Coco Gauff's parents have allayed concerns about the teenage sensation's mental health after she spoke of struggling with depression.

Gauff shot to prominence last year with a run to the fourth round of Wimbledon in her maiden grand slam appearance aged only 15.

The American won her first WTA singles title in Linz last season and reached round four of the Australian Open three months ago.

Gauff told 'Behind the Racquet' that she found it difficult to cope with so much expectation at such a young age and had considered taking a year out of the game.

The world number 52 said she had been "really depressed" for about a year, but her father told the New York Times that she had not been diagnosed with depression.

Corey Gauff, one of the prodigy's coaches, said: "That's the thing that was alarming [stating she had been depressed], and I knew that was going to be the word that got picked up.

"She was never clinically depressed, never diagnosed with depression, never seen anybody about depression."

He added: "There’s no medicine going on. This is a kid's personal pressure that they put on themselves and how they deal with it and how they mature."

Candi Gauff believes her daughter's defeats of older opponents on the junior circuit may have come at a cost.

She said: "That led to loneliness at the tournaments, which leads to sadness, so for a period of time she was unhappy.

"I don’t want to say the word 'jealousy', but it was a spirit of, 'Why is this young girl winning?' So she was isolated."

Candi Gauff also thinks Coco may have felt she had been missing out when she was able to see what other children had been up to on social media, having been home-schooled since third grade.

She said: "You are seeing other kids posting photos of going to these high school events, and you're wondering what would life be like if I didn't play tennis."

Rafael Nadal's academy is considering launching a competition at its campus with the ATP Tour suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP and WTA Tour seasons are on hold until at least July 13 due to COVID-19, which has killed more than 160,000 people worldwide.

But having held talks with ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi to offer facilities for training, the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca is looking at becoming "a campus where elite players can reside, train and compete between themselves in matches that will be televised so that fans around the world can enjoy them".

"Right now tennis takes a back seat and the most important thing is everyone's health, but if in the coming months the academy can be used to help other professional players, I'd be delighted if they could come to train and also to compete," Nadal said in a statement on Saturday.

"Although we have no upcoming tournaments, I think that competing among ourselves would help us maintain our game for when the Tour restarts."

Similarly, Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou announced the launch of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS), starting without fans in attendance on May 16.

In a statement, it said fans would be able to interact with players in real time and listen to every conversation between competitors and coaches.

"The UTS is simply meant to be an alternative to what already exists," Mouratoglou said.

"It is a platform created to showcase the incredible talent, athleticism and personalities of the wide range of tennis players. It offers a new and innovative approach, targeting a younger tennis audience and proposes a different way to distribute the money among the players."

World number 10 David Goffin is scheduled to play Alexei Popyrin – whose father Alex is a UTS co-founder – in the opening match.

Novak Djokovic revealed he had spoken to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal about a relief fund that would see up to $4.5million distributed to lower-ranked players.

The ATP Tour is suspended until at least July 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 160,000 people worldwide.

There are financial concerns for several sports, including tennis – particularly lower-ranked players with the season paused.

ATP Player Council president Djokovic said he had discussed a relief fund with fellow members Federer and Nadal.

"I spoke to Roger and Rafa a few days ago," he said during an Instagram Live with Stan Wawrinka on Saturday.

"We had a long conversation about the near future of tennis, what's going to happen, how we can contribute and how we can help, especially lower-ranked guys who are obviously struggling the most of anybody.

"Majority of the players who are ranked between, whatever, 200 and 250 to 700 or 1,000, don't have federation support, don't have sponsors so they are completely independent and kind of left alone.

"I'm really glad that ATP, grand slams now most likely, and players, hopefully, if we all get together, will contribute collectively to the player relief fund that ATP will distribute using certain models and criteria."

Djokovic added: "Right now, it looks like there's going to be hopefully somewhere between $3 million and $4.5 million, there is going to be distributed to these lower-ranking guys."

A 17-time grand slam champion, Djokovic said tennis needed to respect its lower-ranked players.

"I'm really glad that the tennis ecosystem is coming together because I think everyone realises the importance of the base of the tennis and these guys that are ranked from 250 onwards," he said.

"They are the ones that make the grassroots of tennis, that make the future of tennis and I feel we have to be united, we have to support them, we have to show them that they are not forgotten, that we are there for them.

