Manager Bob Melvin is hopeful the Oakland Athletics can make progress on a new ballpark to ensure they do not become the latest team to move out of the city.

MLB on Tuesday instructed the A's "to begin to explore other markets while they continue to pursue a waterfront ballpark in Oakland".

The league said it was "concerned with the rate of progress on the A's new ballpark effort", with a $12billion proposal yet to be approved by the city.

A's president Dave Kaval released a statement saying the team were "committed to succeeding in Oakland" but would follow MLB's directive.

A negative outcome would represent another big blow to the sports scene in Oakland, which has already lost the NFL's Raiders to Las Vegas while the Golden State Warriors of the NBA moved to a new arena in San Francisco.

"With two other sports franchises recently leaving the community, [the team's] commitment to Oakland is now more important than ever," MLB's statement added.

Palo Alto native Melvin took the same tone as he addressed the media ahead of Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

"My job is to go out and play where we are right now," said Melvin, whose A's lead the AL West. "It is unfortunate that a couple of teams have left and certainly we don't want that to happen.

"And I don't think anything that was said today would suggest it's going to. It's just giving MLB and the organisation a few more options to maybe look elsewhere."

The A's moved to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968 but have played at the multi-purpose Coliseum ever since, despite talk of a new ballpark in Oakland for the best part of 20 years.

Anthony Davis revealed he was dealing with groin tightness as the Los Angeles Lakers scraped past the New York Knicks for a big overtime win on Tuesday.

Davis missed more than two months with an Achilles issue but has crucially featured in all 11 games since his return last month, helping a Lakers team hit by a number of injuries.

LeBron James remained out – instead an active cheerleader on the sidelines – as the defending champions defeated the Knicks 101-99 at Staples Center.

Davis had 20 points but was clearly moving uneasily in the closing stages. He stayed in the game, though, with 43 minutes his most since early February.

"I'm hurting," he said afterwards. "There's nothing worse on my body, just my groin got tight. That was really it, I'm not sure where it came from, but my groin got a little tight.

"There was no way I was coming out of the game. It was a big game for us. The team was playing real hard, the situation that we're in, trying to battle for the six.

"It was a big game for them, trying to battle for fourth, trying to keep that fourth seed – I think they might be sixth now after the loss, I'm not sure.

"It was a huge game for us and I didn't want to come out, no matter injury, and finish the game and make sure we secure the win."

The Lakers are quickly back in action against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday and in need of another victory, still sitting seventh in the West – in an unwanted play-in place – but now just 1.0 games back from fifth.

"I'm not sure about tomorrow. I'm going to get treatment and see how I feel," Davis said. "I want to say I'm going to play, but it was really bothering me tonight.

"We'll see how I feel tomorrow and then later on in the day.

"There's a very strong possibility that I fight through it and play since the next day's an off day, but also I don't want to have it lagging and then I'm out for a couple of games. We'll see how I feel."

Regardless of Davis' status, there is the possibility James returns against the Rockets.

Having won back-to-back games for the first time since late March, the Lakers could now have some momentum heading into the postseason.

"It's good. It's a confidence booster for us," Davis said. "We've been playing well as of late.

"If [James] comes back tomorrow, we can get him back acclimated with the team and get him back in the rhythm. If he doesn't then he doesn't, but we want him to get healthy first and foremost, get ready for the playoffs.

"I'm not sure what he's going to do – that's none of my business, I just want him to get health – but my job is just to come out here and help this team.

"If he is able to come back tomorrow, it's our job to get him back into a rhythm to get him ready for playoff mode, which we know he'll be ready for."

Talen Horton-Tucker hit the game-winning three among eight overtime points, but the Lakers only reached that stage thanks to Davis' suffocating defense.

The Knicks had the lead and the ball in the final 30 seconds of regulation, only for Davis to brilliantly stop All-Star Julius Randle (31 points) and force a shot-clock violation.

"Julius, that's my guy," said the Lakers superstar, who guarded Randle throughout the closing stages. "I played with him in New Orleans and he's definitely developed his game, with his shooting ability and off the dribble.

