SPORTS DAY: Nole ends Kevin's Wimbledon dream
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
TENNISDjokovic beats Anderson for Wimbledon title
Novak Djokovic raced to a fourth Wimbledon title and 13th career Grand Slam crown on Sunday when he defeated a battling but exhausted Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3). World No 21 Djokovic added the 2018 title to his wins in 2011, 2014 and 2015 as he became the lowest-ranked champion since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001. It also took his slam total to within one of Pete Sampras and just four behind the 17 of Rafael Nadal who he defeated in the semifinals. Anderson, the eighth seed, was the first South African in the final in 97 years and was bidding to become the first man from his country to be crowned Wimbledon champion. However, he had spent 21 hours on court getting to the final and that marathon effort came back to haunt him at the worst possible time despite a late rally when he had five set points in the third set.
France fight off spirited Croatia to lift World Cup
France won the World Cup for the second time by ending battling Croatia’s dream of a first title with a 4-2 victory on Sunday. France led 2-1 at halftime after a Mario Mandzukic own goal and an Antoine Griezmann penalty, with Ivan Perisic briefly bringing first-time finalists Croatia level. Quickfire strikes by Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe midway through the second half put France on course for the title, but Mandzukic was gifted a goal by French keeper Hugo Lloris to set up a nervous last 20 minutes. France, however, withstood a spirited Croatia assault to lift the trophy for the second time, following their success on home soil 20 years ago. The victory means that Didier Deschamps, captain of the 1998 side, becomes the third man to win the World Cup as player and coach after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.
Degenkolb strikes again in Tour de France
Two years after suffering a career-threatening accident, former Paris-Roubaix champion John Degenkolb claimed his maiden Tour de France win on his favourite terrain when he tamed the cobbles and powered to victory on Sunday’s ninth stage. The German, who won the Queen of the Classics in 2015, was one of three riders to jump away from the main pack 19km from the line and he was the fastest in the final sprint, beating overall race leader Greg van Avermaet of Belgium. Another Belgian, Yves Lampaert, took third place after a 156.5-km ride from Arras featuring 21.7km of bone-shaking cobbled sectors, some of them featuring on the Paris-Roubaix route.
Binder opens Moto2 account in Germany
South African Brad Binder (KTM) won his first Moto2 Grand Prix on Sunday in Germany ahead of Spain’s Joan Mir and his Kalex teammate Luca Marini. Binder finished 0.779 seconds ahead of Mir who held off Marini, Valentino Rossi’s half brother, by 0.154 seconds. “I felt I had a little more power than the others so I decided to go for it and make a break,” Binder said. “I was afraid I made a mistake. When it got to 10 laps to go I had zero rear tyre left. I could hardly touch the throttle.” Binder was not the only one to make a breakthrough. Twenty-year-old Marini, gained his first top three finish. “My fantastic first podium,” Marini said.
BOXINGIt's sweeter the second time‚ says Mthalane
Moruti Mthalane says winning the IBF flyweight crown on Sunday for the second time in his long career was sweeter than his first coronation in 2009. The 35-year-old survived a knockdown in the 11th round to win a unanimous decision over Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s triumphant return in Kuala Lumpur‚ Malaysia. Two judges gave it to the South African with margins of 114-113 and the third a convincing 116-110; Mthalane’s record improved to 36 wins and two losses while Waseem suffered the first loss of his career‚ dropping to 8-1. “[Winning it again] now feels better‚” said Mthalane‚ who was stripped of the belt in 2013 after he refused to defend it in Germany for what would have been a paltry purse. Since then he spent the better part of five years on the sidelines battling to get action.
Sharks coach optimistic over Crusaders clash
Sharks coach Robert du Preez is optimistic ahead of their Super Rugby quarterfinal against the Crusaders‚ saying it will be a wonderful opportunity for them to do well. The Sharks snatched the final play-off spot when they beat the Jaguares 20-10 at a cold and wet King’s Park in Saturday. The Sharks‚ who have beaten three of the four New Zealand teams they have faced this season‚ did not face the Crusaders in the regular season. Du Preez’s inconsistent side will be up against it as only two South African teams (Bulls in 1996 and Sharks in 2014) have won in Christchurch. No South African side has won a play-off in New Zealand since the inception of the competition in 1996. Defending champions and log leaders, The Crusaders haven’t lost a home game in two years and have only lost six home games in the past five years.
‘Smoking-hot’ Pacquiao rolls back the years
Manny Pacquiao stopped WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse on Sunday – the 39-year-old Filipino icon’s first knockout win since 2009. It was a dominant, devastating display as “smoking-hot” Pacquiao registered the 60th win of a fabled 23-year career that now looks certain to extend beyond his 40th birthday in December. Pacquiao knocked down the big puncher from Argentina as early as the third round with a stunning left uppercut that thudded around the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur. The 35-year-old Argentinian had no answer to Pacquiao’s blistering speed and he dropped again in the fifth. When a right-left combination thudded home to send Matthysse crashing down for a third time in the seventh round referee Kenny Bayless stepped in to save him from further punishment.
GOLFSA’s Justin Harding wins Indonesia Open
SA’s Justin Harding carded a one-under-par 71 to secure his maiden Asian Tour victory at the final day of the Indonesia Open on Sunday. The 32-year-old dropped two shots on holes seven and eight, but bounced back with two birdies and won with an 18-under-par 270 total at Jakarta’s Pondok Indah Golf Course. Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent pressured Harding early in the round after firing three consecutive birdies on the second, third and fourth hole. However Vincent lost the advantage after dropping three shots at the sixth, ninth and 10th, ending the week in second place. Harding took part in the $500,000 tournament as an invitee and will take up Asian Tour membership following his win.
Russia’s stadiums face uncertain future
Russian President Vladimir Putin knows the legacy of his World Cup will be judged partly by the fate of the stadiums after the tournament and he is determined they are put to good use. Russia has spent at least $4-billion on arena construction and refurbishments for the month-long showpiece. Putin’s last TV phone-in show held a week before the tournament was unremarkable until the moment he decided to underscore the importance of 12 stadiums’ fate. “I want to address colleagues from the regions,” he said. “No matter what, you cannot allow these venues to turn into some sort of markets like those in the mid-1990s. The idea of Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium becoming the go-to destination for secondhand clothes might puzzle fans lucky enough to have tickets for Sunday’s final between Croatia and France.”
Mafi in custody after altercation with teammate
Melbourne Rebels No 8 Amanaki Mafi is in police custody in New Zealand following an altercation with teammate Lopeti Timani after their Super Rugby loss to the Otago Highlanders on Saturday, Rugby Australia said on Sunday. The incident occurred overnight after the Rebels went down 43-37 in Dunedin, which ended their hopes of a maiden Super Rugby play-off place. Fox Sports quoted a New Zealand Police spokeswoman saying “a man has been charged with injuring with intent to injure following an alleged assault in South Dunedin last night.” “The man is due to appear in the Dunedin District Court on the 16th July 2018,” she said. “The alleged victim ... received moderate injuries ... ”
AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE