Daniil Medvedev secured his spot in the next round of the Halle Open after fending off a valiant Nuno Borges in straight sets.

The world number five prevailed 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 on Monday to bounce back from his round-of-16 exit to Alex de Minaur at Roland-Garros.

Medvedev found himself behind early on as Borges won an early break point, but the Russian roared back to win the tiebreak 7-4.

Borges continued to match his opponent in the second set, but the former world number one showcased his endurance and class, finishing the contest in style to secure his place in the round of 16. 

Medvedev will now face Zhizhen Zhang after his win over Sebastian Ofner earlier in the day. 

Data Debrief: Med goes two for two

This duo first met at this year's Australian Open, with Medvedev winning on that occasion too.

It was a tight encounter this time around, as Medvedev was forced to save five break points, while also striking nine aces, but he made it two straight wins against Borges.

A difficult spell for Holger Rune continued as the Dane was beaten by Jordan Thompson in the first round of the Queen's Club Championships on Monday.

Rune has fallen from a high of four down to number 15 in the ATP rankings and was unable to hold on to a lead in his match with Thompson in London.

Australian Thompson fought back to prevail 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in an entertaining encounter against the seventh seed.

Rune made the semi-finals at Queen's and the quarter-finals of Wimbledon last year, but is now seriously lacking momentum as the third grand slam of 2024 fast approaches.

Elsewhere at the ATP 500 event, third seed Grigor Dimitrov is safely through after cruising past Adrian Mannarino 6-1 6-2 in only 63 minutes.

Dimitrov will face either Sebastian Korda or Karen Khachanov in the last 16. 

Top seed and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz starts his campaign against Argentine Francisco Cerundolo on Tuesday. 

That is also when Thompson’s compatriot and last year’s runner-up Alex de Minaur begins his tournament with what could be a testing clash against Italian Lorenzo Musetti.

Data Debrief: Thompson's serve sees off Rune 

In the first career meeting between the two players, both Rune and Thompson were strong on serve. The three sets only produced two breaks – one from each player – in a battle that topped the two-hour mark.

Thompson came into the tournament on a five-match losing streak, but has often impressed on grass, with this being his 64th career win on the surface.

He had eight aces to just one double fault and crucially won 69 per cent (20/29) of his second-serve points, affording Rune just one break-point opportunity across the whole match.

Thompson added 27 winners and could face home hope Andy Murray next round if the Briton can defeat Alexei Popyrin.

As for Dimitrov, he recorded 28 winners and only five unforced errors in his impressive win over Mannarino. Having made the quarter-finals at the French Open, the Bulgarian looks poised to enter Wimbledon in good form.

Belgium played at a major tournament without Thibaut Courtois for the first time since 2002 when they kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign against Slovakia.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois was a big-name omission from Domenico Tedesco's squad.

Courtois endured an injury-hit campaign with Madrid, but returned to fitness in time to help Los Blancos win the Champions League final at Wembley on June 1.

However, that was not enough to see him make the Red Devils' squad, and it meant that when Belgium got their Group E campaign under way in Frankfurt on Monday, they played without Courtois at a major tournament for the first time since 2002.

Courtois played in every game of Belgium's campaigns at the 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cups, while also featuring in each of their matches at Euro 2016 and 2020.

Koen Casteels, the Wolfsburg shot-stopper, deputised in Courtois' place against Slovakia.

Overcoming Cristiano Ronaldo is among the main motivations for Czechia ahead of Tuesday's Euro 2024 clash with Portugal, says head coach Ivan Hasek.

Portugal have been touted as serious contenders to lift the trophy on July 14, but they first face group-stage clashes with Czechia, Turkiye and Georgia.

They will once again be captained by Ronaldo, who enters his 11th major tournament as their undisputed first-choice striker after being surprisingly dropped at the 2022 World Cup.

Ronaldo holds the records for most games (25), most goals (14) and joint-most assists on record (six – since 1972) at the Euros, also scoring at a record five separate editions of the tournament. 

At World Cups and European Championships, the former Real Madrid and Manchester United man has made a total of 47 appearances, the most of any European player, while scoring 22 goals and assisting eight. 

