Supercoppa controversy rages over Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women

Protests over the decision to hold the Italian Super Cup in Jeddah have grown since murder of Jamal Khashoggi in OctoberWhen, early last June, the Italian football league agreed a €20m deal to play three of the next five Italian super cups in Saudi Arabia, it provoked very little controversy. This is, after all, a trophy that has frequently been decided on foreign soil, sometimes in quite unlikely locations.In 2002, the year that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi bought 6.4m shares in Juventus, the Supercoppa brought the Turin side to play Parma in Tripoli. Since then the match has been hosted once by the United States, twice by Qatar and four times by China. Wednesday’s game between Milan and Juve in Jeddah will be the sixth time in 10 years that the Supercoppa has been decided outside Europe. Continue reading...



Rachel Dunn guides England to victory but Australia claim Quad Series

• England 52-49 Australia• Tracey Neville got tactics spot on to repel Australia challengeThere was no maiden Quad Series crown for England but, in the context of what is to come this year, another successful chapter in their captivating rivalry with Australia may be much more significant.Needing to win by five to claim the Quad Series title after a dominant victory over the Silver Ferns and defeat by South Africa on Saturday, England always had the odds stacked against them. In the end their 52-49 victory proved last year’s shock Commonwealth Games triumph was no fluke. One from two objectives to start this monumental year left an overriding sense of satisfaction. Continue reading...



Masters Snooker 2019: Watch the best shots from the tournament

Watch the best shots of the 2019 Masters, featuring Ding Junhui, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson.



Ronnie O'Sullivan gives Ding Junhui a pep talk

Ronnie O'Sullivan gives Ding Junhui a pep talk and offers to help him in the future following their thrilling Masters semi-final.



Serena Williams knocks out Simona Halep in epic Australian Open clash

Serena Williams impresses in a high-quality 6-1 4-6 6-4 last-16 win over top seed Simona Halep at the Australian Open.



Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.



Katelyn Ohashi proves smiling can be a serious asset to elite athletes | Tim Lewis

Gymnast’s joyful routine is a happy alternative to putting on that grim ‘game face’ in a business where smiling is, well, frowned uponBetween Brexit and Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year, aka this Monday– it’s not always been easy of late to sustain the self-satisfied, privileged-white-male grin that greets you in my byline picture. It is perhaps these ambient feelings of dread that have sent me for solace, again and again, to a video of an American university student doing a gymnastics floor routine. The two-minute clip of 21-year-old Katelyn Ohashi tumbling, flipping and pretzeling to cheesy, nightclub staples has had more than 60 million views this week. It’s a blast of concentrated positivity and good vibes that is the time-poor equivalent of days spent under a Sad lamp.Analysis has already been done on why the world has fallen so hard for the diminutive Ohashi. And the story is a heartwarming one. Ohashi was a junior star – winning four golds at the US nationals aged 14, then beating Simone Biles two years later – but lost her passion for gymnastics. She was injured and put on weight. “I hated myself,” she admitted last year. “I was broken.” A perfect-10 routine is a thing of beauty any time, but it means even more for someone who was written off when she was still a teenager. Continue reading...



David Squires on ... the Socceroos' progress at the Asian Cup

Our cartoonist reflects on Australia’s late win over Syria – and the tournament’s outrageously large accreditation lanyardsTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...



Roger Federer beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in Australian Open

Watch highlights as the 20-year-old 14th seed from Greece Stefanos Tsitsipas beats defending champion Roger Federer in the last 16 of the Australian Open in Melbourne.



'Rashford is playing the best football in his career,' says Solskjær after United win – video

Marcus Rashford marked his 150th appearance for Manchester United with a wonderful goal as his side won 2-1 at home to Brighton. Speaking after the match Ole Gunnar Solskjær said he believes the forward is currently the best striker in the Premier League with Harry Kane out injured Continue reading...



Serena Williams too hot for Simona Halep in tense Australian Open battle

Williams defeats world No 1 Halep 6–1, 4–6, 6–4 Karolina Pliskova awaits for Williams in quarter-finalsThe last time Serena Williams came to Melbourne, she was five weeks pregnant and went on to win the Australian Open for the seventh time. On day eight of the 2019 championships, two years older at 38, she dredged up a sliver of her old magic to hold off the robust challenge of the world No1 Simona Halep and edge closer to joining Margaret Court on the all-time record of 24 majors.It was a typically mercurial performance, that swung between brilliant and desperate. Continue reading...



Dakar Rally 2019: Sand, sea, helicopters and canines – in pictures

After 10 stages and more than 5,000 kilometres of brutal racing on a giant loop rally-route entirely in Peru, 70% of which was across desert, we bring you some of our favourite images from this year’s Dakar RallyClick here to check out images of the rally from yesteryear Continue reading...



Tom Brady was already the greatest QB of all time – now he's just rubbing it in

The New England Patriots quarterback stepped up with his team’s season on the line and time running out on Sunday. Then he did it again in overtimeDid you feel the inevitability? Tom Brady in overtime, needing to put together a drive to win the game and send the New England Patriots to their ninth Super Bowl. And, of course, he delivered, because Brady always delivers. He marched his team down the field with the confidence and presence of the greatest to ever play quarterback. Related: Tom Brady brilliant in the clutch as Patriots beat Chiefs to set up Rams Super Bowl Continue reading...



Barcelona 3-1 Leganés: La Liga – as it happened

Lionel Messi was required to jump off the bench to inspire Barcelona to victory over the La Liga minnows 10.44pm GMT BARCELONA, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Lionel Messi came off the bench to inspire Barcelona to a 3-1 win over a dogged Leganes side on Sunday, creating one goal and scoring another to keep the Catalans five points clear at the top of La Liga. Messi, left out of the starting line-up for only the second time this season when fit, was called on with 64 minutes on the clock and the game poised at 1-1 after Leganes forward Martin Braithwaite had cancelled out Ousmane Dembele’s first-half opener with a 57th-minute strike. The Argentine quickly provided the spark Barca needed by firing a venomous shot from the outside the area which was too powerful for goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar to hold, and Luis Suarez pounced to stab home on the rebound in the 71st minute after a lengthy video assistant referee (VAR) review. La Liga’s top scorer made sure of the victory in stoppage- time, sweeping across the area and hammering the ball past a helpless Cuellar for his 18th goal of the season in Spain’s top flight, taking leaders Barca on to 46 points, five clear of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid, after 20 games. 9.44pm GMT It took Lionel Messi’s magic to win it, and he came on just as Leganes, thanks to that goal from Martin Braithwaite, believed they could get something from the match. The magician needed just 30 minutes to find an assist, a goal and another win. Continue reading...



Danny Cipriani waiting on England call after Owen Farrell hand surgery

• England captain and fly-half had operation on a thumb• Brad Shields and Joe Launchbury also concerns for JonesDanny Cipriani will find out in the coming days if Owen Farrell’s thumb injury leads to an England reprieve and a place in the squad to prepare for their Six Nations opener against Ireland. Last week Cipriani was omitted from England’s 35-man squad but Eddie Jones has yet to decide whether he needs an extra fly-half for the forthcoming training camp in Portugal in light of Farrell’s injury.Jones said he was “cautiously optimistic” Farrell would be fit to face Ireland in Dublin in 13 days’ time after it emerged the fly-half underwent minor surgery which ruled him out of Saracens’ European victory over Glasgow. The Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall, said Farrell was expected to be on the sidelines for seven to 10 days and while the Rugby Football Union on Sunday confirmed he is set to travel to Portugal as planned on Wednesday, Jones may yet choose to call another fly-half into camp. Continue reading...