Novak Djokovic says he will support his former coach Boris Becker and the German's family in any way he can during his time in prison.

Becker was jailed for two-and-half years at the end of April after being found guilty of concealing £2.5million of assets to avoid paying money he owed after his bankruptcy.

The six-time grand slam champion's girlfriend, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, and his son, Noah, were in Djokovic's box on Centre Court for his first and second-round matches at Wimbledon.

Djokovic had Becker in his corner for three years as his coach until the end of 2016.

The legendary Serbian has not been in direct contact with Becker, but vowed after outclassing Thanasi Kokkinakis at SW19 on Wednesday that he will always be there for the 54-year-old and his relatives.

He said during a media conference at the All England Club: "I haven't been communicating directly with him, but I've been communicating to him through them [Becker's family] and I was really glad to have hosted his girlfriend and his son Noah for my first round and now today second-round match.

"Noah and his younger brother, Elias, are going to visit Boris I think in the next few days for the first time since he went to prison and I've been just trying to give support to people around him, his closest people, his family members because I consider Boris as a family member. He's someone that I greatly appreciate, respect and care about.

"We've been through a lot together and during those three years of collaboration and our relationship dates back even before that. After we finished our professional relationship we always stayed close; him with my team, my agents and my family.

"It breaks my heart to see what is happening to him, so this is a little gesture of friendship to invite them. He knows and they now they can always count on me for whatever support or help I can provide."

The Equestrian Federation of Jamaica (EFJ) expressed confidence in raising the level of its competitors to perform better in international competition, following the first instalment of an elite training programme hosted by the sports' governing body here, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

Eight of Jamaica's leading prospects in the sport, along with their horses, participated in the development programme that saw the JOA and EFJ partnering with Samantha Albert, who represented Jamaica in the equestrian discipline of Eventing at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games.

Samantha currently resides in the UK and coaches young athletes for British Eventing, but jumped at the opportunity to run a series of training programmes to impart her knowledge and expertise and give back to local equestrians.

The primary target of the first JOA Elite Training series, which was held at the Kingston Polo Club recently involved developing and coaching a local talent squad in three disciplines - show jumping, dressage and cross-country.

“It's a proud moment for me to see this partnership between a Jamaican Olympian, the JOA and equestrians. This is the beginning of structured local squad training and by offering this calibre of international expertise on the island we will raise the standard and work towards the bigger picture," offered EFJ President, Heidi Lalor.

"While continuity remains key, the JOA Elite riders also gained invaluable knowledge to further progress themselves and their horses to achieve their goals,” Lalor added of the three-day exercise.

The course was open to eligible athletes of the national federation who have serious aspirations to train and compete for Jamaica and Novelette Harris, the JOA's Member Relations Manager (with responsibility for education and training), reaffirmed the JOA's goal to advance talent in all sports.

“The JOA remains committed to providing the necessary support and resources to actualize our mission to grow the sport and sporting talent across all disciplines within our membership,” Harris said.

"In this regard, we are pleased to have partnered with the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica in hosting this elite training programme for local equestrians and look forward to their continued advancement and development into an Olympic squad,” she added.

Riders were put through their paces with various training techniques, along with forward planning discussions offering personalised tactical advice and 'homework' for the riders and their horses. They had the added benefit of an international course on home soil with the purpose of further bridging the gap between national and international competition, and ultimately a Jamaican Olympic team.

Denise Cole Avril, one of the elite participants, said the programme was "very intensive and a great experience".

"Samantha brought another eye to my training and allowed me to see some things that I may have been missing myself that automatically improved my riding skill," she noted. "Our training with Samantha allowed me to explore my options with respect to competing at the regional and international levels and the qualifications, as well as the commitment to get there.

Continuing, Cole Avril added: "Samantha was very effective, knowledgeable and easy to work with. She was very open-minded and was happy to get our feedback throughout the process. The knowledge and experience that she brought to the table is not only something that our sport needs, but all sports. The support of having someone that has been through the ringer is invaluable. "Thank you to the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica and the Jamaica Olympic Association for this collaboration," she said.

 Lalor noted the combined efforts and its reflection in the show of commitment. "The riders, horses and coach Samantha Albert felt the benefits and saw results by the third day," said Lalor. "This is a testament to the commitment and motivation displayed."

The FIA has updated the Formula One sporting and technical regulations ahead of this weekend's race at Silverstone – including an amendment to the rules regarding power units. 

