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World champ Price all business in Blackpool

Watch all nine days of the World Matchplay, from Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens, starting on Saturday, July 17 and reaching its dramatic conclusion on Sunday, July 25 when the Phil Taylor Trophy will be awarded to the winner

Last Updated: 15/07/21 10:57am

Gerwyn Price is looking to add the prestigious World Matchplay crown to his ever-growing CV (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Gerwyn Price is looking to add the prestigious World Matchplay crown to his ever-growing CV (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Gerwyn Price may not have watched, but he waited. He wouldn’t allow himself to watch, not as the Premier League campaign unfolded without the world champion there to try and add to his haul of accolades.

The world No 1 kept his distance both physically and mentally after being ruled out due to a positive test for COVID-19, instead using the unplanned recess to plot his assault on an opportunity-rich second half of the darting calendar.

“I consider myself a big watcher of darts but I just couldn’t put myself through that, it was so frustrating for me, I watched one or two of Jonny’s games but that was it,” he told Sky Sports. “I couldn’t put it on and I was keeping myself busy, it just wasn’t for me to watch. As you can imagine it was frustrating.”

Price’s setback was cushioned by perhaps two positives: the first being a fairy-tale winning debut for fellow World Cup victor and Welsh compatriot Jonny Clayton; the second a bonus surge of fire to bolster his already-rampant pursuit of silverware.

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His absence in Milton Keynes not only prolonged the wait to be introduced as the reigning world champion on stage, but dealt an untimely disruption to his momentum at the oche.

Price wants to win everything, he had become used to winning next to everything, and suddenly he was powerless.

“I like to keep playing week in week out and that’s when you can play your best and be on top of your game but stop start all the time and having three months off while the Premier League was going on has been frustrating,” he added. “When I’m away in the Premier League and away on the Pro Tours that’s my match practice.

“I’m probably scoring better than anybody at the moment, it’s just because I haven’t played and I’m a little bit rusty those doubles have deserted me a little bit.”

The Welshman has clinched six titles and reached three finals, seven semi-finals and six quarter-finals in his last 37 appearances at a televised event. He has meanwhile won 49 and lost just 15 of his 64 games since beating Gary Anderson in the final of the World Darts Championship.

His consistency over the past 12 months unrivalled, his upward trajectory unrelenting, and yet he enters the World Matchplay looking to buck an unwanted trend.

Price arrives in Blackpool on the back of four successive first-round exits, a second-round defeat in 2016 and a quarter-final loss on debut in 2015.

Price looked unstoppable towards the end of 2020 (Image: Lawrence Lustig)

Price looked unstoppable towards the end of 2020 (Image: Lawrence Lustig)

Gerwyn Price’s World Matchplay record

Year Round Result
2020 1st Lost 10-7 to Danny Noppert
2019 1st Lost 13-12 to Stephen Bunting
2018 1st Lost 10-3 to Joe Cullen
2017 1st Lost 10-5 to Phil Taylor
2016 2nd Lost 11-5 to Adrian Lewis
2015 Quarter-finals Lost 16-7 to Peter Wright

For where it falls in the school calendar the Winter Gardens showpiece has always presented itself as an ideal opportunity for Price to take his wife and young daughters along for the ride, but in 2021 it is strictly business.

“I was watching a documentary on the football the other day and I listened to Sven-Goran Eriksson and he says you should never mix your professional life with your family life and over the past two or three years I’ve always taken my family away to Blackpool and it’s going to be a bit different this year, I’m going to be up there to play darts and it’s work only, no leisure for me this year,” he added.

“The Matchplay is the only event where my two daughters, my wife and my dad and my family comes and it can take your mind away from the job you’ve got in hand and that’s why I’m doing things a bit different this year.

“The kids are off school from Friday so they could well come up there with me but I just need to focus on what I’m doing. Obviously last year it was the first TV event without a crowd and it was a bit hard to get into, but I think I approached it wrong the last couple of years. Like I said, I just need to stop mixing professional life with my leisure life.”

“On the playing side of it, even though I haven’t done very well there the last couple of years it’s probably one of my favourite events to go to.”

Price ready for Blackpool return

It’s not uncommon for players to claim they approach every tournament with the same mentality, whether it be in front of thousands on stage or tucked away on the Pro Tour. When Price says it, you believe it.

He issued a reminder of that across last week’s four Super Series events, averaging a day-best 102.15 before losing to Stephen Bunting in Monday’s final followed by 102.38 as he was defeated by Wednesday’s eventual winner Ross Smith.

