The sports wrap, Monday 14 September, 2020

Austrian Dominic Thiem finally wins his first Grand Slam title

Thiem wins first Grand Slam title in US Open final comeback

Austria’s Dominic Thiem finally claimed his first Grand Slam title with a stunning comeback to beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6(6) in a brutal and nerve-jangling U.S. Open final on Sunday. The 27-year-old world No.3, beaten in his first three Grand Slam finals, started as favourite but appeared to have blown his golden chance as he fell two sets behind. Thiem, who had dropped only one set en route to the final, looked stifled by nerves early on but gradually broke the shackles to hit back from a break down to take the third.  Zverev faltered on serve at 3-4 in a high-quality fourth set allowing Thiem to take the contest to a decider. A limping Thiem trailed 5-3 in a tense decider but Zverev could not close it out and the Austrian summoned some incredible baseline winners to take it into a tiebreak.  A gut-wrenching climax saw Thiem squander two match points from 6-4 with forehand errors but he would not be denied and set up a third match point with a passing shot before Zverev fired wide after four hours and two minutes. “I wish there were two winners today, we both deserved it,” Thiem said on court after a tearful speech from his crestfallen 23-year-old opponent. In the women’s singles, Naomi Osaka fought back against Victoria Azarenka on Saturday and

Naomi Osaka lays down to enjoy her US Open victory

claimed her third Grand Slam title. The 22-year-old Japanese fourth seed won 1-6 6-3 6-3 for her second US Open title. Osaka was overwhelmed in the first set and in danger of trailing 3-0 in the second but then won 10 ofthe next 12 games to seize the momentum. The Belarusian, 31, in her first major final since 2013, was broken for 5-3 in the decider before Osaka served out. Osaka shrieked with joy as she took her second match point, then calmly lay on the court and stared at the New York sky as she contemplated her latest achievement. The fightback ensured Osaka, who won the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open, maintained her record of winning every Grand Slam final she has played in.

Liverpool open campaign with thrilling 4-3 win over Leeds

Liverpool and Arsenal got off to winning starts with victories over promoted sides on the opening day of the new Premier League season on Saturday while Leicester City who finished fifth last season easily beat newly promoted West Bromwich Albion 3-0 away from home on Sunday with two penalties from Jamie Vardy. Tottenham Hotspur who finished sixth were beaten 1-0 at home by Everton. Liverpool’s prolific striker Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick, including two penalties as the champions won a seven goal thriller with hugely impressive Leeds United at Anfield.

Mo Salah scored a hat-trick as Liverpool beat Premiership newcomers Leeds United

The Egyptian grabbed the win from the spot in the 88th minute of a 4-3 victory. FA  Cup winners Arsenal enjoyed a more comfortable opening day with a 3-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Chelsea who finished fourth last season open their campaign on Monday with an away match at Brighton while Manchester United, who finished third, have their first match next Saturday at home to Crystal Palace.

In the Scottish Premiership, leaders Rangers set a new early-season shutout record as they cruised to a 4-0 victory over Dundee United. Steven Gerrard’s side notched up their seventh clean sheet in their first seven league games with a strong performance at Ibrox. Ryan Kent and James Tavernier netted in the first half, with Kemar Roofe and Scott Arfield adding after the break. Rangers remain three points clear of Hibernian, while Celtic are ominously third, with two games in hand, after routing Ross County 5-0 away from home.

In the French Ligue 1, Champions Paris Saint Germain, who opened their campaign in mid-week with a shock 1-0 defeat at Lens, lost again on Sunday night – 1-0 at home to arch rivals Marseille. Neymar was one of five players sent off after an injury-time brawl. Florian Thauvin scored the only goal as PSG lost their opening two Ligue 1 games for the first time since 1984-85. Lille are top of the table on goal difference after three matches ahead of Monaco and Lille after a 4-2 victory at Nimes on Sunday. Monaco beat Nantes 2-1 while third-placed Lille beat Metz 1-0 at home. Montpellier registered their first points of the season with a 3-1 home win over Nice.