The 2022 season has seen several reliability failures by teams, including a number for title-fighting Ferrari, and action has been taken as a result.

Teams will now be able to swap power units under parc ferme conditions for newer versions that have been put into their pool – whereas any change of specification of a car component that is replaced in parc ferme between qualifying and the race previously resulted in a pit lane start.

The rules have also been revised to allow for teams to make temporary power unit repairs when necessary, which may allow them to avoid fitting replacement parts.

A number of early-season controversies have also been addressed, including rules regarding regulations for tyre testing being tweaked – with intrigue emerging after Ferrari ran two floors in testing ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Deflection tests to check on the flexibility of rear wings and beam wings have been updated, and mirror rules have been altered to help improve visibility.

Fuel cooling issues pre-race, including those seen at Miami, have also been addressed, with teams allowed to cool fuel to 20 degrees Celsius at hotter races.

The unpopular change to media activities ahead of the season, which saw them moved to Friday, has now been reverted to Thursday afternoon following complaints from teams and drivers.

Emma Raducanu conceded she "didn't have expectations" for her Wimbledon campaign, following a second-round exit after a 6-3 6-3 defeat to Caroline Garcia.

A dominant showing from Garcia saw her hammer 24 winners, win 71 per cent of points played behind her first serve and win 15 of 18 points when she came to the net – with Raducanu unable to muster a response despite being encouraged by the Centre Court crowd.

Doubts were present ahead of the tournament as to whether the 19-year-old would feature given injury issues, which limited her to only seven games before retiring in her only match at the British grass-court events leading up to the event at SW19.

The world number 11 had the hopes of a nation on her shoulders heading into the campaign but, speaking after her straight-sets defeat to Garcia, downplayed the result.

"Obviously it's tough to lose any match. But it's okay because coming into this I didn't really have any expectations of myself," she told a news conference.

Defeat for Raducanu means she has not won successive matches at a grand slam since her victory at the US Open last year, having also fallen at the second-round stage in both the Australian and French Open.

However, she brushed off any suggestion that she's weighed down by pressure, stating: "I am 19 years old. Yes, I have had attention. But I'm a slam champion, so no one's going to take that away from me. If anything, the pressure is on those who haven't done that."

Raducanu had a slow start to the game, with Garcia securing two breaks in the opening set and causing the British number one trouble with her aggressive approach, taking a 6-3 win.

A brilliant rally in game five of the second set again was finished off by Garcia to help her on her way to another break and, despite a swift response from Raducanu for only her second break of the game, took another to take command of the match.

The world no. 55 then broke Raducanu for the third time in a row to secure her seventh consecutive grass victory – which was her first at Wimbledon since 2014 – leading to a memorable first visit to Centre Court.

"I really enjoyed playing on Centre Court, it was my first time and very special," she said after the match.

"You win a couple of matches in a row and I won a title in Germany but you have to start all over again.

"That is what is nice about tennis - we all start from zero and we have to go for it."

Garcia will play Shuai Zhang in the third round. Zhang defeated Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in straight sets earlier on Wednesday.

There will be some high-profile debutants when the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event to be staged in the United States starts on Thursday.

Three weeks after the inaugural LIV competition at the Centurion Club, near London, took place, 48 players have headed to Portland to tee off at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

A trio of major champions will appear in the controversial Saudi-backed breakaway league for the first time in Oregon.

Stats Perform takes a look at the standout new faces who have turned their back on the PGA Tour to make their bows in a three-day LIV Golf Invitational Portland tournament that consists of 12 teams.

 

BROOKS KOEPKA

Brooks Koepka is the biggest name to have signed up since his fellow Americans Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson played in the opening event in England.

The four-time major winner will captain a SMASH GC side that includes his brother, Chase, this week.

Koepka had tried to fend off questions about whether he would jump ship from the PGA Tour to commit to LIV Golf ahead of the recent U.S. Open.

"I haven't given it that much thought," he said when asked if he could sign up for a lucrative deal to play on the new tour. "I don't understand. I'm trying to focus on the U.S. Open, man. I legitimately don't get it. You can’t drive a car looking in the rearview mirror, can you?"

Just a fortnight on, the former world number one said in a tense press conference two days before his LIV bow: "My opinion changed. That was it.

"You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation 'til everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out. Here I am."

