Daily Archives: May 17, 2017

Roger Federer to skip French Open for grass court

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Eighteen-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer will sit out the French Open and the rest of the clay-court season in favour of the ensuing grass court season.

Federer, 35, fifth in the world rankings, confirmed on Monday that he will not play at Roland Garros this month and instead prepare to play on grass and hard courts later this season, posting a message on his website titled: “Roger to skip Roland Garros.”

The full statement read: “Regrettably, I’ve decided not to participate in the French Open. I’ve been working really hard, both on and off the court, during the last month but in order to try and play on the ATP World Tour for many years to come I feel it’s best to skip the clay court season this year and prepare for the grass and hard court seasons.”

“The start to the year has been magical for me but I need to recognise that scheduling will be the key to my longevity moving forward. Thus, my team and I concluded today that playing just one event on clay was not in the best interest of my tennis and physical preparation for the remainder of the season.”

This will be the the second time Federer will not be competing in the Roland Garros event since his debut in 1999, after missing last year’s French Open through injury. He had won the title once in 2009 and has been a four-time runner-up .

This season, the Swiss Maestro has already won three titles: the Australian Open — his first Grand Slam success in five years — and the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March and, two weeks later, won the Miami Open.

It is clear that he has his sights on Wimbledon — the third major of the year — having won the tournament seven times.

Bayern Munich to take legal action against Kimmich rumours

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Bayern Munich have hit out at a report linking Joshua Kimmich with a move away from the club and announced they will take legal action against the newspaper that published it.

Stuttgarter Zeitung claimed on Tuesday that the Kimmich, 22, was certain to leave Bayern in the summer due to a lack of game time under coach Carlo Ancelotti.

The paper added that Bayern’s Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig and Manchester City are in the race to sign the highly-rated Kimmich.

“That’s an outrageous hoax,” chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement published on the Bayern website. “This story misses every base, Joshua Kimmich has a contract until 2020 and will definitely play for Bayern next season.”

Rummenigge added in the same statement that his club “will immediately take action against the Stuttgart newspaper.”

Kimmich, considered by many as the successor of Bayern’s retiring captain Philipp Lahm, played for Leipzig for two seasons in the German second and third division before moving to Bayern in 2015 when Pep Guardiola was in charge of the club.

He has started 15 Bundesliga games this season, coming off the bench 11 times as Carlo Ancelotti’s side wrapped up a fifth straight Bundesliga title — and had admitted himself that he was “not satisfied” with his playing time in March after a start to the season which saw him net eight goals for club and country by mid-October.

Mamadou Sakho set to join Crystal Palace on permanent deal

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Mamadou Sakho is set to join Crystal Palace following a loan spell from Liverpool that proved critical in the survival campaign for Sam Allardyce’s team.

But Palace would need to weigh their financial options considerably as the Reds could seek for at least £30m in the release of the France international.

Both Liverpool and Palace were engaged in a similar negotiation last summer over striker Christian Benteke, with the Belgian moving to the capital for an initial £27m.

Sakho, who had been largely excluded by Jurgen Klopp before moving to Palace on transfer deadline night, had helped Palace win five of the seven matches he completed.

Considered a pariah in Liverpool after a drug flag by WADA (later found out to be a mistake on WADA’s part) and an awkward falling out with Klopp, Sakho was still able to find success in Palace with notable performance in wins against Chelsea and Arsenal — a fact observed by Palace chairman Steve Parish.

“You can’t con anyone that he didn’t make a massive difference,” Parish said. “We won some massive games with him.”

“He’s a really nice person, a big character, he’s got the respect of all the players, and it’s one we’d like to do. But, of course, we have a lot of things we need to do in the summer, and the money needs to work for us and for Liverpool.”

However, a knee ligament he sustained against Tottenham dampened his impact to the club, and he was unlikely to feature even on the final day for Palace against Manchester United.

But the Frenchman was at Selhurst Park last Sunday for Palace’s 4-0 victory against fellow strugglers Hull City which in turn had guaranteed Palace’s survival in the Premier League, and took part in the post-match lap of appreciation.