Pogacar beats compatriot Roglic in Tour 15th Stage

Tadej Pogacar beat fellow Slovenian and overall leader Primoz Roglic to win the 15th stage of the Tour de France as defending champion Egan Bernal all but abandoned his crown on Sunday. The Colombian was dropped 13km from the finish at the top of the Col du Grand Colombier, an unforgiving 17.4km ascent at an average gradient of seven per cent and lost more than seven minutes on the line. Two-time runner-up and fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana also quickly lost contact with the leading group led by Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma

Slovenians Roglic and Pogacar again showed they are the two strongest riders in the Tour.

team-mates, who set a frantic tempo from the bottom of the climb. The 21-year-old Team Emirates rider Pogacar, however, was the freshest man in the finale as he outsprinted Roglic for the victory at the end of a punishing 174.5-km trek in the Jura mountains. Australian Richie Porte took third place while Britain’s Adam Yates moved up to fifth in the general classification. Roglic keeps the yellow jersey and leads Pogacar by 40 seconds and Colombian Rigoberto Uran by 1:34. Bernal, who was third overall 59 seconds off the pace before the start in Lyon, dropped out of the top 10. Monday is a rest day.

Hamilton wins incident-packed Tuscan Grand Prix

British world champion Lewis Hamilton celebrated the 90th win of his Formula One career, one short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record, after a crazy crash-strewn Tuscan Grand Prix on Sunday that was twice stopped and re-started. The six-times world champion’s Finnish team-mate Valtteri Bottas once again completed the Mercedes one-two at the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit in central Italy. Red Bull’s British-born Thai driver Alexander Albon, whose Dutch team-mate Max Verstappen retired in the gravel after a second corner collision, took third place for his first career F1 podium. “It was all a bit of a daze. It was like three races in one day,” gasped Hamilton, who finished 4.880 seconds clear of Bottas in a race with three standing starts.

Another thumbs-up from Tuscan GP winner Lewis Hamilton after his victory on Sunday

The race was Ferrari’s 1,000th championship Grand Prix but the best the sport’s most successful team could manage was eighth for Charles Leclerc. Hamilton’s sixth win in nine races this season sent him 55 points clear of Bottas, with eight rounds remaining, and the Briton also took an extra point for fastest lap. Mercedes, celebrating their 100th win in the modern era, are now 152 points clear of second-placed Red Bull in the constructors’ standings. The race was first stopped eight laps in after a mass-collision among backmarkers when the safety car, deployed at the end of the opening lap, headed back into the pits. It was red-flagged again with 13 laps remaining when Canadian Lance Stroll crashed his Racing Point after an apparent puncture.

England level one-day series after Australia batting collapse

World champions England claimed an astonishing 24-run victory as Australia crumbled in the second one-day international at Old Trafford on Sunday. Chasing 232 to win the series, Australia were cruising at 144 for two before Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer induced a collapse of four wickets for three runs in just 21 balls. A reeling Australia lost their final eight wickets for 63 runs as they were bowled out for 207, despite a valiant last-wicket

Alex Carey is stumped by Jos Buttler as Australia are defeated by England to square the one-day series

partnership of 31 between Alex Carey and Josh Hazlewood. England had earlier collapsed to 149 for eight, with leg-spinner Adam Zampa taking three for 36 before Adil Rashid and Tom Curran pushed the hosts to 231 for nine. Pace bowler Archer was as hostile as he has ever been for England, disrupting the opening batsmen first up before returning to the attack with Woakes and triggering a collapse. As good as England were, this was an almost unbelievable collapse from Australia, who gifted wickets with poor shots, no foot movement and a generally bewildered air. England now have a chance to keep their five-year unbeaten run in home one-day series going with the decider on Wednesday.

Exeter stay top despite Saracens defeat

A second-string Saracens side thrashed a youthful Exeter Chiefs 40-17 to hand the Premiership leaders their first defeat in eight games on Sunday. Rotimi Segun and Dom Morris tries put Sarries 15-5 up at the break, with Facundo Cordero going over for Chiefs. Will Witty grabbed a second try for Exeter either side of two Manu Vunipola penalties for already relegated Saracens. Elliott Obatoyinbo, Janco Venter and Cameron Boon all touched down to secure a bonus-point win. Chiefs,

Elliott Obatoyinbo scores a spectacular try in Saracens’ defeat of Exeter Chiefs

while well beaten, kept the game going into the 83rd minute with Dave Dennis coming up with a late consolation effort. With European Champions Cup quarter-final ties to come in a week’s time for both clubs at opposite ends of the Premiership table, squad selections reflected where each team’s immediate priorities are focused. Chiefs have a substantial 12-point lead at the top of the Premiership ahead of Wasps who beat Bristol 59-35 to move ahead of Bath who leapfrogged Sale after beating them in a surprise 37-22 away victory.

