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Sports news roundup: Nadal set for Roland Garros despite injury struggles; Willson Contreras slam triggers Cubs rout and more

Here is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Tennis-Nadal ready for Roland Garros despite injuries

Rafa Nadal has taken steps to allay concerns over his injury struggles ahead of French Open, posting a photo of him training at full throttle at his academy in Mallorca with the caption: ‘See you Wednesday, Paris’. The 13-time Roland Garros champion said last week that daily training was a challenge and that he would take a doctor with him to Paris after a chronic foot injury erupted in his loss to Denis Shapovalov at the ‘Italian Open.

Golf-Nicklaus turned down offer to be face of Saudi-backed tour report

Golfing great Jack Nicklaus has turned down an offer worth more than $100 million to be the face of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series that hopes to challenge the PGA Tour, according to a report on Monday. Nicklaus, who has a record 18 major titles among his 73 PGA Tour victories, said in a post on the Fire Pit Collective website that the series’ organizers asked him to lead the big money tour.

Top US diplomat spoke with wife of detained basketball player Brittney Griner

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken with the wife of Brittney Griner, assuring her that the release of the US professional basketball player being held in Russia is a top priority for the Biden administration, a senior government official said on Tuesday. state department. Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested in February at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, allegedly in possession of cannabis-infused vaporizer cartridges.

MLB roundup: Willson Contreras slam sparks Cubs rout

Willson Contreras’ grand slam featured an eight-run first, and Wade Miley had just one hit in seven solid innings, as the Chicago Cubs snapped a five-game home skid with Monday night’s 9-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Chicago was leading 4-0 when Contreras hit the 100th home run of his career, well into the left center bleachers off Bryse Wilson to clear the bases and essentially secure his team’s third straight win. Ian Happ and Yan Gomes each had three hits with an RBI for the Cubs.

Golf-McIlroy on Mickelson’s absence from the PGA Championship: ‘He should be there’

Former world number one Rory McIlroy said he was both sad and unhappy that Phil Mickelson is not defending his PGA Championship title this week after deciding to extend his hiatus from the sport. Mickelson, who became golf’s oldest major champion at last year’s PGA Championship when he triumphed shortly before turning 51, retired from golf in February following backlash to comments what he has done regarding the Saudi-backed golf league.

Nestor Cortes calls old tweets ‘unacceptable’

New York Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes spoke to reporters on Monday to address the situation with his Twitter account, in which several older tweets using racial slurs resurfaced on Sunday. The Hialeah, Fla. product said he deactivated the Twitter account in response and, when asked about the tweets, admitted remembering it.

Tennis-Pavlyuchenkova to skip rest of 2022 to recover from knee injury

Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has decided to skip the rest of the season to recover from an injury that has limited her playing time this year, the 2021 French Open finalist said on Tuesday. Pavlyuchenkova, ranked 21st in the world, was missed for 11 weeks earlier this year to undergo rehab for a knee injury. Knee pain had forced her to miss tournaments in St. Petersburg, Dubai and Doha.

Rugby-Leinster top European Player of the Year shortlist

Leinster trio Josh van der Flier, James Lowe and Caelan Doris have made the shortlist of five finalists for the European Rugby Player of the Year award, governing body ECPR announced on Tuesday. Back pairing Doris and Van der Flier along with left winger Lowe have been crucial in helping four-time Champions Cup winners Leinster’s progress to this year’s final.

Cycling-Girmay becomes the first black African to win a Grand Tour stage

Eritrean Biniam Girmay became the first black African rider to win a Grand Tour stage after blasting through a crowded group with an impressive sprint to win stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday. The Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert rider recovered from nearly missing a left turn with just over 6km to go and pushed back Mathieu van der Poel at the end of the 196km run from the coastal town of Pescara to Jesi.

Golf-PGA Tour and LIV Series Showdown to shape future of golf, says McIlroy

The showdown between the LIV Golf Invitational Series and the PGA Tour will shape the future of golf, Rory McIlroy has predicted, as the Saudi-backed big-money venture hijacked the PGA Championship on Tuesday. It takes something explosive to blow Tiger Woods out of a major spotlight, but that’s what happened at Southern Hills Country Club as the world’s best golfers paraded into the interview room and asked for their thoughts on the eight-event tour offering a jaw-dropping total purse. of $255 million.

(With agency contributions.)