Korda taking it slow at US Women’s Open after blood clot scare

Korda taking it slow at US Women’s Open after blood clot scare
Nelly Korda speaks during a news conference after a practice round for the US Women's Open golf tournament at the Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C. on Tuesday. (AP)
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Updated 01 June 2022

Korda taking it slow at US Women’s Open after blood clot scare

Korda taking it slow at US Women’s Open after blood clot scare
  • Korda said the blood clot in her arm was discovered after she began to “feel funny” in February
  • After her lengthy layoff, Korda has a packed schedule on the horizon, with this week’s Women’s Open followed by the Meijer LPGA Classic and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, where she is the defending champion

WASHINGTON: World No. 2 Nelly Korda says she will be looking no further than the first tee at the US Women’s Open on Thursday as she returns for her first tournament in four months following a blood clot scare.

The 23-year-old reigning Olympic champion put her season on hold in February after the discovery of a clot in her left arm.

Korda enjoyed a dazzling 2021 that saw her climb to world No. 1 as she netted four LPGA titles — including her maiden major — as well an Olympic gold medal.

But while the American says she is now 100 percent fit after completing post-surgery rehab, she has reduced expectations of what this week’s major at Pine Needles Golf Club in North Carolina may bring.

“To tee up and hit my first tee shot on Thursday — that is as far as I’m looking right now,” Korda replied on Tuesday when asked what her goals for the week were.

“I’ve been out of competition since early February. I’m honestly just grateful to be out here playing. I’m going to take it one step at a time. I’m not expecting too much. The girls are already in the midst of their seasons and have a bunch of rounds under their belts.”

After her lengthy layoff, Korda has a packed schedule on the horizon, with this week’s Women’s Open followed by the Meijer LPGA Classic and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, where she is the defending champion.

“I have a few big events coming up,” Korda said. “I’m trying not to think about it too much. I’m just grateful to be back out here.”

Korda said the blood clot in her arm was discovered after she began to “feel funny” in February.

“I just felt funny so I called my family doctor and he advised me to go to the ER (emergency room),” she said.

“I went to the ER, found out I had a blood clot and went home and searched for a specialist, then obviously had my procedure.”

Lengthy rehab in California with her coach followed.

“A lot of shoulder and back exercises,” Korda said. “I just made sure I was ready and 100 percent going into my comeback.

“I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to have any issues,” added Korda, who will play with a compression sleeve on her left arm this week.

Watching the LPGA Tour from afar was a frustrating experience, Korda added, notably the final Chevron Championship held at Rancho Mirage before the tournament moves to Texas in 2023.

“That one hurt a lot because it was the last time there,” Korda said.

“Yeah, I’ve missed it so much. As I got closer to this week I started hitting it a little harder and longer.

“The juices started flowing again. I’ve missed everyone, I’m so happy and grateful to be back out here again.”

Returning this week has given Korda a renewed sense of appreciation for her craft.

“It’s like when you’re sick and your nose is stuffy you are so grateful to be able to breathe properly again,” she said.

“I feel it’s kind of the same way. When it’s taken away from you, you kind of sit back and realize what an amazing sport golf is. I missed it.”

This week’s tournament meanwhile sees last year’s US Women’s Open winner Yuka Saso adjusting to her status as defending champion.

The Philippine-born Japanese professional admitted on Tuesday she was uncertain as to whether she felt pressure as champion.

“I just want to enjoy and have fun you know,” Saso said. “I don’t know if I’m nervous or not.”


Vardy must pay up to $1.7 million after losing UK ‘WAGatha Christie’ libel case

Vardy must pay up to $1.7 million after losing UK ‘WAGatha Christie’ libel case
Updated 52 min 55 sec ago

Vardy must pay up to $1.7 million after losing UK ‘WAGatha Christie’ libel case

Vardy must pay up to $1.7 million after losing UK ‘WAGatha Christie’ libel case
  • Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, had sued Rooney for libel after being publicly accused of leaking stories about her
  • On Tuesday, Vardy was ordered to pay 90% of Rooney's legal costs of about 1.67 million pounds

