Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has hit back at her critics and said that her 15-month doping ban has only fueled her passion for the game.The 30-year-old’s comments came as she penned an emotional letter to his fans about her roller-coaster ride since making a return in April from her suspension for the use of Meldonium.Although Sharapova admitted that last two years had been extremely difficult for her, she added her passion for game had never vanished.”Though these last two years have been tougher – so much tougher – than I ever could have anticipated … My passion for the game has never wavered. If anything, it’s only grown stronger,”Sport24 quoted Sharapova as saying.Hitting back over her critics, the five-time Grand Slam champion insisted that she was well aware about the things said behind her back, but she had been bolstered by the loyalty shown by her fans.”I’m aware of what many of my peers have said about me, and how critical of me some of them have been in the press. If you’re a human being with a normal, beating heart, you know … I don’t think that sort of thing will ever fully be possible to ignore,” she said.Sharapova’s comeback has already been disrupted by a hip muscle injury, but she looks adamant to tackle the US hardcourt season well.”I’m sure my dozens of critics will show up, and so will my thousands of fans,” she wrote. But ultimately, who knows? When it comes to tennis, good or bad – there’s really only one thing that I know for certain. I’ve missed it,” Sharapova added.advertisementThe Russian, who made a return without a ranking in April and has since then risen to 211 in the world after receiving wildcards in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome, had earlier also received a wildcard entry for Stanford tournament as she prepares to compete in the tournament for the first time six years.In April at the Stuttgart Open, Sharapova played her first match since her quarter-final defeat to former world number one Serena Williams at the 2016 Australian Open, where she was tested positive for banned substance Meldonium.Her earlier two-year ban was reduced to 15 months following an appeal to the court of arbitration for sport, which concluded she had not intended to cheat.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane could return from a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s Champions League match against holders Real Madrid at Wembley, the Premier League club’s manager Mauricio Pochettino has said.England international Kane, Tottenham’s leading goalscorer with 13 goals in 12 appearances across all competitions, missed last Wednesday’s League Cup defeat by West Ham United and Saturday’s 1-0 league loss at Manchester United.”With the doctors and the player, we will take the best decision for everyone,” Pochettino said when asked by reporters about Kane’s mid-week return. “We must analyse and take the best decision for everyone.”We will assess him and then we will make the best decision. My feeling is good. But it’s not my feeling, it’s Harry Kane’s feeling.”Tottenham, who are top of Group H on seven points, held Spanish champions Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw earlier this month.Following the mid-week action, third-placed Tottenham host bottom side Crystal Palace in a Premier League match on Sunday. read more
LONDON — The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is to host a special reception to celebrate the ‘Golden Jubilee’ of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The reception, which is part of the city’s Black History month celebrations, will be held in ‘London’s Living Room’, at City Hall on Monday, October 29. “As London Mayor, I am particularly proud of the immense social, cultural and economic contributions that people of Jamaican, Trinidadian and Tobagonian heritage have made to the city. This reception will be an opportunity to celebrate this association,” a release from the Mayor’s office said. Both Jamaica and Trinidad are celebrating 50 years of independence from Britain this year. Jamaica’s Independence Day was August 6, while that of Trinidad and Tobago was on August 31. A number of special events have been held across the UK this year to mark Jamaica 50, including a special church service of praise and thanksgiving at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London; and a Flag-raising ceremony at the North Greenwich Arena on Independence Day. read more