Hamilton had to turn down pilot role in Top Gun

The seven-time world champion was offered a part as a pilot, but Hamilton said he had to decline it due to the clash of schedules; “I’m a perfectionist. There just wasn’t time,” Hamilton said

Last Updated: 08/08/22 11:54pm

Tom Cruise and Lewis Hamilton are good friends but the Mercedes driver's schedule prevented them from linking up in Top Gun

Tom Cruise and Lewis Hamilton are good friends but the Mercedes driver's schedule prevented them from linking up in Top Gun

Tom Cruise and Lewis Hamilton are good friends but the Mercedes driver’s schedule prevented them from linking up in Top Gun

Lewis Hamilton says he had to turn down an offer to feature as a fighter pilot in Tom Cruise’s hit movie “Top Gun: Maverick” because of his F1 commitments.

The seven-time world champion told Vanity Fair he had been thrilled at the prospect of a part, having been a huge fan of the original 1986 “Top Gun” movie.

“Basically I’m a friend of Tom [Cruise],” the Mercedes driver said. “One of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He invited me to his set years ago when he was doing ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, and then we just built a friendship over time.

“When I heard the second one was coming out, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I have to ask him’. I said ‘I don’t care what role it is. I’ll even sweep something, be a cleaner in the back’,” he recalled.

Offered a part as a fighter pilot, Hamilton then realised there would not be enough time to fit it in alongside his meticulous preparation for races. “I’m a perfectionist,” he said. 2There just wasn’t time.”

He added it was “the most upsetting call that I think I’ve ever had,”, turning down the offer.

Hamilton is coming together with Brad Pitt for a new Formula 1 film though, with Hamilton acting as a producer on the project. The film is set to be led by Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski.

Lewis Hamilton is looking forward to the prospect of making an F1 movie alongside Brad Pitt

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Lewis Hamilton is looking forward to the prospect of making an F1 movie alongside Brad Pitt

Lewis Hamilton is looking forward to the prospect of making an F1 movie alongside Brad Pitt

The British racing driver also told Vanity Fair he is “still on the mission” when asked about his future.

“I’ll be lying if I said that I hadn’t thought about extending,” he said. “I’m still on the mission, I’m still loving driving, I’m still being challenged by it. So I don’t really feel like I have to give it up anytime soon.”

The Mercedes driver has had to make do with fighting to be the best of the rest this season, with his 2021 title rival Max Verstappen seemingly on course to retain his crown.

After the Hungarian GP, Hamilton said he is feeling really excited about the second half of the season

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After the Hungarian GP, Hamilton said he is feeling really excited about the second half of the season

After the Hungarian GP, Hamilton said he is feeling really excited about the second half of the season

Hamilton won six drivers’ championships in seven years between 2014 and 2020 having taken his first title with McLaren in 2008.

He signed a new two-year deal with Mercedes last year, tying him to the team until the end of next year.

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement on the eve of the race but Hamilton stopped short of considering stepping back himself.

“It doesn’t make me think about my future, but it is a reminder that I am in that part of my career that people I came up with and have raced for so long will start to stop,” he said.

“Before you know it Fernando Alonso will not be here, and then who is there after that? I guess I will be the oldest.

“But I am thinking about how I can improve this car, what steps we need to take to get this team winning again, what is the road map to claiming another world championship, and what we need to do to have everyone in this sport more aligned, in terms of diversity.”

Former Winnipeg Jets coach resurfaces with Seattle Kraken

The Seattle Kraken have added former Winnipeg Jets interim coach Dave Lowry to the coaching staff for the upcoming season, the team announced Monday. 

Lowry spent most of last season as the interim head coach for the Jets. He took over on Dec. 17 and went 26-22-6 while in charge.

Lowry had joined Winnipeg as an assistant coach before the start of the 2020 season.

He also worked as an assistant with Los Angeles and Calgary, along with stints as a head coach with three different teams in the Western Hockey League.

Lowry spent 19 seasons as a player in the NHL with Vancouver, Calgary, St. Louis, Florida and San Jose.

