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Scouting Michigan State A look at the 2015 Spartans

Michigan State then-redshirt junior quarterback Connor Cook (18) during a game against OSU on Nov. 8, 2014 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe 10-game warmup for No. 3 Ohio State has come to an end.Now begins the most important, and difficult, two weeks of the regular season for the Buckeyes, starting with Michigan State on Saturday. The forthcoming game has been circled on the schedules of college football fans since the season began in August when both teams were ranked in the top five of the AP poll. Anticipation hit its peak during Weeks 4 and 5, as the Buckeyes and Spartans occupied the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the AP poll, respectively. The matchup began to lose some of its luster ever since, especially on Nov. 7 when the Spartans fell to Nebraska 39-38 on the road. Even though it is no longer a meeting of unbeatens, there is still a lot of hype about a game between two top-10 teams with major implications on who advances to the Big Ten Championship Game. Here is a look at the 2015 Spartans. Can Connor still cook? Redshirt senior quarterback Connor Cook is an integral part of Michigan State’s success, but unfortunately for coach Mark Dantonio and his team, there are questions surrounding Cook coming into Saturday’s contest. Cook did not play in the second half of the Spartans’ 24-7 win over Maryland because of an apparent shoulder injury. The Hinckley, Ohio, native took two major hits in the first quarter. On the second one, Cook was slow to get up and visibly favored his right shoulder. He stayed in the game but his arm strength was clearly diminished. The decision to trade his helmet for a headset in the second half was more a precautionary one, Cook said after the game. Both Dantonio and Cook downplayed concerns about the redshirt senior’s availability against OSU, but there is reason to wonder how effective he will be able to be. For a quarterback, an injury to the shoulder is about the worst place, besides maybe to the hand, to be ailing. It’s highly likely that Cook suits up — on Monday, multiple OSU players said they are preparing as if Cook will play — but questions of whether he can he still be the same guy who ranks 28th nationally in passing yards and has a 32-4 record as a starter are legitimate. Everything Michigan State does offensively revolves around Cook’s ability to distribute the football so efficiently. Cook has talent on the outside, namely senior wide receivers Macgarrett Kings Jr. and Aaron Burbridge, who have combined for well over half of the Spartans’ receiving yards, but if his arm isn’t able to deliver the football with the same zip to these players, the offense is vulnerable.The Spartans’ rushing attack has taken steps backward this season with the loss of Jeremy Langford to the NFL, as it ranks 92nd nationally. So, if Cook cannot be his normal self, meaning a larger reliance on the run game, the Spartans could struggle mightily to put up points against the vaunted OSU defense. Reviving the old recipe The old recipe for Spartan success was typical smash-mouth football: a strong run game to set up nothing more than an effective passing game, complemented by an imposing defense to win low-scoring affairs. This has worked incredibly well for Dantonio and Michigan State since he took the helm in 2007. However, the past two years have seen the program veer slightly away from this formula to a more wide-open offense spearheaded by Cook with really good, but not great, defenses — especially this season. The Spartans’ defense has not been the feared unit it has in the past yet this season. It can partly be attributed to injuries in the secondary, but even so, the defense’s performance against Maryland might be what it needed to regain its old mojo. The Spartans have held opponents below 20 points just twice: the Terrapins last week (24-7) and Central Michigan in Week 4 (30-10). However, the old, dominating defense re-emerged against Maryland. The Spartans, who are led by redshirt junior linebacker Riley Bullough, limited the Terrapins to 289 yards total offense, about 100 fewer than OSU allowed. They also forced five turnovers: three interceptions and two fumbles. The latter statistic — turnovers — will be an area where the Michigan State defense will need to repeat its success against OSU, especially because the Buckeyes have been slightly turnover prone this season. The Scarlet and Gray have turned the ball over in each of their past three games, including twice last week against Illinois. For Michigan State to have a real shot at upsetting OSU, the Spartans’ defense will need to be able to generate turnovers, and the offense will have to capitalize on the extra possessions. Beyond the BuckeyesFollowing Saturday’s tilt against OSU, Michigan State is scheduled to return to East Lansing, Michigan, for its final game of the regular season against Penn State. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. read more

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Oversigning footballs latest overindulgence

