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Rafael Nadal targets Roger Federer’s record Down Under without coach

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Rafael Nadal will try to overtake Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record without his coach Carlos Moya, who said he will not attend the Australian Open due to coronavirus travel restrictions. 

RAFAEL NADAL AIMING FOR A 21ST GRAND SLAM TITLE

Nadal is aiming to clinch a 21st major title in Melbourne, which would put him ahead of Federer’s 20 as the most successful men’s player of all time. 

But the world No 2 will be without Moya, who has been on Nadal’s coaching team since 2016.

“After speaking with Rafa, we have decided that I won’t travel to Australia with the team,” Moya announced. 

“My intention was to be with the team from the beginning of the Australian Open as usual but the Australian government is not authorising separate travelling and arriving at the beginning of the tournament.

“I will follow the tournament from home and will stay with my family, parents and kids due to the delicate situation that Spain is living with the virus. Best of luck to the teams travelling.” 

Rafael Nadal is set for a longer schedule in Australia, starting with an exhibition in Adelaide before heading to Melbourne for the ATP Cup and Australian Open. 

FEDERER IS SKIPPING THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN

The Spaniard will have a free hit at the Grand Slam record after Federer withdrew from the first major tournament of the year, citing a need to regain fitness following two knee operations. 

Coronavirus restrictions mean players competing at the event will have to quarantine for two weeks before it starts.

Qualifying for the tournament was held in Doha and Dubai and ended on Wednesday. 

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British & Irish Lions Tour

No fans on British & Irish Lions tour of SA ‘a travesty’ for captain Jones

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Former British & Irish Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones said no fans during this year’s South Africa tour would be a “travesty”.

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Doubts over the fixtures have increased due to the coronavirus pandemic’s current situation in South Africa.

Jones, 35, who captained in the invitational side in 2013 on the sixth of his nine Test appearance for the British & Irish Lions, said England’s Owen Farrell, Ireland’s Johnny Sexton and Scotland’s Stuart Hogg all want it to happen in 2021.

READ | JACO PEYPER TO BLOW CURRIE CUP FINAL

“It would be travesty if the fans won’t be able to go and see it,” he said at the launch for this year’s Six Nations.

“Having been involved in a few tours it’s very special as the fans make it that way. From the captains’ point of view, we’re all in agreement that if it can it should go ahead this year. 

“I think it needs to go ahead this year. The jury’s out over where it’s going to happen,” he said.

IN CLOSING | PETER DE VILLIERS WADES INTO BRITISH & IRISH LIONS TOUR DEBATE

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Premier Soccer League

Result | 10-man Mamelodi Sundowns escape major upset

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Defending PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns were given an almighty fright by lowly Black Leopards in their DStv Premiership clash on Tuesday, 27 January.

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Entering the match unbeaten and at the top of the log, Steve Komphela’s men weren’t expected to struggle against a Black Leopards side in 15th-place in the standings.

However, it was Lidoda Duvha who took the lead at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Limpopo in the 46th minute through Zimbabwean midfielder Ovidy Karuru.

Mamelodi Sundowns levelled matters in the 64th minute through Namibian defender Peter Shalulile.

However, things took a turn for the worse for the 10-time league winners when in the 66th minute striker Mothobi Mvala was given his marching orders.

Displaying their championship pedigree, and despite their numerical disadvantage, Mamelodi Sundowns were able to find a winner deep into extra-time to break Black Leopards’ hearts.

Shalulile was the man to score the winner, picking up a brace of goals on the day.

The win moved Mamelodi Sundowns three points clear of SuperSport United and Swallows FC in the standings.

For the Brazilians the victory broke a streak of three consecutive draws in the league.

MAMELODI SUNDOWNS NEXT PLAY CHIPPA UNITED

Mamelodi Sundowns, meanwhile, will next be in action on Sunday, 31 January against Chippa United.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s only other scheduled match in the DStv premiership between Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United was postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date due to inclement weather.

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Starting line-ups:

Black Leopards

K. Ndlovu, Makobela, Khumalo, Nthatheni, Masia, Mthethwa, Maluleke, Ramagalela, Karuru, Hlongwane, Kabwe

Substitutes: Mendes, Sampson, Abubakar, Ononogbu, Thutlwa, T.Ndlovu, Makgetlwa, Anas, Mashoene

Mamelodi Sundowns

Onyango, Mkhize, Langerman, Lebusa, Kekana, Maluleka, Mvala, Maboe, Zwane, Erasmus, Shalulile

Substitutes: Goss, Modiba, Motupa, Kapinga, Jali, Domingo, Majadibodu, Mkhulise, Sirino

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Premier Soccer League

Mamelodi Sundowns vs Black Leopards: LIVE updates and stream

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Mamelodi Sundowns are back in action this afternoon when they visit Black Leopards at the Thohoyandou stadium in the DStv Premiership.

Despite being on a three game winless streak in the DStv Premiership, Mamelodi Sundowns are still leading the log standings albeit on goal difference. SuperSport United and Swallows FC are breathing down the Brazilian’s necks and a win today will be vital.

Black Leopards on the other hand find themselves in the relegation zone. To add to their misery, they’ve been dealt yet another coaching blow after Dylan Kerr was sacked earlier this week. Follow all of the live action below.

Black Leopards vs Mamelodi Sundowns: Live updates

Starting lineups

Black Leopards XI: Ndlovu, Makobela, Khumalo, Nthatheni, Masia, Mthethwa, Maluleke, Ramagalela, Karuru, Hlongwane, Kabwe

Subs: Mendes, Sampson, Abubakar, Ononogbu, Thutlwa, Mokoena, Makgetlwa, Anas, Mashoene

Mamelodi Sundowns XI: Onyango, Mkhize, Langerman, Lebusa, Mvala, Kekana, Maluleka, Maboe, Zwane, Erasmus, Shalulile

Subs: Goss, Modiba, Motupa, Kapinga, Jali, Domingo, Majadibodu, Mkhulise, Sirino

Kerr sacking has affected the players – Ndlovu

“Of course it’s a sad story that we lost our coach, you know we were very close to him so it has affected the players a bit,” Black Leopards goalkeeper King Ndlovu told Kick-Off ahead of this afternoon’s clash against Mamelodi Sundowns.

“But we have to quickly adjust to the new coach’s strategies and it’s not a lot of changes because Coach Seema is a coach that likes to play. So I don’t think there’s a big difference in the way we play because we are a team that plays the ball on the ground.

“So I think that is still here. So ja, but we are still saddened by the loss of a coach you know, but life must go on. It’s important for us to get some sort of result.”

Black Leopards vs Mamelodi Sundowns: Kick-off time and streaming info

Action between Black Leopards and Mamelodi Sundowns at the Thohoyandou stadium gets underway at 17:00. The match will be televised live on SuperSport PSL.

This website will be providing live updates from the match under our ‘live updates’ heading above. You can also live-stream the game on DSTV Now (Subscription required).

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