“People are playing out of their skin to beat me as well,” said Price. “I lost two games where I played really bad which were against Stephen Bunting and Boris (Krcmar), but leading up to the Stephen Bunting game I don’t think I went under a 103 average.

“That’s the problem, it’s consistently I’m firing averages like that and then I’ll drop down to a 90 and I’ve got to iron that out over the next couple of weeks ready for the Grand Slam and Worlds. If you slip up once them boys are good enough to topple you over.

“I don’t mind how other people play, sometimes the better people play the better I play, it brings the best out of me. Sometimes when people play rubbish it can drive you down.”

Price admits he lacks the kind of match practice he would have ideally liked, the odd loose double here or there last week maybe reflective of that. But this is the stage of the year he relishes.

Dimitri Van den Bergh beat Gary Anderson to win his first major title at the Matchplay last year (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Dimitri Van den Bergh beat Gary Anderson to win his first major title at the Matchplay last year (Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Awaiting him in round one is Jermaine Wattimena, who has stepped up as a late substitute following the withdrawal of Mensur Suljovic. Price’s reaction to a re-jig? Unsurprisingly, unfazed.

“The thing is if you start worrying about what other people are going to do that’s when you’re going to slip up,” he said. “I know 100 per cent in my own head I’m going to win, I tend to take every game exactly the same whether I play Jermaine Wattimena, Michael Van Gerwen, Peter Wright, I’m going in there to perform the best I can and I can’t control anything they do. I just need to concentrate on my own game.”

Price prefers watching rugby over football, but recently found himself struggling to enjoy the crowd-less British & Irish Lions action in South Africa, instead favouring the raucous atmosphere inside Wembley as England beat Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-finals.

He is relishing a similar vibrancy on stage on Blackpool, even if a tad apprehensive about a long-awaited return to darting normality as he previously knew it.

“It’s a little bit nerve-wracking because we haven’t had it in so long but the boys in the Premier League who got through to the latter stages have had the luxury of having a crowd there and they’re already warmed up to them,” said Price.

“I’m quite happy I’m playing on Saturday rather than Monday when they’re all back, just easing myself into it a bit!”

“It’s a totally different game no matter the sport when you’ve got the crowd, the atmosphere, even the boys that are playing the sport it brings that extra energy out of them.”

Price relishing the return of fans

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We’ll be live with regular updates from the World Matchplay, plus a full preview on the way soon

After a somewhat frustrating start to the year, the World Matchplay will also evoke memories of Price’s Alexandra Palace triumph when John McDonald welcomes him out as the champion of the world.

“I feel like a world No 1 and a world champ but it is going to be a bit better now with the crowd and with John calling me out because I haven’t had that yet where he called me out in front of a crowd,” he said.

“This week is probably going to be a bit more emotional than usual and especially when the Premier League starts next year and I get to do it in front of a Cardiff crowd. As soon as I get the feeling of him calling me out in front of the crowd it will start to sink in a bit.”

But sentiment will soon turn into steel as Price locks his eyes on a prize that cannot evade him forever.

“I’m in everything to win it,” he said. “If I play anything like I did at the weekend and take my opportunities I don’t think I can be beaten.”

Darts is back on your Sky Sports screens this month, with nine days of coverage from the iconic Winter Gardens and the World Matchplay – the action gets under way on Saturday July 17.

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This post originally posted here SkySports | News

Olympic champ Tony Ervin fails to advance at US swim trials

Ervin made history in 2016 as the oldest individual swimming champion in Olympic history.

OMAHA, Neb. — Reigning Olympic champion Tony Ervin failed to advance from the preliminaries of the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. swimming trials Saturday.

Ervin, who went by Anthony when he won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, returned for one more trials at age 40 knowing he had little chance of earning a spot on the team.

He merely wanted to get as far as the final, with hopes of passing the baton to the next generation of sprinters. But Ervin managed only the 23rd-fastest time in the morning heats at 22.61 seconds — 1.21 off his winning time five years ago.

The top 16 advanced to the evening semifinals.

Ervin was a two-time gold medalist in the 50 free, tying for the top spot at the 2000 Sydney Games before improbably returning 16 years later to claim another gold at 35 — the oldest individual swimming champion in Olympic history.

Caeleb Dressel was top qualifier at 21.29, while eight-time Olympic medalist Nathan Adrian shook off a disappointing performance in the 100 free to post the third-fastest time (21.85).

The 32-year-old Adrian must finish in the top two of the 50 to make his fourth Olympics team.

