Tag Archives: double

Danny Cipriani hit by a bus, taken to hospital

'I feel like I've been hit by a bus!' Cipriani released from hospital after being hit by a bus on Leeds pub crawl

Cipriani rushed to hospital after being hit by a double-decker bus in Leeds

Sale Sharks fly-half was in fancy dress on 'Otley Run' pub crawl

Agent claims Cipriani 'mis-judged speed bus was travelling at'

Impact of collision smashed front window of bus

Stayed overnight in hospital after series of X-rays but has been released

: Cuts short his contract with Melbourne and returns to England with Sale.

2012: A run of poor form sees him dropped by Sale.

2013: Hospitalised after being struck by a bus while on pub crawl in Leeds city centre.

The windscreen of the bus was broken and a number of paramedics and Yorkshire police attended to Cipriani, whose face was painted as part of his fancy dress costume.

Cipriani's manager James Williamson told The Sun: 'Danny’s spending the night in hospital. X-rays and scans will be carried out overnight.

'He’s obviously in pain. He was running across the road and just misjudged the speed of the bus.'

A bystander told the Leeds Student website: 'It was like a film, (the bus passengers) were all shook up and screaming.'

A
spokesperson for the First Bus company said today: 'A pedestrian
suddenly ran into the road and collided with a First Bus travelling at a
safe speed.

'The police have investigated this incident and have reported that First and its driver are not at fault.

'We understand the pedestrian is an England rugby international, and we wish him a speedy recovery.'

While in Australia he was under the spotlight for breaching team discipline on a number of occasions.

Scare: Sale's Danny Cipriani was hit by a bus in Leeds and taken to hospital

Scare: Sale's Danny Cipriani was hit by a bus in Leeds and taken to hospital

Former international: Cipriani has failed to establish himself in the England set-up

Former international: Cipriani has failed to establish himself in the England set-up

Season cut short

Cipriani will miss just the one remaining fixture for Sale this season. But it's a big one.

The Sharks were scheduled to face his former club Wasps at the Salford City Stadium on May 4.

Cipriani landed in hot water in 2011 for taking a bottle of vodka from the bar of a local nightspot without paying for it and was later stood down for a month for breaching team curfews and failing to turn up to training.

Cipriani and actress girlfriend Kelly Brook, 33, and recently rekindled their relationship after she split from former rugby star Thom Evans.

While he was on his pub crawl, the model and actress was filming the latest episode of TV show 'Celebrity Juice' at the Riverside studios in Hammersmith. She returned home after the filming.

Love match: Cipriani and Kelly Brook rekindled their relationship after splitting up

Love match: Cipriani and Kelly Brook rekindled their relationship after splitting up

All smiles: Kelly Brook arrives at the studios to record Celebrity Juice with fellow team captain Holly WilloughbyDanny Cipriani being hospitalised

All smiles: Kelly Brook arrives at the studios to record Celebrity Juice with fellow team captain Holly Willoughby

All smiles: Kelly Brook arrives at the studios to record Celebrity Juice with fellow team captain Holly Willoughby

Knockout: Brook is back with Cipriani after the pair split up when he left to play for Melbourne Rebels in Australia

Knockout: Brook is back with Cipriani after the pair split up when he left to play for Melbourne Rebels

Out at last: Cipriani tweets to his fans after leaving hospital

Out at last: Cipriani tweets to his fans after leaving hospital

So, just what is the Otley Run…

The Otley Run is a pub crawl which wings its way from the student-populated areas of Headingley in Leeds, back into the city centre campuses.

There is no defined route, but a number of pubs make up the traditional locations for the booze-filled student party.

It's a drunken all-dayer which typically sees those involved in fancy dress partying at up to 16 pubs heading into the city – and usually finishing up at one of the campus bars.

A selection of pubs which feature regularly on the Otley Run:

Woodies Ale House, Far HeadingleyThe Three Horseshoes, Far HeadingleyThe New Inn, Far HeadingleyHeadingley Taps, HeadingleyCitrus Bar, HeadingleyThe Arc, HeadingleyThe Box, HeadingleyThe Skyrack, Headingley The Original Oak, HeadingleyThe Hyde Park Pub, Hyde Park CornerThe Library, Woodhouse LaneThe Packhorse, Woodhouse LaneThe Eldon, Woodhouse LaneThe Fenton, Woodhouse LaneStrawberry Fields, Woodhouse LaneThe Dry Dock, Woodhouse Lane
Booze cruise: Cipriani was on a pub crawl through Leeds (but not with any of these revellers)

Pub crawl

FA Cup mascot to run London Marathon

Farah takes on the FA Cup! Trophy mascot joins Mo on London Marathon start line

Olympics” class=”blkBorder” />

Double delight: Farah won 10,000m and 5,000m gold at the London 2012 Olympics

Farah said: 'The whole point is to try and learn from it and my aim is to come out here, learn about the race and get used to the course so next year I'm ready to go. It's a no-brainer really. If someone's giving you a practice run, why would you turn that down There's a lot of criticism, but that's part of life. You can't keep everyone happy.'

