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Novak Djokovic destroys Cameron Norrie's final Wimbledon dream

The British No. 1 dared to believe after winning the opener but six-time champion Djokovic roared back to win 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 (Author: Gardener)

DjokovicCameron Norrie has had two long days to think about exactly what he could do to get under Novak Djokovic's skin in the biggest match of his life, the Wimbledon semifinals on Center Court. For many challengers over the years, that would have been just enough time to reconsider, grasp the importance of the occasion, and immediately burst into flames. Starting off with high intensity and energy, he pushed his way onto the six-time champion and begged him to keep up as he took an early lead. After a disorderly start and a set deficit, Djokovic gradually kept Norrie in check before easily outplaying him 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4. With his win, Djokovic restarted his story after his first two Grand Slams were marred by his deportation from Australia and the misfortune of pulling Rafael Nadal in the French Open quarterfinals. He has now reached an eighth career Wimbledon final, which puts him second on the men's all-time list, behind only Roger Federer at 12th. As he now contests his 32nd Grand Slam final, a new all-time record for men, Djokovic is just one win away from becoming the second player, also after Federer, to set what seemed like an unattainable man two decades ago -0 record seemed: Pete Sampra's seven Wimbledon titles. Ahead of Djokovic, the top seed and his fourth straight Wimbledon title, is unseeded Australian Nick Kyrgios, who reached his maiden Grand Slam final on Thursday after Nadal, the second seedling, failed before Friday's scheduled match due to a abdominal injury had to resign. Having spent much of the last 18 months climbing the ladder and establishing himself at the top of the game while still under the radar, Norrie often making his big strides at non-public events, this was his moment On the biggest stage of Wimbledon, against one of the sport's superstars, he had given himself the opportunity to show his skills. On a sweltering day in London, Djokovic initially looked far more nervous, spraying errors while struggling with Norrie's flat, low-bouncy backhand. Norrie constantly tested his patience, engaging him in long rallies and triggering errors when he broke serve three times in the set. Serving the first set, Norrie hit two aces, including his hardest serve of the tournament at 127 mph. For all of Norrie's positive energy, Djokovic was terrible in the opening set. After that, he acknowledged the pressure he felt even after being in this position so many times. His improvements in the second set started on his serve as he served well on his first few service plays and then found a greater rhythm on his groundstrokes. He started to pressure Norrie in his own service games and at 4-3 against Djokovic, Norrie sprayed a long forehand on the break point after a poor service game. As the momentum shifted, Djokovic kept marching, reeling off five straight games to lead through an early break in the third set and he looked it over with ease. As Djokovic's relentless pressure continued into the fourth set, Norrie didn't give up. But as he took more risks than usual and played well outside of his own comfort zone, Norrie's mistakes multiplied and the huge rift between the 20-time Grand Slam champion and the debut semi-finalist continued to grow until the end. As Djokovic sealed his victory, he sent a kiss to a disruptive fan in the audience, prompting scattered boos from the crowd. The jubilation returned as he showered his fallen opponent with praise: "Cameron didn't have much to lose, he played the tournament of his life," said Djokovic. The end of Norrie's breakout tournament looks set to be another defining moment in his career. He had arrived at Wimbledon looking for his first place in the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament, a result that had eluded him for a while. When presented with the opportunity to go much further, he handled all the pressure very well as Britain's top player at Wimbledon, demonstrating both his mental toughness and the sweeping improvements in his game that have enabled him to to flourish. Norrie has established himself on the sport's biggest stages and shown what he's capable of. The next challenge in his career is to make sure this isn't quite the tournament of his life and to create a game that allows him to keep coming back to those stages.

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Norrie loses as Djokovic reaches Wimbledon final

Britain's Cameron Norrie is unable to capitalize on a confident start while Novak Djokovic fights back to reach the Wimbledon men's singles final. (Author: Gardener)

WimbledonBritain's Cameron Norrie failed to capitalize on a confident start as Novak Djokovic hit back to reach the Wimbledon men's final. But after winning the first set, he lost to the top seed 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4. Serb Djokovic, who is targeting a fourth consecutive title and seventh overall, meets Australian Nick Kyrgios in Sunday's final. The 35-year-old will also be vying for a 21st men's Grand Slam title, which would put him adrift of Rafael Nadal's record. Spaniard Nadal, 36, was due to face Kyrgios in Friday's second semi-final but pulled out of Thursday's game with a stomach injury. Norrie, seeded ninth, became the first British player to reach a semi-final in Wimbledon singles since Johanna Konta in 2017, and received partisan support on Center Court. The atmosphere turned celebratory as Norrie broke three times to win the opening set before becoming increasingly stifled as Djokovic eventually found his level. Norrie received a thunderous round of applause as he left center court, including from Djokovic, who stepped down and applauded his departure. "Cameron didn't have much to lose, he played the tournament of his life," said Djokovic. "Cameron dominated the game and I was lucky to break his serve in the second set. He gifted me a game and from there the momentum changed I think." Finally, despite the apparent disappointment of not being able to maintain his quick start against Djokovic, Norrie will look back on these two weeks with great pride fought to strength to reach the last four. The confidence he's had over the past couple of seasons through rapid rises in the rankings and winning ATP Tour titles of increasing prestige was evident in the Briton in a wonderful opener. After scoring two break points in the first game of the game After scoring, Norrie clinched the first dragging Djokovic across the court and hit a winner past the Serb as he charged forward. Norrie soon led again after a nervous service game that meant he was unable to consolidate the break, and that was aided by Djokovic's own edginess. Two more uncharacteristic errors from Djokovic, who hit two forehands long from the baseline, allowed Norrie to break again and take a 3-2 lead. This time Norrie held to solidify the break, further errors from Djokovic's racquet culminating in a forehand into the net. Another break to make it 5-2 saw Norrie serve for the set and after two double faults, including one at set point, he hammered in an ace to seal the opener. Returning to the sun-drenched court with a cap early in the second set, Djokovic served better and dropped just a point in his first four service games. More pressure built on Norrie's serve, leading to more errors from the Brit, particularly on his forehand. Djokovic eventually earned his fourth break point of the set for a 5-3 lead when Norrie hit a long forehand but the damage was done by missing a volley he was expected to put away for 15-30. Norrie started the third set with a point win that sent Djokovic smacking the strings, but the game quickly switched in the Serb's favour. Djokovic scored a third break point for the first time to progress in the match and after winning seven of the next nine games it looked unlikely Norrie would be able to fight back to win. He served up the win to propel himself into an eighth Wimbledon men's final, a tally surpassed only by Roger Federer's 12 appearances there. It's also his 32nd Grand Slam final overall, putting him ahead of Federer as a men's record. "Of course I've had a lot of Grand Slam semifinals, but it's never easy to go on the pitch," said Djokovic. “You have a lot of pressure and expectations, from yourself and others. Cameron dominated the game and I felt like I was lucky to break his serve in the second set. “He kind of gifted me a game and since then the momentum has shifted a bit. That's the meaning of the semifinals of a Grand Slam."

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Novak Djokovic beats Cameron Norrie - Live Reaction!

The Brit won the first set in the men's semifinals before Novak Djokovic roared back to win in four sets (Author: Gardener)

DjokovicThe Brit won the first set in the men's semifinals before Novak Djokovic roared back to win in four sets. Shot of the Day: Alfie Hewett whips this backhand winner. Too many to list, but I like this one: Djokovic has won at least one Grand Slam title every year since 2010, with the exception of 2017 (when he had elbow problems). Djokovic beats Norrie three sets to one to reach Wimbledon final Djokovic wins 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4! Djokovic holds serve to secure his place in the final! A loose forehand from Norrie gives Djokovic the opening point. But he makes up for it with a kicking forehand that his opponent can't tame. Djokovic hits an ace down the middle as if to show his contempt, but then fades wide with a forehand. But Djokovic's heavy serve gets him to match point and he seals it with another crunchy first serve that a desperate Norrie can't return. A brave effort from the Brit but Djokovic just had too many weapons and when he got going there was only one winner. Novak Djokovic celebrates his win over Cameron Norrie/Photo: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Djokovic (right) is congratulated by Cameron Norrie. We have a Brit in a Wimbledon final thanks to a dramatic win by Alfie Hewett in the men's wheelchair semifinals. ALSO SEE: Alfie Hewett shines on the big stage to beat Gustavo Fernández and reach the final When the BBC's Rishi Persad asked Novak Djokovic if he could meet Nick Kyrgios in Sunday's final, the crowd let out some mime noises. Related: Nick Kyrgios enjoys reaching a place he never expected | Simon Cambers Related: Nick Kyrgios says Australian tennis greats are 'sickly obsessed' with tearing him down. First, it's Tumaini Carayol in tomorrow's big game on Center Court. He's had a fortnight to remember and it's worth noting that Andy Murray didn't just do it with a Bob Beamon-style jump here. Murray made his first Wimbledon semifinals in 2009, reached his first final in 2012 and then won it in 2013. I'm sure Norrie would sign up for a similar career. Djokovic on beating Kyrgios in the final. Never won a set against him.” It's true; The Aussie holds a 2-0 winning record despite both games taking place in 2017 and on outdoor hard courts. He was the better player for the first set. I wish him all the best, he's a great player, I have a lot of respect for him.” *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 3-5 Djokovic (* denotes server) A few mistakes by Djokovic give Norrie Some breathing room at 30-0 before a tricky drop shot takes the Serb back to 30-15. Djokovic then gifted Norrie the next two points as if his only focus now was serving instead of trying to win this match with a break. Norrie returns to his seat to attempt to summon something, anything. Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 3-5 Djokovic (* denotes server) Djokovic wins the opening point but then aims for the line with a two-handed backhand. Nothing an ace can't solve on the next point (that's 11 aces now) before letting Norrie run side-to-side and win with a forehand winner 40-15. How about another ace to end the game? Looks like Djokovic is catching up. He's a game away. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 3-4 Djokovic (* stands for Server) Norrie opens with an ace before going long with a forehand to go 15-15. But he flat-foots his opponent with a winner down the middle, then sprints for a Djokovic drop shot to make it 40-15. A huge roar as an unforced Djokovic error gives Norrie the game. Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 2-4 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Hello, Dave Tindall here to get you to the finish. An easy save for Djokovic ends with an ace. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 2-3 Djokovic (* denotes server) A sizzling return at Norrie's feet puts the Brit under pressure at 15-30. He needs Djokovic to dress up with a backhand drop shot that he lands short to get back to 30-30. He could really use a big first serve. Djokovic comes into play, forcing Norrie to miss after chasing a drop shot. Norrie saves it with a brave forehand in the corner. Djokovic sends Norrie around the field like a cocker spaniel in the next point to reach another break point. Norrie saves it (to cheers from the crowd) and a few moments later saves it a second. He then saves a third and fourth before finally holding. Djokovic wins the second set 6-3 and equals the match 1-1. Norrie 6:2, 3:6 Djokovic* (* denotes server) It's not the best start from Djokovic who makes a double fault. He then flies a pathetic backhand drop shot into the net when he had good court position. 0-30 with Djokovic playing just as poorly as in the first set. However, normal service resumes with Djokovic booming down two first serves to reach the set point. He takes it thanks to an unforced error from Norrie. Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 1-3 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Norrie shows good touch on a backhand drop shot to set up a forehand winner and go 15-15 into the game come. Two aces and 40 seconds later he's gone. Another serve in the middle is non-returnable and Djokovic is two games and a break in the fourth set. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 1-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) This is better from Norrie. He booms some furious serves that Djokovic can't handle and watches as the Serb nets a forehand to hold to love. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 0-1 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie misses to the left to put Djokovic back in play at 30-30. Norrie finds a sizzling backhand that Djokovic can only grind high and long. Game point, but Norrie can't take it. Djokovic crashes a return on his forehand, which Norrie pushes into the net. A bad backhand gives Djokovic the break point. And a long forehand gives his rival the game. Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 0-2 Djokovic*(* denotes server) The crowd on Center Court is trying to rally Norrie but he doesn't seem very responsive to the noise around him , which is a good thing when you're trying to stay at a consistent level, but bad when you need a spark to ignite an improved game. Djokovic is holding on to love after a wonderful net game. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-5 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie holds at 30. His first serve percentage is only slightly behind Djokovic at 61%, but it feels like he needs to be a lot lower. He's brave to hit a second serve and get the game point he takes. Ball kids watch as Novak Djokovic returns from the baseline. Djokovic takes a bathroom break where you can imagine him staring in the mirror and saying to himself, "Get that done, quick!" I'm sure he'll want to conserve energy for Sunday's final as Kyrgios has two more days of rest will have had. Djokovic wins third set 6-2 and leads the match 2-1 Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Djokovic serves to win third set. He seems in a hurry as he puts too much juice on an early backhand when he's mid-court. Then Norrie senses an opportunity and rushes in with a second serve only to net a backhand. Norrie drives down a Djokovic dropshot, but as he throws it over the net, the Serb waits with a grin and shoves it past him. An unforced error from Norrie at 40-30 gives Djokovic the game and third set. *Norrie 6-2, 3-5 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie gets it right at 15-15 before missing a backhand volley at the net that he would pocket 99 times out of 100. Djokovic sees a drop shot from Norrie coming a mile away in the next point and puts it away to bring two break points. This time Norrie crumbles, hitting long with the forehand and Djokovic, who now looks more like himself, will serve for the second set. Norrie 6-2, 2-3 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Norrie moves Djokovic around after receiving a fine return of serve and wins the first point with an overhead smash. However, Djokovic shows better courtcraft in the next few points and looks a little happier as he finds the corners of the court with his open forehand. A few big serves don't give Norrie a chance and it's a hold to 15 for Djokovic, giving Norrie very little to work with now that he's taken his game to a higher level. Novak Djokovic serves to Cameron Norrie. Photo: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Photo: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Photo: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 1-5 Djokovic* (* denotes server) “Very pessimistic about Norrie. Norrie certainly needs to raise his level because Djokovic has cruise control here. Norrie was clearly better than a sad Djokovic in the first set, but even the average to good version of Djokovic we see here is streets ahead of Norrie. He lasts to 15 and now Norrie has to serve to stay in the third set. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 1-4 Djokovic (* denotes server) Again, Norrie breaks a sweat on his serve - and this time he's busted. Djokovic attacks the Briton's forehand and comes into the net more often than before. Norrie needs a booming first serve to get back to 30-30 but Djokovic now has his man's measure and bends his will two points and wins the game when Norrie fires a backhand wide after a vicious return of serve. Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 1-3 Djokovic* (* denotes server) "Let's go Norrie, let's go," chanted the crowd on Center Court. Can Norrie use that energy to apply pressure for the first time in a while on Djokovic's serve? A Djokovic ace silences them. However, Norrie stays in the next point and Djokovic nets a backhand. Djokovic doesn't look back. A sizzling volley and two aces later gives him a two-game lead in the third set. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 1-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie just needs to win a point here and then work from there. He doesn't win the first, but then a camouflaged forehand sends Djokovic into false fire and the Center Court crowd roars their approval. Fueled by that energy, Norrie lands a delicious backhand volley and uses a couple of powerful first serves to hold the 15th stand. Norrie 6: 2, 3: 6, 0: 2 Djokovic* (* stands for server) That looks ominous for Norrie now. Everything he hits seems to go to the net or web. He barely hints at worrying Djokovic, who is comfortably clinging to love, as Norrie smashes a simple mid-court overhead wide. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 0-1 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie just has to hold here to slow Djokovic's momentum. The British No.1 wins a wonderful first point by steering a forehand over the line after an attempted drop shot by Djokovic. Norrie can't chase after a fine volley from the Serb. However, he puts himself under pressure again with a stray forehand. A furious punch puts him back up to 30-30, but then he shoots long and faces another break point. He saves it with a nice net game. But Djokovic takes a second break point as Norrie slices a wild forehand high and long. Chris Page writes, “Wheelchair tennis no longer needs to be hidden away on an outdoor court. That was a great comeback from Hewett who said of the Court One vibe: I've never experienced anything like this before so thank you. Hewett fights back from a break in the deciding set, defeating Argentina's Gustavo Fernández 2-6 7-6 6-4. It's his first Wimbledon final. And he's totally buzzing. He is aiming for his sixth Grand Slam title and is only 24. Alfie Hewett celebrates after winning match point in his semi-final against Gustavo Fernandez. Norrie 6-2, 3-4 Djokovic* (* stands for server) It's a hold-to-love for Djokovic, who expends all his energy trying to crack Norrie's serve again. *Norrie 6-2, 3-3 Djokovic (* denotes server) A bad shot at the net by Norrie gives Djokovic another break. However, a nice backhand on the line makes Djokovic throw the ball into the net. A wild forehand from Norrie, which misses by half a meter, gives Djokovic another break point. A fine wide serve from Norrie helps him get started. Norrie has to fend off another break point after a bad forehand, but does so aggressively. He wins the game after winning a backhand cut backhand. He's good at that. *Norrie 6-2, 2-2 Djokovic (* stands for server) Two big first serves, including an ace, put Norrie at 30-0. A blitz of his forehand puts Djokovic up to 15-30 and then Norrie hits a forehand wide in midfield when he should have won the point. Now the pressure is on Norrie as he blows a weak forehand into the net. A brave and brilliant point from Norrie following in a vicious forehand and volleys home to bring Deuce saves him. Djokovic tries to fire back a second serve when Norrie has the advantage but finds the net. Norrie holds. Norrie wins first set vs. Djokovic 6-2 *Norrie 6-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) Djokovic looks like he just wants that first set over so he can start again. It's a hold at 15 for Norrie, with Djokovic helping out with a couple of unforced errors. Norrie doesn't even serve very well. On the first serves it is 42%. He downshifts a 127mph thumper to go 40-15 up, mind you, and then an ace gets him the first set. Wow. Cameron Norrie celebrates winning the first set. Norrie 6-2, 1-2 Djokovic* (*denotes server) Norrie tries to miss Djokovic with some deep, flat backhands, but the Serb is much more accurate this time and seems more confident handling it. He doesn't miss and it's Norrie making unforced errors. And when the score was 40-0, he served volleys to hold the love for a second straight game of service. *Norrie 6-2, 1-1 Djokovic (* denotes server) A poor miss by Norrie at the net after a good wide serve gives Djokovic a taster at 30-30. Norrie forces Djokovic into a corner and is again faced with the same type of backhand volley. He steams it across the court to win the point. In the very next point, Norrie benefits from a power cord. It's a stop. Norrie 6-2, 0-1 Djokovic* (* denotes server) This is the Djokovic we know. A stop to fall in love with some brilliantly varied serves. Hewett bounced back against Fernandez in the men's wheelchair semifinals. 4:4 in the deciding set and on serve. Norrie 5-2 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Djokovic's timing seems wrong. When the score was 15:0, he shot another forehand into the net. He did that a lot in that first sentence. On the next point, he hits an ugly forehand wide away like he's an excited teenager and not a 20-time Slam winner. Norrie spawns two more break points, running down a weak drop shot and conveniently tucking it away. He won't break it again, will he? He easily outlasts Djokovic in a rally and gets the big man to find the net again. This is an incredible start from the Brit, but above all a terrible one from Djokovic. *Norrie 4-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) Can Norrie consolidate? Djokovic sends Norrie for a runaround before finally throwing away a padded volley at the net. Norrie lunges at a failed forehand to blast away a midfield forehand. A booming first serve hits the line and Djokovic can't control it. Norrie is looking good now and has no trouble finishing the game on 15. *Norrie 2-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) What a point to start this game. A tweener lob from Djokovic sets up a volley at the net after a brilliantly entertaining rally. 0-15 and Djokovic raises his arms for the rich appreciation of the Center Court crowd. A cross-court backhand is brilliantly placed by Norrie to force Djokovic to net a mistimed forehand. Then the Brit gives too much gas on a forehand and goes long. He fights back to 30-30, hits a quick first serve that's too hot for Djokovic to go to the game point at 40-30, then fires another to hold. Novak Djokovic fires a tweener. Norrie 3-2 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Can Norrie put some pressure on Djokovic's serve again? At 15-15, he's definitely trying, shooting long with a double backhand as he tries to pass Djokovic. While Djokovic struggles on his first serve, Norrie takes things to the floor with his flat backhand. It works beautifully when Djokovic bends down and finds the net. And then Djokovic hits a stubborn backhand far. breaking point. breaking point. breaking point. And what a point. Struggling to stay in the point, Norrie goes deep again with his backhand and watches as Djokovic shoots long. He broke Djokovic again! Hewett was broken in the deciding set of the men's wheelchair semifinals, trailing Fernandez 3-1. Norrie 1-2 Djokovic* (* denotes server) This is more like Djokovic, who is slowly loosening up. A pair of aces - one wide and one in the middle - means he can hold to 15 with little fuss. *Norrie 1-1 Djokovic (* denotes server) So how far will the British underdog go with his own serve? Djokovic puts pressure on at 15:15 and forces Norrie to miss the left shot with a stiff forehand. A loose backhand gives Djokovic two break points. Looking nervous, Norrie misses his first serve and then slams a forehand into the net. Djokovic breaks back! Norrie 1-0 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Norrie breaks immediately! Djokovic starts tentatively. His first serve nets, then he struggles with his ball throw and finally shoots over a lame second serve. Norrie takes control and outlives Djokovic in the rally. Norrie lunges for another second serve, forcing Djokovic to blow on a long forehand. 0-30 and a huge cheer from Center Court. Djokovic fights back to 15-30 but then gives Norrie two break points. The Brit can't take the first, but a delicate backhand volley at the net means he doesn't miss the second. On the center court, Krejcikova and Siniakova fought their way into the women's doubles final with a score of 6:2, 6:2. Next up are Djokovic and Norrie, who will be out shortly. And Alfie Hewett produces a stormy tie-break, winning it 7-3 to set up a deciding set against Gustavo Fernandez in their wheelchair semi-final. goodbye Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova (right) celebrate after winning their women's doubles semifinal against Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok. Right, we're ready to go to center court. Djokovic serves first. In the men's wheelchair semifinals on Court 1, the score is 1:1 and serve in the decisive set between Alfie Hewett from Britain and Gustavo Fernandez from Argentina. Djokovic finally joins Norrie. Center Court erupts as the two semifinalists emerge. It's muggy in London today so expect a feast of sweat on Center Court this afternoon. Cameron Norrie and Novak Djokovic are two of the fittest players on the tour so they will more than handle the heat and intensity of their semi-finals. Djokovic made Norrie wait outside the dressing room. Early mind games? It's his first Grand Slam semifinal. And what a semi-final! Wimbledon, with a raucous home crowd, against one of the greatest players tennis has ever seen. Hewett breaks Fernandez again and leads 6-5, but after leveling the match with a set he's broken to 15. The Argentine sends us into a tiebreak with a brilliant forehand return from Hewett's second serve. Some belated excitement from Alfie Hewett: he breaks back Fernandez at 2-5 and then has three break points in the Argentine's subsequent service game. Fernandez saves two of them - the second with a devastating cross-court forehand winner - but Hewett outplays him in a long rally to claim the break. We're back on serve now at 4-5 in set two! In the women's doubles semifinals, second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the first set on center court 6-2 against fourth-seeded Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko. Alfie Hewett, meanwhile, stares down the run in his wheelchair semi-final against Gustavo Fernandez. He just got broken again and is 1-5 and a set down in the second set. While we wait for the big game, here's some pre-game information. Simon Cambers on why giving 'lucky losers' a semifinal spot is a bad idea: Related: Why putting a lucky loser in a Wimbledon semifinal would be bad for tennis | Simon Camber's Tumaini Carayol on Cameron Norrie's journey from South Africa to SW19: Related: From South Africa to SW19: Norrie's journey to the Wimbledon semi-final And Tumaini once again on what Norrie needs to do to stand a chance of outsmarting Djokovic: Related: The Cameron Norrie must do his best to challenge Djokovic Britain's Alfie Hewett has pretty much in his wheelchair singles semi-final against Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez, who won the first set 6-2 and is 3-0 ahead in the second set much trouble #1. And what a glorious day for the men's semifinals. But unfortunately we only have one to enjoy today as Rafa Nadal's injury deprived us of a tantalizing showdown with Nick Kyrgios advancing to his first Grand Slam final amidst all the clouds surrounding him off the pitch. All of which brings us back to the intriguing duel between Britain's Cameron Norrie, who also had his all-time best Grand Slam run, and Novak Djokovic, whose best Grand Slam runs brought him an insignificant 20 titles. Both players went through grueling five-setter games in their quarterfinals and Djokovic's record of winning in such games obviously makes him the clear favorite, but Jannik Sinner showed cracks on Tuesday and Norrie showed his own reserves of competitive courage. He will also have the support of the crowd as Center Court has increasingly moved to Norrie over the course of the fortnight, although for all his controversy in recent years Djokovic has largely received a warm welcome at SW19 this year.