In another bounce-back performance, Simone Manuel was second-fastest in the preliminaries of the women’s 50 free at 24.56.

The 2016 Olympic champion in the 100 free stunningly failed to make it past the semifinals in that event, revealing afterward that she had been diagnosed with overtraining syndrome.

Like Adrian, Manuel’s only hope of making it back to the Olympics is to finish in the top two of the 50.

Abbey Weitzeil, who won the 100 free Friday night, was fastest in the 50 free prelims at 24.50.

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Ice queen Tuktamysheva reveals torn tights terror

Russian Olympic hopeful Elizaveta Tuktamysheva has recalled her horror when she took to the ice with “huge holes” in her tights that almost forced her to leave a competition, as well as discussing her dresses and future.

‘The Empress’ was mortified when she realized that her outfit was in tatters in front of the judges on one of her outings, feeling her toes breaking through the fabric with no time to change her dress, tights and skates.

Ever the professional, Tuktamysheva styled it out despite her alarm, with the 2021 world silver medalist using her customary calm to deal with the potential disaster.

“I think anyone in my situation would have panicked,” the 24-year-old told Sport Express. “There was a moment when my tights were badly torn before going out on the ice – they were super thin.

“There were practically no tights left. I was almost going to withdraw from the competition. I came out in shock, not understanding at all what was happening.

“But no-one noticed… even in the photographs it was not visible that something was torn there. I shouldn’t have been so worried.”

Known for her sleek and occasionally risque dresses, Tuktamysheva says her outfits tend to be turned out quickly. “You can make a dress in a week,” she explained.

“And sometimes even two days off, you can, if you really [work on it]. Our figure skating designers do their best.

“We decide together: I say my idea as I see it, my designer draws sketches. Then, according to the sketch, we choose. For the most part, we sew only with the designer.”

The huge question now is how long Tuktamysheva will be competitively dazzling in her dresses for. Returning in triumph at Stockholm, she sees a possible future in attempting to nurture future prodigies.

“Maybe I’ll be coach or somewhere in the media,” she said. “But I can definitely see myself as a coach for some time.

“We’ll see. I would be interested to try.

“I have already invested most of my life in figure skating. There is no way to get rid of it.”

Also on rt.com ‘A real boss woman’: Russian figure skating queen Elizaveta Tuktamysheva glows in glamorous dress after winning superwoman award

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‘Straight b****, you are’: McGregor teammate Danis calls out Bisping as ex-UFC champ brands him ‘little weasel attention wh*re’

UFC legend Michael Bisping has reignited a feud with Conor McGregor hanger-on Dillon Danis, branding the American a “little weasel attention wh*re” after he challenged the former middleweight champion to a street fight.

Bisping was on punditry duties for the UFC last night, where he called their Las Vegas fight card headlined by a clash between former light heavyweight challenger Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka.

Responding to a fan’s critical reply on Twitter, Bisping asked: “Why don’t you cry about it?”

This caused Bellator brawler Danis to pop up out of nowhere and threaten ‘The Count’ once more.

You cried when I called you out. Straight b****, you are. Wait until I see you in person,” Danis piped up, soon wiping his tweet to the amusement of both Bisping and fans alike. 

“He deleted this pretty quick. Dillon don’t want no smoke with Bisping,” quipped one, with a screenshot of the outburst. “Glad you caught it,” laughed Bisping. “That’s funny.

“That little weasel attention wh*re is really threatening me in a street fight?

“I don’t fight in the streets, certainly against little boys. But I’m undefeated on the mean streets of Clitheroe,” Bisping finished, referencing the sleepy little Lancashire town he grew up in 34 miles from Manchester. 

This is not the first time that the pair have been involved in a heated back-and-forth on social media. 

After Danis said he could “literally on god beat Jake Paul and Ben Askren in a boxing match back to back on the same night” ahead of their meeting which the YouTuber won by first round KO, Bisping waded in to row with the New York native. 

“A YouTuber, a wrestler and a jujitsu guy talking big about boxing is an insult to the sweet science,” he stated.

Changing his profile picture to a photo of Bisping being choked by Georges St-Pierre in their 2017 middleweight championship clash, Danis told Bisping to “stay in the commentary booth where it’s safe”, warning: “Otherwise you will need more than sweet science to fix what I would do to your other eye in a boxing ring, you t***.”

Dissecting Danis’ 2-0 career, Bisping replied: “Big words for an unproven fighter. The two – yes, only two – fighters you’ve faced have records of 2-5 and 2-4.

