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Auckland Classic: Serena Williams donates $43,000 cash prize to Australia fire victims

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American tennis legend Serena Williams broke a three-year dry spell with a win at the Auckland Classic on Sunday. It was the athlete’s first title win since becoming a mother.

Tennis star Serena Williams won the World Tennis Association (WTA) Auckland Classic final on Sunday, her first title in three years. The American athlete donated her prize winnings to victims of the Australian bushfires.

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Williams, 38, beat fellow American Jessica Pegula, 25, with a 6-3 6-4 victory. The win was Williams’ 73rd WTA title and her first since she became a mother.

Williams then donated her winner’s check to the Australian bushfire relief fund, totaling $43,000.

Before Sunday’s victory, her most recent title was the 2017 Australian Open, which she won while pregnant.

“I’ve been playing in Australia for over 20 years and it’s been really hard for me to watch all the news and everything that has been happening in Australia with all the fire and… animals and people that have lost their homes,” she said when presented with Sunday’s winnings.

“I decided at the beginning of the tournament… I’d donate all my prize money for a great cause,” she added.

The victory raises expectations that Williams could win at the Australian Open later this month.

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It would be Williams’ 24th Grand Slam title, which would tie her with record holder Margaret Court.

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Covid-19: I tested positive after the premier league suspension, Brendan Rogers, reveals

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Brendan Rogers

Leicester City head coach, Brendan Rodgers, has revealed that he had the novel COVID-19 after the Premier League was suspended in March.

Rodgers, who said he has now fully recovered from the virus, disclosed this in an interview with BBC radio.

The 47-year-old said:

“My wife and I had it [COVID-19] just after the Premier League was suspended.

“One week later, I started to struggle, I had no smell and taste, and it was the same with my wife.

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“I could hardly walk, and It reminded me of climbing mountain Kilimanjaro, as you climb higher you get more breathless.

“I went for a run, and I could not do it. I was so weak and had a weird sensation for three weeks of having no taste.”

Rodgers is now the second manager in the Premier League to confirm he had the virus after Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta.

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Apollo Crews: Nigerian-born wrestler wins first WWE US Champion title

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Nigerian-born America wrestler Sesugh Uhaa popularly known as Apollo Crews has clinched the United States Championship on Monday Night Raw.

The 32-year-old heavily built fighter, dethroned former champion, Andrade, to win his first-ever title in the WWE rings.

According to newsmen, the immediate ex-champion didn’t respond well to the defeat handed to him by his opposition

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The victory would delight Crews after stopping the person who prevented him from participating in the Money in the Bank ladder match.

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Reacting to his victory, he wrote;

I can finally say I’ve won my first title in @WWE.” Congratulations, @WWEApollo!!! #WWERaw“.

Reports reveal that the 32-year-old had booked his place in the men’s event ahead of his clash with Andrade on the April 27 edition of Raw.

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However, he tweaked his knee over the course of the bout, and El Idolo subsequently targeted it to such an extent the referee called for the bell.

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Russia to allow some spectators in stadiums when top flight matches resume

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Russia’s Sports Minister said on Friday he welcomed a decision by the authorities to allow spectators into stadiums when matches in the country’s top professional football league resume next month.

The Russian Premier League halted matches in mid-March because of the COVID-19 crisis and is set to resume action on June 21.

“It’s important that the football championship resumes in the presence of spectators, even though small in number,” Russian news agencies quoted Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin as saying.

“I watched Bundesliga matches. The mood is very strange. There isn’t enough emotion. Without spectators, the matches do not look the way we are used to.”

Several European professional leagues resumed matches this month, including German’s top professional league, but without spectators.

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Russia’s consumer health watchdog agreed on Thursday that stadiums could welcome spectators at Russian Premier League matches if they took up no more than 10 percent of a given venue’s capacity.

League champions Zenit St Petersburg currently leads the standings on 50 points after 22 matches played.

Lokomotiv Moscow and Krasnodar are second and third respectively, nine points behind the leaders.

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Earlier this month, Russia said it would allow foreign athletes competing in its domestic sports leagues to enter the country even though its borders remain closed to foreigners.

It said the move was designed to help clubs resume training.

As of Friday, Russia had recorded 387,623 cases of the novel coronavirus, the third-highest reported total in the world after the U.S. and Brazil

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