Andy Murray pulls out of Marseille tournament as he weighs up hip surgery

Murray’s team deny he has already decided to have operationMarseille statement said Scot would ‘undergo further surgery’Fevered speculation about Andy Murray’s retirement plans refuses to die down just days after his early exit from the Australian Open, and his team on Friday were forced to deny that he has already committed to having surgery on his hip.The former world No1 probably will have an operation to resurface the hip bone, using a metal implant, but organisers of the Marseille tournament from which he has withdrawn made the false assumption in an announcement that he had already decided to do so. Continue reading...

Home hopes lifted as Ashleigh Barty earns shot at Maria Sharapova | Kevin Mitchell

The Queenslander’s run has provided a boost for Australian tennis after Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic’s spatAshleigh Barty, who strips down many of her trophies and gives them to friends to recycle for juniors at a Brisbane club, writes the sort of story Australian tennis badly needs right now.While various stars of the men’s game here, faded and flickering, former and current, embarrass themselves on an almost daily basis by bickering in public over private rows, the 22-year-old Queenslander with the open smile and rock-solid game has been quietly working her way to the fourth round of the Australian Open. Continue reading...

Gonzalo Higuaín to arrive in London for formalities of Chelsea loan move

• Striker will join initially for six months from Juventus• Maurizio Sarri also hopes to sign a midfielder this monthGonzalo Higuaín is expected in London over the next 48 hours to undertake a medical and complete the formalities of his move to Chelsea from Juventus, initially on a six-month loan, with Maurizio Sarri still keen for the striker to be joined by a midfielder at Stamford Bridge.Higuaín, who has spent the first half of the season on loan at Milan, has said his goodbyes to his Rossoneri teammates having pushed to be reunited with Sarri, under whose stewardship he scored 36 goals for Napoli in Serie A two seasons ago. Continue reading...

Retirement not on Roger Federer's mind after easing into Australian Open last 16

Defending champion beats Taylor Fritz 6-2, 7-5, 6-2Plays another young challenger in Stefanos Tsitsipas nextRoger Federer at 37 shows no signs of sending his fans into mourning by even thinking about retiring from tennis, and said after his 100th match on Rod Laver Arena, “For the time being, it’s all good. Lights are on green.”The six-time and defending champion is chasing a hat-trick at the Australian Open, confirming his form and fitness with a comfortable straight sets win on Friday over the 21-year-old American, Taylor Fritz (who was making his debut on the tournament’s showcase court), to advance to the fourth round of a slam for the 64th time. Continue reading...

'Rugby's like a chessboard with 120kg pieces' - how virtual reality could transform training

Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.

Dakar Rally 2019: Sand, sea, helicopters and canines – in pictures

After 10 stages and more than 5,000 kilometres of brutal racing on a giant loop rally-route entirely in Peru, 70% of which was across desert, we bring you some of our favourite images from this year’s Dakar RallyClick here to check out images of the rally from yesteryear Continue reading...

Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

Romelu Lukaku: Man Utd striker big part of squad, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Romelu Lukaku still has a big role to play at Manchester United, says interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Spygate: Pep Guardiola says 'everybody does it' in other countries

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is asked about watching opponents' training sessions, in what has become known as 'Spygate'.

Roger Federer has 'no plans' to retire after cruising into Australian Open last 16 – video

Roger Federer revealed he has no plans to retire any time soon after a strong start to his Australian Open campaign.The 37-year-old defending champion beat American Taylor Fritz in straight sets to advance to the fourth round of a grand slam for the 64th time.“I’m injury-free, enjoying myself,” the Swiss said. "My wife’s happy. So, for the moment, there are absolutely no complaints and no plans. I’m just happy where I am in my life, in my career right now.”Retirement not on Roger Federer's mind after sweeping into Australian Open last 16 Continue reading...

Australian Open 2019: Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares reach third round in men's doubles

Britain's Jamie Murray and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares come from behind to reach the third round of the men's doubles at the Australian Open.

Cowdenbeath unhappy after Rangers Scottish Cup tie is postponed

Cowdenbeath believe their Scottish Cup tie against Rangers could have gone ahead after it is postponed because of a frozen pitch.

Marouane Fellaini: forever tainted as Old Trafford’s king of dark times | Barney Ronay

Through successive managerial eras at Manchester United the big Belgian has fronted up gamely but remained the embodiment of the post-Fergie wilderness yearsCarry on then, Marouane. After some suggestions this week that Marouane Fellaini might be on his way out of Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Friday press conference went the other way. Instead Solskjær offered what newspapers like to call “a vote of confidence” in the gangling Belgian utility-menace, talking up Fellaini’s continued presence through this, his sixth year as a Manchester United player.It isn’t hard to see why some said his time was up. Under Solskjær Fellaini has played three minutes in the Premier League. His basic footballing presence has seemed at odds with a more mobile, fluid style. Plus there is of course a wider symbolic aspect to all this. Continue reading...

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Denico Autry falls foul with Key & Peele reference

Jason Bell and Osi Umenyiora explain how Denico Autry of the Indianapolis Colts fell foul of the NFL celebration rules by referencing a skit by US comedians Key & Peele.

Exeter target finest Champions Cup feat with qualification on line at Munster

• Premiership club must win at Thomond Park in pool decider• Baxter unhappy at having less recovery time than MunsterExeter are being challenged to pull off one of the great escapes in European rugby history when they face Munster in their Pool Two decider in Limerick. The Chiefs’ director of rugby, Rob Baxter, believes making the last eight ahead of the Irish province would rank as his club’s finest Champions Cup achievement but says poor scheduling has made his players’ task harder. Related: Stuart Lancaster: ‘I haven’t decided if I’ll go to watch England play Ireland’ Continue reading...

Jack Leach and Adil Rashid may become victims of England’s strength in depth

• Smith hopes to de-stigmatise omissions by rotating on the road• Moeen may be the solitary spinner with Root providing coverA handy indicator of a team’s strength can often be found on its bench and this should be a source of comfort for England come Wednesday’s first Test against West Indies when considering some of the names who may miss out.Over the course of the tourists’ four days of warm-up cricket against the Board President’s XI there have been clues as to which way Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss (as well as the recently arrived Ed Smith) are leaning and it could well see two key players from the victory in Sri Lanka – Jack Leach and Adil Rashid – mixing the drinks. Continue reading...

'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

Champions Cup pool-by-pool preview: Saracens’ Brad Barritt chases home tie

Barritt returns to captain Saracens on the weekend that decides the pools as his side seek to set up a home quarter-finalJonathan Joseph makes his first appearance for Bath since April after recovering from a long-term foot injury. Joseph, who was left out of England’s squad for their Six Nations opener against Ireland, comes back into the side at outside-centre while Dave Attwood and Francois Louw return for the trip to Toulouse. Zack Holmes is back at fly-half for the French side. Leinster, who will guarantee top spot with victory at Wasps, welcome back Robbie Henshaw, Devin Toner and Jack McGrath while Sean O’Brien is fit to take his place on the bench but Jonathan Sexton is absent. Elliot Daly comes back in for Wasps on the left wing. Continue reading...