Zverev fined $40K, loses prize money, points for outburst

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Germany's Alexander Zverev hits the umpire's chair with his racket on Feb. 22,2022. (Abierto Mexico de Tenis/Handout via REUTERS)
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Germany's Alexander Zverev racket is seen after he hits the umpire's chair on Feb. 22,2022. (Abierto Mexico de Tenis/Handout via REUTERS)
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Updated 25 February 2022

Zverev fined $40K, loses prize money, points for outburst

  • Zverev was the 2020 US Open runner-up and is currently ranked No. 3
  • He was the defending singles champion in Acapulco

ACAPULCO, Mexico: Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Alexander Zverev was fined $40,000 by the men’s professional tennis tour and will forfeit more than $30,000 in prize money and all rankings points from the Mexican Open after hitting the chair umpire’s stand with his racket following a loss in doubles.
In addition to those penalties, the ATP announced Thursday it would undertake “a further review of the incident.”
Zverev was the 2020 US Open runner-up. He is currently ranked No. 3 and was the defending singles champion in Acapulco.
The 24-year-old German was kicked out of the tournament after yelling and cursing at official Alessandro Germani and violently striking the umpire’s chair no fewer than four times.
Zverev and partner Marcelo Melo had just lost a doubles match to Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara. Just before the match ended, Germani gave Zverev a code violation for yelling and swearing while arguing about a shot that was ruled in, setting up match point.
The ATP said Zverev was fined $20,000 each for verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct, the maximum penalty for each violation.
He loses his full prize money for singles and doubles of $31,570 and all rankings points earned at the tournament.
In October, the ATP opened an investigation into a former girlfriend’s accusations of domestic abuse by Zverev. The former girlfriend first made the accusations in 2020.

French Open 2023: No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka on course for final showdown

Updated 12 sec ago

French Open 2023: No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka on course for final showdown

  • In the women’s quarterfinals, Swiatek beat No. 6 Coco Gauff, and Haddad Maia defeated No. 7 Ons Jabeur
  • In the men’s round of 8, No. 4 Casper Ruud eliminated No. 6 Holger Rune, and No. 22 Alexander Zverev got past unseeded Tomas Martin Etcheverry

PARIS: If Iga Swiatek meets Aryna Sabalenka for the French Open championship, more than the trophy would be at stake. The No. 1 ranking would be, too.

But there’s work to be done for both players first — getting to the final.

In Thursday’s semifinals, No. 2 Sabalenka of Belarus will play unseeded Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, before No. 1 Swiatek of Poland faces No. 14 Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil.

Sabalenka is unbeaten in Grand Slam action in 2023; she won her first major title at the Australian Open in January.

She’s drawn more attention for non-tennis matters over the past 1 1/2 weeks, however, connected to her country’s assistance to Russia during the invasion of Ukraine. After being asked about that at two news conferences, Sabalenka skipped the next two post-match sessions with reporters, before speaking to the media for the first time in nearly a week after her quarterfinal victory.

Swiatek has not been challenged much at Roland Garros this year as she pursues her third triumph on the red clay and fourth Slam title overall. She hasn’t dropped a set yet heading into the matchup against Haddad Maia, a player who served a 10-month doping ban after failing a test in 2019 and had never been past the second round at a major tournament until now.


In the women’s quarterfinals, Swiatek beat No. 6 Coco Gauff, and Haddad Maia defeated No. 7 Ons Jabeur. In the men’s, No. 4 Casper Ruud eliminated No. 6 Holger Rune, and No. 22 Alexander Zverev got past unseeded Tomas Martin Etcheverry.


The men’s semifinals feature No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz vs. No. 3 Novak Djokovic, and Ruud vs. Zverev. Alcaraz, who is 20, owns one major title; Djokovic, who is 36, owns 22. Alcaraz will be playing in his second Grand Slam semifinal, Djokovic in his 45th. Zverev reached the final four in Paris for the third year in a row; Ruud was the runner-up to Rafael Nadal in last year’s final in Paris.


