Will Zalatoris took inspiration from Steph Curry and received congratulations from movie star Adam Sandler after getting the monkey off his back with a memorable first PGA Tour triumph.

Having made a terrific clutch par at the final hole, Zalatoris defeated Sepp Straka in an eventful play-off to win the FedEx St. Jude Championship on Sunday.

After sinking his left-to-right putt from 10 feet at his 72nd hole, Zalatoris yelled "what are they gonna say now?" in a seeming reference to those who have questioned whether he has a strong enough putting game to win the big tournaments.

Zalatoris, who grew up in the Bay Area and later moved to Dallas, said it was an acknowledgement to Golden State Warriors star Curry, a big golf fan himself, who had uttered the same words when his team won the NBA title.

"I did say that," said Zalatoris.

"Yeah, you know, I'm a big Warriors fan and obviously Steph, he's a Cal Club guy, he's a pretty big inspiration obviously. I follow the Warriors like crazy and when he said that, it kind of related to kind of my journey so far.

"So being that close and then kind of being written off here and there and then obviously finally pulling off, it was – I actually can't believe I said that actually."

Zalatoris had been in danger of becoming golf's nearly man having lost play-offs at the Farmers Insurance Open and US PGA Championship, and tied for second at the U.S. Open.

"Yeah, it's kind of hard to say 'about time' when it's your second year on Tour, but about time," he added.

Zalatoris' win was made all the more impressive by the fact he had gone through the upheaval of changing caddies.

He opted to part with Ryan Goble midway through last week's Wyndham Championship, explaining how he did not want the stress of professional golf to put a strain on their friendship.

In his place came the experienced Joel Stock, who Zalatoris said had helped keep him in the moment.

"We tried to communicate as much as we possibly could Monday through Wednesday to make this adjustment as easy as possible," he said, 

"But you never know what it's going to be like until you're in the heat of the moment. Joel was really playing more sports psychologist today. He was awesome. He was ripping dad jokes the entire day to try to keep it loose, and they're terrible but it gave us some pretty good laughs and kept it light.

"When the moment needed to be serious he told me to focus on my breathing. He did an amazing job."

And after his special win, Zalatoris earned recognition from Sandler, a man who has previously interacted with the 25-year-old.

It was noted how Zalatoris bears a resemblance to the caddy for Sandler's 'Happy Gilmore' character.

Posting on Twitter, Sandler wrote: " Congrats Will! I’m happy for you! Happy’s happy for you! Enjoy it all!"

The Premier League is officially 30 years old.

On Saturday, August 15, 1992, the Premier League's inaugural season began with a packed schedule of 15:00 kick-offs.

Its foundation came as a result of clubs in the old First Division breaking away from the Football League in order to maximise their earning potential, with much of that initially focused around the possibility of lucrative TV rights deals.

As the Football Association (FA) had a strained relationship with the Football League at the time, the FA backed plans for the formation of the breakaway league, and in July 1991 the Founder Members Agreement was signed by the top-flight clubs.

While the Premier League fell under the auspices of the FA, the league was given economic independence from the governing body and the Football League, and that has been a major contributing factor in it becoming the behemoth we know in 2022.

Thirty years on, many believe it to be the best league in world football, and on this day it only seems right to take a trip down memory lane with a look at key records, stats and figures from the competition's three decades...

Managing expectations

This is classic 'pub quiz' territory: which manager has presided over the most Premier League games?

You know it's either Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, don't you? You probably end up going for the Manchester United icon because of his sheer longevity.

Alas, you'd be wrong.

Wenger took charge of 18 more Premier League games (828) than 'Fergie' before he brought his long Arsenal career to a close.

Nevertheless, Ferguson's 13 titles look unlikely to ever be matched. His closest rival in that respect is Pep Guardiola (four), with Wenger joined on three by Jose Mourinho.

Play on, player

Over the first 30 seasons of the Premier League, 4,488 players appeared in the competition at an average of 149.6 debutants per campaign.

If we ignore the inaugural and ongoing seasons for obvious reasons, the campaign with the most debutants was 2015-16 when 162 players made their Premier League bows.

Of the nearly 4,500 individuals to feature in the competition up to the start of the 2022-23 season, Gareth Barry sits clear with the most appearances (653), the last of which came during the 2017-18 season with West Brom.