He added: "Look, what I've had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, you realise, you know, I need a little bit more time off. I'll be the first one to say it, it's not been an easy last couple of years, and I think having a little more breaks, a little more time at home to make sure I'm 100 per cent before I go play in an event and don't feel like I'm forced to play right away - that was a big thing for me."

 

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU

Bryson DeChambeau is another major champion who has defected from the PGA Tour.

DeChambeau starts a new chapter of his career on the back of finishing tied for 56th in the U.S. Open, two years after winning it. 

The 28-year-old will also have captaincy duties, leading the CRUSHERS GC team.

DeChambeau has not registered a victory since his Arnold Palmer Invitational win last year and will be hoping a change of tour will enable him to experience that winning feeling again.

He said of his decision to join LIV Golf: "I understand people's decisions on their comments and whatnot. As it relates to me, I've personally made that as my own decision and I won't say anymore on that, there's no need. We're golfers at the end of the day.

"I think that I respect everyone's opinion. That's the most important thing people can hopefully understand out of me, that I do respect it. But golf is a force for good, and I think as time goes on, hopefully people will see the good that they're [LIV Golf] doing and what they're trying to accomplish, rather than look at the bad that's happened before. 

"I think moving on from that is important, and going, continuing to move forward in a positive light is something that can be a force for good for the future of the game."

PATRICK REED

The 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed will also get his first experience of the LIV Golf Invitational Series this week.

Another United States Ryder Cup player, Reed will be on a 4 ACES GC team captained by Johnson.

Reed's last victory came at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2021 and he was down in a share of 49th in the U.S Open.

The 31-year-old took aim at the PGA Tour this week, saying he is looking forward to having a reduced workload.

"Listen to the players for once," he said. "We actually have an off-season where not only can we get healthy, work on our bodies, but we're basically allowing ourselves throughout the year to, you know, try to peak at the right times is when you're playing rather than feeling like you have to play every single week.

"And on top of it, just the quality of life for us as players now, having less events, being able to spend more time at home with the family, if you have kids, being able to spend time with your children, and not sitting there and having to play three, four weeks in a row, then have a week off, and during that week off you're preparing trying to get ready for the next week."

Anthony Joshua acknowledges he is "desperate" to beat Oleksandr Usyk and reclaim his WBA, IBF and WBO titles but would rather do his talking in the ring.

Joshua has booked a rematch against Usyk for August 20 in Jeddah, having suffered only the second defeat of his professional career against the Ukrainian last year.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Joshua spoke of the benefits of having the first fight to look back on but described facing a southpaw like Usyk as "a nightmare".

And "every fight is different", the British heavyweight added; Usyk agreed, vowing: "I do understand that [Joshua] is going to be different – so will I."

This was perhaps unlike many boxing media briefings, with a relative lack of ego on show as Joshua focused on delivering a result while Usyk dismissed the significance of becoming "the greatest".

"I'm definitely desperate to get my hands on [the titles]," Joshua said, but he added: "Less talk, more action. Let me get in there and do my job.

"I'm not a comedian, I'm not someone who writes speeches. I'm definitely hungry, definitely desperate, but at the end of the day, how I perform will speak volumes to the masses."

In the opposite corner, Usyk – wearing a t-shirt in the colours of the Ukraine flag, bearing the message, "colours of freedom" – is not interested in appealing to the masses.

"I'm not fighting for money or recognition," he said. "I don't need this. I don't need to become the greatest.

"I'm just doing my job now and will continue doing it as long as my heart is beating. The only thing I'm on my way to is to save my soul. Everything else is just life."

Ugo Humbert was not entirely prepared for his second-round match with third seed Casper Ruud at Wimbledon but still upset the French Open finalist.

Humbert arrived for Wednesday's contest without his racquets, apologising at the ball toss.

The Frenchman was soon provided with his essential equipment to a round of applause from the crowd but still took some time to get going on Court 2, losing the opener.

Humbert weathered that setback, though, and replied in impressive fashion, emerging a 3-6 6-2 7-5 6-4 winner for his third consecutive victory against top-10 opponents on grass.

"I love to play on grass. I have played a lot of good matches," Humbert said.

"I think about the match last year against [Nick[ Kyrgios. It was a big battle. I won Halle, so I think I play very nice [on grass] because of my serve, and my backhand is very great."

He added: "It is a big victory. [Ruud] played very well the last few years, so I am very happy."

Formula 2 have expressed its disappointment at a decision from Hitech Grand Prix to allow Juri Vips to retain his seat for the remainder of the season.

