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Australian Open: Serena leaves news conference in tears after Naomi loss

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Serena Williams left her Australian Open news conference in tears after her semi-final defeat by Naomi Osaka.

The American great saw her latest bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title ended by Japan’s three-time major champion Osaka, who won 6-3 6-4.

She gave the crowd inside Rod Laver Arena a long wave goodbye with her hand over her heart, leading to questions over the 39-year-old’s future.

She responded, “I don’t know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone.”

Williams became tearful when asked a further question about her unforced errors against Osaka.

“I don’t know. I’m done,” she said, before leaving the room.

Williams thanked her fans in a post on Instagram shortly after the match.

“Today was not ideal outcome or performance but it happens. I am so honoured to be able to play in front of you all,” she wrote.

“Your support, your cheers, I only wish I could have done better for you today.

“I am forever in debt and grateful to each and every single one of you.”

Williams has been aiming to equal Margaret Court’s major record since her return from maternity leave in 2018.

Her 23 Grand Slam titles is the most by any player in the Open Era, with 13 of Court’s titles coming before the tour became fully professional.

Since her return, Williams has reached four Grand Slam finals but lost them all, including to Osaka at the 2018 US Open.

It is the first time in 18 years that Williams has lost an Australian Open semi-final.

It is also her first loss against a top five opponent at a hard court Grand Slam since she was beaten by Jelena Jankovic in the Australian Open last 16 in 2008.

-BBC Sport

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Iga Swiatek humiliates Pliskova to lift Rome Masters title

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Polish teenage star Iga Swiatek produced the best tennis of her short career to thrash Karolina Pliskova 6-0 6-0 to win the Rome WTA 1000 title on Sunday.

The match lasted just 46 minutes.

Swiatek dropped just 13 points in total – four in the first set and nine in the second, to record the double bagel.

She faced only four game points against her opponent as she claimed the most one-sided victory in the history of the event, since 1983.

This was when Andrea Temesvari defeated Bonnie Gadusek 6-1 6-0.

The French Open champion last year will climb five spots to No 10 in the rankings on Monday after sealing her third WTA title.

After winning the championship, Iga posted this on Twitter:

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Iheanacho, Ndidi make history as Leicester win first FA Cup title

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Two Super Eagles stars, Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi, have won their first FA Cup title with Leicester City.
The Foxes’ long wait for an FA Cup trophy came to an end on Saturday after beating Chelsea 1-0 at the Wembley Stadium.
Chelsea, beaten in last year’s final by Arsenal, dominated the first half, but could not replicate the performance in the second stanza as Leicester comfortably controlled the half.
The intensity of the Foxes paid off in the 63rd minute when a screamer by Youri Tielemans proved unstoppable for Chelsea’s goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Ben Chilwell, a former Leicester player, gave the Foxes a momentary scare as he battered in the ball following a goalmouth scramble in the 89th minute — but the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled the goal offside.
No club has appeared in more FA Cup finals without lifting the trophy than Leicester, who have emerged losers four times.
Having broken their duck in their fifth attempt, Rodgers has now added a major English trophy to his resume, one which has been missing from his CV.
He is the first manager to have won the English and Scottish FA Cup since Sir Alex Ferguson (four Scottish FA Cup titles with Aberdeen and five English FA Cup titles with Manchester United).
Rodgers won the Scottish FA Cup with Celtic in 2017 and 2018.
Iheanacho and Ndidi have now joined Daniel Amokachi, Celestine Babayaro, Nwankwo Kanu, John Utaka, John Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi, and Victor Moses on the list of Nigerian players who have lifted the English FA Cup trophy.

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Dele Alli spotted kissing Guardiola’s daughter

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Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli and the daughter of Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, Maria, have been reportedly seen kissing in public.
An image has surfaced which shows Dele with his arms wrapped around a woman and leaning in for an intimate moment, with the other person in the photo reported to be Maria.
Apparently, neither of the two had a problem in publicly displaying their mutual affection, with The Sun claiming that they shared a kiss in a popular London night spot.

Dele Alli, aged 25, is said to have approached Maria, 20, at the bar before sharing a lengthy discussion that led to an intimate moment between the pair.
The Tottenham and England players has recently split up with 23-year-old model Ruby Mae after a lengthy relationship.
Mae ended her relationship with Dele after growing weary of his behaviour, which included his endless hours of playing Fortnite.
Maria, for her part, is alleged to have told her close circle that the pair are “just friends” and nothing more.

 

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