It's a record that will take some beating, but if anyone's got a chance of toppling him, it's his former Manchester City team-mate James Milner.

The 36-year-old, now of Liverpool, is fourth on the all-time list with 589 outings.

Forever young

Everyone loves a 'wonderkid'. The Premier League has seen more than its fair share over the years, and some got started very, very young.

Mark Platts was the first 16-year-old to ever play in the Premier League when he made his Sheffield Wednesday debut in February 1996.

When Matthew Briggs came along 11 years later and featured for Fulham at 16 years and 68 days old, you'd have been forgiven for thinking his record would stand the test of time.

It lasted 12 years until another Fulham player shaved 38 days off Briggs' record – that player was Harvey Elliott. Now at Liverpool, the young midfielder looks set for a glittering career.

The name of the game

Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Wayne Rooney – when you think of Premier League goalscorers, these are probably the names that immediately spring to mind.

Well, you're wrong. You should be thinking about Andrew Johnson, Glen Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Roger Johnson et al.

Why? Because there are more players with the surname Johnson to have scored in the Premier League than any other surname.

There have been 21 of them to be exact, two more than the Williams clan.

Synonymous.

Get to the points

It's been a frustrating few (nine?) years for Man United fans, and this season has started in horrific fashion. But don't worry, folks, if you just look at the big (massive) picture, it'll definitely all feel much better.

United still sit top of the overall Premier League table with 2,366 points, giving them a healthy 219-point cushion over second-placed Arsenal.

Manchester City may have won four of the past five league titles, a feat only United had achieved before them in the Premier League, but the real story is that they're way back on 1,635 Premier League points.

Yo-yo with the flow

To be fair, almost every single one of you knows what's coming here.

You guessed it, Norwich City's relegation from the last season makes them the yo-yoingest (yes, we've just made that up) club in Premier League history.

That was their sixth relegation to go with their five promotions to the top flight since 1992, taking them one clear of West Brom, who have the same number of ascensions but only five demotions to their name.

I love goals, goals, goals, goals

Of course, Shearer remains the Premier's League all-time leading scorer with 260, 52 more than Wayne Rooney in second.

But Harry Kane looks to be in with a chance of usurping both England greats – in fact, another solid season could take him beyond 200 as his header against Chelsea on Sunday took him to 184.

Kane also appears among the very best goalscoring combinations in the competition's history as he and Son Heung-min have linked up for 41 goals – that's five more than Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard as the next-best.

As for high-scoring matches, there have been three Premier League games that have finished with a nine-goal margin – two were achieved by Man Utd (9-0 v Southampton in February 2021, and v Ipswich Town in March 1995) and Leicester City managed it in October 2019, also crushing Saints 9-0.

Do call it a comeback

Your team's trailing 2-0, you're despondent and bereft of hope. But then, out of nowhere, you've got a goal back. Then the equaliser. And then, just when you'd convinced yourself "this draw feels like a win", a third goes in, and it's pandemonium.

There are few more satisfying situations in football than when you team produces such a turnaround – the despair you were feeling earlier only makes your full-time jubilation that bit more intense.

The biggest such turnarounds that led to wins all involved teams coming back from three goals down. Leeds United, Wimbledon and Wolves have all managed it in 4-3 victories, while Man United beat Spurs 5-3 from 3-0 down.

No team have done so since Wolves in October 2003, although Newcastle United certainly deserve a special mention – they are the only team to find themselves 4-0 down and avoid defeat. Their 4-4 draw with Arsenal in February 2011 remains a Premier League classic.

Stop the clock!

Here's another for the pub quiz enthusiasts: who scored the quickest goal in Premier League history?

Netting just 7.69 seconds into an April 2019 game between Southampton and Watford, Shane Long opened the scoring to break a 19-year record that had been set by Spurs defender Ledley King.

To put that into context, it'd take you longer to read that sentence. It was also quicker than Usain Bolt's world-record time in the 100 metres (9.58 seconds).

The latest goal ever is maybe a less notable record, but it nonetheless belongs to Bruno Fernandes, who in September 2020 scored a penalty after 99 minutes and 45 seconds to seal United a dramatic 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion – yes, that's the game when the Seagulls hit the woodwork a record five times.

As for the quickest hat-trick, that was scored by Sadio Mane for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015, with his first and third goals separated by just two minutes and 56 seconds.

New Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels gushed over the atmosphere during his first game at Allegiant Stadium, where his side defeated the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 on Sunday.

With the established stars all sitting out, Raiders backup quarterbacks Nick Mullens and Jarrett Stidham both performed well, with Mullens going seven-for-nine for 94 yards and a touchdown, while Stidham completed 10-of-15 passes for 68 yards, also adding 16 yards and a rushing touchdown with his legs.

In a game that featured veteran receivers Demarcus Robinson, Keelan Cole and Mack Hollins, it was rookie D.J. Turner who stood out for the Raiders, with 58 yards and a touchdown while catching three of his four targets.

Over 61,000 packed into Allegiant Stadium for their first taste of competitive football this season, and McDaniels said he had never seen anything like it for what is essentially a meaningless game.

"This was a special day," he said. "I've been around a lot of preseason games over 22 years, and I don't remember one feeling like this.

"The reception from our fans – getting to know Raider nation the way that you see them now – it's just different.

"I've competed against them a handful of times in my time in the NFL, but to now be on the same side, you understand why it is what it is.

"I'm lucky and blessed to be the head coach here. That is the best atmosphere in a preseason game that I've ever been a part of, and that's easy to say that, clearly.

"I can't wait to play another time in here, and then get to the regular season and have the opportunity to do it for real in regular games, but what a great, passionate fanbase we have. To have the girls here, and my son on the sideline, it's a special day."

In the wake of Tottenham's last-gasp 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Sunday, Spurs boss Antonio Conte poked fun at the situation after both he and Thomas Tuchel were shown red cards.

The game featured a number of twists and turns, with Chelsea feeling they had won the game when Reece James put them 2-1 ahead in the 77th minute, only for Tottenham to snatch a point deep into stoppage time through a Harry Kane equaliser.

After the final whistle sounded and the managers came together to shake hands, Tuchel refused to let go, indicating he did not appreciate Conte's lack of eye-contact, sparking an exchange where the pair had to be separated, and both were shown red cards.

When queried about the altercation after the game, Tuchel insisted that "it's between two competitors and nothing bad happened" and implied things were being blown out of proportion.

Conte said he believes the video of the situation exonerates him from any blame, and even implied the next time these sides meet there may not be a handshake, saying "next time we will pay more attention and don't shake the hands and we solve the problem… he stays in his bench, I stay in my bench, with my staff on one side and no problem about this."

He added: "For sure I am not passive. If I see aggressivity, then my answer is with aggressivity, but I repeat this is not a problem."

In the hours after the match, Conte took to Instagram to post a story of Tuchel running down the sideline while celebrating James' go-ahead goal to make light of the situation, captioning it: "Lucky I didn't see you… making you trip over would have been well deserved" followed by three laughing smiley faces, indicating it is meant with a tongue-in-cheek tone.

Chelsea will make the trip to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the return fixture on February 25.

Drew Rasmussen retired the first 24 batters he faced on Sunday consecutively, before losing his perfect game bid in the ninth inning of the Tampa Bay Rays’ 4-1 home win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Rasmussen was three outs from the first perfect game in franchise history before Baltimore’s Jorge Mateo doubled down the left-field line on the first pitch of the ninth inning.

The 27-year-old right-hander faced two more hitters, one of which reached first base on a wild pitch after striking out, before being relieved by Jason Adam with one out. Rasmussen also threw a wild pitch earlier in the inning that allowed Mateo to score the Orioles’ lone run.

Rasmussen finished with seven strikeouts while yielding just the one hit in eight-and-a-third innings – his longest outing in the majors.

"I mean, I’ll take it," he said after the game. "I wouldn’t say it was disappointing. I came that close, and very few can say they’ve done that, too."

It is the second time in Rays history they have carried a perfect game into the ninth inning. Ryne Stanek and Ryan Yarbrough combined to retire the first 24 Baltimore hitters before having that bid also foiled with none out in the ninth against the Orioles on July 14, 2019.

The victory moved Tampa Bay one-and-a-half games ahead of the Orioles for the third and final wild card spot in the American League

Future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols turned back the clock in the St Louis Cardinals' 6-3 win against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, connecting on two long home runs.

It was a game where every run came via the long-ball, with Brewers outfielder Hunter Renfroe getting things started as he blasted a two-run homer in the second inning.