Mercury's Taurasi to miss remainder of season

Diana Taurasi, a three-time WNBA champion and the league’s all-time leading scorer, will miss the remainder of the season with a quad strain, the Phoenix Mercury announced Monday, as the team fights to clinch a playoff berth in the final week of the regular season.

Yvonne “Vonnie” Turner has been signed to a hardship contract to fill Taurasi’s roster spot.

Taurasi’s 16.7 points and 3.9 assists per game were second-best on the squad behind Skylar Diggins-Smith’s 19.7 and 5.5. The former three-time UConn champion and five-time Olympic gold medalist last played on Aug. 2, where she suffered the injury playing 11 minutes in a loss to Connecticut.

Taurasi had been initially listed as “questionable” heading into the Mercury’s two most recent games, with head coach Vanessa Nygaard indicating before Saturday’s game against the Liberty that Taurasi was being evaluated that day to see if she would be able to take the floor.

Phoenix is one of six teams fighting for three unclaimed playoffs spots. Though the Mercury would have secured the eighth and final playoff spot had the regular season ended Tuesday, the Liberty are just a half game behind them, while the Lynx and Sparks are both one game back, with seven days remaining in the regular season.

ESPN’s BPI gave the Mercury a 67.5% chance of making the playoffs — second-best of the six teams in the hunt — before the news of Taurasi’s season-ending injury. Phoenix has three games left in the regular season, all home contests: Wednesday versus the Lynx, Friday against the Wings and Sunday against the defending champion Sky.

The Mercury — who parted ways with former head coach Sandy Brondello in the offseason following a Finals appearance — have had a rollercoaster year. Perennial All-Star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia for bringing cannabis into the country and last week was sentenced to nine years in prison. Former WNBA MVP Tina Charles — a free agent acquisition this past offseason — took a buyout in late June, ultimately signing with the Storm in hopes of winning a championship with them.

Other players have missed time due to injury at various other points this season, with Kia Nurse not having yet taken the floor after tearing her ACL in last season’s playoffs. On Saturday, both Taurasi and Diggins-Smith missed the must-win game against the Liberty where the Mercury ultimately pulled off a 76-62 upset.

Taurasi, who just turned 40 in June, had struggled this season — particularly in comparison to her play historically — both with her shooting efficiency and on the defensive end. But she has proven to be one of the most clutch players in the postseason in WNBA history, most recently helping propel the fifth-seeded Mercury to the Finals last season after dealing with sternum, ankle and foot injuries over the course of the summer. She is one of three players to record 500 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists this season, along with Sabrina Ionescu and teammate Diggins-Smith, and in July became the first WNBA player with a 30-point game at age 40 or older.

Though she said before the season that she “plan[s] on playing for a while,” Taurasi is set to become a free agent following this season. She has played her entire career in Phoenix since being drafted there in 2004.

Serena Williams survives opening-round challenge in first singles win in over a year

In the end, there was no smile when the nearly two-hour match was over. Just a look of relief, with arms raised triumphantly.

It had been 14 months since Serena Williams had recorded a singles win. But with the support of the crowd behind her in her first-round match at the Canadian Open on Monday, the 40-year-old returned to the win column with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Nuria Parrizas-Diaz that was a much tougher battle than the scoreline might indicate.

“It’s great to be back in Toronto, I didn’t know if I would be able to play here again,” Williams said during her on-court interview after the win. “This being one of my favorite stops on tour, I was really happy to be here again.”

As the interview then ended, she addressed the crowd directly. “Thank you everyone,” she said emphatically. “I love you.”

During most of Williams’ career, a first-round win over a lucky loser ranked No. 57 in the world wouldn’t have elicited such emotion from the 23-time major champion. But the victories have been harder to come by and the injuries tougher to rebound from — and it’s clear it just means more these days.

“I guess there’s just a light at the end of the tunnel, I’m getting closer to the light, so lately that’s been it for me, can’t wait to get to that light,” Williams told reporters after the match with a laugh, but insisting she wasn’t joking. “I love playing though, it’s amazing but I can’t do this forever so sometimes you just want to try your best to enjoy the moments and do the best that you can.”

