20.07.2021, 08:59

Olympics-Tennis-Prospect of making history will outweigh empty seats - Djokovic

Olympics-Tennis-Prospect of making history will outweigh empty seats - Djokovic

FILE PHOTO: Jul 11, 2021; London, United Kingdom; Novak Djokovic (SRB) holds the trophy after beating Matteo Berrettini (ITA) in the men's final on Centre Court at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. (Photo: Reuters)   

The prospect of winning an Olympic gold medal for Serbia outweighs the disappointment of playing in an empty venue at the Tokyo games, the men's world tennis number one Novak Djokovic said on Monday.

Djokovic considered pulling out of the Olympics due to COVID-19-related restrictions after winning Wimbledon this month but decided to head to Japan for what he called patriotic reasons.

* Formula One's motorsport head Ross Brawn has urged Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton not to let their title battle boil over after the pair collided in Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The first lap clash sent Red Bull's Verstappen crashing out, and on to hospital for checks, while Hamilton fought back from a 10 second penalty to win for Mercedes and slash the gap at the top to eight points.

* Arsenal have signed Belgium Under-21 midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht on a long-term contract, the Premier League club said on Monday. The clubs did not disclose the transfer fee but British media reported that the deal was worth an initial 15 million pounds (US$20.7 million) for the 21-year-old.

* Three Russian soccer players have been suspended by FIFA's disciplinary committee for breaching anti-doping regulations, the sport's world governing body said on Monday. Ivan Knyazev and Daria Meshcheryakova have each been banned for two years, while Vladimir Obukhov's period of ineligibility was reduced to six months for admitting the offence and “providing substantial assistance” during the investigation.

* AC Milan have signed attacking midfielder Brahim Diaz on a two-year loan from Spanish side Real Madrid, the Serie A club said on Monday. The 21-year-old returns to Milan having also spent last season on loan at the San Siro, where he scored seven goals for Stefano Pioli's side in all competitions.

* Newcastle United's arbitration proceedings against the Premier League over last year's aborted takeover attempt have been adjourned until early 2022 due to “issues with the disclosure of evidence”, the Premier League club said on Monday (Jul 19). The proposed 305 million pound (US$417.06 million) takeover by a consortium which included Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund PIF, PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers collapsed in July when the group announced they were ending their interest.

* Belgium's Wout van Aert arrived at the Olympic Games on Monday one day after winning the last two stages of the Tour de France and said there was not much left in his legs after the gruelling three-week tour. The 26-year-old will be chasing gold in both the men's road race and individual time trial but his first priority was recovery, he told Belgian television reporters on arrival.

Reuters, CNA