Bartoli, Tsonga to team up
Newly crowned Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli will team up with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga when France open the new season at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. Bartoli blitzed the field at the All England Lawn Tennis Club to win her first Grand Slam title and will be making her second appearance at the mixed team tournament from Dec. 28 to Jan. 4. “It’s great to play with Jo, obviously. He’s an awesome player,” said Bartoli, ranked seventh in the world. Tsonga, the world No. 8 and a four-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, said he favored Perth to start his season as it is similar to the courts at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year.”It’s the best preparation because it’s the same court as the Australian Open. It’s always really hot there,” he said.
Bayern present Alcantara
UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich presented new signing Thiago Alcantara on Tuesday and said they have no plans to bring in any more players or to let any others leave. Bayern used a buyout close in Alcantara’s contract with Barcelona and spent 25 million euros (US$33 million) to sign the midfielder to a four-year deal. The player was signed at the express wish of Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who coached Alcantara in Barcelona. Alcantara joins a crowded, star-studded midfield, but Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the competition is “fantastic.” Bayern have signed Mario Goetze from Borussia Dortmund, defender Jan Kirchhoff from FSV Mainz 05, while releasing striker Mario Gomez to ACF Fiorentina.”I don’t think that we’ll sign another player. I also don’t think we’ll give up any other players,” Rummenigge said. Guardiola inherited a team that completed an unprecedented treble last season, winning the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal, as well as the Champions League.
Seagulls stand firm on Poyet
Brighton and Hove Albion have upheld their decision to sack manager Gus Poyet following an appeal by the former Uruguay international, the second-tier English side said on Tuesday. Poyet was suspended in May and discovered he had been sacked while working as a pundit on live television. “Despite the extremely disappointing end to Mr Poyet’s career with Brighton and Hove Albion, the club would like to acknowledge Mr Poyet’s service to the club,” the Championship club said on its Web site. The League Managers Association said they were surprised by the decision and would continue to support Poyet, who was suspended for an unspecified breach of club discipline.
Sinclair hangs up his boots
Former New Zealand Test batsman Mathew Sinclair pulled the stumps on his cricket career yesterday, revealing he would instead sign on for unemployment benefits to support his family. Sinclair remains the only New Zealander to ever score a double-century on debut, smashing 214 against the West Indies in Wellington in 1999. At 37, Sinclair, who has a wife and two young children, said he could no longer rely on income from playing for the Central District Stags during the summer, then looking for casual work in the off-season. He said prospective employers were reluctant to take him on when they knew he would be unavailable during the cricket season, so it was time to look for a long-term career. Until then, Sinclair said he would have to sign on for the dole — a stark reminder that not all promising cricket stars go on to fame and fortune.