"But also I feel we have to send a message to the younger generations that are taking in consideration to be professional players and to show them that they can live out of tennis even at the times when there is a pandemic and there is a financial crisis, that they still can rely on the support of the top guys of the ATP as a governing body, of the ITF, of grand slams."

Novak Djokovic insisted he did not expect to have the crowd on his side when playing Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.

A 17-time grand slam champion, Djokovic is still behind Federer (20) and Nadal (19) on the all-time list for majors won by men, while the Serbian still struggles for support compared to the Swiss and Spaniard.

In an Instagram Live with Stan Wawrinka on Saturday, Djokovic discussed why that was the case, accepting he would often find himself on the wrong side of the support against the duo.

"For sure one thing is that Roger is arguably the greatest player of all-time," he said.

"He's the guy that is liked around the world so I don't expect, to be honest, in most of the cases, as long as he's playing, the crowd to be majority on my side. Some places, maybe, but most of the places are going to support Roger and I'm okay with that because it's Roger.

"It's very similar situation with Rafa so it's hard for me to answer to that question. Why is it like that? Am I contributing to that in a negative way that I'm taking away the crowd support for me? I don't think so.

"I think it's more just the greatness of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and not just them as tennis players, but them as people, as very charismatic, nice guys, humble guys, great champions that have made a huge mark in our sport and I am part of their era, so in one way I am lucky and in another way maybe not so much."

Djokovic asked Wawrinka – a three-time grand slam champion – for his opinion on the matter.

The Swiss felt tennis needed something closer to a villain, a role the 32-year-old Djokovic assumed.

"I think it's a bit of for sure what you said that they are amazing champions like you are," Wawrinka said.

"I think in your young age you were a bit different of course like we all are and they took this spot already of the nice player, humble, always fair play and all. In a movie you cannot have three good guys, you need someone who's a bit against, you know what I mean? I'm saying that with a lot of respect.

"When you were all three younger, that's the direction that everybody took a little bit and now it affects a little bit right now."

The inaugural Indian Premier League began with a bang when Brendon McCullum blasted an unbeaten 158 exactly 12 years ago.

McCullum's devastating display of hitting provided a glimpse of what was to come for the world's premier Twenty20 franchise competition.

To mark the anniversary, we take a look at some of sport's great curtain-raisers.

 

Indomitable Lions tame Maradona et al in Milan

As the defending champions, Argentina had the honour of kicking off the 1990 World Cup in Italy and were expected to encounter few difficulties against Cameroon.

The Indomitable Lions may have never won at a World Cup finals before, but 90 minutes later that had been rectified, Francois Omam-Biyik heading in a winner that was embarrassingly shovelled over the line by Nery Pumpido.

That was only half the story, though. Cameroon finished the game with nine men, Benjamin Massing following Andre Kana-Biyik in being sent off for an outrageous lunge on Claudio Caniggia that remains one of the enduring World Cup images.

Take nothing away from Cameroon, though. They went on to reach the quarter-finals - beaten by England - as the world finally took notice of African football.

 

Springboks take first step on road to glory

The honour of playing the first game at the Rugby World Cup typically goes to the hosts, and in 1995 the opening fixture pitted South Africa against reigning champions Australia in Cape Town.

The Springboks had only been permitted to return to international rugby in 1992 once apartheid was abolished, but, roared on by a partisan Newlands crowd that included future great Bryan Habana, they saw off the Wallabies 27-18.

It proved to be the catalyst for South Africa, who would go on to be crowned World Cup winners, a victory that did much to unite a nation divided for so long.

McCullum's IPL masterclass

T20 was still in its infancy in 2008 when Kolkata Knight Riders opener McCullum came to the crease, and there was little indication of what was to come when the New Zealander failed to score off his first six balls faced.

He soon got his eye in. McCullum would go on to smash 158 off 73 balls, including 13 sixes and 10 fours, as the Knight Riders cruised to a 140-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore. It was a better start than even the IPL architects could have hoped for.

Only five men have recorded higher scores than McCullum's knock that day, but none have been as important as the display which showed the IPL was a force rather than a farce.

 

Lleyton Blewitt at Wimbledon

Lleyton Hewitt stepped onto Centre Court on June 23, 2003 as the defending Wimbledon champion to face world number 203 Ivo Karlovic.