And there is, he stressed, no chance of him going all the way to the finish line.

'I'm 25-1 to finish the race,' he added. 'That ain't going to happen. If anyone's got money lying around they can give it to the Mo Farah Foundation because I'm definitely not going to finish it.'

Teenage Cancer Trust will be joining in The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations throughout the year, working together to raise the profile of the charity which plays an important role in transforming the lives of young people with cancer in communities across the country.

To find out more or to support Teenage Cancer Trust visit Adrian’s Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/adrian-wells.

Masters 2013: Guan Tianling to do homework while becoming youngest ever Masters player

Teen sensation Guan balances schoolwork and golf ahead of becoming youngest ever Masters player

By
Phil Casey, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

19:25 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:46 GMT, 9 April 2013

]

China's Guan Tianlang has done his homework, in every sense of the word, ahead of his historic appearance in the US Masters this week.

Guan secured his place at Augusta by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand last year and, at the age of 14, will become the youngest player Masters history when he tees off on Thursday.

The Guangzhou schoolboy says he will do 'pretty much all' of his homework while in America, but has found plenty of time for seven practice rounds at Augusta, with today's being alongside two-time winner Ben Crenshaw and tomorrow's scheduled to be with another double champion Tom Watson.

Juggling: Tanlang Guan, during the first Masters practice round today, will do his homework while in America

Juggling: Tanlang Guan, during the first Masters practice round today, will do his homework while in America

Juggling: Tanlang Guan, during the first Masters practice round today, will do his homework while in America

Guan

'I'm really excited in the morning when I come out on the course and there's many people here and I'm really looking forward to the tournament,' said Guan, who will also play the traditional par-three contest on Wednesday with three-time winner Nick Faldo.

'I'm not going to push myself too hard and I'm going to enjoy my game. Hopefully I can play well.

'The general manager of my home course is friends with Ben (Crenshaw) and he told him I wanted to play with him. He told me a lot and we really enjoyed it on the golf course.'

Picture perfect: Guan enjoyed his practice round with Tiger Woods on Monday

Picture perfect: Guan enjoyed his practice round with Tiger Woods on Monday

Picture perfect: Guan enjoyed his practice round with Tiger Woods on Monday

Guan has already played with Tiger Woods in a pro-am in his native China but will also seek out the world number one for a chat.

'I
think probably we will talk,' he added. 'The players here are all great
players, so I'm looking forward to speaking to any one of them.

'When
I was three or four years old I was looking at him (Woods) winning the
Masters and it's pretty exciting to watch him. I played with him twice
in the past couple of years and he gave me a lot of advice. Every time I
play with him I feel a lot better and give myself some confidence.'

Starlet: Guan will become the youngest Masters player in history when he tees off on Thursday

Starlet: Guan will become the youngest Masters player in history when he tees off on Thursday

Guan

Guan

Guan's appearance at Augusta may have made headlines around the world, but world number eight Steve Stricker was still taken aback when he realised exactly how old the former world junior champion is.

'I knew he was playing, I knew he was young. I didn't think he was the same age as my daughter,' Stricker said. 'I thought he was 16.

'That's remarkable. I just can't imagine being that young and competing at this level at such an early age.

'It will be interesting to see how he does and how he handles it. It's remarkable that he's even playing.'

Final preparations: Staff in Augusta are making last changes ahead of the tournament's start on Thursday

Final preparations: Staff in Augusta are making last changes ahead of the tournament's start on Thursday

Final preparations: Staff in Augusta are making last changes ahead of the tournament's start on Thursday

No evidence Rio Ferdinand was racially abused by England fans during World Cup qualifier in San Marino, say Football Association

FA finds no evidence that England fans racially abused Ferdinand brothers during San Marino qualifier

fixture in Moldova.

A football banning order means an individual must surrender their passport, excluding them from all travel abroad around England international fixtures.

'We've been asked to supply our
submission to Fifa by Tuesday, which we will do,' said FA Managing
Director of Club England Adrian Bevington.

'We have gone through all of the video evidence that our security team recorded on the evening of the game.