"That last possession, I just had to lock in defensively and make sure that he wasn't going to score to help the team.

"I feel like I made him hit the three with my contest at the end [in overtime] – he shot it a little higher than normal.

"He's been playing like this all year. I think he's an MVP candidate, he for sure should win Most Improved, what he's doing, got this team in the playoffs right now for a team who hadn't been in the playoffs for a while.

"He's playing his a** off and you can do nothing but respect him."

Golden State will not be among the favourites heading into the NBA playoffs, but Draymond Green insists this team is not comparable to the "We Believe" Warriors of 2006-07.

The Warriors are eighth in the Western Conference, in line to enter the play-in tournament – potentially against defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers.

There are certainly echoes of the 2007 team, who scraped into the postseason with a late-season run to clinch the eighth seed and then dumped out the first-placed Dallas Mavericks, adopting the slogan: "We Believe".

However, Green says, the similarities end there.

That was the Warriors' first playoff appearance since 1994, while they were without a title in 32 years.

Green's team reached the NBA Finals in five straight seasons, winning three championships, before injury ravaged their 2019-20 campaign.

And where Golden State were led in 2006-07 by two-time All-Star Baron Davis, who averaged 20.1 points per game, Green can turn to Stephen Curry to get the Warriors going.

Curry is a three-time champion, a two-time MVP, a three-time selection to the All-NBA First Team and a seven-time All-Star. He also leads the NBA in scoring with 1,969 points this season (31.8 per game).

"The 'We Believe' days are over," Green said after the Warriors beat the second-placed Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, having upset the league-leading Utah Jazz the previous night.

"I've won three championships, I'm not part of no 'We Believe' team.

"That's no disrespect to the OGs that came before me. I love those guys and what they started here is incredible. No disrespect to them at all, because what they did is incredible.

"But, no, we're not no 'We Believe' 2.0. We've got f****** Steph Curry on our team."

Curry (21 points) did not need to top the charts against the Suns, as Green had a triple-double and Andrew Wiggins went off for 38, making a joint-career-high 17 field goals.

Wiggins' performance justified pre-game comments from coach Steve Kerr, who spoke of his excitement at the prospect of pairing the forward with injured guard Klay Thompson.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves man has been Curry's right-hand man this year, starting all 70 games and averaging 18.6 points.

Thompson has previously been a dominant scorer for the Warriors with 19.5 points per game across his career before consecutive major injuries ruled him out of the past two seasons.

"It's so valuable to have someone who you know you can count on every single night to play big minutes and to guard one of the opposing team's best players," Kerr said of Wiggins.

"Klay's been that guy for many years, and now Andrew the same thing. So, what I love to think about is next year, having both guys in that role, two guys you can count on to be there night in and night out, because I think that's what's going to be the case with Klay.

"So, we start thinking about that, it gets pretty exciting. But we've got to take care of this year first."

The Los Angeles Lakers kept alive their aspirations to avoid the Play-In Tournament with a 101-91 over-time victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

With LeBron James still absent with an ankle problem, the Lakers were pushed all the way by the in-form Knicks who had the chance to win the match in normal time when Julius Randle missed a good two-point look on the buzzer.

With James and Dennis Schroder unavailable and Alex Caruso exiting early with foot soreness, Talen Horton-Tucker played a key role with 13 points and 10 assists, including a vital over-time three-pointer after a costly turnover moments earlier.

In a team effort, Anthony Davis finished with 20 points, four assists and six rebounds, Andre Drummond had 16 points and 18 rebounds and Kyle Kuzma added 23 points off the bench.

The win improves the Lakers to 39-30, holding seventh spot in the Western Conference, behind the Dallas Mavericks (40-29) who lost to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

Ja Morant (24 points) won the battle against Luka Doncic in a game where the Mavericks could have ensured they would avoid the Play-In Tournament.

 

76ers miss chance and miss Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers missed the chance to seal top seeding in the East with a 103-94 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Pacers center Domantas Sabonis had a busy night with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists.

Joel Embiid missed for the 76ers with illness with Tobias Harris scoring 27 points in his absence as Philadelphia leave the door open at 47-22.

