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Swimmer Yip Pin Xiu will prepare for her Paralympic title defence with a familiar face in her corner, as her former coach Mick Massey has joined the 28-year-old's team alongside her current coach Mark Chay.

The Briton will work with Yip and Chay in his new role as the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC)'s performance director.

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MIAMI • Mickey Wright, who won 82 LPGA Tour tournaments, 13 of them Majors, and was perhaps the finest player in the history of women's golf, died at the age of 85 after suffering a heart attack on Monday night.

The American had been hospitalised in Florida for the past few weeks after being injured in a fall.

A long hitter known for her compact and fluid swing, she dominated the Tour in the late 1950s and much of the '60s and was eclipsed in career victories only by Kathy Whitworth (88) and in Major victories only by Patty Berg (15).

Wright won both the US Women's Open and the LPGA Championship four times, and she captured the Western Open three times and the Titleholders Championship twice when they were Major events.

She was named the Woman Athlete of the Year by The Associated Press (AP) in 1963, when she won 13 LPGA tournaments, still a record for a single season, and in 1964, when she won 11 times.

Wright, in 1961 and 1962, and Tiger Woods, in 2000 and 2001, are the only golfers to have captured four consecutive Majors.

Wright's three women's Major victories in a single year (she won the US Women's Open, the LPGA Championship and the Titleholders in 1961) have since been equalled only by Babe Zaharias (1950), Pat Bradley (1986) and Park In-bee (2013).

In December 1999, a six-member panel assembled by the AP voted her the top women's golfer of the 20th century, while the late Ben Hogan, a nine-time Major winner, was often quoted as saying she "had the finest golf swing" he saw.

"She was the best I've ever seen, man or woman," Whitworth added in an interview for ESPN in 2015.

"I've had the privilege of playing with Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and all of them.

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Novak Djokovic does not feel antagonised by lack of fan support when facing his biggest rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in major finals on the ATP Tour, Serbia's world number one said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Men's Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – February 2, 2020. Serbia's Novak Djokovic gestures after winning his match against Austria's Dominic Thiem. REUTERS/Issei Kato

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BELGRADE: Novak Djokovic does not feel antagonised by lack of fan support when facing his biggest rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in major finals on the ATP Tour, Serbia's world number one said on Tuesday.

Tennis pundits have often suggested that Djokovic gets infuriated as well as galvanised by overwhelming support for Federer and Nadal when he locks horns with them, but the 32-year-old from Belgrade offered a different view.

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"I've read a lot of stuff suggesting that I am disliked but I really don't have that impression, especially off-court," Djokovic told a news conference at his tennis academy in the Serbian capital.

"Even if that was true, why would I want to add fuel to the fire?

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DUBAI: Sofia Kenin lost her first WTA match since winning the Australian Open earlier this month as she went down 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-3 to Elena Rybakina on Tuesday (Feb 18) at the Dubai Championships.

World number seven Kenin's loss completed a hat-trick of seeded upsets on the fourth day of action in the United Arab Emirates.

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Title holder Belinda Bencic was overhauled 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova while third seed and two-time tournament winner Elina Svitolina was hammered 6-2, 6-1 by qualifier Jennifer Brady.

American Kenin played a pair of non-Tour Fed Cup matches immediately after her Melbourne win over Garbine Muguruza, who cut short Kim Clijsters' comeback on Monday.

The 21-year-old went down in just over two hours to her 19th-ranked opponent who stood 192nd in the world a year ago.

"There's a bit more pressure coming from my side (after first Grand Slam win). But I've just got to try to manage it for the next tournaments," said Kenin.

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Borussia Dortmund have made midfielder Emre Can's loan move from Juventus permanent, agreeing on a contract to 2024, the German club said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Bundesliga – Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt – Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany – February 14, 2020 Borussia Dortmund's Emre Can in action REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

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BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund have made midfielder Emre Can's loan move from Juventus permanent, agreeing on a contract to 2024, the German club said on Tuesday.

Dortmund had signed the 26-year-old from the Italian champions in January on loan until June with the club paying one million euros (830,705 pounds) for the deal.

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TAP/CLICK TO LISTEN: #GameOfTwoHalves Ep 71: Singapore's first privatised football club; Man City's European ban

10:02mins

Synopsis: #GameOfTwoHalves is The Straits Times' weekly sports podcast that is out every Tuesday.

Money FM's Bernard Lim calls up ST sports correspondents David Lee and Sazali Abdul Aziz.

Last Friday, Singapore's first privatised professional football club was unveiled as the Lion City Sailors announced their arrival and participation in the upcoming season of the Singapore Premier League (SPL), which kicks off on Feb 29.

It is a new private entity that will replace two-time champions Home United in the SPL. The Sailors are owned by Sea, a home-grown Internet company valued at more than US$21 billion (S$29.1 billion).

