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British No 1 Jo Konta teams up with Maria Sharapova’s old coach Thomas Hogstedt

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british no 1 jo konta teams up with maria sharapovas old coach thomas hogstedt

Jo Konta has begun a trial period working with one of the best-known coaches in women’s tennis, whose previous charges include Maria Sharapova and a host of Grand Slam champions.

The British No 1 has linked up with 56 year-old Swede Thomas Hogstedt, the former top 50 player who has one of the most impressive CVs in the game.

Konta has parted ways with Frenchman Dimitri Zavialoff, who helped guide her to the last eight or better in three of the four Grand Slams in 2019.

Jo Konta is working with Thomas Hogstedt, who's regarded one of the best women's coaches

Jo Konta is working with Thomas Hogstedt, who's regarded one of the best women's coaches

Jo Konta is working with Thomas Hogstedt, who’s regarded one of the best women’s coaches

The split is said to have been amicable and caused by a family situation of the Switzerland-based coach, who is no longer able to travel as much as required.

So as Konta prepares to return to action she is working with the well-travelled Swede, who has a remarkable list of clients to his name.

He had two spells with Sharapova, including her first French Open win in 2012, and was with her last year in what turned out to be an injury-ravaged final season on tour.

He has also worked with current Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, Li Na, Caroline Wozniacki and Eugenie Bouchard. While most identified with working alongside top female players he also spent time with former German number one Tommy Haas.

Konta, who turned 29 during lockdown, is currently ranked 14 in the world and is hooking up with Hogstedt in London as she plots her way back into what is still an uncertain international schedule.

She was named on Thursday in one of the two scratch teams to play in the Jamie Murray-promoted Battle of the Brits Team event at Roehampton next week.

Hogstedt has worked with some of the game's best, including Maria Sharapova twice

Hogstedt has worked with some of the game's best, including Maria Sharapova twice

Hogstedt has worked with some of the game’s best, including Maria Sharapova twice

However, she is also on the list to play in the clay court WTA Palermo Open in Sicily the following week, which will be the first official international ranking tournament played since the sport went into hibernation in early March.

It is hard to see that she will play both, but like everyone else Konta is waiting for developments on the US Open, whose chances of happening seem to have gone up a notch. Confirmation one way or the other, which is subject to a range of factors including whether players will need to isolate on returning to Europe, is expected in the next week.

Andy Murray is part of a strong British turnout for the mixed team event next week, in teams that do not appear to have any fixed selection criteria and include a smattering of younger players.

Rather than going for two sides along the lines of North v South or Under 25s v Over 25s they will be known as the British Bulldogs and the Union Jacks, playing for points in singles and doubles formats.

British Bulldogs: K. Edmund, C. Norrie, J. Konta, D. Inglot, H. Dart, E. Raducanu, M. Lumsden. E. Gray, E. Silva, J. Salisbury, B. Grey, L. Broady, A. McHugh. Captains: Leon Smith, Anne Keothavong.

Union Jacks: D. Evans, A. Murray, J. Choinski, K. Boulter, R. Peniston, J. Burrage, N. Broady, A. Matusevich, A. Barnett, J. Murray, O. Nicholls, L. Glasspool. Captains: Judy Murray, Greg Rusedski. 

The US Open will ask players to sign legal waiver forms as it tries to ensure the tournament can go ahead at the end of next month. They have also been given a choice of two hotels to stay at outside Manhattan, with a maximum of three people allowed to accompany them on site at Flushing Meadows, subject to negative Covid-19 tests.

Masks will be compulsory other than on court. The emerging rules signal the determination of the US Tennis Association to make the event happen.

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Memphis Depay handed No 10 shirt by Lyon in hint he may stay amid Barcelona and AC Milan interest

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memphis depay handed no 10 shirt by lyon in hint he may stay amid barcelona and ac milan interest

Lyon fans are optimistic Barcelona and AC Milan target Memphis Depay will stay at the club after he was handed a new shirt number.

The Dutch forward wore the No 10 shirt for the first time on Friday night as Lyon’s poor start to the Ligue 1 season continued with a goalless draw at home to Nimes.

New arrival Tino Kadewere has been given Depay’s old No 11 shirt.