The Brewers would not score again until the ninth frame as Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas put in a terrific performance, giving up two runs from four hits and no walks in eight complete innings, striking out six.

With the bat, the Cardinals registered their first tally later in the second when Pujols sent a 392-foot lead-off shot over the left-field wall, and after three innings of scoreless baseball, Tyler O'Neill tied the game at 2-2 with a 420-foot moonshot to center-field.

Heading into the eighth inning with the scores tied, Dylan Carlson was the next to connect on a home run – the shortest of the game at 373 feet – and after an infield single to O'Neill and a walk to NL MVP favourite Paul Goldschmidt, Pujols stepped back up to the plate and launched a 443-foot nuke to left.

The 443-foot blast from Pujols was his longest of the season, and more than 20 feet further than any of his home runs that he hit in last month's Home Run Derby. He is only the third player in MLB history to have more than one game with multiple home runs after turning 42 years old – along with Barry Bonds and Carlton Fisk – and his 63 career multi-homer games is the fifth most ever.

With the win, the Cardinals opened up a one-and-a-half game lead over the Brewers atop the NL Central.

Yankees go down at Fenway Park

The New York Yankees have now lost four series in a row after being shut-out by the Boston Red Sox 3-0 on Sunday night.

It was a starring performance on the mound from Red Sox starter Michael Wacha in his return from injury, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out nine batters in seven innings.

Despite the Yankees only collecting two hits total for the night, the game was locked at 1-0 until the sixth inning when Red Sox star Rafael Devers – who many consider the future of the franchise – gave his side some breathing room with a 433-foot, two-run home run.

The Yankees still hold a 10-game lead in their division, but now trail the Houston Astros by two-and-a-half games for the best record in the American League.

Estrada walks it off for the Giants

Thairo Estrada treated the San Francisco Giants home fans to a walk-off home run as they defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7.

In the back-and-forth contest, the Giants jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but the Pirates came storming back to lead 6-5 after a massive 442-foot, three-run homer from Bryan Reynolds in the seventh inning. Reynolds would finish the game three-for-four at the plate with five RBIs.

The Giants evened things up later in the seventh, before the Pirates were able to grab a lead in the ninth inning due to a fielding error, but they got away with it as Estrada delivered the winning blow with one out.

Will Zalatoris held his nerve for a clutch par putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, setting up a dramatic three-hole showdown where he defeated Sepp Straka to claim his first career PGA Tour win.

Straka came into Sunday's final round at 12 under – one stroke off leader J.J. Spaun – while Zalatoris was one shot further back at 11 under with Cameron Smith. When Spaun imploded, going on to shoot Sunday's worst round with a 78, and Smith was handed a two-stroke penalty prior to his round for an illegal drop earlier in the tournament, the field fell away and left just Straka and Zalatoris at the top.

Zalatoris continued to shed his reputation as a poor putter, and he did so in the biggest moments, draining a must-make 10-footer on the last hole to finish his tournament at 15 under, where he and Straka were three strokes clear of the pack – and the playoff was anything but boring.

On the first playoff hole – the 18th, which was playing as the toughest hole on the course – both players reached the green in regulation, and while neither were in true birdie range, Zalatoris had a significantly longer distance to cover. But he showed why he was ranked number one for lag putting this week and was able to tap-in from a foot to head to the second hole.

Replaying the 18th, Zalatoris' tee shot hit the cart path, seemingly handing Straka the tournament, but then Straka put his tee shot so close to the water's edge that he opted to take the penalty instead of trying to hack one out with a foot in the water.

Straka pulled off what would usually be a title-winning approach shot, taking an aggressive line and landing six feet from the hole, but due to the penalty stroke it allowed Zalatoris to chip back out into the fairway and bring his approach to just over 10 feet, where he would sink another incredibly gutsy putt to extend things to a third playoff hole.

After losing two playoffs this season, Zalatoris would have felt the trophy slipping out of his hands when his tee shot on the par-three 11th hole found the rock wall on the fringe of the water. He was not in the water, but the shot was unplayable, meaning a par would give Straka the win – and then Straka landed in the water.

The Austrian's next shot sailed over the green into the bunker, while Zalatoris' second try at his approach was perfect, giving himself another seven-footer for the win, and he made no mistakes.

