johnnyrocket - MyTwoCents
sports briefs | Test cricket is back, the US Open could take place without the world's best men's players and UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal needs to shed 9kgs in six days.
TEST CRICKET IS BACK!
Coach potatoes and cricket die-hards will be pumped to see cricket return to our screens today as England and West Indies kick off the first-ever lockdown series at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Cricket wouldn't be the same without a little pre-game controversy - Kevin Pietersen duly obliging by claiming that he wouldn't have selected Ben Stokes as stand-in captain (Joe Root out, wife expecting birth of 2nd child) and instead would have gone for Jos Buttler.
MYTWOCENTS VERDICT: Stokes is a frosty customer at the best of times so not sure how any pre-match interviews will go for Pietersen if he has cracked the nod for a role in the commentary booth.
LOOKS LIKE US OPEN MINUS THE TOP FOUR
Things are starting to look a little bleak for US Open tennis organisers. First they had to contend with the loss of Roger Federer - out for the season with knee surgery. Now it looks like they will lose Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic ... AND Dominic Thiem. OUCH!
Nadal has reportedly confirmed his participation in the Madrid Open which is one day after the US Open is scheduled to end - a sign that he will skip the New York event. Djokovic has already expressed his concerns about the off-court restrictions (limited entourage, coaching etc) to be imposed at Flushing Meadows ... and now Thiem has come out and said it would be very difficult to play both the French Open and US Open within such a short turnaround time (2 weeks). Thiem's preference is clay so the inference is that he will skip the US Open.
MYTWOCENTS VERDICT: We think Djokovic will be the only top-4 player to enter the US Open.Djokovic is on a mission to overtake Roger Federer's Grand Slam record of 20 (Nadal 19, Novak 17) and the US hardcourt is one of his favourite surfaces so don't be surprised to see him turn up.
MASVIDAL NEEDS TO DROP 9KGS IN 6 DAYS FOR FIGHT ISLAND
If you think you need a diet after lockdown, spare a thought for Jorge Masvidal. "Gamebred" accepted a late invite for the main event on Fight Island v Kamaru Usman on six days' notice. The problem with that is he needs to drop 20 pounds (9kgs) in 6 days to make weight (170 pounds).
MYTWOCENTS VERDICT: That would take most of us at least three years to achieve but Masvidal seemingly has no issues with the task ahead.
"I've been doing this for a long time it won't be the first time I have to cut a crazy amount of weight at short notice ... I am pretty comfortable with the uncomfortable."
Oh, in case you missed it ... check out Danny Wellbeck's bicycle kick for Watford on Tuesday night ... a candidate for goal of the season.