LONDON: Coleen Rooney, wife of ex-England soccer captain Wayne Rooney, will receive up to 1.5 million pounds ($1.7 million) in legal fees from the spouse of one of her husband’s former teammates after winning her high-profile libel case, a judge has ruled.
Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, had sued Rooney for libel after being publicly accused of leaking stories about her to the Sun tabloid.
In July, Judge Karen Steyn ruled that Rooney, 36, had proved her allegation was “substantially true” and that Vardy, 40, knew and condoned private details being leaked to the Sun by her agent.
On Tuesday, Vardy, who said the judge had got it wrong, was ordered to pay 90 percent of Rooney’s legal costs of about 1.67 million pounds, with 800,000 to be paid by the middle of November.
The case has drawn in the public and media with its mix of glamor, soccer, and amateur sleuthing with Rooney turning detective to track down the culprit behind the leaks.
She said she had blocked everyone from viewing her Instagram account except one person and then posted a series of false stories to see whether they leaked out, which they did.
“It’s ... Rebekah Vardy’s account,” she posted on social media, which saw Rooney dubbed “WAGatha Christie,” a reference to the “WAG” moniker given to the glamorous group of footballers’ “wives and girlfriends.”
During the trial, the court was shown message exchanges between Vardy and her agent, which included derogatory remarks about Rooney and talk of leaking stories.
Rooney’s lawyer said Vardy deleted other media files and messages, while the agent’s phone ended up at the bottom of the North Sea after she said she accidentally dropped it over the side of a boat.
“In my judgment, what takes this case out of the norm in a way which compels the conclusion that I should make an order for indemnity costs is that in my judgment following the trial I found that the claimant (and also her former agent) had deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence,” Steyn said.


Spain says would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup bid with Portugal

Spain says would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup bid with Portugal
Updated 04 October 2022

Spain says would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup bid with Portugal

Spain says would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup bid with Portugal
  • Ukraine is set to join Spain and Portugal in their bid to host the soccer World Cup in 2030

MADRID: Spain would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup hosting bid with Portugal, government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez said on Tuesday, asked about a report in The Times.
The Times reported on Monday that Ukraine is set to join Spain and Portugal in their bid to host the soccer World Cup in 2030.
The soccer chiefs of both Spain and Portugal will hold a news conference at European governing body UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland on Wednesday, authorities said.


Sebastien Loeb notches vital stage win to lead in Morocco rally

Sebastien Loeb notches vital stage win to lead in Morocco rally
Updated 04 October 2022

Sebastien Loeb notches vital stage win to lead in Morocco rally

Sebastien Loeb notches vital stage win to lead in Morocco rally
  • Bahrain Raid Xtreme driver grabs advantage in world title race as Qatar’s Al-Attiyah and Saudi’s Al-Rajhi hit trouble
  • Lying second at the end of the first desert stage, Al-Attiyah plunged out of contention after three punctures forced him to wait for assistance

AGADIR: Sebastien Loeb powered his way to a vital stage victory for Bahrain Raid Xtreme to take the lead in the Rallye du Maroc, as the Prodrive Hunters dominated proceedings in the Western Sahara.

The nine-time World Rally champion won the 315 km competitive section from Agadir to Tan-Tan on Monday by 10 minutes 15 seconds from BRX teammate Orly Terranova, with Guerlain Chicherit in another Hunter completing the top three on a dramatic day in Morocco.

The result lifted Loeb from seventh overnight into an outright lead by eight seconds from Terranova, with Chicherit just 4:12 away in third place overall.

Most significantly, the French star finished the day with a massive 33:18 advantage over Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, his fierce rival in the battle to become the first World Rally-Raid (W2RC) champion.

While the trio of Prodrive Hunters had all lost ground through a combination of mechanical, tire and navigational problems on the previous leg, this time it was Al-Attiyah and Saudi Arabia’s overnight leader Yazeed Al-Rajhi who found trouble.

Lying second at the end of the first desert stage, Al-Attiyah plunged out of contention after three punctures forced him to wait for assistance, while the same problem late on the stage dropped Al-Rajhi to fourth overall.

For the second day running, Chicherit impressed on his first competitive drive in the Hunter, setting the pace on the early part of the stage.

It was then Loeb’s turn to increase the power and take the stage lead before the halfway point, with Terranova also making good progress to take the Hunters to the top three positions, before the Argentine moved ahead of Chicherit.

Monday’s leg had begun with a 119-km journey from Tan-Tan to the start of the rally’s second desert stage, which included a variety of terrain up to a large plateau at the midway point, followed by a succession of dunes.

