Top Ad
I DIG Radio
www.idigradio.com
Listen live to the best music from around the world!
I DIG Style
www.idigstyle.com
Learn about the latest fashion styles and more...
I Dig Sports

I Dig Sports

Britain's Jamie Murray and Brazilian doubles partner Bruno Soares are into the French Open second round.

They were in commanding form throughout a 6-1 6-2 win over Israel's Jonathan Erlich and South African Lloyd Harris.

Murray, 36, has played with a variety of partners since March after Soares, 40, took a break from the tour.

But the pair, who reached the quarter-finals in 2017, have reunited this month and are chasing a third Grand Slam title together.

British number one Emma Raducanu was unable to capitalise on a one-set lead as her French Open debut ended with a defeat in the second round.

Raducanu, 19, lost 3-6 6-1 6-1 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

The 12th seed was unable to take any of five break points in a pivotal third game in the decider, Sasnovich breaking in the next to enable her to win.

The US Open champion has lost in the second round in her two Grand Slams since the win in New York last year.

Raducanu's exit means there are no British women left in the singles draw, with Heather Watson and Harriet Dart losing in the first round.

British men's number one Cameron Norrie is aiming to become the first of the nation's players to reach the third round on the Paris clay this year, taking on Australia's Jason Kubler on Wednesday.

Raducanu improving but still developing

Raducanu played Sasnovich in her first match as a Grand Slam champion, losing in straight sets at Indian Wells last October, but said she was a "different player now".

Seven months on, Raducanu is still trying to find her feet in a debut full season on the WTA Tour which has provided significant challenges.

That learning curve has been particularly different to most teenagers beginning their careers because of the added attention that comes with being a major champion.

The main hurdle has been coping with the rigours of playing full-time against the world's best players, with a constant stream of niggling injuries hampering her progress.

A back injury was an issue going into the French Open and perhaps that weighed on her mind as she faded badly against Sasnovich.

But Raducanu is likely to look back on her debut clay-court season with a decent amount of pride, having won six of her 11 matches on the surface.

More to follow.

Veteran Wales and British and Irish Lions flanker Dan Lydiate has signed a one-year contract extension to remain at Ospreys for the 2022-23 season.

Lydiate returned from a long-term injury late in 2021-22 to help Ospreys qualify for next season's Heineken Champions Cup.

The 34-year-old's form also earned him a recall for Wales' three-Test tour to South Africa in July.

"The focus now is to get back to my best," said Lydiate.

Having built his reputation as a grafting member of Dragons' back row and become Wales' established blind-side under Warren Gatland, Lydiate joined Racing 92 in 2013 before that stay ended prematurely with a move to Ospreys in December, 2014.

By that time, he had already become a Lions Test player - in Australia in 2013 - but injuries have disrupted Lydiate's progress in recent seasons.

He fought back to form and fitness with some fine Ospreys display to earn a 2021 Wales Six Nations recall, only to suffer a major leg injury in Wales' opening win against Ireland.

Lydiate has again fought back from that blow to earn Wales coach Wayne Pivac's nod to return to Test contention against the Springboks this summer.

"I just want to enjoy playing again and get back out there and do my stuff with the boys," said Lydiate.

"We have had a few tough seasons here during my time at the Ospreys, but things have really started to progress here with Heineken Champions Cup qualification for a second season."

He also thanked Ospreys' backroom staff for helping him recover, saying: "Getting back on the field was my main focus this season and I am grateful for the support of the Ospreys medical and strength and conditioning teams for getting me playing again."

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth said: "Dan's resilience and determination to get back playing after his injury has been well documented.

"His leadership skills and the standards he sets, on and off the field, have been recognised by his recent call-up for Wales."

Back-rower Tom Pearson has signed a senior professional contract with Premiership club London Irish.

Pearson, 22, joined the Exiles academy last year and made his senior debut in the win against Exeter last October.

He went on to make 18 appearances for the club this season in all competitions. The length of Pearson's contract is unknown.

This February, Pearson was included in England's training squad during the Six Nations by head coach Eddie Jones.

"Tom has seamlessly entered into professional rugby since his arrival at the beginning of the 2021-22 season," said London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney.

"His developments are clear to see, and we are looking forward to seeing him progress over the next few years in a London Irish shirt."