Rather than playing down the significance of facing the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, Hasek used Monday's pre-match press conference to challenge his players to shut him out.

"We want to neutralise Ronaldo. Especially for our guys, they will remember this for their whole lives," Hasek said.

"Ronaldo is one of the best players and they will be able to say they played against him and maybe they will even be successful. 

"I do not want us not to say after the match that we played against Ronaldo, but that we defeated him."

 

Czechia are appearing at an 11th edition of the Euros (including participations as Czechoslovakia), including their eighth in a row.

That streak began with the 1996 tournament, where they were runners-up in England. Only Germany (14) and France (nine) are currently on longer runs of consecutive European Championship appearances.

With Czechia tipped by many to compete with Turkiye for second place in Group F, Hasek says the key will not be how they start the group stage, but how they finish it. 

"The most important thing at this tournament is the last game. So, the first game doesn't really decide anything," he said.

"All our 26 nominated players are ready, they are healthy, they are fit, and we cannot wait. We are really excited about tomorrow to start everything.

"When you see the pitches, when you see the stadiums, you see this is a really great footballing event."

Gary Neville believes Gareth Southgate will have major concerns about the balance of England's midfield following their Euro 2024 opener against Serbia. 

Jude Bellingham's fourth international goal was enough to kickstart ther Three Lions' campaign with a win, but the encounter in Gelsenkirchen was far from straightforward. 

England had Jordan Pickford to thank to preserve Southgate's record of winning the opening game of every major tournament he has managed at, producing a fine stop to deny Dusan Vlahovic in the second half. 

Much was made of who Southgate would deploy in central midfield ahead of the tournament, with Trent Alexander-Arnold given the nod to feature alongside Declan Rice. 

"The midfield is the major concern and the fluidity of the game that comes through there is one thing we need to try and work on in the group stage because when we play against a good team, we'll have to have it right," said Neville. 

"There are some small alarm bells around balance and having a good group of players that are very talented but are we as good a team?

"Last night, you start to think about the impact and influence of Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips. The best players don't make the best team sometimes.

"We're aware Kieran Trippier is right-footed at left-back and is playing there because of all the injuries in that position which creates a further imbalance. But in midfield, somehow we have to try and get that right. Gareth [Southgate] will be more than aware of that.

Alexander-Arnold completed 37 of his 42 passes against Serbia, averaging a pass accuracy of 88.1 percent, the joint-third lowest from those who started the game, with only Phil Foden and Harry Kane below him.  

The Liverpool full-back started brightly, showing glimpses of his wide passing range, but made one mistake late in the first half which allowed Aleksandar Mitrovic a shot on goal. 

"We know [Alexander-Arnold] can do it when he moves into midfield from right-back and then can deliver those crosses and passes. There were times when he found himself with his back to play and that is a different story," said Neville.

"I don't really want to focus on him being a problem in there. It was the balance of the entire midfield and I include Declan Rice in that as well - and what England need to have in there to be able to move forward in this tournament.

"All eyes will be on Trent Alexander-Arnold. His best position is right-back and having the ability to move forward on that side or coming inside and playing that quarter-back role. It doesn't look like we're going to do that, it looks like we're going to stick with Kyle Walker which is absolutely the right decision.

"Gareth will know he's got an issue with these talented players and how he gets them all into the team - and most importantly with the right balance."

Gary Neville believes Gareth Southgate will have major concerns about the balance of England's midfield following their Euro 2024 opener against Serbia. 

Jude Bellingham's fourth international goal was enough to kickstart ther Three Lions' campaign with a win, but the encounter in Gelsenkirchen was far from straightforward. 

England had Jordan Pickford to thank to preserve Southgate's record of winning the opening game of every major tournament he has managed at, producing a fine stop to deny Dusan Vlahovic in the second half. 

Much was made of who Southgate would deploy in central midfield ahead of the tournament, with Trent Alexander-Arnold given the nod to feature alongside Declan Rice. 

"The midfield is the major concern and the fluidity of the game that comes through there is one thing we need to try and work on in the group stage because when we play against a good team, we'll have to have it right," said Neville. 

