Le­ices­ter seek Cham­pi­ons League re­lief

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

LE­ICES­TER City may have stum­bled to a 3-0 de­feat against Chelsea on Satur­day, but Clau­dio Ranieri’s men weren’t al­low­ing that to af­fect their mood as they pre­pare to take on FC Copen­hagen in the Cham­pi­ons League to­day.

Striker Jamie Vardy, mid­fielder Riyad Mahrez and record sign­ing Is­lam Sli­mani were all smiles dur­ing the ses­sion, while a cheer­ful-look­ing Ranieri kept a watch­ful eye on his squad.

Sli­mani in par­tic­u­lar looked to be en­joy­ing him­self as he com­pleted a drill dur­ing the ses­sion at the club’s Belvoir Drive train­ing ground yes­ter­day.

Less than 48 hours ear­lier they’d been put to the sword by Chelsea as goals from Diego Costa, Eden Haz­ard and Vic­tor Moses con­signed them to their fourth league de­feat of the sea­son. Ranieri’s side have won just one of their last six out­ings in the league and mid­fielder Marc Al­brighton ad­mits they’re strug­gling to recre­ate the magic that took TENNIS ‘bad boy’ Nick Kyr­gios has been banned for eight tour­na­ment weeks for his con­duct at the Shang­hai Masters last week, the gov­ern­ing body for men’s tennis (ATP) said yes­ter­day.

“The sus­pen­sion will be re­duced to three tour­na­ment weeks upon agree­ment that the player en­ters a plan of care un­der the di­rec­tion of a sports psy­chol­o­gist . . .” the ATP said in a state­ment.

The volatile 21-year-old has also been slapped with an ad­di­tional $25 000 fine for “con­duct con­trary to the in­tegrity of the game”, which can keep him out of ac­tion un­til mid-Jan­uary.

Tennis Aus­tralia (TA) said Kyr­gios, who is­sued a state­ment yes­ter­day to apol­o­gise for his be­hav­iour, has agreed to seek pro­fes­sional help, which could see him re­turn to court on Novem­ber 7.

“Nick un­der­stands the grav­ity of his ac­tions, has shown re­morse and ex­pressed a will­ing­ness to im­prove,” TA said in a state­ment.

“We have al­ways of­fered as­sis­tance and ad­vice to Nick and his team and will con­tinue to do so.”

The tal­ented-yet-tem­per­a­men­tal Aus­tralian was beaten 6-3 6-1 by Mis­cha Zverev in a sec­on­dround match in Shang­hai in which Kyr­gios put in a series of half-hearted serves and ap­peared to be walk­ing off court be­fore the un­seeded Ger­man had re­turned the ball to him.

Kyr­gios also clashed with a spec­ta­tor be­fore be­ing booed off the court. He was fined $16 500 by the ATP on Thurs­day.

ATP ex­ec­u­tive chair­man and pres­i­dent Chris Ker­mode de­scribed Kyr­gios as a “phe­nom­e­nal tal­ent” and hoped the Aus­tralian would use his time away from the game con­struc­tively.

In his state­ment, Kyr­gios promised to be­have bet­ter when he even­tu­ally re­turns to the court. — Reuters them to the ti­tle last time round.

“It is not re­ally ac­cept­able to keep los­ing in this man­ner,’ he said after the Chelsea de­feat. “We had a chat in the dress­ing room. We feel we need to be stronger, harder to play against and harder to beat, harder to score against. It’s not the way we are play­ing, it is about fight. We need to fight more. We have lost the fight from last year. We need to get that back, and get it back quickly.

The reign­ing Premier League cham­pi­ons do have rea­son to smile de­spite the loss against Chelsea, which leaves them down in 13th place, 11 points off the pace at the top al­ready. Europe has so far pro­vided sweet re­lief for the Foxes, who have won their first two Cham­pi­ons League group stage games and will be look­ing to take a huge leap to­wards the knock­out stages with a win at the King Power sta­dium. They de­feated Club Brugge 3-0 in their first ever Cham­pi­ons League out­ing, and then beat Porto 1-0 thanks to a first half ef­fort last

Nick Kyr­gios

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