Gleison Bremer revealed Juventus greats Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have been invaluable sources of advice since he joined the Bianconeri, as he targeted a spot in Brazil's squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

Having been named Serie A's 2021-22 Defender of the Year while starring for Torino, Bremer joined Juve in a reported €40million move after Matthijs de Ligt was sold to Bayern Munich last month.

Bremer led the way across Europe's top five leagues for interceptions last season (105), as well as making more recoveries (284) and winning more aerial duels (132) than any other Serie A player.

The Brazilian has taken Chiellini's number three shirt after he departed for Los Angeles FC, and is doing his best to learn from both him and current Juve skipper Bonucci as the Bianconeri target a first Serie A title since 2019-20.

"I spoke with Giorgio Chiellini - he has been one of the best Italian defenders," Bremer told a news conference on Thursday. 

"He told me I could take his number three shirt, so I followed his suggestion. 

"Since I arrived, I have looked to Leonardo Bonucci for advice, and as captain he has certainly been helping me out.

"We are concentrating on starting the season strongly against Sassuolo on Monday. This year we are all focused on putting the club back on track. We want to win at Juventus - this is a club where I can compete for important titles.

"It's a club that aims to win, to be at the top, so it was the right thing to join Juve.

"Being at Juve means setting your sights high. We want to do well in the Champions League, but we must first focus on Serie A."

 

Despite his eye-catching performances in Italy, Bremer has yet to be handed a call-up by Brazil, who are looking to end a 20-year wait for World Cup success in Qatar later this year.

As the 25-year-old highlighted the role played by compatriots Danilo and Alex Sandro in advising him to join Juve, he set his sights on making a late bid for the Selecao's squad for the tournament.

"It won't be simple here because it's not easy to play for Juventus, but I knew there were Brazilians here and this helped me make my decision," he added.

"I spoke to Danilo and Alex Sandro and they were helpful in making up my mind, and they have helped me settle in straight away. 

"Also, playing for Juventus will help me aim for the World Cup."

Juventus begin their 2022-23 Serie A campaign at home to Sassuolo on Monday.

Chelsea's bids for Wesley Fofana have come "nowhere near" Leicester City's valuation of the defender, according to Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers.

Since Chelsea missed out on Jules Kounde to Barcelona last month, they have been credited with a strong interest in Leicester's 21-year-old central defender.

Fofana made just seven Premier League appearances for the Foxes last campaign after suffering a fibula fracture, but impressed when playing 28 league games as Leicester finished the previous season in fifth.

It has been suggested Chelsea could break the world-record fee for a defender – currently the £80million paid by Manchester United for Harry Maguire – with a move for Fofana, as reports claim the Blues have already seen two offers knocked back.

And Rodgers insisted no satisfactory offer has been tabled as he claimed another season at the King Power Stadium would benefit Fofana.

"There were two [bids], but nowhere near what the club would consider," Rodgers told a news conference on Thursday.

"We're not looking to sell. Naturally if there's interest from other clubs, that is looked at by the club. He's a top young defender and there are not too many around his age.

"Another year for him at least [at Leicester] would be really important for his development. Wesley is quite calm on the situation. He is aware of the interest. He's just getting on with his work.

"It can affect the whole group if you don't manage it. You have to keep your eye on the ball. But everyone is focused on doing their best in games for Leicester City."

Fofana started as part of a three-man defence as Leicester began their Premier League campaign with a 2-2 draw against Brentford last Sunday. 

Meanwhile, Leicester have allowed long-serving goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to join Nice and remain the only Premier League side without a senior addition in the transfer window.

And Rodgers concedes the club must sell to buy as they look to rebalance their squad, telling the BBC's Kammy and Ben's Proper Football Podcast: "Now the expectation is so high that eighth doesn't seem where we should be.

"We will continue to push but we don't have the resources. This season will be a season for us where we try to balance the books.

"Most big teams, you can see they go out and are able to spend big again. We haven't been able to do that, we are trying to balance our books.

"My concentration is on the players we have. Players are developing and improving and then we'll see how far up the table we get. We'll not set any targets now but we'll enjoy the journey and see where it takes us."

