked and stolen documents to pursue the case

LAS VEGAS: Cristiano Ronaldo is asking a US judge to order a woman’s lawyer to pay more than $626,000 for losing a lawsuit to get the international soccer star to pay millions of dollars after claiming in 2018 that Ronaldo raped the woman in Las Vegas nearly a decade earlier.

In a bluntly worded court document, Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter Christiansen, asks US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey to make the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, personally responsible for the amount.

Stovall did not immediately respond Wednesday to telephone and email messages. Text messages to associate Larissa Drohobyczer were not answered. They are due to file an answer with the court by July 8.

Dorsey on June 10 kicked the case out of court to punish Stovall for “bad-faith conduct” and the improper use of leaked and stolen documents to pursue the case.

Stovall “crossed the border of ethical behavior before he filed this action, and his disregard for the rules of this court has continued unabated,” the judge found.

Dorsey said in her 42-page order that dismissing plaintiff Kathryn Mayorga’s case outright with no option to file it again was a severe sanction, but said Ronaldo had been harmed by Stovall’s conduct.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga gave consent through Stovall and Drohobyczer to make her name public.

The bid for court costs and fees for Ronaldo’s attorneys, filed Friday, dwarfs the $375,000 hush-money payment that Mayorga received in 2010 to sign a confidentiality agreement and drop a criminal complaint alleging she was sexually assaulted.

“Given Stovall’s abuses and flagrant misconduct, Stovall should be made personally responsible for ensuring Ronaldo is reimbursed for having to defend against his vexatious and bad faith conduct,” Christiansen’s request for reimbursement said. He tallied attorney fees at between $350 and $850 per hour for nearly 1,200 hours of work.

Mayorga’s civil lawsuit — filed in 2018 in state court and moved in 2019 to federal court — eventually sought more than $25 million in damages, plus attorney fees for Stovall.

It alleged that Ronaldo or his associates violated the confidentiality agreement before a German news outlet, Der Spiegel, published an article in April 2017 titled “Cristiano Ronaldo’s Secret” based on documents obtained from what court filings term “whistleblower portal Football Leaks.”

Ronaldo’s attorneys accuse Stovall of obtaining stolen material containing privileged attorney-client communication and then trying repeatedly to make them pubic by attaching them to court filings.

A second court filing on Friday asks Dorsey to seal part of the court record containing confidential documents.

Mayorga is a former model and teacher who lives in the Las Vegas area. Her lawsuit said she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and went with him and other people to his hotel suite, where she alleged he assaulted her in a bedroom. She was 25 at the time. He was 24.

Ronaldo’s legal team does not dispute Ronaldo met Mayorga and they had sex in June 2009, but maintained it was consensual.

Ronaldo, now 37, is one of the most highly paid and recognizable sports stars in the world. He plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United and has captained the national team of his home country, Portugal. He spent several recent years playing in Italy for the Turin-based club Juventus.

Las Vegas police reopened their rape investigation after Mayorga’s lawsuit was filed in 2018, but Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson decided in 2019 not to pursue criminal charges. He said too much time had passed to prove the case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

Stovall maintained that Mayorga didn’t break the hush-money settlement. Her lawsuit sought to void it, accusing Ronaldo and reputation-protection “fixers” of conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion and fraud.

The Las Vegas police report compiled about Ronaldo after Mayorga filed her lawsuit in 2018 might still become public under a public records lawsuit The New York Times filed in Nevada state court.

A US magistrate judge in Las Vegas said in March that a protective order that Dorsey imposed to prevent release of the 2010 agreement does not prevent the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department from releasing its file.

Attorney Margaret McLetchie, representing the newspaper, did not immediately respond to messages about that case.


Joshua ‘desperate’ to become world heavyweight champ again in his rematch against Usyk in Saudi Arabia

Joshua ‘desperate’ to become world heavyweight champ again in his rematch against Usyk in Saudi Arabia
Updated 30 June 2022

Joshua ‘desperate’ to become world heavyweight champ again in his rematch against Usyk in Saudi Arabia

Joshua ‘desperate’ to become world heavyweight champ again in his rematch against Usyk in Saudi Arabia
  • Usyk will be defending the IBF, WBA and WBO titles he claimed from Joshua in beating the British fighter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September
  • While this will be Joshua’s second fight in Saudi Arabia — he avenged his only other defeat against Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019 in Diriyah with a points win — it will be Usyk’s first in the country

LONDON: Anthony Joshua admitted he is “definitely desperate” to become world heavyweight champion again when he faces Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Aug. 20.

