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Alcaraz defeats Zverev to win first French Open title

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Alcaraz Defeats Zverev To Win First French Open Title

Alcaraz adds the Roland Garros crown to the Wimbledon title he won against Novak Djokovic last year and the 2022 US Open.

Carlos Alcaraz fought back to defeat Alexander Zverev in a five-set French Open final on Sunday and become the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces.

The 21-year-old battled cramps to recover from 2-1 down in sets and win a gripping contest 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 after four hours and 19 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Alcaraz adds the Roland Garros crown to the Wimbledon title he won against Novak Djokovic last year and the 2022 US Open.

He will head to the Australian Open next year with the chance to become the youngest man to complete the career Grand Slam.

Fourth seed Zverev, who settled a court case in Germany two days ago over domestic abuse allegations, is still waiting for a maiden major title.

He had also lost his only previous Slam final in five sets, when he blew a two-set lead against Dominic Thiem at the 2020 US Open.

Zverev had high hopes of finally getting over the line — he has also lost six Slam semi-finals — but Alcaraz was too strong in the key moments as he levelled their head-to-head record at 5-5.

Alcaraz said before the final he wanted to join the list of men’s players from his country, including his idol Rafael Nadal, to win the Roland Garros title, and he celebrated becoming the eighth Spanish champion by falling to the clay with his head in his hands in disbelief.

READ ALSO  Woeful Finidi George resigns as Super Eagles head coach

Zverev’s Nervy Start

Zverev endured a miserable start, double-faulting on the first two points of the match en route to being broken in the opening game.

But Alcaraz was not immune to the nerves of a maiden French Open final, framing a regulation forehand into the stands and then also double-faulting as he gifted the break straight back.

The Spaniard did not take too long to find his groove, though, breaking to love in the fifth game on his way to pocketing the opener.

The youngster had to save three break points to hold in a 10-minute first game of the second set, but slipped 3-2 behind when he failed to stave off two more break points as another forehand sailed into the crowd.

Suddenly Zverev had a spring in his step and Alcaraz was reduced to scrambling at the back of the court, falling a double-break down with a double-fault.

Zverev wrapped up an ultimately one-sided second set with a hold to love.

The German made it three successive love holds with two more early in the third set, before Alcaraz celebrated coming out of a tricky service game unscathed with a fist pump as he edged 3-2 ahead, despite having been largely on the back foot.

Serving into an increasingly strong breeze, Zverev was caught out by an Alcaraz return that crept over the net and the Spaniard went on to grab a break to love.

But he could not serve out the set as a rasping Zverev passing shot secured a break back.

That failure to take control of the match seemed to temporarily break Alcaraz’s spirit, as he ended up losing five games on the spin to concede the set.

READ ALSO  Germany smash Scotland in Euro 2024 opener

Crucial line call saves Alcaraz

Alcaraz would not go down without a fight, though, breaking for a 2-0 advantage in the fourth with a magnificent curling winner on the run.

Just seconds before, Zverev had been angrily disputing a line call which was clearly correct, drawing jeers from the crowd.

The German was rattled and his serve started to desert him, with Alcaraz racing through the fourth set to force a decider despite having to take a medical time-out to have treatment for apparent cramp at 4-1.

Zverev had won 10 of his previous 11 five-setters at Roland Garros but handed Alcaraz a break on a platter in the third game of the fifth.

Alcaraz stuttered himself, falling 0-40 down in the next game.

He appeared to have double-faulted on the second break point, but the chair umpire overruled the line judge’s call of out, despite Zverev’s angry protests, before Hawkeye replays showed it was out.

Alcaraz went on to hold and it proved to be a pivotal moment in the match.

Zverev fell a double-break down in game seven as Alcaraz delighted the fans with an outrageous flicked winner before crushing a forehand onto the line.

He wrapped up a historic victory with a booming forehand that Zverev could not get back.

Source: Channels

 

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‘No integrity’ – Osimhen fires back at Finidi

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Osimhen fires back at Finidi’s comments on national team commitment

Victor Osimhen has responded fiercely to former Super Eagles coach Finidi George‘s claims about his commitment to Nigeria’s national team, the Super Eagles ahead of the crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers this month.

The Napoli striker, who has been the subject of intense transfer speculation linking him to Chelsea and Arsenal, expressed his frustration in a six-minute rant on Instagram, targeting Finidi.

Finidi had suggested that it was challenging to discipline certain players, claiming that Osimhen had opted out of two World Cup qualifying matches despite being fit to play. He accused Osimhen of selectively choosing which games to participate in.

