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Nadal's 5 Best Roland Garros Moments – ATP Tour



With 12 titles to his name, Rafael Nadal is the most successful player in Roland Garros history. Apart from leaving an indelible mark in Paris, he has provided countless memorable moments throughout the years. takes a look back at five of his biggest highlights at this event.

To Paris On Crutches
Two injuries delayed Nadal’s Roland Garros debut. In 2003, he hurt his right elbow while training in Manacor. The following year, he picked up a stress fracture in his left foot during his win in Estoril against Richard Gasquet.

Nadal’s agent, Carlos Costa, convinced Nadal to visit two of his sponsors at 2004 Roland Garros. Although the trip was only for a couple of days, the former No. 10 in the FedEx ATP Rankings believed it would be good for Nadal to familiarise himself with the surroundings and discover the charm of Court Philippe Chatrier.

The teenager boarded a plane with his crutches and made his way around the tournament on them. For his introduction to Court Philippe Chatrier, Nadal went to the top of the stands with Costa.

“We went to watch a Robredo match and [Nadal] was only able to stay there for 10 minutes,” Costa recalled. “He couldn’t be in the stands instead of on the court. That was when I realised he was a champion.

“On the street, without me asking, he told me he couldn’t be there any longer. He said that he was broken because it wasn’t his turn to win, that he would have to win when he played there for the first time.”

On 5 June 2005, Nadal climbed into one of the boxes in the stadium to celebrate with this team after beating Mariano Puerta 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-1, 7-5 to win his first crown in Paris. The critics labelled him as the favourite, but the victory was still extraordinary for the 19-year-old.

“I told you I would do it!”, Nadal shouted to Costa when it was his turn for a high-five in the stands.

Zidane & The First Title
Rafael Nadal collected his first Coupe des Mousquetaires from the hands of Zinedine Zidane, the French football legend and Real Madrid’s current manager. For Nadal, well-known for his love of football, it was hugely exciting to receive his first Roland Garros trophy from Zidane.

Back in the locker room, Nadal was drinking a soft drink. He had a short conversation with Jaime Lissavetzky, then-Secretary of State for Sport in Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s government in Spain. Later, still dressed in his green sleeveless t-shirt and white pirate pants he had worn in the match against Puerta, the player sat on a wooden bench with the trophy as his team continued to recall moments from the match.

Two special guests then approached Nadal to congratulate him and have their photo taken with him: 1977 Roland Garros champion Guillermo Villas and Gustavo Kuerten, former No. 1 and three-time champion in Paris (1997, 2000, 2001).

Mats Wilander, another three-time champion in Paris (1982, 1985, 1988) also asked for a photo. The Swede had been the last player to win the tournament on his first attempt before Nadal accomplished the feat.

But nobody in the room, not even Nadal himself, could imagine on that afternoon that they had just witnessed the birth of the best tennis player of all time on clay.

Monday Final
With Nadal looking to break the record for most titles won in Paris with his seventh Roland Garros crown, rain pushed the end of his 2012 final against Novak Djokovic to Monday.

The match was delayed that evening in Paris as Nadal led Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 1-2. However, the Serbian was in the midst of a comeback after winning eight consecutive games from 0-2 in the third set.

Nadal was unable to sleep that night or calm the butterflies in his stomach as he lay in his room. It was almost midnight and Nadal was still restless, his mind on Djokovic’s comeback.

In a desperate attempt to relax, Nadal opened his computer and started watching Dragon Ball, the successful cartoon series inspired by Akira Toriyama’s manga. He managed to stop his mind from churning and was able to fall asleep.

Heavy rain meant the match was restarted on Monday at 13:00. Nadal won back the service break in the fourth set and prevailed 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 to win his seventh Coupe des Mousquetaires, surpassing Bjorn Borg’s record to become the most prolific winner in the tournament’s history.

“Call An Ambulance!”
After holding the Coupe des Mousquetaires for the ninth time at 2014 Roland Garros by defeating Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4, Nadal climbed into his team’s box to celebrate. When he reached Toni Nadal, his uncle and coach, the Spaniard covered his mouth and whispered into his ear that he needed an ambulance.

“He had been having cramps since the third set and he asked me to call an ambulance,” Toni explained. “I spoke to Angel Ruiz Cotorro [Nadal’s doctor] because he told me he didn’t have any saline solution. Afterwards, he went to see the doctor and he got better.

“Rafael was worse than Djokovic because he had cramps. Playing for an hour with cramps makes you hesitant all the time. You know that you have to run more than normal, that you have to be cautious. And that’s why the match required a few moments of brilliance. He knew that if we didn’t win it in the fourth set, it would be difficult to do so in the fifth.”

Nadal reiterated this when he spoke to journalists after the match.

“This was the French Open in which I’ve suffered the most physically,” Nadal said. “There have been moments when I felt very empty, very tired. I don’t know what would’ve happened in the fifth set. I guess I would’ve tried to find strength from somewhere, but I was really in a bad way and very much at my physical limit.

