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“More appeal for the mens” — French Open director defends scheduling



The second grand slam for the season has raised eyebrows for featuring just one women’s night match

Director Amelie Mauresmo has defended the scheduling at this years French Open saying women’s tennis has less “appeal” than mens.

Women have filled one of the 10 available primetime night slots at the current edition of Roland-Garros.

Mauresmo, a former world number one, is overseeing her first tournament after being appointed to the role of director last year.

Night slots are generally reserved for the biggest matches, as earlier in the week when men’s heavyweights Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic contested the evening session.

Mauresmo says it has been difficult to find a top billing women’s match.

“In this era that we are in, I don’t feel bad or unfair – as a woman and former women’s player – saying that right now you have more appeal [in] general, for the men’s matches.”

TOURNAMENT Director Amelie Mauresmo

“The fact that it’s right now a one-match night session is tough on this. It is tough.”

“But yes, I admit it was tough. It was tough for more than one night to find, as you say, the match of the day,” she says.

Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek says Mauresmo’s comments are “disappointing and surprising” after her quarterfinal victory over American Jessica Pegula.

The match took place in the afternoon despite featuring two highly ranked players. Pegula currently sits just outside the women’s top 10.

Instead, mens number eight Casper Ruud and the unseeded Holger Rune filled the evening slot.

Bryan Hoadley contributed to this report

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Formula 1 speeds into New York



Formula One world champions Red Bull took their season launch to the United States with a spray of pyrotechnics in front of a rapt Manhattan crowd as fans braved the bitter cold outside.

Where once NASCAR and IndyCar had a stranglehold on American gearheads, the splash hit Netflix docu-drama “Drive to Survive” has indoctrinated legions of new fans in the United States.

Neither icy cold nor eye-watering winds whipping along the Hudson River could deter the dozens of people who showed up outside the Classic Car Club on Friday, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite drivers heading for the launch.

“I’ve been following it for a while and around 2017, 2016 it wasn’t that big in the United States,” said Tyler Quinn, 21, a college student in Manhattan, who last year saved up to see the Formula One race in Canada and feared the growing fan base could make future trips prohibitively expensive.

“It’s exploded exponentially. You know, when I talk to people in school … they all know about F1, they all recognise certain things, they all ask me questions. It’s growing fast and I really am glad about that.”

Las Vegas will join Austin and Miami as the third race in the United States in the 2023 calendar as F1 looks to make further inroads into the lucrative market.

Speaking at the members-only Classic Car Club, where a garage of luxury cars is available for patrons to enjoy, Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner told Reuters that “Drive to Survive” had been a “game changer”.

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Tom Brady announces retirement – again



NFL Quarterback Tom Brady has announced he will be retiring again

Taking to Instagram to reveal his decision, the 45-year-old only needed a moment to get his message across.

Brady is regarded as the most successful quarterback in NFL history, winning seven Super Bowls for the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 45-year-old briefly announced he would retire last February, but was lured back for one more season.

But now, he says, enough is enough.

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Campbell Johnstone comes out as gay



Campbell Johnstone hopes his admission will help reduce stigma around sexuality

Former New Zealand rugby player Campbell Johnstone has become the first All Black to come out as gay.

He hopes his public announcement will help “take away the pressure and stigma” for those struggling with their sexuality.

Johnstone says he told his friends and family “a long time ago” but kept his true self hidden from the public during his playing career.

He says he lived a “double life” because his sexuality did not fit with the image of an All Black player.

His vision of a player was someone who was “manly, strong … possibly had a wife, kids” – even blaming his sexuality when he performed poorly during a game.

The former prop played three Tests in 2005 – with his last match against the British and Irish Lions.

Between 2002 and 2012, he made 38 appearances for the Crusaders, 72 for Canterbury and 105 for the French side Biarritz.

In the interview, Johnstone says it’s “a little bit sad that we are actually having to do this”, adding he can’t believe how far and wide the news has spread. #trending #featured

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