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How Norrie's girlfriend supported him from the SW19 stands

Cameron Norrie may have experienced heartbreak at Wimbledon today - but his glamorous girlfriend, New Yorker Louise Jacobi, will be the first at his side to comfort him tonight. (Author: Gardener)

NorrieCameron Norrie may have experienced heartbreak at Wimbledon today - but his glamorous girlfriend will be the first to comfort him tonight. New York's Louise Jacobi, who cheered for him from the stands throughout the competition in SW19, supported the British No. 1 throughout the tournament. Despite Cameron getting off to a stellar start in today's semifinals, Novak Djokovic bounced back forcefully, winning 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 and setting up a final against Nick Kyrgios on Sunday. Louise is a glamorous textile designer who worked for Calvin Klein before joining Please Don't Touch in New York as a textile consultant. She has been at Johannesburg-born Cameron's side for at least two years and has been described as a "quiet, positive impact" by his British parents. Cameron gave up his partying, hedonistic lifestyle to pursue a more professional career after suffering injuries in a moped accident about six years ago, The Times reported. The lithe 20-year-old now regularly shares pictures with the tennis star on her social media platform, posting snaps from their romantic getaways - including New Zealand, Monaco and Italy. She is a graduate of the prestigious Central St Martins in London, which made it possible for the couple to meet in the capital. Louise was in the stands last October when Cameron became the first Brit to win the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. The couple, who shared a kiss on the pitch, had plenty to celebrate: alongside his new ranking and historic tournament win, Cameron took home a cash prize of £880,000. It's unknown how the couple met, but they've been appearing on each other's Instagram accounts since 2019. According to the Please Don't Touch website, Louise is its founder and creative director. His family say that having Louise by his side throughout the championships was also a positive influence on him. She admitted she was so new to tennis when she met Cameron that she barely knew the rules. His parents warmed to the New Yorker and joined them in his player box. However, Cameron recently told the Times that tensions sometimes arise in his Putney household because he and Louise disagree over cooking. "We fight when we cook," Cameron said. Born in Johannesburg to British parents, he started playing tennis at the age of four with a stripped-down squash racquet on an "imaginary court" next to his house. His mother Helen, 59, a biochemist from Cardiff, says: "He wanted to play all the time." When he was a child, the family left South Africa and moved to Auckland, where his mother and Glasgow-born father David - also a biochemist - still alive. They noticed that their left-handed son had talent and he entered a coaching program and reached the top 10 in junior rankings worldwide. After three years, he received a scholarship to Texas Christian College in Fort Worth, Texas, where he studied sociology alongside his tennis. He was dropped from the team to compete in a second tier ATP Challenger tournament and was also threatened with expulsion. He described the moment as a "watershed moment" this week, saying: "The coaches got me going and I was more professional after that. He became the US No. 1 collegiate player before turning pro in 2017. He made his debut for the British Davis Cup team the next year and reached his first ATP final in January 2019. Despite being established in the top 100 singles rankings, Cameron still flew under the radar. While he became the face of British tennis overnight, the new No.1, who has been described as "a great example" by his idol and former British No.1 Sir Andy Murray, has had a decidedly international upbringing and has spent time in South Africa, New Zealand and the USA. Despite his transcontinental accent, which Cameron himself admits can be hard to pin down, the player insists he feels quintessentially British. "I consider myself British," he previously said. “My parents are both British. On the tennis circuit, he has befriended British tennis figurehead Sir Andy, who took time to train with Cameron when he made his senior debut at Wimbledon in 2017. "He's such a great role model and at such a high level that it kind of rubs off on you," Cameron said at the time. When Cameron became Britain's No 1 last year, Sir Andy was the one to wield the praise, saying after his win: 'I'd be lying if I said I called it that, to be honest. "However, I've spent a decent amount of time with him and practiced with him quite a bit and he works extremely hard. "I think he's a great example for not just British players but for all tennis players you can watch and go. If you put in the effort every day and really devote yourself to the sport, having an attitude like him takes you a long, long way.'

