12 arrested in Thailand in soccer match-fixing investigation
Association of Thailand President Somyot Poompanmuang greets members of the
media at a press conference in Bangkok, Tuesday, Nov. 21. (AP Photo/Sakchai
Bangkok (AP) — Football
Association of Thailand president Somyot Poompanmuang says five players and
two match officials from the top-flight national league are among 12 people
arrested for alleged match-fixing.
Somyot held a news conference Tuesday
with national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda to announce an investigation
was underway into the results of a match in July and three matches in
Police reported that four players from
the Navy club and one from Nakhon Ratchasima were allegedly paid up to
200,000 Thai baht to manipulate results.
The FAT and Royal Thai Police used
information from data services company Sportradar as part of the
investigation after reports of an unusual number of goals being scored in
the late stages of the games.
"Match-fixing has been committed for a
long time," Somyot said during the news conference at the Royal Thai Police
headquarters. "It's time we eradicate this wrongdoing which is like a bad
disease of our body that needs to be cured."
Chakthip said 12 people had been
released on bail. Court details were not immediately available.
"I have to give big credit to the Royal
Thai Police for their work or otherwise we will see the fall of Thai
football if match-fixing is not tackled," Somyot said.
Chakthip said the alleged fixing was
coordinated through a network comprising players, two referees, a club
official and domestic and international investors.
He said the match and club officials
can face up to 10 years in prison and fines if found guilty of match-fixing,
and players could face up to five years in jail and fines.
Real Madrid, Besiktas advance in Champions League
Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the sixth goal of his
team’s Champions League Group H victory over APOEL Nicosia at the GSP
stadium, in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Tuesday, Nov. 21. (AP Photo/Petros
Nicosia, Cyprus (AP) - Defending
champions Real Madrid advanced again to the Champions League knockout stages
after beating APOEL 6-0 and Tottenham piled the misery on Borussia Dortmund
2-1 on Tuesday.
Besiktas also progressed, drawing with
Porto 1-1 to reach the last 16 for the first time.
Also in Group G, last season's
semifinalists, Monaco, crashed out after losing to Leipzig 4-1.
Liverpool looked set to join the list
of last 16 teams as they led Sevilla 3-0 at halftime but the Spanish side
pulled off a remarkable comeback to draw 3-3.
Napoli beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 and
both sides will have to wait until the final matchday to see which one joins
Group F winners Manchester City in the next round.
Here is a look at what happened in
Guido Pizarro's stoppage-time equalizer
for Sevilla means Liverpool will have to wait two more weeks to see if they
can return to the knockout stages after an eight-year absence.
Roberto Firmino scored twice for
Liverpool and set up Sadio Mane's goal in the first half-hour. But the hosts
rallied with a pair by Wissam Ben Yedder in the second half, and Pizarro's
late equalizer off a corner kick.
Liverpool can't afford to lose to
Spartak Moscow at Anfield next month. Spartak, held by last-place Maribor to
1-1, trail Liverpool by only three points.
Sevilla play their final game at
already eliminated Maribor.
Lorenzo Insigne showed again what Italy
missed in their World Cup playoff as he scored a stunning goal to help
Napoli keep alive their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Insigne ran down the left before
cutting inside and curling a shot into the top right corner from 30 yards in
the 56th minute.
Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura, who was
fired last week, was roundly criticized after using Insigne for just 15
minutes of the two-leg playoff against Sweden — and out of position. Italy
lost 1-0 and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60
Piotr Zielinski and Dries Mertens
netted late as Napoli moved within three points of second-place Shakhtar.
Manchester City secured top spot by
beating Feyenoord 1-0, thanks to Raheem Sterling's late winner.
Napoli will qualify for the round of
16, courtesy of a better head-to-head record over Shakhtar, if they win at
Feyenoord in the final round and Shakhtar lose to City.
Leipzig capitalized on a comedy of
errors in a first-half horror show to send Monaco crashing out of the
The visiting German side led 2-0 after
just nine minutes, with Monaco's Jemerson at fault in both goals. The
Brazilian defender beat his own 'keeper with an own goal and set up
Leipzig's second with a feeble pass from the back that Kevin Kampl pounced
on to set up Timo Werner.
Monaco captain Radamel Falcao conceded
a penalty that Werner converted for 3-0 after 31 minutes.
Falcao made amends with a headed goal
in the closing minutes of the half but Naby Keita restored Leipzig's
three-goal advantage moments later.
Leipzig and Porto are level on points,
with the German side leading on head-to-head. Besiktas travel to Leipzig on
Dec. 6, and Porto host Monaco.
Besiktas became the first Turkish team
ever to top their group after Talisca's 41st-minute equalizer cancelled out
Karim Benzema scored twice in the first
half and Cristiano Ronaldo added two goals in the second as Real Madrid
thrashed Cypriot team APOEL.
Luka Modric and Nacho Fernandez also
scored for the defending champions, who have made it past the group stage
for 22 straight seasons.
The result eliminated Borussia
Dortmund, who lost to Tottenham 2-1 in Germany.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min cancelled
out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's strike for Dortmund to ensure
already-qualified Tottenham wrapped up the group win.
Cook's tour in 2013-14 "irrelevant" for this Ashes series
Alastair Cook. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
Brisbane, Australia (AP) —
Alastair Cook is the most experienced cricketer contesting this Ashes
series, so he can take comfort from the longer view when considering
England's chances in Australia.
He's seen all the hype about banter and
aggression before, having played 30 of his 147 tests in the Ashes
Cook was captain when England were
swept 5-0 on their last Ashes tour Down Under amid the intimidating pace of
the now-retired Mitchell Johnson, and the Australians are focusing on the
legacy they believe that leaves for the tourists.
But Cook, now "back in the ranks" after
standing down as captain, doesn't think memories from that series, or the
fact England haven't won a test at the Gabba since 1986, will count for much
after the first session of the series in Brisbane.
"England have won four of the last five
Ashes series," he said, "so you can look at whatever statistics you want."
The England batting crumbled as Johnson
took 37 wickets in five tests, backed up by pacemen Ryan Harris and Peter
Siddle. Even Cook struggled, averaging only 24.6 and with a high score of
72. His overall average in Ashes tests in Australia is 49.53, and he scored
four centuries across his previous two tours — including his 235 in the
drawn test at Brisbane in 2010.
Joe Root, who became England captain
last July and has won five of his seven tests so far, didn't see out the
series in 2013-14, missing the last test after averaging just 27.42.
None of that concerns Cook, who points
out that there are only a few players still active on either team from that
series in 2013-14.
"Mitch (Johnson) bowled outstandingly
in that series, one of the best periods of bowling I've ever faced, backed
up by Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle — (but) they're no longer playing," Cook
said. "So in one sense it's a bit irrelevant. It happened four years ago."
Australia are taking a similar tactical
approach, relying on a pace trio comprising Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood
and Pat Cummins supported by offspinner Nathan Lyon.
Cook noted it's a quality attack, but
not an extraordinary one.
"They're not suddenly bowling 150 miles
per hour," he said. "They've "got (no) magic balls which start way outside
the stumps and swing miles. They're very good bowlers with good records. As
batters, that is the challenge we've got in the next seven weeks."
Much of the attention on England's
lineup has been on the inexperience in the batting department and the
absence of allrounder Ben Stokes, who may not take part later in the series
depending on the outcome of a police investigation into a nightclub incident
he was involved in on Sept. 26 in Bristol, England.
Cook said England have "pretty much
accepted" that Stokes won't play a part in the Ashes, countering media
speculation that he will still be part of the England side for the later
Cook was encouraged by his 70 in a tour
match in Townsville last week, and said he'd been improving in each innings
in Australia with his timing and rhythm.
Moeen Ali, who has recovered from
injury and is likely to bat at No. 6 or 7, was similarly upbeat about
England's prospects this series and wasn't interested in speculating on the
return of Stokes or the banter coming from the Australian team.
"There's genuine confidence we can win
here," Ali said. "It'll be great to come away with a win and get a good
start to the series."
Cook also is advising any teammates who
haven't played an Ashes test in Australia not to take any notice of the
pre-series hype or the boisterous crowds.
"All the talking stops very quickly and
the series becomes a normal series after the first two hours," he said.
Ko endures 1st season without winning on the LPGA Tour
watches her approach shot on the fifth hole during the second round of the
CME Group Tour Championship golf tournament at Tiburón Golf Club, Friday,
Nov. 17, in Naples. Fla. (Luke Franke/Naples Daily News via AP)
Naples, Fla. (AP) — Lydia Ko
blasted out from in front of the steep edge of a bunker and raised her arms
playfully when it dropped for par. She ended the first round of the CME
Group Tour Championship one shot out of the lead, and she looked like the Ko
Her comments immediately after the
round spoke to what kind of year it was.
"It would be good to finish the season
with a top 10. I would be pretty happy with that," Ko said.
This from someone who reached No. 1 in
the world at age 17, who won her first LPGA Tour event as a 15-year-old
amateur and won every year since then. That streak ended in one of the most
surprising developments of the year on the LPGA Tour.
Ko failed to win a single tournament.
She finished 13th on the LPGA money list, after earning more than $2 million
each of the last three seasons.
She paid a steep price for making so
many changes all at once. Ko left coach David Leadbetter for Gary Gilchrist,
she sacked her caddie late last year (she once went through seven caddies as
a rookie) and she left Callaway for PXG.
"I think she has handled it extremely
well," said Judy Rankin, a Hall of Famer and television analyst. "But I
can't imagine that she doesn't lay her head on the pillow at night and
think: 'What happened? Where did I go? Was that not real?' Part of it is
just growing up. Part of it is in golf, and maybe all the way through life,
I'm not sure you come to that point where you've grown up just enough to
know things can go wrong. And then they begin to."
Ko had three runner-up finishes this
year, losing the final-round lead to Lexi Thompson in Indianapolis. She
failed to register a top 10 in the traditional majors until tying for third
in Evian, the major reduced to 54 holes.
Ko never thought it was that bad.
"Obviously, winning a championship is a
huge deal, but sometimes it's overrated when you haven't won," Ko said.
"You're still playing well, but just haven't won. I feel like it's been that
kind of year. I think everybody has little ups and downs. To me, I think it
was important to finish on the higher note, which I feel like that's what
She tied for 16th in Naples and soon
was on her way to South Korea for three weeks of fun (mainly concerts) and
First test drawn as bad light stops India, saves Sri Lanka
Lanka's captain Dinesh Chandimal is bowled out by India's Mohammed
Shami during the fifth day of the first test in Kolkata, India,
Monday, Nov. 20. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
Kolkata, India (AP) —
India's last-day charge for victory against Sri Lanka in the first
test was thwarted by bad light on Monday at Eden Gardens.
India made certain of not
losing by declaring their second innings nearly 50 overs into the
day, just before tea. Declaring at 352-8, India gave Sri Lanka a
victory target of 231.
The visitors were expected to
comfortably bat out the last session and a bit. But fast bowlers
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-8) and Mohammed Shami (2-34) ripped apart the
In the seven overs before tea,
Sri Lanka lost two wickets. There were 19.3 more overs after tea,
during which Sri Lanka collapsed and lost five more wickets, and
were down to bowlers at the batting crease; Dasun Shanaka in his
third test, and Rangana Herath.
They were saved by bad light,
with more than 20 overs remaining.
Sri Lanka, 22-4 at one stage,
finished on 75-7.
Only three Sri Lanka batsmen
made it into double figures, with Niroshan Dickwella top-scoring on
That India were playing for the
win at the end was a huge turnaround after being bowled out for 172
in their first innings and seeing Sri Lanka take a 122-run
Earlier on Monday, captain
Virat Kohli posted his 18th test century to lead India's fight back.
His unbeaten 104 from 119 ball
included 12 boundaries and a pair of sixes.
India resumed on day five at
171-1 aiming to score quickly to set up a result, but Suranga Lakmal
(3-93) slowed the progress with three wickets in his morning spell.
Lokesh Rahul (79) added only
six runs to his overnight score before he was bowled by Lakmal in
the fifth over.
At the other end, Cheteshwar
Pujara (22) became the third India player after ML Jaisimha and Ravi
Shastri to bat on all five days of a test.
But he added only 11 runs with
Kohli for the third wicket before Lakmal struck twice quickly.
Lakmal had Pujara caught at
gully as he failed to fend off a short ball, and four balls later
trapped Ajinkya Rahane lbw for a duck, a close decision that stayed
in the bowler's favor despite a DRS review.
Kohli added 20 runs with
Ravichandran Ashwin (7), and 12 with Wriddhiman Saha (5). He reached
his half-century off 80 balls.
Kumar contributed 8 in a 40-run
stand with Kohli before he was dismissed.
Then, with ball in hand, Kumar
almost won it for India.
Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna dies at 49
this July 4, 1998 file photo, Jana Novotna, of the Czech Republic,
displays the women's singles trophy after her victory over France's
Nathalie Tauziat in the final on Wimbledon's Centre Court. (AP
Prague (AP) — Jana
Novotna, who won the hearts of the tennis world when she sobbed on
the shoulder of a member of the British royal family after a
heartbreaking loss in the Wimbledon final, has died at the age of
The WTA announced Novotna's
death on Monday, saying she died Sunday in her native Czech Republic
following a long battle with cancer.
Novotna died "peacefully,
surrounded by her family," the women's tennis body said.
Her family confirmed her death
to the Czech Republic's CTK news agency. No details were given.
Martina Navratilova, the tennis
great who was also born in what was then Czechoslovakia, tweeted:
"The tennis world is so sad about the passing of Jana Novotna. I am
gutted and beyond words. Jana was a true friend and an amazing
Novotna won her only Grand Slam
singles title at Wimbledon in 1998, eventually triumphing after two
losses in the final at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in 1993 and
1997. She also lost in the 1991 Australian Open final.
While she finally captured the
Grand Slam singles title she longed for in 1998, she won over the
Wimbledon crowd five years earlier after wasting a big lead in the
decisive set in a tough three-set loss to Steffi Graf.
Unable to hide her
disappointment, Novotna cried on the shoulder of Britain's Duchess
of Kent at the prize giving ceremony and was gently comforted by the
royal, who told her: "I know you will win it one day, don't worry."
Novotna ultimately had her
moment five years later when she beat Nathalie Tauziat in straight
sets to win Wimbledon. At the time, she was the oldest first-time
winner of a Grand Slam singles title at age 29.
There wear tears again from
Novotna, this time of joy, and the Duchess of Kent was present again
to congratulate her.
"She was a true champion in all
senses of the word, and her 1998 triumph will live long in the
memory," Wimbledon organizers the All England Club said in tribute
to Novotna. "The thoughts of all those at Wimbledon are with her
family and friends."
Fellow Czech and four-time
Grand Slam champion Hana Mandlikova, who coached Novotna for her
Wimbledon win, said: "It's hard to find words. Jana was a great girl
and I'm happy that she won Wimbledon after all. It's so sad when
someone so young dies."