Raheem Sterling believes Chelsea are "tailor-made" for him, while adding he did not consider prior abuse from supporters as a strike against the club after his Stamford Bridge arrival.

Ex-Manchester City stalwart Sterling ended a seven-year spell with the Premier League champions to make the move to Thomas Tuchel's side ahead of the new campaign.

Under Pep Guardiola, the 27-year-old played a part in multiple domestic triumphs, and further enshrined himself as a fixture in Gareth Southgate's England squad.

But a reduced role last term, with just 23 top-flight starts, has seen him push on for a more expansive role elsewhere - and Sterling feels he has found the right answer to his problems with Chelsea.

"As a person, you strive to achieve," the forward told a news conference. "I felt my playing-time at City was being limited for different reasons and I could not afford to waste time.

"At first, I had a few options, but this was the one that was tailor-made for my personal goals. It made a lot of sense for my family and with the direction of the club.

"I have a lot of memories and top moments at City but in the year and a bit that I was in and out of the team it made me value a lot of things."

Sterling has previously weathered racial abuse from sections of the Chelsea fanbase during his days with City, but the forward stated he had forgotten the incident when quizzed on whether it played a part in his decision-making.

"No, that is the first time I [have] even remembered it," he added. "It was nothing that played on my mind at all. I cannot let an incident from individuals reflect on the club."

Sterling will hope to cement his place in Southgate's plans for the Qatar 2022 World Cup over the coming months, having been a key member of the Three Lions team that reached the semi-finals at Russia 2018 four years ago.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier expressed his intention to sign a new forward before the close of the transfer window.

The Ligue 1 champions have signed Hugo Ekitike from Reims but saw Angel Di Maria depart on a free transfer, while Galtier confirmed Arnaud Kalimuendo is closing in on a move to Rennes.

PSG may still have Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi to lead the line, but a long and gruelling season – which is complicated by the World Cup in Qatar – has Galtier wanting to increase the depth in his attack.

"Yes, we would like to bring in another forward. We have a very busy schedule, so we would like to bring someone in," he told a news conference ahead of Saturday's Ligue 1 clash against Montpellier.

"The club is working hard on that. I am in constant contact with Luis Campos [PSG football advisor], the board and the president. We must not make any mistakes. We must not rush things. We have to do something realistic.

"There are no guarantees. I know the club won't sign anyone for the sake of it. It would need to be someone who can really bring something to the squad and that is what the club are working on."

Another forward edging towards the exit is Mauro Icardi, with Galtier adding that the club are exploring options for the Argentina international regarding a transfer. 

"It has not been easy. His absence from the squad last week was down to a sporting choice, I saw him at the start of the week to say that I am going to make the squad smaller. I am not going to work with 25 players," Galtier explained.

"Whether he has offers that he might like, I don't know. The club is working on that, we're working with Icardi to find the best possible solution. He had very little playing time last season and I think it is important for him to do that.

"Whether he wants to play in the Champions League specifically, I don't know. In the interest of the club, we want him to find the best solution, which is a club where he can show his quality.

"He has had a tough couple of years and with his experience playing somewhere different and having a better atmosphere, that might allow him to get his career going again."

Former North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green, who guided the club to a maiden NRL Premiership, has died suddenly aged 49.

The ex-halfback, who enjoyed a prolific playing career across five different clubs before hanging up his boots and moving into the coaching box, is reported to have been found in his home in Brisbane on Thursday.

Green, who also played for and coached Queensland in State of Origin, was a beloved figure in Townsville, where he led the Cowboys to their greatest heights during a six-and-a-half year spell between 2014 and 2020.

In just his sophomore season, he led them from a third-place regular season finish to a first league crown, defeating rivals Brisbane Broncos in the first all-Queensland Grand Final in a 17-16 thriller.

In addition, he guided them to the 2016 World Club Challenge crown against Leeds Rhinos, and was a two-time NRL Nines winner, in 2014 and 2020.

Green had been out of a position since resigning as Queensland boss last September following a lone series in charge of the Maroons, but had been tipped to return to the sport next year.