Flames keep faith: 'No reason we can't win 3'

Published in Hockey
Wednesday, 25 May 2022 00:14

The Calgary Flames needed a small miracle. They almost got it, too.

The Flames trailed the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in the third period of Game 4 in their second-round playoff series when Rasmus Andersson fired a puck 132 feet from the Flames' blue line that somehow beat Oilers goaltender Mike Smith to tie the game.

It was an improbable play that brought Calgary all the way back from a 3-0 first-period deficit with the hopes of evening the series at 2-2.

That hope was swiftly extinguished when Calgary couldn't hold the fort, falling 5-3 in Game 4 and behind 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Calgary now faces elimination in Thursday's Game 5. The Flames have never overcome a 3-1 series hole in franchise history.

"I thought we showed a lot of resolve or resilience," Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. "It was a winnable game for us for sure tonight, and we damn near did it. I like how we played. I know we're in a hole. But we hung around tonight. I thought we played a good game. It was close."

The first period started on a disastrous note for the Flames. Only 21 seconds in, Jacob Markstrom made a poor attempt to play the puck from behind his own net that landed on the stick of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in front: 1-0 Edmonton.

Zach Hyman made it 2-0 on an ensuing power play. And then Markstrom got beat clean by Evander Kane with just over a minute to go in the opening frame to extend the Oilers' lead further.

Calgary was down 3-0 by then on the scoreboard, but not in spirits.

"Honestly, I don't think we played that bad in the first period," Andersson said. "It was a game of bounces. They got two in the first period, and we showed a lot of effort to crawl back into the game. We played a really tight third period. It was the fourth goal [scored by Nugent-Hopkins] that sucked the life out of us."

Calgary registered its own goals 36 seconds apart in the second frame from Elias Lindholm on the power play and then Mikael Backlund to start mounting a comeback. When Andersson pocketed his long-range goal, he wasn't too surprised, given how the game had gone.

"As soon as I shot it, I saw it went towards the net and I saw [Smith] didn't see it," Andersson said. "I thought to myself real quick, 'This might go in.' And it did. It was a game of bounces both ways. They got one [off Markstrom's error] and we got one."

Markstrom made key saves down the stretch for Calgary in Game 4, including against Leon Draisaitl on the power play right before Andersson tied it. He finished the game with 21 saves on the night (.840 SV%) and will need his best performance of the postseason in Game 5 to keep Calgary going.

"It's part of battling back," Sutter said of Markstrom's night. "You've got to dig in and grab on."

Still, the Flames might need a few more bounces to see this series extended. While Calgary's mood was upbeat after Tuesday's loss, it won't shrink the mountain ahead.

"I thought this was the best game we played in this series," Andersson insisted. "We all believe in our group. We've been a good team all year and been strong on home ice. We have to go home and focus on winning one game at a time. No reason we can't win three in a row."

"There's a reason why we play seven [games]," added Backlund. "We played well tonight. We showed really good character as a group and battled back. Could have gone either way. We know we're strong at home."

Klopp named Premier League Manger of the Year

Published in Soccer
Wednesday, 25 May 2022 04:50

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp was recognised for his side's tilt at an unprecedented Quadruple this season as he was named the League Managers Association (LMA) and Premier League Manager of the Year on Tuesday.

Chelsea's Emma Hayes won the LMA's Women's Super League Manager of the Year award for her work in guiding her side to a third consecutive WSL title and their fourth FA Cup title.

- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access
- Premier League 2021-22 awards: Best player, best manager
- Ogden: Liverpool left to look back on what-ifs

Liverpool won the League Cup and FA Cup and will play Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday. They came up just short in the Premier League title race, finishing a point behind champions Manchester City.

"It's a great honour and it was an insane season," Klopp said. "The last matchday when only two games were meaningless and in the rest, we all played for absolutely everything. It was not the best outcome for us, but we are already over it."

The 54-year-old German won the Premier League award after votes from the public were combined with those of an expert panel, while the LMA prize was voted for by the full membership of managers across all the divisions.

"This being voted for by my colleagues is obviously most important prize you can get," Klopp added.

Sources: West Ham open talks with Lingard

Published in Soccer
Wednesday, 25 May 2022 04:50

Jesse Lingard is in talks with West Ham over a free transfer to the London Stadium, sources have told ESPN.

Lingard is set to leave Manchester United when his contract expires at the end of June. Sources have told ESPN that West Ham made contact with the 29-year-old's representatives following the conclusion of the Premier League season on Sunday and negotiations are now underway.