Usyk will be defending the IBF, WBA and WBO titles he claimed from Joshua in beating the British fighter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September. Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) was outclassed by his Ukrainian rival, who defied disadvantages in height, reach and weight to win in London by unanimous decision.

“What happened then is in the past, I don’t really live in the past, I’m just present,” the 32-year-old Joshua told a news conference in London on Wednesday. “I’ll be looking to be competing round-by-round and if I follow my As, Bs and Cs, it should lead me to KO.”

The former two-time world heavyweight champion called for “Less talk, more action. I’m not a comedian, I’m not someone who likes big speeches.

“Let me get in there and do my job, that’s my priority. I’m definitely hungry, definitely desperate but how I perform will speak volumes to the masses.”

The 35-year-old Usyk, a former undisputed world cruiserweight champion, has won all 19 of his professional contests and wore a blue-and-yellow T-shirt with the message ‘Colors of Freedom’ in reference to his native Ukraine and Russia’s invasion of the country.

He helped with the war effort against Russia, initially putting in jeopardy a second fight against Joshua, before being given special permission to defend his world titles.

While this will be Joshua’s second fight in Saudi Arabia — he avenged his only other defeat against Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019 in Diriyah with a points win — it will be Usyk’s first in the country.

Usyk said money was not the driving factor in his decision to fight in Saudi Arabia.

“I’m not fighting for money or the recognition,” Usyk said. “The only thing I’m on my way to is to save my soul. Everything else that is happening to me is just life.”


Jabeur beats Kawa to reach Wimbledon 3rd round

Jabeur beats Kawa to reach Wimbledon 3rd round
Updated 29 June 2022

Jabeur beats Kawa to reach Wimbledon 3rd round

Jabeur beats Kawa to reach Wimbledon 3rd round
  • The Tunisian, 27, who won the Berlin grass-court title earlier this month, broke twice in the first set before steamrollering her opponent in the second

LONDON: Third seed Ons Jabeur eased through to the third round of Wimbledon on Wednesday, beating Polish qualifier Katarzyna Kawa 6-4, 6-0.
The Tunisian, 27, who won the Berlin grass-court title earlier this month, broke twice in the first set before steamrollering her opponent in the second.
Jabeur will play unseeded Frenchwoman Diane Parry, who beat Japanese qualifier Mai Hontama, in the last 32.


Qatar says World Cup fans seeking rooms have ‘a lot of options’

Qatar says World Cup fans seeking rooms have ‘a lot of options’
Updated 29 June 2022

Qatar says World Cup fans seeking rooms have ‘a lot of options’

Qatar says World Cup fans seeking rooms have ‘a lot of options’
  • Prices for accommodation range from 300 Qatari rials to several thousand dollars per night

DOHA: Qatar said on Tuesday that World Cup fans have “a lot of options” with more than 100,000 rooms currently available and tens of thousands more expected by the tournament’s kickoff.
Some football supporters have expressed concern that they have been unable to find accommodation in line with their budget for the World Cup, which runs from November 21 to December 18.
Prices range from 300 Qatari rials (just over $80) to several thousand dollars per night.
Qatar has so far taken more than 25,000 bookings, said Omar Al-Jaber, the official in charge of accommodation for the tournament’s organizing committee, specifying that he was taking about “bookings, not rooms or nights.”
“If you go through our website, you will find a lot of options,” he told reporters on a tour of an available apartment in Doha.
“And if you don’t find it today, you need to check tomorrow or after tomorrow... because... we add more inventory to this portal.
“More than 100,000 rooms (are) available as of today,” he said. “If we go to November, maybe we’ll reach more than 130,000 rooms or 140,000 rooms.”
Supporters normally find accommodation themselves for such tournaments.
But Qatar — set to host the most geographically concentrated World Cup in history and with limited hotel capacity — is seeking to channel supporters through an official platform that is reserved for ticket holders and managed by the tournament’s organizers.
Eighty-five percent of accommodation — whether permanent or temporary — is now complete and the remainder will be finished by a “deadline” of end-August, according to Jaber.
The country will be closed to visitors without match tickets during the course of the tournament, Jaber said.
As of Tuesday, the US, Mexico, United Kingdom, Argentina and India accounted for some of the biggest sources of reservations.