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Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya to sit out Australian Open | Tennis News

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MADRID: Rafael Nadal will try to overtake Roger Federer‘s Grand Slam record without his coach Carlos Moya, who said on Wednesday he will not attend the Australian Open due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
Nadal is aiming to clinch a 21st major title in Melbourne, which would put him ahead of Federer’s 20 as the most successful men’s player of all time.
But the world number two will be without Moya, who has been on Nadal’s coaching team since 2016.
“After speaking with Rafa, we have decided that I won’t travel to Australia with the team,” Moya announced.
“My intention was to be with the team from the beginning of the Australian Open as usual but the Australian government is not authorising separate travelling and arriving at the beginning of the tournament.
“I will follow the tournament from home and will stay with my family, parents and kids due to the delicate situation that Spain is living with the virus. Best of luck to the teams travelling.”
Nadal is set for a longer schedule in Australia, starting with an exhibition in Adelaide before heading to Melbourne for the ATP Cup and Australian Open.
The Spaniard will have a free hit at the Grand Slam record after Federer withdrew from the first major tournament of the year, citing a need to regain fitness following two knee operations.
Coronavirus restrictions mean players competing at the event will have to quarantine for two weeks before it starts.
Qualifying for the tournament was held in Doha and Dubai and ended Wednesday.


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PV Sindhu: BWF Tour Finals: PV Sindhu in tough group | Badminton News

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HYDERABAD: PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will be keen to make amends at the BWF World Tour Finals which will kick-off in Bangkok on Tuesday. While Srikanth was expected to qualify, Sindhu was lucky as the pull-out of many top players helped her to qualify from the last spot.
World champion Sindhu is in Group B along with world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and Pornpawee Chochuwong, also from Thailand.
Sindhu had a disastrous start to her campaign in the post-Covid-19 season. The Indian skipped Denmark Open in October and lost in the first round of the first leg of the Thailand Open. Even in the second leg, the world No. 7 struggled against Ratchanok in the quarterfinals.
After a three-month stint in England, the Indian was expected to fare well, but she was slow on the court. However, the Olympic silver medallist has it in her to surprise everyone with her splendid comebacks from unexpected situations. She will look forward to give her best in this round-robin league.
A player has to win at least two matches to make it to the semifinals. The Indian has to beat either Tai or Ratchanok along with Pornpawee to make it to the last four. While beating Tai may be difficult as she reached two finals in the last two weeks, Sindhu can look to upset Ratchanok. Even during her quarterfinal against Ratchanok, Sindhu dominated a few moments.
Carolina Marin of Spain, An Se Young of South Korea and Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia are in Group A
In the men’s singles, Srikanth is clubbed in Group B along with Anders Antonsen of Denmark, Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei and Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong.
Compared to Sindhu, Srikanth got a better draw. Srikanth has the ability to beat all three players.
The former world No. 1 will be eager to get back on the court after he was withdrawn from the second round last week. Srikanth had to pull out as his roommate Sai Praneeth tested positive.
Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia are in Group A.


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Countering India will be big challenge for England spinners: Mahela Jayawardene | Cricket News

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LONDON: England spinners Dom Bess and Jack Leach must have gained a lot by bowling in Sri Lanka in a just-concluded series but a bigger challenge awaits them against India in the four-Test rubber starting February 5, feels former Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene.
Left-arm spinner Leach claimed 10 wickets in the two-match series while off-spinner Bess took 12 in England’s 2-0 victory.
“I think that’s going to be a very exciting series and a very good challenge for this group of players. That’s what cricket is all about. You need to go away and win the Test series,” Jayawardene told ‘Sky Sports’.
“The two spinners (Bess and Leach) will have learned a lot here but it will be a bigger challenge in India.”
Jayawardene though believes that England are “well prepared” for the India series, especially when they will have services of star all-rounder Ben Stokes and impressive paceman Jofra Archer.
Both Stokes and Archer were rested for the Sri Lanka series.
“Getting Ben Stokes back will be a massive advantage for England because he will bring that experience and be another left-handed batsman in their top-order which can be crucial,” said Jayawardene.
“Jofra Archer will bring something to the table with his pace, especially on slower wickets. So I think overall they are very well prepared.”
Opener Rory Burns has also been called for the India assignment but it won’t be easy for him to be battle-ready for international cricket, according to the Sri Lankan.
Burns, who has an experience of 21 Tests under his belt, last played in domestic matches at home, about four months back.
“It will be a challenge for Rory Burns if he opens. He hasn’t played much cricket lately.”
Jayawardene was also “disappointed” that wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow is not in the squad “given his experience and the way he batted in this (Sri Lanka) series”.
“He should be at that touring party.”
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen had also urged selectors to field Bairstow against India. The four-Test series will begin on February 5 in Chennai.
Stokes, Archer and Burns have already reached the city and are serving their quarantine period.