The Australian demolished his 6ft 10ins opponent in a 19-minute first set, which he took 6-1, but Karlovic, playing in his first grand slam, flipped the script.

A 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-4 victory represented 24-year-old Karlovic's 11th Tour win as Hewitt became just the second man to lose in the first round at Wimbledon as a defending champion.

 

Patriots are Hunt-ed down in 2017

The defending Super Bowl champions have had the honour of kicking off the NFL regular season since 2004 and there was another championship banner being unveiled in Foxborough on September 7, 2017.

Pre-game talk surrounded the possibility of the New England Patriots going 19-0. The Kansas City Chiefs had other ideas, though, routing Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in their own backyard in a 42-27 success as rookie running back Kareem Hunt went off for 246 yards from scrimmage.

Belichick and Brady bounced back and New England finished 13-3 before making another Super Bowl, where Nick Foles and the 'underdog' Philadelphia Eagles lifted the Lombardi Trophy in Minnesota.

Andy Murray is convinced Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are the greatest men's tennis players of all time - just don't ask him to put them in order.

The Scot might have had a stack more grand slam titles had it not been for the 'Big Three' of the modern era.

As well as his two Wimbledon triumphs, two Olympic golds and a 2012 US Open success, Murray has lost five major finals to Djokovic and three to Federer.

While Murray feels the likes of Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors would be competitive in this age, he sees his direct rivals as the best there have ever been.

Murray told Djokovic in an Instagram Live chat on Friday: "The thing that's special now is you have three guys who are playing at the same time, so you can compare them because - I wrote it down - you played 55 times against Rafa and 50 times against Roger, and Roger and Rafa played 40 times.

"So you have that many matches between the best players in the biggest tournaments - so you actually don't have to compare the generations, and I think the best three players are playing now.

"It's difficult to judge it. We don't know what's going to happen in the future, so we don't know what everyone is going to finish on slam-wise and how many matches everyone will have played and won against each other."

Addressing Serbian star Djokovic, Murray said: "Also in this conversation, which is maybe different to other sports because we have the different surfaces, is that to me right now you have Rafa's record on clay nobody competes with, Roger's current record at Wimbledon is the best, and your record on hard courts is the best.

"So because we have these different surfaces, it's difficult, and when people ask me what's the toughest match in your career, who are the hardest guys to play against, I'd be like... I feel like I'm competing against the best hard-court player ever, I've competed against the best clay-court player ever and the best grass-court player ever, so for me it depends on the surface."

Federer has 20 grand slam singles titles, Nadal has 19 and Djokovic landed his 17th at the Australian Open at the start of this season. The campaign is now on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Whenever tennis resumes, there will be a host of young players vying with the old guard for the biggest titles in the sport.

As Djokovic pointed out: "We are also not that young anymore.

"You have guys like Dominic Thiem, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas and [Alexander] Zverev, these guys they're maturing so quickly and they're ready - they're ready to get the grand slam titles and they're very close."

But Djokovic suspects it will be hard to budge the likes of himself, Federer and Nadal, as well as Murray and the Scot's fellow three-slam winner Stan Wawrinka.

He said: "When it comes to slams, I think it seems like we - including yourself and [Wawrinka] - you turn to another gear, because I think every next slam that keeps coming I feel more comfortable playing in. And I feel there's always even a bigger mental or emotional edge over the young guys coming in.

"Because you've played so many times you have the experience, you feel good in your own skin, it's really hard that anything really surprises you."

Novak Djokovic has revealed his pain at failing to land an Olympic gold medal to add to his 17 grand slam titles.

The Serbian would have been hoping to take the top step on the podium in Tokyo this year, yet the coronavirus pandemic means the Games have been delayed by 12 months.

Twice he has reached semi-finals at the Olympics, in Beijing in 2008 and at London 2012, but Djokovic lost to the eventual champion both times, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray ending his hopes.

As top seed at Rio 2016 he was hampered by a minor injury and fell in the first round to Juan Martin del Potro, who reached the final but lost to Murray.

In an Instagram conversation with Murray on Friday, both men considered which match they most regretted losing.

