Australian Open: Barty overcomes first-set loss to see off Sharapova

20-01-2019 Ashleigh Barty defeats Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 Danielle Collins thrashes Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-2Australians, generally, do not over-react to winning against the odds, partly because the gambling culture embedded so deeply in the national psyche is the perfect tool for handling the highs and lows of sport.So Ashleigh Barty’s thrilling win over Maria Sharapova on day seven of the Australian Open to ensure a quarter-final appearance – the first by an Australian woman since Jelena Dokic 10 years ago – was acclaimed not as a shock but a deserved dividend on her backing her freewheeling tennis. Continue reading...

Australian Open 2019: Stefanos Tsitsipas speaks after win over Roger Federer

20-01-2019 Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas says he is "the happiest man on earth' after beating defending champion Roger Federer in the last 16 of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Which football teams doctored their playing surface to hinder opponents? | The Knowledge

20-01-2019 Plus: top-scoring defenders, non-league double delight and strange middle names. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Pep Guardiola says he didn’t leave the Etihad grass long against Liverpool. But which teams or managers have used this tactic to help their own side or hinder an opponent?” asks George Jones.Let’s start with the Poundland Machiavelli, former Cambridge and Lincoln innovator John Beck. Everyone in football knows about the infamous Beck and the stunts he used to pull at Cambridge. He brought in statisticians to lecture his players about how few passes were needed to score. He had the grass grown several inches long in the corners to hold up the ball when his players knocked it over the top. During the week they would rough up the pitch so anybody who tried to play football against them was at a disadvantage. “We just used to boot it upfield, so it didn’t really matter to us,” Steve Claridge recalls in his autobiography. Continue reading...

Roger Federer beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in Australian Open

20-01-2019 Watch highlights as the 20-year-old 14th seed from Greece Stefanos Tsitsipas beats defending champion Roger Federer in the last 16 of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Danny Cipriani waiting on England call after Owen Farrell hand surgery

20-01-2019 • England captain and fly-half had operation on a thumb• Brad Shields and Joe Launchbury also concerns for JonesDanny Cipriani will find out in the coming days if Owen Farrell’s thumb injury leads to an England reprieve and a place in the squad to prepare for their Six Nations opener against Ireland. Last week Cipriani was omitted from England’s 35-man squad but Eddie Jones has yet to decide whether he needs an extra fly-half for the forthcoming training camp in Portugal in light of Farrell’s injury.Jones said he was “cautiously optimistic” Farrell would be fit to face Ireland in Dublin in 13 days’ time after it emerged the fly-half underwent minor surgery which ruled him out of Saracens’ European victory over Glasgow. The Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall, said Farrell was expected to be on the sidelines for seven to 10 days and while the Rugby Football Union on Sunday confirmed he is set to travel to Portugal as planned on Wednesday, Jones may yet choose to call another fly-half into camp. Continue reading...

Chelsea have a good manager and players – so why are they in a mess? | Jonathan Wilson

20-01-2019 With no long-term strategy at Stamford Bridge, Maurizio Sarri is trying to impose his rigid style on players unsuited to itIn September 2016, after Chelsea had lost limply away to Arsenal, Antonio Conte laid into the “bad attitude” of his players. They went on to win their next 13 league games and by the end of the season were Premier League champions. Perhaps Maurizio Sarri hopes for something similar after his attack on the “mentality” of his players following Saturday’s limp defeat away to Arsenal which was, if anything, even more ferocious. Perhaps there will be a reaction. But at half-time in that 2016 defeat, Conte also made a major tactical shift, adopting the back three Chelsea would play for the rest of his tenure. Sarri seems unlikely to change anything. Related: Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea’s players are ‘extremely difficult to motivate’ Continue reading...

Maria Sharapova rebuffs questions on meldonium and booing after Australian Open exit – video

20-01-2019 Maria Sharapova declared Ashleigh Barty could win the Australian Open after having her own title ambitions crushed by the big home hopeful.But a surly Sharapova was in no mood to answer questions about her controversial seven-minute toilet break between the second and third sets of her 4-6 6-1 6-4 fourth-round loss to Barty.The five-time grand slam champion was jeered by the Rod Laver Arena crowd after leaving Barty waiting, but Sharapova refused to answer whether or not the booing rattled her.The Russian also took exception to a question about her no longer being able to take meldonium, a drug she used for a decade before being suspended for 15 months after continuing to use the substance once it was banned by authorities.Sharapova's defeat, as well as the shock exit on Sunday of second seed and fellow former champion Angelique Kerber, has blown Barty's bottom half of the draw wide open.If the Australian can topple two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in Tuesday's quarter-finals, then she will face either Kerber's surprise conqueror Danielle Collins, unseeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or world No5 Sloane Stephens for a place in the title decider. Continue reading...

