Sport

Australia’s Kurtley Beale will miss Wasps’ English Premiership final against Exeter at Twickenham on Saturday with a hamstring injury.The Wallaby star pulled up sharply during the club’s semi-final win over Leicester and had to leave the field, having …

Dutch title holder Kiki Bertens booked her ticket to Saturday’s Nuremberg WTA final after semi-final opponent Misaki Doi of Japan retired.Doi, 26, called time on Friday’s semi-final as she trailed 2-6, 1-0 to her 25-year-old Dutch rival on the Bavarian…

Carlos Tevez may be reaping the rewards of China’s football boom, but believes standards in his new home fall well below the level he has become accustomed to in a glittering career.The Argentine, who had spells at Manchester United, Manchester City an…

Colombia’s Nairo Quintana took possession of the Giro d’Italia pink jersey a day after Dutch rival Tom Dumoulin laughed off the Movistar climber’s tactics to “make me lose the race”.Quintana, the 2014 champion who rides for Movistar, finished nearly ei…

Fire chiefs were looking into the cause of a “small fire” at Wimbledon after crews from four different stations dealt with an incident at the famed London tennis venue on Friday.A spokeswoman for the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which owns Wimbledon a…

World number one Andy Murray said he had shrugged off his latest bout of illness and will be fit for the French Open getting under way on Sunday.Murray, the 2016 runner-up to Novak Djokovic, admitted he had been sick since arriving in the French capita…

Football’s world governing body FIFA said Friday it had evidence that North Korean workers had been employed on 2018 World Cup venue construction in Russia.A FIFA inspection tour to Saint Petersburg in November uncovered information that workers from t…

Turkey issued an arrest warrant on Friday for Turkish NBA star Enes Kanter, accusing him of being a member of a “terror group”, a pro-government newspaper reported.A judge issued the arrest warrant after an Istanbul prosecutor opened an investigation i…

Rafael Nadal insisted Friday that he didn’t care if he was regarded as the favourite for a 10th French Open, even if his rivals begged to differ.

“100% he’s the big favourite,” said Austrian star Dominic Thiem, one of the support cast waiting in the wings should the great Spaniard slip up.

“Of course I think he’s back at his best this year, and then also he won here nine times. So he knows how it works to win here.

“I think he will try everything to win Le Décima, I think it will be very unique in tennis to win a Grand Slam title ten times. It’s pretty crazy, I guess. So 100% he’s the one to beat and the big favourite.”

Thiem, the 23-year-old world number nine, has already faced Nadal three times on clay this spring — losing in the finals in Barcelona and Madrid before gaining revenge in the quarter-finals in Rome.

It’s that kind of surprising setback — Nadal’s only loss on clay this year — that has the 30-year-old Spaniard eager to calm the mood.

However, with defending champion Novak Djokovic and world number one Andy Murray both struggling for consistency, it appears to be a thankless task.

“You have to write what you have to do, but I don’t care,” said Nadal.

“At the end of the day for me the only important thing is arrive here, play well. If I am playing well, doesn’t matter if you believe or you don’t believe that I am one of the candidates or not.

“The only way to have chances, real chances to play good event is play very well, be healthy, and then be with the right attitude in every practice and in every match, no?”

Nadal, who was forced to withdraw from last year’s Roland Garros with a wrist injury after two rounds, has already reached the magical 10 titles number this year at the claycourt events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

For good measure, he also won Madrid for a fifth time, ending a seven-match losing streak, stretching back over two years against Djokovic in the process.

Nadal boasts a sensational career record at Roland Garros — 72 wins and just two defeats, to Djokovic in 2015 and an injury-affected shock loss to Robin Soderling in 2009.

“Rafa playing on his favourite surface won three tournaments in a row this year, and playing confidently and much better than he was playing actually last year,” said Djokovic.

“I definitely see him as the No. 1 favourite for this title.”

Luis Enrique will take charge of Barcelona for the final time as coach in Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Alaves, but refused to rule out a return to the club in the future on Friday.Enrique can add a ninth title to a generally successful three-y…

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was Friday named as the head coach of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) side Khulna Titans for the next two seasons of the Twenty20 tournament.Jayawardene, who has plied his trade across the globe after tak…

Fans around the world will be able to watch Maria Sharapova’s bid to reach Wimbledon with qualifying for the Grand Slam to be broadcast for the first time, it was announced FridayHowever, a spokeswoman for the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the tourname…

Novak Djokovic revealed Friday that a chance telephone call sparked his decision to hire US legend Andre Agassi as his new coach.World number two Djokovic, who is about to begin the defence of his French Open title, said he originally only sought out A…

Petra Kvitova will play the French Open in what will be her first tournament since being attacked by a knife-wielding burglar in December, the WTA said Friday.”Confirmed: Petra Kvitova will play @rolandgarros. Looking forward to hearing from her in an …

Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer and England?s Oliver Fisher leapt to the top of the European PGA Championship leaderboard as the second round got under way at Wentworth on Friday.Kieffer, ranked 288th in the world, had a golden start to his back nine maki…