Laura Robson has hailed Serena Williams as the "greatest of all time" following the announcement of her retirement.

The 23-time grand slam winner confirmed on Tuesday she would be retiring from the court ahead of the US Open, which is now widely expected to be her final appearance at a major tournament.

Williams, who also boasts 14 doubles victories in grand slam events alongside her sister Venus, bid an emotional farewell to Toronto after her second-round defeat at the Canada Open on Wednesday.

The countdown is now on for the US Open, with fans holding the knowledge that every round could be her final farewell, and Robson believes the retirement decision will not have surprised many.

"It's difficult, because you know that it's coming. And I think everyone has been waiting for this announcement over the last few years," she told Stats Perform.

"But it's still very sad that it's finally here. You know, she has been such a great champion for decades now. 

"And I looked up to her growing up, I've got so many memories, watching Serena on TV, I've got my own memories from playing her as well, which is cool. 

"I'm just looking forward to being at the US Open, to seeing the atmosphere of her last few matches. And hopefully she goes on a bit of a run, that would just be electric."

Robson believes Williams is comfortably the greatest of all time in the women's game and added there is a strong argument she is the greatest overall in the sport.

"I think on the women's side, there's no doubt for me that Serena is the greatest of all time. You know, to win as many matches and titles and slams and Olympic medals as she has over the last couple of decades," she stated.

"Doing it all while having a child, going through life-threatening illnesses that she had after giving birth. So many injuries as well. So for me, yeah, on the women's side, definitely greatest of all time.

"There's an argument to be made for greatest in tennis in general, but everyone's got their own opinions on that. And yeah, that's an entirely different debate, because it's really, who you're a fan of the most that that comes down to."

Robson, who announced her own retirement in May, also identified with the tough decision Williams has had to make but feels she has played for "as long as possible".

"It sounds like from the Vogue article that she really doesn't want to retire, she's still struggling to come to terms with it," she added.

"But for me, I found as soon as I said it out loud and said it to the world it does make it a lot easier to wrap your head around. 

"So, for Serena you know, she's devastated to be stopping I'm sure she would love to keep playing by the sounds of it. She played it as long as possible until her body gave out but she's got other priorities in her life now. 

"It's about finding that balance, but it definitely sounds like she's devastated to step away from tennis."

Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone is the largest individual mass participation tennis competition in the UK - delivered by Vodafone in partnership with the LTA and The All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Serena Williams' decision to begin winding down her tennis career has saddened world number one Iga Swiatek and Belinda Bencic, who defeated the 40-year-old on Wednesday.

Williams announced on Tuesday that she is about to retire, saying "the countdown has begun" as she looks to "move in a different direction".

While the 23-time singles grand slam champion did not put a specific timeline on her remaining days in tennis, her comment about looking for new challenges after "these next few weeks" suggests the US Open – which she has already been included on the entry list for and starts at the end of August – will be her swansong.

That announcement came on the back of Williams' first singles win in 430 days, a defeat of Nuria Parrizas-Diaz at the Canadian Open in Toronto, but she was subsequently eliminated by Bencic on Wednesday, when the reality of her farewell tour set in.

Williams failed to hold back the tears as she said goodbye to the Toronto crowd for the last time as a player, and Bencic herself could not help feeling a little overcome

She said: "It was definitely very special. I think it was more than just the usual tennis match, also just really exciting, and also a little bit overwhelming for me, of course.

"[It's] great, I can be part of her career and her story and this was just really nice and I'm just really appreciative and honoured to play her so many times, and also here in Toronto.

 

"I mean, she's really the greatest of all time, so it's really exciting. I could have been on the court against her so many times and even today I really enjoyed it a lot. It was sometimes like a pinch me moment again."

Williams finished five different calendar years as the highest-ranked player in the world, a record only Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova can better.

Swiatek, the current world number one, looks to be the best-placed of the next generation to challenge that achievement, though she recognises a degree of fortune in not having to face Williams at the peak of her powers.

"Well it's always pretty sad when you see such a career coming to an end, but on the other hand she's a legend and I feel like she's done so much," Swiatek added.

