Golden Slam pursuit: Novak Djokovic going to Tokyo
Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, UK - July 11, 2021 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Italy's Matteo Berrettini. (Photo: Reuters)
Fresh off his Wimbledon victory, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic announced Thursday that he will participate in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Djokovic could become the first male tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam - winning all four Grand Slams and the gold medal in men's singles at the Olympics in the same calendar year. Djokovic has the first three under his belt. The US Open begins late next month in New York.
* Former medalists Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber on Thursday (Jul 15) became the latest tennis stars to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics. Azarenka, 31, won a bronze medal for Belarus in singles and a gold in mixed doubles at the 2012 Summer Games in London. Kerber, 33, won the silver in singles for Germany at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
* The UK’s Jamie Murray will join forces with Neal Skupski in the men's doubles competition for the Tokyo Olympics after the country's number one Dan Evans had to withdraw following a positive COVID-19 test, Team GB said on Thursday. Murray, 35, will represent the UK for the fourth time at the Olympics and joins his younger brother and twice Olympic champion Andy Murray, 34, who is set to feature in the singles.
* Formula One offered fans a glimpse of the future on Thursday with a presentation of what cars will look like next season when the sport undergoes a rules revamp to make racing closer and more exciting. The concept car, revealed ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, features larger 18 inch wheels with covers and simpler and 'more neutral' front and rear wings designed to make it easier for drivers to follow and overtake.
* Leicester City have signed Ryan Bertrand on a two-year deal after the left back became a free agent following his release from Southampton, the Premier League club said on Thursday. Bertrand spent seven seasons with Saints, making 240 appearances for the south-coast club. The 31-year-old, a Champions League winner with Chelsea, also has 19 England caps but has not played for the Three Lions since 2017.
* Arsenal defender William Saliba is set for his third loan spell after Ligue 1 side Olympique de Marseille signed him for the 2021-22 season, the Premier League club said on Thursday. Saliba, signed in 2019 from St Etienne for a reported fee of about 27 million pounds (US$37 million), has yet to play for the senior team.
* French prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into doping allegations against Tour de France cycling team Bahrain Victorious. The team's accommodation and bus were searched by police after Wednesday's 17th stage. Bahrain Victorious earlier confirmed the police search.
* Tadej Pogacar claimed another landmark victory in the 18th stage of the Tour de France to edge closer to retaining his title as a cloud of doping suspicions hung over the world's greatest cycling race on Jul 17. The Slovenian's brutal acceleration 500 metres from the line, at the top of Luz Ardiden (13.3km at 7.4%), could not be matched by his rivals as Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard and Ecuador's Richard Carapaz finished two seconds behind in second and third respectively.
* Dutch football great Arjen Robben announced his retirement from his youth club FC Groningen on Thursday (Jul 15), ending an illustrious career spanning two decades. One of the fastest and most skillful dribblers in his prime, with a devastating left foot, Robben scored more than 200 goals at club level and 37 for the Netherlands, the last against Sweden in Amsterdam in October 2017.
* Motorsport UK head David Richards said on Thursday he had been asked to stand for president of the International Automobile Federation, Formula One's governing body, and had not ruled anything out. Frenchman Jean Todt, who has been FIA president since 2009, is standing down and an election for his replacement will be held in December.
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