Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Rallying-Loeb takes a chunk out of Al Attiyah’s Dakar lead
Frenchman Sebastien Loeb cut Nasser Al Attiyah’s substantial Dakar Rally lead on Monday in an eighth stage in Saudi Arabia won by Audi’s Mattias Ekstroem. Nine times world rally champion Loeb finished third for the Bahrain Raid Xtreme team in the 395km stage from Al Dawadimi to Wadi Ad Dawasir to cut his Toyota rival’s lead from 45 minutes to just under 38 with four stages remaining.
Djokovic back in practice after winning appeal to stay in Australia
World tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic was back in practice hours after winning a court challenge to remain in Australia on Monday, thanking the judge who released him from immigration detention and saying he remained focused on his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam win in Melbourne. The fight over his medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination may not be over, however, as the Australian government said it was still considering another move to deport him.
Soccer-Algeria begin Cup of Nations defence with record in sight
Algeria begin the defence of their African Cup of Nations title on Tuesday as they chase down the record for the longest unbeaten run by a national team. Algeria go into their Group E clash against Sierra Leone in Douala undefeated in their last 34 internationals and threatening the mark that Italy set last year (37 games).
NFL roundup: Raiders, 49ers win in OT to clinch playoff berths
Derek Carr threw a pair of touchdown passes to Hunter Renfrow and Daniel Carlson kicked the last of his five field goals as time expired in overtime as the Las Vegas Raiders clinched a spot in the NFL playoff field by holding on for a 35-32 victory Sunday night over the visiting Los Angeles Chargers. Carr went 20-of-36 passing for 186 yards as Las Vegas (10-7) won its last four games to earn a trip to Cincinnati for a wild-card game Saturday. Adding to the drama was that a tie game would have put both teams in the playoffs. Instead, the Raiders’ victory eliminated the Chargers and allowed the Pittsburgh Steelers to make the playoff field.
NBA roundup: Warriors win in Klay Thompson’s long-anticipated return
Klay Thompson returned from a 2 1/2-year absence with 17 points in 20 minutes of play, and Stephen Curry scored a game-high 28 points Sunday night as the Golden State Warriors snapped a two-game losing streak with a 96-82 win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers in San Francisco. Playing for the first time since tearing the ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Thompson needed just 40 seconds to record his first basket of the season and less than a half to throw down his first dunk and splash his first 3-pointer.
Pranksters hijack Djokovic’s virtual court hearing to stream music and porn
Australia’s efforts to let the media and public watch tennis superstar Novak Djokovic’s court appeal against his visa cancellation descended into farce on Monday as pranksters hijacked the internet links to stream loud music and porn. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the hearing was conducted virtually, through audio visual links between the judge’s chambers and lawyers for the government and Djokovic.
Soccer-Mourinho project falling flat as ‘weak’ players take the blame again
When Jose Mourinho returned to Italy to take charge of AS Roma he was keen to point out that turning around the capital club’s fortunes would take time but the early signs are not good as, once again, his players are not living up to his demands. Blaming players for his team’s failings is not exactly a new approach from the fiery Portuguese coach as several high-profile public criticisms of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur personnel during his previous two roles show.
Cycling-Bernal extends with Ineos Grenadiers through 2026
Reigning Giro d’Italia champion Egan Bernal has signed a new five-year contract with Ineos Grenadiers, the team announced on Monday, keeping him at the British outfit through to the 2026 season. The 24-year-old Colombian, who also won the Tour de France title in 2019, has been hampered by a recurring back problem in the last two years but will hope his injury troubles are behind him as he heads into the 2022 season.
Tennis-Djokovic’s family hails ‘biggest victory’ after visa saga
Novak Djokovic’s family hailed the “biggest victory” of the world number one’s life and said the battle to overturn the cancellation of his visa would only make him stronger as he guns for a record 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open. Djokovic returned to training after being released from Australian immigration detention on Monday, where he had been since Thursday after a dispute over his medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirements to play.
Head coach Brian Flores fired by Dolphins
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)