During a 14-year professional
career, Novotna won 24 singles titles and reached a career-high No.
2 in the singles rankings in 1997. She was a prolific and top-ranked
doubles player, collecting 16 slam titles in doubles and mixed
She won three Olympic medals,
silver in the doubles at the 1988 Seoul Games and silver again in
the doubles and bronze in the singles in Atlanta in 1996. She also
won the Fed Cup with her country in 1988. Novotna was inducted into
tennis' Hall of Fame in 2005.
Even after retiring in 1999,
Novotna was desperate to stay involved in tennis and became a
commentator and coach.
"I'm dependent on tennis," she
said in an interview two years ago. "A day without it would be
Members of the current Czech
Fed Cup team said Novotna "supported us in the stands any time she
could be there. We'll miss her."
"Jana was an inspiration both
on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her," WTA
chief executive Steve Simon said. "Her star will always shine
brightly in the history of the WTA."
Oladipo, Bogdanovic lead Pacers over Magic 105-97
Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner, left, and Orlando Magic's Terrence
Ross (31) go after a rebound during the first half of an NBA
basketball game, Monday, Nov. 20, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John
Orlando, Fla. (AP) —
Victor Oladipo had 29 points, nine rebounds and seven steals to lead
the Indiana Pacers to their fourth straight win, 105-97 over the
Orlando Magic on Monday night.
Oladipo, who played his first
three NBA seasons in Orlando, and Bojan Bogdanovic combined for 40
points in the second half, 14 of them during a 16-3 third-quarter
run that put the Pacers in command.
Bogdanovic scored 24 of his 26
points in the second half.
Nikola Vucevic had 25 points
and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who lost their fifth straight. Aaron
Gordon had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Magic finished with 22
turnovers and shot 33 percent in the second half to fall below .500
for the first time this season.
After a dunk by Aaron Gordon
late in the first quarter, the Magic were down 23-22 despite making
nine of their first 12 shots including four of five 3-pointers.
Two straight Orlando turnovers
helped Indiana take a six-point lead before the Magic closed the
first half with 11 straight points for a 55-50 advantage.
Oladipo and Bogdanovic scored
22 points in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Bogdanovic gave
Indiana its first double-digit lead with 4:11 left in the game.
A couple of 3-pointers by Evan
Fournier and a 12-foot bank by Gordon pulled the Magic to within
three in the final minute, but Oladipo set up Bogdanovic for a
3-pointer that put the Pacers up by six with 16.8 seconds left.
Pacers: After making 11 of 23
attempts at Miami on Sunday, Indiana came into the game as the NBA's
best 3-point shooting team (.404).
Magic: Rookie Jonathan Isaac
missed a fourth straight game with a sprained right ankle. ... The
Magic outrebounded the Pacers 50-48 after coming into the game with
the NBA's worst rebounding percentage.
Pacers: After a three-day
break, the Pacers will play Toronto Friday night in the first of
three straight home games.
Magic: Wednesday night's game
at Minnesota will open a four-game trip.
Brighton fight back twice, draw 2-2 with Stoke in EPL
Brighton's Pascal Gross (on ground) celebrates scoring his side's
first goal of the game against Stoke City at the AMEX Stadium in
Brighton, England, Monday, Nov. 20. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
Brighton, England (AP) —
Brighton fought back twice to draw with Stoke 2-2 at home in the
Premier League on Monday, extending their unbeaten run to five
matches on their impressive return to England's top flight.
Colombia winger Jose Izquierdo
earned the promoted team a point with a 60th-minute goal, scoring at
the second attempt after his initial cutback was cleared.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting earned
the opening goal, Pascal Gross steered in his third goal of the
season to bring Brighton level, and Kurt Zouma put Stoke back in
front with a header in first-half injury time.
Brighton stay in ninth place,
three points ahead of 15th-place Stoke after 12 games.
West Brom fire Tony Pulis with team in relegation danger
Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis watches the English Premier
League match against Chelsea at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich,
England, Saturday Nov. 18. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
London (AP) - Ahead of
what proved to be his last match as West Bromwich Albion manager,
Tony Pulis detailed in his program notes all of his achievements
during his nearly three years at the English Premier League club.
West Brom had always made a
profit during his tenure, he wrote.
The team had a record number of
players representing their countries.
He held a strong relationship
with his chairman, John Williams — a "good man," according to Pulis
— and reminded fans he was nominated for coach of the year last
season "for finishing as the top manager per pound per point in the
The PR offensive didn't work.
Two days after West Brom were
humbled at home by Chelsea 4-0 to extend the team's dreadful run of
results to just two wins from their last 21 games, Pulis was fired
in the first decisive act by West Brom's new Chinese owner.
"We are in a results business,"
Williams said, "and over the back end of last season and this season
to date, ours have been very disappointing."
Owning a reputation for being a
virtual guarantee against relegation couldn't keep Pulis in the job.
Not with West Brom having slumped to 17th place in the Premier
League, within a point and a place of the relegation zone.
Pulis has never been relegated
in 25 years and more than 1,000 league games in soccer management,
but he wasn't given a chance to extend that record at The Hawthorns.
The Welshman, known for wearing
a baseball cap, tracksuit and trainers for games, turned Stoke into
an established Premier League team during his second spell there
(2006-13) and was voted as the division's manager of the year in the
2013-14 season, after steering Crystal Palace to safety. He took
over Palace midway through that season when the team was in the
relegation zone, six points from safety.
At West Brom, Pulis achieved
finishes of 13th, 14th and 10th place.
Only 12 of 38 rounds have been
played this season, so there was still plenty of time for Pulis to
turn things around. Yet there was no sign of West Brom's form
improving, and the fans lost patience with Pulis and his pragmatic
style of football.
A disgruntled section of the
support called for his departure in recent games.
West Brom came under new
ownership last year, with Lai Guochuan becoming the majority
shareholder. He was at the game against Chelsea.
The club from central England
had a net spend of about 30 million pounds ($40 million) last summer
and enriched the squad with some trumpeted arrivals like Poland
midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak from Paris Saint-Germain, left back
Kieran Gibbs from Arsenal, and winger Oliver Burke from Leipzig.
Pulis had better players and a
deeper squad at his disposal, but failed to get the most out of
them. He clearly missed Darren Fletcher, the club captain and
experienced midfielder who surprisingly left in the offseason to
join Stoke. Dovetail that with continued criticism of his approach —
direct, risk-averse — and it was no surprise there were calls for
West Brom have just nine goals
in 12 games this season.
Pulis is the fifth manager to
lose his job in the Premier League this season, after Frank De Boer
(Crystal Palace), Craig Shakespeare (Leicester), Ronald Koeman
(Everton) and Slaven Bilic (West Ham).
"Today, it's like this,"
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Monday. "When I was
young, you saw in England they respect the contract of the managers.
They never be sacked, it was so, so difficult.
"Now everywhere is the same. We
have to accept that, we know that. Everyone knows when we don't have
results, managers here can win the Premier League and a month later
they will be sacked."
Assistant coach Gary Megson
will take temporary charge of the team, whose next match is against
Tottenham on Saturday.
Jutanugarn rallies to win after Thompson misses 2-foot putt
Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand smiles on the eighth hole during the
final round of the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburón Golf Club,
Sunday, Nov. 19, n Naples, Fla. (Luke Franke/Naples Daily News via
Naples, Fla. (AP) — Lexi
Thompson never had a putt so short that was potentially worth so
She had a one-shot lead when
she settled over a 2-foot par putt on the final hole Sunday at the
CME Group Tour Championship. A victory would be worth $500,000 in
prize money and $1 million in a bonus. She would win LPGA player of
the year and the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average.
She would rise to No. 1 in the
Moments later, Ariya Jutanugarn
capped off her birdie-birdie finish with an 18-foot putt to win the
tournament and deny Thompson three of those perks.
"I don't really know what
happened there," Thompson said. "It just happens. I guess it's golf.
I guess we all go through situations we don't like sometimes."
Thompson has gone through her
share of them this year. Unlike the others, this one came with a $1
Jutanugarn birdied four of his
last six holes for a 5-under 67 and seized on her good fortune when
Thompson missed the short putt to win the CME Group Tour
Championship and the $500,000 first prize.
A wild end to the LPGA season
sent four players home with a trophy of some variety.
Although she lost the
tournament, Thompson still won the CME Race to the Globe and the $1
million bonus, along with the Vare Trophy.
Thompson had to win the
tournament to be player of the year. Instead, the points-based LPGA
player of the year was a tie between a pair of major champions from
South Korea, So Yeon Ryu and LPGA rookie Sung Hyun Park. It was the
first time the award was shared since it began in 1966.
Park, the U.S. Women's Open
champion, was trying to become the first rookie since Nancy Lopez in
1978 to sweep the major awards. She already had won rookie of the
year. She had to settle for a tie for player of the year, and her 75
in the third round damaged her chances of winning the Vare Trophy.
What stood out on another sunny
afternoon was the sterling performance of Jutanugarn, who won for
the second time this year.
Jutanugarn was at 13 under on
the par-5 17th when she hit a hybrid for her second shot into the
bunker and blasted out to about 18 feet. Ahead of her on the 18th
green, Thompson was at 15 under and lagged a 50-foot birdie attempt
beautifully down the slope on the 18th to 2 feet left of the cup.
Jutanugarn made birdie.
Thompson missed her par putt, and there was a three-way tie for the
lead at 14 under that included Jessica Korda, who was playing with
Thompson and had left her 25-foot birdie attempt well short.
Thompson and Korda each closed
with a 67.
Jutanugarn hit her approach
about 18 feet above the hole and made it for winning birdie. She
finished at 15-under 273.
"I had no expectation at all,"
Jutanugarn said. "I really did not think about the outcome."
Jutanugarn was part of a
four-way tie for the lead going into the final round, and the CME
Group Tour Championship was up for grabs most of the day until
Thompson seemingly seized control with 32 on the front nine, a
10-foot birdie on the 13th and then a superb pitch from left of the
17th green that set up a 3-foot birdie.
Pernilla Lindberg had reason to
believe she needed birdie from long range on the 18th to have a
chance. She ran that 7 feet by the hole and three-putted for a bogey
and a 68. She wound up finishing two shots behind, along with
Eun-Hee Ji (67).
Michelle Wie, trying to win for
the first time since the U.S. Women's Open in 2014, had a share of
the lead until she hit near the edge of a bunker and made double
bogey on No. 9, and then dropped two more shots on the back nine.
Even with seven birdies, Wie still only managed a 70. She tied for
sixth with Park, who closed with a 69. Park was at 13 under through
35 holes and played 1 over the final 37 holes.
Ryu was coping with a shoulder
injury and was happy to squeeze in 72 holes. She wound up a
part-winner of LPGA player of the year.
Thompson was on the putting
green when she heard the cheer for Jutanugarn's final birdie.
It was the second time this
year that Thompson appeared to be in control and was stunned to not
win. She had a four-shot lead in the final round of the ANA
Inspiration when she was penalized four shots — two for incorrectly
marking her golf ball on the green in the third round, and two more
shots because the infraction wasn't discovered by a viewer until the
next day, and so she signed an incorrect scorecard in the third
She wound up losing to Ryu in a
playoff, though Thompson said this week it made her a stronger
"I continue to work hard in my
off weeks," she said. "I didn't stop me, and this won't either."
Dimitrov wins ATP Finals, Grand Slam his next target
Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria celebrates and holds up the trophy after
winning the men's singles ATP World final at the O2 Arena in London,
Sunday, Nov. 19. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
London (AP) — Grigor
Dimitrov's talent took him to the brink of his biggest career win —
but he needed more than that to get over the line.
The sixth-seeded Bulgarian
claimed the title at the season-ending ATP Finals on Sunday,
prevailing on his fifth match point to beat David Goffin 7-5, 4-6,
6-3 in the final.
"I felt I had a good mental
toughness throughout the whole year," Dimitrov said. "So when my
body's allowing me to do this kind of preparation, I feel I already
have an advantage over any other player. And right now those are the
moments that I rise up to."
It wasn't the Roger
Federer-Rafael Nadal matchup many fans had hoped for, but they were
left satisfied as the two 26-year-olds delivered the longest final
since the tournament returned to a three-set format in 2008.
Dimitrov won in 2 hours, 30
minutes, 15 seconds, adding 11 minutes to the mark set by Federer
and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011.
That wasn't the only record
Dimitrov set. After winning all five of his matches at the O2 Arena,
he became the first player to win the elite tournament on debut
since 1998, when Alex Corretja of Spain triumphed in Hanover.
"I was a little bit tired,"
said Dimitrov, who beat Goffin for the loss of just two games when
they met on Wednesday. "I had to play a few matches obviously
back-to-back against solid opponents. I knew that David is going to
try something new. He had to be aggressive in order so he doesn't
let me play my game."
Goffin's adjustments paid off
early as he broke Dimitrov's first two service games either side of
losing his own, before settling down to control the opener.
However, Dimitrov fought his
way back. He leveled in the eighth game before breaking once more in
the 12th to snatch the set, despite Goffin hitting eight more
Dimitrov's confidence carried
into the second set, where he brought up the first break point in
the sixth game, only for Goffin to produce a stunning cross-court
backhand winner to save it. The momentum back with him, Goffin broke
the following game for a 4-3 lead and calmly closed out the set.
Having become the sixth player
to beat Nadal and Federer at the same tournament — the latter from a
set down in the semifinals — Goffin had every reason to be confident
after drawing level. But he wasted four break points in the opening
game and they would turn out to be his only chances in the decider.
"I think after this week I'm a
better player mentally," said Goffin, who ends the season at a
career-high No. 7 ranking. "I proved to myself that I can do it."
Dimitrov was more clinical,
striking in the sixth game to take control of the third set.
However, the Bulgarian has had problems closing matches out this
season — losing three times after holding match points — and had
cause for concern when Goffin saved his first three to hold from
0-40 down at 2-5.
Dimitrov served his way to
40-15 but saw another chance drift away, before Goffin finally
netted a backhand volley to end the match.
"I was a little bit tired in
the third," Goffin said. "It's the only game maybe I didn't serve
well. I didn't put a lot of first serves in that game ... He was
Dimitrov claimed his first
Masters title in Cincinnati in August, and having risen to a
career-high No. 3-ranking with victory in London, his next target is
a Grand Slam.
"I don't want to get too hyped
up because I've done well, now I'm No. 3 in the world," Dimitrov
said. "Of course, one of my main goals is to win a Grand Slam
tournament. This has always been, again, a dream of mine."