Memphis Depay has changed his Lyon squad number from 11 to 10 in a move supporters have taken to mean he won't be leaving for Barcelona or AC Milan

Memphis Depay has changed his Lyon squad number from 11 to 10 in a move supporters have taken to mean he won't be leaving for Barcelona or AC Milan

Memphis Depay has changed his Lyon squad number from 11 to 10 in a move supporters have taken to mean he won’t be leaving for Barcelona or AC Milan

The Dutch winger wore the No 10 shirt for the first time as Lyon were held goalless by Nimes

The Dutch winger wore the No 10 shirt for the first time as Lyon were held goalless by Nimes

The Dutch winger wore the No 10 shirt for the first time as Lyon were held goalless by Nimes

Lyon fans interpreted the switch as an indication Depay isn’t on the move, the logic being that he wouldn’t request a change of number if he was planning to leave.

The former Manchester United player, 26, has been linked with a move to Barcelona, where compatriot Ronald Koeman has taken over as manager.

But Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas claimed that his counterpart at Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, told him they can’t afford Depay’s £28million asking price.

Koeman has been told he must sell players to raise the funds to sign him.

Lyon value Depay at £28m, which is too expensive for Barcelona on their current budget

Lyon value Depay at £28m, which is too expensive for Barcelona on their current budget

Lyon value Depay at £28m, which is too expensive for Barcelona on their current budget

Depay wore the No 11 shirt for Lyon until Friday night's game with supporters interpreting the change as a sign he will stay at the club

Depay wore the No 11 shirt for Lyon until Friday night's game with supporters interpreting the change as a sign he will stay at the club

Depay wore the No 11 shirt for Lyon until Friday night’s game with supporters interpreting the change as a sign he will stay at the club

Lyon fans reacted to the shirt number announcement with delight on Twitter

Lyon fans reacted to the shirt number announcement with delight on Twitter

Lyon fans reacted to the shirt number announcement with delight on Twitter

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33366732 8750065 image a 29 1600497761603

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And Spanish newspaper Diario AS reported that Milan have consequently overtaken Barcelona in the race for Depay.

Stefano Pioli’s side are interested in bringing Depay, who is in the last year of his deal, to the club in exchange for Lucas Paqueta.

Depay has no intent on extending his current deal which expires in July 2021, while Paqueta is currently under control until 2023.

However, the shirt number switch, which comes about with previous owner of the No 10 shirt Bertrand Traore on his way out, suggests Depay could see out the final year.

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Donny van de Beek celebrates Man Utd transfer by forking out on £150,000 luxury Range Rover SVAutobiography

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donny van de beek celebrates man utd transfer by forking out on 150000 luxury range rover svautobiography

DONNY VAN DE BEEK has splashed out £150,000 on a swanky new Range Rover.

Manchester United’s new star wasted no time in investing in the luxury set of wheels after his £39million transfer from Ajax went through earlier this month.

Donny van de Beek has splashed out on a £150k Range Rover

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Donny van de Beek has splashed out on a £150k Range Rover
The Dutchman wasted no time before investing in a swanky set of new wheels

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The Dutchman wasted no time before investing in a swanky set of new wheels
The Range Rover SVAutobiography can cost up to £177k

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The Range Rover SVAutobiography can cost up to £177k

Pictures from the Guy Salmon dealership in Knutsford, Cheshire show a black Range Rover SVAutobiography sitting on the forecourt with Van de Beek’s name on it.

A green “SOLD” sticker was attached to the windscreen with the Dutchman’s name spelled incorrectly.

It read: “MUFC – Van der Beek. Sales executive name: Chris Aven.”



The flash motors are available from £140k for the basic model up to an eye-watering £177k for personalised packages.

SunSport understands Van de Beek paid £150k for his.

United fans across the world are excited to see Van de Beek play for the first time against Crystal Palace tomorrow.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to start the 23-year-old alongside Bruno Fernandes for the Old Trafford clash.

Elsewhere, former United No1 and Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar can see similarities between Van de Beek and Old Trafford legend Paul Scholes.

GL GRAPHIC man utd wages

Asked what United can expect from Van de Beek, the ex-keeper told MUTV Group Chat: “He can play in different positions in midfield.

“He can be a six or an eight or a ten, he has a great eye for goal. His technique is brilliant, he can go box to box.