The former world No. 1 was sidelined for nearly a year with a torn hamstring, sustained at Wimbledon in 2021, and rumors about her retirement grew louder with each tournament that passed. But such speculation was premature, yet again.

Williams made her eagerly awaited return to competition earlier this summer by playing doubles at Eastbourne with Ons Jabeur. The duo reached the semifinals before withdrawing due to a knee injury for Jabeur. Williams then returned to singles play at Wimbledon, where she lost in a first-round thriller to Harmony Tan, 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7). Williams had the Centre Court crowd firmly on her side, and momentum at times, but ultimately the rust prevailed over the flashes of brilliance and, despite a 3-1 edge in the decider and later a 4-0 lead in the deciding tiebreak, Williams wasn’t able to close out the match.

“I think if you’re playing week in, week out, or even every three weeks, every four weeks, there’s a little bit more match toughness,” Williams said after the loss to Tan. “But with that being said, I felt like I played pretty okay on some of ’em, not all of ’em. Maybe some key ones I definitely could have played better. But, you know, you got to think if I were playing matches I wouldn’t miss some of those points or this match.”

On Monday, that match toughness appeared to be back. Currently unranked and needing a wild card for entry, Williams proved she still belonged on the sport’s biggest stages. She fought for every point throughout and refused to back down. She needed four set points to clinch the opener but she ultimately sealed it in signature style with an overhead smash.

Williams was tested even more in the second set, which lasted 76 minutes. Parrizas-Diaz found her form and at times it looked all but certain the match would be going the distance. But Williams took control and stopped her opponent’s momentum in a wild eighth game of the set. Serving at 3-4, Williams saved four break points to eventually take the 18-minute, nine-deuce game — and then convincingly won the next two games for the victory.

Williams, a three-time Canadian Open champion, will next play the winner of Tuesday’s Belinda BencicTereza Martincova match and could potentially face Naomi Osaka in the third round. Osaka owns a 3-1 record in their rivalry, including during the 2018 US Open final, but Williams won their lone meeting in Toronto in the quarterfinals in 2019. Williams went on to reach the final that year in Canada, as well as the US Open just weeks later.

Will history repeat itself this year? It’s of course impossible to predict how she’ll fare the rest of this week and the hardcourt season, but a victory over a tough opponent is certainly a promising start and should give her a much-needed boost of confidence. Williams was broken just once in Monday’s match, saved seven of eight break points on the day, and notched seven aces — proving her legendary serve remains an incredibly valuable weapon. She also managed to handle changing weather conditions, as well as an ever-adjusting foe across the net, and seemed to do so with relative ease.

While it may feel like an eternity ago, Williams reached the semifinals at the Australian Open, her last hardcourt major, in 2021 and remains hungry to make one final push for Grand Slam title No. 24. She is slated to play in next week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, as well as the US Open later this month.

But moments after the match, Williams just seemed to be taking it one day, and one match, at a time.

“It’s just one win, you know,” Williams said. “It takes a lot. But I was happy to have a win, it’s been a very long time. I forgot what it felt like.”

5 Takeaways From San Francisco 49ers Training Camp | Sports Illustrated

Senior NFL Reporter Albert Breer shares his five biggest takeaways from 49ers training camp in Santa Clara, CA.Senior NFL Reporter Albert Breer shares his five biggest takeaways from 49ers training camp in Santa Clara, CA.
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Papers: Milinkovic-Savic to salvage Man Utd window?

All the top stories and transfer rumours from Tuesday’s national newspapers…

DAILY TELEGRAPH

Manchester United are considering a move to finally sign Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as they attempt to rescue what has become a frustrating transfer window.

Chelsea could find out this week if they have a realistic chance of signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona. The club have been prioritising their interest in defender Wesley Fofana, who they remain in dialogue with Leicester City over, and midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who is yet to inform Barcelona that he wants to leave.

World Rugby has no plans to investigate claims that Italy legend Martin Castrogiovanni was ineligible to play Test rugby for the Azzurri as no formal complaint has been made.