The Estonian was axed by Red Bull following an investigation into alleged racist language used during an online gaming session, stripping him of his reserve driver status and a spot in the team's young driver programme.

However, Vips will retain his seat with Hitech Grand Prix ahead of this weekend's race at Silverstone with team principal Oliver Oakes stating he would give the 21-year-old a "chance to redeem himself".

"I have made the decision for Juri to keep his F2 seat with Hitech for the remainder of the season, a decision we have seriously debated," he said.

"Allowing him to complete his season with Hitech is an opportunity for him to demonstrate, through his actions, the type of person he is. 

"I have made it clear that I think the language used was totally unacceptable, but I choose to give him the chance to redeem himself.

"Hitech GP employs an inclusive workforce and has never condoned racism or offensive behaviour in any forms. 

"That said, if we live in a society where no one can make a mistake, then genuinely apologise, have the chance for redemption and learn from it – what does it say about society?"

The decision resulted in disappointment from F2, which admitted it was not a course of action it would have taken.

"Following the recent incident involving Juri Vips, F2 would like to reaffirm that the use of racist or discriminatory language cannot be tolerated in any environment," it said.

"Hitech Grand Prix's decision today is surprising and not one we would have taken. We will monitor the situation carefully with them to ensure that such behaviour is properly addressed."

The Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards are nearing completion of a trade that would send point guard Monte Morris and swingman Will Barton to Washington for guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith, according to multiple reports.

Morris, who started 74 games in place of an injured Jamal Murray last season, would fill the Wizards' primary need of a starting point guard. Washington had previously been rumoured to have interest in trading for Indiana's Malcolm Brogdon.

The 27-year-old Morris averaged career highs of 12.6 points and 4.4 assists per game in 2021-22 and is a career 39.4 percent shooter from three-point range. The five-year veteran has two seasons remaining on a three-year, $27.8million extension he signed with Denver in December 2020.

Both Caldwell-Pope and Barton are entering the final years of their respective contracts and have nearly identical salaries for 2021-22.

In Caldwell-Pope, the Nuggets get a strong wing defender and a proven outside shooter who has made 38.5 percent or more of his three-point attempts in each of the last three seasons. The 29-year-old averaged 13.2 points while starting 77 games in his lone season with Washington after being acquired from the Lakers as part of the trade that sent former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles.

Barton started a career-high 71 games last season and averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists. The 31-year-old had been the Nuggets' longest-tenured player, having spent seven-plus seasons with the franchise.

The well-travelled Smith would set an NBA record by playing with his 13th team should he suit up for the Nuggets. The 12-year veteran, who averaged 6.3 points and 3.8 assists in 65 games last season, has a non-guaranteed $4.725m salary for 2022-23.

Venus Williams will make her Wimbledon return after the five-time singles champion was granted a wildcard entry for the mixed doubles with Jamie Murray.

The 42-year-old has not played on the WTA Tour since a first-round defeat at the Chicago Open last year due to a leg injury.

However, despite not entering either the women's singles or women's doubles in SW19, Williams was pictured arriving at the championships with a sports bag on Sunday.

And it was confirmed on Wednesday she would be teaming up with Murray, with the pair facing a first-round clash against Alicja Rosolska and Michael Venus on Friday.

Both Williams and Murray have enjoyed mixed doubles success previously at Wimbledon.

Murray is a two-time winner having partnered Jelena Jankovic in 2007 and Martina Hingis in 2017 – beating Michael Venus in the latter final – while Williams reached the final in 2006 alongside Bob Bryan. She has won the women's doubles with sister Serena Williams six times.

This is not the first All England Club partnership between the two hugely successful tennis families either, with Serena and Andy Murray reaching the third round at Wimbledon in 2019.

Last year, Venus bowed out at the second round in the singles following defeat to Ons Jabeur but vowed she would return to SW19 – a promise she has now fulfilled. 

She follows the return of her sister Serena, who suffered a surprise singles defeat in the opening round against Harmony Tan on day two of the tournament.

Harmony Tan's unexpected first-round singles win over Serena Williams at Wimbledon prompted her to quit the doubles tournament, leading to a social media rant from her partner, who suggested she was not cut out for professional tennis.

Tan had entered the doubles draw alongside Tamara Korpatsch, with their first-round match against Raluca Olaru and Nadiia Kichenok set for Wednesday.

But Tan perhaps had not expected to be playing late into Tuesday evening and then to have a second-round singles contest to prepare for against Sara Sorribes Tormo on Thursday.