'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

20-01-2019 Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

Lucinda Russell orders medical checks on Grand National hero One For Arthur

20-01-2019 • 10-year-old suffers second defeat since comeback• ‘We’ll get the vets and the physios to check,’ says RussellOne For Arthur is to have his back and hip area examined in case the Grand National winner of 2017 is suffering any kind of pain or discomfort that might have contributed to his defeat at Haydock on Saturday. The 10-year-old jumped slightly to his left at some fences and has now unseated his jockey in both races since making his comeback from injury this winter, leaving connections keen to see a better run from him before he returns to Aintree for this year’s National on 6 April.“If he’d got a big jump at the fence where he unseated, he probably would have run on and got placed and we’d all be very happy,” said Lucinda Russell, his trainer, on Sunday. “My only slight niggle was the fact he was jumping left. We’ll definitely get that looked at. Continue reading...

Controversial former NFL player Greg Hardy disqualified for illegal knee on UFC debut

20-01-2019 Former Cowboys star was convicted of assaulting womanDonald Cerrone calls out McGregor at UFC Fight NightThe controversial former NFL star Greg Hardy’s UFC debut ended with a disqualification loss after he hit Allen Crowder with an illegal knee to stop the fight in the second round. Hardy left the NFL after he was convicted of assaulting and threatening to kill his former girlfriend. The charges were later dropped after prosecutors said they couldn’t locate the accuser and believed she reached a settlement with the athlete. Continue reading...

Stuart Lancaster: ‘I haven’t decided if I’ll go to watch England play Ireland’

20-01-2019 The Leinster coach on the bruising aftermath of his 2015 England exit, finding fulfilment in Dublin and the pain of his father’s death‘Pretty much everything has been given to Leinster and, indirectly, to Ireland,” Stuart Lancaster says when he considers how the knowledge he gained during seven years at the heart of English rugby has been jettisoned by his own country. The Leinster coach speaks without bitterness and, having reflected movingly on the recent death of his father and the bruising aftermath of being sacked by England after the 2015 World Cup, he sounds philosophical. Related: England’s Six Nations squad has tools to be hard, direct and ruthless Continue reading...

Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

20-01-2019 This week's sport on the BBC includes the Premier League, Australian Open and Masters snooker, plus much more.

The Fiver | A kind of softly moving statue by which to remember Arsène Wenger

20-01-2019 Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The big January transfer news continues to roll in, after Oumar Niasse, a player famously deprived of a locker at Everton by Ronald Koeman, left Goodison Park to join Cardiff City. Then Yohan Benalouane, a player stored in a locker for almost two years by Claude Puel, did one from Leicester to hurry into the warm embrace of Nottingham Forest’s new manager, Martin O’Neill, who confirmed he hopes to swell the good vibes at the City Ground by bringing along, as his assistant, that most eminent graduate of the Wealdstone Raider School of Motivational Discourse, Roy Keane. Continue reading...

Irish clubs have strength in depth but Saracens can reach European final | Robert Kitson

20-01-2019 European quarter-finals coincide with Brexit date but clubs are expected to fulfil their fixtures without any fussReaching the last eight of Europe may yet prove the easy bit for those involved in this season’s quarter-finals. With the United Kingdom currently due to leave the European Union on that same March weekend, there is potential for travel disruption although tournament organisers say that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, they have been assured that free movement of fans or players will not be immediately affected.With at least half of the quarter-finals in the Champions’ Cup and Challenge Cup set to involve cross-border flights either to or from Europe, however, officials from European Professional Club Rugby are keeping a close watch on Brexit developments. EPCR’s chairman, Simon Halliday, says he hopes no one will be left “sitting on the tarmac” and remains optimistic neither competition will be undermined. Continue reading...

Judd Trump hammers Ronnie O'Sullivan to win first Masters title

20-01-2019 Trump beats O’Sullivan 10-4 at Alexandra Palace29-year-old wins title for the first time in emphatic styleJudd Trump won his first Masters title with an emphatic 10-4 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan at Alexandra Palace.The 29-year-old began as an underdog in his first Masters final against a player seeking his eighth title, but made an impressive start, sweeping to a 4-0 lead and chalking up breaks of 89, 87 and 56. Continue reading...

The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian's sport coverage

20-01-2019 With the best of our sports journalism from the past seven days and a heads-up on the weekend’s action, you won’t miss a thingLet our team of editors be your guide to the best of the Guardian’s award-winning sport coverage from the past week. We’ll email you the stand-out features and interviews, insightful analysis and highlights from the archive, plus films, podcasts, galleries and more – all arriving in your inbox at 12pm every Friday. And we’ll tee you up for the weekend and let you know our live coverage plans so you won’t miss a thing. Continue reading...