Fleetwood wins European Tour's order of merit
Tommy Fleetwood of England follows his ball on the 18th fairway
during the final round of the DP World Tour Championship golf
tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Nov. 19. (AP
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
(AP) — Tommy Fleetwood won the Race to Dubai and the right to be
called the top golfer in Europe after a tense battle with Justin
Rose that was ultimately decided on the final green of the season on
Rose, seemingly in cruise
control after 11 holes as he opened up a one-shot lead atop of the
leaderboard on 19-under par, then wobbled and made bogeys on the
12th, 14th and 16th holes on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf
The 37-year-old No. 6-ranked
golfer reached the par-5 18th hole three shots behind clubhouse
leader Jon Rahm of Spain (19 under), and needed to make an eagle to
move up to second. With Fleetwood in the clubhouse in joint 21st at
11 under, Rose needed to finish in solo fourth place or better to
win his second Order of Merit title.
Just short of the green with
his second shot, Rose used his putter and came agonizingly close but
the ball did not go in. He finished in joint fourth place at
17-under par with three other players, handing the title to
Spain's Rahm, winner of the
Irish Open earlier this year on the European Tour, fired a
final-round 67 to finish on 19-under par 269 to win the tournament.
Ireland's Shane Lowry shot the
day's best round, a 63, to finish tied second at 270 alongside
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67). Masters champion Sergio Garcia
(65) and South African duo of Dylan Frittelli (69) and Dean
Burmester (68) were the other players tied for fourth with Rose.
Rose made four birdies in his
first seven holes, and played his first poor shot on the 12th when
his approach found the greenside bunker. He made a bogey there,
before finding the water with his second shot on the par-5 14th and
missing a two-foot par putt on the 16th.
After two successive rounds of
65, Fleetwood failed to make headway on Sunday, and could only watch
the drama unfold in the scoring tent after a two-over par 74 round.
"It's the biggest day of my
career for sure. The emotions were difficult on me. I don't trust
computers, so even when everything had finished, it was so difficult
to get up or down. Then I felt for Justin a lot. He was so gracious
when he came in.shows a lot about his character," said Fleetwood
after accepting his trophy.
"The achievement of winning a
year-long thing is massive and it holds a lot of respect among your
peers and the players. It shows sort of the level of consistency and
the amount I've improved as a player and as a person."
Rose was disappointed with his
finish, but delighted for Fleetwood.
"I just feel I went a bit flat
around the turn. I had opportunities around 10 and 11 and didn't
take those. I got a little bit out of my routine and a little
distracted, had a poor shot on the par-5 and then it was a struggle
from there on in. The shots on 13 and 14 were the undoing," he said.
"Tommy, I'm pleased for him.
He's battled hard all year and put a good week in South Africa and
had a great couple of comeback rounds this week to fight back and
deserve it. He's been leading all year and it's good for him to
finish it off."
As other players struggled down
the stretch, Rahm birdied the 14th and the tough 16th to take the
lead for good.
"I was a little anxious before
teeing off. I really wanted to win. I really wanted to finish
strong," said Rahm, who also won the PGA Tour event in Torrey Pines
and is expected to climb up to fourth place in the world rankings on
Monday in his first full season as a professional.
West Ham lose 2-0 at Watford in 1st match under Moyes
Ham United's Mark Noble, left, and Watford's Richarlison battle for
the ball during their English Premier League match at Vicarage Road
in Watford., Sunday Nov. 19. (John Walton/PA via AP)
Watford, England (AP) —
West Ham put in a familiar performance on Sunday despite having
hired a new manager.
David Moyes's first game in
charge ended in a 2-0 defeat at Watford, keeping his new club in the
Premier League relegation zone.
Will Hughes scored his first
goal for Watford before setting up Richarlison to end a three-match
losing streak for the Hornets.
Watford move back up to eighth.
West Ham haven't recorded a league win since September and stay
West Ham's decision to hire a
manager who failed to last a year at his previous three clubs —
Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland, after a
long-running stay at Everton — was met with criticism from
supporters and Moyes' debut did little to appease them.
Having been clattered by Andy
Carroll just six seconds into his Watford debut, Marvin Zeegelaar
displayed his toughness to help set up the opening goal.
West Ham could only clear
Zeegelaar's cross as far as Andre Gray, whose scuffed shot fell into
Hughes's path, allowing the midfielder to swivel and find the bottom
corner with his left foot after 11 minutes.
Watford were in control for
much of the game at Vicarage Road, but West Ham did have chances to
Cheikhou Kouyate wasted a clear
opening either side of halftime and Heurelho Gomes made a fine
triple-save from Marko Arnautovic to preserve the home side's lead.
Watford appeared to take note
of the scares and lifted their intensity. Their reward came when
Richarlison latched onto Hughes's pass in the 64th. The Brazilian
pushed the ball onto his left foot before squeezing his effort past
Joe Hart, who should have done better.
Patrick crashes in final NASCAR race as full-time driver
Danica Patrick is shown in this July 16, 2017, file photo. (AP
Homestead, Fla. (AP) —
Danica Patrick climbed out of her burning, smoke-filled, wrecked
race car and trudged toward pit road.
She pulled off her gloves and
helmet in frustration before being taken to the infield care center.
It was a much earlier exit than
Patrick wanted in her final NASCAR race as a full-time driver.
"There's still racing in my
future," she said. "I still have a thousand miles to go."
Indeed, the "Danica Double"
But the thought of future
endeavors did little to improve another disappointing day.
Patrick finished 37th in her
final race with Stewart-Haas Racing. She bowed her head outside the
care center before answering questions about her season finale and
"It just seemed like every time
things were going better, something would happen — my fault or
sometimes not my fault," she said. "This was just another case of
that. It was fun for a little while there at the end. It was
absolute misery for the first stint."
Patrick started the weekend by
announcing she plans to retire from full-time racing, holding an
emotional news conference that began with a tearful goodbye.
The season finale prompted more
of the same.
"It was a little bit emotional,
but I've been working through levels of that," she said. "I was just
kind of looking forward to getting in the car finally, actually."
She will be back behind the
wheel in February for the Daytona 500, the final race of her NASCAR
career. She also will return to IndyCar next May and drive in the
Indianapolis 500 for the first time in seven years.
Asked if there's a silver
lining in being able to return for the Daytona 500, Patrick paused
several seconds before mustering an answer.
"Yeah, sure," she finally said.
"Let's hope I don't end up in the medical center."
The 35-year-old Patrick is the
only woman to lead laps in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis
500. She ran the Indy 500 from 2005 through 2011. Her highest finish
was third in 2009, and she was the first woman to lead laps there
when she paced the field for 19 trips around the Brickyard as a
Patrick was highly marketable
early in her career even though wins were rare. She won the pole for
the Daytona 500 in 2013, but finished 24th in the standings the last
two seasons. She won her only IndyCar race in 2008, in Japan.
Patrick never scored a top-five finish in NASCAR and had only seven
top 10s in 189 career starts.
Patrick has not revealed which
team she will drive for in 2018, but surely a package deal with the
same owner and same sponsor for the biggest races in motorsports
would make her again racing's most marketable driver.
"I have a higher chance of
crashing at Daytona than I do here, so I don't know if I feel like,
'Well, that's my shot,'" she said. "I have one left and then another
one after, which is the Indianapolis 500."
Update November 18-19, 2017
Green shows range, leads Warriors past Jazz for 2-0 lead
Matthew Fitzpatrick from England plays a shot on the 2nd hole during
the second round of the DP World Tour Championship golf tournament
in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Nov. 17. (AP Photo/Kamran
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
(AP) — Defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick shot a second
straight 5-under-par 67 to secure a one-stroke lead halfway through
the European Tour's season-ending Tour Championship on Friday.
At 10 under after two rounds on
the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estate, Fitzpatrick was edging
English compatriot Tyrrell Hatton, whom he beat by one shot to win
the title last year.
Hatton moved into contention
with a brilliant 9-under 63, a round soured only by a closing bogey
on the par-5 18th hole.
In the race to win the Order of
Merit, main protagonists Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose experienced
contrasting emotions to their opening rounds. Fleetwood boosted his
chances by rising into a tie for 11th at 6 under after a 65. Rose
endured a three-putt bogey on the 18th to finish with a 70, and
dropped on the leaderboard so he's just two shots ahead of
U.S. Masters champion Sergio
Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Order of
Merit, stayed in contention by adding a 69 to his opening 70 to be
one shot behind Fleetwood.
Fleetwood needs to equal or
better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't
finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have
Fitzpatrick made two bogeys but
eagled the 14th, and five birdies contributed to his 67.
He was helped immensely also by
the 18th, where Hatton, Rose, and overnight leader Patrick Reed all
made bogeys. Fitzpatrick birdied the hole for a second straight day
with a 25-foot putt.
"I said to my caddie, we were
putting really, really well all week so far," Fitzpatrick said.
"The thing is, you get so many
fast putts around here, even uphill into the green, they are still
running at 12, 13 even. You've just got to be really sort of
careful. Every putt is effectively a two-putt. You've got to control
your pace well and limit your mistakes, because it's easy to
three-putt out here."
Rose, hoping to win a third
straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey, was
disappointed with his finish despite playing solid golf from tee to
"To make six (on 18) just ends
the day on the wrong note, but other than that, I played really well
on the back nine," Rose said.
"I was aware of the scores and
who had done what today. But listen, halfway stage, I'd probably
have signed up for that if somebody said on Wednesday you would be
in this position after two rounds. It's a position you can build on
Fleetwood resurrected his
chances of winning the Order of Merit with a 65, eight shots better
than his opening round. His only bogey of the day came on the
seventh after an errant drive, but that was the only mistake on a
solid day that saw him make eight birdies.
Fleetwood spent hours on the
putting green after his first round.
"I needed a low one today for
(a tournament win and the Order of Merit)," he said. "Luckily, I got
a good score."
Sung Hyun Park opens 3-shot lead in LPGA Tour Championship
Hyun Park putts on the 18th green during the second round of the CME
Group Tour Championship golf tournament at Tiburon Golf Club,
Friday, Nov. 17, in Naples, Fla. (Luke Franke/Naples Daily News via
Naples, Fla. (AP) — Golf
felt so easy to Sung Hyun Park that only when she took out her card
to catch up on her scores did she realize she had closed out the
front nine with five straight birdies at the CME Group Tour
Park kept right on attacking.
The 24-year-old from South
Korea added a 30-foot eagle putt late in her second round and
finished with a 7-under 65, giving her a three-shot lead going into
the weekend at Tiburon Golf Club.
Nothing seems to bother her,
even the chance to cap off an amazing rookie season by sweeping all
the big awards on the LPGA Tour.
"To be honest, I don't feel
quite as nervous as I thought I would," Park said through an
interpreter. "After the first shot, after the first hole, I felt a
lot more comfortable. I'm not feeling as nervous as I thought I
might be going into today."
Leave that to the players
Even with a three-putt bogey on
the final hole, Park was at 12-under 132 and was three shots clear
of Caroline Masson (66) and Sarah Jane Smith (69).
More importantly, none of the
other players in the chase for the $1 million Race to the CME Globe
bonus or any other big award was within five shots of Park, who is
trying to become the first rookie since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to win
LPGA player of the year.
Lexi Thompson, who leads the
Race to the CME Globe and the Vare Trophy for lowest adjusted
scoring average, shot a 67 and wound up losing ground. She was six
shots behind and must stay within 10 shots of Park to win the Vare.
So Yeon Ryu, who leads the
points-based award for player of the year, managed a 71 with her
sore right shoulder but was 11 shots back.
The other two players who need
to win the tournament to collect the $1 million bonus also had their
work cut out for them. Brooke Henderson had another 70 and was eight
shots behind, while world No. 1 Shanshan Feng shot 73 and was 11
Park was in control, only she
didn't see it that way.
"I don't think it's quite that
far of a lead," Park said. "Two, three shots of a lead can change at
any moment. We will have to see what's in store for this weekend."
Park began her big run with an
18-foot birdie on No. 5, got up-and-down for birdie from just off
the green at the par-5 sixth, holed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 7,
and then closed out the front nine with birdie putts from 8 feet and
"I actually didn't know that I
was going five birdies in a row," Park said. "Come hole No. 10, I
realized that I hadn't been jotting down my scores as diligently,
and so I realized it a little bit later on. And it felt great."
That gave her the lead by one
shot over Suzann Pettersen, except that Pettersen faded badly on the
Pettersen dropped four shots in
a three-hole stretch by getting out of position off the tee and she
shot 39 on the back nine for a 70 to fall five shots behind.
"I feel like I'm playing good,"
Pettersen said. "Three bad drives on the back nine cost me four
shots. That should not be possible on this course, where the
fairways are about 100 yards wide."
Park was honored at an awards
banquet Thursday night as the LPGA rookie of the year. Now, she has
more awards in her sights. A victory would give her the award for
player of the year. She would capture the money title, which she
leads over Ryu. And depending on how the weekend goes, she might be
able to surpass Thompson in the race for the Vare Trophy.
Thompson did well to recover
from two bogeys on her opening three holes.
"I hit a few really erratic
shots in the beginning. It wasn't a good start to the round,"
Thompson said. "Just tried to stay positive and find something that
could work for the last 14, 15 holes."
Lydia Ko fell six shots behind
in her bid to avoid a winless season. She was one shot behind going
into the second round but managed only three birdies in her round of
Park, meanwhile, had everything
going her way. Even when she pulled her drive on the par-5 14th into
a sandy area with a root next to her ball, she picked it clear and
sent it through a goal post of trees back to the fairway. Three
holes later, she blasted a drive and had only a 7-iron into the
green at the par-5 17th, which she hit to 30 feet and made the long
Does anything make her nervous?
"I hate spiders," she said.
"But in terms of golf, I always get nervous to this day on the first
tee. I can feel my heart pounding."
It's a feeling that doesn't
appear to last very long.
Goffin beats Thiem to set up ATP Finals semi with Federer
David Goffin of Belgium plays a return to Dominic Thiem of Austria
during their mens singles tennis match at the ATP World Finals at
the O2 Arena in London, Friday, Nov. 17. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
London (AP) — David
Goffin is into the last four of the ATP Finals, to go any further
he'll have to do something he's never done before: beat Roger
The No.7-seeded Goffin beat
Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1 at the O2 Arena on Friday to set up a
semifinal meeting with Federer.
From 0-3, 0-15 down in the
opening set, Goffin won 15 consecutive points to take control of the
match, and never looked back.
"I've never found a key to beat
Roger," said Goffin, who has lost all of his six meetings with the
19-time Grand-Slam champion. "Honestly, I don't know what to do
tomorrow. But I'm going to try something, something different,
something that I've never done in the past."
The victory took Goffin to 2-1
in the round-robin stage of the elite season-ending tournament after
a win over Rafael Nadal and defeat to Grigor Dimitrov, who will meet
Jack Sock in Saturday's other semifinal.
Dimitrov defeated Pablo Carreno
Busta 6-1, 6-1 in the late match to become the first player to win
all three round-robin matches on debut since Andy Murray in 2008.
Unlike during his 74-minute
thrashing by Dimitrov on Wednesday, Goffin was able to recover from
a slow start.