"There are some small alarm bells around balance and having a good group of players that are very talented but are we as good a team?

"Last night, you start to think about the impact and influence of Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips. The best players don't make the best team sometimes.

"We're aware Kieran Trippier is right-footed at left-back and is playing there because of all the injuries in that position which creates a further imbalance. But in midfield, somehow we have to try and get that right. Gareth [Southgate] will be more than aware of that.

Alexander-Arnold completed 37 of his 42 passes against Serbia, averaging a pass accuracy of 88.1 percent, the joint-third lowest from those who started the game, with only Phil Foden and Harry Kane below him.  

The Liverpool full-back started brightly, showing glimpses of his wide passing range, but made one mistake late in the first half which allowed Aleksandar Mitrovic a shot on goal. 

"We know [Alexander-Arnold] can do it when he moves into midfield from right-back and then can deliver those crosses and passes. There were times when he found himself with his back to play and that is a different story," said Neville.

"I don't really want to focus on him being a problem in there. It was the balance of the entire midfield and I include Declan Rice in that as well - and what England need to have in there to be able to move forward in this tournament.

"All eyes will be on Trent Alexander-Arnold. His best position is right-back and having the ability to move forward on that side or coming inside and playing that quarter-back role. It doesn't look like we're going to do that, it looks like we're going to stick with Kyle Walker which is absolutely the right decision.

"Gareth will know he's got an issue with these talented players and how he gets them all into the team - and most importantly with the right balance."

Romania stormed to a 3-0 win over Ukraine in their Euro 2024 opener on Monday, with Nicolae Stanciu, Razvan Marin and Denis Dragus scoring in their first victory at the European Championships for 24 years.

Ukraine dominated possession early on but a loose pass from Andriy Lunin put them in trouble after 29 minutes. Dennis Man intercepted and found Stanciu on the edge of the area, and the Romania skipper shaped a wonderful first-time effort into the top-left corner.

Sanciu later clipped the crossbar directly from a corner as Romania grew in stature, and they had their second goal seven minutes into the second half.

Marin came onto a loose ball and struck a low shot from 25 yards out, which Real Madrid goalkeeper Lunin allowed to squirm under his dive and into the bottom-right corner.

Ukraine's problems worsened within another four minutes, as Dragus stayed onside to tap Man's cross into an unguarded net following a short corner routine.

Roman Yaremchuk hit the crossbar with a lobbed attempt in stoppage time, but that was as close as Ukraine came to a goal, as Romania recorded their first win at the Euros since a memorable 3-2 victory dumped England out of the 2000 tournament.

Data Debrief: Dennis is the Man

There were standout performances throughout the Romania lineup, with Dragus leading the line superbly and Tottenham's Radu Dragusin looking every inch the modern ball-playing centre-back. 

However, it was Man who played the starring role with two assists. He is the first Romanian player to tee up two goals in a major tournament game since the great Gheorghe Hagi against Colombia at the 1994 World Cup.

Bryson DeChambeau is looking forward to more final-round battles with Rory McIlroy following his second U.S. Open triumph at Pinehurst on Sunday. 

DeChambeau headed into the final round in North Carolina with a three-shot lead over the field, but soon found himself two behind the Northern Irishman three holes into the back nine. 

A birdie at the 13th regained the American's composure, with McIlroy making bogey in three of the last four holes, including an agonising miss on18 to hand DeChambeau the victory. 

The fifth major title continues to elude McIlroy, last winning at the 2014 PGA Championship, but DeChambeau labelled the world number two as one of the best to play the game and is excited for future tussles on the golf course. 

"Rory is one of the best to ever play," DeChambeau said. "Being able to fight against a great like that is pretty special. I'd love to have a lot more battles with him.

"I have nothing but respect for how he plays the game of golf... to be honest, when he was climbing up the leaderboard, I was like, 'Uh-oh', but luckily things went my way today.

"For him to miss that putt [on the 18th], I'd never wish it on anybody.

"I'm sure it will fuel Rory's fire even more. He's a strong-minded individual. He'll win multiple more major championships, there's no doubt."