'I do want to make clear that while
the journalists who have reported this have done so in good faith, they
clearly have heard chanting of a particular nature, and we're not
disputing that, but we haven't been able to identify any of that from
the recorded evidence that we've gone through.'

Fare, who did not have their own
observers at the match, have collated the evidence on the basis of
'hearsay', according to the Football Supporters Federation.

Having been selected for an England squad for the first time since June 2011 for the Brazil 2014 qualifying double-header with San Marino and Montenegro, Ferdinand withdrew after telling Roy Hodgson he had to follow a pre-planned programme of treatment on his back trouble.

He then attracted ridicule by flying to Qatar to appear as a pundit for the match on the Al-Jazeera television channel.

It was widely reported the morning after the game that England fans had sung derogatory songs about Rio and his brother Anton, with the FA promising to investigate the claims.

Ferdinand said on Twitter at the time: 'You expect and accept banter from
fans on the terraces as it's part of what makes the game great, but
racism is not banter and from your own fans. WOW.

'Always a small minority who ruin it for others.'

He added: 'Let's not jump to
conclusions and assume though as it might just have been banter. We'll
see after the investigation.'

The FA issued a statement confirming they had launched an investigation and would review video footage taken by their officials.

They also promised to ban any England fan found guilty of racist abuse and vowed to 'do all we can to eradicate racism from football'.

And the FA also issued a strong call for an end to the 'No Surrender' chants.

The statement read: 'We will not accept any racist chanting and we also call on those attending England matches at home and abroad to stop the “No Surrender” chanting during the singing of the national anthem, both before and during games.'

The prospect of Fifa sanctions was then raised after Fare flagged up to world football's
governing body the vile songs which suggested the pair be burned on a bonfire.

The chant in San Marino was: 'Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put Rio on the top, put Anton in the middle, then burn the f****** lot.'

Football Supporters’ Federation chief executive Kevin Miles, who was at the game, said: ‘Leaping to formal complaint on the basis of second-hand and hearsay information without engaging with supporters’ organisations who were present or the FA is not an approach designed to create the best possible outcome.

‘The Football Supporters’ Federation stand firmly against any manifestations of racism within football. On this occasion, I personally have not heard any of the anti-Rio Ferdinand sentiment being expressed in a way that could be construed as racist.

‘Anger about Rio Ferdinand’s absence from the squad and presence in Dubai in an Al Jazeera studio was strongly felt and clearly expressed. But I heard no racist content. If there were songs sung with racist undertones, then that is a matter for concern. But even then the response needs to be measured, proportionate and constructive.’

Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley today called at the time on the FA to take a stance on the 'vile' and 'abusive' chants by England fans aimed at the Ferdinands.

It has been suggested the song had racist overtones because Anton Ferdinand was the target of racist abuse from former England captain John Terry.

Abuse: England supporters chanted that Rio (above) and Anton Ferdinand (below left) should be 'burned'

Abuse: England supporters chanted that Rio (above) and Anton Ferdinand (below left) should be 'burned'

Anton Ferdinand (left)

Who are FARE

Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) is an international network of groups active in over 40 countries.

Their aim is to help support and coordinate efforts across borders and strengthen activity at national level.

According
to their mission statement: ‘We want to see the beautiful game played
without discrimination and used as a social tool to unite communities,
overcome exclusion and create social change.

'Our
focus is on tackling racism of all kinds, homophobia, and to empower
minorities and women to realise their personal and collective
potential.'

The general objectives of the FARE network are:

To
promote a commitment to fight discrimination at all levels of football
across Europe – in stadiums, on the pitch, in administration, in
coaching and sport education and through the mediaUse the appeal of football to tackle societal discriminationTo foster networking and exchange of good practice transnationallyTo
undertake activities to capacity build and empower marginalized and
discriminated groups, in particular young people, migrants, ethnic
minorities, members of the LGBT communities and women.

Where do they get their money from

Funding has come from the European Commission, UEFA and smaller bodies such as Stand Up Speak Up, a campaign launched by Thierry Henry and Nike to fight racism.

Did FARE have anyone at the match

No. They operate as a conduit for complaints of racism.

So why are they getting involved

Despite having no direct experience of the chanting, FARE claim they are duty bound to lodge a complaint after collating evidence sent to them and after studying media reports of the match.

And why do they think the chant was racist

That is far from clear. The bonfire song is sung at football stadiums across Britain without any suggestions of racism. Some suggest the inclusion of Anton Ferdinand as well as his brother Rio has turned the song into a racist attack. FARE have talked only of an ‘undercurrent of race’. Others point to connotations of the Ku Klux Klan.