With the win, Zalatoris avoided becoming the player with the most prize money in a season without a victory, raising his season earnings to over $9million in the process with his $2.7m winner's cheque.

American duo Lucas Glover and Brian Harman finished tied for third at 12 under, while Spain's Jon Rahm, England's Matt Fitzpatrick and Australia's Adam Scott were part of the seven-man group tied for fifth at 11 under.

After his two-stroke penalty, Cameron Smith finished at nine under with rising star Joo-hyung 'Tom' Kim, with Viktor Hovland at eight under, and Wyndham Clark snuck into the next round of the playoffs as his seven under finish moved him up to exactly 70th in the FedEx Cup standings.

Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga failed to show the quality they have done in training during Real Madrid's 2-1 win at Almeria on Sunday, according to boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Madrid fell behind to Largie Ramazani's early strike at the Power Horse Stadium in their opening LaLiga game of the season, but they drew level thanks to Lucas Vazquez's goal in the 61st minute.

They then sealed all three points with 15 minutes remaining when substitute David Alaba curled a sumptuous free-kick past Fernando Martinez from 25 yards with his first touch.

Tchouameni, who joined from Monaco in June for a fee that could rise to €100m, and Camavinga started alongside Toni Kroos in midfield, but both struggled to make an impact.

Camavinga was replaced by Luka Modric at half-time, while Tchouameni did not last an hour before he was substituted for Eden Hazard.

Neither player made more than a single key pass – well short of the team-high four that was achieved by three other players – with Ancelotti suggesting the pressure of playing for such a prestigious club affected the pair.

"For me, [Antonio] Rudiger played a good game," he told Movistar.

"The youngsters didn't play like they usually do. For what they do in training they deserve to play. They haven't done anything wrong, but they can do better.

"They are young and the shirt is heavy. It is a toll we pay, but we pay it with pleasure.

"I removed Camavinga because he had a card and could be a danger in a team that played on the break.

"It was normal to suffer, because we've complicated the game with a defensive error. From then on it has cost us a lot."

Hazard has endured a torrid time with injuries since he joined from Chelsea in July 2019, but the Belgium international is hoping to play an important role this season. 

Ancelotti is not sure where his best position will be, given Vinicius Junior's continued brilliance on the left of the front three, but the Italian expects him to feature regularly. 

Asked where his best position is, Ancelotti said: "I don't know, I have to think about it. Hazard is a midfielder. We have to bear in mind that Vini really likes the wing.

"Today he tried to find a lot of the right central defender, where the spaces were very small. Hazard when he came on was good, he's training well and I think he's going to have minutes this season."

Pablo Carreno-Busta came back from a set down to mount a superb comeback against Hubert Hurkacz and win the first ATP 1000 event of his career on Sunday.

The Spaniard became the first unseeded player to win the tournament since Guilhermo Canas in 2002 after weathering an early storm to shock the eighth seed 3-6 6-3 6-3 in Montreal.

Having come through a gruelling semi-final encounter with Dan Evans to reach his first ATP 1000 final in singles, the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist struggled to deal with his opponent's impressive slew of aces in the first set, and saw his serve broken in the sixth game.

But a ruthless start to the second set saw Carreno-Busta break early, racing out to a 3-0 lead and holding his nerve to keep the gap to his Polish opponent, who was chasing a second ATP 1000 crown.

World number 10 Hurkacz attempted to rally with a fine start to the third set, but another loss of serve effectively stalled his momentum and Carreno-Busta was able to take the victory.

The result marks a much-needed boost for Carreno-Busta, who suffered first-round exits at the French Open and Wimbledon after making the last-16 in Australia, with the U.S. Open set to start later this month.

Substitute David Alaba scored a stunning free-kick with his first touch as Real Madrid started their LaLiga title defence with a 2-1 turnaround win over Almeria on Sunday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side started poorly at the Power Horse Stadium in Andalusia, and fell behind inside the opening 10 minutes courtesy of a clinical finish from former Manchester United youth player Largie Ramazani.

Madrid struggled to find a way past an inspired Fernando Martinez in the Almeria goal, before Lucas Vazquez, who had an effort ruled out in the first half for offside, eventually pulled Madrid level shortly after the hour mark.

Alaba replaced Ferland Mendy in the 74th minute and with his first touch curled a sumptuous free-kick past Fernando from 25 yards to seal all three points.