"I think it would be Olympic Games, so maybe the match I played against you in London or maybe Rafa in Beijing in 2008," Djokovic said.

"I would say Olympic Games because for sure I was very fortunate to have the great success in my career and win all four slams and all Masters series.

"I did win bronze in Beijing, but I was really feeling good about myself in '16 in Rio - Del Potro then went on to play with you in the finals."

Looking back on that Del Potro match, Djokovic remembered: "It was a very tough match - two tie-breaks.

"Two days before the match, I was practising and I was feeling great. I lost third round at Wimbledon so I had enough time to get ready.

"I won in Canada and came to Rio full of confidence, I had the best 15 months of my career behind me before Rio."

A minor wrist niggle after practising doubles dealt Djokovic the setback that meant there was a significant factor involved in the Del Potro defeat.

No such injury issues affected the Beijing and London losses, leading Djokovic to tell Murray: "If I had a chance to turn back time and change the outcomes, it would probably be Rio or London with you in '12."

Murray said his own big regret was losing the French Open final to Djokovic in 2016.

As well as beating Djokovic in two slam finals, Murray has lost to his great rival five times in such matches - four times at the Australian Open and once in Paris.

To Djokovic's surprise, it was the French loss that eats away at Murray.

The Scot said: "Just in terms of the way I played on clay, it was the hardest one for me to adapt to, that I think that would have been for me my biggest achievement if I'd managed to win the French.

"Obviously, Australia's been pretty painful thanks to you over the years, but if I could change one I'd take the French Open off you."

The Laver Cup has been postponed by a year after French Open organisers controversially moved their grand slam to dates that clashed with the team event.

Roger Federer, whose management runs the Laver Cup, said he would compete at the 2021 Laver Cup which will be held from September 24 to 26 in the US city of Boston.

Federer, a record 20-time grand slam winner, will be 40 years old by the time the delayed event comes around.

Boston was due to stage the Laver Cup this year from September 25 to 27, but French Open chiefs last month declared their postponed tournament would switch from May to a September 20 start.

The move by Roland Garros chiefs caused ructions in the tennis world, and the Laver Cup has been a casualty, conceding it was "inevitable" it would have to make way.

Laver Cup chairman Tony Godsick said: "We needed to make a decision now on our event.

"We know our passionate fans will be disappointed that they have to wait an extra year for the Laver Cup in Boston, but this is the responsible course of action, necessitated by the emerging calendar conflicts."

Federer said: "It's unfortunate that the Laver Cup has to be pushed back a year, but at this stage it's the right thing to do for everyone concerned."

The coronavirus pandemic has put the tennis season on hold, with no events to take place before mid-July. Wimbledon has been cancelled and August's WTA Rogers Cup event in Montreal has also been called off.

Laver Cup chiefs pointed in their statement on Friday to the French Open's decision and said since that came on March 17 they had assessed the situation along with stakeholders Tennis Australia and the United States Tennis Association, and the ATP, which runs the men's tour.

The statement said: "Ultimately though, the international tennis schedule precluded the ability of the organisers to stage the event and therefore there was no reason to delay the inevitable decision."

Team Europe, including Federer and Rafael Nadal, won the 2019 Laver Cup by beating Team World in Geneva.

US Open organisers plan to make a decision in June about staging this year's tournament - but it is "highly unlikely" to go ahead behind closed doors.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused both the ATP and WTA seasons to be halted, while the remaining grand slams scheduled for 2020 have also been affected by the health crisis.

While the French Open was switched to a date later in the calendar - the clay-court event will now begin on September 20 - Wimbledon has been cancelled.

The main draw at Flushing Meadows is due to start on August 31 and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) are still hopeful play will be possible, though much will depend on how the situation develops in the coming weeks.

"Time is on our side at this point as the last grand slam," USTA chief of operations Mike Dowse said on a conference call, according to the New York Post.

"Obviously our ambition is to run the tournament. Having said that, it won't be the driving factor. The driving factor is the health and well-being of our players, fans and staff.

"We've set a time frame about June to make that decision."

On the possibility of no fans being present, Dowse said: "Playing without spectators – we're not taking anything off the table – but it's highly unlikely.

"It's not really in the spirit of the celebration of tennis. We really don't see that as an option.

"Unless the medical experts come back with a foolproof way of doing a safe tournament without fans, we may look at it at that point."

Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu are the reigning US Open singles champions.

Coco Gauff battled depression for a year and considered taking time out from tennis as she tried to handle the hype around her rapid rise to the professional circuit.

Gauff caused a sensation at Wimbledon last year when she marked her grand slam debut with a victory over Venus Williams en route to the fourth round.

The 16-year-old got to round three at the US Open and round four at the Australian Open this year, where she was beaten in three sets by eventual champion Sofia Kenin.

Gauff, who reached a career-high 49 in the WTA rankings in February to become the first 15-year-old to break into the top 50 for 15 years, has become something of a fan favourite during a remarkable past nine months but admits the scrutiny from a very young age left her struggling with her mental health.

"Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn't want," she wrote for Behind the Racquet. "It added this pressure that I needed to do well fast. Once I let that all go, that's when I started to have the results I wanted.

"Right before Wimbledon, going back to around 2017/18, I was struggling to figure out if this was really what I wanted. I always had the results so that wasn't the issue, I just found myself not enjoying what I loved. I realised I needed to start playing for myself and not other people.

"For about a year I was really depressed. That was the toughest year for me so far. Even though I had, it felt like there weren't many friends there for me. When you are in that dark mindset you don't look on the bright side of things too often, which is the hardest part.

"I don't think it had much to do with tennis, maybe just about juggling it all. I knew that I wanted to play tennis but didn't know how I wanted to go about it. It went so far that I was thinking about possibly taking a year off to just focus on life. Choosing not to obviously was the right choice but I was close to not going in that direction.

"I was just lost. I was confused and overthinking if this was what I wanted or what others did. It took many moments sitting, thinking and crying. I came out of it stronger and knowing myself better than ever. Everyone asks me how I stay calm on court and I think it's because I accepted who I am after overcoming low points in my life. Now, when I'm on court, I am just really thankful to be out there."

Gauff says she feels a responsibility as a role model for younger girls, in much the same way as the Williams sisters inspired her.

"I like playing for more than myself," she continued. "I have girls now coming up to me, of all races but mostly African Americans, saying they are picking up a racquet for the first time because of me. It amazes me since that is how I got into the sport.

"I remember about a month before Wimbledon going to the club I train at and seeing mostly boys playing. A month after I went back and the majority were girls and the trainer said it was because of me. I could never imagine that one tournament could have that kind of effect.

"For me, one of the biggest things is to continue breaking barriers. At the same time, I don't like being compared to Serena or Venus. First, I am not at their level yet. I always feel like it's not fair to the Williams sisters to be compared to someone who is just coming up. It just doesn't feel right yet, I still look at them as my idols.

"Of course, I hope to get to where they are, but they are the two women that set the pathway for myself, which is why I can never be them. I feel like I wouldn't even have the opportunity to be at this level without them. I would never have even thought about joining tennis without them a part of it, since there were very few African Americans in the sport. For all they did, I shouldn't yet be compared to them."

Tom Brady called time on a 20-season stint with the New England Patriots in March, having led the team to unprecedented success.

April 16 marks the 20th anniversary since the quarterback was drafted by the Patriots, before going on to become one of the most successful sportsmen on the planet.

The date is also the day a Sri Lankan cricket icon – offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan – was born, while tennis legend Arthur Ashe decided to call it a day on April 16, 1980.

We take a look at what has previously occurred across sport on this day.

 

2000 – The Brady era begins

Future superstars can somehow fall through the cracks in NFL drafts, with Brady the most significant example.

With the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, New England selected the 22-year-old quarterback from the University of Michigan.

Six Super Bowl wins, nine AFC titles and 14 Pro Bowl appearances later, Brady finally called time on his Patriots career earlier this year, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent.

1972 – A star is born

Eighteen years prior to the start of Brady's NFL career, one of cricket's greatest spinners was born.

Muralitharan, known for a controversial bowling action, made his international debut in 1992 and went on to become the leading wicket-taker in Test and ODI history, with 800 in the longest form of the game and 534 in 50-over cricket.

The Test record went back and forth between Muralitharan and Shane Warne, up until the latter's retirement in 2007. Muralitharan took his 800th and final wicket to seal a Sri Lanka victory over India in 2010.

