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Osaka dumped out by Muchova in Madrid second round

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Naomi Osaka suffered a second-round exit at the Madrid Open on Sunday as the Japanese second seed lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to Karolina Muchova.

Osaka, the reigning US, and Australian Open champion has seven career hard-court titles, but has never managed to lift a clay-court trophy.

Playing her first clay-court event since the 2019 French Open, Osaka beat compatriot Misaki Doi in the first round, but she came unstuck against an opponent making her top 20 debut this week.

Muchova, who reached the last four in Melbourne this year, used a single break of serve to claim the opening set against the world number two.

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Osaka, a quarter-finalist at Madrid two years ago, fell 3-1 behind in the second set but rallied to win the next five games and force a decider.

Muchova regrouped and broke Osaka early in the third set, and then again for a 5-1 lead, before sealing victory in just under two hours.

The Czech will meet Greek 16th seed Maria Sakkari or Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit for a place in the quarter-finals.

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I was written off but never gave up – Iheanacho

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Leicester City’s in-form striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, says he never lost faith in himself while going through a rough patch in his career, adding that he was confident that he would return to form.

Iheanacho had his worst ever scoring run of his professional career in 2019, failing to score in over 365 days, with trio Jamie Vardy, Ayoze Perez and James Maddison all ahead of him in the pecking order.

The 24-year-old’s lack of goals at Leicester during this period also saw him lose his place in the Super Eagles, and was left out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

However, the former Manchester City striker has returned to form for The Foxes and was named March’s Premier League Player of The Month and is on course for a double award for April.

Speaking with BBC Sport on his resurgence, Iheanacho said, “I think a lot of people wrote me off, but I never lost faith in myself.

“I was going through a crazy and difficult time when things just didn’t work out for me.

“But I’ve worked extremely hard, and also have the manager and other staff at Leicester, and most importantly my brother and friend Wilfred (Ndidi) who stood by me.

“It’s been a really tough ride but I’m just delighted it’s all come together for me.

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He continued, “It was truly a bad patch and we all know that some people are always too quick to judge. To hear some people come out now and start saying positive things again is only normal but I don’t even bother.

“I only have to prove to myself that I can do this consistently, continue to grow, help my club and country when I get the chance to play.

“We have a lot ahead of us. It’s that time of the season where you want to fight for everything in front of you and not get carried away.”

Iheanacho is the Foxes’ top scorer this season with 18 goals from 35 matches across all competitions.

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BREAKING: Man City crowned Premier League champions after United loss

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Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions for the third time in four seasons after Manchester United crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Leicester on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola’s side are 10 points clear of second-placed United and have wrapped up the title with three games to spare.

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City, top-flight champions for the seventh time, have aready won the League Cup this season and can secure a treble if they beat Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 29.

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Flick agrees German national team deal

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Hansi Flick, who is stepping down as Bayern Munich coach at the end of this season, will take over the German national team after this summer’s Euro, a German newspaper reported on Monday. 

Flick is expected to sign for three years, according to the Abendzeitung, a Munich newspaper, allowing him to lead the national team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and Euro 2024, which is scheduled to take place in Germany. 

Flick, 56, has long been considered the preferred candidate for the post of national coach by the German Football Association (DFB). 

He was assistant to Joachim Low, who is standing down after 15 years, between 2006 and 2014, when Germany won the world title. 

Flick took over at Bayern in 2019 and has won seven trophies, including two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League. 

Flick feuded with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic over recruitment and asked for his contract, which was due to run until 2023, to be terminated at the end of the season.  

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The club agreed to the request and has already announced that 33-year-old Julian Nagelsmann, who is at rivals RB Leipzig, will take over.  

Bayern board member Oliver Kahn told Sky television on Saturday, after the Bavarians won their ninth Bundesliga title in a row, that “yes, everything is settled” with the DFB. 

But he added that “no financial compensation” had been agreed with the DFB for the last two years of Flick’s contract. 

As compensation, the two institutions are considering organising an exhibition game between the German national team and Bayern Munich, with the profits from the ticket sales going to the German champions.

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