- Germany’s Clemens eliminated in last 16
- Geiger wins first Four Hills event
- BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells postponed
Germany’s Clemens bows out in semis at Ally Pally
Gabriel Clemens‘ run at the PDC World Darts Championship came to a disappointing end on Tuesday night. The 37-year-old player from Germany’s western Saarland state lost his round-of-16 match in a deciding seventh set to Krzysztof Ratajski of Poland.
«It’s best not to say anything,» the German No. 1 said when asked what to say after such a match. He did concede though that he was angry with himself after missing umpteen winners. Despite the disappointment, Clemens did make darts history at London’s Alexandra Palace, by becoming the first German to make it to the last 16 at the world championship. The match is also reported to have attracted a television audience in Germany of more than a million viewers.
Karl Geiger wins first Four Hills event
German ski jumper Karl Geiger won the first stage of the annual Four Hills Tournament in Oberstdorf in Germany on Tuesday. Geiger, who won the ski flying world championships in Planica in Slovenia in December, beat Pole Kamil Stoch with Norway’s Marius Lindvik third.
After winning in Planica, Geiger tested positive for Covid-19 on December 17 and only came out of quarantine on December 27, just in time to claim his seventh World Cup victory.
The competition moves to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and then to Innsbruck and Bischofshofen in Austria. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Four Hills is taking place without spectators.
BNP Paribas Open postponed indefinitely
The BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, which had been scheduled to be held at Indian Wells, California, been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, the governing body of men’s tennis, the ATP said in a statement on Tuesday.
«Alternative dates are being assessed for the tournament to potentially take place later in the year,» it added,
The event, which had been scheduled to be held from March 8-21, attracts the game’s top players from both the men’s and women’s sides.
This marks the second consecutive year the tournament, which is considered the most prestigious event in tennis apart from the four Grand Slams, has been affected by the pandemic. The 2020 edition was canceled
Polish team to compete at Oberstdorf after all
Poland’s ski jumpers led by title holder Dawid Kubacki and two-time champion Kamil Stoch will be allowed to compete at the Four Hills tournament opener on Tuesday after all because all of the jumpers have tested negative for the coronavirus.
The Polish team had originally been excluded from the Oberstdorf event and quarantined following a positive test from jumper Klemens Muranka. But he then tested negative in a second round of tests along with his six team-mates. A third round of negative tests led to the U-turn as local health authorities lifted the quarantine and organizers said the athletes could compete.
The decision comes a day after the Poles were excluded from qualifying on Monday. Organizers have said they will be allowed extra training jumps before the start of the competition.
PSG sack Tuchel
Paris St-Germain have confirmed that German coach Thomas Tuchel has been fired following days of speculation about the move. The club said the decision followed a «deep analysis of the sporting situation.»
The former Borussia Dortmund coach led PSG to two French League titles and they reached the Champions League final last season only to lose to Bayern Munich.
But this season he has clashed with the club hierarachy and they sit only third in Ligue 1. His contract expires in June in any case.
Former Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino, who played for PSG, is being hotly tipped in the media as Tuchel’s replacement at the Qatari-backed club.
Poland’s ski-jumpers led by title holder Dawid Kubacki and two-time champion Kamil Stoch will be allowed to compete at the Four Hills tournament opener on Tuesday after all because all of the jumpers have tested negative for the coronavirus.
China drops 76ers broadcasts over Hong Kong row
Chinese streaming firm Tencent has stopped broadcasting live NBA games involving the Philadelphia 76ers in an apparent protest against the club’s new president, Daryl Morey, who voiced support for Hong Kong demonstrators last year.
Morey used to work for the Houston Rockets and Tencent had already dropped their games,
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, which holds the NBA TV rights, has not aired any games since the season began last week.
Strugglers Mainz look for new coach
Bundesliga second-bottom side Mainz have fired coach Jan-Moritz Lichte after just three months in the job. Former Huddersfield Town boss Jan Siewert has been put in temporary charge.
The move comes after a major overhaul of the club hierarchy with former sporting director Christian Heidel returning as board member responsible for strategy, sport and communication while ex-Mainz coach Martin Schmidt is back as sporting director.
Mainz have six points from 13 games and visit Bayern Munich next on Jan.3
Everton query Premier League call to postpone City game
Manchester City’s Premier League game at Everton was postponed just hours before kickoff following an increase in COVID-19 cases in City’s squad.
The decision was taken by the Premier League board but Everton say they want «full disclosure» of information which led to the decision. It is the second Premier League game this season to be postponed because of the coronavirus.
In contrast to the Premier League, games in the English League Cup, for example, are forfeited if a team cannot play due to COVID-19.
Roger Federer to miss Australian Open
Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will miss the Australian Open for the first time in his career as he continues his recovery from two rounds of knee surgery, organizers announced on Monday.
The 39-year-old Swiss, a huge favorite with the Melbourne crowds, hadn’t missed the Australian Open since his debut in 2000, winning the trophy six times.
«In the end Roger ran out of time to get himself ready for the rigors of a Grand Slam and he’s very disappointed he won’t be coming to Melbourne in 2021,» said tournament director Craig Tiley.
«We wish him all the best as he prepares for his comeback later in the year and look forward to seeing him in Melbourne in 2022.»
This year’s Australian Open is to start later than usual, on February 8, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Defending Four Hills champion, Poland out of opener
Dawid Kubacki will be unable to defend his Four Hills title as he and the rest of the Polish team won’t compete in the tournament’s opener after one of their jumpers tested positive for the coronavirus.
Organizers said on Monday just hours ahead of qualifying in Oberstdorf, that health authorities decided that the team including Kubacki and former two-time Four Hills winner and Olympic champion Kamil Stoch can’t take part.
Klemens Muranka‘s positive result was announced late Sunday after all jumpers and team staff underwent mandatory testing. His teammates, who all tested negative, were not allowed to jump in Oberstdorf because they were in direct contact with him.
Further tests are to determine possible quarantine measures and also whether when or whether at all the Polish team can return to the prestigious event which runs until January 6.
Missing one event means that none of the Poles has a chance to get the overall title because that goes to the jumper with the most points garnered in all four events.
Christian Gross named Schalke head coach
Schalke have officially appointed Christian Gross as their new coach, hoping that he can end the team’s 29-game winless streak in the Bundesliga stretching back into last season. Schalke are currently dead last in the Bundesliga with just four points from 13 matches.
«The next five months will be all about managing to stay in the Bundesliga,» Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider said as Gross was unveiled on Sunday.
«Christian Gross has shown in both Germany and England that he can successfully take on challenges like this.»
The 66-year-old Swiss, whose former teams also include Stuttgart and Tottenham, is Schalke’s fourth coach of the season, after David Wagner, Manuel Baum and Huub Stevens, who took over for just two games on an interim basis after Baum was fired on Dec. 18.
«We need to have a good atmosphere in and around the team to be successful again. I will give everything so that we can accomplish our goals together,» Gross said in a statement posted on Schalke’s website.