“Passion, motivation, the desire to win… All of that keeps you on court with the mentality that you want to do it. I don’t know what it was, but for whatever reason, I managed to handle it. I was able to suffer and find solutions. I coped with the physically difficult moments with very high-quality tennis. In one way or another, I found a way to win this title.”

A Replica Of The Coupe Des Mousquetaires
To celebrate Nadal’s 10th title at 2017 Roland Garros, a historic moment in the world of sport, the tournament decided to present him with a replica of the Coupe des Mousquetaires with “Rafa Nadal’s Tenth” engraved on it, something that has never been done for any other champion.

The tournament organisers had decided that the Spaniard should be the first player of all time to keep a Coupe des Mousquetaires, having won it on 10 occasions.

Normally, Roland Garros champions pose with the trophy after the final and the next day at an iconic part of the city, but the one they take home is a small replica. However, the tournament organisers decided to make a life-size replica of the Coupe des Mousquetaires that Nadal could display it in the museum of the Rafa Nadal Academy.

In addition, Roland Garros wanted to recognise Nadal’s 10th victory with a couple of special moments during the ceremony. Firstly, the fans in the stands held up cards to form an enormous mosaic that read “Bravo Rafa”, together with a huge 10 in reference to his 10 titles at the tournament. Toni Nadal was also given the honour of making a surprise appearance on court to present his nephew with a special trophy, breaking from the usual protocol.

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Nashville SC withdrawn from MLS is Back Tournament: Here's how the groups and schedule change –



Major League Soccer announced an updated format and schedule for the MLS is Back Tournament on Thursday and that Nashville SC have been withdrawn from the competition.

Since arriving in Orlando, nine players on Nashville have had confirmed positive test results for COVID-19. The decision was made in the best interest of the health of all players and staff participating in the tournament, and in line with protocols created in conjunction with local and national health authorities and infectious disease experts, the league said.

“We have withdrawn Nashville SC from the MLS is Back Tournament. Due to the number of positive tests, the club has been unable to train since arriving in Orlando and would not be able to play matches,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “For every decision we make in our return to play, the wellbeing of our players, staff, officials and all participants is our top priority.”

As a result of the withdrawal of Dallas and Nashville, MLS has reconfigured the groups into six groups, each consisting of four teams, as well as an update to the qualification for the Knockout Stage presented by Audi.

Group Alignment

Chicago Fire FC have moved from Group A to Group B in the MLS is Back Tournament to join San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Chicago and Nashville will remain in the Eastern Conference for the rest of the 2020 regular season.

The new match schedule for Chicago Fire FC in Group B is as follows

  • July 14: Chicago Fire FC vs. Seattle Sounders, 9 am (ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada)
  • July 19: Chicago Fire FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 8 pm (FS1, TUDN in US; TSN in Canada)
  • July 23: Chicago Fire FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 9 am (ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada)

Additionally, the schedule for one other Group B match has been updated:

  • July 19: Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:30 p.m. (FS1, TUDN in US; TSN in Canada)

The revised Group A schedule has been created to replace those Group A matches which previously included Nashville SC and Chicago Fire FC:

  • July 14: Philadelphia Union vs. Inter Miami CF, 10:30 pm (TUDN in US; TSN in Canada)
  • July 14: New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC, 8 pm (TUDN in US; TSN in Canada)
  • July 20: Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City SC, 8 pm (TUDN in US; TSN in Canada)
  • July 20 Inter Miami CF vs. New York City FC, 9 am (ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada)

Qualification for the Knockout Stage presented by Audi

After 16 consecutive days of group stage matches, the top two teams from each group along with the four best third-place finishers will move on to the knockout stage, which begins July 25.

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Dec. 1 tentative start date for next NHL season – TSN



December 1 is the tentative start date for the 2020-21 NHL season, according to TSN Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli.

Seravalli and TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted out a string of details and updates regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday night.

Some of the new information included tentative dates for the off-season and next season.

The last possible date for this year’s Stanley Cup Final is Oct. 2 with free agency starting seven days after the championship is handed out.

Seravalli notes that the free agency interview period has been eliminated with the new CBA.

The tentative date for the 2020 NHL Draft is Oct. 6, but it must follow the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs and precede the free agency period.

Training camps are slated to open Nov. 17 for the 2020-21 season with opening night happening Dec. 1.

Here are some other tentative dates for the Return-to-Play tournament.

July 24: Travel to hubs
July 25: Exhibition games
July 30: Qualification round begins
Aug. 9: First round of playoffs begins
Aug. 23: Second round begins
Sept. 6: Conference Finals begin
Sept. 20: SCF begins
Oct. 2: Last poss. game of SCF

All dates are subject to change.