"It's really amazing. I'm pretty sad that I wasn't able to play against her and experience that her being the strongest one on tour, but on the other hand, I would be losing against her if I played [her at] that time, so that's fine!

"But she's a legend and everything that she has done on court and off court, she's basically a superstar and the way she handled playing tennis and business and also being a mother, it's mind-blowing. So I'm pretty sure that she's going to have a great second part of her career."

Serie A returns on Saturday, with Milan looking to retain their title after a first Scudetto triumph in 11 years.

The Rossoneri have brought in Belgium duo Charles De Ketelaere and Divock Origi to bolster Stefano Pioli's squad as they prepare to face another challenge from rivals Inter.

Simone Inzaghi will have his own Belgium international striker Romelu Lukaku to call on again after he was brought back on loan from Chelsea.

How will those clubs fare, who is likely to be their closest challengers, and who will be fearing the drop from Italy's top flight?

Stats Perform AI has predicted the outcome of the campaign, estimating the likelihood of teams finishing in each position informed by their expected results in each match.

These are calculated using betting odds and Stats Perform's team rankings – based on historical and recent team performances – and have thrown up some interesting results, with a heavy favourite for top spot.

INTER TO TAKE THEIR TITLE BACK WITH FAMILIAR FACE ON BOARD

In the end, there were just two points in it.

A fascinating battle between Milan and Inter last season saw Pioli's men edge the title with 86 points after a 3-0 win at Sassuolo on the final day.

Despite the impressive way Milan closed out that title, the data makes Inter 47.97 per cent favourites to regain it in 2022-23.

The return of Lukaku is likely to be a big reason for that, with the 29-year-old having scored 47 goals in 72 Serie A games prior to joining Chelsea last year, and he played a major part in Inter's Scudetto win in 2020-21.

Milan's chances are surprisingly not even second best, with the data suggesting there is a 16.43 per cent likelihood of them retaining their title, with Juventus judged to have a slightly better 17.93 per cent chance.

Napoli are deemed to have a 13.75 per cent chance, with no other team being considered to have any more than a two per cent chance, including Jose Mourinho's Roma at 1.99 per cent.

 

TOP FOUR FIGHT EXPECTED TO BE MORE OF THE SAME

There was very little drama in the race for the Champions League spots last season, with Napoli and Juventus well out of the title fight but clear of fifth place with multiple games to go.

Stats Perform AI expects the same four teams to take up those spots again, albeit in a different order, with Juve in second, Milan third and Napoli fourth.

The positive numbers for the Bianconeri are likely to be a result of Serbia striker Dusan Vlahovic having a full season to lead the line, along with big name additions of Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria.

Napoli could be the most at risk after losing several key players since the end of last season, including Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens, but they are still given a 73.09 per cent chance of Champions League qualification.

In the chasing pack, Roma are given a 30.18 per cent chance of a top four spot and Stats Perform AI believes Mourinho's men are the likeliest team to finish in one of the two Europa League places, with no team given a greater chance than the Giallorossi's 19.58 per cent.

Atalanta have a 20.64 per cent chance of getting back into the top four, though are still deemed likely to improve on last season's eighth place as favourites for sixth and qualification for the Europa League (18.56 per cent).

That leaves Lazio with a 17.09 per cent chance of seventh and a Europa Conference League spot, though Fiorentina (11.10), Hellas Verona (8.45) and Sassuolo (8.34) are not counted out entirely.

 

CREMONESE UNLIKELY TO RISE TO THE TOP

It is not too much of a surprise to see the promoted teams are predicted to be facing a tough task to stay up.

Cremonese are the favourites for the drop at 63.41 per cent, with Lecce (47.10 per cent) also expected to head back to Serie B at the end of the campaign.

Second favourites for relegation, though, are last year's 17th place team Salernitana, who avoided relegation by a single point ahead of Cagliari. Davide Nicola's side are handed a 58.10 per cent chance of failing to escape this time.

