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Exclusive: Kyrgios accuses tennis fans of 'racist slur'

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Nick Kyrgios says a racist slur was behind his fiery exchange with the crowd after being downed in the Stuttgart Open semi-finals by Andy Murray.

Murray will play his first grass-court singles final since winning Wimbledon in 2016 after beating Kyrgios in straight sets.

The British three-time Grand Slam winner showed signs of his old form as he beat Kyrgios 7-6 (5), 6-2, holding his serve throughout the match.

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However, Murray’s victory was somewhat overshadowed by the abuse levelled at Kyrgios, with the Aussie star taking to Instagram to vent his frustrations after the match.

“When is this going to stop? Dealing with racial slurs from the crowd?” he wrote.

“I UNDERSTAND THAT MY BEHAVIOUR ISN’T THE BEST ALL THE TIME – but ‘you little BLACK SHEEP’, ‘shut up and play’, little comments like this are NOT ACCEPTABLE.

“When I retaliate the to the crowd I get penalised. This is messed up.”

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Kyrgios was visibly frustrated with the crowd on numerous occasions during the two-setter, first penalised a point and then a game for unsportsmanlike conduct in the second set, before smashing his racquet after a fiery exchange with members of the crowd.

The 27-year-old’s fiery outburst resulted in the tournament supervisor being called before Murray eventually closed out the contest.

“You expect things to happen against him, so I’m not surprised when they do,” Murray said after the match.

“It was a very frustrating set for him to lose and he broke a racquet. He also had a back and forth with the umpire and something seemed to happen in the crowd.

“But I didn’t really hear anything after the first set.”

Murray continued his strong form ahead of Wimbledon after stunning Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals on Friday, the first win for Murray in six years against an opponent ranked in the top five.

It’s the second final of 2022 for Murray, who lost to Aslan Karatsev at the hard-court Sydney Tennis Classic in January, and the first time that he has reached two finals in the same season since 2017.

Murray, who has struggled to get back to his best following hip surgery, last won a tour singles title at the European Open in Belgium in 2019 and has a 46-23 record in finals.

Murray’s opponent in Sunday’s final will be second-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini, who prevailed 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5) over Oscar Otte in a tight match with no breaks of serve. Berrettini saved set point in the first-set tiebreak and needed three match points to close out the win.

Murray and Berrettini each won one of their two career meetings, with Berrettini the victor in their only grass-court match at Queen’s Club last year.

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Exclusive: Dalot's ready to roll – TalkOfNews.com

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United Daily | Diogo Dalot on pre-season, David May’s favourite goal, and a classic tour clip that ends up in the bin…

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Exclusive: The 30-year Origin hoodoo haunting New South Wales – TalkOfNews.com

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It’s almost 30 years since a Blues team came back to win a State of Origin series after losing the opener in Sydney, but two stars of that memorable NSW team of 1994 have laid down a blueprint for Brad Fittler’s men to follow.

Brilliant fullback Tim Brasher and giant back-rower Paul Sironen admitted things looked bleak for the Blues when Mark Coyne scored the famous last-minute try to win the Queenslanders an epic Game One that series.

“I know how this team feels – because it’s the same way we felt back in ’94,” Sironen, now a member of the Blues’ management team, told Wide World of Sports from Perth.

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“When you have game one at home you just have to win it – and we blew it.

“We didn’t play as well as we could have and we didn’t execute the way we trained and we knew we were really going to be up against it for the rest of the series.

“But what we did was turn that to our advantage by using that frustration, disappointment and anger at ourselves to spur us on.

“We levelled the series in Melbourne and it then all came down to the decider in Brisbane.”

Brasher has vivid memories of the lead-up to the all-important third match at Lang Park.

“Everyone was telling us about Lang Park being the cauldron and how we would cop it up there and I must admit I wasn’t all that confident in the week leading up to the game,” Brasher said.

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“But then on game night, as our team bus went down Caxton Street and they came out of the pub and shook the bus and threw bottles at us, I think that actually did us a favour.

“It galvanised us, gave us a siege mentality and we were determined to go all the way.”

The Blues won the decider 27-12, with a young Brad Fittler playing in the centres.

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Exclusive: Playing minus two starters, Magnolia routs Phoenix – TalkOfNews.com

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Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon (second from right) splits the Phoenix defense to finish in double figures. —PBA IMAGES

Magnolia did the math and figured a few people short did not exactly mean a disadvantage in manpower.

“Coach told us that there are only five of us on the floor at a time, so it doesn’t matter if we’re missing some of our key players,” said veteran playmaker Mark Barroca, who keyed a 95-77 rout of Phoenix on Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“As long as the five on the floor is solid, we’ll be fine,” added Barroca, who finished with 21 points, five rebounds and six assists to help the Hotshots fill the void left by Paul Lee and Calvin Abueva.

Magnolia also drew double-digit outings from Aris Dionisio, Jio Jalalon, Jackson Corpuz and Ian Sangalang to bury the Fuel Masters in holes as deep as 27 points on the way to rising to 3-3 (win-loss).

And that was exactly what the doctor ordered, according to Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.

“We talked about it before the game—that we’re now in the middle of the tournament,” he said. “It’s time to level up our game, level up our execution, our being smart. That’s why we had a good start.”

Magnolia—finalist of last year’s all-Filipino conference—came out the gates hard, using an 11-0 run to open the contest and take the wind out of Phoenix’s sails early despite the absence of its key starters. Lee was out of the game due to a back problem while Abueva was serving his one-game suspension for his behavior in a victory over Barangay Ginebra last week.

Also out for the Hotshots was backup guard Jerrick Ahanmisi.

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“Hopefully, before the elimination round ends, we are able to be complete. That’s only going to improve our run,” said Victolero.

Javee Mocon led Phoenix with 19 points while Sean Manganti added 11 as the Fuel Masters dropped to 2-3.

Later in the night, Barangay Ginebra got 20 points and 10 rebounds from Christian Standhardinger to stop San Miguel Beer, 75-72.

The Gin Kings hiked their record to 4-1 while dealing the Beermen their first loss in four games this conference.


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