What happens next

FIFA will assess the complaint next week. If the allegations are proved it is possible, but unlikely, that England could end up being forced to play their next match behind closed doors. Hungary and Bulgaria played in empty stadiums as a result of FIFA punishments.

Ouseley told BBC Radio 5 Live:
'Whether it's racist or not, it's certainly unacceptable. It's vile and
it shouldn't be part of sport. Something needs to be done about it.

'These
are the supporters of the England national team who are travelling
abroad and singing songs like that. What messages does it send out about
the type of people we are and who we represent

'The
Football Association should be taking a stance on this about the people
it wants supporting the England team, the image it wants to send
abroad.

'I've already
contacted the chairman of the Football Association and said this has to
be looked at, investigated and dealt with. Do you want to be having an
army of fans who call themselves the England fans travelling abroad,
being abusive to their own players like that, or indeed other people

'FIFA will determine (whether it is racist) but clearly we can take a stance on that. We have policies

on anti-racism, homophobia and all other forms of unacceptable behaviour. Why are we so quiet about it'

FIFA said in a statement: 'We can
confirm that FIFA has been contacted by FARE regarding the FIFA World
Cup qualifier match between San Marino and England last Friday.

'FIFA will now analyse the content of the documents and next steps will be determined in due course.'

The ultimate sanction, if FIFA take action against England, is playing a World Cup qualifier behind closed doors.

FARE, headed by Piara Powar, did not have
observers at the game as it was not expected to be 'high risk', but were
supplied with information about the chants by people who were and they
have decided to act.

The organisation is a pan-European
network that aims to rid racism from football. They also reported racist
or xenophobic incidents at Croatia v Serbia and Poland v Ukraine,
matches where members were present.

The FA did not know
an official complaint had been made when Sportsmail enquired but they
are aware of the songs.

English fans also sang about the IRA and 'German
bombers' during the World Cup qualifier but FARE made it clear the
Ferdinand chanting was the reason FIFA had been notified.

A FARE spokeswoman said: 'It refers to the racist abuse Rio Ferdinand received, along with his brother Anton.

'We don't make the judgement. We send a
report to FIFA but in the end its their decision whether they open
proceedings or not. And whether they issue a fine or not.'

An
FA spokesman said: 'We have not been notified on this matter and until
we get a full report it would not be appropriate to say anything.'

Powar told Sportsmail:
‘It’s not really the sort of thing we are generally attuned to looking
at – fans abusing players of their own country who may not have been
picked.

'Nevertheless if it happens at a game, even if the focus of the abuse isn’t there it’s still happening.

‘One
of the things we want to underline straight off is that sometimes
racism doesn’t only take the form of monkey chants or bananas being
thrown. Sometimes there are things that are more subtle at play.

‘In the end we are not responsible for
making a decision on whether England fans are guilty of racism here but
we do have a duty to report things that are said to us because
individuals have reported them as racist or xenophobic within the
context.'

Pulled out: Man United defender Ferdinand was called up but withdrew from Roy Hodgson's squad

Pulled out: Man United defender Ferdinand was called up but withdrew from Roy Hodgson's squad

Discussions: Hodgson says that if he calls Rio up again he will need to speak to him about his fitness first

He added: ‘If someone says to us, “We think
this is a big issue”, and there doesn’t seem to be malicious intent from
their perspective then we are obliged to report it.

'We have people who look at this
stuff and they have a fairly clear idea of the standards required by
governing bodies.

'It’s then put to them and it’s their process. In this
case it’s FIFA’s process. They see whether the evidence hits the
standard to take forward a prosecution.

'FIFA, in the last couple of
incidents they’ve dealt with, have shown a stronger side. They banned
Hungary and Bulgaria from playing with fans last Friday. Forced them to
play behind closed doors.

'That’s quite rare to have a major tournament
qualifier behind closed doors. The last two incidents we reported FIFA showed a very strong hand.'

FARE feel the use of the ‘You know
what you are’ chant also has a racial element, given the history of the
chant in the Terry case.

Peter Herbert, chairman of the
Society for Black Lawyers, insists the bonfire chant does have racist
overtones, adding: ‘We’re uncovering a hard core of racist fans out
there and it doesn’t take very much to trigger their abuse.

‘Some England fans, in that sense,
would claim the Ku Klux Klan are not racist. I think anybody with any
sense and understanding of how racism operates will see that this is
clearly racially motivated and is directed at him. It would not have
been said if it had been a white footballer in the same situation.’