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Novak Djokovic vs. Cameron Norrie - live!

Who can take on Nick Kyrgios in the men's final at the All England Club? Find out with our writers (Author: Gardener)

DjokovicWho can take on Nick Kyrgios in the men's final at the All England Club? *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 3-4 Djokovic (* stands for Server) Norrie opens with an ace before going long with a forehand to go 15-15. But he flat-foots his opponent with a winner down the middle, then sprints for a Djokovic drop shot to make it 40-15. A huge roar as an unforced Djokovic error gives Norrie the game. Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 2-4 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Hello, Dave Tindall here to get you to the finish. An easy save for Djokovic ends with an ace. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 2-3 Djokovic (* denotes server) A sizzling return at Norrie's feet puts the Brit under pressure at 15-30. He needs Djokovic to dress up with a backhand drop shot that he lands short to get back to 30-30. Djokovic comes into play, forcing Norrie to miss after chasing a drop shot. Norrie saves it with a brave forehand in the corner. Djokovic sends Norrie around the field like a cocker spaniel in the next point to reach another break point. Norrie saves it (to cheers from the crowd) and a few moments later saves it a second. He then saves a third and fourth before finally holding. Djokovic wins the second set 6-3 and equals the match 1-1. Norrie 6:2, 3:6 Djokovic* (* denotes server) It's not the best start from Djokovic who makes a double fault. He then flies a pathetic backhand drop shot into the net when he had good court position. 0-30 with Djokovic playing just as poorly as in the first set. However, normal service resumes with Djokovic booming down two first serves to reach the set point. He takes it thanks to an unforced error from Norrie. Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 1-3 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Norrie shows good touch on a backhand drop shot to set up a forehand winner and go 15-15 into the game come. Two aces and 40 seconds later he's gone. Another serve in the middle is non-returnable and Djokovic is two games and a break in the fourth set. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 1-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) This is better from Norrie. He booms some furious serves that Djokovic can't handle and watches as the Serb nets a forehand to hold to love. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 0-1 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie misses to the left to put Djokovic back in play at 30-30. Norrie finds a sizzling backhand that Djokovic can only grind high and long. Game point, but Norrie can't take it. Djokovic crashes a return on his forehand, which Norrie pushes into the net. A bad backhand gives Djokovic the break point. And a long forehand gives his rival the game. Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 0-2 Djokovic*(* denotes server) The crowd on Center Court is trying to rally Norrie but he doesn't seem very responsive to the noise around him , which is a good thing when you're trying to stay at a consistent level, but bad when you need a spark to ignite an improved game. Djokovic is holding on to love after a wonderful net game. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-5 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie holds at 30. His first serve percentage is only slightly behind Djokovic at 61%, but it feels like he needs to be a lot lower. He's brave to hit a second serve and get the game point he takes. Ball kids watch as Novak Djokovic returns from the baseline. Djokovic takes a bathroom break where you can imagine him staring in the mirror and saying to himself, "Get that done, quick!" I'm sure he'll want to conserve energy for Sunday's final as Kyrgios has two more days of rest will have had. Djokovic wins third set 6-2 and leads the match 2-1 Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 2-6 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Djokovic serves to win third set. He seems in a hurry as he puts too much juice on an early backhand when he's mid-court. Then Norrie senses an opportunity and rushes in with a second serve only to net a backhand. Norrie drives down a Djokovic dropshot, but as he throws it over the net, the Serb waits with a grin and shoves it past him. An unforced error from Norrie at 40-30 gives Djokovic the game and third set. *Norrie 6-2, 3-5 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie gets it right at 15-15 before missing a backhand volley at the net that he would pocket 99 times out of 100. Djokovic sees a drop shot from Norrie coming a mile away in the next point and puts it away to bring two break points. This time Norrie crumbles, hitting long with the forehand and Djokovic, who now looks more like himself, will serve for the second set. Norrie 6-2, 2-3 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Norrie moves Djokovic around after receiving a fine return of serve and wins the first point with an overhead smash. However, Djokovic shows better courtcraft in the next few points and looks a little happier as he finds the corners of the court with his open forehand. A few big serves don't give Norrie a chance and it's a hold to 15 for Djokovic, giving Norrie very little to work with now that he's taken his game to a higher level. Novak Djokovic serves to Cameron Norrie. Photo: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Photo: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 1-5 Djokovic* (* denotes server) “Very pessimistic about Norrie. Norrie certainly needs to raise his level because Djokovic has cruise control here. Norrie was clearly better than a sad Djokovic in the first set, but even the average to good version of Djokovic we see here is streets ahead of Norrie. He lasts to 15 and now Norrie has to serve to stay in the third set. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 1-4 Djokovic (* denotes server) Again, Norrie breaks a sweat on his serve - and this time he's busted. Djokovic attacks the Briton's forehand and comes into the net more often than before. Norrie needs a booming first serve to get back to 30-30 but Djokovic now has his man's measure and bends his will two points and wins the game when Norrie fires a backhand wide after a vicious return of serve. Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 1-3 Djokovic* (* denotes server) "Let's go Norrie, let's go," chanted the crowd on Center Court. Can Norrie use that energy to apply pressure for the first time in a while on Djokovic's serve? However, Norrie stays in the next point and Djokovic nets a backhand. Djokovic doesn't look back. A sizzling volley and two aces later gives him a two-game lead in the third set. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 1-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie just needs to win a point here and then work from there. He doesn't win the first, but then a camouflaged forehand sends Djokovic into false fire and the Center Court crowd roars their approval. Fueled by that energy, Norrie lands a delicious backhand volley and uses a couple of powerful first serves to hold the 15th stand. Norrie 6: 2, 3: 6, 0: 2 Djokovic* (* stands for server) That looks ominous for Norrie now. He barely hints at worrying Djokovic, who is comfortably clinging to love, as Norrie smashes a simple mid-court overhead wide. *Norrie 6-2, 3-6, 0-1 Djokovic (* denotes server) Norrie just has to hold here to slow Djokovic's momentum. The British No.1 wins a wonderful first point by steering a forehand over the line after an attempted drop shot by Djokovic. Norrie can't chase after a fine volley from the Serb. However, he puts himself under pressure again with a stray forehand. A furious punch puts him back up to 30-30, but then he shoots long and faces another break point. He saves it with a nice net game. But Djokovic takes a second break point as Norrie slices a wild forehand high and long. Chris Page writes, “Wheelchair tennis no longer needs to be hidden away on an outdoor court. That was a great comeback from Hewett who said of the Court One vibe: I've never experienced anything like this before so thank you. Hewett fights back from a break in the deciding set, defeating Argentina's Gustavo Fernández 2-6 7-6 6-4. It's his first Wimbledon final. Alfie Hewett celebrates his match point win in his semifinal match against Gustavo Fernandez. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Norrie 6-2, 3-4 Djokovic* (* stands for server) It's a hold-to-love for Djokovic, who saves all his energy to crack Norrie's serve again. *Norrie 6-2, 3-3 Djokovic (* denotes server) A bad shot at the net by Norrie gives Djokovic another break. However, a nice backhand on the line makes Djokovic throw the ball into the net. A wild forehand from Norrie, which misses by half a meter, gives Djokovic another break point. A fine wide serve from Norrie helps him get started. Norrie has to fend off another break point after a bad forehand, but does so aggressively. He wins the game after winning a backhand cut backhand. *Norrie 6-2, 2-2 Djokovic (* stands for server) Two big first serves, including an ace, put Norrie at 30-0. A blitz of his forehand puts Djokovic up to 15-30 and then Norrie hits a forehand wide in midfield when he should have won the point. Now the pressure is on Norrie as he blows a weak forehand into the net. A brave and brilliant point from Norrie following in a vicious forehand and volleys home to bring Deuce saves him. Djokovic tries to fire back a second serve when Norrie has the advantage but finds the net. Norrie holds. Norrie wins first set vs. Djokovic 6-2 *Norrie 6-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) Djokovic looks like he just wants that first set over so he can start again. It's a hold at 15 for Norrie, with Djokovic helping out with a couple of unforced errors. Norrie doesn't even serve very well. On the first serves it is 42%. He downshifts a 127mph thumper to go 40-15 up, mind you, and then an ace gets him the first set. Wow. Cameron Norrie celebrates winning the first set. Photo: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock Norrie 6-2, 1-2 Djokovic* (*denotes server) Norrie tries to miss Djokovic with some deep, flat backhands, but the Serb is much more accurate this time and seems more confident handling them . He doesn't miss and it's Norrie making unforced errors. And when the score was 40-0, he served volleys to hold the love for a second straight game of service. *Norrie 6-2, 1-1 Djokovic (* denotes server) A poor miss by Norrie at the net after a good wide serve gives Djokovic a taster at 30-30. Norrie forces Djokovic into a corner and is again faced with the same type of backhand volley. He steams it across the court to win the point. In the very next point, Norrie benefits from a power cord. It's a stop. Norrie 6-2, 0-1 Djokovic* (* denotes server) This is the Djokovic we know. A stop to fall in love with some brilliantly varied serves. Hewett bounced back against Fernandez in the men's wheelchair semifinals. 4:4 in the deciding set and on serve. Norrie 5-2 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Djokovic's timing seems wrong. When the score was 15:0, he shot another forehand into the net. He did that a lot in that first sentence. On the next point, he hits an ugly forehand wide away like he's an excited teenager and not a 20-time Slam winner. Norrie spawns two more break points, running down a weak drop shot and conveniently tucking it away. He won't break it again, will he? He easily outlasts Djokovic in a rally and gets the big man to find the net again. This is an incredible start from the Brit, but above all a terrible one from Djokovic. *Norrie 4-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) Can Norrie consolidate? Djokovic sends Norrie for a runaround before finally throwing away a padded volley at the net. Norrie lunges at a failed forehand to blast away a midfield forehand. A booming first serve hits the line and Djokovic can't control it. Norrie is looking good now and has no trouble finishing the game on 15. *Norrie 2-2 Djokovic (* denotes server) What a point to start this game. A tweener lob from Djokovic sets up a volley at the net after a brilliantly entertaining rally. 0-15 and Djokovic raises his arms for the rich appreciation of the Center Court crowd. A cross-court backhand is brilliantly placed by Norrie to force Djokovic to net a mistimed forehand. Then the Brit gives too much gas on a forehand and goes long. He fights back to 30-30, hits a quick first serve that's too hot for Djokovic to go to the game point at 40-30, then fires another to hold. Novak Djokovic fires a tweener. Photo: John Walton/PA Norrie 3-2 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Can Norrie put some pressure on Djokovic's serve again? At 15-15, he's definitely trying, shooting long with a double backhand as he tries to pass Djokovic. While Djokovic struggles on his first serve, Norrie takes things to the floor with his flat backhand. It works beautifully when Djokovic bends down and finds the net. And then Djokovic hits a stubborn backhand far. breaking point. breaking point. breaking point. Struggling to stay in the point, Norrie goes deep again with his backhand and watches as Djokovic shoots long. He broke Djokovic again! Hewett was broken in the deciding set of the men's wheelchair semifinals, trailing Fernandez 3-1. Norrie 1-2 Djokovic* (* denotes server) This is more like Djokovic, who is slowly loosening up. A pair of aces - one wide and one in the middle - means he can hold to 15 with little fuss. *Norrie 1-1 Djokovic (* denotes server) So how far will the British underdog go with his own serve? Djokovic puts pressure on at 15:15 and forces Norrie to miss the left shot with a stiff forehand. A loose backhand gives Djokovic two break points. Looking nervous, Norrie misses his first serve and then slams a forehand into the net. Djokovic breaks back! Norrie 1-0 Djokovic* (* denotes server) Norrie breaks immediately! His first serve nets, then he struggles with his ball throw and finally shoots over a lame second serve. Norrie takes control and outlives Djokovic in the rally. Norrie lunges for another second serve, forcing Djokovic to blow on a long forehand. 0-30 and a huge cheer from Center Court. Djokovic fights back to 15-30 but then gives Norrie two break points. The Brit can't take the first, but a delicate backhand volley at the net means he doesn't miss the second. On the center court, Krejcikova and Siniakova fought their way into the women's doubles final with a score of 6:2, 6:2. Next up are Djokovic and Norrie, who will be out shortly. And Alfie Hewett produces a stormy tie-break, winning it 7-3 to set up a deciding set against Gustavo Fernandez in their wheelchair semi-final. goodbye Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova (right) celebrate after winning their women's doubles semifinal against Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA Photo: Neil Hall/EPA Right, we're ready to go to Center Court. Djokovic serves first. In the men's wheelchair semifinals on Court 1, the score is 1:1 and serve in the decisive set between Alfie Hewett from Britain and Gustavo Fernandez from Argentina. Djokovic finally joins Norrie. Center Court erupts as the two semifinalists emerge. It's muggy in London today so expect a feast of sweat on Center Court this afternoon. Cameron Norrie and Novak Djokovic are two of the fittest players on the tour so they will more than handle the heat and intensity of their semi-finals. Djokovic made Norrie wait outside the dressing room. It's his first Grand Slam semifinal. And what a semi-final! Hewett breaks Fernandez again and leads 6-5, but after leveling the match with a set he's broken to 15. The Argentine sends us into a tiebreak with a brilliant forehand return from Hewett's second serve. Some belated excitement from Alfie Hewett: he breaks back Fernandez at 2-5 and then has three break points in the Argentine's subsequent service game. Fernandez saves two of them - the second with a devastating cross-court forehand winner - but Hewett outplays him in a long rally to claim the break. We're back on serve now at 4-5 in set two! In the women's doubles semifinals, second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the first set on center court 6-2 against fourth-seeded Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko. Alfie Hewett, meanwhile, stares down the run in his wheelchair semi-final against Gustavo Fernandez. He just got broken again and is 1-5 and a set down in the second set. While we wait for the big game, here's some pre-game information. Simon Cambers on why giving 'lucky losers' a semifinal spot is a bad idea: Related: Why putting a lucky loser in a Wimbledon semifinal would be bad for tennis | Simon Camber's Tumaini Carayol on Cameron Norrie's journey from South Africa to SW19: Related: From South Africa to SW19: Norrie's journey to the Wimbledon semi-final And Tumaini once again on what Norrie needs to do to stand a chance of outsmarting Djokovic: Related: The Cameron Norrie must do his best to challenge Djokovic Britain's Alfie Hewett has pretty much in his wheelchair singles semi-final against Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez, who won the first set 6-2 and is 3-0 ahead in the second set much trouble #1. And what a glorious day for the men's semifinals. But unfortunately we only have one to enjoy today as Rafa Nadal's injury deprived us of a tantalizing showdown with Nick Kyrgios advancing to his first Grand Slam final amidst all the clouds surrounding him off the pitch. All of which brings us back to the intriguing duel between Britain's Cameron Norrie, who also had his all-time best Grand Slam run, and Novak Djokovic, whose best Grand Slam runs brought him an insignificant 20 titles. Both players went through grueling five-setter games in their quarterfinals and Djokovic's record of winning in such games obviously makes him the clear favorite, but Jannik Sinner showed cracks on Tuesday and Norrie showed his own reserves of competitive courage. He will also have the support of the crowd as Center Court has increasingly moved to Norrie over the course of the fortnight, although for all his controversy in recent years Djokovic has largely received a warm welcome at SW19 this year.