Oversigning. It’s when a school signs more recruits than it has roster spots available. The gods of college football’s recruiting gluttony? The SEC. Today is National Signing Day, college football’s version of the NFL Draft. However, instead of the pro teams picking players, the players choose their schools. The NFL Draft is spaced out over three days. ESPNU has dedicated 10 straight hours to coverage of Signing Day. There’s no such thing as excess when it comes to football in this country. Schools are allotted 85 total players on scholarship at a given time. Last year the SEC implemented a rule limiting its teams to 28 signees between Signing Day and May 31. The rule, now adopted by the NCAA, isn’t being strictly enforced. One reason schools are circumventing the rule is the spacing of the two dates. Auburn signed 32 players last year because it brought in five players, including Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton, in January. The Tigers had 27 players signed between February and May — one below the limit. According to a January Sports Illustrated report, LSU had to use more cutthroat methods in 2008. Coach Les Miles misjudged how many of his borderline academic qualifiers would become eligible. By summer’s end, Miles had to cut quarterback Chris Garrett because he had two more newcomers than available scholarships. He then had to tell signees Elliott Porter and Cameron Fordham — both of whom declined scholarship offers from other schools to accept Miles’ and LSU’s promise of playing football in Baton Rouge — that there wasn’t room for them. Porter had already moved into his dorm room and started classes when he received the news. The same report stated that eight of the 12 SEC schools had averaged 25 or more signees over the past five years. The website Oversigning.com, which chronicles the practice, lists six SEC schools projected to be over the scholarship limit following Signing Day. The leader of the clubhouse? Ole Miss, which has a projected 14 players over the limit. The website projects Ohio State, which is normally far from the oversigning hoopla, to be right at the 85-man limit following Signing Day. I love college football. I love the pageantry and the rivalries. I spend my Saturdays in the fall glued to the television. The sport dominates my life for a little more than three months. But this practice is bad belly fat on the sport. The presidents and athletic directors of every school around the country — not just those in the SEC — need to step up, show some accountability and actually police the guilty coaches. Whether it’s stricter NCAA laws or a shake weight for SEC schools, something has to be done. read more

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Football Nick Bosa will not play against Tulane

Ohio State redshirt sophomore linebacker Tuf Borland (32) and junior defensive end Nick Bosa (97) run toward the ball in the first quarter of the game against TCU on Sept. 15. Ohio State won 40-28. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorIn the middle of a press conference focused on his suspension and domestic violence allegations made against former wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Monday that junior defensive end Nick Bosa will not play in Saturday’s game against Tulane. Meyer said that the defensive end had suffered an abdominal and groin issue in the Buckeyes’ 40-28 win over No. 15 TCU on Saturday, leaving the game in the third quarter and not returning for the remainder of the game. In the win over the Horned Frogs, Bosa recorded five tackles, including a strip sack recovered by redshirt junior Davon Hamilton in the end zone for the first Ohio State score of the game. Meyer said Bosa will undergo further tests this week. No. 4 Ohio State will face Tulane at Ohio Stadium at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. read more

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Mens Soccer Ohio State falls to No 8 Michigan State 21 on

Ohio State redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried saves a shot attempt in Friday’s game against No. 8 Michigan State. Ohio State lost to No. 8 Michigan State X-X. Credit: Colin Gay | Sports EditorOhio State thought it had secured overtime against No, 8 Michigan State. With a 1-0 deficit heading into the 87th minute, redshirt freshman Devyn Etling scored his third goal of the season, a goal assisted by redshirt senior defender Brady Blackwell, who, along with midfielder Michael Prosuk, defender Michael Dichlan and midfielder Alex Nichols, had been celebrating a senior day. However, as Ohio State prepared for overtime, Michigan State showed why it was ranked as a Top 10 team. The Spartans moved quickly down the field, getting a shot off as time ticked down, something the team had done all day against the Ohio State offense, recording 16 shots, including seven on goal. After the initial miss and save by Ohio State redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried, Michigan State junior defender nailed a header off the Siegfried deflection in the 89th minute to seal Ohio State’s (1-10-2, 0-4-1 Big Ten) 2-1 loss to No. 8 Michigan State (10-2-2, 4-1 Big Ten)Head coach Brian Maisonneuve said the Michigan State score was due to the slow transition of the offense to defense, especially as regulation was close to complete. “You would hope to lock it down with two-and-a-half minutes to go, but I mean it’s one of those instances where we might have gotten caught up in the moment a little bit and they put their foot on the petal,” Maisonneuve said. “They didn’t quit.”  The Spartans “put their foot on the pedal” all day offensively. Michigan State junior forward Giuseppe Barone connected on the first goal of the game in the 36th minute, landing in the top left corner of the goal past Ohio State redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried after he had three saves to start the game. Siegfried ended the game with five saves on the seven shots on goal. While the Spartans shined offensively, putting the team in good positions throughout the game, Ohio State struggled, continuing its stagnant offensive performances the team had had in the last two losses to Cleveland State and Syracuse.  In the first half, the Buckeyes recorded only one shot against the Spartans, with one corner kick attempt in the first 45 minutes. Ohio State ended the day with two shots, only one of which were on goal. “We definitely took a step forward in our effort. We never gave up and that was fantastic. I thought our soccer was just OK today,” Maisonneuve said. “We have played three games in a week, so our legs are heavy and it showed in our quality and execution, but the effort was there.” In the 44th minute, Ohio State junior defender Osman Fofanah collided with Barone for a foul. As Barone stayed on the ground, Fofanah was pushed down by Michigan State senior forward Hunter Barone. Both Hunter Barone and Fofanah were given red cards and left the game. While the referee saw Fofanah’s tackle as a two-foot tackle where the defender came in cleats up and missed the ball, Maisonneuve said he saw something different. “It looked like a good hard tackle, but I will see it on video. It’s hard to tell, I didn’t see it live,” Maisonneuve said. “If he saw it right, it’s a red card, but I’m curious because I saw it differently.” Ohio State will finish its two-game homestand Tuesday when the Buckeyes face No. 5 Kentucky at 7 p.m. read more