WTA Charleston – Family Circle Cup: Serena Williams beats Venus Williams 6-1 6-2 in semi-final

Serena shows big sister Venus tough love with straight-sets thrashing in Charleston

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:18 GMT, 6 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 6 April 2013

Serena Williams demolished her older sister Venus 6-1, 6-2 in a one-sided semi-final at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

At times it was painful to watch, with Serena appearing uncomfortable with how she dismantled her sister – at one point not even challenging a ball that was called in when clearly wide – and the whole affair was over in 54 minutes.

Venus was constantly troubled by her serve, producing eight double faults, and it took until the third game of the second set for the former world No 1 to hold. Serena led applause for Venus after the match and chose to speak of her sister's return after a back injury which forced her withdrawal from March's Sony Open.

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

She said: 'It's really exciting…it's hard on our bodies. We're doing great and we were just excited that one of us was going to the final.'

It was the first time the sisters had faced each other since 2009 and while Serena has been in the ascendancy for some years, the first game gave no hint of the steamrollering to come.

Instead, Serena seemed to be going through the motions and her serve was not its usual formidable weapon, although the world number one held. A fierce cross-court shot gave Serena break point in the following game which had set the tone for the match with regards to Venus' serve, a double fault bringing up 2-0.

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

The younger sister was getting into her stride, a 110mph serve produced en route to 3-0 in contrast to Venus. Serena was quicker to everything and she moved to a 4-0 lead by passing Venus as she came into the net with a looping shot.

Venus finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth game when a fearsome forehand down the line gave Serena no chance.

However, Serena immediately broke back when Venus produced two successive double faults and she went on to win the set to love.

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

The crowd were urging Venus on but initially it had little effect as Serena took a 2-0 lead in the second. Venus held to the delight of the stands and she was certainly moving her sister around the court more, but the match was moving towards an inevitable conclusion.

The decisive break came in the seventh game as Venus netted with Serena going 5-2 up, and a long return saw her win to love.

Serena said: 'I felt great. I am really looking forward not only to tomorrow but the rest of the clay court season.'

Serena will meet Jelena Jankovic in the final after the Serbian beat unseeded Stefanie Voegele 6-4 6-7 (6/8) 6-2 in a match lasting two hours eight minutes.

Sam Allardyce confirms he wants to keep Andy Carroll at Upton Park after two-goal display

I want him to stay: Allardyce confirms desire to keep Carroll at Upton Park after his two-goal display against West Brom

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

19:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:50 GMT, 30 March 2013

Sam Allardyce cautiously underlined his desire to keep Andy Carroll at Upton Park next season after watching the striker fire West Ham to a vital 3-1 victory over West Brom.

Carroll has endured a difficult time in east London since he arrived on loan from Liverpool last summer, but he looked back to his menacing best today, scoring a fine brace which eased any lingering fears of relegation for Allardyce's men.

The 24-year-old fired a bullet header past Ben Foster to put West Ham 1-0 up and he then sealed the victory with one of the goals of the season following Gary O'Neil's strike.

Flying : The on-loan striker celebrates his goal

Loan ranger: Carroll notched his third goal of the season with a thumping header

Carroll watched the ball come over his shoulder after James Collins had sent a long punt up field and he volleyed past Foster with his right foot from a tight angle.

When asked whether he would like to retain the 6ft 3in striker's services next season, the West Ham manager said: 'The answer to that would be yes.

'There is always a possibility. We will look at the end of the season and we will se what negotiations can be done.'

Carroll's time in London has been blighted by injury, but he is now fully fit and judging by today's performance, it will only be a matter of time before he earns an international recall.

Opener: Carroll (centre) heads home O'Neil's cross to give West Ham the lead

In the air: Carroll headed home to give the Iron an early lead

Roy Hodgson omitted Carroll from his squad for the double-header against San Marino and Montenegro, but when the England manager comes to watch the footage of today's game at Upton Park, he will be impressed, Allardyce reckons.

'That was the best we have seen of him here,' Allardyce added.

'Because he has put two goals in, on top of a good performance.

'I hope this kicks him on to being a regular scorer for us in the next eight games.

'He is in a good frame of mind now and finally after a long wait his fitness is good and that's why you are seeing these performances and the goals are coming.'

West Ham are now two points short of the 38-point mark Allardyce thinks the club will need to avoid relegation.

Happy Hammers: West Ham players celebrate Carrol's early effort

Happy Hammers: West Ham now sit six points off the relegation zone with 36 points

The only disappointment for the West Ham boss today was the fact that he is likely to be without George McCartney for the rest of the season after he hobbled off with the same knee injury that had kept him out of the previous four months.

'I would have thought (he will miss the rest of the season),” Allardyce said of the left-back.

'It's a recurrence of the same injury, his medial ligaments, which is a very big disappointment for him and for us.