Wigan spoil Dragons home party in Perpignan

Third-placed Wigan Warriors upset the Catalans Dragons’ hopes of moving into the top four of the Super League table, spoiling their Perpignan homecoming with a 28-12 victory in front of a 5,000 crowd at the Stade Gibert Brutus on Saturday. The first post-restart game to be staged in front of fans ended in huge disappointment for the home side. Oliver Gildart, Bevan French and Joe Burgess scored first-half Wigan tries to establish a comfortable 18-0 lead. Burgess’ second and a Sam Powell effort sealed it for Wigan, in spite of Julian Bousquet and Fouad Yaha’s tries. This victory was an impressive return to

Joe Burgess scored two tries for Wigan in their comfortable  defeat of the Dragons

form for Wigan after their loss to Hull KR last week. Sizzling sunshine, soaring temperatures and a partisan crowd were all overcome by the Warriors, whose disciplined display frustrated their opponents. They also soaked up a significant period of pressure during the opening half in which they held out in the face of repeat sets – and scored a try on the back of it to compound the Dragons’ frustration. Steve McNamara’s Catalans, in action in Super League for the first time since 15 August, looked sluggish at times and were unable to break down Wigan for long periods. They remain fifth on the table while champions St Helens stay top on points difference after a 21-20 home win over Hull KR.

South African Coetzee wins Portugal Masters 

South African George Coetzee claimed his fifth European Tour victory with a one-shot win at the Portugal Masters. The 34-year-old world No.147 began the final day one stroke ahead and carded a five-under 66 for a 16-under total at Dom Pedro Victoria, Vilamoura. Laurie Canter, the 30-year-old from Bath seeking a maiden title, holed from 35 feet to par the last and a bogey-free 66 gave him a career-best second. World No.16 Tommy Fleetwood posted seven birdies in a 64 and was third. Coetzee won his 11th Sunshine Tour event in his native South Africa last week and added a first victory in Europe, his other European Tour titles having come in South Africa and Mauritius. His tee shot on the 16th pitched just a few inches from the hole and he converted the birdie putt from eight feet to regain the lead, before a superb approach at the next set up another birdie.

Morbidelli wins maiden MotoGP in San Marino

Italy’s Franco Morbidelli won his maiden MotoGP with victory in San Marino on Sunday as compatriot Andrea Dovizioso took the championship lead. Morbidelli is the fourth rider to win their first Grand Prix in the six races so far this year. Italy’s Francesco Bagnaia came second, while Spaniard Joan Mir was third. Dovizioso finished seventh to move six points above Fabio Quartararo in the overall standings after the Frenchman crashed out of the race in Misano. Morbidelli led from start to finish

Franco Morbidelli wins his maiden MotoGP on his home circuit in Italy

on his home circuit as he won his first race in motorcycling’s elite class. It was the first race since the Covid-19 outbreak to include spectators, with 9,970 people attending a race that is usually watched by around 100,000. “I don’t know how it feels, I still have to process everything,” Morbidelli told BT Sport. “It’s a good thing, a good feeling. I’m very happy, I’m enjoying the moment now. The only thing I can say is thanks to my team, to my people, all the people that have been working with me.” Legendary home  crowd favourite Valentino Rossi failed to claim his 200th MotoGP podium after he was overtaken by Mir on the final lap to finish in fourth.

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Calendar Keynotes: 14-20 September  

Monday, 14 September

Football : English Premier League – Sheffield United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea, German DFB Cup (major clubs) – SG Dynamo Dresden v Hamburg SV, MSV Duisburg v Borussia Dortmund.

Cycling: Tour de France, rest day, Isere (till 20 September).

Rugby Union: Gallagher English Premiership – Gloucester v Harlequins.

Tuesday, 15 September

Football: Champions League qualifying third round – Dynamo Kyiv v AZ Alkmaar, PAOK Salonika v Benfica, KAA Gent v Rapid Vienna, English League Cup (major clubs) – Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers, Burton Albion v Aston Villa, West Ham United v Charlton Athletic, AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, French Ligue 1 – Montpellier v Lyon.

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 16, mountain, La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans, 164km (till 20 September).