Thiem produced some blistering
groundstrokes to break in the second game of the match and held for
a 3-0 lead, but from there his game disintegrated.
"Well, I had a very, very good
start obviously," Thiem said. "Again, some very bad mistakes. I let
him back into the game. Somehow after the 3-0, I lost it until the
When Thiem finally ended his
opponent's run of five straight games, Goffin kept his composure to
serve out the set. Thiem then received treatment on his left knee,
but it didn't seem to help.
He was broken again in the
third game of the second set and then twice more as Goffin cruised
Goffin was far from faultless
himself, with both players' unforced error totals doubling their
However, in the major moments
Goffin was able to keep his game under control, taking five of his
seven break point opportunities. Thiem was wasteful, completing just
one of his six.
"As soon as I came back at 3-3
with a good service game, I knew that he was struggling a little bit
with his groundstrokes," Goffin said. "He was hitting too hard maybe
a little bit. He lost his timing in his backhands. He started to
think about how to hit the ball."
Goffin is making his full debut
at the event, having stepped in as an alternate for one match last
Reaching the semifinals in
London is the latest step in a groundbreaking season for the
Belgian. He broke into the top 10 for the first time in February and
reached a career high No. 8-ranking earlier in November.
Lowry and DeRozan each score 22, Raptors beat Knicks 107-84
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) dunks the ball as New York
Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) looks on during first-half NBA
basketball game action in Toronto, Friday, Nov. 17. (Chris Young/The
Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto (AP) — Kyle
Lowry matched his season high with 22 points and added 10 assists,
DeMar DeRozan also scored 22 and the short-handed Toronto Raptors
beat New York 107-84 on Friday night, their eighth consecutive
victory over the Knicks.
Toronto played without two
injured starters in forward Serge Ibaka (swollen left knee) and
guard Norman Powell (right hip). Reserve guard Delon Wright
(dislocated right shoulder) also was unavailable.
C.J. Miles scored 14 points for
Toronto. Pressed into the starting lineup, second-year forward
Pascal Siakam scored 13 points and rookie forward OG Anunoby had 11.
Lowry finished with eight
rebounds as Toronto won its third straight and improved to 5-1 at
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps
Porzingis each scored 13 points and Enes Kanter had 12 for the
Knicks, who fell behind by double-digits in a poor-shooting first
half and couldn't recover.
Porzingis shot 3 for 13 while
Hardaway Jr. finished 5 for 11. The Knicks went 30 for 92 overall.
New York hasn't beaten Toronto
since a 111-109 win north of the border on Nov. 10, 2015, a game in
which the Knicks benefitted from a missed out of bounds call on
Carmelo Anthony late in the fourth quarter.
Jarrett Jack made all three of
his shots in the first but the rest of the Knicks endured a
difficult quarter, making just three of 23 attempts. Porzingis went
0 for 6 in the opening quarter and Hardaway missed a dunk. Lowry and
Anunoby each scored seven points for the Raptors, who led 30-18
Lowry had nine points and three
assists in the second as Toronto led 54-36 at halftime.
New York made five of seven
3-point attempts in the third but DeRozan scored 12 points for
Toronto as the Raptors took a 78-64 edge into the fourth.
Andy Murray, coach Ivan Lendl end 2nd stint together
this Jan. 26, 2012 file photo, Britain's Andy Murray, right, is
watched by his coach Ivan Lendl as he trains in Rod Laver Arena in
Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
London (AP) - Andy
Murray and Ivan Lendl are calling it quits for a second time, ending
a partnership that produced three Grand Slam titles and two Olympic
Murray announced Friday on his
website that he and Lendl "have mutually agreed to end their
All of Murray's greatest
triumphs as a tennis player have come with Lendl guiding him as his
coach. That includes, most famously, the Scotsman's 2013 title at
Wimbledon, which made him the first British man in 77 years to win
the singles championship at the All England Club.
Before that, Lendl helped
Murray win the 2012 U.S. Open and the gold medal at the London
Olympics earlier that year. Then they split in 2014, before
reuniting last year, about a month before Murray won his second
Murray also reached No. 1 in
the ATP rankings while working with Lendl, getting to that spot for
the first time in November 2016.
"I'm thankful to Ivan for all
his help and guidance over the years," Murray said in the statement
on his site. "We've had great success and learned a lot as a team."
Lendl, who won eight major
titles from 1984 to 1990, and Murray were at the forefront of a
trend of players hiring former stars of the sport as coaches.
Murray yielded the No. 1
ranking to Rafael Nadal this August, shortly before saying he would
miss the rest of the 2017 season because of a hip injury.
It turned out his last match of
the year came on July 12 at Wimbledon, where his title defense ended
with a five-set quarterfinal loss to Sam Querrey.
Murray intends to be ready for
the start of next season in January, when the Australian Open is
played, saying Friday: "My focus now is on getting ready for
Australia with the team I have in place and getting back to
He plans to enter a tournament
in Brisbane, Australia, to prepare for the year's first Grand Slam
tournament. Before that, he will train in Miami, as usual.
Lendl will continue to work
with the U.S. Tennis Association's player development program.
"I wish Andy well going
forward," Lendl said. "We had a great run and a lot of fun."
Rose has early advantage over Fleetwood in Dubai; Reed leads
England's Justin Rose follows his ball on the 18th hole during the
first round of the DP World Tour Championship golf tournament in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 16. (AP Photo/Kamran
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
(AP) — Justin Rose made the best start of the three players
looking to become Europe's top player for 2017 at the season-ending
DP World Tour Championship in Dubai with a 6-under 66 Thursday.
An eagle from the greenside
bunker on the 14th hole and a stunning approach shot to two feet for
birdie on the 18th handed the Englishman the early initiative in his
attempt to win the European Tour's Race to Dubai crown.
The other two players in
contention for the crown - Tommy Fleetwood and reigning Masters
champion Sergio Garcia - opened with rounds of 73 and 70,
Patrick Reed of the United
States was the first-round leader after shooting 7-under 65.
Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737
points going into the final event of the season and needs to equal
or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose
doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood
will have done enough.
Sixth-ranked Rose is chasing
his third straight tournament success after wins in China and
"Really happy with that as a
start," the Olympic champion said Thursday at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
"I kind of wanted to come out today with good intent and sort of get
myself moving forward quickly."
Fleetwood started poorly,
making a double bogey on the first and then missing a short birdie
putt on the second before another bogey on the third.
But the Englishman was hopeful
of getting his act together over the next three rounds.
"As of right now, it is kind of
out of my hands a little bit after that start, but you never know
what can happen," Fleetwood said. "Three days to go, that's the
luxury of four rounds of golf. I've got three more to go, and let's
see what happens."
Reed, who is yet to win a
tournament this year, started with birdies on his first two holes,
and then added five more on his back nine despite suffering from
back pain while warming up in the morning.
"I woke up this morning, had
this really awful pain in my back, close to my shoulder. The warm-up
wasn't how I wanted," Reed said. "Any time you can start
birdie-birdie, it gets you started and I was able to right the ship
and make some putts and hit some good shots."
Australia's Scott Hend (66)
shares second place with Rose, while defending champion Matthew
Fitzpatrick of England started with a 5-under 67.
Sweden's Henrik Stenson — the
reigning Race to Dubai champion — is out with a rib injury.
Sock advances with Federer to semifinals at ATP Finals
Sock of the United States plays a return to Alexander Zverev of
Germany during their men's singles tennis match at the ATP World
Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Thursday, Nov. 16. (AP
London (AP) — In his ATP
Finals debut, Jack Sock joined Roger Federer in the semifinals.
Sock, the first American to
reach the final weekend at the season-ending tournament since Andy
Roddick in 2007, beat Alexander Zverev 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to advance from
his round-robin group on Thursday.
"I didn't expect to be in
London in the first place," said Sock, who qualified only this month
after winning the Paris Masters. "Paris was a big step for me. Now
to put myself in the position to play on the weekend is another big
step forward, another confidence-booster."
Sock again played an
entertaining match at the O2 Arena, complete with another 'tweener
and even a point penalty for smashing a ball into the crowd.
But it was a pair of errors
from Zverev in the final game that gave Sock the match. Trailing 5-4
and at 30-all, Zverev double-faulted for the eighth time to hand
Sock a match point. The 20-year-old German then put a forehand wide
to end it.
"Yeah, I choked," Zverev said.
"It's quite easy. Won the second set 6-1. I was 1-0 with a break. He
got a point penalty. I was down 1-4 within 10 minutes where I didn't
put many balls in the court."
Sock finished the group stage
with a 2-1 record and will next face Grigor Dimitrov in the
semifinals on Saturday. His only loss came against Federer in his
Federer ended up 3-0 and won
the group. He will face Dominic Thiem or David Goffin on Saturday.
In a rematch of the Wimbledon
final against Marin Cilic earlier, Federer came out on top again.
The second-ranked Swiss lost the first set but still won 6-7 (5),
"It wasn't easy," Federer said.
"I mean, look, it's a fast court. It's indoors. We've seen it now:
When you miss a few too many opportunities you can really pay the
price at this tournament."
The outcome didn't really
matter, though. Federer had already advanced while Cilic had already
Federer, who beat Cilic in
straight sets in the Wimbledon final in July, had four break points
in the first set on Thursday, but he couldn't convert any of them.
Cilic closed it out in a tiebreaker.
Federer had another break point
early in the second set, but he again failed to convert. But his
sixth attempt was different, and winning it gave Federer the second
In the third set, Federer broke
early and jumped out to 3-0, and then broke again to lead 5-1.
"In the beginning I was
slightly overaggressive in the first set on some crucial points
rather than maybe being patient," Federer said. "I was able to turn
that around late in the second set. Then just had a much better
feeling in the third set."
Cilic is ranked No. 5 in the
world — achieving a goal he set for himself at the end of last
At the ATP Finals, however, the
Croat has won only once in nine matches over three appearances at
the round-robin tournament.
"Overall, I felt that my level
has come to a new level," the 2014 U.S. Open champion said of his
2017 season. "So hopefully even more next year, I can aim a little
bit higher. Hopefully I'm going to be in a position to challenge the
top guys and to be in contention for Grand Slams."
Federer, the 19-time Grand Slam
champion who won his record eighth Wimbledon title, is looking to
extend another record for titles at the ATP Finals. The 36-year-old
Swiss has won it six times — twice in Houston, twice in Shanghai and
twice in London.
Federer has reached the
semifinals at the ATP Finals 14 times and has finished the
round-robin stage unbeaten 10 times.
Regardless of the outcome in
London, Federer will finish the year ranked No. 2 — behind Rafael
"I'm so happy that I was able
to reach this level of play and still be able to play also at the
end of the year," said Federer, who also won the Australian Open
this season. "I have no regrets because I totally over-exceeded my
expectations. Just happy I'm injury-free and healthy right now,
enjoying myself still."
India end rain-hit 1st day on 17-3 in 1st test vs Sri Lanka
Lanka's Suranga Lakmal, center without cap, celebrates with
teammates the dismissal of India's Lokesh Rahul during the first day
of their first test cricket match in Kolkata, India, Thursday, Nov.
16. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
Kolkata, India (AP) —
India struggled with rain, bad light and Sri Lanka's bowlers as they
went to stumps at 17-3 Thursday on Day 1 of the first test.
Only 11.5 overs were bowled in
Kolkata in just 60 minutes of play overall.
Suranga Lakmal (0-3) bowled an
exceptional six-over spell — all maidens — and used the new ball
brilliantly during the 43-minute session before bad light forced an
The pacer took all three
wickets as India's top-order collapsed on a green, moisture-laden
pitch after Sri Lanka won the toss.
Cheteshwar Pujara (8 not out)
and Ajinkya Rahane (0 not out) were the unbeaten batsmen at the
close of play. Lahiru Gamage has 0-16.
India's batting coach played
down the dismissals.
"It was a difficult pitch to
bat on," Sanjay Bangar said. "In these conditions, there is an
additional element of patience required. But there were too many
interruptions and our batsmen didn't get one continued passage of
play. We cannot find fault with their dismissals on a wicket like
After an early tea was taken,
India tried to rebuild their innings from 17-2. But Lakmal trapped
Virat Kohli (0) lbw on the eighth ball after the interval. The
batsman was ruled out despite DRS review.
Earlier, Lokesh Rahul (0) was
caught behind off the very first ball, becoming the sixth Indian
batsman to be dismissed off the first ball of a test. Shikhar Dhawan
(8) played on and was bowled off Lakmal in the 7th over.
There was only 17 minutes' play
in the final session. The umpires waited for light to improve,
before calling off play more than an hour before the scheduled time.
Play had been reduced to 55
overs after rain prevented play in the morning session. The weather
finally relented to allow the toss to take place four hours behind
schedule. Another small interruption then reduced it to 52 overs.
"We don't know what a good
first inning's score on this pitch could be," said Rumesh Ratnayake,
Sri Lanka's bowling coach. "For Sri Lanka it could be 200, but for
India, it could be 250. It depends on different perspectives. On
this pitch, you need to bowl a specific line and length and we did
Wilder calls out Joshua again for big heavyweight fight
Deontay Wilder. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
New York (AP) - Deontay
Wilder can't wait to get Anthony Joshua into the ring.
He's just not sure when it's
going to happen.
"I just want to prove who is
the best, that's all I want to do," Wilder said Thursday. "I want
people to see a great fight and witness the two best heavyweights
compete with each other one night in the ring."
Wilder, who is coming off an
impressive first-round knockout of Bermane Stiverne, said his
representatives have been in contact with Joshua's camp, and the
sides are exploring ways to stage the heavyweight unification fight.
It could happen sometime next
year, Wilder said, if Joshua's handlers aren't too protective of the
"I think they're hesitant for a
reason," Wilder said in a phone call with The Associated Press.
"They've got a great thing going. He can fight literally a guy who
doesn't even have a name and can make millions and millions of
dollars off him. Why would they risk taking a chance with the most
dangerous heavyweight in the division?"
There are other obstacles to
the fight, as well, including whether to hold it in England or in
the U.S. and on what pay-per-view network. Joshua's camp has
indicated their fighter would have to get more money than Joshua,
too, because he has proven his ability to sell huge amounts of
tickets in England.
There's also the feeling that
both fighters should fight once more — perhaps on the same night —
to build up more anticipation for the bout.
"They want a warmup fight,"
Wilder said. "Joshua's last performance was OK, but it wasn't his
best. They want to redeem that and they want to make at least one
more good payday before fighting me."
Joshua fought last month,
stopping Carlos Takam in the 10th round of a sloppy fight in Wales.
A week later, Wilder destroyed Stiverne in Brooklyn to keep his
share of the heavyweight crown.
Stiverne, who lost his title to
Joshua in their first fight, was criticized for being out of shape
and didn't land a punch. But Wilder showed his brute power in
stopping him in the first round.