Downcast: Steve Clarke was disappointed with his side after the 3-1 defeat

Downcast: Steve Clarke was disappointed with his side after the 3-1 defeat

'That was the only downside for us today. Otherwise, it was a great day for us.

'It was a great performance and it takes us ever closer to that safety margin.'

West Brom were poor throughout
today's encounter. Aside from a deflected Romelu Lukaku free-kick in the
first half, Jussi Jaaskelainen barely had a save to make.

The only time the Baggies beat the Finn was three minutes from the end courtesy of a Graham Dorrans penalty.

West Brom boss Steve Clarke said: 'I can have no complaints about the result. West Ham deserved to win.

'It was a difficult afternoon but we haven't had too many of those this season.'

Clarke will speak to Youssouf Mulumbu tomorrow about his red card for petulantly kicking the ball at O'Neil in injury time.

'I said to the group after the game that they must control their frustrations,' the Scot said.

'It doesn't affect today's game but it affects our group and our squad and the next three games.
“We have a small group and it's a big loss for us.

'The time to speak about it is tomorrow. He probably did it out of frustration.'

WTA Sony Open – Miami: Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova 4-6 6-3 6-0 in the final

Serena storms back to sink Sharapova in three sets and lift Sony Open title in Miami

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:14 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 30 March 2013

Serena Williams lifted her sixth Sony Open title after magnificently bouncing back to see off Maria Sharapova in the final in Miami.

The world No 1 was edged out in a tight first set but lost three games thereafter as she stormed to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory and her 11th straight win over Sharapova.

The American has passed Steffi Graf's number of titles in this competition and became the oldest female champion at the tournament, while Sharapova has now been defeated in every one of her five final appearances in Miami.

Champion: Serena Williams holds the Sony Open trophy aloft in Miami

Champion: Serena Williams holds the Sony Open trophy aloft in Miami

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

History: The world No 1 became the oldest female winner of the tournament

Dominant: Williams beat Maria Sharapova (left) for the 11th time in a row

Dominant: Williams beat Maria Sharapova (left) for the 11th time in a row

After playing flawless tennis for an hour, Sharapova began to miss with her serve, and Williams dominated rallies with her power.

Sharapova built her lead by keeping Williams on the defensive, and she kissed the line with a winner on consecutive points to break for a 3-2 advantage in the second set.

But then came the turnaround. Williams began to capitalise on Sharapova's tentative second serve and broke back to love before taking advantage of two double faults by Sharapova to break again for a 5-3 lead.

Strong start: Sharapova edged ahead after winning a tight first set 6-4

Strong start: Sharapova edged ahead after winning a tight first set 6-4

Rampant: The American lost only 10 points in the final set to beat her Russian opponent

Rampant: The American lost only 10 points in the final set to beat her Russian opponent

Repeat: Williams became the first No 1 seed to lift the women's title in Miami since she won nine years ago

Repeat: Williams became the first No 1 seed to lift the women's title in Miami since she won nine years ago

Williams lost only 10 points in the final set and closed out the victory with a service winner.

'Maria definitely pushed me – she did a really great job today,' Williams said after he win.

'I look forward to our next matches – it's going to be really fun for the fans and for us and for everyone.'

Williams became the first No 1 seed to win the women's title since she was champion nine years ago.

Sharapova, who won the title in Indian Wells at the beginning of March, said: 'It's obviously been a really nice month.

'It's disappointing to end it like this but Serena played a great match and I'm sure we'll play a few more times this year.'

Sunderland Steven Fletcher and Lee Cattermole ruled out for season with injury

Fletcher and Cattermole ruled out for rest of the season in massive blow for Sunderland

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

14:54 GMT, 27 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:04 GMT, 27 March 2013

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill was this afternoon dealt a devastating double blow when it was confirmed that both Steven Fletcher and Lee Cattermole will miss the rest of the season.

Leading scorer Fletcher suffered ankle ligament damage on international duty with Scotland last week, and midfielder Cattermole had surgery on a persistent knee problem earlier today.

Cattermole, meanwhile, has not played
for Sunderland since the 1-0 home defeat by Arsenal on February 9.

Agony: Fletcher was injured 90 seconds into Scotland's clash with Wales on Friday

Agony: Fletcher was injured 90 seconds into Scotland's clash with Wales on Friday

Lay-off: Sunderland now fear their top scorer could miss the rest of the season after an initial scan

Table

The statement added: 'Cattermole
underwent an operation on his knee earlier today and Fletcher sustained
ankle ligament damage whilst on international duty with Scotland.

'It is not known at this stage if
Fletcher will require an operation, with the injury requiring further
assessment in the coming weeks.