The 76ers are 8-11 without Embiid this season, while they are 38-11 with him in the side.

The Brooklyn Nets put together back-to-back wins to keep the pressure on the 76ers, triumphing 115-107 over the Chicago Bulls.

There was an injury scare for the Nets with Kyrie Irivng leaving the game with a facial contusion and undergoing testing for a possible concussion after a stray elbow from Nikola Vucevic early in the third.

Kevin Durant top scored for the Nets with 21 points and Bruce Brown Jr had 15 points to half-time and finished with 10 rebounds too, while Zach LaVine had a game-high 41 points for the Bulls.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, had 12 rebounds and five assists in the Milwaukee Bucks'  114-102 win over the Orlando Magic to improve their record to 43-25.

Stephen Curry was not his usual self, kept to only four points until half-time in the Golden State Warriors' 122-116 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Curry finished with 21, while Andrew Wiggins had 38 points and Draymond Green got a triple-double as the Warriors stay in the hunt at 37-33 and eighth in the West.

The Miami Heat clinched a top six berth with a 129-121 win over the Boston Celtics with Tyler Herro starring off the bench with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

 

Thunder come crashing down

Oklahoma City Thunder have fallen away drastically this season and their 122-106 ot the Sacramento Kings made it eight consecutive defeats for Mark Daigneault's side. They have won once in their past 23, having been 20-26 at one point.

 

Jokic's defense splitting assist

Prime MVP candidate Nikola Jokic showcased his all-rounder game with an unbelievable pass for Austin Rivers in the Denver Nuggets' 117-112 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Jokic finished with six assists, along with 30 points and 11 rebounds.

 

Tuesday's results

Denver Nuggets 117-112 Charlotte Hornets
Minnesota Timberwolves 119-100 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Clippers 115-96 Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat 129-121 Boston Celtics
Memphis Grizzlies 133-104 Dallas Mavericks
Indiana Pacers 103-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Brooklyn Nets 115-107 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 114-102 Orlando Magic
Golden State Warriors 122-116 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Lakers 101-99 (OT) New York Knicks
Sacramento Kings 122-106 Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Spurs at Nets

The San Antonio Spurs are looking to seal their Play-In Tournament position while the Brooklyn Nets are out to reinforce their top two seeding.

The Houston Astros brought home four at the bottom of the eighth to claim a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels in MLB on Tuesday.

Shohei Ohtani had 10 strikeouts from seven innings but he was not on the mound, instead at right-field, as the Astros did the damage after Taylor Ward leveled the match up with a home-run at the top of the eighth.

Jose Altuve raced home for the go-ahead knock from Michael Brantley's hit and two batters later with two-on Yuli Gurriel hit his sixth home-run of the season.

Aaron Judge hit his eighth homer for the 2021 season early in the New York Yankees' 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

At 2-0 down, Mike Zunino hit the biggest Rays home run, at 472 feet, since tracking began in 2008.

Catcher Gary Sanchez spectacularly threw out Austin Meadows on second after an error, while Aroldis Chapman sent down some heat in the ninth to clinch the win. Gerrit Cole should return Wednesday.

 

Red Sox overcome Means, Bieber ripper

John Means, coming off a no-hitter with 14 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, was excellent again for the Baltimore Orioles but they lost 3-2 to the Boston Red Sox.

The Orioles took the lead and held it into the eighth when Albert Almora ran at full speed at center field face first into the wall trying to make a catch, although he got up and walked off. Baltimore plated a subsequent run to go 2-0 up from a Freddy Galvis.

But the Mets found a way back after Kevin Pillar was a foot away from a home run. Pillar eventually slid into home base from Patrick Mazeika's hit to complete a come-from-behind win. Mazeika celebrated his walk-off with his team-mates ripping his shirt off.

Chris Bassitt had 10 strikeouts across seven innings as the Oakland Athletics won 3-2 over the Boston Red Sox.