McIlroy's missed putt at 18 opened the door for DeChambeau to capitalise, but a wayward drive left him hunched under a tree, forcing him to punch out to a greenside bunker to set up a nervy finish. 

However, the American would produce a moment of magic to place the ball within four feet of the hole, going on to say it was the shot of his life. 

"That bunker shot was the shot of my life," DeChambeau reflected.

"I knew where Rory was. After my tee shot, I was up there going, 'Man, if he makes par, I don't know how I'm going to beat him'. I just really didn't know.

"Then I heard the moans. It was like a shot of adrenaline got in me. I said, 'Okay, you can do this'. I'm so happy I got that shot up-and-down."

Napoli insist Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is not on the market after his agent Mamuka Jugeli claimed he is looking to leave the club. 

The Georgia international, who is preparing for his country's Euro 2024 opener against Turkiye on Tuesday, has been linked with a move to both Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the current transfer window. 

Kvaratskhelia scored 11 times in the league in 2023-24, as the Partenopei finished 10th in what was a disappointing defence of their third Serie A crown. 

"We want to leave Napoli, but now we're all waiting for the Euro 2024," Jugeli told Sport Imedi last week. "With [Antonio] Conte, Napoli have big plans.

"I'm sure they will qualify for the Champions League again next season and fight for the Scudetto. But that doesn't mean Kvaratskhelia wants to stay there, I don't mean it.

"I didn't talk with Khvicha about this issue, the most important thing for him is the national team. Our goal is the team that plays in the Champions League.

"The worst thing is that if he stays here, Khvicha will lose one year because of that… we are worried."

However, Napoli have hit back with a statement of their own, citing the fact Kvaratskhelia has three years remaining on his contract at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. 

It read: "In reference to the statements of Kvaratskhelia's agent, Mamuka Jugeli, and his father Badri, Calcio Napoli reiterates that the player has a contract for another three years with the club.

"Kvaratskhelia is not on the market. It is not the agents or fathers who decide the future of a player under contract with Napoli but the club!!! End of the story."

Manuel Neuer has called on Germany to stay grounded after their flying start to Euro 2024, warning Wednesday's clash with Hungary in Stuttgart will be a step up.

Germany recorded the biggest ever win in the opening game of a European Championship last Friday, thumping Scotland 5-1 with Florian Writz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can all on target.

It was also Germany's largest victory at the Euros, as they underlined their credentials after a turbulent build-up to their home tournament.

They will be heavily favoured against a Hungary side well beaten by Switzerland in their first game, but Neuer – who is playing at his eighth major tournament – says Julian Nagelsmann's squad will not get carried away.

"The trust is what's important and the trust among us as team-mates and the coaching staff is very high," Neuer said on Monday. 

"We have started preparations for the Hungary game and the focus and concentration is increasing.

"Against Scotland we dominated from the start. We scored after 10 minutes and that did us a lot of good, but we have our feet on the ground. 

"We have some self-confidence now but Hungary will be a different level. This is a warning for us and we will not underestimate them."

If Neuer appears at another game at these Euros, he will pass Hugo Lloris outright for the appearance record among goalkeepers at World Cups and European Championships combined. The duo are currently level with 35 apiece. 

Hungary were distinctly second best in their 3-1 defeat to Switzerland on matchday one and may need a result against the hosts to have a realistic chance of progressing. 

Coach Marco Rossi knows they face a mighty task, claiming Germany are favourites to win the tournament. 

"I dare anybody to bet one Hungarian Forint on us. As of today that looks impossible," Rossi said. 

"Germany are a different team than the last Euros, they proved it against Scotland. In my opinion, they are the biggest favourites for the European Championship."

Reflecting on the Switzerland defeat, he added: "We had some shortcomings in individual performances. 

"There aren't many strategies to stop individual mistakes. It's hard to say anyone did well apart from two or three performances."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Germany – Toni Kroos

Kroos began his final tournament with a metronomic performance against Scotland, completing 101 of his 102 passes for the highest pass completion rate (99 per cent) of any player to ever attempt 100 passes at a Euros match.

He also made 31 line-breaking passes in that match – more than any Scotland player completed passes in total, with Kieran Tierney leading the way with 30.