Monza came up through the play-offs and have made a number of new signings, including former Inter players Andrea Ranocchia and Stefano Sensi, which could be why they are given just a 27.92 per cent chance of going back down, slightly ahead of Empoli at 25.17 per cent.

Only four teams are given a zero per cent chance of relegation, which unsurprisingly is last season's top four.

LaLiga, home to the European champions, returns on Friday for another season.

Real Madrid ended the previous campaign by winning the Champions League, the prize they covet most, but it was also a successful year in domestic action.

Carlo Ancelotti's men eased to a record-extending 35th league title by 13 points – that is the gap Barcelona have sought to bridge in the transfer market during the close season. So, just how successfully have they done that?

Stats Perform AI has predicted the outcome of the coming campaign, estimating the likelihood of teams finishing in each position informed by their expected results in each match.

These are calculated using betting odds and Stats Perform's team rankings – based on historical and recent team performances – and have thrown up some interesting results, with Barca seemingly left still with plenty to do.

MADRID MAINTAIN BUFFER TO BARCA

Given their 35 titles, given their 13-point gap, given their status as European champions, it is surely no surprise Madrid are considered the clear favourites to scoop Spanish football's top prize once again.

The data makes Ancelotti's side 58.75 per cent favourites to retain their crown.

Barca recovered from a dismal start last season to finish second, and they are forecast for the same result again after investing hugely in Robert Lewandowski and Co.

But there is only a 17.0 per cent chance of the title heading to Camp Nou, with Atletico Madrid a predictable third in the rankings and rated as a 12.3 per cent shot.

Those three clubs have accounted for the past 18 championships since Valencia finished top in 2003-04. Now, under Gennaro Gattuso, Valencia have a mere 0.08 per cent chance of returning to the summit, deemed ninth favourites among 11 teams with any hope at all.

Sevilla (4.74 per cent) and Villarreal (4.66 per cent) are the sides most likely to upset the established order.

 

PRECIOUS FOURTH PLACE UP FOR GRABS

There realistically remains only one of the four Champions League places on offer after taking into account Madrid (95.68 per cent), Barca (79.31 per cent) and Atletico (71.56 per cent). Last season, that belonged to Sevilla.

Yet despite Sevilla's high ceiling seeing them fourth favourites for the title, Stats Perform AI expects them to be pushed out of the top four.

After losing defensive duo Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos, Sevilla are given a 47.45 per cent of qualifying for the Champions League, just behind former coach Unai Emery's Villarreal (48.66 per cent), who were seventh last season but reached the semi-finals of Europe's elite club competition.

Real Sociedad (24.79 per cent) and Real Betis (20.39 per cent) are both firmly in the mix, too, although every team in the league have at least a 0.04 per cent hope of contending for Champions League glory.

Athletic Bilbao are expected to be on the outside looking in from eighth place (7.48 per cent for Champions League, 7.42 per cent for Europa League and 10.51 per cent for Europa Conference League).

 

NO ESCAPE THIS TIME FOR MALLORCA

The fight against the drop went right to the wire last term, with three teams still in the mix on the final day.

Granada were the surprise victims of a dramatic scrap, relegated just two weeks after winning 6-2 at Mallorca. Mallorca then earned seven points from their next three games to stay up alongside Cadiz at Granada's expense.

That late recovery may have rescued Mallorca for another year, but Stats Perform AI predicts their LaLiga stay will last no longer than that.

They are 41.27 per cent favourites to go down, even considered more likely for demotion than Girona (39.95), who were promoted via the play-offs.

Real Valladolid, another promoted side, are ranked as the third relegated team (32.74 per cent), yet there is very little to choose between a clutch of clubs, with Cadiz (31.8 per cent) again at risk alongside Elche (31.48 per cent), second-tier champions Almeria (28.86 per cent) and Rayo Vallecano (27.46 per cent).

Carlo Ancelotti's return to Real Madrid last year came as something of a surprise to most.

While the job he'd done at Everton was generally seen as fine, there was nothing about his time at Goodison Park that suggested the Italian would be back at the top of the game in his next job.