The As scored two runs in the seventh, with first baseman Matt Olson hitting the plate before he made the decisive catch with runners on two bases in the ninth to seal the win.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber pulled off an instinctual catch from Joc Pederson's hit which traveled with an 111 mph exit velocity in their 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Bieber made eight strikeouts but it was Jose Ramirez in the fourth who hit a crucial home-run, his 10th of the season.

In a National League Central match-up between two in-form sides, the St. Louis Cardinals got past the Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 with five runs in the 11th including a Tyler O'Neill homerun.

The Detroit Tigers led 7-0 before an almighty comeback from the Kansas City Royals who eventually went down 8-7 with Niko Goodrum getting home at the bottom of the ninth.

Mitch Haniger hit two home-runs, taking his season tally to 10, as the Seattle Mariners blew a 4-1 lead to go down 6-4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

Ward and Trout clash in outfield

It was not a good night for the Angels, especially when outfielders Ward and Mike Trout had a collision where the former somehow held on to a catch and both avoided injury, walking away with bruised egos.

 

Number 11 for Acuna Jr

Ronald Acuna Jr took the outright lead for most home runs this season, his 11th of 2021 in MLB, but it was not enough for the Atlanta Braves who lost 5-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

Tuesday's results

San Francisco Giants 4-2 Texas Rangers
Cleveland Indians 3-2 Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies - Washington Nationals
New York Mets 3-2 Baltimore Orioles
Oakland Athletics 3-2 Boston Red Sox 
New York Yankees 3-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Detroit Tigers 8-7 Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Atlanta Braves 
St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago White Sox 9-3 Minnesota Twins
Houston Astros 5-1 Los Angeles Angels
San Diego Padres 8-1 Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-3 Miami Marlins
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 Seattle Mariners

 

Yankees at Rays

Last season's runners-up, the Tampa Bay Rays, continue their American League East series against the New York Yankees.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving appears to have been cleared of a concussion after being forced out of Tuesday's 115-107 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Irving went down on the back court after being collected accidentally by a stray elbow from Bulls center Nikola Vucevic.

The 29-year-old, who had played 21 minutes with 13 points, three rebounds and five assists to that point, did not return to the game.

Irving's issue would be an additional concern for Brooklyn with James Harden already sidelined with a hamstring injury, although he is close to a return.

The Nets guard suffered a facial contusion and underwent concussion tests but Nets coach Steve Nash revealed it looked like he was in the clear.

"No signs of a concussion," Nash said post-game. "He had an x-ray which was inconclusive so we’ll really just have to look again in the morning.

"Probably be rescanned and all that when we get home and we’ll take it from there."

Kevin Durant played a key role for the Nets with 21 points as they improved their record to 45-24, firming up second spot in the East, ahead of the playoffs.

Durant added about Irving: "I thought he would be alright. I know those - he mixes it up a lot with the big fellas - so he might catch an elbow here and there.

"Kyrie, he plays with such toughness and competitiveness, I knew he'd get up, but I knew he took a nice one, a nice elbow to the face.

"Hopefully he gets checked out tomorrow, sees everything is alright and we move forward."

The Nets are due to play the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

Sporting head coach Ruben Amorim admits he felt a weight which has been lifted after helping the club to their first Portuguese Primeira Liga title in 19 years.

The Lisbon club defeated Boavista 1-0 on Tuesday to secure their 19th league title and first since 2001-02.

Sporting splashed out €10million for Amorim when he was appointed in March last year, becoming the third most expensive coach ever, behind Andre Villas-Boas and Brendan Rodgers.

"I felt a weight and now it's off," Amorim told Sport TV after Sporting's win.

"People really wanted to celebrate this championship for the value and the risk the club took, but I wanted to win for the players, for the club and for other reasons that I won't disclose."

Amorim hailed his group of players who have gone 32 league matches unbeaten.

"I have a group of fantastic players, the merit is for the players," Amorim said.

"They fought, they grew a lot, they are very humble. It was another two hours of suffering.

"It is the reflection of our season. We played better, we were much better, we did not get the second goal and we suffered until the end."

Former Portugal international Amorim, 36, added that he had no plans to leave Sporting, with whom he has a €20 million buyout clause.