 

Hungary – Barnabas Varga 

Varga briefly got Hungary back into the game against Switzerland, and he now has seven goals in just nine starts for his country across all competitions.

Should he find the net on Wednesday, he would become just the second Hungarian to score on his first two European Championship appearances, after Ferenc Bene in 1964.

MATCH PREDICTION – GERMANY WIN

Given the rampant nature of Germany's victory over Scotland, it is difficult to look past them in their second match.

Hungary have only kept one clean sheet in their 12 total matches at the Euros, in a 2-0 win over Austria back in 2016. They have conceded the opening goal in seven of those 12 games, going on to lose on six of those seven occasions (one draw).

They are also without a win in seven European Championship games and could lose two matches at a single edition of the tournament for just the second time, after 1972.

Germany, meanwhile, had five different goalscorers last time out, more than they had in the entirety of Euro 2020 (three). Only in 1996, 2016 (both six) and 2012 (eight) have they had more at a single edition of the finals (excluding own goals).

Nagelsmann's team are strong favourites to win their first two matches at a fifth edition of the Euros, after doing so in 1972, 1980, 1996 and 2012. 

They won the trophy on three of those previous four occasions, only falling short when they exited in the semi-finals in 2012.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Germany – 71.2%

Hungary – 12.1%

Draw – 16.6%

So far, the experience at the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup has been a fantastic one for the West Indies.

The two-time champions and joint hosts have won all three of their matches in Group C against Papua New Guinea, Uganda and New Zealand and have already secured a spot in the Super 8.

A win over Afghanistan in their final Group Stage game at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St. Lucia on Monday will see them advance as winners of Group C.

Their opponents also have three wins in as many games and are currently top of the group with a superior net run rate, 4.230 to 2.596.

West Indies skipper Rovman Powell addressed the media on Sunday ahead of Monday’s encounter.

“Obviously, it's a top of the table clash. Afghanistan have been playing good T20 cricket and consistent T20 cricket. They have a lot of match winners. So, it's something that we have to come with our best game. As I said before, they're playing good T20 cricket. So, it's an opportunity for us to play against another world class side. Very good practice going into the Super 8 games,” he said.

The hosts have played their three games in Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago and are looking forward to playing at the Daren Sammy Stadium in St. Lucia, a pitch known as one of the better ones in the region for batting.

“Yeah, definitely. When we look on the schedule, all the batters were excited to come to St. Lucia. Traditionally, St. Lucia have been a place where batters like to bat. It's also an opportunity for bowlers to bowl good spells here, especially the fast bowlers. We think that St. Lucia offer 60 - 40 in terms of, from a batting perspective, to bowl. And so, if you are a bowler, or if you are a batter, you definitely can get something out of the St. Lucia wicket,” Powell said.

One major concern for the West Indies has been the form of opener Johnson Charles who has scored 44 runs in three games, so far, with all 44 of those runs coming against Uganda.

Powell says he expects Charles to come good at some point and is encouraging him to continue to be aggressive at the top of the innings.

“It's just a case of us telling him to be Johnson Charles, be his natural self. If he's an aggressive player, we expect him to play aggressive. But with that aggression, we know at some point he will fail and at some point, he will come good. So, it's for us now to support him, it's for us now to give him that additional backing that he needs and I think everyone is behind him to come good tomorrow or when he gets the opportunity in the future games,” he said.

Since the tournament, the regional side have climbed up to number three in the ICC T20 International rankings.

Naturally, a team playing a home World Cup will face pressure to perform well but this bump in ranking will only magnify that pressure.

Powell says the team is aware and ready for the challenge ahead.

“I think pressure is always there, especially when you're at home, especially when you're playing a World Cup at home. Pressure is always there, but it's for us as individuals to manage that pressure,” he said.

“I think for me as captain, when I started this journey 12 or 14 months ago, when I took over as captain, we were at eight or nine in the ranking. To see us at number three now in the world is a pleasing feeling. And it shows that not just myself, but the players are coming together and we're doing something right. I've never played in a West Indies team that is ranked number three in the world. So that for me is something special and hopefully, just hopefully, we can continue to climb those rankings,” he added.