- Premier League's Worst XI: Man Utd stars have season to forget
- Dawson: The mammoth task facing Erik ten Hag at Man United
- Ogden: Inside the broken, dysfunctional world of Man United
- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access

There is confidence on all sides that a deal can be agreed although there remains interest from other Premier League clubs and Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus.

Sources have told ESPN that Newcastle, who were keen to land Lingard on loan in January, have distanced themselves from a move this summer and are instead focusing on other targets.

Lingard is one of David Moyes' top targets at West Ham this summer after an impressive loan spell at the London Stadium during the second half of the 2020-21 season, scoring nine goals in 16 games to help West Ham to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

His form also earned a recall to the England squad and he was named in Gareth Southgate's provisional group for Euro 2020.

Lingard has missed out on a place in the latest squad after a frustrating season at Man United but sources have told ESPN he is hopeful that a run of regular first-team football at the start of next season will be enough to force his way back in ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which starts in Qatar in November.

Lingard played a key role for Southgate during England's run to the World Cup semifinals in 2018.

Sources have told ESPN that new Man United manager Erik ten Hag is keen to speak to the players, including those entering the final weeks of their contracts, but Lingard, who is on holiday in Los Angeles, has already decided it is the right time to move on.

He was restricted to just four starts in all competitions last season and was not included in Ralf Rangnick's squad for the final game of the season, a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

Laporta: Messi, Neymar can return if for free

Published in Soccer
Wednesday, 25 May 2022 04:50

Joan Laporta has said Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Lionel Messi's only chance of returning to Barcelona would be on a free transfer.

The Barca president said it would make "no sense" to pay money for players that both previously played for the club.

"Who doesn't like Ney?" Laporta told L'Esportiu when asked if he is a fan of the forward following reports he could come back to Barca.

- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access
- Why Mbappe chose PSG: The inside story

"He is an exceptional player, but he has [three] years on his contract with PSG. He is effectively enslaved to money.

"The only way he could come back to Barca is for free. It would be irrational to pay a transfer fee for a player you have already had.

"Leo left how he left. We would all have liked him to end his sporting career here, but because of [LaLiga's] fair play rules and because of PSG's offer, it was not to be.

"If he wants to return one day, it would have to be for free. And the technical staff would have to decide if he fits the new project or not."

Neymar, 30, signed a new deal with PSG last summer but his long-term future at the club has come under scrutiny following Kylian Mbappe's decision to sign a contract extension.

ESPN have reported that Mbappe would like a more balanced squad than what is there now given their lack of success in Europe, while the French club's owners have not been satisfied by his performances or his lifestyle.

Neymar has been at PSG since 2017, when the Ligue 1 champions paid a world record transfer fee of €222 million to activate his release clause and prise him away from Barcelona.

Messi, who will turn 35 in June, has one year to run on his contract in Paris after joining from Barca last summer.

Sources have told ESPN that any decision on his future beyond then will come after the World Cup, which he will compete in with Argentina later this year.

Barca, meanwhile, sources have told ESPN, are pursuing other attacking targets, with coach Xavi Hernandez recently confirming interest in Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

The Catalan club are also keen to sign a winger given the possibility of losing Ousmane Dembele, who is yet to sign a new contract with his terms up on June 30.

Leeds United's Raphinha is one option, but a move for him has been complicated by the English club's Premier League survival. If they had been relegated, a €25m release clause would have kicked in.

However, any transfer business will first be depending on Barca bringing in cash to make room within their LaLiga-imposed spending cap, with Laporta rallying against the Spanish league's regulations.

"We don't have any support from LaLiga," he added. "The fair play rules are too restrictive and demanding compared to other countries and it's a handicap.

"We respect the rules, but feel they are too strict compared to other countries. We are talking with LaLiga about this, but they don't seem to budge from their position.

"There are operations we are working on to improve the accounts, but LaLiga, instead of helping, try to harm us. It really surprises me."

UK government approves Boehly's Chelsea bid

Published in Soccer
Wednesday, 25 May 2022 04:50

The United Kingdom government has issued a licence that grants the sale of Chelsea to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium, it was announced on Wednesday.