"I'm not going anywhere, unless they pay for everything," the ex-Benfica midfielder said.

Ronald Koeman understands why further doubts were being raised about his Barcelona future after a 3-3 draw at Levante dealt a major blow to their LaLiga title hopes.

Barca needed a victory to go top of the table at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on Tuesday and were well on course for three points at half-time courtesy of goals from Lionel Messi and Pedri.

The Blaugrana relinquished their lead all too easily after the break, though, with Gonzalo Melero and Jose Luis Morales on target in the space of two minutes.

Ousmane Dembele put Barca back in front, but more slack defending allowed Sergio Leon to nip in for an equaliser seven minutes from time.

Barca trail leaders Atletico Madrid by a point with only two matches to play, while Real Madrid are only a point behind them in third place and both capital clubs have a game in hand.

Koeman's future had already been called into question before this huge setback, so the Dutchman was not surprised to be asked if he felt his position is under the threat.

He said: "Coaches are always questioned but I understand that, after that second half, there are questions.

"We are disappointed and we're wondering what happened. We have to move on and prepare for next season.

"As a coach, you're always responsible. We spoke at half time about improving defensively and not dropping our intensity. We were hopeful, we were 2-0 ahead. You don't expect to draw from there."

Koeman knows Barca's chances of being crowned champions are slim ahead of their remaining games against Celta Vigo and Eibar.

He added: "Our aim was to win all three games and hope that the others would lose points, but now it's difficult.

"Games last for 90 minutes and we lost a lot in the second half. They caused problems and we didn't defend well. It's very disappointing. It's impossible to understand what happened. It's difficult to explain it."

Sergio Leon's late equaliser struck a massive blow to Barcelona's LaLiga title hopes as Levante fought back to salvage a 3-3 draw.

Barca looked to be cruising to the top of the table with a victory at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on Tuesday courtesy of Lionel Messi's 37th goal of the season and Pedri's first-half tap-in.

Yet two goals in as many second-half minutes from Gonzalo Melero and Jose Luis Morales pegged the fragile Catalan giants back.

Ousmane Dembele put Barca back in front, but Leon provided another dramatic twist when he levelled seven minutes from time.

Ronald Koeman's side paid the price for defensive frailties and trail Atletico Madrid - who have a game in hand - by a point with only two matches to play.

 

Novak Djokovic returned following a rain delay to beat Taylor Fritz in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia after Felix Auger-Aliassime dumped Diego Schwartzman out.

Djokovic, playing his first match since a shock loss to Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals of the Serbia Open on home soil, dispatched American Fritz 6-3 7-6 (7-5) on Tuesday.

The world number one, who missed the Madrid Open, won the first three games of the match and saved both break points he faced in the opening set.

Fritz had broken for a second time in the second set to level at 5-5 when the rain came at the Foro Italico, but the top seed was able to come back out on court to finish off the job and will face Cameron Norrie or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round.

Auger-Aliassime secured the third victory over a top-10 opponent in his fledgling career, beating eighth seed Schwartzman 6-1 6-3 to move into round three.

The 20-year-old Canadian only needed 64 minutes to send the Argentine packing, converting five of the six break-point opportunities he earned.

Matteo Berrettini saw off Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6 6-2 6-4 in the first round less than 48 hours after the Italian was beaten by Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Open final.

Gael Monfils was unable to win his first match since the Australian Open, as Lorenzo Sonego got the better of the fit-again Frenchman, who had been sidelined with a calf injury, 6-4 5-7 6-4.

Reilly Opelka moved into the last 16 with a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Lorenzo Musetti, while Pablo Carreno Busta's withdrawal due to lower back pain handed Kei Nishikori a walkover.

Daniil Medvedev and David Goffin were unable to start their second-round matches due to the weather in Rome.

Alessandro De Marchi emerged from stage four of the Giro d’Italia with the pink jersey after finishing second to Joe Dombrowski, with Tuesday's action coming in brutal conditions.

American Dombrowski (UAE-Team Emirates) caught the breakaway leaders and attacked with 4km remaining on the last climb of the day in the stage from Piacenza to Sestola, claiming his first victory at a grand tour.