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Fugitive Pole wins battle against extradition after transforming his life

first_imgThis is a case which cried out for an explanation of the delay.Mr Justice Mitting Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. But Mr Justice Mitting, sitting in London, has blocked an extradition order made at Westminster Magistrates Court in May after hearing there was an unexplained six-year delay before the warrants were certified.The judge said Cieczka was “a young man with an unfortunate background” who had put the past behind him after coming to the UK.He had worked hard, established a relationship with a young woman who had a child by him and lived “a useful and blameless life”.The couple were no longer living together, “nevertheless he can say with justification he has transformed his life”, said the judge.He now wanted to stay in the UK and earn for his son. Cieczka was sentenced for a series of offences, including repeated attempts to rob the same individual and burglary.He was in custody for several months but then released on certain conditions, including having to inform the authorities of any change of address.He failed to comply and was later traced to the UK. He still has one year and eight months to serve for the robbery offences and some four months for burglary.The Polish authorities told the National Crime Agency in 2009 of their belief that he was in the UK but there was a six-year delay before the warrants were certified.No explanation had been given why.Discharging Cieczka, the judge said: “This is a case which cried out for an explanation of the delay.”The central issue in the case was whether extradition would be incompatible with Cieczka’s right to a family and private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.The judge said Ciecka’s rights had to be weighed in the balance against the need to honour extradition arrangements with other countries.He ruled the delay in seeking his return and the lack of any explanation for it, was enough to tip the balance in favour of allowing Cieczka’s appeal against extradition.center_img A fugitive from Poland who came to the UK and “transformed” his life has won a High Court battle against extradition for old criminal offences.Polish judicial authorities issued European arrest warrants for the return of Karol Cieczka, 29, who has lived in England for seven years, first in Mildenhall and then Ipswich.He is wanted by the regional court in Lublin to finish serving jail sentences imposed for offences committed when aged 17 and 18.last_img read more

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Two arrested after soldier repeatedly stabbed at Aldershot barracks

first_imgMr Ferguson, from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, was rushed to the major trauma centre at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, where he was treated for multiple stab wounds.He posted photos of his injuries on Facebook, along with updates on his condition which were greeted with messages of support from friends and family.In one post he wrote: “Thank everyone am doing fine had surgery now and have a subway so all is well”, later adding: “They said it was deep bloody lucky or what and patched up now.”The incident came after a 24-year-old soldier from Aldershot, which is known as the home of the British army, was arrested on Tuesday evening in connection with the deaths of two female joggers who were knocked down and killed on the main road outside the barracks.Stacey Burrows, 16, and Lucy Pygott, 17, were taking part in a run organised by their athletics club, which is based at the barracks’ military stadium.The soldier was released on bail and returned to the army base after being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs.A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said that two men aged 19 and 22 had been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the attack on Mr Ferguson.The spokesman said: “Hampshire Constabulary is investigating an assault at Mons Barracks, Princes Avenue, Aldershot just after 6.15am on Saturday, November 12.”A 26-year-old man is being treated for a serious injury at St George’s Hospital in London.”A 22-year-old man and a 19-year-old man, both from Aldershot, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. They have been bailed pending further inquiries until January next year.”We did consider whether this was linked to events that happened earlier on in the week but there is no evidence to suggest that they are linked in any way.”A spokesman for the British Army said: “We can confirm a soldier was the victim of an assault and that he is undergoing treatment at hospital. Hampshire Constabulary are now investigating.” A security officer and guard dog outside the Aldershot Garrison (stock picture)Credit:Rebecca Naden/PA Wire Two men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a soldier was stabbed repeatedly in the back of the neck at Aldershot.David Ferguson, 26, was attacked inside the Hampshire barracks just after 6am on Saturday. Two men aged 19 and 22 are being questioned by police over the incident, which came just days after another soldier was arrested on suspicion of running over and killing two teenage joggers.Police have said that they do not believe the two incidents are linked. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A security officer and guard dog outside the Aldershot Garrison (stock picture)last_img read more