“Please, for the love of god, shut the f*** up and stop embarrassing yourself. Also, you had your MMA debut in 2018. It’s 2021. Three years, two fights? Go shine Conor’s shoes, you loser.”
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The Brit wasn’t done there.

Sharing a video of Danis losing a jiu-jitsu clash a follower had alerted him to, he asked: This you getting tapped out after running away, Dillon Danis?

“Can’t even win in grappling matches. Now go get your f***ing shine box,” he scoffed, quoting 1990 mafia hit movie Goodfellas.”

After Danis had taken a dig at welterweight title challenger Jorge Masvidal, Bisping blasted: “Imagine being so insecure about your own fight career, which is actually non-existent, that you have to constantly take shots at fighters outside of the promotion you’re in so you get clout and stay relevant.”
Also on rt.com ‘I eat a** for breakfast, lunch & dinner’: McGregor teammate Dillon Danis blames weight gain on model girlfriend (VIDEO)

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Jon Jones warns Ngannou to ‘pray he knocks him out’

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This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

The online war of words between Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou is showing no signs of abating, with the UFC light heavyweight legend lashing out again after the current heavyweight ruler mocked him as being “a decision fighter.”

Jones and Ngannou have been going back and forth in recent days despite UFC chief Dana White stating that a potential superfight between the pair is all but dead due to Jones’ financial demands.

That has not stopped the former longtime 205lbs champion from talking up his chances against Ngannou – who was crowned UFC heavyweight king with an explosive second-round KO of Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in March.

Jones is bulking up in a bid to step into the UFC heavyweight fold, and took umbrage at Ngannou after the African powerhouse said he would “take care of” Jones before turning his attentions to boxing and world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

After warning Ngannou that he would steam through the UFC heavyweight ranks “like dominos”, Jones had yet more words for the Cameroonian KO artist in his latest Twitter outburst.

“Pray you knock me out because if you don’t, I’m going to break you, and that’s a promise,” Jones wrote to a man who has finished his last five octagon opponents inside the first two rounds.

Ngannou, 34, responded to the threat with disdain, retorting: “Please don’t make me laugh. When is the last time you break somebody out?”

“You’re a decision fighter,” Ngannou added in a subsequent tweet. “And you’ve barely won a fight lately. But you’re going to break me out.”

Jones – who has seen seven of his past eight octagon victories come by way of the scorecards – did not take the remarks lying down.

“A decision fighter? I carried the record for most submissions in the light heavyweight division for many years my friend,” Jones fired back.

“You are what we call a one trick pony… every champion I’ve ever faced punched hard. I see right through you.”

“I would rather be a decision fighter than a last for two rounds fighter,” Jones added in another tweet.

“Honestly, I respect you and your story. I don’t feel the need to have to crush you in a verbal battle to what I’ve done to everyone since 2011…

“I’m just telling you now, if you want to start this Internet talk, be sure to keep it up. Most people that talk sh*t with me go quiet after a while. Everyone’s going to the first to smash Jon Jones, very popular theme,” added the 33-year-old.

Jones is yet to suffer a legitimate loss in 28 professional MMA contests, and famously became the UFC’s youngest ever champion when he won the light heavyweight title aged just 23 by beating Mauricio Rua a decade ago.

Success in the octagon has been followed by controversy outside of it – including run-ins with the law and doping authorities.

Jones last fought in February 2020 when he defended his title against Dominick Reyes, only to vacate it in August amid a pay row with the UFC.

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After Ngannou was crowned heavyweight champion, Jones demanded that the promotion “show him the money” to set up a superfight between the pair.

Talks stalled before they even got started, with UFC boss White accusing Jones of asking for a minimum of $ 30 million for the contest – something the fighter himself has disputed.

Instead, White has suggested heavyweight veteran Derrick Lewis will be the first title defense for Ngannou, who last week proudly displayed his belt on a tour of his homeland.

While fans might not get to see Ngannou and Jones meet in the octagon, in the meantime they are swinging hard at each other online.

Also on rt.com Jon Jones vs Dana White: It is failing UFC fans if mutual mistrust & resentment deprives us of Ngannou superfight

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UFC flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko

Fresh off a sensational win over Jessica Andrade at UFC 261, flyweight champion Valentina Schevchenko is eyeing fights with two-division champion Amanda Nunes in a trilogy bout or the recently dethroned Zhang Weili.

Of the two prospective punch-ups, it seems that MMA enthusiasts should not get their hopes up about the Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian facing her two-time Brazilian nemesis Nunes any time soon if president Dana White has anything to do with it.