 

 

 

 

Sergio Ramos is leaving Sevilla following a one-year return to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, the club have confirmed.

Ramos came through Sevilla's youth system before joining Real Madrid for €27million as a 19-year-old in 2005, going on to win LaLiga on five occasions and the Champions League four times with Los Blancos.

Following an injury-hit stint with Paris Saint-Germain, Ramos returned to his boyhood club as a free agent last September, 18 years on from his initial departure.

Ramos played 28 times in LaLiga last term, scoring three goals and contributing to seven clean sheets as Sevilla pulled away from the relegation zone to end a turbulent season in 14th.

In a statement released on Monday, the club confirmed Ramos was to depart and said he would speak at a farewell news conference on Tuesday.

Sevilla added: "The club wishes to thank Sergio for the commitment, leadership and dedication that he has demonstrated this season, and wishes him the best for future."

The former Spain international is not thought likely to call time on his glittering career just yet, with MLS expansion team San Diego FC having been linked with a move.

Rory McIlroy's shocking misses at the U.S. Open could haunt him for the rest of his career, believes six-time major champion Nick Faldo.

McIlroy looked to be in pole position to end his 10-year major drought on the final day of play at Pinehurst on Sunday, as four birdies in a five-hole stretch gave him a two-shot lead over Bryson DeChambeau.

However, things unravelled for the Northern Irishman in spectacular fashion, as he missed a putt from less than three yards to save par on the 15th.

Despite following that up with a bogey on the 16th, McIlroy still shared the lead with DeChambeau as he approached the final hole.

He then missed another four-foot putt to hand the initiative to DeChambeau, who produced a brilliant bunker shot then made no mistake for his own close-range par, clinching his second major title by a single shot.

McIlroy left Pinehurst without speaking to the media as DeChambeau celebrated his second U.S. Open crown in the last five editions, and Faldo believes he may never fully get over his misses.

"That's going to haunt Rory for the rest of his life, those two misses," Faldo said in his role of co-commentator for Sky Sports.

"It was an unbelievable finish. That was a four of all fours to finish from Bryson and the celebration of all celebrations! 

"Rory will be broken-hearted, so I feel for him. He's going to be gutted, absolutely gutted."

Ralf Rangnick says self-belief will be vital as his Austria side hunt a major scalp in their Euro 2024 opener against France on Monday.

France are viewed among the favourites to win the tournament, having won the 2018 World Cup and finished as runners-up at Euro 2016 and the 2022 World Cup under Didier Deschamps.

However, Les Bleus have been tasked with a tough draw, with Austria tipped as potential dark horses and the Netherlands beating Poland 2-1 in Group D's first match on Sunday.

Austria finished just one point behind Belgium in their first qualification campaign under former Manchester United boss Rangnick, who has needed little time to implement his preferred high-pressing style.

Austria allowed their opponents fewer passes per defensive action (8.3 PPDA) than any other team during qualifying, also attacking with the fastest direct speed, moving the ball upfield at a speed of 2.03 metres per second.

Rangnick plans to take the game to France in Dusseldorf, telling his players there can be no inferiority complex if they are to earn a result. 

"That is crucial, that we will be courageous, that we are convinced of our own strength," Rangnick said at his pre-match press conference.

"What's really vital is the way that we perform, not the way that France plays, or whether they are a little bit better or a little bit worse, it's only about us.

"We prepared for over two years for this day. It's finally starting for us. We're really excited. There's joy above everything else."

One of Austria's most pressing tasks will be to shut out Kylian Mbappe, who has scored 12 goals in his last three international tournaments (four at the 2018 World Cup, none at Euro 2020, eight at the 2022 World Cup).

Harry Kane is the only European player to match that figure, and the England man was also the only player from Europe's top five leagues to equal Mbappe's 44 goals in 2023-24. 

However, Rangnick says Austria cannot afford to focus entirely on any one player, such is the strength of the France squad.

"With our style of playing we have to counter him and the whole French team, we have to make sure that he doesn't receive as many balls as he likes," he said.

"We know from our own strengths that we can win this match."

 

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