The Decathlon: Roger Federer wins on clay court return, NFL to launch London academy
Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 8 May
1. What a night at Anfield...
There’s only one place we can kick off today’s top ten sports stories and that’s Anfield.
Liverpool completed the “miracle” comeback to stun Barcelona last night and reach the Uefa Champions League final, where they will play Ajax or Tottenham.
See the match report for highlights, reactions and best tweets and today’s back pages for the newspaper headlines.
2. Pochettino drops a bombshell
Tottenham head to Amsterdam tonight hoping to overturn a one-goal deficit in the Champions League semi-final tie against Ajax. Speaking ahead of the second leg clash Mauricio Pochettino dropped a bombshell by declaring that should Tottenham win the Champions League he could walk away from the club. The Spurs manager said: “It’s not a joke. Winning the Champions League? It should be fantastic, no? Close the five-year chapter and go home.” See the Ajax vs. Tottenham match preview for team news and predictions.
3. Federer wins on clay return
Roger Federer played his first tennis match on clay for three years yesterday at the Madrid Open. The 20-time grand slam champion needed less than an hour to beat Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-3. Swiss star Federer said: “It feels good to be back on the clay now and I enjoy it, to be honest.” The Madrid event is part of the build up to the French Open, which starts at Roland-Garros on 26 May.
4. Ferrari’s engine upgrade for Spain
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has confirmed that the Scuderia will introduce their first engine upgrade of the 2019 Formula 1 season this weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix. Quoted by Sky Sports, Binotto said: “We will have a new power unit that we are introducing ahead of schedule, as the second specification was due to be brought to Canada.” After four races Ferrari are 74 points behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship.
5. Hearn: Trump is Mr Perfect
After winning his first world title on Monday Judd Trump made history by becoming the first snooker player to win more than £1m in prize money in a single season. The 29-year-old is now being tipped to become the richest player in the sport’s history. World Snooker boss Barry Hearn told The Daily Telegraph: “This is like a new Tiger Woods coming on the circuit. Trump is Mr Perfect at this moment. He’s a nice kid, interesting for the young market and technically good enough to inspire the old market. The mixture is magic. Judd’s brand, personality and persona is capable of enormous commercialisation. It’s a winning formula that could make him the richest player snooker has ever seen.”
ESPN reports that Manchester United fans are staging a social media protest in backlash to how the club is being ran. Using the hashtag #UnfollowManUnited fans are protesting after United failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League. ESPN says supporters are also unhappy at the club’s “prioritisation of commercial activities over success on the pitch”.
7. Scots name World Cup training squad
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named a 42-man training squad to prepare for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan this autumn. Townsend is keeping the door open with a further two spaces in the squad unfulfilled - one forward and one back.
8. NFL to launch London academy
The National Football League (NFL) has announced a major UK initiative that aims to use American football to create life-changing educational and professional opportunities for young people. The NFL Academy, which begins operations in September 2019, will offer student athletes aged 16-18 the opportunity to combine education with life skills and intensive training in the sport under full-time professional coaches. The academy will be based at Barnet and Southgate College in north London.
9. Usyk vs. Takam postponed
The BBC reports that Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk has sustained a bicep injury and has pulled out of his heavyweight debut against Carlos Takam on 25 May.
10. Lionesses reveal World Cup squad players
England have announced their squad for the Fifa Women’s World Cup which is taking place from 7 June to 7 July.
Prince William kicked off the squad list this morning by revealing that captain Steph Houghton was on the plane for France.
Other famous faces to help with the England squad announcement included David Beckham, Raheem Sterling, Emma Watson and James Corden. See more at the Lionesses’ Twitter account.