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Andy Murray weighs in on the Wimbledon points dispute

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A Wimbledon champion says the tournament “will never feel like an exhibition”, after a decision to remove ranking points

The ATP and WTA recently stripped Wimbledon of ranking points in response to the All England Lawn and Tennis Club’s ban on Russian and Belarussian athletes.

There has been widespread outcry amongst players following the move, with many branding the competition an “exhibition”.

Prominent players including Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic have been critical of the decision.

But Andy Murray has taken to Twitter to defend the legitimacy of the tournament.

The 35-year-old says most people watching on centre court “wouldn’t know or care about how many ranking points a player gets for winning a 3rd round match”.

“But I guarantee they will remember who wins. Wimbledon will never be an exhibition and will never feel like an exhibition. The end.”

Andy Murray

Naomi Osaka, speaking on Monday after her loss in the opening round of the French Open, was critical of the decision.

“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” she says.

“Whenever I think something is like an exhibition, I just can’t go at it 100 per cent.”

“I didn’t even make my decision yet, but I’m leaning more towards not playing” she adds.

World Number one Novak Djokovic, who called the ban on Russian and Belarussian athletes “crazy”, says he’s “glad” there are consequences for the tournament.

But he remains concerned he will be unable to defend the points he received for winning the championship in 2021.

“On a personal, individual level, I have been very negatively affected by that,” he says.

“It’s hard, really… it’s kind of, I would say, lose-lose situation for everyone.”

Bryan Hoadley contributed to this report

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News

Disney’s sport streaming goals

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Disney’s ESPN may achieve a $24 billion valuation; potential suitors could involve Apple and Verizon.

In a recent financial report, Bank of America suggests that Disney’s ESPN could be on the verge of reaching a staggering $24 billion valuation. This eye-catching figure has sparked interest from potential buyers, with technology giants Apple and telecommunication leader Verizon being touted as likely contenders.

The valuation surge is attributed to ESPN’s successful digital transition, with streaming services, exclusive sports content, and expanding international markets contributing to its growth. Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s sports networks further boosted ESPN’s portfolio, making it an attractive asset for prospective buyers.

Apple, known for its foray into content creation with Apple TV+, could leverage ESPN’s sports content to expand its media empire. Meanwhile, Verizon, with its vast telecom infrastructure and distribution capabilities, could use ESPN to enhance its content offerings and engage a broader customer base.

This development marks a pivotal moment in ESPN’s history, and its future owner could redefine the landscape of sports broadcasting. As the valuation continues to climb, all eyes are on the potential suitors and the ensuing negotiations.

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Money

Paris shoe store challenges customers to outrun pro sprinter

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A Parisian footwear boutique invites customers to partake in a unique and adrenaline-pumping shopping experience.

This audacious store, nestled in the heart of Paris, dared its patrons to steal a pair of shoes, all in good fun, provided they could outpace a professional sprinter.

Reports have emerged of this extraordinary stunt that combines shopping with a dash of track and field. The challenge was set by the shop as a marketing ploy, aiming to attract the adventurous and those in search of a novel retail encounter. The store employed the services of a pro sprinter, renowned for their lightning speed, who was ready to chase down any would-be ‘thieves’ on the spot.

The customers were offered a thrilling choice – take a leap of faith and try to outrun the sprinter, or purchase the shoes in the traditional manner. Those who dared to participate had their athletic skills put to the test, leaving bystanders in awe.

This daring initiative has sparked conversations around town, with opinions ranging from branding brilliance to potential risks involved. While it has generated considerable attention, many are questioning the wisdom of such an unconventional strategy.

Zeze, 29, is a French Olympian who’s current run of the 100-meter dash is under 10 seconds.

 

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Sport

Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open comeback after injury hiatus

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Tennis fans rejoice as Rafael Nadal, the renowned Spanish tennis maestro, is geared up to mark his return to the Australian Open

In 2024 after Nadal will return to the game after a year-long absence due to persistent injuries. The anticipation surrounding his comeback has been mounting, and enthusiasts are eager to witness his extraordinary skills on the court once again.

Nadal’s absence from the Australian Open in 2023 was a setback for both the tournament and his legion of fans. The ‘King of Clay’ has been nursing injuries, focusing on a rigorous rehabilitation regime to ensure he comes back stronger and more formidable than ever. His determination to overcome challenges and re-enter the tennis arena has been nothing short of inspirational.

The Australian Open holds a special place in Nadal’s illustrious career, and his return to the tournament is highly anticipated. Tennis aficionados are keen to witness whether Nadal can reclaim his former glory and compete at the highest level after his hiatus.

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