His appointment at the Santiago Bernabeu could've almost been interpreted as a pointed dig at Clasico rivals Barcelona, where managerial hirings tend to be based around 'philosophy' – few could say that about Ancelotti, a coach arguably regarded more for his motivational skills, tactical flexibility and winning than for sticking to one defined brand of football.

Regardless of how surprising Ancelotti's return was, he certainly got the job done. Madrid looked certainties for the title virtually all season and pulled off great escape after great escape to eventually win the Champions League, traversing one of the toughest routes to European Cup glory ever seen.

But let's not forget, Ancelotti's won the Champions League with Madrid before. Last time, in 2014, he lasted only another year and a day before he was discarded.

From Milan dynasty to short-term guarantee

Perhaps it shouldn't be a shock, given many of the clubs he's coached have been among the biggest – and that usually means impatient by extension – teams in Europe, but Ancelotti hasn't been in charge of a single club for more than two consecutive full seasons since leaving Milan in May 2009.

Granted, his spells at Paris Saint-Germain and Everton ended essentially because Madrid came calling, so who's to say how long he'd have been in charge. But clearly there has been a pattern in his working life since Milan.

Ancelotti will be acutely aware of the expectations upon him at Madrid as he's lived through them before and paid the price for failing to achieve his targets.

But you have to wonder if anything will be different this time around.

 

Ancelotti's dismissal in 2015 came down to the fact Madrid didn't win a (major) trophy in the 2014-15 season. Florentino Perez's decision at the time wasn't universally popular, though no one would've been surprised.

In the culture created by Perez at the club, a lack of success simply equates to failure, and clearly even the good will attained by winning La Decima – Madrid's 10th European crown – only lasts you so long.

Perez's statement to the media even seemed to admit there being a degree of not knowing what else to do, as he said: "It was a very difficult decision to make; the demands at this club are the utmost because Madrid always wants to win silverware.

"The affection that the players and the fans have for Carlo is the same as the affection I myself have for him. What did Ancelotti do wrong? I don't know. The demands here at Real Madrid are very high."

Essentially, since his Milan days, Ancelotti has been brought in by teams to achieve success quickly and, for the most part, he's done that almost everywhere he's been – but long-term success in one place has eluded him.

Presumably then, Ancelotti will have to again win at least one of LaLiga or the Champions League to stick around for a third season. That stands to reason at Real Madrid, and there's no reason they would be considered incapable on either front, but expecting everything to fall into place like last season is asking for trouble.

Tempting fate?

Who's to say Madrid won't cruise to the title again with Karim Benzema conquering every team in his path? It's entirely possible.

The key differences this time around are the fact Madrid are heading into the season without a defined back-up striker for Benzema, and Barcelona have strengthened significantly.

Firstly on Barca, if we assume they are able to register all of their new signings in time for the season's start, they'll have bolstered a team that finished the 2021-22 season very well. In fact, since the start of 2022, their 45 points was more than any other LaLiga team.

Granted, Madrid played one game less (19), but if they had contested a 20th match and won it, they'd still have been two points shy of Barca.

The change inspired by Xavi cannot be overstated and, as much of a mess as the club is off the pitch, there's every reason to expect them to be a force on it this season.

 

For Madrid and Ancelotti, again their hopes will be pinned on Benzema. Of course, on the face of it that's not an issue. He's scored at least 21 league goals in each of the past four seasons and never made fewer than 27 top-flight appearances for Los Blancos.

As a difference-maker and consistent presence, he's their Mr Reliable. But what if he does pick up a major injury: who will Madrid rely on to fill the Benzema void?

Vinicius Junior enjoyed a remarkable season but wouldn't be suited to the Benzema role, stylistically or as a leader. Again, when Eden Hazard is fit, he is not a central striker, while Mariano Diaz has started just 11 league games in four seasons.

Madrid's decision to get rid of Luka Jovic was probably the right one given how underwhelming the Serbian had been, and there's no guarantee anyone else brought in as a backup would've been more effective.

 

But it does seem an unnecessary risk for a club like Madrid to go into a season without a second striker – or without a second striker who's got a better track record than Diaz. That's the decision Florentino Perez has reportedly made.