The club was put up for sale after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the government for his links to Vladimir Putin following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Late last night the UK government reached a position where we could issue a licence that permits the sale of Chelsea," a government spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Premier League formally approved the Boehly-led takeover that is worth £4.25 billion ($5.33 billion).

- Tuchel: Boehly can be Chelsea's 'lucky charm'
- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access

The UK government statement added: "Following the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich, the government has worked hard to ensure Chelsea has been able to continue to play football. But we have always been clear that the long-term future of the club could only be secured under a new owner.

"Following extensive work, we are now satisfied that the full proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or any other sanctioned individual. We will now begin the process of ensuring the proceeds of the sale are used for humanitarian causes in Ukraine, supporting victims of the war.

"The steps today will secure the future of this important cultural asset and protect fans and the wider football community. We have been in discussions with relevant international partners for necessary licences required and we thank them for all their cooperation."

Abramovich initially indicated he would write off a £1.6 billion loan owed to him by Chelsea, but sources told ESPN he subsequently asked for money to be paid into another company, Camberley International Investments, which would distribute it to victims of the war in Ukraine.

The UK government had reservations about the ownership of Camberley, and negotiations focused on whether the sale money -- which is broken down into a £2.5 billion asking price plus a commitment of £1.75 billion further investment into the club -- could be kept in a holding account until the destination of the funds is finalised to allow the sale to be completed.

Chelsea had been operating under a special government licence that expires on May 31.

The Premier League confirmed approval of the bid on Tuesday and also confirmed the consortium as the affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P.; Todd Boehly; Hansjorg Wyss; and Mark Walter.

As well as being part owner of MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, Boehly also has minority stakes in the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.

Erik ten Hag has officially started as Manchester United manager, but some more pessimistic supporters have already nicknamed the Dutchman "Erik ten Months." It's not that they doubt his ability as a coach -- he's widely viewed as an exciting appointment after an impressive spell at Ajax -- but over nearly a decade, they have seen a variety of different managers try and fail to re-establish United as any kind of force before being quickly ushered out of the door.

Ten Hag has been given an initial three-year contract at Old Trafford but, in 2013, David Moyes signed a six-year deal and lasted 10 months before he was sacked. Managing Man United is a precarious job these days; the fear for most fans is that it's the club, rather than the manager, that's the problem. Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer -- all with differing experience and styles -- have come in and been booted out in the nine years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

- Ogden: Inside the broken, dysfunctional world of Man United

Ten Hag is next to have a crack, but judging by the fate of his predecessors, he needs tangible results quickly. Sources have told ESPN that the 52-year-old made it clear during talks with United that it was unrealistic for them to expect a serious challenge in the Premier League overnight -- something football director John Murtough, technical director Darren Fletcher and CEO Richard Arnold agreed with -- but there's already pressure to get back into the Champions League at the first attempt.

No manager post-Ferguson has survived after failing to qualify with a full season in charge. Moyes was sacked in April 2014 after a damaging 2-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park made it mathematically impossible to finish in the top four. Van Gaal finished fourth in his first season, but was sacked after his second despite winning the FA Cup, having only finished fifth in the league.

Mourinho, appointed in 2016, finished sixth in his first season, but made it to the Champions League courtesy of lifting the Europa League trophy. Second in 2018, he kept his job but was sacked the following December with his team adrift in the race for the top four. Solskjaer finished third and then second in his two full seasons but, like Mourinho, was sacked before Christmas in his third year, in part, because the prospect of Champions League football was drifting away.

Ten Hag might not be under immediate pressure to leapfrog Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League -- although he said in his first official news conference on Monday that he's here to end their era of dominance -- but as far as securing a return to the Champions League, he's already on the clock. It won't be easy.

Ten Hag's to-do list

Those closest to Ten Hag have no doubt he has the skill and work ethic to be a success. Speaking at Old Trafford on Monday, he appeared self-assured and made a point of introducing himself to each reporter. He said everything you would expect including wanting to bring back success and play entertaining football but he also made it clear how single-minded he is.

He has spoken to plenty of people about the job he is taking on but his final sentence of his news conference was telling: "I will draw my own line." He will do things his own way.

Still, there are concerns he will be the next fall guy if the club continues to make bad decisions off the field. Mourinho, winner of two Champions Leagues and league titles in four countries, maintains that his second-place finish with United in 2018 is one of his greatest achievements such was the mess behind the scenes.