1980 – Ashe calls time on glittering career

The first player to win the US Open as an open event, Ashe went on to claim two further grand slam titles – in Australia in 1970 and at Wimbledon five years later.

Having appeared in four other grand slam singles finals, Ashe retired on April 16, 1980, though he continued to be involved with tennis and became the captain of the US Davis Cup team.

However, three years later, Ashe underwent a heart operation in which he is believed to have been given an infected blood transfusion from which he contracted HIV.

The virus was diagnosed in 1988, but Ashe did not make it public until 1992. He passed away the following year, at the age of 49. The main court at New York's Flushing Meadows is named after him.

2011 – Derby delight ends Man City's miserable FA Cup run

Manchester City have become one of the leading teams in world football in recent seasons but, in 2011, they were still growing following the takeover by Sheikh Mansour three years previous.

But City took a huge stride towards their first FA Cup triumph in 30 years thanks to Yaya Toure's strike against rivals Manchester United in the semi-final of the 2011 FA Cup.

Roberto Mancini's side went on to defeat Stoke City in the final, before clinching their maiden Premier League title in dramatic fashion on the last day of the following season.

Rafael Nadal would jump at the chance to play competitive tennis behind closed doors, after admitting he struggled to handle the onset of the coronavirus crisis.

The 19-time grand slam winner is sidelined at home in Mallorca and has predicted the tennis tour will remain on hold for a long time to come.

Nadal says public health is the most important matter, but he revealed in a radio interview on Wednesday that he has been speaking to Novak Djokovic about how tennis recovers.

Speaking to radio station Cadena Cope in a Red Cross fund-raising broadcast, Nadal said: "I am dealing with quarantine better than three weeks ago, the human being has the capacity to adapt.

"In the beginning, the terrible news made me sad and took away my desire to wake up, all day watching TV and there was nothing positive. As days went by, I came back to my routines, with double sessions every day to keep fit.

"I came back from [the cancelled ATP Tour event at] Indian Wells on a Wednesday and that Saturday the state of alarm was official. It was a shock. Knowing what was happening in Italy, I knew it was coming to Spain.

"In Indian Wells I was sleeping [at the home of] the tournament owner, who is a very connected person, and at his house I was prevented from hugging anyone and was keeping distance."

The tennis season is on hold until mid-July at the earliest, with Wimbledon cancelled and the French Open postponed until a September start.

Nadal, a record 12-time Roland Garros champion, turns 34 in June.

He said: "I am not worrying about tennis now. I do physical work to not deteriorate my body.

"Tennis is not like football, our sport involves more travelling. Until there is [a] cure, the situation will be really complicated. We need to be responsible.

"I cannot see an official tournament at short or medium-term.

"Health comes first. But if it would be possible to play behind closed doors, I would be very happy. I have talked many hours with Novak to see how we can help our sport."

Serbian Djokovic, who won his 17th grand slam at this year's Australian Open, is spending the quarantine period at his Marbella home.

He also spoke to the radio station, and stressed he would not want a decision to resume the tennis tour to be taken in haste.

Djokovic, who has his 33rd birthday in May, said: "Tennis behind closed doors? It depends. It is not an easy decision. It is bigger than our sport, this decision.

"I am ready to play, but this will come in the next months. I am lucky to be with my family. Normally we are always travelling."

April 15 is 'Jackie Robinson Day' in MLB, an annual celebration of baseball's great trailblazer.

In 1947 a 28-year-old Robinson walked out onto Ebbets Field, Brooklyn and became the first black man to play professional baseball in the modern era.

Here we take a look at those who broke down barriers or revolutionised their sport with acts that continue to have lasting impacts.

 

JESSE OWENS

Not only did Owens crush his competition at the 1936 Berlin Olympics in Nazi Germany, he also destroyed Adolf Hitler's Aryan supremacy theory in the process.

Owens, a black American born in Alabama, won gold over 100 and 200 metres, the long jump and the 4 x 100m relay, becoming the darling of the German public and reportedly annoying Hitler along the way.

In 1976, Owens was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest civilian honour for an American.

JACKIE ROBINSON

When he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on Opening Day in 1947, Robinson ended 60 years of segregation in his sport.

By 1956, Robinson's final year in the majors, black players made up 6.7 per cent of major league rosters. That number was still only 7.7 per cent in 2019.