Play begins in Court Philippe Chatrier at noon local time in Paris, which is 6 a.m. EDT. First up is the mixed doubles final, with 2019 US Open singles champion Bianca Andreescu and Michael Venus playing against Miyo Kato and Tim Pütz. That will be followed by the women’s singles semifinals, starting no sooner than 3 p.m. local time, which is 9 a.m. EDT: Muchova-Sabalenka, then Haddad Maia-Swiatek. It is an off day in men’s singles.


What you need to know about the year’s second Grand Slam tennis tournament:

  • Rafael Nadal is not here
  • Can AI help prevent cyberbullying of tennis players?
  • French players bid a quick adieu to French Open
  • Novak Djokovic can break a tie with Nadal by winning Slam No. 23
  • Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina split past four major titles
  • Carlos Alcaraz hits shots no one else does


55 — Number of years since a Brazilian woman reached a Grand Slam singles semifinal; Beatriz Haddad Maia is the first to do so since Maria Bueno at the 1968 US Open.


“Obviously, you lose to someone seven times, you feel crappy.” — Coco Gauff, after dropping to 0-7 against Iga Swiatek.


  • Thursday: Women’s Semifinals
  • Friday: Men’s Semifinals
  • Saturday: Women’s Final
  • Sunday: Men’s Final

West Ham beat Fiorentina to win Europa Conference League

Updated 08 June 2023

West Ham beat Fiorentina to win Europa Conference League

PRAGUE: Jarrod Bowen’s dramatic 90th-minute goal secured West Ham their first major European trophy since 1965 with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday.
It is the second European trophy for West Ham after they won the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup 58 years ago with a team including England World Cup heroes Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst.
Bowen picked up a superb through ball from Lucas Paqueta, before sending a low shot past a helpless Pietro Terracciano in the Fiorentina goal.
“I obviously dreamed of scoring but to score the winner in the last minute. It’s what you always say you want to do,” Bowen told BT Sport.
“To do it in front of these fans. I thought I was going to cry. I’m just happy.”
Said Benrahma had opened the scoring for West Ham in Prague as he blasted a penalty past Terracciano on 62 minutes after VAR had caught Cristiano Biraghi handling the ball trying to stop Bowen in the box.
Giacomo Bonaventura levelled five minutes later, beating West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola with a fine, low right-footed effort.
Bonaventura capitalized on a superb header back from Nicolas Gonzalez who had leapt over West Ham full-back Emerson.
The champions’ name will be the second ever on the Conference League trophy following Roma, who won the maiden edition of the competition last year.
West Ham have also clinched a spot in next season’s Europa League with the win, while Fiorentina will miss out on European competition after finishing eighth in the Serie A.
West Ham’s previous major trophy was back in 1980 when they won the FA Cup.
They spent most of the last season battling the prospect of relegation, finishing 14th in the Premier League in the end.
“We had a dream, we haven’t had the best season, myself included, but to give these fans this moment, I’m over the moon,” Bowen said.
“This is the biggest game of my career. The emotion, there was time for one more chance. I’m just so happy.”
The game got off to a slow start, although Michail Antonio tested Terracciano with a low shot on 40 seconds.
Fiorentina dominated possession and looked more organized in a largely uneventful first half.
But they did not came close until injury time when Christian Kouame headed against the post from Gonzalez’s cross.
Fiorentina striker Luka Jovic then tapped the ball across the line on a rebound but his goal was ruled out for offside.
Declan Rice’s 13th-minute shot from outside the box whizzed just past the post in the Hammers’ best chance of the first half.
Rice may have played his last game for the East Londoners as he is being courted by the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.
The game changed with the goals as both sides suddenly looked far more lively, earning corners and creating chances.
But Rolando Mandragora sent his shot just wide and Sofyan Amrabat was denied by Areola, while Tomas Soucek’s header was saved by a diving Terracciano.
Before the game, Prague police said they had detained 16 people as Fiorentina fans attacked West Ham supporters in a bar in central Prague. Three people sustained light injuries.

McIlroy: Saudi, PGA Tour deal ‘good for golf’

Updated 07 June 2023

McIlroy: Saudi, PGA Tour deal ‘good for golf’

LOS ANGELES: Rory McIlroy on Wednesday welcomed the PGA Tour’s merger with the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf.

