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In the world of football, Jurgen Klopp rated Xabi Alonso as a “standout” manager among the next generation after he took Bayer Leverkusen to the next level in the ongoing Bundesliga season. World number 1 ranked Iga Swiatek became the first player since Serena Williams to reach three consecutive finals in a single hardcourt event. On the other hand, the Indian women’s badminton team secured their maiden final spot at the Badminton Team Asia Championships Final 2024.

Read below to learn details about these top stories and other happenings in the sporting world in the last 24 hours.

Football

Jurgen Klopp calls Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso a “standout” manager

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called Xabi Alonso, his counterpart from Bayer Leverkusen a “standout” among the next generation of football managers. The 56-year-old spoke about how Xabi Alonso is doing a fine job with Bayer Leverkusen, who are unbeaten in the Bundesliga after 21 matches and said, “The next generation is already there and I would say Xabi is a standout in that department.”

Luis Suarez confirms retirement plan weeks after arriving at Inter Miami

The Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez has confirmed that he will be ending his career at Inter Miami, just weeks after arriving to the Major League Soccer (MLS) in a big-money move from Gremio. The 37-year-old is yet to make his debut in the MLS after reuniting with his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi at Inter Miami in the pre-season.

Chelsea interested in signing Brentford striker Ivan Toney: Reports

Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing Brentford striker Ivan Toney and Brighton forward Evan Ferguson in the summer after their first-choice player, Victor Osimhen, the Napoli striker, became a new target for Paris Saint-Germain. According to The Standard, Kylian Mbappe, who has signalled his intention to leave PSG at the end of the current season, made the French champions search for his potential replacement, and they have set their sights on the Nigerian Victor Osimhen.

Roma want to sign Leeds United defender Diego Llorente on permanent deal: Reports

Roma are reportedly wanting to sign the Leeds United defender Diego Llorente on a permanent deal after he put in impressive performances for them during the loan spell in Serie A. According to Il Romanista, Roma are not far away from securing a deal with Leeds United to keep Diego Llorente permanently after not going through with the move last summer.

Some major results in football are as under:

La Liga 2023-24

  • Villarreal 1-1 Getafe

Bundesliga 2023-24

  • FC Koln 0-1 Werder Bremen

Serie A 2023-24

  • Torino 2-0 Lecce
  • Inter Milan 4-0 Salernitana

Ligue 1 2023-24

  • Lyon 1-0 Nice

Eredivisie 2023-24

  • PSV Eindhoven 2-0 Heracles Almelo

Saudi Pro League 2023-24

  • Damak 0-1 Al-Shabab
  • Al-Akhdoud 3-2 Al-Ahli

Tennis

Iga Swiatek becomes first player since Serena Williams to reach 3 consecutive finals

World number 1 ranked Iga Swiatek became the first player since Serena Williams to reach three consecutive finals in a single hardcourt event. Swiatek reached her third consecutive final at the Qatar Open after her semifinal opponent Karolina Pliskova withdrew from the tournament. Williams featured in 3 consecutive Australian Open finals between 2015 and 2017. The first major tennis event is played on a hardcourt at Melbourne Park. 

I don't think Carlos Alcaraz is ever gonna hit 20 Grand Slams: Andy Murray’s former coach 

Andy Murray’s former coach Mark Petchey made a bold prediction about reigning Wimbledon Champion Carlos Alcaraz. Petchey said that he doesn’t think Alcaraz will near 20 Grand Slam titles. He said, “We live in an unnatural time because we've had these three players that have won 20-plus Majors and they have made sporting immortality like normal. Do I think Carlos is ever gonna hit 20 Grand Slams? I don't, but will he win double digits, I think he will, pretty good career right?” Alcaraz has won two Grand Slams so far. 

I don’t know how she handles everything on tour and taking care of her son: Iga Swiatek on Victoria Azarenka

World number 1 tennis player Iga Swiatek expressed her respect for Victoria Azarenka and lauded her for managing everything. Swiatek said I’m really happy. Vika is a great champion. I feel like she’s been at the top in terms of the best players I watched when I was younger. I’m proud I can compete on the same court and play against Victoria and win. It’s pretty crazy.” She added, “I don’t know how she handles everything on tour and taking care of her son. She’s an example. I’m just happy I can play on the WTA against such players.”

Athletics

Harmilan Bains and Jyothi Yarraji win gold at Asian Indoor Athletics Championships 2024 

On Saturday, February 17, the Indian women's track-and-field athletes Harmilan Bains and Jyothi Yarraji won individual gold medals in the morning session of Day 1 at the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Tehran, Iran. Harmilan Bains secured the first medal on the opening day of the athletics championships for India, clocking an impressive time of 4:29.55 in the women's 1500m final. Jyothi Yarraji broke her national record in the 60m hurdles event to win the gold medal for India at the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships 2024 in Tehran, Iran. The 24-year-old clocked 8.12 seconds and surpassed her previous record of 8.13 seconds. 

Badminton

Indian women’s team qualifies for Badminton Team Asia Championship Final

The Indian women’s badminton team secured their maiden final spot at the Badminton Team Asia Championships Final 2024. Indian shuttler defeated Japan 3-2 in a thrilling semifinal content to assure India of at least a historic silver. The 23-ranked Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, world No. 53 Ashmita Chaliha, and the 17-year-old Anmol Kharb registered wins to take India to the final round. In the final clash, India will lock horns with Thailand for the yellow metal.