The Frenchwoman came through an epic back-and-forth on Centre Court to beat seven-time champion Williams – in singles action for the first time in almost a year – 7-5 1-6 7-6 (10-7).

Tan gained little sympathy from Korpatsch, however, with the German out of the singles competition on Monday following a three-set defeat to Heather Watson.

"Unfortunately my doubles partner H. Tan retired from our doubles today," Korpatsch wrote on her Instagram page.

"She just texted me this morning. Let me wait here one hour before the match start.

"I'm very sad, disappointed and also very angry that I can't play my first doubles grand slam. And it's really not fair for me. I didn't deserve that.

"She asked me before the tournament if we wanna play doubles and I said yes, I didn't ask her, she asked me!

"If you're broken after a three-hour match the day before, you can't play professional. That's my opinion."

Korpatsch's frustration continued on her Instagram story, where she had initially revealed the news, suggesting she was capable of playing more than six hours one day and still taking to the court the next.

She later added: "Thanks for all your comments. But I would like to say: I don't hate my doubles partner for withdrawing. I just want to share my feelings and opinion about my situation.

"If I'm still competing in singles, I would still feel and do the same. I wanted to play my first doubles grand slam. That was my chance.

"Yesterday she [Tan] was so motivated to me, and I was happy about our doubles.

"But just today in the morning getting this message feels very painful. It's not a WTA tournament, which I can play almost every week. It's a grand slam."

Nelson Piquet has apologised to Lewis Hamilton for his "ill-thought-out" comments, although the three-time Formula One champion denied his words were racist.

Media outlets in Brazil have this week highlighted an interview conducted with Piquet following the 2021 British Grand Prix, with the 69-year-old alleged to have used racist language when assessing the collision between Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Piquet's daughter, Kelly, is world champion Verstappen's partner.

Mercedes have come out in support of their man Hamilton – F1's only black driver – as have several rival teams and F1 itself, with the series reportedly set to ban Piquet from its paddock for life.

But the Brazilian, while apologising, has said his comments were mistranslated.

"I would like to clear up the stories circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year," he said in a statement.

"What I said was ill-thought-out, and I make no defence for it, but I will clarify that the term used is one that has widely and historically been used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for 'guy' or 'person' and was never intended to offend

"I would never use the word I have been accused of in some translations. I strongly condemn any suggestion that the word was used by me with the aim of belittling a driver because of his skin colour.

"I apologise wholeheartedly to anyone that was affected, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some media that is now circulating on social media is not correct.

"Discrimination has no place in F1 or society, and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that respect."

Hamilton has been active on his Twitter page since the reports emerged.

"It's more than language," he posted. "These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport.

"I've been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action."

Defending champion Novak Djokovic outclassed Thanasi Kokkinakis in a domineering straight-sets victory to march into the third round at Wimbledon.

The top seed moved majestically as he made a statement on Centre Court, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2 in just two hours on Wednesday.

Djokovic breezed into a 3-0 lead in an opening set he served out to love after breaking for a second time, returning majestically as he dominated the Australian.

The 20-time grand slam champion needed just the one early break in the second set as he served superbly and was ruthless at the net, while also bossing rallies from the back of the court.

World number three Djokovic was relentless as he broke twice in a one-sided third set before ending the match with a hold after saving the only break point he faced.

Six-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic will face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in round three at the All England Club.

Data slam: Djokovic near flawless as he extends winning run to 23

That is 23 wins in a row at the grass-court grand slam for three-time defending champion Djokovic.

The tournament favourite dropped a set in his win over Kwon Soon-woo on Monday, but barely put a foot wrong two days later.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 29/14
Kokkinakis – 31/23

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 1/3
Kokkinakis – 11/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 5/13
Kokkinakis – 0/1

Jule Niemeier claimed the biggest scalp of her career by knocking second seed Anett Kontaveit out of Wimbledon with an emphatic straight-sets win on Wednesday.

Playing her first match against a top-10 player, world number 97 Niemeier moved into the third round with a 6-4 6-0 victory on No.1 Court.

Kontaveit did not earn a solitary break point as she made another early grand slam exit after falling in the first round at the French Open.

The number-three ranked Estonian, who was knocked out of Wimbledon in the opening round last year, has been suffering from the after-effects of coronavirus over the past couple of months.

