Lunchtime Sports Update

TENNIS

Defending Wimbledon women’s champion Angelique Kerber is taking on fellow German Tatjana Maria in the opening-round.

Their match is just underway on centre court at S-W-19.

23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams takes on Giulia Gatto Monticone later.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both have their men’s first-round matches.

Federer plays Lloyd Harris, with French Open winner Nadal to face Yuichi Sugita of Japan.

SOCCER

Former Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has been appointed manager of Chinese side Dalian Yifang.

The Spaniard left the north east club on Sunday after his contract expired, saying that the Premier League team “did not share his vision”.

Benitez, who has also managed Liverpool, Chelsea, Valencia and Real Madrid, is reportedly going to earn 13 million Euro a year.

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Tottenham have completed the signing of Leeds United winger Jack Clarke for an initial 9-point-five-million pounds.

The teenager has signed a four-year-deal with last year’s Champions League finalists.

Spurs have loaned him back to Leeds for the 2020 season.

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Leicester have rejected a 70-million pounds bid from Manchester United for Harry Maguire.

United are batting it out with their rivals Manchester City for the England defender but Leicester are reportedly holding out for more than 75-million.

The 26-year-old signed a five-year contract with the Foxes last year.

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Scottish Premiership side Hibs have a new owner.

US businessman Ronald Gordon has acquired the controlling shares in the club from Sir Tom Farmer and chairman Rod Petrie who is leaving the board.

The deal eliminates the club’s mortgage debt, with a “seven-figure cash injection” coming from Gordon.

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Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has confirmed that former Manchester United youngster Ravel Morrison is training with the club.

The midfielder is a free agent after leaving Swedish side Ostersund last month.

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England will aim to reach the Women’s World Cup final for the first time by beating the United States later.

They face the defending champions in their last four tie in Lyon.

Kick-off is at 8pm

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There’s a heavyweight clash in the semi-finals of the Copa America in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Hosts Brazil take on their rivals Argentina at the Mineirao for the right to face Peru or holders Chile in the final.

Argentina, who have reached four of the last five deciders, are aiming to win the Copa for the first time since 1993.

GAELIC GAMES

Lee Keegan is set to miss Mayo’s All-Ireland Senior Football Championship round four qualifier against their neighbours Galway this Saturday.

The former footballer of the year suffered an ankle injury in last weekend’s win over Armagh.

It’s another injury head-ache for Mayo boss James Horan who is already without Matthew Ruane, Seamus O’Shea and captain Diarmuid O’Connor.

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It’s quarter-final night in the Munster and Leinster under-20 Football Championships.

Having accounted for reigning All-Ireland champions Kildare in the opening-round, Laois make the trip to Westmeath in Leinster’s last-eight.

Longford host Dublin, Louth take on Wexford and Meath face Offaly.

CYCLING

Mark Cavendish will not ride in the Tour de France for the first time since 2007 after his team Dimension Data omitted him from their squad.

The 2011 world road race champion, who has won 30 stages, has struggled with illness since being diagnosed with the Epsten-Barr virus – which causes glandular fever – in April 2017.

This year’s three-week race starts in Brussels on Saturday.

GOLF

The Golfing Union of Ireland have named a squad of six players to compete at the McGregor Trophy in Radcliffe-on-Trent from 16 to 18 July.

The six players selected by the GUI are: Liam Abom (Edmondstown), Mel Deasy (Lee Valley), Thomas Higgins (Roscommon), Joshua Hill (Galgorm Castle), Alex King (Faithlegg), Ewan McArthur (Massereene). Higgins, Hill, and McArthur also competed at the McGregor in 2018 at Kedleston Park, where Joshua McCabe (Roganstown) was best for Ireland, finishing in a tie for third.

The McGregor Trophy, which is contested for the English U16 Stroke Play Championship, is a 72-hole tournament. After two rounds, the top 40 and ties will progress to play the final 36 holes. Among the previous winners is England’s Justin Rose (1995).

The GUI’s High Performance Programme at underage level is supported by Sport Ireland, Sport NI and The R&A.

The squad will be accompanied to the tournament by Kevin Raftery (Forrest Little) and Tony Slevin (Loughrea).