Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Nadal pessimistic over chances of return to normal for tennis
Rafa Nadal has said he is very pessimistic about the possibility of tennis returning to normal any time soon because of the new coronavirus pandemic that shut down the sport last month. Professional tennis has been suspended until the end of July, at the earliest, and the Spaniard said on Sunday that serious problems stand in the way of a resumption.
Australian coach Cahill rallies behind ATP/WTA merger idea
Australian Darren Cahill, the coach of two-times Grand Slam winner Simona Halep, has backed the idea of merging the men's and women's tours, saying it would make tennis simpler for both players and fans. Roger Federer called for a merger between the two governing bodies on Wednesday on social media with the men's ATP Tour Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi and his women's WTA Tour counterpart Steve Simon both welcoming the suggestion.
Belichick: Pats not drafting quarterback 'wasn't by design'
New England coach Bill Belichick said not taking a quarterback in the Patriots' first post-Tom Brady draft "wasn't by design." The Patriots selected 10 players in the 2020 NFL Draft, but no quarterbacks to compete for the starting job that was held for two decades by the six-time Super Bowl champion. Brady, 42, signed with Tampa Bay last month.
Thiem not keen on plan to assist struggling players
World number three Dominic Thiem has rejected the notion that the top tennis players should chip in to help lower-ranked competitors who are struggling financially due to the pause in tournaments because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. World number one Novak Djokovic last week urged players to contribute to a fund set up by the sport's major governing bodies to help players affected by a shutdown which began in March and will continue at least until mid-July.
Report: Saints sign QB Hill, close in on deal with Winston
The New Orleans Saints re-signed quarterback Tayson Hill on Sunday and are closing in on a deal with free agent Jameis Winston, according to reports on Sunday. Veteran Drew Brees is locked in as the starter, and the Saints retained backup Hill with a two-year, $21 million deal, including $16 million guaranteed at signing, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. The contract also gives him a chance to earn $1 million more in incentives.
Woods promises trash talking during charity match but within limits
Tiger Woods promised that next month's made-for-TV match with Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will be an entertaining contest as the quartet try and raise funds for charities involved in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. With professional golf suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, Woods gave a brief outline of what fans tuning into The Match: Champions for Charity, can expect to see.
Three-day draft viewership breaks records, league says
The NFL Draft reached more than 55 million viewers over three days, the league said on Sunday, breaking records as the most-watched draft ever as the annual affair emerged as one of a rare few live events available to sports-hungry fans. The average audience across all seven rounds of the draft, which were split between television presentations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, jumped 35% over the previous year, as the draft pivoted to a "virtual" format due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Allison thanks Mercedes for their 'gamble' on a grieving man
Mercedes technical director James Allison spoke on Sunday of his gratitude to the Formula One world champions and team boss Toto Wolff for their 'gamble' on a grieving man four years ago. The Briton said he had been "something of a wreck" after his wife Rebecca died suddenly of meningitis in March 2016 while he was working with Ferrari in Italy.
Tough for Murray to win another Slam, says Rusedski
The extended lockdown of tennis will help Andy Murray's return from injury but it will be "a big ask" for him to add to his three Grand Slam titles, according to former British number one Greg Rusedski. Murray underwent hip re-surfacing surgery at the start of 2019 and resumed playing doubles in June before returning to singles action in August.
Bucking bull event goes ahead in U.S. with coronavirus provisions in place
A Professional Bull Riders (PBR) competition took place in an empty arena in the U.S. on Sunday with cowboys in facemasks clinging onto 1,500-pound (680.39 kg) bucking bulls while most professional sports remained on coronavirus lockdown. Members of the safety crew wrangled errant bulls while wearing masks in Guthrie, Oklahoma's Lazy E Arena, as riders swapped their protective headgear for face coverings after completing rides in the two-day PBR Las Vegas Invitational.