HALF FOOTBALLER, HALF TENNIS ORGANIZER

 

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

GERARD PIQUE admitted he had to cheekily trick Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde to launch his business career – and used Sir Alex Ferguson for inspiration.

The Spanish defender, 32, is part of the business transforming tennis’ Davis Cup this year and had to go to Florida for a crucial vote last summer.

But in order to get to Orlando, he had to try and convince his manager to let him go – despite the new season getting underway.

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NADAL SURVIVES MEDVEDEV SCARE

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

RAFA NADAL edged closer to Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record tally – but not before brilliant Daniil Medvedev gave him one hell of fright.

The super Spaniard eventually saw off tricky Russian Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7 4-6, 6-2 to bag his 19th major – and fourth US Open crown –  to move just one behind Fed in the race to become the most successful player in history.

Yet an astonishing, drama packed ending saw an initially predictable final amazingly spark into life.

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SERENA SUFFERS MORE FINAL PAIN

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

SERENA WILLIAMS suffered another US Open final nightmare last night.

The American superstar, cheered on by Meghan Markle who jetted into the Big Apple to cheer on her pal, didn’t lose the plot like she did 12 months ago after Naomi Osaka and the officials drove her wild.

Instead, it was 19 year-old Bianca Andreescu, another brilliant star in the making, who was simply superior and bagged her first Grand Slam with a stunning 6-3, 7-5 triumph.

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IS THE US YOUTH SYSTEM BROKEN?

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN ORLANDO

Don Garber was utterly convinced Alex Morgan was wrong. While basking in the glory of another World Cup triumph, the US striker went on the offensive. She suggested the American soccer production line was in need of major repair, accusing US Soccer’s heavily criticized pay-to-play youth model of being “detrimental” to the future of the game.

Garber wasn’t impressed.

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FELIX TOO GOOD FOR MLS ALL-STARS

STEVE BRENNER IN ORLANDO

Portuguese teen sensation Joao Felix came off the bench to score a superb goal Wednesday as Atletico Madrid blanked the Major League Soccer All-Stars 3-0 at rain-soaked Exploria Stadium.

Marcos Llorente, signed from city rivals Real this summer for $42 million, had put the Spanish side ahead in the first half before 19 year-old, $134 million striker Felix scored a brilliant second to decide a match that failed to spark into action, a swathe of changes on both teams contributing to a decidedly low-tempo affair.

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COCO TRIUMPHS IN DEFEAT

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN DELRAY BEACH

As Coco Gauff’s Wimbledon dream drew to an agonizing close, the chants rang out. “We are proud of you, say we are proud of you,” filled the air of the Paradise Sports Lounge in Delray Beach, the drinking establishment owned by her father, Corey.

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ERIKSEN WANTS REAL MOVE

EXCLUSIVE BY STEVE BRENNER

Christian Eriksen is eyeing a switch to Manchester United or Juventus after seeing his dream move to Real Madrid collapse.

The Denmark ace was so sure of leaving Tottenham for La Liga, he packed up his north London house BEFORE the Champions League Final.

But Eriksen’s hopes of moving to Madrid are over after Real swooped for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.

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THORNS SHOW THE WAY

 

FROM STEVE BRENNER IN PORTLAND

Mark Parsons gazes towards the gleaming new main stand at Providence Park and smiles. “I just love walking in every day,” the Englishman, who coaches the Portland Thorns and landed the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship in 2017, tells the Guardian.

“I take 60 seconds and let it all sink in: that I work at the Thorns. To be a part of this is cool.”

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