The Sailors are hoping to make waves not just in Singapore, but in Asia. Is such a move good or bad for Singapore football?

In the English Premier League, champions Manchester City have been hit with a two-year suspension from Uefa competitions after being found guilty of committing serious breaches of financial fair play regulations by European football's governing body. What are the repercussions?

Produced by: Bernard Lim & ST sports desk

Edited by: Aw Yao Feng, Nadiah Koh & Ernest Luis

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(NEW YORK TIMES) – Mickey Wright, who won 82 LPGA tournaments, 13 of them Majors, and was perhaps the finest player in the history of women's golf, died on Monday (Feb 17) in Florida at the age of 85.

The cause was a heart attack, her lawyer, Sonia Pawluc, told The Associated Press. Wright had been hospitalised for the past few weeks after being injured in a fall.

A long hitter known for her compact and fluid swing, she dominated the LPGA Tour in the late 1950s and much of the 1960s. She was eclipsed in career victories only by Kathy Whitworth's 88 and in Major victories only by Patty Berg's 15.

Wright won both the US Women's Open and the LPGA Championship four times, and she captured the Western Open three times and the Titleholders Championship twice when they were Major events.

She was named the Woman Athlete of the Year by The Associated Press in 1963, when she won 13 LPGA tournaments, still a record for a single season, and in 1964, when she won 11 times.

Wright, in 1961 and 1962, and Tiger Woods, in 2000 and 2001, are the only golfers to have captured four consecutive Majors.

Wright's three women's Major victories in a single year (she won the US Women's Open, the LPGA Championship and the Titleholders in 1961) have been equalled only by Babe Zaharias (1950), Pat Bradley (1986) and Park In-bee (2013).

In December 1999, a six-member panel assembled by the AP voted Wright the top women's golfer of the 20th century, ahead of Zaharias and Whitworth.

Ben Hogan was often quoted as saying that Wright "had the finest golf swing I ever saw".

"She was the best I've ever seen, man or woman," Whitworth said in an interview for ESPN in 2015. "I've had the privilege of playing with Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and all of them. And some of our ladies had wonderful golf swings. But nobody hit it like Mickey, just nobody."

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NEW DELHI: A buffalo racer in India whose blistering pace along a muddy field prompted comparisons to Olympic legend Usain Bolt has been beaten at his own game.

Srinivas Gowda ran 142.5m in 13.62s on Jan 31 behind two buffaloes, setting a record in the annual race known as Kambala in the southern state of Karnataka.

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This equated to running 100m in 9.55s, compared with the retired Bolt's world record of 9.58s, earning the construction worker fame and an invitation from the sports minister to take part in track trials.

But according to local media, Nishant Shetty and his buffaloes have pipped Gowda, running 143m in 13.61s. This is the equivalent of 9.51s over 100m.

Kambala is an annual festival in the farming belts of Karnataka during the winter when contestants sprint along waterlogged muddy fields holding a rope attached to two buffaloes.

Gowda, who met the state's chief minister on Monday but turned down an immediate trial to concentrate on his sport, saying Kambala and track events are different.

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LONDON: Manchester City could still face huge player bonus bills if they lose an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a two-year European ban by UEFA, according to revelations in the British media Tuesday (Feb 18).

Many of City players have bonuses written in their contracts for Champions League qualification and performance. In some cases, those run into millions, the Daily Mail reported.

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UEFA's financial fair play compliance body, the CFCB, banned City from the Champions League for two seasons on Friday and fined the club 30 million euros (US$32.5 million).

It had concluded the club was not being truthful in its submissions from 2012-16 that Etihad Airlines wholly funded its annual £67.5 million (US$88 million) sponsorship.

Should the appeal – which the club's CEO Ferran Soriano says in an email will be lodged soon – fail it would see City lose out on a minimum of £150 million a season for qualifying.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the club promised to sue UEFA "for the next 10 years." The Guardian meanwhile said it had unearthed more evidence that the club had fudged figures on the sponsorship.

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TOKYO: Leandro's fine late strike gave FC Tokyo a 1-0 victory over debutants Perth Glory, as former Arsenal forward Park Chu-young scored FC Seoul's winner against Melbourne Victory in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday (Feb 18).

In Tuesday's later kick-off, Beijing Guoan are the first Chinese side to take part in this year's competition after most clubs from China were barred until April over the coronavirus.

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FC Tokyo dominated proceedings against Perth in the Japanese capital, but it was a turgid affair that looked destined for a goalless draw until Leandro's brilliant winner with eight minutes to go.

The 26-year-old made space on the edge of the box and unleashed a dipping shot that curled inside goalkeeper Liam Reddy's far post.

It made for a disappointing maiden outing for last year's A-League runners-up, whose coach Tony Popovic guided Western Sydney Wanderers to the Asian title in 2014.

In Seoul, Park, 34, struck in the eighth minute to extend Victory's losing streak away to South Korean opposition to 16 games.

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