"It was a devastating
knockout," Wilder said. "Being able to put on a spectacular
performance like I did put the icing on the cake."
Joshua is massively popular in
England — his fight earlier this year with Wladimir Klitschko drew
90,000 to Wembley Stadium — but not as well known in the U.S. Wilder
also is trying to grow his fan base outside his home state of
Alabama and there have been questions about the quality of his
But both fighters are
undefeated with impressive knockout records. When they do meet it
could be the biggest heavyweight fight since the days Mike Tyson was
destroying everyone in front of him.
"The heavyweight division was
once in a dark place but now it is coming into the light," Wilder
said. "It's exciting and I can't wait to make it even more
Jedinak stars as Australia qualify for 2018 World Cup
Australia's Mile Jedinak scores from
the penalty spot against Honduras during their FIFA World Cup
playoff deciding match in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 15.
(AP Photo/Daniel Munoz)
Sydney (AP) — Mile
Jedinak stepped up when it counted most, propelling Australia into
next year's World Cup with a hat trick Wednesday in a 3-1 victory
over Honduras that secured the next-to-last spot in Russia.
The Australian captain was in
doubt for the intercontinental playoff series with a groin injury
that had forced him to miss the end of the Asian qualifying
campaign, when the Socceroos narrowly missed out on direct entry.
But Jedinak played a full game
in the 0-0 draw in San Pedro Sula last Friday and, aided by the
state-of-the-art rehabilitation program on Australia's charter
flight home, took the free kick that broke the scoring drought in
the 54th minute at Sydney's Olympic stadium.
His free kick curled to the
left of the wall and deflected sharply in off defender Henry
Figueroa, bringing the parochial 77,060-strong crowd at Sydney's
Olympic stadium to life.
He converted from the spot in
the 72nd after referee Nestor Pitana penalized Bryan Acosta for a
hand ball and again calmly slotted home another penalty in the 85th
after Robbie Kruse was dragged down in the area. After 22 games and
27 months, the win ensured Asian Cup champions Australia qualified
for their fourth consecutive World Cup.
"It wouldn't have mattered who
scored. I'm happy to chip in," Jedinak said. "We got the job done
and that's all that matters — it's going to be a big 2018."
Honduras scored a consolation
goal deep in injury time in a scramble in front of goal with Alberth
Elis and Maynor Figueroa both taking swipes at the ball from close
The result meant Asia got a
full quota of five teams into the World Cup in Russia, with 31 of
the 32 places decided. Peru were hosting New Zealand to determine
the last qualifier later Wednesday.
Under-fire coach Ange
Postecoglou said he was delighted for his Australian team, and
declined to comment on his future amid speculation that he may not
stay on to take them to the World Cup.
"They got what they deserved —
it wasn't by luck or by chance," said Postecoglou, who took on the
Australian job just before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. "They
believed in something that we started, and right to the end they
displayed the kind of resilience and belief that has made me proud
all the way along. They did it their way, and got great rewards for
France to host 2023 Rugby World Cup, stunning South Africa
Former English rugby international and World Rugby Chairman Bill
Beaumont via a TV screen, announces the winning candidate country
France to hold the Rugby World Cup in 2023, at a hotel in London,
Wednesday, Nov. 15. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
London (AP) — France
will host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, a year before the Olympic
Games in Paris, after surprisingly beating South Africa and Ireland
in a vote on Wednesday.
The World Rugby Council
disregarded the recommendation of an evaluation report to hand the
tenth edition of its showpiece tournament to South Africa.
A secret vote by member nations
instead saw France, which hosted the 2007 World Cup, beat South
Africa 24-15 in a second round.
"Just because it went to France
doesn't mean there's (any) humiliation whatsoever," said World Rugby
president Bill Beaumont, who recommended a South African victory.
"If you look there wasn't a great deal between France and South
Africa in the evaluation report. It was very close."
It means France will host four
prestigious sporting events within six years, with golf's Ryder Cup
in Paris next year and soccer's Women's World Cup across France in
The French sports ministry said
the decision to award it the Rugby World Cup so close to the
Olympics and Paralympics in Paris in 2024 "demonstrates the
excellence of the French know-how in organizing major sporting
The Rugby World Cup final is
set to be played at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, just outside
Paris. Eight other cities that will host matches: Bordeaux, Lille,
Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse.
French Rugby Union President
Bernard Laporte joined his team for an impromptu singing of the
national anthem, "La Marseillaise," around a piano in London.
"There's a lot of joy and a lot
of pride for French rugby," Laporte said. "We held on. We weren't
sure of winning but we were sure of our strengths and the quality of
But there were tears across
South Africa, which staged the Rugby World Cup in 1995 but has
failed with four successive bids to land the tournament again.
Fans gathered in the capital
Pretoria expecting to celebrate victory in the vote. Instead, some
of the crowd, dressed in the colors of the South African flag, wept
while watching the announcement on screens.
"Why has it gone against the
recommendation when most of the unions said they would vote with the
recommendation?" Joel Stransky, who kicked the dropped goal that won
the 1995 final for South Africa against New Zealand, said on
SuperSport television. "What is the point of having an independent
auditor if you're not even going to take heed of their
Dimitrov reaches semifinals at ATP Finals, beats Goffin
Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria celebrates
after winning his singles tennis match against David Goffin of
Belgium at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London,
Wednesday, Nov. 15. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
London (AP) — The
coaching seemed to have helped, whether Grigor Dimitrov heard it or
The sixth-seeded Bulgarian made
his way into the semifinals at the ATP Finals on Wednesday by
beating David Goffin 6-0, 6-2, but he was given a violation for
coaching during the second set.
A linesman informed the chair
umpire of the infraction during the fifth game of the final set, and
Dimitrov reacted by saying he didn't hear anything.
He probably didn't need any
extra advice anyway, not after the way he was playing, and the way
Goffin was, too.
"Yeah, that was very weird, to
be honest," Dimitrov said of the violation. "I have no idea why. But
it's fine. ... I mean, when you're so zoomed into the match, I don't
even pay attention to all that."
Dimitrov ended up winning 34 of
the 47 points he served and won 32 of the 57 points served by
In the first set, Dimitrov lost
only two points on his serve and twice broke Goffin without even
going to deuce. Goffin finally managed to hold serve in the second
set, but Dimitrov still was able to break the Belgian's serve two
"I was just following my game.
Just simple as that," Dimitrov said. "I was using every opportunity.
I took care of all of the balls that I had to."
And he gave Goffin few chances
to make a comeback.
"He came to the net from the
beginning, from the first point," Goffin said. "It was not easy for
me to lose my serve from the start. It was tough for my confidence
after that when it was 0-4."
The win gives Dimitrov a 2-0
record and ensures he will play on the weekend in his debut at the
season-ending tournament. Roger Federer has also already qualified
for the semifinals.
In Wednesday's late match,
Dominic Thiem defeated Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Thiem is now 1-1 and will next
face Goffin, who is also 1-1, on Friday for a spot in the
Carreno Busta was playing in
the place of Rafael Nadal, who withdrew after his opening loss
because of a right knee injury. He will next play Dimitrov on
Goffin beat Nadal in his
opening match, calling it the best win of his career. But regardless
of what happens against Thiem on Friday, Goffin still has more
tennis this year with Belgium playing France in the Davis Cup final
at the end of the month.
"This event is really
important. It's one of the biggest events of the year. I'm going to
focus on the next match. If there is another one, I will be focused
on the next one. Then we will see," Goffin said. "The Davis Cup, I'm
not thinking about the Davis Cup for the moment. I know it's just
after this event. We will see. I'm just focused on this event first,
then we see after."
Italy coach fired as FA chief resists calls to step down
Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura gestures
during the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg match between
Italy and Sweden at the Milan San Siro stadium, Italy. Monday, Nov.
13. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Rome (AP) — Two days
after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup, the head of the
country's football federation fired national coach Gian Piero
Ventura — while ignoring angry calls to quit his own job.
Ventura left in disgrace
Wednesday, widely criticized for his tactical decisions that left
Italy out of football's biggest competition for the first time in
"I spoke with Ventura today and
told him that his services are no longer needed," federation
president Carlo Tavecchio said in a brief statement to reporters,
adding that he would propose a series of reforms to improve the
country's most popular sport.
Four-time champions Italy lost
a playoff to Sweden, 1-0 on aggregate, on Monday.
Ventura's contract was recently
extended to 2020 but the deal included a stipulation that it could
be voided in case of a failed qualification.
Carlo Ancelotti, who was fired
by Bayern Munich in September, was being mentioned by Italian media
as a likely replacement but no new coach was immediately named.
"We also thought about some
important coaches and we'll try to possibly sign one of them,"
Damiano Tommasi, president of
the Italian players association, abandoned a summit called to assess
the failed qualification once he understood that Tavecchio would not
"We believe we've got to start
the rebuilding process with elections," Tommasi said. "It doesn't
seem like there's any desire to restart from zero.
"The problems of Italian
football can't be resolved with just the firing of the national team
coach," added Tommasi, who played for Italy and helped Roma win the
2001 Serie A title. "Otherwise we'll continue to re-mix the same
minestrone that has caused indigestion for so many of us."
Tavecchio said he called a
board meeting for Monday to present his reforms, adding that they
will affect the domestic leagues.
Ventura was hired last year
when Antonio Conte left the national team to coach Chelsea after the
The 69-year-old Ventura was a
journeyman coach who had never managed a major club.
He previously coached Udinese,
Cagliari, Napoli, Messina, Hellas Verona, Pisa, Bari and Torino.
Ventura's attachment to two
forwards he coached at Torino, Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti, and
his refusal to try a three-striker formation, led him to continually
leave Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne on the bench.
Considered Italy's most
talented player of the moment, Insigne was inexplicably asked to
come on for Marco Verratti in a central midfield position late in
the opening leg against Sweden.
Ventura leaves with a record of
nine wins, four draws and three losses.
Ancelotti, who coached Juventus
and AC Milan before going abroad to win titles with Chelsea, Paris
Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern, has the big-club resume that
Ventura lacked. But it remains to be seen if he'll be willing to
coach the national team, or if he still prefers the daily activities
of a club.
Other options include
installing a caretaker and luring back Conte, or perhaps Juventus
coach Massimiliano Allegri or Zenit St. Petersburg's Roberto Mancini
once the club season ends.
"Ancelotti is definitely a
great coach and a great person. He would be a great choice," said
Italian coaches association president Renzo Ulivieri, who
participated in the summit. "But other considerations need to be
made. We need to talk with him and look around. It's early to talk
Tavecchio's status was also
brought into question by Italian Olympic Committee president
Giovanni Malago on Tuesday.
"It's up to the boss to take
responsibility but if I were him I would resign," Malago, who
oversees all sports in the country, said Tuesday.
There is a precedent since both
Giancarlo Abete, the previous federation president, and coach Cesare
Prandelli each resigned immediately after Italy was eliminated in
the first round of the 2014 World Cup.
Tavecchio was first voted to
succeed Abete in 2014 despite a racist comment during his election
UEFA banned Tavecchio for six
months after he made a reference to bananas when discussing the
presence of foreign players in Italy.
Tavecchio was re-elected to
another four-year term in March.
Denmark qualify for World Cup with 5-1 rout of Ireland
Denmark's Christian Eriksen celebrates after scoring his side's third
goal during the World Cup qualifying play off second leg match against
Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, Tuesday, Nov. 14. (AP
Dublin (AP) — Christian
Eriksen scored a superb hat trick as Denmark qualified for next year's
World Cup with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Ireland in their playoff on
With last week's first leg having
finished 0-0, Ireland made an ideal start to the return match by taking
the lead in the sixth minute through defender Shane Duffy.
But Denmark's players gradually
took control in midfield and were rewarded when Andreas Christensen's
effort went into the net off Ireland's Cyrus Christie in the 29th
Eriksen then stole the show,
putting the visitors ahead in the 32nd minute, and scoring two more
after the break.
Nicklas Bendtner turned a deserved
victory into a rout when he converted a penalty in the 90th minute.
Next year's tournament in Russia
will be Denmark's fifth World Cup appearance and first since 2010.
Denmark coach Age Hareide paid
tribute to Eriksen, who has been on fine form this season for Tottenham
in the Premier League and the Champions League.
Asked Eriksen's world ranking as a
player, Hareide said: "Absolutely in the top 10. It is difficult to
rank, but we saw him against Real Madrid. He is probably one of the best
players in his position in Europe at the moment.
"All the teams that succeed and go
to a World Cup have star players, and players that can make the
difference and Christian showed that today."
Yet a raucous home crowd in Dublin
had been treated to the perfect start when Robbie Brady's free kick from
just beyond the halfway line was flicked on by Denmark's Nicolai
Jorgensen. The ball rose into the path of center back Duffy, who headed
Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney
had said after the first leg that breaching the Ireland defence was like
"opening a can of baked beans with your bare hands - it takes time".
This time, their perseverance
eventually paid off in the 29th minute.
Pione Sisto went past Harry Arter
after a short corner and pulled the ball back for Christensen, whose
touch just managed to send the ball over the line despite Christie's
efforts to try and divert it away.
Three minutes later, Yussef Poulsen
showed good tenacity to steal possession off Stephen Ward, before
exchanging passes with Jorgensen. The ball was worked to the left, where
Eriksen struck a first-time shot into the net via the crossbar - giving
Ireland keeper Darren Randolph no chance.
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill made
two changes at the break as his team tried to chase the game. It made
for an open contest, but it played into Denmark's hands.
The contest was over in the 63rd
minute when Sisto picked out Eriksen. The Tottenham forward was given
too much time on the edge of the area and fired the ball home - with
Ciaran Clark and Duffy unable to reach him.
It was a match to forget for Ward,
who failed to control a cross and allowed Eriksen to race onto the loose
ball and rifle it into the top corner in the 74th minute.
The hat trick brought Eriksen's
total in this World Cup qualifying campaign to 11.
A bad night for Ireland was
compounded when James McClean gave away a penalty for a foul on
Bendtner, with the former Arsenal striker scoring from the spot.
"We were well beaten," O'Neill
said. "We fought tooth and nail to try and get into this position. This
was a playoff to take us to the World Cup, I have to commend the players
for getting this far."
Meanwhile, Hareide can look forward
to the tournament in Russia with optimism.
"We have played since October 2016
with no defeats and I think that the team gets stronger and stronger,"
he said. "We are looking forward to the World Cup... I think it will be
an interesting and fascinating time to go there and take this team".
Neymar looks to learn from Brazil's difficulties vs England
Neymar takes the ball forward watched by England's Joe Gomez, left, and
Eric Dier during the international friendly soccer match between England
and Brazil at Wembley stadium in London, Tuesday, Nov. 14. (AP
London (AP) — Maybe Neymar
is saving himself for the World Cup.
For now, since becoming soccer's
most expensive player, finding the net is proving challenging for Neymar
in a Brazil jersey. Even when coming up against an inexperienced
defender in Joe Gomez who was making his first England start.