“I’d compare him a little bit to Scholesy, although Scholesy had a cracker of a shot from 30-40 yards out and that’s not Donny’s strength, but he likes to come into the box and chip in with goals.

“Maybe it’s unfair to compare him to Scholesy actually, but he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the team that Ole is creating for United.

“I presume he’s had a talk with Ole and they’ve talked about different positions [he can play].

“He’s multi-functional, he can play a little bit deeper which I think is his preferred role.”

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Ray Parlour says the Mason Greenwood mistake has been dealt with at Man Utd

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A Premier League stadium is safer than your living room right now so it’s hard to understand delay in allowing fans

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IT IS becoming increasingly difficult to see what the delay in bringing back spectators to football is all about — except optics.

At a time when the Government is promoting the “Rule of Six” and the country is subject to various local lockdowns, people will be scratching their heads, asking: “How can I not be allowed to meet with more than five other people I know but can go to a football match with thousands of people I don’t know?”

Karren Brady believes a Premier League football stadium is one of the safest places you can be

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Karren Brady believes a Premier League football stadium is one of the safest places you can be

I can see what a difficult and conflicting message that might send out, which the Government might like to avoid.

Except that a Premier League football stadium is the safest place you can be. Safer than your own living room.

Our highly supervised environment means supporters are safer in there than if they were mixing informally in their own homes.

Yes, of course there are sound reasons why numbers have to be phased in, like the access to public transport (despite the fact that millions of people are being urged to go back to work).

Then there is the congregation of supporters before and after the games.

But we are not talking about late-night ravers here, we are talking about sensible football supporters who can to go to an activity in a safe way.

My plea for the return of sizeable crowds is by no means all about the loss of revenue although the sums are eye-wateringly large.

Lost match revenue for the Premier League stands all in at about £80million a MONTH.

KH GRAPHIC STADIUMS FANS RESTRICTIONS

It also rests on the loss of watching the best of football from where millions of people derive the greatest pleasure — right there in the stadium.

Reacting to the good and even the not-so-good.

Your team belongs to you and you to the team. Is there anything more stirring?

The history of Covid-19 and spectator sport began in March when the number of cases arising from the last Cheltenham Festival was never published.

But crowds of 60,000 or so a day over five days must have accelerated the rate the disease spread.

That, the Twickenham rugby international the previous Saturday and a serious infection striking Prime Minister Boris Johnson are seen as key events in transmission that led to lockdown.

Once so permissive, it is hardly surprising the Government is now very cautious.

Fans watch a match while social distancing

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Fans watch a match while social distancing

Several times it has tentatively agreed to allow small attendances at snooker, rugby, cricket and football only for it to pull out the day before on several occasions.

This week it put its foot in the water again, giving permission to some English League clubs to open the gates to 1,000 fans each.

So, while it is possible that from October 3 small crowds are to be allowed at some or all matches — after all, it is working in Germany as their clubs’ stadiums can now operate at 20 per cent capacity — it seems unlikely.

Even with an agreed Premier League common standards approach to getting the supporters in, which includes those attending wearing face coverings, screening measures (health questionnaires and temperature checks), contactless tickets and payments, agreed transport strategies, test-and-trace arrangements and sanction regimes for individual fans and clubs who don’t follow the rules.

The bottom line is the clubs of the Premier League and EFL are run by responsible people.

We know how easily the virus can be passed from person to person and we are well aware of ways to prevent this happening.

A Premier League football stadium is the safest place you can be. Safer than your own living room. Our highly supervised environment means supporters are safer in there than if they were mixing informally in their own homes.

Karren Brady

The precautions taken against players catching it have been exhaustive and highly successful.

Staff have become expert testers and players, with very few exceptions, have not strayed.

The Government trusted us to restart last season and we should by now have earned its support in staging matches in front of crowds.

Frankly, 1,000 spectators in, say, West Ham’s London Stadium — which has 66,000 seats — is so wide of that objective it rivals me in high heels shooting for goal from 25 yards. It is both laughable and irrelevant.

We could raise that number by 20 times and deal with the problem of social distancing both inside and outside the stadium.

It could, of course, all happen a lot quicker if we had even a dependable testing system, never mind world-beating.

Over to you, Boris.

Marcelo Bielsa defends making Kiko Casilla captain after Leeds fans hit out at decision over racism shame

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