There are still plenty of surprises left for sports fans.
Just in time for the deadline of the final World Cup squad submissions, Joachim Low stunned everyone as he left out Manchester City’s rising star Leroy Sane in Germany’s final 23-man squad that will be sent to Russia for the summer event.
In other head-scratching tennis news, former women’s World No.1 and American tennis superstar Serena Williams withdrew from her fourth-round match against Maria Sharapova in the French Open after picking up an injury.
Meanwhile, ahead of Game 3 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James and the Cavs are battling history once again as they try to turn their fortunes around.
Low’s not insane! Germany boss axes Sane from World Cup squad
It could have been a dream season for Leroy Sane.
After winning the Premier League title and the PFA Young Player of the Year award with Manchester City, the 22-year -old was expected to cap the year with a stint with Germany in the World Cup. However, in a surprising turn of events, Sane was excluded from the squad by boss Joachim Low.
Low admitted that one midfield position was a tight race between Sane and Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt. However, the Germany manager opted to choose the later and cited Brandt’s experience in the Confederations Cup.
“There are certainly better days in the life of a national coach than when you must send four great players home who would have deserved to be at a World Cup,” Low explained.
“You have to look at the big picture so we have a variable and well-balanced team prepared for all eventualities. We have good players on the wing in Thomas Muller and Marco Reus. Julian Draxler played a good Confed Cup and made progress there.”
Low pointed out that Sane is a “huge talent” and assured the youngster that he will be back with the team in September.
According to a report by The Sun, however, the real reason Sane was left out of the German team was because of his attitude. The report claimed that a number of German players didn’t like Sane’s attitude and Low would have “risked upsetting other members of his squad” by including the young midfielder.
Williams pulls out of Sharapova match, cites injury for withdrawal
Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova: the 2018 French Open match-up that never happened.
Williams and Sharapova were scheduled to meet in the fourth round of the French Open women’s singles event, but the former withdrew right before the contest even started.
In an impromptu press conference at Roland Garros, the 23-time Grand Slam champion announced her withdrawal and explained that she has an issue with her pectoral muscle. She pointed out that the injury is new to her and just surfaced during her third-round victory over Julia Goerges.
“It didn’t start before I got here,” Williams said. “It was really painful and I didn’t know what it was. I’m going to get an MRI tomorrow, I’ll stay here and see some doctors here, but I won’t know about [Wimbledon] before that.”
Addressing her cancelled match with fellow former World No.1 and Grand Slam winner Sharapova, Williams said that “it’s very difficult” for her to miss the contest.
On the other hand, Sharapova—who will now face Garbine Muguruza in the quarter-finals—also expressed her disappointment at the turn of events.
“I was looking forward to my match against Serena today and am disappointed that she had to withdraw,” Sharapova said. “I wish her a speedy recovery and hope she returns to the tour soon.”
LeBron, Cavs hoping to replicate 2016 NBA Finals success
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are down 0-2 in the NBA Finals. And if this looks familiar, it’s because the Cavs have been in such situation before.
As mentioned in our Warriors vs Cavaliers preview at us Blog, Cleveland were also down 0-2 against Golden State in 2016.
That year, the Cavaliers overturned the deficit and went on to win their first NBA title. They became just the fourth team to do so, joining the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Boston did it in 1969, beating the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games for the title. The Blazers, meanwhile, won four straight in the 1977 NBA Finals to upset the Philadelphia 76ers in six games.
In 2006, the Dwyane Wade-led Heat also needed just six out of seven contests to beat the Dallas Mavericks for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
The Cavs are in a dangerous position of losing their third NBA Finals in four years. However, if there’s anyone who can make no sense of the NBA Finals betting odds, it’s LeBron and his Cavaliers.
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