Broached on the subject of a superfight between the two brawlers, UFC supremo White insisted they should have “their own legacies”.

“They fought a couple of times,” White told MMA Junkie after the sold-out Jacksonville card. “People can think whatever they want. There’s always going to be somebody else coming up [to challenge Shevchenko].

“There’s always a new contender. It’s not Valentina’s fault that she’s one of the all-time baddest women on this planet. So making her move up to 135 pounds just doesn’t make sense when she did it twice,” he added, in reference to Shevchenko challenging for Nunes’ bantamweight strap.

Admitting that it’s “not something” he is thinking about putting on, White revealed that he’d try to make a meeting happen if both of the fighters expressed a preference to face one another in the octagon.

Shevchenko echoes his sentiments. “If everything is going to be the same way [and] she continues to be successful and for me it’s the same, it’s going to happen naturally, without someone forcing it,” Shevchenko told MMA Junkie of a third clash with Nunes.

“When… this is the only one fight to make happen, I think it’s going to be even bigger then.”

Asked when she would fight again, Shevchenko answered: “End of summer”.

“I think that way I will have time to travel, to discover more places [and have] more interesting stuff to do and then prepare for the fight,” she went on, while opening the door to taking on recently-dethroned strawweight queen Zhang Weili.

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“If she wants to go to 125, who can stop her? Nobody can stop her. It’s her decision. It’s the same with Jessica Andrade.

“But she will have to have her fight to claim she’s ready for a title fight. This is how it’s supposed to be – but yeah, [I’m open to it].

“I assume she’s going to have a rematch with Rose [Namajunas] so that is what is going to be the next step. And after that, it is probably going to be something they will think about.”

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This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

UFC stunner Shevchenko shares footage of Hollywood icon Berry

UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko has revealed what Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry told her after her latest win, congratulating her, sharing a clip of the pair talking while UFC president Dana White watched on.

The scenes played out following the Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian’s latest victory in the octagon, producing a dominant victory before being congratulated by the icon she worked with on a movie, ‘Bruised’, which was directed by Berry last year.

Making a personal call after watching Valentina enjoy a brutal second-round TKO win against Jessica Andrade at UFC 261, the A-list actress can just be heard telling Shevchenko that she would have been on the front row if she could have attended, while the brawler thanks her for her kind words.

“The most amazing and inspirational person,” Shevchenko captioned the video, which was watched almost 500,000 times in less than 24 hours on Instagram. “Dear Halle, your friendship is priceless.”

Berry replied: “I love you, champ. You are my inspiration. You are the most focused and determined person I’ve ever met. And I can’t wait for the world to see what a movie star you are.”

Released soon on Netflix, Berry features in the film as disgraced aging MMA star Jackie Justice, who has to face an upcoming, rising star played by Shevchenko while also taking care of a complex custody issue relating to her six-year-old son.

As she explained to Jimmy Fallon in a well-received episode of the Tonight Show last year, Berry “broke some stuff” on set when shooting fight scenes.

I always get hurt, but I realized that, when you go hard, you’re bound to get hurt,” she explained. “When you do your own stunts, you’re bound to get hurt.

“In this movie, I was fighting the real UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. She had to throw some real kicks and I had to really take them, and that really broke some bones.

“She’s a beast but I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher, a better scene mate, a better fight partner. She just brought so much reality to it for me. At times, I felt like I was really fighting.

“Our referee that was in the movie is a real referee, and he says a couple times, ‘Man, I thought I was watching a real fight’ because she brought so much power and authenticity to our fight scenes.”

Inviting her director to cheer her on in a win against  Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 247, Shevchenko returned the compliment by claiming Berry could provide “competition” to other female fighters in MMA’s most competitive championship.

“We trained four hours a day with Halle, training non-stop” Shevchenko told Sports Illustrated.

“She did everything amazingly. For this movie, she started training MMA – Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, everything – two or three years ago.

“And she’s now in such a great shape that I can say she can be very [competitive] for girls in the UFC as well.

“I don’t know if she will want to be a fighter, but she has the skills and level… and you will see it when the movie is released.”

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Russian skater lands most difficult jumping combo

Russian skater Alena Zhilina, 11, easily lands the most difficult jumping combo of Olympic and world champ Alina Zagitova.

Russian figure skating prodigy Alena Zhilina has amazed fans and pundits by effortlessly landing one of the most difficult jumping combos – a triple lutz-triple loop, which is the signature element of ex-champ Alina Zagitova.

