The following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Tennis-Nadal shrugs off rocky buildup to Australian Open defence
An upbeat Rafa Nadal has shrugged off his warm-up defeats ahead of the Australian Open as “just part of the business” and declared himself in a happy place ahead of his title defence. Nadal heads into a first-round match against rising Briton Jack Draper undercooked and with only one win since September’s US Open.
NFL McVay to return as Rams head coach next season
The Los Angeles Rams announced on Friday that head coach Sean McVay will return to lead the team again next season, ending speculation that the Super Bowl-winning coach might leave to take a broadcasting position. The Rams backed up their championship last February with a dismal 5-12 record this season amid a torrent of injuries. McVay said at his season-ending press conference on Monday that he would take a few days to “reflect” before deciding on his next steps.
Tennis-No looking back for last year’s Australian Open finalist Collins
Danielle Collins said reaching last year’s Australian Open final gave her the belief she can compete with the best in the game but the American rarely has time to remember about her fairytale run at Melbourne Park. Collins, who is seeded 13th and opens her campaign against Anna Kalinskaya on Monday, has “wonderful memories” of last year’s tournament, where she lost to home favorite Ash Barty in her first Grand Slam final.
Soccer-Spalletti heaps praises on two-goal hero Osimhen as Napoli rout Juventus
Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti was full of praise for striker Victor Osimhen after his side handed Juventus a 5-1 hammering on Friday to extend their lead in Serie A. Napoli moved 10 points clear at the top of the standings after snapping Juventus’s eight-match Serie A winning streak.
Soccer-Napoli humiliate Juventus 5-1 in top-of-the-table clash
Leaders Napoli snapped Juventus’s eight-match Serie A winning streak in spectacular style on Friday, handing Massimiliano Allegri’s men a humiliating 5-1 thrashing on Friday in the top-of-the-table clash. Napoli moved 10 points clear at the top of the standings with 47 points from 18 games. Juventus slipped to third but are level on 37 points with second-placed AC Milan, who have a game in hand.
Tennis Kyrgios braces for pressure as home favorite at Australian Open
With Ash Barty enjoying a comfortable retirement, Nick Kyrgios will be far and away the top drawcard for home fans at the Australian Open, feeling both privilege and pressure to meet expectations after his best season in 2022. After an underwhelming career at the Grand Slams, the fiery Canberra native made the final at Wimbledon last year and the US Open quarter-finals to win over detractors who had labeled him a wasted talent.
Doping-RUSADA rules figure skater Valieva did not commit doping offense – WADA
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) investigation into figure skater Kamila Valieva’s failed drug test has ruled that the teenager was not guilty of any doping infraction, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Friday. WADA said in a statement that RUSADA had determined that although Valieva had committed an anti-doping rule violation, she bore “no fault or negligence” for it.
Soccer-FIFA penalises Mexico for offensive chants by fans during World Cup matches
FIFA sanctioned the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) for the offensive chants the country’s fans made during their matches at last year’s World Cup by ordering it to play a game behind closed doors and fined it 100,000 Swiss francs ($108,000). “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has fined FMF with a fine of CHF 100,000 and one match to be played behind closed doors in light of chants by Mexican supporters during the Mexico v. Poland and Saudi Arabia v. Mexico World Cup matches,” FIFA said in a statement on Friday.
Soccer-Leeds’ Adams voted US Soccer’s Male Player of the Year
Leeds United midfielder Tyler Adams was voted the 2022 US Soccer Male Player of the Year, the sport’s national governing body said on Friday, after he led the Americans to the knockout stages of the World Cup. The 23-year-old earned man-of-the-match honors for the United States’ first two World Cup games, leading them to the last 16 after they failed to qualify the 2018 tournament.
Tennis Badosa, Tomljanovic out of Australian Open with injuries
Paula Badosa has pulled out of the Australian Open due to a sustained right thigh injury in a warm-up tournament in Adelaide, the world number 11 said on Saturday. Spaniard Badosa, who reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park last year, withdrew from her Adelaide International 2 semi-final against Daria Kasatkina on Friday after picking up the injury in the previous round.
(With inputs from agencies.)