Osimhen, angered by these accusations, took to Instagram Live to voice his displeasure:

“I called Finidi George when he was appointed and told him: ‘Let’s do great things together.’ I asked him to let me stay with the players in the camp, but he told me to stay with my family. Now, after two bad games, everyone is blaming me.”

He continued, “I always play my heart out for Nigeria. I know how many injuries I’ve played through for Nigeria. But after two bad games, everyone is attacking me. I have lost all respect for him.

“I always call my teammates to encourage them, but after these games, I wasn’t even part of the team. I got injured in the last minute of our last match. The MRI confirmed an ankle injury. I won’t allow disrespect from anyone. I play my heart out for Nigeria.”

Despite Osimhen’s injury, Finidi maintained that the striker could have played in the matches.

READ ALSO  Woeful Finidi George resigns as Super Eagles head coach

Osimhen was ruled out for four weeks due to a twisted ankle, and he now feels unfairly targeted for the Super Eagles’ failure to win those games.
The 25-year-old striker remains a hot topic in football transfer news, but his recent comments have highlighted the tension between him and the former coach.

Under Finidi’s leadership, the Super Eagles suffered a surprising 2-1 defeat to the Benin Republic in Abidjan, following a 1-1 draw against South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

These results leave the Super Eagles winless after four matches, sitting in fifth place in Group C with just three points, putting Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in serious jeopardy.

 

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Woeful Finidi George resigns as Super Eagles head coach

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Finidi George has resigned from his position as the head coach of the Super Eagles. It is believed Finidi took the decision on Saturday,

Finidi George has resigned from his position as the head coach of the Super Eagles.

It is believed Finidi took the decision on Saturday, days after the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, announced moves to bring in a foreign technical adviser.

His exit was confirmed by former Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, on his X account.

Ibitoye wrote: “News just in: Finidi George @FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his @NGSuperEagles manager position.”

Finidi was only appointed on April 29, 2024, to replace Jose Peseiro, whose contract expired in February.

During his very brief tenure, the former Enyimba boss oversaw a 1-1 draw with South Africa and a 2-1 defeat to Benin Republic, both in the 2026 World Cup qualifying series.

 

READ ALSO  'No integrity' - Osimhen fires back at Finidi
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I’m coming for heads, warns returning Adesanya

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I’m coming for heads, warns returning Adesanya

Former UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has expressed excitement ahead of his highly anticipated return to the octagon,

The Nigeria-born fighter is expected to challenge rival, and new champion Dricus du Plessis for the championship later this year. Although nothing has been announced officially, the promotion is reportedly targeting UFC 305 on August 18 in Perth, Western Australia.

In a post on his YouTube channel on Friday, “The Last Stylebender” discussed the potential return, showed some of the new elements to his strength and conditioning program, and also revealed his new mindset when it comes to his fighting career.

“How excited am I to get back in the octagon? I’m excited,” Adesanya said. “I’m excited, it’s been a year, almost a year, like 11 months by the time I get back in the octagon. People are like, ‘Oh, I hope you get the belt back, I hope you get the belt back,’ I have belts. I don’t need any more belts. I’m coming for heads. That’s what I want to do.

Source: The Punch

 

READ ALSO  'No integrity' - Osimhen fires back at Finidi
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Aruna Quadri qualifies for Paris Olympics

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Aruna Quadri has earned the berth to represent Nigeria at the table tennis event of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The 35-year-old’s Olympic qualification was announced in a statement by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Friday.

He secured the qualification through his position in the ITTF world rankings and the selection of continental quotas.

Aruna, ranked 17th in the world, secured the berth alongside Lynda Loghraibi from Algeria and six other players from other continents.

“As the countdown to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games intensifies, ITTF is thrilled to announce significant progress in the qualification process for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” the statement reads.

“With the Games now under 50 days away, this week’s world ranking update has seen eight athletes secure their participation based on the selection of Continental quotas allocated by World Ranking.

“The Men’s Singles draw welcomes African powerhouse Quadri Aruna from Nigeria, alongside the Americas’ rising talent Nicolas Burgos from Chile. Asia’s Kirill Gerassimenko of Kazakhstan and Europe’s Alvaro Robles of Spain, who previously qualified in Mixed Doubles, also confirm their spots.”

Quadri joins Olajide Omotayo, Edem Offiong, and Fatimo Bello as Nigeria’s representatives in table tennis at the Olympics.

Paris will be Quadri’s fourth Olympics, having represented the country in London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo in 2021.

Source: The Cable

 

READ ALSO  Turkish Giants Scramble for Ndidi’s Signature
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Germany smash Scotland in Euro 2024 opener

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Germany 5-1 Scotland: Ten-player Scots humiliated

Scotland were taught a lesson by classy Germany in their Euro 2024 opener as Ryan Porteous was sent off in a 5-1 defeat in Munich.