Daley Blind, who spent time at United and played under Ten Hag at Ajax, said pointedly: "I am quite confident in him at Manchester United, but he needs the board behind him."

Arnold, who replaced Ed Woodward as chief executive in February, has promised to be more hands off when it comes to football decisions but most things are still going to owners, the Glazer family, to sign off.

play
0:29

Ten Hag backs Ronaldo to continue goalscoring form next season

Erik ten Hag confirms his desire to include Cristiano Ronaldo in his plans at Manchester United.

Despite his prolific results at Ajax, Ten Hag is yet to manage a game in any of Europe's top five leagues and that amounts to a risk for United, but they're also a risk for him and he's staking his reputation on a promise that the club will be better-run in the future.

He is arriving at one of the club's lowest ebbs since being relegated to the second tier of English football in 1974. Without a trophy since 2017 and coming off a season during which they have recorded their lowest points total in the Premier League era, there is a lot of ground to make up just to break back into the top four. The turnover of the squad will be larger than usual with Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata all set to leave as free agents in June, while a number of players under contract -- including Anthony Martial, Eric Bailly and Dean Henderson -- have already decided they want to move on.

Meanwhile, sources have described the atmosphere in the dressing room as "toxic" during the second half of the season with cliques forming and mistrust brewing among the players. Sources have told ESPN that part of the reasoning behind appointing former Ferguson assistant Steve McClaren as a coach is to help improve the mood and togetherness within the squad.

All eyes will also be on how Ten Hag handles the captaincy, according to sources, with the squad split over whether Harry Maguire, who had a poor season, should continue with the armband. David De Gea, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the candidates to take over if there is a change, while interim manager Ralf Rangnick has suggested opening it up to a vote.

- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access

Sources have told ESPN that Maguire, a regular since arriving from Leicester City in 2019, is not even guaranteed to start under the new boss because of his lack of pace and Ten Hag's tendency to play with a high defensive line. There are also question marks about De Gea's ability on the ball to play in his system, although there is an acceptance, according to sources, that signing a striker and a midfielder is more important this summer than making a change between the posts.

Ten Hag is keen to get the players back for preseason training as early as possible as he begins to work through the issues, but the club hasn't laid on the easiest summer schedule after organising a gruelling three-week tour of Thailand and Australia.

Yet Ten Hag has backed himself to overcome everything and wake a sleeping giant. United fans, though, have seen enough misery in the barren years since Ferguson's retirement to know that any optimism should come with a dose of caution. Success is always promised at United but most supporters will only believe it when they see it.

Soccer

Klopp named Premier League Manger of the Year

Klopp named Premier League Manger of the Year

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp was recognised for his side's tilt at an unprecedented Quadruple this seaso...

Sources: West Ham open talks with Lingard

Sources: West Ham open talks with Lingard

Jesse Lingard is in talks with West Ham over a free transfer to the London Stadium, sources have tol...

Laporta: Messi, Neymar can return if for free

Laporta: Messi, Neymar can return if for free

Joan Laporta has said Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Lionel Messi's only chance of returning to...

Basketball

Luka, Mavs avoid sweep: 'Still believe we can win'

Luka, Mavs avoid sweep: 'Still believe we can win'

DALLAS -- Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic doesn't necessarily see any honor in avoiding being swept...

Rain delays second half of Warriors-Mavs game

Rain delays second half of Warriors-Mavs game

DALLAS -- Golden State's Splash Brothers were trying not to get wet at the start of the second half...

Baseball

Pederson chats with Bonds, hits 3 HRs in wild win

Pederson chats with Bonds, hits 3 HRs in wild win

SAN FRANCISCO -- Joc Pederson turned a pair of pregame chats with home run king Barry Bonds into the...

Strasburg strikes out 3 in short rehab appearance

Strasburg strikes out 3 in short rehab appearance

Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg allowed three runs in 2⅔ innings for Class A Frederic...

Sports Leagues

  • FIFA

    Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • NBA

    National Basketball Association
  • ATP

    Association of Tennis Professionals
  • MLB

    Major League Baseball
  • ITTF

    International Table Tennis Federation

About Us

I Dig® is a leading global brand that makes it more enjoyable to surf the internet, conduct transactions and access, share, and create information.  Today I Dig® attracts millions of users every month.

 

Phone: (800) 737. 6040
Fax: (800) 825 5558
Website: www.idig.com
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Affiliated