As riders battled cold, wet and windy conditions, De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) came in 13 seconds behind to ensure it was he who claimed the maglia rosa, now leading the overall standings by 22 seconds over Dombrowski.

"I started thinking about taking the maglia rosa two days ago but I didn't tell anybody," said the veteran De Marchi.

"It was about finding the right move. I knew it would be tricky at the start. A bit of luck helped and here we are. I'm lost for words.

"The maglia rosa is the childhood dream of every cyclist, especially for an Italian.

"When I realised that there was opportunity [with the breakaway] I really started to dream and I was scared to have lost the opportunity in the middle of the race when the three guys went clear, but never give up."

INEOS Grenadiers rider Filippo Ganna relinquished the leader's jersey after coming in more than 21 minutes adrift.

Some of the race favourites also did battle back in the peloton with a group including Giulio Ciccone, Mikel Landa, Egan Bernal, Hugh Carthy and Aleksandr Vlasov making up 11 seconds on Simon Yates, Remco Evenepoel and Dan Martin.

A bad day for Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider Joao Almeida saw him drop from fourth to 42nd overall after losing just under six minutes to all but end his hopes of contending.


STAGE RESULT  

1. Joe Dombrowski (UAE-Team Emirates) 4:58:38
2. Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) +0.13
3. Filippo Fiorelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) +0.27
4. Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) +0.29
5. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Victorious) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) 13:50:44
2. Joe Dombrowski (UAE-Team Emirates) +0.22
3. Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) +00:42

Points Classification

1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 50
2. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) 38
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) 35

King of the Mountains

1. Joe Dombrowski (UAE-Team Emirates) 18
2. Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team) 16
3. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche–Wanty–Gobert Materiaux) 13

Garbine Muguruza eased into the second round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Tuesday thanks to a comfortable victory over lucky loser Patricia Maria Tig, though Belinda Bencic was the biggest casualty on a rain-interrupted day.

Spaniard Muguruza was due to face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova until the Russian withdrew due to an abdominal issue, giving Tig a reprieve and the chance of an upset.

But Muguruza won all but three games in a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 victory that required little more than an hour on court as the former world number one went to 22-6 for the season.

Conditions were not great as drizzle persisted for much of the match, but Muguruza was grateful to progress after a generally testing day.

"It was a weird day," the 12th seed said afterwards. "I woke up [and the weather was] sunny, had an opponent. Then it turned out I had another opponent and it was raining the whole match. We had a little bit of everything!

"But, Rome, it's such a familiar tournament. I played here so many times, I've had nice matches. I love this clay, the red clay. It's familiar to me. I'm just looking forward to getting as many matches as possible."

Bencic will not be joining her in the next round, as she became the highest seed to be eliminated on the day in a 6-3 6-4 defeat to Kristina Mladenovic.

The two played each other under two weeks ago in the first round of the Madrid Open, with Bencic victorious, but Mladenovic got her revenge as she capitalised on her opponent's seven double faults.

Like Tig, Sloane Stephens was also competing as a lucky loser as she came up against compatriot Madison Keys, though the outcome was no different.

Keys claimed only her second win in six meetings with Stephens but had to come from behind as she eventually clinched it 4-6 6-2 7-5 after two-and-a-half hours on court to set up a clash with 15th seed Iga Swiatek.

Elise Mertens, the 14th seed, was also dumped out of the competition, losing out 4-6 6-2 6-3 to Veronika Kudermetova, whom she had beaten in straight sets in their three WTA Tour contests before this one.

Veteran Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova, ranked 665 in the world, awaits top seed Ashleigh Barty after the 33-year-old showed character to fight back and beat Martina Trevisan 0-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (8-6), while Nadia Podoroska set up a second-round clash with Serena Williams after seeing off Laura Siegemund 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.

Gianluigi Buffon has called time on his second spell at Juventus, concluding a defining playing association with the Serie A giants.

There may only be three clubs on the goalkeeping great's resume but sustained excellence over more than two decades has filled his trophy cabinet with individual and team honours. 