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Dean of Exeter Cathedral leaves post following row with Bishop over spending

first_imgSTATEMENT: Dean Jonathan announces retirementhttps://t.co/P3VSXorNwY— Exeter Cathedral (@ExeterCathedral) March 12, 2017 The Dean of Exeter Cathedral is to leave his post after a row with his bishop over the cathedral’s spending.The Very Rev Dr Jonathan Draper will not return to his post after his current period of leave. Instead he will go on sabbatical until August, at which point he will retire.Dr Draper, 65, has been embroiled in a row with the Bishop of Exeter, the Right Rev Robert Atwell, who criticised him for poor financial management and displaying a “lack of spiritual leadership and pastoral care”. An ambitious Roman baths project which failed after being turned down for Heritage Lottery Foundation funding was among the targets for the bishop’s ire in a report published last September. The cathedral is now predicted to have a budget deficit of £175,000 for this financial year. Bishop Atwell said: “Jonathan has been a friend to many and is respected as a thoughtful and imaginative preacher who has not been afraid to engage with contemporary issues. “Like many other cathedrals, Exeter has faced a number of challenges in recent years. With the support of the chapter, Jonathan has had to take tough decisions for the long-term good of the cathedral.” The cathedral’s precentor, Canon Victoria Thurtell, has also resigned. Last week the cathedral announced that three members of staff would have to be made redundant to save money. In its most recent monthly newsletter, management said that the day-to-day running costs of the building were being met by legacies, which “is not a sustainable position”.The cathedral is struggling more than others because it does not have any large endowments or properties.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Children should be taught terror message of Run Hide Tell says Scotland

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “The need to share the Run, Hide, Tell messaging in the same way I had stranger danger, I think for me is exceptionally important.” The Government launched its ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ campaign in 2015, soon after the Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed during a series of gun and bomb attacks and restaurants, bars and a concert hall.The terrorism threat level has been judged severe in Britain for the past three years, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.DAC D’Orsi told the World Counter Terror Congress in London: “When I was at school, everybody used to talk about stranger danger and that was the sort of buzz phrase and it’s still a thing I remember today.“Run Hide Tell, for me that messaging needs to be to children as well as to the broader public. If we take a lot of our crowded places, and some of the places that you will work in. We know that at keys times they are a hub that attracts a lot of young people to go to those places.center_img Children must be taught how to deal with a major terrorist attack in the same way they have been told to be wary of strangers, a senior Scotland Yard officer has said.The Government’s campaign telling members of the public how to keep safe if they are caught in a Paris-style rampage must also be taught to children.Asst Dept Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi, the National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman for protective security, said any terrorist attack on a crowded building or busy public space is likely to affect a large number of young people as well as adults.last_img read more

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Boris Becker gets a parking ticket on his Porsche outside his private

first_imgHis car being given a ticket Boris Becker attends the 2017 French Tennis Open  His car was ticketed while he went to a private members’ club in South KensingtonCredit:GoffPhotos.com  Becker, who was the youngest player to win the men’s singles championship and went on to win it again in 1986 and 1989, was once estimated to be worth upwards of £100 million. The following year Becker received a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and was ordered to pay £2.5 million in back tax, fines, and costs after claiming Monaco as his main residence while spending much of his time in Munich.Then in 2011 the Dubai property development to which he had lent his name, the Boris Becker Business Tower, went bust.And in 2012 a Spanish court judge ordered a house Becker had built for him in Majorca should be auctioned to pay a debt of £225,000 he owed a local landscape gardening company.In a separate civil court hearing, also in Palma, a judge ordered him to hand a further £345,000 to a local building firm that complained its bills for carpentry, electrical and plumbing jobs, and the laying of a basketball court, also went unpaid. Boris Becker attends the 2017 French Tennis Open Credit:Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Imagescenter_img Days after being declared bankrupt, Boris Becker has been given a parking ticket on his Porsche.The tennis champion was going to a private members’ club in South Kensington.He received the parking ticket for parking in a resident bay. Becker, now 49, was declared bankrupt on Wednesday over undisclosed sums of money he has owed to the London-based private bankers Arbuthnot Latham & Co, since October 2015. But Mr Briggs conceded: “He is not a sophisticated individual when it comes to finances.”In 2001 he was landed with divorce and paternity settlements totalling more than £20 million to his first wife, Barbara, and Angela Ermakova, the Russian model who had his baby following an encounter in the broom cupboard of a London restaurant. Following the bankruptcy declaration Becker’s remaining assets and property will be disposed of to pay his creditors.There is also the possibility they will seek any earnings he makes as a commentator at next month’s Wimbledon Championships to be used as payment towards his debts.The Bankruptcy and Companies Court heard that Becker, who has a home in Wimbledon, had offered to remortgage his €6 million property (£5.2m) in Majorca as part of a deal to pay off the debt.John Briggs, Becker’s advocate, told the bankruptcy judge, Christine Derrett, that it was expected the deal would be approved by a Spanish bank in around a month.”I don’t want to play around in court. It is clearly in the interests (of Arbuthnot Latham) for there to be refinancing,” said Mr Briggs. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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How British junior Aidan McHugh helped reigning champion Andy Murray prepare for