Robinson was a six-time All Star, the 1949 National League MVP and a 1955 World Series champion. His number 42 is retired by every MLB franchise.

BILLIE JEAN KING

King was not only an incredibly successful player - one who won 39 grand slam titles across singles, doubles and mixed doubles - she was also a pioneer for women's tennis.

In 1970, frustrated by a disparity in prize money between men and women, King led a group of nine women to form a new competition, which eventually led to the formation of the WTA Tour.

King also beat former men's world number one Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes in 1973, a match that was watched by 90 million people worldwide and was considered key to gaining greater recognition for women's tennis.

JIMMY HILL

Players paid £100,000s every week owe a debt of gratitude to Hill, the former chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

Back in the 1950s, players in England were only allowed to earn a maximum of £20 a week due to a Football League salary cap that Hill, in his role with the PFA, successfully campaigned to scrap in 1961.

Later that year Hill's Fulham team-mate Johnny Haynes became the country's first £100-a-week player. Today, Lionel Messi has a wage in excess of €600,000 per week.

DICK FOSBURY

The creators of the Cruyff Turn and the Dilscoop might have produced feats of skill worthy of bearing their names, but neither man completely redefined the way their entire sport is approached.

Fosbury began experimenting with a new way to perform the high jump during high school and his success with the Fosbury Flop started to be replicated by others.

The American won gold at the 1968 Olympics. Four years later over half of the high jumpers used Fosbury's technique. Today it remains the most popular method to try and clear the bar.

Daria Kasatkina may not be seeing an awful lot of the tennis courts just now, but the 22-year-old is still staying close to her racket while the WTA Tour season is suspended.

The Russian was a runner-up at Indian Wells in 2018 and reached the quarter-finals of the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year.

She had been looking to climb the rankings this season after a miserable 2019 campaign, but instead is spending all her time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kasatkina is at least staying closely acquainted with her tennis kit, as she showed her 129,000 Instagram followers in an amusing video sent from her apartment on Sunday.

Giving her best deadpan face throughout, Kasatkina is initially seen brushing her teeth alongside the racket, before the pair are seen together at the breakfast table, pouring it a drink into a cup bearing the slogan 'INTROVERTS UNITE' and preparing avocado and toast.

Kasatkina then tucks her racket gently beneath a blanket on the sofa, wrapping her arm around the recently under-used shot-maker.

The short film, described by Kasatkina as 'The only way we are spending time together now', ends with the former top-10 star hunkering down in bed with the racket.

Another day in lockdown complete, another day closer to getting back to competition.

The WTA Rogers Cup was cancelled for 2020 on Saturday - a reality check amid suggestions that tennis might return to normal before long.

A major event on the women's tour in the run-up to the US Open, the Rogers Cup was held in Toronto in 2019 but was due to switch to Montreal this year.

It had been scheduled to run from August 7-16. The men's Rogers Cup, played in Montreal in 2019, moves to Toronto this year and is still due to go ahead on the dates it shared with the WTA event.

The Rogers Cup Montreal tournament became an inevitable casualty when the Quebec government declared on Friday that public sports, cultural events and festivals should not go ahead before August 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Montreal is the biggest city in the province of Quebec.

Before the cancellation was declared, Stats Perform was told tournament organisers hoped to reschedule for later in the year. It is understood talks to that end were held between Tennis Canada and the WTA, which runs the women's tour.

However, a solution could not be found, and a WTA spokesperson said: "As a result of the measures imposed by the Quebec government prohibiting holding events until August 31, 2020, the Coupe Rogers in Montreal will postpone their event to 2021.

"The WTA reiterates that health and safety will always be the top priority. We understand this was a difficult decision and we look forward to being back in Montreal in 2021."

The announcement means the usual rotation of the ATP and WTA events between Toronto and Montreal will be stalled temporarily, with Montreal keeping the women's event it could not hold this year. It will go ahead from April 6 to 15 in 2021.

All tennis on the WTA and ATP tours has been postponed until mid-July, forcing the cancellation of Wimbledon and the postponement of the French Open, which is now due to start in September.

Canadian Bianca Andreescu is the defending WTA Rogers Cup champion, having taken the title when Serena Williams retired after just four games of the 2019 final.

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