Madrid's defence was caught out in just the sixth minute when Ramazani latched onto Inigo Eguaras' superb ball over the top and fired past Thibaut Courtois from just inside the penalty area.

At five minutes and 50 seconds, that was the quickest goal Madrid have conceded on the opening day of a league season since Sergio Aguero scored against them for Atletico Madrid in August 2007.

Los Blancos had a whopping 17 shots before the interval, yet a combination of smart goalkeeping from Fernando and uncharacteristically wasteful finishing from Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior prevented them from finding a leveller.

Fernando continued to frustrate Madrid after the break, denying Benzema with a fine save, but he was eventually beaten in the 61st minute when Vazquez slammed home after the Almeria goalkeeper had kept out Vinicius' effort. 

Alaba then ensured Madrid went back to the capital with maximum points, whipping past a helpless Fernando immediately after entering the action.

What does it mean? Madrid bounce back to deny plucky hosts

Almeria had won just one of their 12 games against Madrid in LaLiga prior to Sunday's clash, but they looked like they might earn a famous victory thanks to Ramazani's early strike and some inspired goalkeeping from Fernando.

Vasquez and Alaba had other ideas, though, as Los Blancos stretched their unbeaten run on the opening day of LaLiga to 14 games.

Alaba's instant impact

Alaba did not need to settle into the action before dispatching a glorious free-kick past Fernando with his first touch. That goal meant he is one of only two players, alongside Real Betis' Nabil Fekir, to have scored two goals from free-kicks in LaLiga since the start of last season.

Fantastic Fernando

Fernando can consider himself exceptionally unlucky to have finished on the losing side. The 32-year-old made an incredible 13 saves to frustrate the visitors, but there was little he could do about Madrid's two decisive strikes.

What's next?

Madrid are away at Celta Vigo on Saturday, while Almeria visit Elche two days later. 

Serena Williams is "one of the greatest of all time", says fellow tennis legend Rafael Nadal as the 23-time grand slam winner prepares to hang up her racquet.

The 40-year-old, one of the most decorated players in the history of the sport, signalled her intent to "evolve away" from the game in an interview with Vogue Magazine earlier this month, hinting at her retirement following the U.S. Open in September.

With just shy of two-dozen grand slam singles titles, Williams trails only Margaret Court for the all-time record of 24 crowns, and could equal her in her farewell appearance.

Nadal, meanwhile, lies one behind her after victory in the Australian Open and French Open this year took him clear of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to 22, though the former's win at Wimbledon has seen him close the gap again.

The duo are set to feature at this week's Western and Southern Open, where Williams will face incumbent U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu, and the Spaniard - who will mark his return from injury - has nothing but praise for his fellow giant of the game.

"She is one of the greatest sports [people] of all time," he stated. "I feel lucky to share a tour for a long period of time with her.

"Of course, from a selfish point of view, it's sad that she's leaving the tour but, on the other hand, we can't thank her enough for all the things that she did for our sport.

"I think she's an amazing inspiration for a lot of people around the world and I think she deserves to choose whatever works for her better at this stage of her life.

"So I wish her all the best. Hopefully, we can keep seeing her around the tour because I always believe that our sport, or the sport in general, is bigger and better when legends are around and she is a legend.

"Hopefully, we can enjoy her in a different way around the tour."

Nadal was forced to withdraw ahead of the Wimbledon semi-finals earlier this year with an abdominal tear, and now faces a potentially nervy run through to the U.S. Open in terms of fitness.

But the 36-year-old is cautiously optimistic, adding: "I hope to be ready. That's what I'm trying to do. Try to be a little more conservative, but I hope I can be ready to play.

"Of course, I need some more days to analyse how things are going in terms of abdominal feeling.

"But things are going well for the moment, so hopefully I can manage to be ready. I'm excited. I want to play tennis again on the tour. I'm having a good season, I'm enjoying it, so I want to enjoy this week in Cincinnati."

Thomas Tuchel does not want referee Anthony Taylor to officiate a Chelsea game again, with the Blues boss left furious after his side's 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

An ill-tempered encounter at Stamford Bridge looked set for a victory for the hosts after goals for Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece James, despite Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's response.

But a last-gasp Harry Kane header earned a draw for Spurs, with the full-time whistle marked by an aggressive confrontation between Tuchel and opposite number Antonio Conte.