Even if they were granted special dispensation to sign another LaLiga-based striker out of the transfer window, mid-season integration for that player would be tough in every way.

Yes, yes, yes, it's all hypothetical and no one likes to think about the worst-case scenario, but surely it's better to plan for that possibility than to leave it to chance? Perhaps Ancelotti has a master backup plan hidden up his sleeve in the event of losing Benzema for a while – we'll only find out if it happens.

But if it does and his answer is to rely on Diaz, there's little hope of Ancelotti reaching that elusive third season.

The worrying form of the New York Yankees continued as they were downed the Seattle Mariners 4-3 after Carlos Santana's seventh-inning go-ahead two-run homer on Wednesday.

The Yankees have lost seven of their past eight games and are 2-7 in August, with the skid putting their top seed hopes in the American League in jeopardy.

Sam Haggerty had blasted the Mariners into a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the sixth inning.

After Tuesday's 1-0 extras' loss to the Mariners, the Yankees actually went scoreless across 19 innings, breaking that run in the seventh inning on Wednesday.

Kyle Higashioka crushed a go-ahead two-run homer to left-center field in the seventh inning, before Aaron Judge added another, his 45th home run of the season, to extend the lead.

But the Mariners, who won the season series against the Yankees for the first time since 2002, fought back through Santana, with his two-run blast being his 11th homer of the season.

Mariners pitcher Robbie Ray played his part, striking out seven batters as well as Seattle moved to 61-52, while the Yankees are 71-41.

 

Dodgers clinch 10 straight wins

Joey Gallo blasted a three-run homer to help the Los Angeles Dodgers secure their 10th win in a row with an 8-5 triumph over the Minnesota Twins.

The Dodgers were trailing 4-2 in the fifth inning but rallied back with Chris Taylor homering the go-ahead run. Gallo, who was traded to the Dodgers from the Yankees last month, came up with his 13th home run of the season in the seventh inning.

The 10-game win streak is the Dodgers' longest since they won 11 in a row in July 2017, while they swept the four-game series against the Twins with a 32-10 run record.

Lindor stars as Mets winning run continues

The New York Mets extended their run of wins by three or more runs to six with a 10-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds fueled by Francisco Lindor again.

The shortstop helped the Mets clinch a series sweep with a second-inning two-run single, opening up a 4-0 lead and making franchise history.

Lindor, who finished with three runs, two hits and two RBIs, moved to 81 RBIs for the season, tying with Jose Reyes in 2006 for a Mets' single-season record.

The Serena Williams' farewell tour in Toronto is over after she was knocked out of the Canadian Open 6-2 6-4 by 12th seed Belinda Bencic on Wednesday.

Williams, playing for the first time since declaring on Tuesday her intention to retire after this month's US Open, was no match for Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Bencic.

The 23-time major winner was unable to claim back-to-back WTA singles wins for the first time since last year's French Open, having defeated Nuria Parrizas-Diaz for her first victory in 430 days on Monday.

Bencic triumphed in one hour and 17 minutes, winning 84.2 per cent of first-serve points and converted five of eight break points throughout the match.

Williams' power was on show with 13 winners, but Bencic was physically more capable and decisively managed 25 winners with only 13 unforced errors.

Elsewhere, 2019 US Open winner and local hope Bianca Andreescu edged Alize Cornet in a see-sawing clash in the evening, winning 6-3 4-6 6-3 in two hours and 26 minutes.

Fourth seed Paula Badosa and fifth seed Ons Jabeur, who was last month's Wimbledon runner-up, were forced to retire due to injury.

Spanish 24-year-old Badosa withdrew against Yulia Putintseva 7-5 1-0 due to muscle cramping, while Zheng Qinwen had a walkover against Jabeur 6-1 2-1 due to abdominal pain.

Top seed Iga Swiatek brushed aside Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-2 in 64 minutes. The win means Swiatek is the first player to win 15 WTA 1000 matches in straight sets in a row since 2009.

Canadian 13th seed Leylah Fernandez also bowed out, going down 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 to Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia, who will face Swiatek in the third round.