Lancashire members aim to force through a vote at a special general meeting to block the club from supporting a reduction in the County Championship programme – unless they give their consent – as resistance to any shrinking of fixtures intensifies.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Image:
Could Chelsea get a deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over the line before the September 1 deadline?

DAILY MAIL

Chelsea have opened talks with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy over a new contract but there is significant distance between both parties, with the goalkeeper one of the lowest paid players in Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

Nottingham Forest are going back to the drawing board in their search for a full-back after Alex Moreno rejected a £9m move from Real Betis.

Wolves are in talks with Barcelona over the potential signing of midfielder Nico Gonzalez.

Sasa Kalajdzic is the subject of interest from several Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton, but the Stuttgart forward wants his future resolved quickly.

Andreas Christensen was forced to pull out of Barcelona’s final pre-season match against Pumas just minutes before kick-off due to a neck problem on Sunday.

THE SUN

Celtic and Rangers could finally be handed the opportunity to move to a new cross-border league as a result of an upcoming court case in Luxembourg.

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Dharmesh Sheth and Kaveh Solhekol say Manchester United look set to make a move for both Adrien Rabiot and Marko Arnautovic, and discuss whether that could prevent Frenkie de Jong joining the club.

Manchester United’s shock interest in Bologna’s Marko Arnautovic has been confirmed by the player’s agent.

Cristiano Ronaldo sat out again as Manchester United took on Halifax Town in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

DAILY MIRROR

Arsenal and Liverpool are both looking to make a move for Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino.

Adrien Rabiot’s mother and agent is only interested in talking directly to Manchester United football director John Murtough, rather than any intermediaries, about personal terms over a potential move to Old Trafford from Juventus.

Erik ten Hag appears to have entrusted Anthony Martial to lead the line for Manchester United this season.

Manchester United overlooked Graham Potter for their managerial role and have since seen the Brighton boss thwart them twice.

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Kaveh Solhekol explains why Manchester United have found it so difficult in the transfer market and why they are now linked with Adrien Rabiot and Marko Arnautovic.

THE GUARDIAN

Barcelona still cannot register their summer signings after La Liga rejected an attempt to use the club’s own funds to inflate the value of two of the asset sales they had resorted to in order to balance the books and strengthen their team.

The working conditions of WNBA athletes have come under scrutiny again after Los Angeles Sparks players were forced to sleep at an airport when their flight was cancelled.

THE TIMES

Manchester United are closing in on the £15 million-rated Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

Tottenham Hotspur have made an offer to loan the winger Nicolò Zaniolo with an obligation to buy for £20m, which has been rejected by Roma.

SCOTTISH SUN

John Kennedy could be on the verge of a stunning Celtic exit to become new boss of Danish side FC Midtjylland.

Camp Check-Ins with Connie Fox

A room filled with some heroes – Dan Hanzus, Marc Sessler, Gregg Rosenthal and Colleen Wolfe recap all the latest news from around the league. We begin the show with an important ATN announcement (2:23) before getting into the news. Kareem Hunt’s trade request was swiftly denied by the Browns (10:20), and Matt Rhule spoke about Sam Darnold trade rumors (13:37). We round up some injuries around the league (17:02) and take a trip to the kicker club to celebrate Justin Tucker’s extension (24:01). Then, we combine Connie’s Camp Check-Ins with Gregg’s training camp takeaways, starting with Colleen’s recent trip to Rams camp (33:25). The Patriots have struggled with their new offensive scheme in practices (38:27). Colleen gives us her observations from Bucs training camp (44:53), Carson Wentz continues to struggle with accuracy (48:18), Colleen is excited about the Colts this season (51:42), and the heroes have concerns with the Packers’ offensive line situation (55:55). The gang runs through some rookies to watch in the preseason (57:30) before we spin through another round of Camp Quotables (1:04:34), hearing from Matt Rhule (again), Mike McCarthy, Geno Smith, Carl Lawson, Russell Wilson and Dan Campbell.

Note: timecodes approximate.

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Who Has The Better Resume? Ortiz Jr or Ennis 🤔

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