German outsider Niemeier was beaten in her first main-draw grand slam match at the French Open last month, but took just 58 minutes to set up a third-round meeting with Anhelina Kalinina or Lesia Tsurenko.

The 22-year-old became the lowest-ranked female player to win a main-draw match at the All England Club against a top-three opponent since Jana Cepelova's defeat of Garbine Muguruza in 2016.

Charles Leclerc is confident Ferrari will be fighting for the win at Silverstone – as long as the team can avoid any further reliability woes.

Power unit issues have led to recent retirements in Spain and Azerbaijan, the last of which resulted in a back-of-the-grid start for the Canadian Grand Prix after taking a third unit of the season.

Those troubles, accompanied by a wrong strategy call in Monaco, have seen Max Verstappen and Red Bull take a commanding lead in both championships – with the defending champion winning four of the past five races.

Ferrari's potential is undeniable, with six pole positions out of nine, but only two have resulted in race wins and the last came in Australia almost three months ago.

In his career overall, Leclerc's 15 poles have returned just four wins for a 27 per cent winning percentage – the second lowest in F1 history among drivers who have won at least one race, behind only Jarno Trulli (25 per cent, one win from four pole positions). 

Despite a 49-point deficit in the driver's championship, third-placed Leclerc remains upbeat and believes reliability will be an issue for all teams to contend with this season.

"No, I'm not worried. I mean, it's a big gap but, but I'm just focusing on the job, and I'm confident that we can take that back," he told Motorsport.

"I think reliability seems to be a concern for everyone this season. And yeah, if we fix our reliability, the performance is there to come back. So already from Silverstone we'll try to get a few points back.

"I really like Silverstone. And hopefully we will be competitive enough to be starting on pole and finally win from pole."

Mercedes' hunting ground

Eight of the past nine British GPs have been won by Mercedes, with the only exception being Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari in 2018, and improvements shown in Canada will provide encouragement for the Silver Arrows.

Lewis Hamilton's second podium finish of the season in third was the highlight in Montreal, but George Russell's consistency continues to stand out, with the British driver finishing in the top five in all nine races in 2022.

A win for Hamilton would be the ninth of his career at Silverstone, setting a new record for the most wins in a single GP – overtaking his eight victories in Hungary and Michael Schumacher's eight wins in France.

Driver market

Away from the track itself, the F1 driver market is starting to heat up as teams outline their plans for the 2023 season, and there are a number on the grid who could be under threat of losing their seats.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are both out of contract at the end of the season – although each could still extend – while Daniel Ricciardo has work to do to impress McLaren to retain his seat despite being tied down for a further year.

Nicholas Latifi at Williams and Mick Schumacher at Haas are also under pressure, with F2 champion and Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri expected to get a chance in 2023. Antonio Giovinazzi has been touted for a return to the grid, too.

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 175
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 129
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 126
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 111
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 102

Constructors

1. Red Bull 304
2. Ferrari 228
3. Mercedes 188
4. McLaren 65
5. Alpine 57

Will Hardy has agreed in principle to join the Utah Jazz as their new head coach, according to reports.

Hardy was assistant to Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka during the team's run to the NBA Finals in the 2021-22 season .

But he has pursued a first head coaching role, interviewing for a role with the Jazz, whose recruitment process was overseen by CEO and former Celtics player and president Danny Ainge.

Hardy was one of four finalists to replace Quinn Snyder, ESPN said, and beat off competition from fellow Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla, Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin and Jazz assistant Alex Jensen.

At 34, Hardy – who previously served as assistant to Gregg Popovich on the San Antonio Spurs – is set to become the NBA's youngest active head coach, having agreed to a five-year contract.

This is shaping up to be an offseason of change for the Jazz, with the potential for Snyder's departure to be followed by that of at least one star player.

Having made the playoffs in six straight seasons but failed to get past the second round, Utah have been the subject of plenty of trade speculation.

Center Rudy Gobert is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, while guard Donovan Mitchell would have no shortage of suitors if there was a deal able to entice the Jazz.

Terry McLaurin has become the latest receiver to be paid, as the NFL's trend of wideouts earning huge sums shows no signs of slowing.

And McLaurin's new three-year contract with the Washington Commanders is a record-breaking pact.

The deal, worth up to $71million in new money, makes the fourth-year star one of the five best-paid receivers in the NFL and notably has more than three-quarters of the value guaranteed.

Indeed, McLaurin's reported signing bonus of $28m is the largest ever given to a receiver.