'Both players will play no further part in the Black Cats' 2012-13 Barclays Premier League season.'

The news could hardly have come at a
worse time for O'Neill, whose side find themselves firmly entrenched in
a battle for top-flight survival with eight games to
play.

They face leaders Manchester United
at the Stadium of Light on Saturday desperate to end a run of seven
league games without a victory, which has yielded just three points and
left them only four clear of the drop zone.

Fletcher in particular will be a huge
loss as he is top scorer with 11 goals.

However, having scored five in his
first four games for Sunderland following a 12million move from Wolves, he has managed only one in his last
seven, with the supply lines having dried up alarmingly.

Long-term absence: Lee Cattermole (left) has not played for the Black Cats since February

Long-term absence: Lee Cattermole (left) has not played for the Black Cats since February

Miliband stays at Sunderland

David Miliband is to remain a member of the club's board despite stepping down as MP for South Shields.

The former Labour Foreign Secretary has announced he is leaving UK politics to
take up a post with the US-based charity the International Rescue
Committee.

However, Mr Miliband, who joined the board as vice-chairman and
non-executive director in 2011, will maintain his links with the club.

Chief executive Margaret Byrne told Sunderland's official website: 'David's knowledge and experience have been a tremendous
benefit to Sunderland AFC.

'Naturally we are delighted that he is to continue in his role at the
club, and we also wish him every success with this new chapter of his
life.'

The 26-year-old was injured just two minutes into Scotland's 2-1 home defeat by Wales in Friday night's World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park and was carried from the field on a stretcher.

If he does need surgery, player and manager alike will hope he can return in time for the start of the new campaign.

O'Neill at least has January signing Danny Graham, who has played alongside Fletcher in recent weeks, at his disposal.

Cattermole has been plagued by injuries for much of his time on Wearside and has managed only two senior appearances since the end of November.

He had an injection in his injured knee several weeks ago in a bid to solve the problem once and for all, although O'Neill admitted at the time that an operation was a possibility.

Having visited his specialist again, the decision was taken to perform the surgery and write off the rest of the campaign.

Andy Murray beats Andreas Seppi in Sony Open in Miami

Murray in the box seat after rival Djokovic suffers shock defeat by Haas in Miami

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 26 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:15 GMT, 27 March 2013

Two-time defending champion Novak
Djokovic suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Tommy Haas to leave
Andy Murray in the box seat at the Sony Open in Miami.

Veteran German Haas completely
outplayed the world No 1 for a 6-2 6-4 victory meaning Murray, who
earlier beat Andreas Seppi by the same scoreline, is the highest seed
left in the tournament going into the quarter-finals.

In control: Andy Murray was seldom stretched against the No 16 seed

In control: Andy Murray was seldom stretched against the No 16 seed

From 2-1 down in the first set, Haas
won seven straight games to got 6-2 2-0 up and, though Djokovic
eventually broke back to level, the 34-year-old held on for his first
victory against a world No 1 since 1999.

In
distinctly chilly conditions in the late match, there were hints of
what was to come as Haas held his first two service games to love.

Haas then sealed the first break of the match as Djokovic netted, and the Serbian handed him another with a poor shot at net.

Net result: Murray is in to the last eight in Miami

[caption

The 15th seed took the first set in less than half an hour, then kept on rolling with a break to open the second, in part thanks to a double fault from his opponent.

Djokovic saved break points in his next service game too, before holding to stop the rot, then pounced on some rare unforced errors from Haas to seal a break of his own and level at 3-3.

Haas broke again though at 4-4 and it proved decisive as he sealed the match at the second attempt with a forehand winner.

The German’s prize is a last-eight meeting with 11th seed Gilles Simon, who beat Janko Tipsarevic in three sets.

Murray breezed into the quarter-finals, where he will face Marin Cilic, after cruising past 16th seed Seppi.

Murray has yet to drop a set in this tournament and this did not seem likely to change today as he was rarely tested by his Italian opponent, whose sole break point opportunity came in the final game.

The Briton felt the windy conditions worked to his advantage.

'It was swirling a little bit at the start and he made more unforced errors than he usually does,” he told the Independent.

'I was able to track down a lot of his balls because he wasn’t timing his shots that well.

'But he started going for his shots more in the second set and made it tough for me.'

A
limp forehand into the net immediately gave Murray two break points in
the opening game and another unforced error from Seppi gave the world
number three the initiative.

To the exit: Novak Djokovic waves to the crowd as he leaves the court after losing to Tommy Haas

To the exit: Novak Djokovic waves to the crowd as he leaves the court after losing to Tommy Haas

Seppi,
who reached a career-high 18th in the world in January this year, won
just four points on Murray’s serve in the first set and was broken again
in the seventh game as the US Open champion put one foot into the next
round.

