Man City boss Pep Guardiola: this Premier League title win was the ‘hardest one’
News and reactions from the world of sport, including Serena Williams’s 1,000th match milestone and the latest on Joshua vs. Fury
City: from 11th in November to champions in May
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has praised his “relentless” team after they secured their third Premier League title in four seasons. Manchester United’s 2-1 loss at home to Leicester City last night confirmed that the trophy would be returning to the Etihad Stadium.
After losing 2-0 at Tottenham on 21 November City were left languishing in 11th place in the table. However, they then went on to win 22 of their next 27 games, including a 15-match winning run, the BBC reports.
Guardiola believes this triumph has been the “hardest one” yet. “This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other,” the Spaniard said. “We will always remember this season for the way we won. I am so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players. They are so special. To come through this season, with all the restrictions and difficulties we’ve faced - and show the consistency we have is remarkable. It is relentless.”
With the League Cup and the Premier League title secured, City will now aim to win a trophy treble when they face Chelsea in the Uefa Champions League final on 29 May.
2022 dates confirmed for postponed Women’s Rugby World Cup
The revised dates have been announced for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. After this year’s tournament was postponed due to Covid, the event will now take place from 8 October to 12 November 2022.
Pool phase matches will be played on the weekends of 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23 October at Eden Park (Auckland), Northlands Events Centre (Whangārei) and Waitakere Stadium (Auckland). The quarter-finals take place on 29-30 October followed by semi-finals on 5 November. Both the bronze final and RWC final will be played on Saturday 12 November at Eden Park.
1,000 matches: a new milestone for Serena
Serena Williams, one of the most decorated tennis players of all time, today played the 1,000th match of her illustrious career. The 39-year-old American faced Nadia Podoroska in the round of 32 at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, but was beaten 7-6, 7-5 by the Argentine.
As a 14-year-old Williams played the first match of her career on 28 October 1995 - a qualifier in Quebec City where she lost 6-1, 6-1 to fellow American Annie Miller. Twenty-six years later she has gone on to win 851 of her 1,000 matches and 73 titles - including 23 grand slams.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2018 Swiss star Roger Federer said Williams wasn’t just the greatest women’s tennis player of all time, but “overall”.
Hearn: Saudi Arabia to host Joshua vs. Fury mega-fight
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has said that the all-British heavyweight blockbuster bout between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury will be held in Saudi Arabia on 14 August.
“I think it’s a very bad secret that the fight is happening in Saudi Arabia,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “To be honest with you, I don’t mind giving you that information. Bob Arum [Fury’s US promoter] has already done it.”
Joshua is the reigning IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion while Fury is the WBC title holder. Hearn expects the Joshua vs. Fury fight announcement to be made in the next few days.
ECB reports £16.1m loss due to Covid
The England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) finances have been hit for six by the coronavirus pandemic. In the year ending 31 January, the loss on ordinary activities before taxation was £16.1m, compared to a profit of £6.5m in the prior year. Turnover was £207m, a fall of £21m. Cricket as a whole in England and Wales accrued losses of more than £100m, Sky Sports reports.
“This has been a challenging year, but by being able to stage international cricket and by taking decisive action early in the pandemic, we have been able to support the network and avoid a far worse financial scenario,” said Scott Smith, chief financial officer at the ECB.
“There remains considerable uncertainty over the year ahead, but we hope that delivering another full summer of cricket - and with crowds beginning to return from next week - we are able to protect the revenue we need to invest in growing our game.”