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Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner will not be fined after police say no Covid laws have been broken

Beergate: Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner will not be fined after police say no Covid laws were broken - Police found a Labor meeting in Durham did not break Covid laws because they ' reasonably necessary for the work". (Author: Gardener)

Angela RaynerSir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have not broken Covid laws and will not be fined over Beergate, Durham Police have announced. A spokesman added: "Failure to comply with the rules by applying an exception, namely reasonably necessary works, is irresponsible." Police said the gathering at Miners' Hall in Durham on April 30, 2020, which ended with a Part of the Labor campaign related to the Hartlepool by-election and local elections had been fully investigated. Evidence and testimony revealed 17 people attended, including the Labor leader and Deputy Leader. "Durham Constabulary will not issue any firm penalties in relation to the gathering and no further action will be taken," it said in a statement. Sir Keir, the former chief prosecutor, had vowed to resign if he was found to have broken Covid laws - after urging Boris Johnson to leave his post after he was accused of an illegal gathering at Downing Street with was fined. In a statement released on Twitter, the Labor leader said: "I've always said no rules were broken when I was at Durham. “Police have completed their investigation and agreed: there is no case to answer. Ms Rayner tweeted: "In politics, integrity matters. Durham Constabulary was previously investigating Dominic Cummings, then the Prime Minister's chief adviser, for bringing his family from London to the north east during the first national lockdown while infected with coronavirus. Officials concluded that he may have committed a "minor breach" of the law by driving to Barnard Castle that imposing a fine months later "would amount to treating Mr Cummings differently than other members of the public." treat". The force initially decided not to take action against images of Sir Keir having a pint in the constituency office of Labor MP Mary Foy, which resurfaced while it was being widely circulated by Conservatives during the Partygate scandal. Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and Deputy Chairwoman Angela Rayner (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire) Durham City MP Ms Foy said she was "pleased" with the results of Durham Police and spoke of "pressure from the last few months". "It is unfortunate that the desire of some Conservative politicians to score political points has led to Durham Police concentrating so much time on a matter that has already been investigated, particularly when their resources are already under significant pressure," she added. At the time, "tier two" Covid laws were in effect, making indoor gatherings of more than two people illegal unless subject to one of numerous exceptions, too who also owned that they were “reasonably necessary for work purposes.” The same exemption applied to several gatherings investigated under Partygate , which saw 126 fines issued by the Metropolitan Police for Covid breaches over eight separate days. It is believed to have been used by the Prime Minister as a defense for his attendance at several meetings for which he was not fined.

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Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have been acquitted of breaking lockdown rules by Durham Police

The union leader will remain in office after pledging to step down if he is fined for having a takeaway beer and curry with staff (Author: Gardener)

Keir StarmerKeir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner have been acquitted by Durham Police for breaking lockdown rules over a takeaway beer and curry during last year's election campaign. Officials concluded that it was a legitimate work event. In a relief to Labour, the much-anticipated police announcement said an inquiry had concluded the April 2021 meeting was reasonably necessary for labor purposes and that no fines had been issued. Starmer and Rayner had promised to resign if fined after urging Boris Johnson to resign after he was fined for attending a lockdown-violating social event at Downing Street. Durham Police first said there was no case to answer after brief video footage of the event surfaced at Durham City MP Mary Foy's office on April 30 last year during a post-election campaign for the nearby Hartlepool seat. But in May the force said it had received "significant new information" about the events and was launching a formal investigation. Friday's police statement said: "Following the emergence of significant new information, Durham Police opened an investigation into a gathering at Miners' Hall in Redhills, Durham on 30 April 2021. This investigation is now complete. After applying the conclusive full code test, it was determined that there was no reason for a violation of the rules due to the application of an exception, namely reasonably necessary work. "Accordingly, Durham Police will not issue any firm notice in relation to the gathering and no further action will be taken. A Labor Party spokesman said: "Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have always made it clear that no rules were broken at Durham. Police have completed their investigation and agreed, saying there is no case to answer." In a tweet, he said, "Police have completed their investigation and agreed: there is no case to answer. In a separate tweet, Rayner emphasized her consistent belief that no rules had been broken, adding, "In politics, integrity matters. The police decision ends the often-controversial saga that has become known as "Beergate" after video footage shows Starmer holding a bottle of beer in the Durham office while colleagues around him ate takeaway food. The decision to reopen the police investigation followed a campaign by local Conservative MP Richard Holden and more than a week of consecutive page one headlines in the Daily Mail. In a statement, Foy thanked police for their "professionalism and diligence", adding: "However, it is unfortunate that the desire of some Conservative politicians to score political points has led to Durham Police taking so much time on their hands a matter that had already been investigated, especially when their resources are already under significant pressure.” But Michael Barton, Durham's former chief constable, has criticized the allegations as politically motivated hate campaigns. Barton, who was also the national chief of police crime-fighting, told the Guardian: "It had all the hallmarks of a political smear campaign, not a fair and justified criminal investigation. “Did Durham Police have to step in? The police must be shown to be fair and their verdict was that in order to be shown to be fair they had to investigate. That kept experienced investigators away from actual police work.” Labor always insisted it was clearly within Covid regulations for Starmer, Rayner and colleagues to eat and drink when discussing the by-election and the same day held local elections discussed. According to the rules of the time, electoral activities were expressly permitted. Johnson escaped with just one fine for several Downing Street events because the Metropolitan Police concluded that as Prime Minister he had a reasonable working excuse to attend them, such as to give farewell speeches.

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Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have been cleared of 'Beergate' lockdown rule violations

The Labor leader insisted for months that no rules would be broken. (Author: Gardener)

Keir StarmerThe Labor leader vowed to resign if fined to show that "politicians are not all the same" (Image: Getty Images) Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have avoided fines for alleged breaches of lockdown rules. Both had vowed to resign if they were found to have broken Covid rules. But Durham Police have now concluded that "no further action" will be taken against the Labor leader and his deputy. Following the news, Sir Keir tweeted: "I always said no rules were broken when I was at Durham. The police have completed their investigation and agreed: There is no case to answer. Ms Rayner echoed the Labor leader's comments, adding she was "always clear" no rules had been broken. Just this morning she had told reporters that replacements could be found "very quickly" if the police decide to impose fines. She tweeted: "Integrity matters in politics. The full statement was released by Durham Police today, revealing an end to the investigation. Keir Starmer was pictured smiling at the news of Boris Johnson's resignation yesterday (Image: Getty Images). to police guidelines. In its statement, the force said: "Following the emergence of significant new information, Durham Constabulary opened an inquiry into a gathering at Miners' Hall in Redhills, Durham on 30 April 2021. The Durham Police investigation had been launched after images emerged of the Labor leader having a beer with colleagues ahead of a by-election campaign during Covid lockdown restrictions. Keir Starmer drinks a beer after his campaign campaign in Durham in April 2021. Deputy Labor Leader Angela Rayner also vowed to resign if fined after Boris Johnson refused (Image: PA). Deputy Chairwoman Rayner was also present at the meeting at the city office of Durham MP Mary Foy on April 30, 2021, although officials initially "wrongly" denied it. Sir Keir insisted for months no rules were being broken - but vowed to resign if he was fined to show the public 'not all politicians are created equal'. Ms Rayner followed his lead and said she would also resign if officials found any wrongdoing. The 'Beergate' scandal had all but been forgotten amid the resignation news this week (Image: PA). "Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have always been mindful that no rules were broken at Durham," a Labor spokesman said after today's news. He added: "Police have completed their inquiries and agree that there is no case to answer." The "Beergate" scandal came after Boris Johnson was fined for attending his own birthday party. The Metropolitan Police have been asked to explain why the Prime Minister has not been fined more than once after images emerged that appeared to show him drinking at a lockdown busting party. Sue Gray's long-awaited report later attacked "senior leaders" in government, saying they must "take accountability" for the culture that led to lockdown rules being broken. Mr Johnson's premiership was dealt another blow when it was revealed a staff member was so drunk he threw up at a party, while officials boasted about "getting away with drinks". He survived a no vote at the conference in June but resigned yesterday after mounting pressure following a new scandal over his handling of complaints against Chris Pincher. Boris Johnson's resignation could see Tories tearing each other apart to find a replacement, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has warned. Contact our news team by emailing us at [email protected] For more stories like this, visit our news page.

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Watch live as Sir Keir Starmer speaks outside the Beergate after being fined

Latest politics news: Watch live as Sir Keir Starmer addresses the 'Beergate' after avoiding a fine (Author: Gardener)

