Sport shorts: emotional Andy Murray wins first title since hip surgery and World Rugby investigates referee’s ‘elbow’ photo


1. Murray wins first title since hip surgery 

Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray broke down in tears yesterday after winning the European Open – his first ATP Tour title since having hip surgery in January. 

The Scottish tennis star came back from a set and a break down to beat Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Antwerp.

Murray, 32, said: “It means a lot. The last few years have been extremely difficult. I didn’t expect to be in this position at all. I’m happy, very happy.”

Swiss star Wawrinka added: “To see you back at this level, it’s amazing. We’re all really happy. I’m sad I lost but I’m really happy to see you back.”

2. Two men arrested after football racial abuse 

Police in Somerset have arrested two men in connection with the racial abuse of players at an FA Cup match between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town on Saturday. 

The two suspects, aged 23 and 26, are presumed to have been Yeovil fans. The match was abandoned when Haringey’s manager took his team off the field in response to the abuse.

3. Hamilton and Rossi to swap machines? 

MotoGP star Valentino Rossi has confirmed that talks are taking place to arrange a machine swap with Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. 

Crash.net reports that the plan would see Italian Rossi, 40, drive a Mercedes F1 car and British ace Hamilton ride a Yamaha M1. A possible location for the swap could be in Abu Dhabi once the F1 and MotoGP seasons are over. 

Rossi, a seven-time MotoGP world champion, said: “Yes, we are trying to arrange this swap with Hamilton, it would be something fantastic. They are trying to organise a day when Lewis tries my M1 and I try his Mercedes. We hope to make it happen, it would be very cool. To drive an F1 car is always great.”

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4. Jones: All Blacks are beatable

Eddie Jones says self-belief will be key for England if they want to beat New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semi-final. 

The All Blacks, the two-time defending champions, haven’t lost a World Cup game since being beaten by France in the 2007 quarter-final but for Jones that scary statistic is merely a challenge.

“No one’s got a 100% record in Test rugby,” said Jones. “No one averages 100 in Test cricket. No one wins every grand slam 6-0 6-0. So every team has got a weakness. Every team is beatable.”

Wallabies in crisis as Cheika, Genia and Pocock depart

5. World Rugby investigates ref photo

South African referee Jaco Peyper has outraged France after appearing to mock their defeat with Welsh fans. 

Wales squeaked past France 20-19 in a match which turned following the sending off of Sebastien Vahaamahina. The French second row was shown a red card for a blatant elbow to the face of Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright.

France’s dejection has now been deepened by the photo of Peyper posing with Wales fans after the game.

World Rugby said in a statement: “World Rugby is aware of a picture on social media of referee Jaco Peyper with a group of Wales fans taken after last night’s [Sunday] quarter-final between Wales and France in Oita. It would be inappropriate to comment further while we are establishing the facts.”

Referee puts elbow into France after Wales’s controversial win

Referee Jaco Peyper was pictured with Wales fans after the match against France

6. Navidi out of World Cup

Wales back-row Josh Navidi will miss the rest of the Rugby World Cup after picking up a hamstring injury in the quarter-final win over France. Wales head coach Warren Gatland has confirmed that Navidi will be replaced by a back.

7. Chadwick will return to W Series in 2020

W Series has announced its 18-driver line-up for the 2020 season. After winning the inaugural title in the women-only motor sport championship Britain’s Jamie Chadwick will join 11 other drivers who return for season two. Six new drivers will also be on the grid in 2020. 

W Series 2020 confirmed line-up
  • Returning drivers: Jamie Chadwick (UK); Beitske Visser (Netherlands); Alice Powell (UK); Marta Garcia (Spain); Emma Kimilainen (Finland); Fabienne Wohlwend (Liechtenstein); Miki Koyama (Japan); Sarah Moore (UK); Vicky Piria (Italy); Tasmin Pepper (South Africa); Jessica Hawkins (UK); Sabre Cook (USA) 
  • New entrants: Ayla Agren (Norway); Abbie Eaton (UK); Belen Garcia (Spain); Nerea Marti (Spain); Irina Sidorkova (Russia); Bruna Tomaselli (Brazil)

8. Gayle misses out on The Hundred

West Indies star Chris Gayle failed to get selected during the player draft for The Hundred – English cricket’s new 100-ball competition launching next year. South Africa bowler Kagiso Rabada and Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga also missed out.

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was the first player picked in last night’s draft after being selected by the Trent Rockets. 

9. Real target Sancho and Haaland

Real Madrid will join Manchester United in the race to sign England forward Jadon Sancho.

The Daily Mail reports that the Spanish giants are keen on the 19-year-old who has impressed playing in Germany for Borussia Dortmund. 

Real are also interested in another 19-year-old – Erling Braut Haaland. The striker has scored 19 goals in 16 games this season for Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg. 

10. Klopp not happy with VAR decision 

Liverpool’s 100% winning record came to an end yesterday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United. 

The Premier League leaders earned a point at Old Trafford when Adam Lallana scored an equaliser with five minutes to go. Marcus Rashford had given United the lead with a goal in the 36th minute. 

Rashford’s goal was a controversial one with the video assistant referee (VAR) ruling that Liverpool striker Divock Origi had not been fouled in the build up. Liverpool forward Sadio Mane also had a goal ruled out by VAR for handball. 

The decisions by VAR and referee Martin Atkinson left Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp furious. “I think most people thought it was a foul [on Origi],” said the Anfield boss. “I am sure it was a foul. Mr Atkinson let the game go on because he knew we had VAR.” 

Today’s back pages

Liverpool boss Klopp blasts VAR and ‘snorey snorey’ Man Utd



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