The player has got the deal he wanted after skipping three weeks of voluntary OTAs and then the Commanders' mandatory three-day minicamp.

Washington bowed to McLaurin's demands, as several rival teams have with their own standout pass catchers this offseason, although others – the Green Bay Packers with Davante Adams and the Kansas City Chiefs with Tyreek Hill – have seen big names depart to earn massive contracts elsewhere.

The Commanders were determined McLaurin would not be traded, however, meaning he returns for the 2022 season, which had been set to be the last of his rookie contract.

Brooks Koepka has no issue with Rory McIlroy's criticism of his decision to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series, a move he said was taken to allow more flexibility over his schedule.

Former world number one Koepka had previously stated his allegiance to the PGA Tour and commented in February that "somebody will sell out and go for it".

Koepka was not involved in the first event at Centurion Club earlier this month and was critical of reporters for casting a "black cloud" over the U.S. Open when players were probed about the controversial Saudi-backed series, which has been accused of sportswashing.

However, the four-time major winner has now signed up for the breakaway series and will tee off in Portland this week, joining the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson in doing so.

When asked about Koepka's decision last week, McIlroy said: "Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he [Koepka] said previously. That's why I'm surprised at a lot of these guys, because they say one thing and then they do another. It's pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing."

Asked about McIlroy's comments, Koepka replied: "Look, I've got respect for Rory as a player. He's good. He's phenomenal. 

"I'll be honest with you, I didn't see it. I didn't hear about it until basically like a day ago. So, look, he's entitled to his opinion. He can think whatever he wants. He's going to do what's best for him and his family, I'm going to do what's best for me and my family, and I can't hate on anybody for that."

Koepka insists he had not made a decision until after the U.S. Open. Asked what had changed since, he said: "Just my opinion, man. My opinion changed. That was it. 

"You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation 'til everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out and just said I was going to go one way or another. Here I am."

Koepka has slid down to world number 19 after contending with a series of injuries to his hip, knee and wrist.

The 32-year-old believes signing up to the LIV series will allow him more time to recover physically.

"What I've had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, you realise, you know, I need a little bit more time off," Koepka said. 

"I'll be the first one to say it, it's not been an easy last couple of years, and I think having a little more breaks, a little more time at home to make sure I'm 100 per cent before I go play in an event and don't feel like I'm forced to play right away [is good]."

Asked about accusations of sportswashing levelled against the series, Koepka replied: "You know, we've heard it. I think everybody has. It's been brought up.

"But, look, like we said, our only job is to go play golf, and that's all we're trying to do. We're trying to grow the game, do all this other stuff. And we're trying the best we can."

While several players have resigned their PGA Tour membership, including fellow defector Patrick Reed, Koepka has not done so as yet.

It remains to be seen long term what decisions will be taken by the major championships over the participation of players who have jumped ship to LIV Golf.

Koepka insists he is comfortable with whatever outcome occurs.

"You play anywhere around the world, you'll be just fine. You'll get into them. I made a decision. I'm happy with it, and whatever comes of it, I'll live with it," he said.

Another high-profile star has opted in to a lucrative contract as the NBA continues to prepare for free agency.

Hot on the heels of Kyrie Irving committing to the Brooklyn Nets, with potential destinations for a move thin on the ground, Russell Westbrook has picked up his option with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Westbrook will be paid $47.1million for the 2022-23 season, making it little surprise his decision was reported on Tuesday.

The 2017 NBA MVP endured a difficult first year in LA – to say the least – but will hope for a fresh start under new Lakers coach Darvin Ham.

Westbrook's huge contract made him extremely difficult to trade, limiting the Lakers' moves this offseason significantly.

The New York Knicks have worked to ensure they are not in the same position, despite similarly being tied to a highly paid underperforming player in Julius Randle.

The Knicks traded away their 11th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft among transactions that included dumping Kemba Walker's contract with the Detroit Pistons.

And the Knicks have also come to an agreement for the Pistons to take on both Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks.

These moves have cleared around $30m in cap space, and the Knicks appear determined to spend that money on Jalen Brunson, the Dallas Mavericks point guard.

Brunson is set to be a target for the Knicks after the free agency period begins on Thursday, and his departure would deal a blow to the Mavs and superstar Luka Doncic.

Dallas reached the Western Conference Finals in 2021-22 and have boosted their roster with a move for Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets.

But Brunson was the team's second man behind Doncic, leaving work to do just to get back to the level they have reached in recent months.

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