Both men were shown red cards by Taylor, but much of the German's ire stemmed from his belief that the referee failed to spot a number of incidents, including an alleged offside before Tottenham's first goal and an apparent foul on Marc Cucurella by Cristian Romero prior to the late equaliser.

Speaking after the game, Tuchel suggested it was far from an isolated number of Chelsea fans who felt Taylor made mistakes during their matches.

"I don't think just some of the fans think that," he stated. "I can assure you the whole dressing room of us, every single person, thinks that. 

"I can't understand how the first goal is not offside and I can't understand how when a player is pulled by their hair, the other player stays on the pitch."

Asked whether he would prefer Taylor not to oversee Chelsea's matches, Tuchel concurred, though he also pointed to the VAR official as equally culpable for the decision-making process.

"Maybe it would be better, maybe it would be better," he added. "But honestly we also have VAR, to help make the right decisions.

"Since when can players have their hair pulled, since when is that? And if he does not see it I don't blame him – I didn't see it.

"We have people at VAR who check this, and then you see it. And how can this not be a free-kick, and then a red card? How?

"This does not even have to do with the referee in this case. If he does not see something that's why we have people to check if this is a decisive error or not."

Tuchel failed to spot his own post-game dismissal for his part in the fracas with Conte, and made clear his displeasure that he faces a touchline ban, adding sarcastically: "So good - I cannot coach but the referee can whistle the next game."

Sadio Mane is a "top player" who "you can only sit back and watch", says Bayern Munich team-mate Alphonso Davies after Sunday's 2-0 win over Wolfsburg.

The Senegal international, who arrived from Liverpool ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season, has made an instant impact at his new home, setting the Bundesliga alight with his performances.

A superb league debut in a 6-1 rout of Eintracht Frankfurt last week saw him get himself on the scoresheet, and only a VAR intervention stopped him from finding it again this weekend.

But even without another goal to his name, Mane - who fired the Reds to a domestic cup double last term and his country to Africa Cup of Nations glory, plus World Cup qualification - has left his team-mates impressed.

"Sadio Mane, you see this guy, he's a top player," Davies told the Bundesliga's official website. "He's hard-working, he's fast, we try to get the ball to him as much as possible because he's a very quick guy.

"He's a good player. We're happy to have him here. He feels good in the team and as you can see, the performances he's [shown] lately, you can only just sit back and watch."

Dayot Upamecano also offered high praise for the forward, adding: "We know he's a very big player, he's helping us a lot. We're all very happy he's here.

"He gave me tips about a lot of things. He's one of the best players in the world and everyone of us is happy that he's here."

With two wins from two to start the new season, Bayern are flying in defence of their Bundesliga crown, one they earned last year despite a string of so-so performances and a frustrating Champions League campaign.

But Davies feels they have turned a page this term for Julian Nagelsmann's sophomore season, adding: "This year, we have a mindset that we want to keep.

"Last year wasn't too ideal for us in [the] competitions but this year, we have some new faces [and] fresh legs. It's the beginning of the season, you want to keep this momentum going. We're just enjoying playing football."

Simona Halep secured victory against Beatriz Haddad Maia in the Canada Open final on Sunday, though was given a tougher test than she had otherwise experienced throughout the tournament.

The Romanian was a 6-3 2-6 6-3 victor, dropping a set for only the second time in the week, but standing firm in the clash that clocked in at over two hours.

That meant records for Haddad Maia, who has played the most WTA-level matches with three sets in 2022 (20) and spent over 12-and-a-half hours on the court at the Canada Open in 2022, more than any other player in a single WTA tournament this year.

Wimbledon semi-finalist Halep proved to be a step too far for the Brazilian, however, with the win marking her most significant honour since winning in Rome in 2020.

It was far from a vintage performance from the 30-year-old, who had nine double-faults in the match compared to Haddad Maia's two and left the door open for the South American - who was vying for victory in her first ever WTA 1000 event.

Halep had already clinched a return to the world top 10 by reaching the final in Toronto, the first time since her 373-week stint ended just over a week ago - which led to admissions that she considered calling it quits amid her decline.

A valiant comeback in 2022 has been one of the major stories of the calendar year though and, on the back of victory in Canada and a semi-final march at Wimbledon, will have high hopes for the U.S. Open.

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