According to the Northern Ireland star, Tuesday’s deal would secure the financial future of the sport.

“I think ultimately, when I try to remove myself from the situation and I look at the bigger picture and I look at 10 years down the line, I think ultimately this is going to be good for the game of professional golf,” McIlroy said.

“It unifies it and it secures its financial future.”

McIlroy was speaking on the eve of this week’s PGA Canadian Open in Toronto in his first comments since Tuesday’s agreement was revealed.

Under the new deal, the PGA Tour and Europe’s DP World Tour said they had signed an agreement with LIV’s Saudi backers that will lead to ‘a new collectively owned, for-profit entity.’

McIlroy is widely reported to have turned down an offer in the region of $400 million to switch to LIV but on Wednesday denied ever receiving a bid for his services.

“I was never offered any money,” McIlroy said. The Northern Irishman, however, said he understood anger from fellow professionals against PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan — but insisted he still had confidence in the under-fire tour chief.

“I’ve dealt with Jay a lot closer than a lot of those guys have,” McIlroy said.

“From where we were a couple of weeks ago to where we are today, I think the future of the PGA Tour looks brighter as a whole, as an entity.”

Lionel Messi: ‘I’ve decided to go to Inter Miami’

Updated 07 June 2023

Lionel Messi: ‘I’ve decided to go to Inter Miami’

BARCELONA: Lionel Messi will sign for Major League Soccer side Inter Miami, the player said Wednesday in interviews with Spanish media, choosing the United States as his next destination over a Barcelona reunion or blockbuster deal to play in Saudi Arabia.
The Argentine forward, 35, has spent the last two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, playing his final game for the club on Saturday, after moving from Barcelona in 2021, where he spent the majority of his career.
Messi said that he did not want to have to wait for Barcelona to find a formula to be able to sign him given their financial situation — they were unable to keep him before his move to PSG, leading to a tearful departure.
“I was afraid that it would happen again,” Messi told Spanish newspapers Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo.
“I’ve taken the decision that I am going to Miami, I don’t have (the deal) 100 percent sealed or maybe there’s something left to do, but we decided to continue our path there.
“(I decided) to leave Europe, it’s true that I had offers from another European team but I didn’t even think about it because in Europe, my idea was only to go to Barcelona.
“After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barca, it’s time to go to MLS to live football in a different way and enjoy my day to day life more.
“Obviously with the same responsibility and desire to win, and to do things well, but with more calm.”
Messi is a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and is expected to earn the individual accolade once more after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December 2022.
The football world was eagerly awaiting Messi’s decision after PSG confirmed this week the playmaker, widely considered the best player in the history of football, was departing.
Inter Miami, co-owned by former England international David Beckham and founded in 2018, sacked coach Phil Neville last week with the team bottom of the Eastern Conference — with Argentine Javier Morales taking over on an interim basis.
The romance of a Barcelona return and prospect of eye-watering riches in Saudi Arabia fell by the wayside as Messi opted to join MLS, with sun-soaked Miami a city he has holidayed in on previous occasions.
Some reports say key MLS sponsors including sportswear brand Adidas and Apple TV, who own the league’s domestic broadcasting rights, may be contributing to his deal.

Czech police: Fiorentina fans attack West Ham supporters ahead of Europa Conference League final

Updated 07 June 2023

Czech police: Fiorentina fans attack West Ham supporters ahead of Europa Conference League final

  • Three West Ham fans and one police officer were injured in the incident while 16 people were detained, police said

PRAGUE: Fiorentina fans attacked West Ham supporters in a bar in downtown Prague ahead of the Europa Conference League final, Czech police said on Wednesday.
Three West Ham fans and one police officer were injured in the incident while 16 people were detained, police said.
An investigation was ongoing, and no more details were immediately provided.
Thousands of West Ham and Fiorentina fans have arrived in Prague for the final of the third-tier European competition at Slavia Prague’s Eden Arena.
Both clubs are aiming to end long European trophy droughts.
Organizers prepared two separate fan zones for the fans of both clubs who don’t have tickets for the match.