A 0-0 draw against England at
Wembley Stadium left Neymar with only one goal in six games for the
five-time world champions.
Not that the forward, who cost
Paris Saint-Germain 222 million euros ($260 million in August), was too
dispirited. Instead, he hopes the challenge posed by a resilient England
serves Brazil well as they prepares for the World Cup.
"We faced difficulties, but that is
good for us," Neymar said. "Most of our games will be like today. It was
a match of overlapping, quick passes, moving around."
But with little created to trouble
Joe Hart in the England goal. The hosts, too, were sterile going forward
with striker Harry Kane sidelined through injury.
"I like the way we played. We did
not give them any chances," Neymar said. "It was a match with high ball
possession and we knew we were playing a team that would be more
defensive than the others."
In his first European test as
Brazil coach, Tite was surprised at the English defensive discipline and
"They were like ice," Tite said.
"They were really cold and never lost their minds."
England had also stayed cool on
Friday against another of the world's leading teams when Germany were
held to a scoreless draw in north London.
"They won't face a more difficult
test than in the last two matches," England coach Gareth Southgate said.
"I'm probably more proud tonight because we played the best team in the
world with a full team out. We've come out with a really creditable
In a friendly of few chances in
front of 84,595 fans, the closest England and Brazil came to breaking
the deadlock came in the final 15 minutes.
A long-range strike from
Fernandinho shaved the post and Neymar fed Paulinho, who was denied at
the near post by England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
"We were playing the best team in
the world at the moment. I thought they were brilliant," Hart said.
"They made it really hard for us and we had to adapt on the pitch ...
the defensive backline were absolutely phenomenal."
Dominic Solanke could have won it
for England on his international debut in the closing minutes, but he
failed to control Ashley Young's cross, enabling goalkeeper Ramses
Becker to gather the ball.
"Tonight we looked anxious with the
ball," Southgate said, "and I think that is a consequence of the threat
Brazil, though, have only conceded
5 goals in their last 17 games and scored 38 times. Neymar's only goal
in the games since September came in a 3-1 victory over Japan on Friday
before traveling to London.
"Against Japan we tested ourselves
against a more mobile and skilled team, against England we tested
ourselves against a team of strong and tall players, very solid," said
Tite, who was hired in June 2016. "This will help in preparations."
England and Brazil will be
traveling to the World Cup next year trying to erase painful memories of
the 2014 tournament. For Brazil, there was the humiliating 7-1 exit to
Germany in the semifinals on home soil. England didn't even make it out
of the group stage.
But at least both sides have
qualified for Russia next year, unlike four-time champions Italy.
"History and T-shirts are not
enough to take you to a World Cup," Tite said of Italy's failure to
advance from the playoffs on Monday.
Federer through to ATP Finals semis after win over Zverev
Federer returns a ball to Alexander Zverev during their match on day three
of the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Tuesday Nov. 14. (John
Walton/PA via AP)
London (AP) — A day after
the ATP Finals lost Rafael Nadal to injury, Roger Federer lifted spirits at
the O2 Arena by extending his stay to the weekend.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion
guaranteed his place in Saturday's semifinals by defeating Alexander Zverev
7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-1 on Tuesday.
With Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray
also absent due to injuries, the top-ranked Nadal's withdrawal on Monday
left Federer as the only member of men's tennis' 'big-four' in the
"It was nice to be able to show maybe
that quality of mine, that I can dig out these matches, these points time
and time again, stay mentally tough," Federer said. "In the third I started
to play better. It was a tough match from the beginning till the end."
Zverev, who won his opening match
against Marin Cilic, will face Jack Sock on Thursday to decide who will join
Federer in the final four. Sock defeated Cilic in the early match, with
Federer's victory eliminating the Croat.
"It was a very positive match," Zverev
said. "Obviously he won it. He's in the semifinals. But even for me, I
played the better match of the two today. I think I still have great chances
of qualifying, playing Jack Sock next. I think if I continue having this
level, I don't know, maybe you'll see me on the weekend still."
After an opening set dominated by serve
went to a tiebreak, Federer came from 4-0 down and saved a set point to take
His grip on the match quickly tightened
as a distracted Zverev made two double faults to gift a break in the opening
game of the second set.
However, the 20-year-old regained his
poise and took advantage of a dip in Federer's first serve percentage to
break back and then repeated the feat to force a deciding set.
From there on it was all Federer. The
six-time champion, who is 16-years older than his opponent, showed his
big-match experience as he regrouped to break in the third game, before
doing so twice more to seal the victory.
Sock's 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory was
the United States' first at the event in 10 years.
The No. 8-seed, who seized
qualification by winning the final Masters event of the season in Paris,
lost his debut match to Federer, but he is now 1-1.
While others might have been surprised
at Sock becoming the first American to win at the elite season-ending event
since Andy Roddick in 2007, the man himself wasn't.
"I wouldn't be out here playing,
competing if I didn't think I could give myself a chance to win tournaments,
to be here," Sock said.
"I'm not the type of guy that will just
enter a draw and be happy to make the third round or the quarters or
whatever. I'm here to win matches. I think if I do the right things and I
play the right tennis, I can give myself a chance to play on the weekend of
Cilic has now won only one of his eight
matches overall at the season-ending tournament.
"Definitely not a great record, but I
felt that I played even well last year," Cilic said. "In those three matches
that I played, I had good chances at least to win. These two also. So just,
you know, couple points away from closing those matches. A little bit
unfortunate with that."
New Zealand win 28-23 to continue stranglehold over France
Zealand''s Patrick Tuipulotu, left, runs with the ball against France's
Jonathan Danty, right, during a rugby union international match in
Decines, near Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov. 14. (AP Photo/Laurent
Lyon, France (AP) — New
Zealand continued their stranglehold over France with a hard-fought
28-23 away win on Tuesday.
Although the match did not hold
test match status, it was effectively a 12th straight success over the
French and followed Saturday's 38-18 test win. France have not beaten
the All Blacks since an away win in 2009 and not at home since 2000.
"You're always disappointed when
you lose like this. New Zealand were a level above us technically,"
France coach Guy Noves said. "I'm happy with what he showed tonight. All
the lads are spent. We knew it would be a very hard game."
Flanker Liam Squire and uncapped
right winger Matt Duffie scored tries as the All Blacks twice led in the
But right winger Gabriel Lacroix,
one of six uncapped players in the France side, scored two of his own as
Les Bleus led 15-14 at halftime.
"We all fought for each other out
there," Lacroix said. "We have mixed feelings. We didn't win, but it was
an encouraging performance."
New Zealand stepped it up after the
break, with Patrick Tuipulotu and center Ngani Laumape showing great
strength on their tries.
With a little more than 10 minutes
left, the home side were given a lifeline when New Zealand center Jack
Goodhue was sinbinned for a cynical tackle off the ball as France
attacked near the line.
France made the extra man count as
flanker Sekou Macalou made a brilliant run down the left and, after he
was just tackled just near the line, center Henry Chavancy picked up the
loose ball and touched down.
Plisson missed the conversion,
leaving New Zealand five points ahead with six minutes to go.
Coach Steve Hansen's side held out
in the closing moments.
"There were periods where the
French got momentum and they defended their hearts out," Hansen said.
"All in all mission accomplished."
Since winning the Rugby World Cup
two years ago, New Zealand have lost only three tests and drawn one.
Hansen's team also featured new
players and a captain — No. 8 Luke Whitelock — with only one test cap.
Still, France did have experience
with flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc (61 caps) and lock Yoann Maestri (59).
Italy lose World Cup playoff to Sweden
Italian players react to their team's elimination in the World Cup
qualifying play-off second leg match against Sweden at the San Siro
stadium in Milan, Italy, Monday, Nov. 13. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Milan (AP) — Players from
both teams slumped to the ground, the Swedes in exhausted ecstasy, the
Italians in losers' agony.
On a starry night in Milan,
four-time champions Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the
first time in six decades. Sweden advanced for the first time since
Despite three quarters of the ball
possession, Italy were stymied by a goalless draw in the second leg of
their playoff on Monday and Sweden prevailed 1-0 on aggregate.
"It's a black moment for our game,"
Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. "Unfortunately there will be a
lot of time to analyze it. The only thing I can say is that we showed
few ideas and not much in the way of tactics."
The Sweden players ran over to
celebrate with the traveling fans, a sea of joyful yellow at San Siro.
The Italians looked on in shock and disbelief or put their head in their
hands as though it were too painful to watch.
Many of them were in tears,
especially captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who played what he
said was his last international after 20 years between the posts for the
"We all need to look within and
find a way to bounce back," defender Giorgio Chiellini said. "We need to
get back to the level we deserve to be at."
Italy had failed to qualify for the
World Cup just once before, reaching 14 straight since falling short in
1958. The Azzurri did not enter the first World Cup in 1930.
The last major competitions Italy
failed to qualify for were the 1984 and 1992 European Championships.
It could have been worse for Italy,
as Sweden were denied what looked like two clear-cut penalties for
handballs, first by Matteo Darmian and then Andrea Barzagli.
Italy had a penalty appeal of their
own waved off by Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz when Marco Parolo
was tripped from behind by Ludwig Augsustinsson.
But the Azzurri struggled to carve
out clear chances, and only one of their six shots on target really
tested goalkeeper Robin Olsen.
It would be easy to lay the blame
squarely on Gian Piero Ventura. The Italian coach will naturally take
the lion's share, but the Azzurri's problems run much deeper.
"I want to apologize to the Italian
people for the result," Ventura said. "Not for the commitment, and the
desire and everything else but for the result."
The rot started long before Ventura
After winning the World Cup in 2006
for a fourth time, Italy went out at the group stage of the next two
editions. They fared somewhat better at the European Championships,
reaching the final in 2012 and quarterfinal elimination in 2008 and
However, Antonio Conte's Italy side
overachieved in France last year, when they surprisingly beat Spain in
the round of 16 before losing on penalties to world champions Germany.
For a long time, Italy have lacked
a creative force, successors to Andrea Pirlo and Francesco Totti of the
2006 side who could change a match with one moment of magic.
Mario Balotelli was the star of
Euro 2012 but fell out of favor after Italy's woeful showing at the last
Italy will now have to go forward
without several of their most experienced players. De Rossi also
announced he was retiring after the playoff, as did defender Andrea
Remarkably, the 0-0 result was the
sixth straight in the playoffs, since Sweden's ultimately decisive goal
at home against Italy on Friday.
Nadal withdraws from ATP Finals after loss to Goffin
Nadal of Spain returns to David Goffin of Belgium during their singles
tennis match at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Monday, Nov.
13. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
London (AP) — Rafael Nadal will
have to wait another year to win the ATP Finals.
The world No. 1 withdrew from the
elite, season-ending tournament after losing his opening match to David
Goffin 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4 on Monday at the O2 Arena.
Nadal pulled out of the Paris Masters
at the quarterfinal stage 10 days ago and admitted ahead of the ATP Finals
on the indoor hard-court he struggles on, that his knees, which have caused
him trouble throughout his career, were still "not perfect."
Despite having qualified 13 consecutive
times for the ATP Finals, only eight of which he's been fit enough to
compete in, Nadal has never won the event. Spain will still be represented,
as Nadal will be replaced by U.S. Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta.
"My season is finished," Nadal said.
"Yeah, I had the commitment with the event, with the city, with myself. I
tried hard. I did the thing that I had to do to try to be ready to play. I
tried, but seriously was miracle to be very close in the score during the
After two breaks of serve each, Goffin
claimed an ugly opening set via a tiebreak and was on the verge of victory
in the second, but Nadal's fighting spirit saved four match points to force
another tiebreaker and draw level.
However, the third set proved a step
too far for the 16-time Grand Slam champion, who began to struggle with his
movement and was in visible pain. Goffin secured a double break to be 4-1,
but Nadal rallied once more. He could retrieve only one of the breaks.
"It was tough even if he was not moving
100 percent," Goffin said. "He was hitting the ball really hard. It's never
easy to finish a match, to finish a set against him. Even if I lost four
match points in the second, I had no regret. I kept going in the third."
Nadal ominously waved goodbye as he
left the court, bringing to an end another auspicious season. He won his
10th French Open in June, added a third U.S. Open in September and, at 31,
became the oldest man to end the year atop of the rankings.
With the Australian Open still over two
months away, Nadal was confident playing in London wouldn't have done any
"The good thing is (this injury is)
nothing new," Nadal said. "Everybody of my team, we have the right
experience on this thing. We hope to manage it well, to have the right rest,
the right work, and try to be ready for the beginning of the next season."
Nadal's exit simplifies Federer's path
to a seventh ATP Finals title. The winner of 2017's other two Grand Slams
returns to action against Alexander Zverev on Tuesday after defeating Jack
Sock on Sunday.
Making his debut at the ATP Finals
earlier, Grigor Dimitrov withstood a comeback attempt from Dominic Thiem and
held on for a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 victory.
The sixth-ranked Dimitrov maintained
his focus despite being narrowly denied a chance to serve out the match in
the second set, and then being broken at his first chance in the third.
"Every year you learn more about
yourself, about the game, about the players," Dimitrov said. "I've done also
a lot of work on and off the court. It's finally starting to kind of, like,
French downhill skier David Poisson dies in training crash
French downhill skier David Poisson is shown in this Dec. 29, 2015 file
photo. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
Paris (AP) — French downhill
skier David Poisson, a former medalist at the world championships, died
on Monday following a training crash in Canada. He was 35.
The French Ski Federation said
Poisson, who won the downhill bronze medal at the 2013 worlds, was
training in the Canadian resort of Nakiska for World Cup races in North
America. The federation did not elaborate.
French sports minister Laura
Flessel expressed her "sadness" and said she will look carefully into
the circumstances of the crash.
Poisson, a bulky racer with a broad
smile nicknamed "Caillou" ("small stone"), was a popular figure on the
World Cup circuit.
He secured his only World Cup
podium in 2015 when he came third in the Santa Caterina downhill in
Italy, and was fourth in the prestigious Kitzbuehel downhill in 2013. He
also competed in the last Winter Olympics, and hoped to qualify for the
The International Ski Federation
expressed its condolences to Poisson's family and friends in a
statement, praising "a respected and accomplished athlete on the World
Cup tour ever since his debut in 2004."
American ski racer Steven Nyman
tweeted: "My heart goes out to David Poisson's family, friends and
teammates. He was a good man, a beast and a friend. I will miss him. The
whole World Cup Tour will miss him."
Poisson's death came 16 years after
super-G world champion Regine Cavagnoud, a prominent French skier, died
in Austria from brain injuries following a collision in training.
"There is no word for that," former
French downhiller Luc Alphand told L'Equipe newspaper. "Eliminating risk
entirely in downhill is impossible."
Future of Brazilian GP at Interlagos in doubt
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, of Germany, celebrates after winning
the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Interlagos race track in Sao
Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 12. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Sao Paulo (AP) — The
long-term future of the Brazilian Grand Prix is up in the air.
