Sports 7 last week: Rohr starts on a winning note, Serena is a record breaker

Serena williams2

Rohr wins first match as Eagles manager

The Super Eagles have witnessed four coaches through the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers, which ended last Saturday. The late Stephen Keshi started the campaign, followed by Sunday Oliseh, who threw in the towel midway. Samson Siasia handled the team for the two matches against Egypt, while new manager, Gernot Rohr, concluded the series with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Tanzania. We hope it is a sign of better times for the team.

F1 sees some retirements

Felipe Massa has said this F1 season would be his last. The 35-year-old Brazilian hopes to draw the curtains down on a 13-year career that has seen him win 11 career races. He will compete in his 250th and final Grand Prix at Abu Dhabi in November.

Also, Jenson Button has revealed that he would not be racing in 2017, even though he still has a two-year contract with McLaren. “It’s not the physical, it’s the mental side. Not a lack of determination to win but just the constant grind of being in Formula One,” was how McLaren head, Ron Denis, explained the apparent sabbatical.

Ivo Karlovic records 71 aces in New York

Ivo Karlovic hit 61 aces, the most in a U.S. Open match, during his five-set victory in the first round. The very tall Croatian broke the previous record of 49, established by Richard Krajicek in a 1999 quarterfinal loss. Karlovic, who is seeded 21st, beat Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-5 on Tuesday, holding in 28 of his 29 service games. Karlovic finished with 10 double-faults.

Serena Williams breaks Navratilova’s record

Serena Williams’ victory over Vania King in the third round of the 2016 US Open earned her a landmark 307th career win at a Grand Slam to pull her away from Martina Navratilova, who was 306-49 during her career at the majors. If she wins her fourth round match, Serena would eclipse the all-time tennis record for both men and women that is currently held by Roger Federer, that is 308 Grand Slam victories.

Stalwarts retire from international football

Robbie Keane, the 36-year-old Republic of Ireland striker, retired from international football with a send off against Oman that saw him increase his goals record for his country. With 147 caps and 68 goals, Keane finished the way he started his international career in 1998 – with a goal.

Also Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger bade Die Mannschaft farewell with a send off against Finland. The midfielder was in tears at the beginning of the match but after 120 caps and a World Cup win in 2014, it was time to go.

Virtual Assistant Referee debuts in Bari

There are so many complaints about referees missing big decisions but that could become a thing of the past with the introduction of the ‘Virtual Assistant Referee’ that was given a testing during the friendly match between Italy and France in Bari. FIFA president Gianni Infantino claimed “football history” had been made after successful use of video replays in France’s 3-1 international friendly win over Italy on Thursday.

“You could see that the referee stopped play for a couple of seconds and during those seconds the two referees in the truck verified that there was no penalty,” Infantino told Rai TV. Well, the pressure on human referees just increased.

And finally…

Kaepernick’s protest gathering momentum

Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, has continued to sit during the US national anthem as a protest – “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

And though he has been lampooned and lambasted for the supposed ‘unpatriotic’ act, he was joined in solidarity by US women football icon, Megan Rapinoe, who knelt during the national anthem. She said, “It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this.

“We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”

It appears politics and sports are gradually being merged.

Do the best that you can this week – that is all integrity asks of you.

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