Alcaraz in ‘dream’ matchup
It was not too long ago that Rafael Nadal was handing Carlos Alcaraz a PlayStation as a prize at a local tennis tournament in Spain. Now the Spanish great is about to play against the promising youngster in the second round of the Madrid Open. Seventeen-year-old Alcaraz on Monday defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-0 to set up the “dream” matchup against the 20-time grand slam champion. Alcaraz faces his idol on the Magic Box center court today, his birthday. “It will be a dream come through to play against Rafa here,” Alcaraz said. “I’ve wanted to play against him since I was a kid. There will be no better way than while celebrating my 18th birthday.”
Verdejo charged with murder
Puerto Rican former Olympic boxer Felix Verdejo was on Monday charged with killing his lover and their unborn fetus. The judge charged him with three counts of kidnapping and murdering Keishla Rodriguez, who was pregnant at the time. A federal complaint obtained by Agence France-Presse said that Verdejo, who is married and was also in a relationship with Rodriguez, allegedly kidnapped the victim on Thursday after she told him she was pregnant. Verdejo asked another person, whom the affidavit refers to as a “witness,” for help in terminating Rodriguez’s pregnancy. Verdejo — who has won 27 fights, 17 by knockout — “punched the victim in the face, and she was injected with a syringe filled with a substance,” stated the affidavit of the FBI agent who led the investigation. He and the witness then tied Rodriguez to a block, it said. Then they drove to a lagoon in San Juan, where she was “tossed off the side of the bridge and into the water,” the affidavit said, adding that Verdejo then shot Rodriguez. Verdejo represented Puerto Rico in the London 2012 Olympic Games, and that same year began his professional career in the lightweight category.
Parma out of Serie A
Parma were on Monday relegated from Serie A after a 1-0 defeat at Torino ensured they dropped to the second tier three years after their comeback from a financial meltdown. Mergim Vojvoda tapped home the winner midway through the second half to leave Parma 12 points away from 17th-placed Cagliari with four games to play, but with an inferior head-to-head record that makes it impossible for them to escape the drop zone. Meanwhile, for hosts Torino it was a precious three points in their battle against the drop which moved them up to 15th, three points away from Benevento, who occupy the final relegation place.
Official banned over abuse
Global soccer governing body FIFA on Monday banned Haiti’s under-20 women’s team supervisor Nella Joseph for 10 years as part of an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual abuse of female players in the Caribbean nation. Joseph was also fined 20,000 Swiss francs (US$21,857). She was found guilty by the FIFA Ethics Committee of failing to protect the physical and mental integrity of various female players under her authority and “by actively coercing and threatening them into engaging in sexual relationships” with former Haitian Football Federation president Yves Jean-Bart, FIFA said in a statement on its Web site.
Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona received inadequate medical care and was left to his fate for a “prolonged, agonizing period” before he died last year, an expert medical panel said on Friday. In a 70-page document, the panel said that Maradona, who succumbed to a heart attack on Nov. 25 last year at the age of 60, “started to die at least 12 hours before” the moment he was found dead in his bed. Maradona died just weeks after undergoing brain surgery on a blood clot. A panel of 20 experts was convened by Argentina’s public prosecutor to examine the cause of death
WEEKEND MATCHES: Hang Yuan FC’s first game against CPC FC was a tense affair with no one scoring until the 80th minute, but after a flurry of goals Hang Yuan prevailed 2-1 Tainan TSG (Taiwan Steel Group) have had to postpone their trip to Hong Kong to play in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualifiers. The AFC on Monday delayed the AFC Cup East Zone Group J qualifier matches in Hong Kong — which were to be held from Friday next week to May 20 — until June 23 to 29 due to international travel and quarantine challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As defending champions of the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL), Tainan TSG are representing Taiwan in Group J against Mongolia’s Athletic 220, and Hong Kong’s Eastern Long Lions and Lee
FURIOUS FANS: The biggest game in English soccer was postponed amid chaotic scenes after about 200 protesters made their way onto the pitch and set off flares Manchester United’s English Premier League clash against Liverpool on Sunday was postponed after furious United fans stormed Old Trafford in protest at the club’s owners, while Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Sheffield United 4-0. Manchester City would have been crowned champions for the third time in four seasons if second-placed United had lost to Liverpool, but Pep Guardiola’s side saw their hopes of a title party put on hold after the biggest game in English soccer was postponed amid chaotic scenes. The Glazer family, already unpopular for their leveraged buyout of the club 16 years ago that saddled
Don Mattingly starred in the action-packed 1980s. Now the Miami Marlins manager, known as Donnie Baseball, worries about a record lack of hits — and not just from his team’s bats. “I don’t think it’s cyclical at this point,” he said. “There’s so much swing and miss, it’s kind of off the charts. I think it’s something that we have to address.” It is the “Season of the Slump,” even for All-Stars like Marcell Ozuna (.202), Charlie Blackmon (.184) and Francisco Lindor (.189). Miguel Cabrera, the only Triple Crown winner in a half-century, is batting .140. Major league batters were hitting just .232