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Verstappen beats Hamilton in Grand Prix race

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Max Verstappen won a dramatic Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, Italy, on Sunday after world champion Lewis Hamilton hit a wall in a race that was also temporaril­y suspended following a separate incident involving Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Verstappen led for the majority of the race on the wet Imola track with the Red Bull driver beating Hamilton by 22 seconds for the 11th win of his career.

Hamilton, who won the season-opening Bahrain GP last month, showed all his skills to make his way back up the field after falling as far back as ninth following an incident just before the halfway point of the race.

Lando Norris was third, 23.702 behind Verstappen.

Hamilton started on pole but was overtaken by Verstappen at the start. The British driver was running a comfortabl­e second until he slid off the track, through the gravel and into the wall on lap 31. He managed to return to the track eventually but had fallen all the way down to ninth.

A short time later, Bottas and Williams driver George Russell were involved in a crash – which will be investigat­ed after the finish – and the race was red-flagged on lap 34 with debris from their cars scattered across the track.

Tennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas won the Monte Carlo Masters without dropping a set, beating Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-3 for his first title this year and sixth overall.

Fourth-seeded Tsitsipas was in dominant form as he edged 4-3 ahead of the sixth-seeded Russian in their career meetings, having also beaten him on clay last year in the French Open quarterfin­als.

Tsitsipas also clinched his first Masters title.

The 22-year-old Greek won his last title in February last year at the Open 13 indoor tournament in Marseille – just weeks before France went into lockdown for the first time because of the coronaviru­s pandemic.

The 23-year-old Rublev was aiming for his second title of the year, his first at Masters level and ninth overall. He had produced an audacious display to defeat record 11-time champion Rafael Nadal on Friday, and further confirm why he is one of the rising stars of tennis.

Hockey

Assistant coach Joel Johnson is taking over the United States women’s national hockey team after Bob Corkum abruptly stepped down while citing COVID-19 protocol concerns less than three weeks before the world championsh­ips open in Canada.

“I was not comfortabl­e with the protocols,” Corkum wrote in a text sent to The Associated Press on Saturday without specifying his concerns.

“It was a difficult decision to make, but one that I am at peace with. The team will not miss a beat.

They are in great hands,” he added, referring to Johnson and his two assistants.

Corkum reached his decision on Friday as he and players gathered in Maine for the start of training camp in preparatio­n for the world championsh­ips in Nova Scotia, which run from May 6-16.

Corkum is a former NHL player and assistant coach who coached the U.S. team to its fifth consecutiv­e world title in 2019. The tournament was canceled last year due to the coronaviru­s pandemic.

Johnson served as Corkum’s assistant and previously coached the U.S. Under-18 and Under-22 teams.

Soccer

A group of elite European clubs is again threatenin­g to walk away from the Champions League to set up a breakaway just as UEFA thought it had secured agreement on a new format for its own competitio­n to be announced on Monday.

European football’s governing body is aware that clubs including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United are among those renewing a push to launch a Super League, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversati­ons, confirming a report by The Times of London.

The European Club Associatio­n’s board, which is led by Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, and the UEFA clubs’ competitio­ns committee on Friday had signed up to expanding the Champions League from 32 to 36 teams with a new format from 2024.

Despite Agnelli’s role with the ECA and at the heart of UEFA with a position on its executive committee, Juventus is said to be one of the teams involved in the Super League along with AC Milan, United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. French champion Paris Saint-Germain has not signed up to the Super League.

The Premier League wrote to clubs on Sunday saying its rules prevent clubs joining competitio­ns without its approval and urging them to distance themselves from any Super League.

Corey Baird scored in A the 61st minute, and host Los Angeles FC sent expansion Austin FC to a 2-0 defeat Saturday in the inaugural match for Major League Soccer’s 27th team.

Austin FC put on a creditable performanc­e against one of MLS' top clubs, but the first major league sports franchise in Texas’ capital city officially joined North America’s top soccer league with a lively, narrow loss to one of the model franchises of the current MLS expansion boom.

LAFC played without top goal scorer Diego Rossi, and then lost former league MVP Carlos Vela to an early injury.

College football

Ethan Ratke kicked three field goals to set a Colonial Athletic Associatio­n record and topranked James Madison drubbed eleventh-ranked Richmond 23-6 on Saturday in Harrisonbu­rg, Va., staking a claim for an at-large playoff berth.

The season-finale win wraps up the CAA South Division championsh­ip for the Dukes (5-0. 3-0). Elsewhere, Delaware (5-0, 4-0) defeated Villanova 27-20 to win the CAA North Division, and a committee of CAA athletic directors (minus Delaware’s and James Madison’s) selected the Blue Hens as the conference’s automatic qualifier into the FCS playoffs.

James Madison will await an at-large bid into the 16-team post-season tournament.

 ?? LUCA BRUNO AP ?? Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherland­s celebrates after winning the EmiliaRoma­gna Formula One Grand Prix, at the Imola racetrack in Italy, Sunday.
LUCA BRUNO AP Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherland­s celebrates after winning the EmiliaRoma­gna Formula One Grand Prix, at the Imola racetrack in Italy, Sunday.
 ?? JEAN-FRANCOIS BADIAS AP ?? Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece returns the ball to Andrey Rublev of Russia during the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament finals in Monaco on Sunday.
JEAN-FRANCOIS BADIAS AP Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece returns the ball to Andrey Rublev of Russia during the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament finals in Monaco on Sunday.

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