The Interlagos track, which hosted
its first Formula One race in 1972, is due to be sold next year.
Although F1 has a contract through 2020, no one seems to know what will
happen after that.
"The contract will be respected
because it is an obligation of whoever buys the track," said Sao Paulo
Mayor Joao Doria, refusing to divulge who the buyers are. "We hope that
afterward we are able to extend for another 10 years."
Doria said the sale of Interlagos,
which sits on an area of almost one million square meters, is
"irreversible" and should happen in early 2018. The track is expected to
be preserved after the sale, while apartment buildings will be added to
Sao Paulo city councilors, however,
have argued that the real estate could be more profitable after
privatization, and that could mean the end for a track that was
inaugurated in 1940.
As the potential new owners are
unknown, they can't be asked what they think about the mayor's project
Some estimate the sale of the
Interlagos track, which many consider a burden to taxpayers because it
hasn't been profitable in years, could raise up to $600 million.
Brazilian GP organizer Tamas
Rohonyi said other venues could replace Interlagos in case the new
owners fail to extend the contract with F1, but he did not provide
"What I am sure of is that without
F1, Interlagos would be dead," Rohonyi said. "And we just don't know who
will be at the table to discuss that."
Rohonyi said he thinks the unknown
new owners will want to keep F1 at Interlagos, while Formula One boss
Chase Carey said "there is a great future for Brazil in F1."
The Brazilian GP has struggled with
low TV ratings at home and dwindling sponsorship. Next season, there
will be no local driver on the grid for the first time since 1969, which
could make Brazilians even less interested.
But tickets sales were brisk again
this year, despite little being at stake since Mercedes driver Lewis
Hamilton had already won the title.
Another issue at Interlagos is
security, something that made headlines this year after members of the
Mercedes team said they were mugged at gunpoint as they left track.
Doria said privatization will make
the track safer and organizers more accountable.
The mayor's confidence did not stop
British team McLaren and tire supplier Pirelli from cancelling a test at
Interlagos this week due to security concerns.
After the race on Sunday, staff
from Pirelli were targeted, but escaped unharmed.
"Following a robbery attempt,
neutralized by Pirelli security, on a Pirelli member at the Interlagos
circuit last Sunday - after a weekend where similar episodes occurred
with other teams - it has been decided to cancel the tire test planned
on Tuesday and Wednesday," the Italian company said in a statement on
UN urges countries to stop conflicts during winter Olympics
Korea's 2010 Olympic gold medalist figure skater Yuna Kim, right, speaks
during a press conference, Monday Nov. 13, 2017 at U.N. headquarters in
New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Edith M. Lederer
United Nations (AP) — The
U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution by acclamation Monday urging
all countries to stop hostilities and observe a truce during the
upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea — a message
especially aimed at North Korea.
The resolution, adopted with a bang
of the gavel by Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak to loud applause,
urges U.N. member states to observe the truce from seven days before the
games begin on Feb. 9 until seven days after the Paralympic Winter Games
end on March 18.
Thomas Bach, president of the
International Olympic Committee, told the 193-member world body that
with the resolution the General Assembly is "creating the conditions for
all athletes to compete in peace."
"Only the U.N. member states can
guarantee the athletes the safe passage to the Olympic Games," he said.
"They make it possible for all the Olympic athletes to realize their
dream of a lifetime."
Lee Hee Beom, president of the
South Korean organizing committee, said the resolution signifies the
General Assembly's "strong wish that Pyeongchang will provide the window
of opportunity to foster an environment conducive to building and
sustaining peace on the Korean peninsula, and in northeast Asia."
He recalled the 2000 Summer
Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where delegations from both Koreas walked
into the opening ceremony "marching together, hand in hand under the
same flag." It simply said "Korea."
"We hope our joint action today
will lead to a chain reaction for the promotion of peace within the
region and beyond," Lee added. "Together we are more powerful than any
of us working alone."
South Korean Olympic gold medalist
Yuna Kim, who is a goodwill ambassador for the Winter Games, expressed
hope that the competition "will spread the message of peace through one
of the few languages that has the power to unite people around the world
— the graceful and universal language of sport."
"Indeed, Pyeongchang represents
perhaps the most sincere efforts to cross frozen borders between South
and North Korea and foster a peaceful environment," she said.
The resolution recalls the ancient
Greek tradition of "ekecheiria," which called for a cessation of
hostilities to encourage a peaceful environment, ensure safe passage and
participation of athletes in the ancient Olympics.
The General Assembly revived the
tradition in 1993 and has adopted resolutions before all Olympics since
then, but member states involved in conflicts have often ignored the
call for a truce.
The Pyeongchang games "will give us
hope in our troubled times for a better future," Bach said. "The Olympic
Games demonstrate that our values of a shared humanity are stronger than
all the forces that want to divide us."
Vettel wins Brazilian GP; Hamilton 4th after starting last
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, of Germany, leads the race ahead
of Mercedes Valtteri Bottas, of Finland, at the start of the Brazilian
Formula One Grand Prix at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo,
Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 12. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Sao Paulo (AP) — It was all
about who got the best start at Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel had it,
starting from the second spot on the grid. Pole sitter Valtteri Bottas
didn't, and it probably cost the Mercedes driver the race.
Vettel overtook Bottas on the first
turn and essentially held the lead the entire way for his 47th career
victory, his fifth this season, and his third in Brazil.
The victory solidified Vettel's
hold on second place in the season standings after Lewis Hamilton
clinched the title two weeks ago in Mexico City.
"I thought I had a pretty good
launch," said Vettel, who slipped by Bottas on the first turn — a
left-hander heading down a slight grade at the rolling Interelagos
"I knew I had to go for it. There
was a little bit of a gap and it turned out to be very important."
Hamilton started last after
crashing in qualifying on the first lap, but managed to push his way
into contention, staying out longer before pitting while the other
leaders changed tires earlier because they were running on softer
Bottas finished second with Kimi
Raikkonen of Ferrari taking third. Hamilton was fourth, just 5.4 seconds
Hamilton closed relentlessly, and
Vettel was asked if he was ever worried about the Englishman passing
"Not really," he replied. "I didn't
think he was a threat."
Hamilton said he expected to finish
fifth, at best.
"This was the first time I pushed
the engine like that," he said. "It was more than I looked for. I was
very happy with the day. Yesterday was horrible."
Vettel has 302 points with the
final race in two weeks in Abu Dhabi. Third-place Bottas has 280. Even
if Bottas wins in Abu Dhabi, Vettel can take second place in the season
rankings by finishing in eighth place or higher.
"He's got quite a lead now, so it
will take a miracle in Abu Dhabi," Bottas said. "I was very disappointed
in the race start. After that, I was trying to catch up on Sebastian but
it didn't lead to anything more."
The victory was a long time coming
for Vettel, a four-time champion — like Hamilton — who had not won since
the Hungarian Grand Prix in July.
Vettel won three of the first six
races this season and then faded as Hamilton surged.
Calling it a "great relief," Vettel
said "it's been a tough day, a tough race. There was no room for
Brazilian Felipe Massa finished
seventh in his final race in Brazil. He will bow out of Formula One in
two weeks and is expected to race next season in the electric-powered
Formula E series.
He won 11 races in his career and
came within a point of taking the season title in 2008, which was won by
Hamilton. A year ago he said he was retiring, only to come back with
Williams. It won't happen again, he said, addressing the sellout crowd
at the Interlagos track.
Massa's departure means F1 will be
without a Brazilian driver for the first time since 1969.
"I am going to miss you a lot," he
told fans. "The thrill I felt today was immense, just like last year. I
will never forget today."
Saints win seventh in a row, rout Bills 47-10
Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (99) sacks Dallas
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) during the second half of an NFL
football game, Sunday, Nov. 12, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Calif. (AP) — C.J. Beathard threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns
and ran for a third score to lead the San Francisco 49ers to their first
win of the season, 31-21 over the New York Giants on Sunday.
Beathard connected on an 83-yard TD
to Marquise Goodwin and a 47-yarder to Garrett Celek in the second
quarter as the 49ers (1-9) took advantage of another listless effort by
the Giants (1-8) to win for the first time under coach Kyle Shanahan.
Beathard's time as starting
quarterback in San Francisco figures to be numbered after the team
acquired Jimmy Garoppolo two weeks ago in trade from New England.
Garoppolo has been learning the offense and could take over when the
team returns from the bye in two weeks.
While the Niners could be making a
quarterback change soon, this performance will only heighten the
questions about whether the Giants will need to change coaches. Ben
McAdoo has been under fire after a report this past week from ESPN that
quoted an anonymous player as saying the players have given up on the
season and don't view McAdoo as a leader.
The Giants have not fired a coach
during the season since 1976 when Bill Arnsparger was let go after a 0-7
start and replaced by John McVay.
FALCONS 27, COWBOYS 7
ATLANTA (AP) — Adrian Clayborn set
an Atlanta record with six sacks, Matt Ryan threw a pair of short
touchdown passes and the Falcons romped to victory over Dallas.
The Cowboys looked anemic
offensively in their first game without suspended running back Ezekiel
Ryan hooked up with Justin Hardy on
a 3-yard pass for Atlanta's first offensive touchdown in the third
quarter this season. Early in the fourth, Ryan put the game away for the
Falcons (5-4) by tossing one to Austin Hooper for a 1-yard score.
While the Cowboys (5-4) sure missed
Elliott, who finally began serving a six-game suspension for allegations
of domestic abuse after three legal reprieves, they really noticed the
absence of left tackle Tyron Smith. He sat out the game with back and
groin injuries, leaving third-year player Chaz Green to protect Dak
Prescott's blind side.
It didn't go well for Dallas.
Beating Green time after time, Clayborn forced two fumbles, recovered
one of them and surpassed the team record of five sacks, held by Chuck
Smith and Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey.
Even more impressively, Clayborn's
performance matched the second-most sacks in NFL history.
RAMS 33, TEXANS 7
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Woods
caught two of Jared Goff's three touchdown passes during a dominant
third quarter, and surging Los Angeles returned after a month away from
home for their fourth straight victory, 33-7 over depleted Houston.
After struggling to a 9-7 lead
during a quiet first half for the NFL's highest-scoring team, the Rams
(7-2) ran away with a series of big throws by Goff, who passed for a
career-high 355 yards.
Woods caught a 94-yard TD pass to
break it open before Sammy Watkins and Woods made TD catches 19 seconds
apart late in the third quarter. The Rams defense shut out Houston in
the second half and won at the Coliseum for just the third time in 11
games since returning to Los Angeles last season.
Woods finished with eight catches
for 171 yards, making the longest catch of his NFL career before
following it up with a 12-yard TD.
Bruce Ellington caught a 26-yard TD
pass for the Texans (3-6), who have lost three straight and four of
Tom Savage passed for 221 yards
with two interceptions for Houston, which lost its second straight since
losing rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season with a knee
BILLS 10, SAINTS 47
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Mark
Ingram scored a career-best three touchdowns and New Orleans won its
seventh straight game by plowing through a porous Buffalo defense.
Alvin Kamara also had a 3-yard
touchdown rushing as the Saints blew the game open by scoring five times
on their first six possessions, not including a one-play series to close
the first half. Ingram finished with 131 yards rushing. He scored twice
from 3 yards and again on a 1-yard plunge.
The Saints finished with 298 yards
rushing and 32 first downs.
Their defense was just as
dominating in limiting Buffalo to 198 yards and 10 first downs. And five
of those first downs came on Buffalo's meaningless final drive that
ended with backup quarterback Nathan Peterman hitting Nick O'Leary on a
7-yard touchdown pass.
New Orleans set a franchise record
by scoring six touchdowns rushing, and it marked the most allowed by
Buffalo in team history.
Even Saints quarterback Drew Brees
got involved in the run of rushing touchdowns by scrambling in from 6
yards in the final minute of the third quarter. Trey Edmunds capped the
scoring with a 41-yard touchdown run.
The Saints never punted, the only
thing to stop them was tight end Josh Hill losing a fumble at the
Buffalo 9 in the first quarter.
The Saints (7-2) haven't lost since
dropping their first two games and matched their longest winning streak
since closing the 2011 season 8-0. New Orleans has already matched its
win total from each of the past three seasons.
The Bills (5-4) simply unraveled in
losing their second straight and dropping to 4-1 at home.
STEELERS 20, COLTS 17
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ben
Roethlisberger's 32-yard completion to Antonio Brown with 35 seconds
left set up a 33-yard field goal from Chris Boswell as time expired.
The Steelers (7-2) have won four
straight overall and five in a row in the series.
But it sure wasn't easy as the
Colts (3-7) held Roethlisberger, Brown and Le'Veon Bell in check.
Pittsburgh needed two second-half TD passes from Roethlisberger to fight
its way out of a 17-3 third-quarter deficit. And Roethlisberger reverted
to his traditional form on the Steelers' final possession.
The two -time Super Bowl champion
methodically marched the Steelers 70 yards in the final 3 minutes, 10
seconds to give Pittsburgh its only lead.
Roethlisberger was 19 of 31 for 236
yards with one interception. Bell had 26 carries for 80 yards and Brown,
the league's leading receiver, caught three passes for 47 yards.
VIKINGS 38, REDSKINS 30
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Case Keenum
threw touchdowns to four different receivers to build a big lead, and
the NFC North-leading Vikings won their fifth in a row.
With Teddy Bridgewater active for
the first time since January 2016 after a devastating knee injury,
Keenum was 21 of 29 for 304 yards and TD passes to Stefon Diggs, Adam
Thielen, David Morgan and Jarius Wright. He was picked off on
consecutive throws by D.J. Swearinger. Thielen had eight catches for a
season-high 166 yards.
Latavius Murray also ran for a
score as five players got into the end zone for Minnesota (7-2), which
was 8 of 12 on third downs. The Vikings won their first game out of the
bye week for the second time in eight seasons as they try to avoid a
repeat of the swoon that cost them a playoff spot last season.
Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins
had three TDs — two rushing and one passing — and was 26 of 45 for 327
yards with an interception. The Redskins (4-5) failed to build off an
upset victory at Seattle and now find themselves on an uphill climb in
the wild-card race.
PACKERS 23, BEARS 16
CHICAGO (AP) — Brett Hundley threw
for 212 yards and a touchdown, Nick Perry had three sacks and the
Packers snapped a three-game losing streak.
Hundley, starting his third game
for an injured Aaron Rodgers, threw a 17-yard touchdown to Davante Adams
to make it 23-13 with 5:29 to play, and the Packers (5-4) hung on to
beat the Bears (3-6) for the eighth time in nine games.
It was the first victory for a
Packers QB not named Rodgers or Brett Favre since 1989.
Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky threw
for a career-high 297 yards. The rookie hit Josh Bellamy for a 46-yard
touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the Bears dropped their second in a
row after winning back-to-back games.