Second seed Anett Kontaveit lost 6-4 6-4 to Jil Teichmann in one hour and 27 minutes. Teichmann will next face Simona Halep who won in 71 minutes against Zhang Shuai 6-4 6-2.

Sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka got past Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4 6-3 to set up a third-round meeting with Coco Gauff after she defeated Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-3) in an epic that lasted two hours and 49 minutes.

Jessica Pegula won 6-2 7-5 over American qualifier Asia Muhammad to progress through to face Camila Giorgi after she knocked off Elise Mertens 7-3 7-5.

Third seed Maria Sakkari triumphed in three sets 6-2 4-6 6-2 over Sloane Stephens and will face Karolina Pliskova next after the Czech beat Amanda Anisimova 6-1 6-1.

Eighth seed Garbine Muguruza won 6-4 6-4 against Kaia Kanepi and Alison Riske toppled 16th seed Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 (7-2) 0-6 7-5.

Tua Tagovailoa and Tom Brady shared the same field on Wednesday for the first time since the NFL punished the Dolphins for tampering with the seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

They are bound to be linked for much longer.

Tagovailoa was asked for his reaction to the Dolphins’ interest in Brady that resulted in Miami being disciplined by the league.

"Yeah, I mean, I’m still here," he said. "To me, that’s all noise at this point."

Wednesday was the first of two joint practices between the Dolphins and Buccaneers before the teams meet in the preseason opener Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.

Just over a week ago, the NFL suspended Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and fined him $1.5 million for tampering with Brady and former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton following a six-month investigation stemming from Brian Flores' racial discrimination lawsuit against the league.

The investigation found that the Dolphins had impermissible contact with Brady and his and Payton’s agent, Don Yee. The Dolphins will forfeit a first-round selection in the 2023 NFL draft and a third-round selection in the 2024 draft. Ross is suspended through Oct. 17.

Tagovailoa was more succinct on Wednesday after giving a longer reaction in last week's media session about his team’s interest in another quarterback.

"I would say the only thing that gets frustrating is if you hear it every day or if you see it every day," he said.

"For me, I eliminate all of that. Don’t hear it. Don’t see it. I go home, go to my family, study, wake up the next day, come back and enjoy football.

"I hear everything obviously from the media and then when [the communications staff] preps me for whatever you guys are going to say, then I’m like 'Ah, I’ve got to answer this. All right, let me figure out something politically correct to say'."

Brady has yet to speak on the Dolphins’ interest and punishment and did not speak to reporters on Wednesday.

First-year Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel did speak to the media on the subject.

"For me, nothing happened," he said. "Everyone else is the one making it awkward. It doesn’t occupy a single iota of space with anybody.

"It’s hard enough to be good in this league. As the Miami Dolphins, all of our energy is very coordinated and only has to do with us getting better and everything else would be an opportunity cost that we’re not willing to expend."

The Dolphins and Buccaneers are not scheduled to play in the regular season.

The day after declaring her impending retirement, Serena Williams was full of emotion and admitted it had been a "pretty interesting 24 hours" for her.

Williams revealed on Tuesday in an article in Vogue that "the countdown has begun" for her retirement with this month's US Open set to be the 23-time major winner's last tournament.

The 40-year-old was knocked out of the Canadian Open on Wednesday by Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-4 and spoke after the match for the first time publicly since declaring her intention to retire.

"It was a lot of emotions obviously," Williams said during the on-court post-match interview.

"I've loved playing here [Toronto], I've always loved playing here. I wish I could have played better but Belinda played so well today.

"It's been a pretty interesting 24 hours."

Williams, who won the first of her 23 Grand Slam titles way back in 1999 at the US Open, was emotional about the reception from fans to her announcement.

"It's just been so memorable," Williams said.

"Like I said in my article, I'm terrible at goodbyes. But goodbye, Toronto."

Williams has already been named on the entry list for the US Open, which starts at Flushing Meadows at the end of August.

The former world number one had claimed her first WTA singles win in 430 days on Monday when she defeated Nuria Parrizas-Diaz in preparation for her US Open farewell.

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