Grand slam season ends with US Open

The 2023 US Open, the last of the season's four Grand Slams, will begin on Monday.

The two-week competition, held for the first time in 1881, will kick off for the 143rd time this year on Aug. 28.

A record $65 million will be handed out this year as prize money and player compensation.

The awards given to the women's singles and men's singles champions increased from $2.6 million to $3 million each.

Djokovic after all-time record

Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic, who has three championships in the men's singles (2011, 2015, and 2018), was unable to participate in the 2022 US Open because foreign nationals after refusing to be vaccinated for the coronavirus, a requirement for foreign participants.

The 36-year-old aims to win his 24th Grand Slam title and equalize with Margaret Court, who holds the record in singles.

Top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz will be the biggest obstacle in the path of 2nd-seed Djokovic, who lost to the defending champion in the Wimbledon final.

The 20-year-old Spaniard won his first career Grand Slam title at the 2022 US Open and will take to the court this year to defend his title.

Another legend, Rafael Nadal, who has been away from tennis since January due to injury, will miss the US Open, which he won four times.

Women's singles

Though many see Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka, the top two in the world rankings, as this year's favorites, the stats shows different players have won in eight of the last nine US Opens.

Along with Jessica Pegula (seed 3) and Coco Gauff (6), Elena Rybakina (4) and last year's finalist Ons Jabeur (5) are notable names in the women's singles.

US Open records

Most singles winners:

Men's:

*Richard Sears (US), *Bill Tilden (US), *Bill Larned (US) - 7 times

Jimmy Connors (US), Pete Sampras (US), Roger Federer (Switzerland) - 5

*Robert Wrenn (US), John McEnroe (US), Rafael Nadal (Spain) - 4

Women's:

*Molla Bjurstedt Mallory (Norway/US) - 8 times

*Helen Wills (US) - 7

Chris Evert (US), Serena Williams (US) - 6

Most consecutive winners:

Men's:

*Richard Sears (US) - 7 times

*Bill Tilden (US) - 6

Roger Federer (Switzerland) - 5

Women's:

Chris Evert (US) - 4 times

*Helen Jacobs (US) - 4

*Molla Bjurstedt Mallory (Norway/US) - 4

Winners of the last five years:

Men's:

2022 - Carlos Alcaraz (Spain)

2021 - Daniil Medvedev (Russia)

2020 - Dominic Thiem (Austria)

2019 - Rafael Nadal (Spain)

2018 - Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

Women's:

2022 - Iga Swiatek (Poland)

2021 - Emma Raducanu (Great Britain)

2020 - Naomi Osaka (Japan)

2019 - Bianca Andreescu (Canada)

2018 - Naomi Osaka (Japan)

*Writing by Selcuk Bugra Gokalp

Source: Anadolu Agency

Türkiye advance to quarterfinals of the 2023 CEV EuroVolley

Türkiye have beaten Belgium 3-1 to reach the 2023 Women's European Volleyball Championship (CEV EuroVolley) quarterfinals.

The Crescent Stars beat Belgium on Sunday with the sets 25-22, 16-25, 25-15, and 32-30 for six wins in six games.

Melissa Teresa Vargas led Türkiye to victory by adding 27 points, while her teammate Ebrar Karakurt contributed 20 at the Palais 12 in Brussels.

The Sultans of the Net will be playing against Poland on Wednesday for a spot in the semifinals.

The quarterfinals will be held in the Italian city of Florence and Brussels, Belgium.

Brussels will also host the semifinals on Friday and the final on Sept. 3.

Three points each game

Türkiye began the 2023 CEV Women's European Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 win against Sweden on August 18.

Melissa Teresa Vargas led Türkiye with 15 winning spikes, while Isabel Haak led Sweden with 12.

The Crescent Stars played their second Pool C match against Azerbaijan on August 20, winning by 3-0. They also bagged the victory against the Czech Republic by 3-1 on August 21, 3-0 against Greece on August 23, and 3-0 against Germany on August 24.

Source: TRTworld.com

Soccer: Inter confirms Sanchez’s return

Veteran former Man Utd, Barcelona, Arsenal, River Plate and Udniese striker is to return to Inter Milan after a year at Olympique Marseille, the club confirmed on Saturday.