The win was Green Bay's first since
a narrow victory at Dallas on Oct. 8. A week later, Rodgers got driven
to the turf by the Vikings' Anthony Barr in a loss at Minnesota week and
the Packers haven't been the same since then.
Hundley completed 18 of 25 passes
to help the Packers win their eighth straight at Soldier Field counting
TITANS 24, BENGALS 20
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Marcus
Mariota tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray with 36 seconds
left , and the Titans rallied for their fourth consecutive victory.
It's the longest winning streak for
the Titans (6-3) since takin five straight in 2009, and it's their best
start to a season since 2008 when the Titans last reached the playoffs
as the AFC's No. 1 seed.
Murray ran for two touchdowns, and
Mariota finished with 264 yards passing.
The Bengals (3-6) lost for the
third time in four games despite sacking Mariota four times. They
started with three defensive starters scratched and lost a fourth when
linebacker Vontaze Burfict was ejected in the second quarter after
pushing the arm of an official.
Cincinnati took its only lead at
20-17 on a 70-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green with 5:03
left, but the Bengals couldn't stop the Titans, who drove 73 yards for
the winning TD.
JAGUARS 20, CHARGERS 17, OT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Josh
Lambo kicked a 30-yard field goal with 3:12 remaining in overtime,
lifting the Jaguars in a wild game.
Lambo's kick got tipped at the line
of scrimmage and still cleared the crossbar. The former soccer player
and one-time Charger ran the other way and slid on both knees near
midfield before getting mobbed by teammates.
It gave Jacksonville its first
three-game winning streak since 2013.
The game ended up in overtime after
a wacky final two minutes of regulation that included a fumble, two
interceptions, a taunting penalty and a costly flag for roughing the
passer. At times, it looked as if neither team wanted to win.
After all the chaos, Lambo drilled
a 34-yard field goal to send it to the extra period.
After Jacksonville punted, A.J.
Bouye intercepted a pass from Philip Rivers on third down and returned
it to the 2-yard line. But a taunting call on cornerback Aaron Colvin
pushed the Jaguars (6-3) back 15 yards. Lambo hit the winner a few plays
The Chargers are 3-6.
LIONS 38, BROWNS 24
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Matthew
Stafford lofted a 29-yard, tiebreaking touchdown to Eric Ebron early in
the fourth quarter and the Lions went on to beat the winless Browns.
The Lions (5-4) rallied from first-
and second-half deficits to earn consecutive victories for the first
time since winning the first two games this season. The Browns, who fell
to 0-9 on the season, led 10-0 early in the game for their first
double-digit lead of the season, and were up 24-17 in the third after
Deshone Kizer led two consecutive touchdown drives.
Detroit is the only franchise to
have a 0-16 season in 2008.
Cleveland's chances to finally win
this season were hurt when Kizer took a shot to the ribs by blitzing
defensive back Quandre Diggs late in the third period.
The rookie quarterback, who came
back to play late in the fourth, had perhaps his best game. He completed
21 of 37 passes for 232 yards with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kenny
Britt in the first quarter. Kizer ran seven times for 57 yards,
including a go-ahead, 1-yard sneak with 6:01 left in the third.
BUCCANEERS 15, JETS 10
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick
led two long scoring drives and Tampa Bay limited the Jets to less than
200 yards of offense until late in the fourth quarter to snap a
five-game losing streak.
With Fitzpatrick filling in for
injured quarterback Jameis Winston, the Buccaneers (3-6) used three
field goals to build a 9-3 lead. Charles Sims put the game out of reach
with a 6-yard touchdown reception with just over six minutes remaining.
Fitzpatrick, facing the team he
played for the past two seasons, completed 17 of 34 passes for 187 yards
and was intercepted once.
The 34-year-old Fitzpatrick, one of
just four players in NFL history to throw TD passes for seven different
teams, led a seven-minute drive that produced a field goal in the first
quarter. He finished a 15-play, 81-yard march, also lasting more than
seven minutes, with his TD pass to Sims to make it 15-3.
Josh McCown, also facing one of his
former teams, was 23 of 39 for 263 yards, one touchdown and one
interception. Robby Anderson caught a 38-yard TD pass in the final
minute for the Jets (4-6), scoring for the fourth straight game to give
New York one last chance.
Rodriguez key at both ends as Switzerland reach World Cup
Switzerland's defender Ricardo Rodriguez, center right, clears the
ball on the line goal during the World Cup play-offs second leg match
against Northern Ireland at the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel,
Switzerland, Sunday, Nov. 12. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)
Basel, Switzerland (AP) —
Switzerland are going to the World Cup after left-back Ricardo Rodriguez
denied Northern Ireland hope in both games of their playoff at either
end of the field.
In each leg of Switzerland's 1-0
aggregate win, the key incident involved one of Northern Ireland's Evans
Switzerland needed only a draw
Sunday to advance to Russia, and a tense 0-0 result in rain-soaked Basel
was preserved by Rodriguez's goal-line clearance in stoppage time from
Jonny Evans' header.
"In the right moment he was in the
right place," Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic said of the AC Milan
It meant Switzerland's disputed
penalty for handball in the first-leg victory in Belfast made all the
Rodriguez scored that spot kick on
Thursday, when Corey Evans was whistled harshly for an incident that few
Northern Ireland coach Michael
O'Neill said his team's exit after a spirited second-half Sunday was "a
"It was decided by a really poor
decision and a penalty that should never have been," O'Neill said, 25
minutes after the final whistle. "We should still be playing extra time
"It was a privilege to be their
coach and manager tonight," said O'Neill, who shared tearful embraces
with players at the final whistle.
Northern Ireland came to Basel with
aggression in their play that had been strangely lacking in the home
Still, Switzerland dominated much
of the first half and should have sealed their place at a fourth
straight World Cup much earlier.
Center forward Haris Seferovic was
most at fault, failing to hit the target with two first-half headed
chances and a late shot lofted high over the goal.
Though Petkovic declined to
criticize the Benfica forward, who was booed by some fans when
substituted, the coach acknowledged a regular weakness of his
"We have to be more clinical in
front of goal," Petkovic said through a translator. "We had to suffer to
the end, especially with this chance Northern Ireland had."
In the first of four stoppage-time
minutes, Evans rose at the far post to meet a cross that goalkeeper Yann
Sommer misjudged to leave himself stranded.
Rodriguez moved across the
goalmouth toward the post and hooked the ball clear as he fell backward
into the goal.
With their spot in Russia secured,
the Swiss enter the pot of second-seeded teams for the World Cup draw on
Dec. 1 in Moscow.
Now the challenge for arguably
their most talented team in decades is to go beyond the last 16 at a
In the past five years, the Swiss
impressed in qualifying but failed to beat the best teams they faced —
France twice, Argentina and Poland — at the 2014 World Cup and 2016
"We don't really set limits for us.
It could be even to the final," said Petkovic, who should have his best
players at their peak in Russia.
At 26, Xherdan Shaqiri is heading
to his third World Cup, while Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and
Rodriguez are both 25 and have matured as standouts from the 2009
Under-17 World Cup-winning team.
All three now have at least 50
international appearances. None had been born the last time Northern
Ireland played at a World Cup, in 1986.
Croatia qualify for World Cup after 0-0 draw with Greece
Croatia's players celebrate their team's qualification to the
World Cup after the qualifying play-off second leg match against Greece
at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday
Nov. 12. The match ended 0-0.(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Athens, Greece (AP) —
Croatia qualified for the 2018 World Cup finals after a 0-0 draw in the
second leg of the playoffs against Greece on Sunday.
With a considerable advantage from
Thursday's 4-1 victory in Zagreb, Croatia easily held off the Greek
hosts as they pressed for an upset.
Croatia came closest to scoring in
the 42nd minute when Ivan Perisic's powerful shot ricocheted off
Greece's left post, with goalkeeper Orestis Karezis well beaten.
Greece came closest to scoring in
the 87th when Panagiotis Tachtsidis's shot from inside the area was
deflected by goalkeeper Danijel Subasic's legs.
Greece also had two shots go just
wide - one by Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the first half and another by
Costas Mitroglou in the second - but otherwise did not threaten.
Croatia coach Zlatko Lakic, who
took over the team on Oct. 7, downplayed his own role in qualification.
"We have many quality players. I
did not have to make much of an effort," Lakic said. "I should remind
you there was a coach before me and what is happening now is the result
of a joint effort."
Lakic replaced Ante Cacic, who was
fired the day after a home draw against Finland and two days before the
last group-stage qualifier at Ukraine, which Croatia won in Lakic's
Greece coach Michael Skibbe said
the first leg had done the damage.
"We had 12 good games (at the
qualifiers) ... on this level of football, it is not allowed to make
mistakes like these," said Skibbe, referring to Greece's poor
performance in Croatia. Skibbe said Greece had been unlucky to miss
defender Costas Manolas through suspension, and others through injury.
It is the third time that Croatia
have qualified for the World Cup finals through playoffs after also
advancing this way to the 1998 and 2014 tournaments. Croatia have never
lost in the playoffs, including two qualifications for the European
United States beats Belarus to win its 18th Fed Cup title
United States' team members celebrate after winning the Fed Cup final
match against Belarus in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Nov.12. (AP
Minsk, Belarus (AP) — A
17-year championship drought came to an end Sunday for the United States
when it beat Belarus 3-2 to take its 18th Fed Cup title.
CoCo Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers
defeated Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the
deciding doubles of the 2017 final. It was the first Fed Cup title for
the U.S. since 2000.
"It feels perfectly believable and
unbelievable," Vandeweghe said. "I'm ready for a vacation."
The Belarus pair led 5-2 in the
second set and served to level at one-set apiece in the eighth, 10th and
12th games. The Americans dominated the tiebreaker, winning five of the
last six points.
Sasnovich had kept Belarus alive
after beating U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-1, 8-6 to leave
the final level at 2-2 on the indoor hard-court Chizhovka Arena.
Vandeweghe earlier beat Sabalenka
7-6 (5), 6-1 to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.
Kathy Rinaldi, in her inaugural
season in charge of the Americans, became the first female captain in
the tournament to lead a Fed Cup team to victory since Billie Jean King
for the U.S. in 2000.
"It's been an incredible ride
thanks to these ladies," Rinaldi said. "We're family and we've had each
other's backs. This was a very tough match."
The U.S. holds the most Fed Cup
titles in the international team competition. This was its fourth Fed
Cup final since last winning in 2000. It lost the 2003, 2009 and 2010
Belarus was making its first
appearance in a Fed Cup final.
"We are really satisfied we gained
this result," Belarus captain Eduard Dubrou said. "Today's match has
showed we have a good team because last time we faced the team of USA it
was 5-love and today we were really close to a good result for us."
Vandeweghe proved the difference
between the two teams. She has won all eight Fed Cup matches she's
played this season — six singles and two doubles. Vandeweghe is the
first player to win eight matches since the current eight-team World
Group format was introduced in 2005.
"I had a great time out there,"
Vandeweghe said. "I really relished in that moment of having the crowd
against me and firing myself up and believing in myself."
The 25-year-old Vandeweghe is also
the first player to win the maximum six Fed Cup singles in a year since
Petra Kvitova for the Czech Republic in 2011.
Stephens has lost six matches since
winning the U.S. Open in September. She lost both singles matches here
in Minsk, including to Sabalenka on Saturday.
Stephens served for the match
against Sasnovich at 5-3 in the third set, but was unable to clinch the
title for the United States. It took Sasnovich two attempts, at 6-5 and
7-6 in the third set, to serve out the match.
Sabalenka had an opportunity to
take an early lead against Vandeweghe when leading 5-4 but failed to
take advantage of a set point on Vandeweghe's serve in the 10th game.
Sabalenka led 4-1 in the tiebreaker
but surrendered her lead to a more measured Vandeweghe, who clinched the
first set when the Belarussian blasted a forehand wide while going for a
Vandeweghe then jumped out to a 5-0
lead before Sabalenka won her only game of the second set.
"I know she was going to keep
swinging," Vandeweghe said. "I know what I had to do and knew what I
expected she would do. I just kept the pressure on."
Roger Federer wins opening match at ATP Finals
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after beating Jack Sock of the
United States in their singles tennis match at the ATP World Finals at the
O2 Arena in London, Sunday, Nov. 12. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
London (AP) — One break of
serve, and a mini-break, was all Roger Federer needed to win his opening
match at the season-ending ATP Finals on Sunday.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion broke
Jack Sock at the start of his 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory at the O2 Arena. Both
then held serve the rest of the way, with Federer losing only three points
on his serve in the second set.
"Sure, I had a tactical plan with my
team," Federer said. "But very often in a first match like this, it gets
thrown overboard because at the end you're just happy to be serving well.
Focus on that first, and then on the return game sort of try your best, try
to keep the ball in play, and go from there."
The 36-year-old Federer, who is ranked
No. 2 in the world and won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this season, is
the oldest player ever to qualify for the season-ending tournament, which
started in 1970.
In the late match, Alexander Zverev
beat Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Federer broke Sock, who was making his
debut at the tournament, in the very first game, hitting a backhand winner
to take the 1-0 lead.
"I missed one first serve in the first
game," Sock said. "I had my chances. He put me in some awkward positions on
some of those forehands."
That was the only break point for
either player in the first set. But Federer had plenty more in the second
set - five, to be exact. He just couldn't convert them.
In the tiebreaker, Federer went ahead
3-2 with a mini-break, but Sock got it back. After another to make it 5-4,
however, it was nearly over. Federer won the final two points on his serve
to go to 1-0 in the round robin.
Sock had his moments, though, including
a tweener in the second set when he was leading 40-15. Federer got to it and
hit a backhand winner.
"When he hit it, it wasn't very clean.
I figured it was going to go out. It landed just inside both lines," said
Sock, who still won the game. "But, I don't know. It's Roger, I guess. He
can do no wrong. Everything goes in."
Another light-hearted moment came when
Sock hit a shot that should have set up an easy winner for Federer. Instead
of taking a defensive stance, Sock turned his back to Federer as if to
protect himself from a shot to body.
Federer, surprisingly, put his easy
chance into the net.
"It was a big distraction, I'll tell
you that," Federer joked about Sock's backside, "because it was very big.
That's what I should have aimed for."
Federer has won a record six titles at
the ATP Finals, including two in Houston, two in Shanghai and two in London.
His last one came in 2011.
In 2017, he has won a tour-best seven
titles, the most he has won since taking eight in 2007.
Sock is one of four players to qualify
for the tournament for the first time. Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov and David
Goffin also qualified, though Goffin played in the tournament last year as
an alternate after Gael Monfils withdrew.
After the Federer match, Rafael Nadal
was given his trophy for finishing the year as the No. 1 player in the
The Spaniard will play his first match
at the tournament for the top eight players in the world on Monday against
Goffin. In the early match, Dimitrov will face Dominic Thiem.