The former Parma prodigy has rubbed shoulders with the very best in world football throughout that time, forming part of Serie A, Ligue 1 and World Cup-winning sides.

In honour of Buffon's stellar career, we have compiled a star-studded group of former team-mates for a dream XI.

 

GOALKEEPER: GIANLUIGI BUFFON

Who else has the pedigree to don the gloves in such a side?

A five-time member of the UEFA Team of the Year, he boasts more Serie A clean sheets than any other player and, as captain of his country from 2010 until his retirement in 2018, would have no trouble bringing this team together.

RIGHT-BACK: LILIAN THURAM

Having been joined by Buffon at Parma after his switch from Monaco in 1996, Thuram followed his team-mate in making the move to Turin ahead of the 2001-02 campaign.

The 142-time France international, part of the side that tasted glory at the 1998 World Cup on home soil and won Euro 2000, spent five seasons at Juve before rounding out his career with a spell at Barcelona.

CENTRE-BACK: FABIO CANNAVARO

Buffon's inheritance of the Italy armband from Cannavaro in 2010 completed the striking symmetry of their careers.

They both made their Parma debuts in 1995, did the same for Italy in 1997 and were reunited at club level when Cannavaro, one of few defenders to win the Ballon d'Or, joined Juve in 2004. They also lifted the World Cup together in 2006.

CENTRE-BACK: ALESSANDRO NESTA

A long-time rival at club level, Nesta was part of the famous Milan defence that beat Juve in the 2002-03 Champions League final – he scored his penalty against Buffon in a 3-2 shoot-out victory – and triumphed again four seasons later.

He was named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2000, which Buffon missed through injury, but the 2006 World Cup success will undoubtedly be the highlight of his career.

LEFT-BACK: PAOLO MALDINI

With admirable longevity, loyalty and leadership, classy defender Maldini set the path that Buffon has so impressively followed.

The long-time Rossoneri skipper, a seven-time Scudetto winner who also lifted the European Cup on five occasions, Maldini was the only player to have managed more Serie A appearances than the veteran keeper until his Juve return.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: ANDREA PIRLO

Has there been a more iconic duo of the modern era?

Pirlo was already at the top by the time he swapped Milan for Juve, but he saved plenty of his play-making brilliance for Buffon and friends as the Bianconeri re-asserted themselves as Italy's top club with a run of successive Scudetti that stretched to nine before being ended by Inter this season as their reunion as player and head coach did not yield similar results.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD: PAVEL NEDVED

Nedved's blend of athleticism, tenacity and well-rounded technical ability made him close to the complete midfielder.

He helped Czech Republic to the final of Euro 1996 and his value to Juve was summed up by a Ballon d'Or victory in 2003.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ROBERTO BAGGIO

Less than two years after a 17-year-old Buffon held Baggio and Milan scoreless on his senior debut for Parma, the pair were sharing the same shirt for Italy.

Two of the Azzurri's greatest were in the same squad at the 1998 World Cup, although Buffon would ultimately go one better than the 1993 Ballon d'Or winner, who suffered final heartache against Brazil at USA 94.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD: ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO

He stands as an equal in the pantheon of Juve luminaries.

Buffon and the majestic Del Piero combined to help the Bianconeri finish top of Serie A on five occasions, while they lined up for Italy together for over a decade and experienced World Cup glory together

FORWARD: CRISTIANO RONALDO

Ronaldo joined Juve as Buffon embarked upon his hiatus with Paris Saint-Germain. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was supposed to add Champions League glory to domestic dominance and now Juventus have neither.

Nevertheless, Ronaldo's individual form has remained imperious. In 127 appearances for the Bianconceri, he has 97 goals at a rate of a goal every 113 minutes.

FORWARD: KYLIAN MBAPPE

They were only together for a year but the France phenomenon is a performer to compare with many of the greats to have shared a dressing room with Buffon.

Fresh from 2018 World Cup success with France, Mbappe scored 39 goals in 43 appearances for PSG in 2018-19, averaging 90.25 minutes per goal and boasting a shot conversion rate of 22 per cent.

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