Steve Clarke’s mantra was “respect everyone, fear no one” as they looked to make it past the group stage of a major tournament for the first time.

But they looked stunned as Angus Gunn failed to save Florian Wirtz’s effort in the 10th minute at the Allianz Arena.

Jamal Musiala (19) then rifled a powerful shot into the roof of the net with Kai Havertz making it 3-0 from the penalty spot after Porteous was shown a straight red in the 44th minute for a crunching challenge on Ilkay Gundogan following a VAR check.

The Germans, who last won the European Championship in 1996, were not finished and Niclas Fullkrug smashed a wonderful drive into the top corner to add to Scotland’s woes.

Antonio Rudiger headed into his own net to finally give the Scots something to celebrate before Emre Can made it 5-1 with the last kick of the game to earn Germany the biggest win in an opening match at the Euros.

Misery in Munich
Florian Wirtz celebrates scoring the opener against Scotland
The Tartan Army descended on the stadium in their thousands believing they could upset the odds, but there was an early warning as Rudiger sent a ball through to Wirtz. He was just offside but Gunn reacted to save his half-volley with his head.

The hosts were in control and, after a brilliant clearance from Porteous to deny Musiala a chance, they did take the lead.

READ ALSO  Turkish Giants Scramble for Ndidi’s Signature

Joshua Kimmich sent a long pass to Wirtz and the Bundesliga’s player of the year took his chance, Gunn did get a touch but only pushed it in off the inside of the post.

It soon got worse for Scotland as they went 2-0 down after just 19 minutes when Musiala picked up a brilliant pass from Gundogan and smashed a powerful shot into the roof of the net.

Clarke had his head in his hands as the hosts were awarded a penalty soon after for Ryan Christie’s clumsy challenge on Musiala, but it was outside the box and overturned after a VAR check.

Havertz’s resultant free-kick deflected off the wall and spun into Gunn’s arms.

Frustration began to show for Scotland and, following a VAR check, Porteous was shown a straight red for a crunching challenge on Gundogan in the box. This time a penalty was awarded.

Havertz stepped up and fired under Gunn from the spot to give the Germans a commanding 3-0 lead before the break.

Che Adams made way for Grant Hanley for the second half as Clarke looked to limit the damage and Scotland did look brighter.

Scott McTominay won a free-kick soon after the restart, but Havertz managed to block his effort.

Germany were then back in command as Rudiger’s 25-yard drive was turned around the post by Gunn.

They did find a fourth, and in some style, as Fullkrug sent a stunning drive into the roof of the net. He thought he had scored again soon after but it was ruled out for offside.

Scotland did have something to celebrate late on as Scott McKenna’s ball came off Rudiger’s head and past Manuel Neuer for a consolation.

READ ALSO  'No integrity' - Osimhen fires back at Finidi

But the celebrations were short-lived as Can – who was only called into the squad two days ago – scored Germany’s fifth in stoppage-time to earn them the biggest win in the opening match of a European Championship game.

Source: Skysport

 

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Turkish Giants Scramble for Ndidi’s Signature

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Barcelona are considering a move for Leicester's Wilfred Ndidi - the defensive midfielder's contract at the Championship winners

Three Turkish football clubs are reportedly locked in a fierce competition to secure the signature of Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, whose contract with Leicester City is set to expire by June 2024.

The 27-year-old defensive midfielder has been a stalwart for Leicester City since joining the club in 2017.

However, with his contract nearing its end, Ndidi seems poised for a potential departure from the King Power Stadium.

According to Fanatik, Leicester City have been unable to convince Ndidi to extend his stay, paving the way for Turkish clubs to enter the fray.

Trabzonspor, Bekta and Galatasaray are among the interested parties in the Super Lig.

Trabzonspor, keen on bolstering both their forward line and midfield options, have expressed interest in Ndidi along with Paul Onuachu.

The Black Sea Storm are reportedly determined to secure Ndidi’s services and have presented an enticing offer, including a substantial signing bonus.

Meanwhile, Galatasaray has made a compelling offer of a three-plus-one-year contract in a bid to sway Ndidi to choose them over other suitors.

Ndidi’s tenure at Leicester City has been marked by consistent performances, making him a sought-after asset in the transfer market.

The Nigerian international played 36 matches last season, contributing six goals and six assists to the Foxes’ campaign.

In addition to his club exploits, Ndidi has also been a key figure for the Nigerian national team.

He featured prominently in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, starting recently against South Africa and the Benin Republic.

Source: Thisday

READ ALSO  Germany smash Scotland in Euro 2024 opener
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