The stage finished at the new Laayoune bivouac, located on an imposing site overlooking a wadi, where the Rallye du Maroc set up camp for two nights. Tuesday's 299-km third desert stage follows, with another two set to take place before the finish in Agadir on Thursday.


World No. 3 Casper Ruud to join Carlos Alcaraz at Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi

World No. 3 Casper Ruud to join Carlos Alcaraz at Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi
Updated 04 October 2022

World No. 3 Casper Ruud to join Carlos Alcaraz at Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi

World No. 3 Casper Ruud to join Carlos Alcaraz at Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi
  • The Norwegian is the latest name added to the Dec. 16-18 tournament at the International Tennis Centre in Zayed Sports City
  • Just months after facing off in the US Open final, Ruud and Alcaraz could face each other again in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: Just a day after announcing World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz will make his Middle East debut at this year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship in December, organizers have revealed World No. 3 Casper Ruud will join the Spaniard in making his first appearance in Abu Dhabi.

Ruud is coming off a stellar season in which he made it to two Grand Slam finals and secured three ATP Tour wins. After reaching the French Open final in June, he reached the final of the US Open at Flushing Meadows where he was narrowly beaten in a thrilling match by Alcaraz.

The 23-year-old Norwegian will arrive in the UAE capital aiming for a maiden MWTC title. In securing the World No. 2 ranking last month, he became the highest-ranked Norwegian tennis player in history. He has nine ATP Tour singles career titles and is looking forward to playing on the hard court at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City.

“I’m really looking forward to visiting Abu Dhabi for the first time to contest the Mubadala World Tennis Championship,” said Ruud. “It’s been a tournament on my radar for some time and I know that the level of tennis is going to be of the highest quality. I’m excited to be involved and play in front of my fans over there in the UAE.”

John Lickrish, CEO, Flash Entertainment, added: “We are delighted to confirm Casper Ruud will be contesting this year’s Championship. To have the World No. 1 and No. 3, and the next generation of tennis superstars, is a real coup for the UAE capital and shows the popularity of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. Just last month, these two players were contesting the final of the US Open and now there is every chance they could face each other in Abu Dhabi. That is what we are always looking to produce — an event featuring the very best.”

Ruud, Alcaraz, and female pair Ons Jabeur and Emma Raducanu will be joined by four remaining male players in the event’s star-studded line-up, with one more being announced tomorrow.

Celebrating its 14th edition this year, the MWTC will take place from Dec. 16-18 at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City. As well as witnessing a field comprising six of the world’s top male players, the two female players will face off on the opening day.


Al-Shabab’s Krychowiak voted Roshn Saudi League player of the week after two-goal performance

Al-Shabab’s Krychowiak voted Roshn Saudi League player of the week after two-goal performance
Updated 04 October 2022

Al-Shabab’s Krychowiak voted Roshn Saudi League player of the week after two-goal performance

Al-Shabab’s Krychowiak voted Roshn Saudi League player of the week after two-goal performance
  • Polish midfielder scored twice as league leaders maintained perfect start to season with 2-1 win over Al-Fayha

Al-Shabab’s Grzegorz Krychowiak has been voted Roshn Saudi League player of the week by statistical website SofaScore after a match-winning performance in Round 5 of the season.

The Polish midfielder, on loan from Major League Soccer club New York City FC, managed a rating of 8.6 after scoring two goals from outside the penalty in his team’s 2-1 win over Al-Fayha on Sunday.

Team of the week for Round 5 of the Roshn Saudi League. (SofaScore)

The team of the week included Damac goalkeeper Moustapha Zeghba, who scored a historic goal in the 2-0 win over Al-Tai; defenders Saeed Al-Mowalad (Al-Ettifaq), Mohammed Salem (Al-Raed), Djamel Benlamri (Al-Khaleej) and Tawfiq Buhumaid (Al-Fateh); midfielders Aschraf El Mahdioui (Al-Taawoun), Faycal Fajr (Al-Wehda), Lucas Souza (Al-Khaleej), Abdullah Al-Ammar (Damac) and Krychowiak; and finally Alexandru Mitrita (Al-Raed) in attack.

The fifth of the Rosh Saudi League concluded with Al-Shabab top of the table with a maximum of 15 points, Al-Hilal in second with 12 and Al-Ittihad in third with 11.