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Montoyo urges Blue Jays to be among teams pulled together by pandemic



TORONTO – Before the Toronto Blue Jays gathered for their training camp reboot, the team connected via Zoom and manager Charlie Montoyo ran through a list of things his players should expect once they were all together.

Under the circumstances, he told them, their preparations would obviously be far different than usual, with workouts tailored more to individual needs in order to get everyone into the best baseball shape possible. Communication with the coaching staff would be essential in ensuring they get extra groundballs, more throws in the outfield, a few more rips in the cage – whatever they felt was necessary.

Montoyo also dropped some knowledge on them, too.

“There are going to be two types of teams,” he recalled telling the group. “There are going to be the teams that work together. They’re going to follow the guidelines. They’re going to work as a group. They’re going to stay healthy. And that’s going to help them win more games. And then there are going to be the teams that are going to complain about everything, lose focus, get sick, not be healthy, and they’re not going to do very well. It’s going to be a long 60 games.”

The Blue Jays, the only team of the 30 in the majors completing a mandatory quarantine in a hotel attached to their home field, are intent on becoming the former, rather than the latter, which is crucial given their situation.

Separated from family and friends, sequestered within the Rogers Centre and Toronto Marriott City Centre footprint, mandated to not leave their rooms – even for a coffee – unless they’re headed to work, the mind can easily veer into the negative.

Total commitment, a prerequisite to success in the best of times, must be a foundational pillar to thrive in this pandemic-altered reality, when the extraordinary challenges of trying to avoid COVID-19 will, at times, make even the looming 60-game sprint feel like a marathon.

The Blue Jays have already experienced some of the risks inherent to the times, after a handful of players and staff contracted the coronavirus in Dunedin, Fla., late last month, and with 12 of the 58 players in their player pool still at the facility there after another positive test at intake.

Those hits helped reinforce the need for strict adherence to the health and safety protocols in place, ones all the more critical given how the Canadian government provided an exemption allowing the Blue Jays to train in Toronto now, while it considers whether to allow 30 regular-season home games in the city, as well.

“I remember it, for sure, it’s exactly right,” catcher Danny Jansen said of Montoyo’s message. “This season, with everything that’s going on, you’ve got to stay healthy. I mean, it’s a shame if you do test positive, then you’ve got to sit out for two weeks, or more. So really, the teams that are taking the precautions extra seriously, which you hope is everybody, is at the advantage.”

Another advantage, in Jansen’s eyes, is being away from the rampant spread of COVID-19 happening in so many spots across the United States. With far less virus circulating in the community, the chances of an infection are drastically reduced, and with everyone in their travel party testing negative twice, they can feel secure in their bubble as they get to work.

“We all pretty much agree that we have an advantage being in Canada,” said Jansen.

Their work at Rogers Centre is due to pick up Thursday night, when the club plays its first intrasquad game, a regular occurrence from then on in preparation for the July 24 opener at the Tampa Bay Rays.

Through the Blue Jays’ first three days in Toronto, they had side sessions, live batting practice and lots of the usual drill-work. As they transition to some game-action, not having to play an actual opponent will allow them to control flow and ensure everyone gets what they need out of the day.

“They can play every day and if they’re having a long inning, we can stop it and we can switch the inning,” said Montoyo. “That’s the good thing about having control of what you do. I see my guys playing every day and building up to play nine innings and really be in baseball shape.”

For Jansen, who has 2½ weeks to get ready for 2½ months of squatting for nine innings, that means getting as many reps as he can. On Wednesday, he caught five or six innings during live batting practice, took several at-bats and caught some bullpens “when I can.”

“You don’t want to go zero to 100 right away and you want to ease into it,” he explained, “but you kind of have to do it quick.”

That’s a fine line to walk, especially for pitchers, but really for anyone suddenly thrown into the daily grind from differing degrees of lockdown. Pulled hamstrings, strained obliques and sore elbows are among the types of soft-tissue ailments everyone must guard against.

“We’re all professionals. We all know what we need to do,” said Jansen. “We all have our own routines on, if this was the regular season now, what we’d be doing after and before games. Obviously, you’ve got to be aware of it, you’ve got to to take care of it early and it’s not a lot of time right now. But we’re pros, we know what we need to do to get our body right and keep it healthy. Got to do the best you can.”

Doing the best you can certainly sounds like mantra for the times.

Montoyo said the group of Blue Jays back in Florida are with coaches who are helping them run through workouts, keeping them at pace with the majority of the group based in Toronto. Asked if the team was at risk of being without some starters come opening day, he replied, “No, no, no.”

Their absence underlines the fragility of this entire venture for the Blue Jays, and for baseball as a whole. A single lapse in judgment can have far-reaching consequences, which is why on top of talent, and desire, and all the usual stuff teams need to win, a respect for the protocol is essential, too.

“That’s the message that I gave them,” said Montoyo, “and to tell you the truth, I love how our guys are happy to be here, and hungry to play this game.”


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