KeirSir Keir Starmer is expected to make a TV statement after Durham Police announced the Labor leader will not be fined for 'Beergate'. Durham Police said they had concluded there was "no case to answer" and "no further action will be taken". Sir Keir and Angela Rayner had both promised to quit if they were fined. Tory MP John Baron has said he is considering running in the Tory leadership contest. Asked who he could put in the competition, Mr Baron told the BBC: "I haven't made up my mind yet and one reason is that I've been approached myself to think about it, my local team, my constituents and others have said give it He added: "Yes, I am absolutely considering throwing my hat in the ring to be the next prime minister." "I am absolutely considering throwing my hat in the ring to be the next prime minister." Conservative MP John Baron says "there is a wealth of talent" in the backbench that "needs to come out" #PoliticsLive https://t.co/8jWWqdh2hj pic.twitter.com/wVCrWbcGVC - BBC Politics (@ BBCPolitics) it was always clear to me that no rules were broken at Durham. Integrity counts in politics. The contrast with the behavior of this disgraced Prime Minister could not be clearer.” — Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) July 8, 2022, I always said When I was in Durham, no rules were broken. The police have completed their investigation and agreed: se reply. Durham Police's decision not to penalize Sir Keir Starmer means it is now clear to Labor as it stands, writes The Telegraph's Whitehall correspondent Tony Diver. The Labor leader's decision to announce his resignation if he is fined for 'Beergate' was a huge risk. On the one hand, it allowed Sir Keir to bet his entire political career on his reputation for integrity and to draw a comparison between himself and Boris Johnson. But if he had been forced to resign now, just a day after Mr Johnson announced his own resignation, Labor would have fallen behind again while the Tories faltered. So now he's in his strongest position yet, ahead in the polls and poised to take on whoever becomes the next prime minister. Tory MP Rehman Chishti has said he is considering running in the Tory leadership contest. He told the Politics Home website: "In the coming days I will be reflecting on how best to serve our country with my own experience and background, having been a parliamentarian for over 12 years. Our country and our party need new ideas and fresh leadership. " This is the full "Beergate" statement released by Durham Police: Following the emergence of significant new information, Durham Police opened an inquiry into a gathering at Miners' Hall in Redhills, Durham on 30 April 2021 , a full code test conclusively found that there was no ground for breach of the regulations due to the application of a reasonably necessary labor exception Accordingly, Durham Constabulary will not and will not issue any firm penalties in relation to the Assembly further action taken.The final evidence presented by participants from the local constituency was returned to Durham Police on 5 July and analyzed by investigators against all evidence before the inquiry was closed on 8 July 2022 to identify all present at the meeting, all of their legal representatives have been informed of the outcome of the investigation. We expect Sir Keir Starmer to make a statement on television later this afternoon, reacting to the conclusion of Durham Police's Beergate investigation. A Labor Party spokesman said: "Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have always made it clear that no rules were broken in Durham. "Police have completed their inquiries and have agreed that there is no case to answer." "Police have completed their inquiries and have agreed that there is no case to answer." Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner will not because of Beergate fined. Durham Police said in a statement: "Durham Police will not issue any firm penalty notices in relation to the gathering and no further action will be taken." The force said that "it has concluded that as a result of the application one exception, namely reasonably necessary work, no case is responsible for a violation of the rules". Sir Keir and Ms Rayner had pledged to resign if they were fined. Jeremy Hunt is most likely to announce his bid to be the next Conservative leader in the coming days, the PA news agency reported. A source close to the senior Tory MP, who ran for leadership in 2019, said he was "virtually certain" to enter the contest to replace Boris Johnson. "For months he was harassed by colleagues on all wings of the party," the source said. Boris Johnson will not step aside to allow Dominic Raab as acting Prime Minister, Downing Street has said. The Prime Minister's official spokesman was asked following calls from some Conservatives, including former Prime Minister Sir John Major, for Mr Raab to be installed as acting Prime Minister until a permanent successor is in place. The official told reporters: "The Prime Minister is acting in accordance with the Convention. He will remain prime minister until a new party leader is in place, and government work will continue during that time.” Nadhim Zahawi, the new chancellor, proposed on Wednesday morning that he reverse Rishi Sunak's corporate tax hike plan announced in the March 2021 budget could. But No10 has just confirmed no changes will be made to previously agreed guidelines after Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street. The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "As you know, I would not comment on tax decisions, but as I have just said, under the Convention the Government will not seek to overturn previously agreed guidelines and that would affect tax policy as well Extend.” Boris Johnson had recently told ministers to prepare to hold regular press conferences on the state of the economy. Mr Johnson's resignation as Conservative Party leader has prompted a rethink and those press conferences have been cancelled. "I don't believe in that. There are no more plans for that," said the Prime Minister's official spokesman. Boris Johnson will make more ministerial appointments this afternoon, Downing Street said. No 10 said the intention was that there would be "broadly" the same number of ministers as before The collapse of Mr Johnson's Premiership. Former Tory minister Philip Dunne said he believes it could be "difficult" for Boris Johnson to fill all the gaps on the government front bench after so many MPs have stepped down from their roles in recent days, he said Times Radio said he was "pretty attracted to the idea" of making Dominic Raab interim PM We need to fill those positions. “I would therefore understand that these ministers would be reinstated in their old roles. I think that would be very difficult to do under Boris Johnson until the new Prime Minister is elected.” Tory MP Philip Dunne said the mood among his colleagues was “relieved” following Boris Johnson's resignation as leader of the Conservative Party. He told Times Radio: "I think the overwhelming vibe is frankly one of relief. Former Prime Minister Theresa May, who won Shinzo Abe's support for her Brexit deal after talks in the UK in January 2019, said her friend's death was "really heartbreaking". She tweeted: "It is truly heartbreaking to hear of the death of my friend Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan, who was killed in the most appalling circumstances while fighting for his political party. “He was a statesman of the highest calibre. "My prayers and deepest sympathy go out to his family and the people of Japan." He was a statesman of the highest calibre. My prayers and deepest sympathy are with his family and the people of Japan. The list of potential Tory leaders is long, ranging from senior cabinet ministers to MPs with no ministerial experience. The 2022 competition will be very different from the 2019 edition, when Boris Johnson was the clear favorite from the start. Gordon Rayner, Associate Editor of The Telegraph, took a close look at the top 15 and you can read his essential post here. Yesterday's resignation of Boris Johnson has resulted in a very mixed set of newspaper front pages for the Prime Minister today. The Telegraph Splash is headlined: 'Long goodbye to PM leaves Britain in 'state of paralysis''. The Guardian chose "It's over", the i-Zeitung chose "Downfall" and the Times chose "Johnson throws in the towel". There are currently only two Tory MPs who have said unequivocally that they will stand in the race to succeed Boris Johnson: Suella Braverman and Tom Tugendhat. Mr Tugendhat, the Tory leader of the Special Committee on Foreign Affairs, announced his candidacy in an article for The Telegraph. Now I hope to follow the call as prime minister again. Robert Halfon, the Tory leader of the Education Select Committee, said he didn't think it was "unreasonable" for Boris Johnson to stay in 10th place while his successor is chosen. He told Sky News: "I think it's important that the Prime Minister is treated with dignity. I think if you had another person in between it would only lead to more instability, more government changes. I personally think this is awful for schools and colleges, teachers and support staff across the country." He added, "We need some stability and I think a few weeks of electing a new leader is not unreasonable with that the Prime Minister remains in his post." Many will remember his global leadership in times unknown. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the people of Japan. The UK stands with you at this dark and sad time."—Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) 8 July 2022 Liz Truss has not yet declared her candidacy for Tory leadership but she has already received public support from one of her Conservative peers, Jackie Doyle-Price, MP for Thurrock, told BBC Essex : "I am looking for a candidate who will bring the party together. I hope that we have a civilized and respectful competition because wi r all have to "I think there are up to half a dozen people with the right qualities that I would like to see, but personally I will support Liz Truss, the secretary of state, to take the lead. She's a good Thatcherian fiscal conservative, which I think is very necessary right now, we have to live within our means. "I think the leadership she has shown towards Ukraine is exactly what we need now." EXCLUSIVE: Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price tells BBC Essex she supports Foreign Secretary Liz Truss who to become the next prime minister and says "the leadership she has shown towards Ukraine is exactly what we need now". @JackieDP @trussliz pic.twitter.com/F5HWARYNzJ - BBC Essex (@BBCEssex) July 8, 2022 'Building on Boris' legacy' will be the key message of Suella Braverman's Tory leadership campaign, an ally has told The Telegraph. Jason McCartney, the Colne Valley MP and parliamentary private secretary to the Attorney General who is helping run Ms Braverman's campaign, insisted she was not interested in presenting a new vision to the country. "She believes in our 2019 manifesto and that will be the main difference from most other candidates," she said. “Trying to propose a new vision will only give Labor general election ammunition. Colleagues may not like it, but the key for them is what we promised the country in 2019. That will be the key message - building on that of Boris Erbe." Andrea Leadsom, the former Cabinet Secretary, is pictured in Westminster this morning - Hollie Adams/Bloomberg Lord Frost, the former Brexit Secretary, has yet to see any of the potential Tory contenders Pledged his support to leadership In an article for The Telegraph, he set out what he thinks the next leader needs to do to get the Conservative Party “back on track”, but they want a government and a leader who can take a grip and has a strategy to make things better. That has to be delivered by the new party leader and that's what I'll be looking for in the coming days. Boris Johnson's wedding reception at Checkers, scheduled for later this month, will be moved to a new location, according to The Telegraph. There were some claims from Tory sources yesterday that wanting to have the party at Checkers was one of the reasons Mr Johnson left after his move rode as Tory leader in No 10 remains. Checkers is the home of grace and favor to British Prime Ministers and once Mr Johnson leaves No 10 he will lose access to it. A spokesman for Mr Johnson yesterday dismissed the claims and said he remains in office "just to continue his commitment to the public". Having the answers to these questions makes me the most suitable candidate. — Mark Jenkinson MP (@markjenkinsonmp) July 8, 2022 Sir Ed Davey said Boris Johnson is now a “lame Prime Minister” and should be ousted from No 10 immediately. The leader of the Liberal Democrats told Sky News: "The question is what is good for our country." You can't have a lame Prime Minister, because he is. Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has said Boris Johnson should leave No 10 immediately. He told Sky News: "The Liberal Democrats have said he should go now. He should not be allowed to continue, whether you call him interim Prime Minister or not.” The words janitor cannot apply to Boris Johnson. James Cleverly said a new Prime Minister should let Boris and Carrie Johnson host their wedding reception at Checkers, even if Mr Johnson has left No10 by then. The new Education Secretary was asked on BBC Radio 4's Today program if Mr Johnson should hold the ceremony at the Prime Minister's country house in July if it is in the hands of someone else by then. Mr Cleverly said: "I think if that has happened by this point, I suspect it would be quite a generous act on the part of the new Prime Minister to allow that to happen. "I find it rude to be negative towards two people who want to celebrate their marriage and their love for each other." Newly appointed Education Secretary James Cleverly has insisted Boris Johnson will not make any decisions that tie the hands of his successor while he remains in 10th place. Mr Cleverly told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The functions of government remain in place and that is true when you go through a change of leadership like we are about to have, or when there is a general election coming up. James Cleverly, the Education Secretary, addresses the media on College Green before Parliament today - Phil Noble/Reuters "And indeed the Prime Minister has made it very clear in Cabinet that we will not do anything that would bind in the hands of our successors, we will not doing anything that I think would be novel or, you know, a big change from the direction we are currently taking." He added, "We will not make any decisions that fall outside of the normal range of decisions that you make in circumstances like this what, as I said, despite the fact that how we got here is unusual, this process is actually not that unusual.” James Cleverly, the Education Secretary, said Boris Johnson had no “timetable” for it lined up how long he will remain in No 10 after stepping down as leader of the Tory party. He told Times Radio: "He said he will stay until the process is complete, he hasn't set a timetable for that. "Both organizations recognize the importance of getting this done professionally and quickly and I don't think the Prime Minister has set a specific date for anything." Angela Rayner has said that the Labor Party supports her and Sir Keir Starmer "very fast” could replace if they are forced to resign because of “Beergate”. The Labor Deputy Leader told BBC Today: "Well, we could do it very quickly. Angela Rayner, Labor Deputy Leader, is pictured in Westminster this morning - Kirsty O'Connor/PA 'I think our course of action would be that the NEC would delegate the timetable but we have a lot of talent in our party that could emerge for that , because we are a team and we are a government-in-waiting. "But like I said, both I and Keir are very confident that we haven't broken any rules." Angela Rayner has said she will not appeal if Durham Police find they have broken coronavirus rules over " Beergate" The Labor Deputy Leader told BBC Radio 4 Today: "Well, yes, we will accept the results. You know, it's very clear that both I and Keir believe that we believe in the rule of law "We believe that if you are a legislator, you cannot be a lawbreaker and that we could not lead the party on these conditions."As the official opposition, Labor can table a motion of no confidence in the government in the House of Commons pretty much whenever it chooses The Convention states that if the opposition asks for a vote of confidence, the government should give it within days That's serious business: a government that loses such a vote is expected to either resign or move to a general election. So Labor will want to be sure it has a chance of winning – or at least that the vote will do maximum damage to a divided Tory party – before pressing the button. The last successful vote of confidence in Parliament forced James Callaghan out of office in the winter of discontent in 1979 and ushered in Margaret Thatcher's 11-year tenure as Prime Minister. Former Prime Minister Theresa May was spotted in the crowd dancing to the music at the Henley Festival last night after Boris Johnson announced his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party. Angela Rayner has said Labor could table a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons "as early as next week" if the Tories don't oust Boris Johnson from No10 immediately. The Labor Deputy Leader said: "We believe Boris Johnson cannot stay a minute longer at Downing Street. He has been shown to be unfit to govern and so the Conservative Party needs to elect someone to lead their party fairly quickly, or find an interim leader who has not fallen out of favor, who has lost the confidence of his own party. let alone the British public. "If they don't do that, we're very clear that before the summer break [21. July] will table a motion of no confidence to make sure that exchange takes place and that the Conservative Party is doing the right thing by the British public They honestly haven't done that for the past few months." When the vote could go ahead, Ms Rayner told Sky News: “We will speak to the whips and we will do it as soon as possible if it is [necessary]. We don't have much time left for the break, to be honest. "It could be as early as next week, yes, because we don't have long until the summer recess." Labor will call a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister in the House of Commons if the Conservative Party doesn't get rid of him immediately, Angela Rayner said. Pull yourself together and will Get rid of Boris Johnson, you know he has no confidence in his own party. "So they have to get rid of him and if they don't we will call a vote of no confidence because it's pretty clear - he doesn't have the confidence of the House of Representatives or the British public." Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, a senior Tory MP and treasurer of the 1922 committee, said the Tory leadership contest should be completed "as soon as possible". He told the BBC: "I think it is in the interests of the country and the party for this to happen as soon as possible." Sir Geoffrey said that the first half of the competition, where MPs shortlist candidates for the last two two reduce, by July 21 should be completed. Sir Geoffrey said: "We hope to be able to complete our parliamentary part of what is a very tight timetable ending by July 21 when Parliament goes into recess and that will take a lot of work." Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown , Treasurer of the 1922 Committee of Backbench Tory MPs, said he believed the "ship had sailed" to replace Boris Johnson with an interim prime minister. He told BBC Radio 4 Today: "I think this ship has sailed. I think yesterday … they decided that Boris Johnson should stay and he said very clearly that he will not make any major changes during this time and I think that's a good thing. “Those ministers who come back in a caretaker role must of course have resigned, so it will be a little awkward for them. I think in an ideal world Dominic Raab should have been acting prime minister as deputy prime minister. "But I think that ship has sailed and we now have to live with Boris Johnson remaining Prime Minister until a vote can be taken on a successor." Boris Johnson's role in No 10 was described by many in Westminster as acting Prime Minister , now that he has announced his retirement. But James Cleverly, the new Education Secretary, said there was no such role in Britain's political system. He told Sky News: "You're in the job you're in and you're doing the job you're doing until you're replaced. None of us know exactly how long we're going to be in our roles." He added: "There is no such thing as an incumbent prime minister. In our system, there is a prime minister." Boris Johnson's successor as Tory leader must be appointed "quickly", said James Cleverly amid raging concerns from some Conservative MPs over the prospect of the Prime Minister possibly remaining in the No. 10 position until October. The new Education Secretary told Sky News: "His role now will remain Prime Minister until a new Prime Minister is found. "I think everyone sees the incentive to do this properly and professionally but quickly so that we can have reassurance and the new Prime Minister, whoever that may be, can build up their team and make sure they stay focused on that what really matters is what matters and that is the people of this country.” James Cleverly, the new Education Secretary, has said he will not run in the Tory leadership contest to replace Boris Johnson. When asked if he will stand, he told Sky News: "No, I won't. As you know, I got in touch last time, I don't regret it, I really enjoyed it. “As you know, my wife has been through cancer treatment and although it is progressing well, it is not yet complete. It's not the right time for me. "And I feel good that we actually have a number of candidates within the party who would make excellent prime ministers." Good morning and welcome to today's Politics Liveblog. Two key questions arise this morning: how long can Boris Johnson stay in 10th place and who will fight to replace him?