first_imgOne is a two-time Wimbledon champion, the other a 16-year-old making his debut at the All England Club.But the friendship between Andy Murray and rising talent Aidan McHugh has had surprising benefits for both players during the tournament.The 16-year-old began his Wimbledon career  on Saturday with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win against American Gianni Ross in the first round of the Wimbledon Junior championships. “The dream is one day playing in – and hopefully winning – Wimbledon. Who knows if I’ll achieve that dream but I’m having a great time trying and I’ll always be grateful to have a school and family that supports me in that.” Andy Murray (centre) chatting to Aidan McHugh (right) at Wimbledon's Aorangi practice courts on Thursday Andy Murray stands from his seat in the Royal Box on Centre Court on the sixth day of the 2017 Wimbledon ChampionshipsCredit:Oli Scarff/AFP The teenager is hoping to make a success of the Wimbledon Junior championships after being entered into the first round on a wildcard, but his family said his training had to take a bit of a backseat until he completed his Scottish higher exams on June 1.Aidan has credited his school, St Aloysius College, with helping him juggle his tennis training with his studies.Writing a blog on his school website, he said: “I think because the school encourages you to make the most of your talents it’s easier for me to dedicate time to my tennis. But I understand the importance of doing well at school. The teachers realise what it means to me and they help me fit my school work in around my training rather than the other way around. Aidan McHugh beat Gianni Ross in three sets in the first round of the Boys Singles, on Day Six of Wimbledon He went on to win a grade two tournament in Spain last year as well as making it to the semi-finals of a grade one competition in Germany earlier this year. Andy Murray (centre) chatting to Aidan McHugh (right) at Wimbledon’s Aorangi practice courts on ThursdayCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley/The Telegraph Andy Murray stands from his seat in the Royal Box on Centre Court on the sixth day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships Aidan McHugh beat Gianni Ross in three sets in the first round of the Boys Singles, on Day Six of WimbledonCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley/The Telegraph Even before his victory the rising star from Glasgow had caught the attention of the world number one, who trained with the teenager three times on the Wimbledon practice courts this week.Murray has taken it upon himself to be a role model to the next generation, but the practice sessions also helped improve his own fitness as he tried to recover from the hip injury he suffered before the start of this year’s championships.Aidan began playing at the age of five at his local club in Glasgow, Dowanhill Tennis Club, where he became involved in team matches along with his older brother.His parents Chris, a GP, and Heather, a consultant geriatrician, took the family to Brant Lake Camp, New York, a seven-week long sports camp where Aidan spent his summers from the age of five to thirteen. Aidan has attracted the attention of both Jamie and Andy Murray, and has even spent time training with Jamie in Miami and Monte Carlo.“It’s been great being around Jamie and Andy and seeing how they do it and how they speak [in public],” said his father Chris. “They’ve been very nice to him – very friendly and very helpful”.He added: “The best advice he’s had is to keep working every day. To do the simple things better so improve his skill level and game at the same time… to keep mentally level as well.”Murray’s spokesman said: “Andy always takes an interest in up and coming British players. He was hitting with Aidan on the Aorangi practice courts earlier this week.”Murray, who received a rapturous welcome as he made a surprise appearance on Centre Court on Saturday, has made a special effort to engage with the next generation of tennis players after rising star Dan Evans tested positive for cocaine earlier this year, leading him to say the British number three had “blown” his career and let down those around him..Murray said at the time: “With guys like Aidan [McHugh] and Cameron [Norrie, the British No 5], I practise with them whenever I get the chance. If I can help them a little bit, that’s great.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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