"The Chilean striker has signed a contract with the Nerazzurri until 30 June 2024, with 109 appearances, 20 goals and 3 trophies already to his name," said a statement published on the official website.

"The count can officially begin again: Alexis Alejandro Sánchez returns to the Inter jersey. The Niño's journey resumes in Milan, with Inter," added the statement.

Known as "El Niño Maravilla" (The Wonder Child), the 34-year-old has played 155 times for his country since 2006, and scored 51 international goals.

He is often lauded as the greatest Chilean player of all time.

Source: Ansa News Agency (ANA)

Amid row over leadership, Spain’s football federation threatens legal action against female players

What started as a shining victory for Spain's women's team in the World Cup has turned into a bitter clash, with Spain's football federation now threatening legal action against female players.

On Friday, 81 top female players, including the current national team, released a statement through the union Futpro saying they refuse to play for Spain under the current leadership.

The move came after a bombshell speech by the federation's president, Luis Rubiales. Instead of resigning for kissing player Jennifer Hermoso, as was expected, Rubiales painted himself as a victim of a witch hunt, complained of the 'scourge' of 'false feminism,' insisted the kiss was mutual, and shouted repeatedly that he would not quit.

Responding to the female players' strike, the federation said that 'playing for the national team is an obligation for any member of the federation if they are called upon to do so,' accusing the female players of lying about what happened and threatening legal action.

On Friday night, Hermoso broke her silence, saying Rubiales' version of the post-World Cup victory kiss was 'categorically false and part of the manipulative culture that he himself has generated.'

'I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out-of-place act without any consent on my part. Simply put I was not respected,' she wrote, adding that she, her family and teammates had been pressured by the federation to justify Rubiales' actions.

'As the World Cup Champion, we as a team do not deserve such a manipulative, hostile, and controlling culture,' she added.

At the same time, the federation released photos showing a celebratory hug between Hermoso and Rubiales, calling it 'conclusive evidence' that the federation head 'did not lie,' insinuating that the player instead instigated the kiss with her boss.

Although Rubiales refuses to quit, Spain's government has filed a complaint with the Spanish Sports Council to have him suspended, but the legal move is not guaranteed to work.

'As far as we can do anything about it, these are Rubiales' last hours,' Spain's Sports Minister Miquel Iceta told El Pais on Saturday, expressing concern that the federation is damaging Spain's reputation.

Iceta said this is a 'Me Too' moment for Spanish football, referring to the worldwide movement against sexual abuse, harassment, and rape that made headlines starting in 2017.

'This has become a test of our collective capacity and the structures of sport to embrace equality between men and women… sometimes an accident provokes a reaction that ends up strengthening the values we want to defend,' he added.

The federation could also be hit financially. Some of the body's main sponsors, including Spanish companies Iberia, Iberdrola, and Renfre, have criticized the federation's position and called for measures to "preserve the dignity" of players.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Basketball: Italy beat Angola 81-67 at World Cup opener

Italy got off to a positive start in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 in the Philippines on Friday, winning 81-67 against Angola in its first Group A match.

The top scorer was Simone Fontecchio with 19 points.

The Azzurri will next play against Dominican Republic on Sunday.

Photo: Students walk past a giant basket ball outside Indonesia Arena stadium ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. The tournament is being co-hosted by Indonesia, Philippines and Japan.

Source: Ansa News Agency (ANA)

Türkiye advance to final round of 2023 CEV EuroVolley without defeat

Türkiye has beat Germany 3-0, advancing to the Round 16 of the 2023 Women's European Volleyball Championship without defeat.

The national volleyball team won the match on Thursday, 25-15, 25-20 and 28-26 in 79 minutes at Germany's Castello Dusseldorf dome.

Türkiye finished atop Pool C, two wins ahead of second-place Czech Republic. Germany placed third and Sweden fourth.

The Sultans of the Net will play Belgium in the next round, set to take place in Brussels on August 28.

Three points each game

Türkiye began the 2023 CEV Women's European Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 win against Sweden on August 18.

Melissa Teresa Vargas led Türkiye with 15 winning spikes, while Isabel Haak led Sweden with 12.

The Crescent Stars played their second Pool C match against Azerbaijan on August 20, winning by 3-0. They also bagged the victory against the Czech Republic by 3-1 on August 21, and 3-0 against Greece on August 23.