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Leeds United: NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers increase their stake in Leeds United to 37% | Football News

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On Monday, professional American football team the San Francisco 49ers, who compete in America’s National Football League, made a major announcement. As per a new investment, the 49ers increased their total minority ownership stake in the English Premier League club Leeds United (founded in October 1919) from 15% to 37%. This is via an entity affiliated with the San Francisco team, the 49ers Enterprises.
This new deal also sees Parag Marathe, president of 49ers Enterprises — who has had a seat in the Leeds United Board since the 49ers made their initial investment in Leeds United in 2018, become the Vice President of the football club.
Italian entrepreneur Andrea Radrizzani, who is the Chairman of Leeds United, will continue to be the majority stake owner in the English football club.
Talking about the new investment and the increase in stake for the 49ers, Radrizzani said, “We are delighted to welcome further investment into our club from 49ers Enterprises and I am confident that this latest partnership will help Leeds United continue to grow and develop into the team our supporters deserve.”
The latest announcement is a step forward in the strategic partnership that took flight in 2018 between the 49ers, who have won 5 Super Bowl Championships and Leeds United.

“I have always been open to bringing partners on this journey with me, as long as these actions can benefit the long-term strategy of the club. Paraag and the team at 49ers Enterprises are uniquely positioned to collaborate with myself, Angus Kinnear, Victor Orta and our management team to help us achieve our goals,” Radrizzani further said.
For Marathe, a seasoned sports executive, this was a logical step forward. Marathe incidentally is also the Chairman of USA Cricket. He was unanimously elected to the post in October 2018. At that time he had served 18 years with the 49ers.
“Our 49ers Enterprises team has always shared Andrea’s vision for constructing a powerful and winning club in the most competitive football league in the world, and the experience of the last three seasons has been more exhilarating than we could have ever imagined,” said Marathe as part of the press release sent out by the 49ers to announce the new deal on Monday.

(AP Photo)
“The hard work and bold leadership demonstrated by Andrea and his talented team has restored Leeds United’s rightful place in the Premier League and we look forward to playing an even bigger role in supporting their efforts to climb the table this year and into the future.”
Since the first investment made by the 49ers in 2018, Leeds United have grown as a football club both on and off the field. Apart from the commercial revenues aspect of the game, the club, which established itself as a powerhouse inEnglish football in the early 1970s, have also returned to the Premier League (from the English Football League Championship) this season after a 16-year absence, under Argentinian coach Marcelo Biesla.
“Now that we have achieved promotion and made a positive start to the new campaign, there is no better time to be looking ahead to the future, as we aim to take this football club to the next level, initially by becoming an established Premier League side before chasing our dreams of taking Leeds United back into Europe,” Radrizzani added.
“We must also be focused on reaching our potential commercially and developing Elland Road and our training facilities.”

(Andrea Radrizzani, Chairman of Leeds United FC – Reuters Photo)
According to the announcement made on Monday, Marathe, along with 49ers Enterprises Vice President Collin Meador and other 49ers personnel, will now be ‘more involved in the decision-making process and day-to-day operations of the club moving forward, both in football and business operations’.
It’s a role that Marathe is all too familiar with, having performed duties along the same lines for the last 20 years with the 49ers. He will also continue to be on the Leeds United Board of Directors.
This latest development is also another significant sign of just how much American investors and particularly NFL owners are eyeing English football.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for example, are owned by the Glazer family, who have overall ownership and control of Manchester United. Fulham FC is owned by American businessman Shahid Khan, who also owns the NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last year an American firm bought an 84% majority stake in Burnley. Liverpool FC is controlled by American sports company, Fenway Sports Group, who also own the Major League Baseball team in America, the Boston Red Sox.



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