The second seed wasted three break point opportunities at the start of the second set before Seppi steadily settled.

The 29-year-old had a slight hope of getting back into the match when Murray found himself 4-3 and 0-30 down on his serve before storming back to level.

Big hit: Tommy Haas of Germany celebrates his win

Big hit: Tommy Haas of Germany celebrates his win

In the very next game, Murray earned his fourth break point opportunity of the set and he would not be denied this time as Seppi crashed a forehand into the net.

The Briton had a bit of a wobble serving out the match and although Seppi had an opportunity to break straight back, Murray sealed victory with his first match point, booking a meeting with ninth seed Cilic who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5 7-6 (7/4).

There were also wins for the third
and fourth seeds, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych, as well as Richard
Gasquet and Jurgen Melzer.

In
the women’s draw, Serena Williams matched Steffi Graf’s record for the
number of match wins in this tournament, a 6-3 7-6 (7/5) win over
Australian Open finalist Li Na in the quarter-finals seeing the American
claim her 59th victory in the Miami Masters.

'I’m excited,' said the five-time champion in her on-court interview. 'It’s just great.

'Every
day I play here is a surprise for me because I enjoy it so much. I
enjoy the great crowd and I’m just happy to still be here.'

Williams
will next face Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who produced an
astonishing shot in the second set to help her beat Belgium’s Kirsten
Flipkens 4-6 6-4 6-2.

Wrong-footed by a net cord, Radwanska spun more than 180 degrees and stuck out her racquet for an improvised volley winner, leaving her opponent staring in disbelief.

Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna set to miss Arsenal game at Bayern Munich through injury

EXCLUSIVE: Wilshere in race to be fit for England after being ruled out of Arsenal's showdown with Bayern

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

22:25 GMT, 11 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:09 GMT, 12 March 2013

Jack Wilshere could miss England’s crucial World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Montenegro.

Arsenal’s brilliant midfielder is out of Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Bayern Munich after failing to recover from the ankle injury he collected in the 2-1 defeat by Spurs nine days ago.

He will be left behind when the team flies to Bavaria today, and is not expected to recover in time for Saturday’s vital trip to Swansea.

Injury doubt: Jack Wilshere is in a race to be fit for England's trips to San Marino and Montenegro

Injury doubt: Jack Wilshere is in a race to be fit for England's trips to San Marino and Montenegro

Blow: Jack Wilshere is set to miss Arsenal's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich

Blow: Jack Wilshere is set to miss Arsenal's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich through injury

That puts England boss Roy Hodgson on a collision course with Gunners manager Arsene Wenger yet again over picking the 21-year-old for his country.

Hodgson names his squad on Thursday, and will want Wilshere in his side after his talismanic performance in last month’s friendly against Brazil – especially for the must-win trip to face Group H leaders Montenegro.

But Wenger, who sent the player on a mid-season break to Dubai to aid his recovery, will fear that he could break down on international duty and miss his club’s critical fight to retain their Champions League status for another season.

The Arsenal manager was angry last month that his star player was on the field for the full 90 minutes against Brazil at Wembley, when he believed he had an agreement that he would not play the entire game.

He also clashed with Hodgson in November over his selection for the squad for a friendly against Sweden when he had only just recovered from an injury sustained on Arsenal’s pre-season trip to America.

And England Under 21 coach Stuart Pearce also bowed to pressure from the Gunners to leave him out of his squad for last summer’s tournament.

Wenger has other injury problems as his side got to Munich searching for a way to overturn their 3-1 deficit from the first leg.

Bacary Sagna is out after failing to recover from a knee problem and is also a major doubt for Saturday’s trip to The Liberty Stadium.

Setback: Wilshere could be out for a few weeks

Setback: Wilshere could be out for a few weeks

It will leave the Gunners being forced to rush back Kieran Gibbs who has missed six weeks with a thigh injury.

With Nacho Monreal cup tied, Sagna's injury leaves Wenger short of defensive options for the clash against Jupp Heynckes men.

If the Gunners decide not to risk Gibbs, they are likely to line-up with a back-four of Carl Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, the club's only available recognised defenders for the clash at the Allianz Arena.

However, the Gunners have been boosted by news that Bayern forward Franck Ribery will miss the second leg with an ankle injury.

Influential midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Jerome Boateng are suspended.

Crisis: Bacary Sagna is set to miss the last-16 clash against Bayern Munich through injury

Crisis: Bacary Sagna is set to miss the last-16 clash after failing to recover from a knee problem