Latest – Austria’s Dominic Thiem will not defend his U.S. Open title after having to pull out of the hardcourt major with a wrist injury.

Dominic Thiem of Austria.Photo: PHOTOSPORT


World number six Thiem, who suffered the injury in June at the Mallorca Open and was also forced to skip the grasscourt major at Wimbledon, said on Twitter that he will miss the rest of the 2021 season.

“The past six months, I’ve been following the medical advice, wearing the wrist splint, doing exercise to stay in shape… but then last week I hit a ball during training and started to feel some pain again,” said the 27-year-old.

“After some tests, they (the doctors) said my wrist needs more time, so we’ve all agreed on being conservative and to give my wrist some time to recover… It has been a tough decision but I know this is what I have to do.”

This is the second straight year that the defending champion at Flushing Meadows has withdrawn from the event after Rafa Nadal skipped the 2020 edition due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The U.S. Open runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12.


Root climbs to second behind Williamson

The England captain Joe Root has risen two places to sit just behind the Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson at the top of the test cricket batting rankings.

Williamson remains top with Root now second following his 180 not out in the first innings of the second test loss to India at Lord’s.

Australia’s Steve Smith is third.

Japanese F1 Grand Prix cancelled for 2021

2021 Japanese Formula One Grand Prix has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the second successive year.

The cancellation of the race, scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 8-10 at the Suzuka circuit, follows the abandonment of Singapore’s Oct. 1-3 night race.

“Following ongoing discussions with the promoter and authorities in Japan the decision has been taken by the Japanese government to cancel the race this season due to ongoing complexities of the pandemic in the country,” Formula One said in a statement.

“Formula One is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks.”

Japan recently hosted the Olympic Games in Tokyo without the presence of spectators, while the Paralympic competitions, scheduled from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5, will also be held without fans in attendance.

Formula One is currently operating under strict health protocols, with teams in ‘bubbles’ and frequent testing for COVID-19 of all personnel and media.

The cancellation of the Suzuka race could spell trouble for the Turkish Grand Prix which was added to the calendar as a replacement for Singapore’s cancelled race.

The race at the Istanbul Park circuit was slotted in a week before Suzuka and one week after the Russian round in Sochi but there could be more reshuffle to the calendar.


Philipsen wins another Vuelta stage as Elissonde moves into red following crash

Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen powered his way to victory in stage five of the Vuelta a Espana in a chaotic bunch sprint while Kenny Elissonde became the overall leader after red jersey holder Rein Taaramae was held up by a mass crash.

Philipsen grabbed his second stage win in four days after more stellar work from his AlpecinG��Fenix team in a frantic finish, the Belgian pipping Tuesday’s stage four winner Fabio Jakobsen to the finish line while Alberto Dainese came third in the flat 184km race from Tarancon to Albacete.

Frenchman Elissonde came over the line at the same time as Philipsen and takes a five-second lead over second-placed reigning champion Primoz Roglic in the general classification while Lilian Calmejane is third overall.

Estonian Taaramae had the misfortune to be in the group right behind Frenchman Romain Bardet, who hit the gravel with around 10 kilometres to go and caused a huge crash.

Taaramae had led the race for two days but finished 125th on Wednesday, two minutes 21 seconds behind Philipsen. He is now 27th overall, trailing Elissonde by one minute 56 seconds.

The luckless Bardet finished 180th out of 182 riders, 12 minutes 32 seconds down to leave him 13 minutes 23 seconds behind Elissonde and practically out of contention.