The 11-year-old rising star, who has been training in Evgeni Plushenko’s figure skating academy, nailed the combination during a training session, drawing praise from figure skating experts who hailed her remarkable technique.

The video of Zhilina’s successful attempt was shared by Plushenko, who said the talented skater is “polishing a difficult combination of jumps.

The lutz-loop combo is widely regarded as one of the most technically complicated elements – one that even experienced skaters don’t dare include in their programs.

Reigning Olympic champion Zagitova is one of the few to master the risky feat, which she has successfully executed at major international events.

Newly-crowned world champion Anna Shcherbakova also performs the combination during her programs, along with quads to substantially increase her technical score.

Zhilina is the younger sister of Veronika Zhilina, a promising athlete who has already established herself as one of the strongest skaters of her generation, having acquired quads and a triple axel despite her age.

Two weeks ago, Plushenko posted a video showing 12-year-old Veronika Zhilina landing a quad Salchow together with a triple toe loop.

Earlier, the skater stunned fans with her incredible technical skills, performing four triple axels in 30 seconds.

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‘Why would that be a bad thing?’ Djokovic vows to keep talking tennis politics as champ responds to Nadal’s claim he is ‘obsessed’

Serbian tennis great Novak Djokovic has reacted to comments from rival Rafael Nadal about his “obsession” with winning Grand Slams and setting new records, countering that he has never had problems with “verbalizing” his targets.

The world number one said that he doesn’t think he is obsessed with anything in life, adding that he feels only “passion and huge desire” to conquer new heights in tennis.

Of course, I want to win more Slams, yes,” world number three Nadal told Metro. “No doubt about that. But I never get – I mean, Novak is more obsessed about this, more focused,” 

Not in a negative way. No, he’s more focused on just these things and it means a lot to him, all of this stuff. He’s always saying and talking about these records, and well done for him. But it’s not my approach to my tennis career.”

Responding to the comments made by his rival, the 18-time Grand Slam winner said that he sees nothing bad in expressing the ambitions he sets for himself.

“I do not know why would that be a bad thing – not just in terms of records, but anything: politics in tennis, for instance,” Djokovic said during a press conference in Belgrade before the start of the Serbia Open.

I am going towards achieving my goals and I have never had a problem verbalizing it. Maybe someone cannot say something and then stick to it, but I never found it hard to say: ‘I want to break that record or reach a certain goal.’

I cannot speak on [Nadal’s] behalf – I do not know the way he thinks, but it is his right to voice an opinion, how he sees me in regards to records and so on.

“Personally, I do not feel that I am obsessed with anything in life; what I feel is passion and huge desire.”

The 33-year-old all-time great clinched his latest Grand Slam in February, defeating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Australian Open.

Last month, he set a new ATP record for the most weeks as world number one, surpassing Swiss superstar Roger Federer’s total.
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‘I’m so upset’: Paige Spiranac stunned by racism accusations as golf babe cops cancel culture for admiring Masters champ Matsuyama

Golf pin-up Paige Spiranac has lashed out after being met with faux outrage online over a harmless comment she made in relation to Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama, who stormed to victory at the Masters on Sunday.

The stunner took to Twitter on Sunday after Matsuyama clinched the iconic green jacket at Augusta, telling the Japanese hero that his victory was “well-deserved”.

Spiranac then offered a casual compliment towards the cuisine in Matsuyama’s homeland, igniting a far-fetched race storm in response.

“The menu for the champions dinner is going to be absolute fire next year”, said Spiranac, only to be immediately met by anger and finger-pointing.

“Paige, Thailand has the spicy food,” boomed one reader, using capital letters to tell Spiranac that she had made a racist comment. “Not Japan. But then they all look alike, right? Shame on you.”

Another felt Spiranac should “apologize to the entire Far East”, concluding: “If you don’t understand that her post is racist and offensive, you are part of the problem.”

Spiranac seemed shaken by the saga. “Honestly, it’s disgusting how everything gets twisted,” she hit back. “I made a comment about how amazing the menu will be next year because I love Japanese food.

“Most winners create menus to honor where they are from and I would expect Hideki to do the same.

“I don’t care if someone calls me a sl*t but to be called a racist is uncalled [for]. I would never and I’m honestly so upset about this.”

More rational readers were as confused as they were willing to defend the tee-loving titillator. 

“The comments on this tweet are the stupidest I’ve ever read,” said one. “People love to grasp at straws that just simply aren’t there.”
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