With five wins and 15 points, the Turkish team qualified for the final round on top of Pool C.

Source: TRTworld.com

Türkiye’s young chess team earns 2nd place in FIDE Under-16 Chess Olympiad

Türkiye's Young National Chess Team has secured the 2nd position in the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Under-16 Chess Olympiad held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

In the Olympics organised by FIDE with the participation of 63 teams and 252 athletes from 47 countries in Eindhoven, the international master (IM) Ediz Gurel, woman candidate master (WCM) Elifnaz Akat, IM Eray Kilic, and the youngest IM titleholder in the world, Yagiz Kaan Erdogmus, were part of the national team that won the silver medal with 15 points.

Defeating the teams of Armenia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, France, the Netherlands, and Kazakhstan, the national team completed the competition with only one loss: against China.

China took first place in the championship with 17 points, while Greece secured third place with 13 points.

The Turkish national team has become the Olympic champion for the first time in Turkish history by winning in Azerbaijan last year.

'Turkish chess is ascending to the summit'

Gulkiz Tulay, President of the Turkish Chess Federation, expressed her pride due to the recent consecutive international achievements.

"The recent successes we've achieved indicate the progress of Turkish chess," she said, emphasising that the investments by the Turkish Chess Federation are yielding results.

Tulay pointed out the national team's historic victory in Azerbaijan last year and stated, "Chess authorities closely follow Turkish chess, which is ascending to the summit. We will get even better. Our participation with four athletes in the World Cup, for the first time, has been widely discussed."

"Our achievements will continue to be a topic of discussion," she added.

Türkiye's Minister of Youth and Sports, Osman Askin Bak, congratulated the national athletes who won the silver medal in the Netherlands.

"The achievements of our national athletes in recent years have filled us all with pride," Minister Bak said in his congratulatory message.

"This successful result will contribute significantly to the development of Turkish chess and inspire young chess players. I also thank all those who contributed to the silver medal won in the Under-16 Chess Olympiad," he added.

Invitation to the Isle of Man

National athletes Mustafa Yilmaz, Vahap Sanal, and Ediz Gurel have been invited to participate in the 2023 FIDE Grand Swiss, where world-renowned chess masters compete.

According to the announcement from the Turkish Chess Federation, the 2023 FIDE Grand Swiss, known as one of the most challenging tournaments in terms of participation criteria and strength, will be held on the Isle of Man from October 23rd to November 5th, with participation of 157 athletes from 35 countries.

Grandmaster (GM) Mustafa Yilmaz, who FIDE has invited, will compete for the 3rd place, while GM Vahap Sanal and 14-year-old International Master (IM) Ediz Gurel will be making their debut moves.

The tournament, featuring a total prize fund of $600,000, will grant the top two players the opportunity to participate in the FIDE Candidates Tournament.

Source: TRTworld.com

Aston Villa sign Galatasaray midfielder Zaniolo on loan

Turkish football club Galatasaray on Friday announced that English Premier League side Aston Villa signed Nicolo Zaniolo on loan.

Italian midfielder was signed on a contract with a conditional compulsory purchase option for 2023-24 season.

The Premier League side will pay a temporary transfer fee of pound 5 million ($5.4 million) and a conditional bonus of maximum pound 1.3 million, the statement added.

The future transfer fee of the 23-year-old was announced to be pound 22.5 million, with conditional bonuses of a total of pound 15.5 million.

In addition, in case of a transfer to another club in the future, 10% of the sales profit will be paid to Galatasaray.

Zaniolo, who joined Galatasaray from Roma on February, helped the Istanbul powerhouse to bag the 2022-23 Turkish Super Lig title.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Maribor-Fenerbahce match halted due to incidents in stands

A match between Slovenian football side Maribor and Istanbul team Fenerbahce was suspended on Thursday due to incidents in the stands. Portuguese referee Fabio Verissimo halted the third qualifying round second leg match in the UEFA Europa Conference League at the Ljudski Vrt Stadium in Maribor city. Fenerbahce fans were evacuated from the stadium when the tension did not subside despite intervention by Slovenian police and security forces with tear gas. The match resumed with a 1-0 lead for Fenerbahce after a 30-minute pause. Fenerbahce won the first leg 3-1.

Source: Anadolu Agency