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Ferdinand claims Newcastle man could cause problem for Arsenal goal if Man Utd make new bid

It's very likely the Argentina international will end up in England next season with interest from Man Utd and Arsenal... (Author: Gardener)

FerdinandRio Ferdinand believes Newcastle striker Chris Wood could cause problems with Arsenal and Man Utd on Lisandro Martinez next season if he moves to the Premier League. It's highly likely that the Argentina international will end up in England next season as both the Red Devils and Gunners are keen to take him to the Premier League. Martinez, who contributed a goal and three assists in 24 league games last season, was one of Ajax's best players last season as they won the Eredivisie title under new Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag. Transfer gossip: Chelsea set to stare at Man Utd with part-ex deal for De Jong; Liverpool's £102m heist on Juve A report yesterday claimed that both Man Utd and Arsenal had made "generous bids" for Martinez but the Red Devils were ready to go higher than their rivals. And now Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf have claimed Man Utd have made a new offer of €50m including bonuses for the centre-back. The report adds that Ten Hag "went the extra mile" to sign Martinez and the Ajax board "need to consider" whether they can afford to turn down an offer of that size. Argentinian media outlet TyC Sports are now reporting that Martinez has now decided to snub Arsenal in favor of a move to Man Utd this summer. But former Man Utd defender Ferdinand has doubts over whether Martinez - who is 5ft 9in - will be able to take on the likes of big strikers like Newcastle's Wood every week. Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel: “You have to be physically ready to deal with these big strikers. “Chris Wood at Newcastle, these are big, big boys. Will he be able to handle people his size? Former Dutch and Ajax star Marciano Vink has claimed that the Premier League is not a fit for Martinez and that he would struggle to get into Arsenal's team if he were to move there. Vink told Voetbalpraat: "You never know, of course, but when there are so many economic gains to be made, Ajax should always focus on the next one. I think 40 million euros should definitely be negotiable. “I think white is good and Gabriel is still a bit unpolished. “He would be used for the left centre-back position and I don't think they will take Gabriel out at Arsenal just like that. If they get Martinez, I think they'll get him for the bench. Vink added: “Martinez is a very good and tough defender and he shows that in the Argentine team. “I think the system and the way Ajax played and the combination with [Jurrien] Timber made him an even better player. I think that suits him better." The article Ferdinand claims the Newcastle man could cause a problem for Arsenal's goal as Man Utd make new offer which first appeared on Football365.com.

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