Wednesday, 16 September

Football: Champions league qualifying third round (major clubs) – Omonia Nicosia v Red Star Belgrade, Ferencvarois TC v Dinamo Zagreb, Maccabi Tel Aviv v Dinamo Brest, FC Midtjyland v Young Boys, English League Cup (major clubs) – Leeds United v Hull City, Everton v Salford City, Ispwich Town v Fulham, Southampton v Brentford, Scottish Premiership – St Mirren v Celtic, French Ligue 1 – Paris Saint Germain v Metz.

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 17, mountain, Grenoble to Meribel Col de la Loze, 170km (till 20 September).

Cricket: International ODI series, England v Austalia, Old Trafford, Manchester.

Thursday, 17 September

Football: English League Cup – Burnley v Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Stoke City, Brighton & Hove Albion v Portsmouth, French Ligue 1 – Marseille v Saint-Etienne.

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 18, mountain, Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron, 175km (till 20 September).

Rugby League: Super League – Wakefield Trinity v Huddersfield Giants.

Golf: US Open, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York (till 20 September), European Tour, Open de Portugal, Royal Obidos Golf Resort (till 20 September).

Friday, 18 September

Football: French Ligue 1 – Lyon v Nimes, Spanish La Liga – Getafe v Osasuna, German Bundesliga – Bayern Munich v Schalke 04.

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 19, flat, Bourg-en-Presse to Champagnole, 166.5km (till 20 September).

Rugby Union: European Challenge Cup quarter-final – Bristol v Dragons, Gallagher English Premiership – Bath v Gloucester, Exeter Chiefs v London Irish.

Rugby League: Super League – Challenge Cup qauter-final – Catalans Dragons v Salford Red Devilts, Leeds Rhinos v Hull KR.

Golf: US Open, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York (till 20 September), European Tour, Open de Portugal, Royal Obidos Golf Resort (till 20 September).

Saturday, 19 September  

Football: English Premier League – Everton v West Bromiwich Albion, Leeds United v Fulham, Manchester United v Crystal Palace, Arsenal v West Ham United, Scottish Premiership –, Celtic v Livingston, Kilmarnock v Hamilton Academical, French Ligue 1 – Lens v Bordeaux, Rennes v Monaco, Spanish La Liga – Villareal v Eibar, Celta Vigo v Valencia, Italian Serie A – Fiorentina v Torino, Hellas Verona v Roma, German Bundesliga – 1. FC Koln v 1899 Hoffenheim, 1. FC Union Berlin v RC Augsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt v DSC Arminia Bielefeld, Werder Bremen v Hertha Berlin, VfB Stuttgart v SC Freiburg, Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Monchengladbach.

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 20, individual time trial, Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles, 36.2km (till 20 September).

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup quarter-final – Leinster v Saracens, Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92, European Challenge Cup quarter-final – Bordeaux Begles v Edinburgh, Toulon v Scarlets, Gallagher English Premiership – Bristol v Leicester Tigers.

Rugby League: Super League – Challenge Cup quarter-finals – Warrington Wolves v St Helens, Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors.

Golf: US Open, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York (till 20 September), European Tour, Open de Portugal, Royal Obidos Golf Resort (till 20 September).

Sunday, 20 September

Football: English Premier League – Southampton v Totttenham Hotspur, Newcastle United v Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea v Liverpool, Leicester City v Burnley, Scottish Premiership – Hibernian v Rangers, Aberdeen v Motherwell, French Ligue 1 – Nice v Paris Saint Germain, Brest v Lorient, Metz v Reims, Montpellier v Angers, Strasbourf v Dijon, Nantes v Saint-Etienne, Marseille v Lille, Spanish La Liga – Huesca v Cadiz, Granada v Alaves, Real Sociedad v Real Madrid, Italian Serie A – Parma v Napoli, Genoa v Crotone, Sassuolo v Cagliari, Juventus v Sampdoria, German Bundesliga – RB Leipzig v Mainz 05, VfL Wolfsburg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Cycling: Tour de France, Stage 21, flat, Mantes-la-Jolie to Pris Champs Elysees, 122km (final day).

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup quarter-final – Toulouse v Ulster, Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints, European Challenge Cup quarter-final – Leicester Tigers v Castres.

Golf: US Open, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York (final day), European Tour, Open de Portugal, Royal Obidos Golf Resort (final day).

Motorcycling: MotoGP – Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna, Misano World Circuit Marco SImioncelli, Misano Adriatico, Rimini, Italy.