‘A life goal’: Dominic Thiem hails biggest-ever win after capturing US Open title in epic final (VIDEO)

Dominic Thiem said he achieved a life’s ambition after capturing the US Open title in a dramatic final at Flushing Meadows on Sunday night.

Speaking after his remarkable victory over Alexander Zverev in Sunday night’s epic final, Thiem said, “Definitely achieved a life goal, a dream, which I had for many, many years. Back then it was so far away. Then I got closer to the top and realized that maybe one day I could really win one of the four biggest titles.

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“I dedicated basically my whole life until this point to win one. Now I did it. That’s for myself, my team and family, a great accomplishment. Today is the day where I gave back huge amount of what they did for me.”

Belgium’s Thiem came back from two sets down to defeat Germany’s Zverev and claim one of the most incredible comeback victories in recent Grand Slam memory.

Zverev raced into a two-set lead, but Thiem dug deep and came storming back into the contest to set up a thrilling final set.

The action went back and forth in a nerve-shredding final battle as Thiem eventually claimed victory 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) to claim his first Grand Slam title.

Now he has that first ‘Slam under his belt, Thiem said he hopes he’ll feel more at home in the big tournaments.

“I expect it’s going to be easier for me now in the biggest tournaments,” said Thiem, whose title win made him the first player outside of tennis’ “Big Three” to win a Grand Slam title since Stan Wawrinka’s US Open win in 2016.

“I had it in the back of my head that I had a great career so far, way better than I could ever dreamt of, but until today there was still a big goal missing.

“With this achieved, I hope that I’m going to be a little bit more relaxed and play a little bit more freely at the biggest events.”

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‘Grow a pair’: Tyson Fury calls on Anthony Joshua to dismiss mandatory challengers and focus on December ‘Battle of Britain’

Tyson Fury has challenged Anthony Joshua to clear his schedule for a titanic December showdown between boxing’s two heavyweight champions, telling his fellow Brit that the two should clash in December.

Fury’s callout comes amid uncertain times in top-level boxing as the sport remains impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions governing international travel, as well as caps placed upon the numbers of people permitted to gather inside of an arena. 

Workarounds exist, as Eddie Hearn proved over the last several weeks, but with the immediate futures of the two men who hold all the marbles at heavyweight – Fury and Joshua – still unresolved, ‘The Gypsy King’ says that he and his British rival should get into the ring if Fury’s proposed third fight with Deontay Wilder suffers a COVID KO.

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If Wilder doesn’t happen, let’s do Joshua in December. Let’s get it on. I’m ready to go now, I’d have fought him in that ring tonight,” Fury said after watching Daniel Dubois’ second round win against Ricardo Snijders on Saturday. 

I’d still kick his arse, any time of the day. Hopefully they grow a pair and want to fight the Gypsy King.

The path for this to happen is a circuitous one. In addition to Fury’s supposed December 19 fight with Wilder, Joshua must deal with his mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev – but a date for this has not been announced after plans to hold it this summer were waylaid by virus restrictions. 

Grow a pair, come see the champ, and I’ll sort you all out. I’m just waiting here patiently,” Fury added. 

No fights on the horizon, training like a lunatic, running up mountains, I’ve become a human racehorse. 

I’m looking forward to all challenges, whatever they are bring them to the Gypsy King and I’ll deal with them, in exciting fashion.”

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Iran warns of consequences for any ‘foreign elements’ proven to be involved in mysterious Natanz nuclear-facility incident

Iran has vowed consequences for any foreign power that might have been involved in the recent incident at the Natanz uranium-enrichment site. The blast came amid a series of incidents at other Iranian vital sites.

“It is still too early to talk about and make any judgment regarding the main cause and reason for the blast [in Natanz], and relevant security bodies are investigating all the details of the incident,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said on Friday to reporters.

If they conclude that foreign elements have been involved, they will announce it, and there will be consequences.

Various media reports have floated the idea that the nuclear site could have been the target of an Israeli or a United States cyberattack.

The country’s authorities have previously said they have determined the true cause of the incident but “due to security considerations” will provide further details at a “convenient time.”

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Israel’s Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz dismissed the idea on Sunday, saying his country can’t be blamed for “every incident” that happens in Iran. However, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi had a different message, saying “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear capabilities” adding that “we take actions that are better left unsaid.”

On July 2, Iran announced that an unspecified incident has damaged a shed at its Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, located in the country’s central region of Isfahan. The plant is considered integral to Iran’s enrichment programme.

Iran reported no casualties and said that the enrichment process at the facility has continued as usual. However, it still announced that one of the buildings at the site was severely damaged.

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Iran’s nuclear capabilities are openly viewed as a threat by some of the world’s governments, including Israel and the US. Tehran denies ever seeking nuclear weapons, arguing it needs nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes.

Natanz facility itself had already been a target of a cyberattack almost ten years ago in a sophisticated operation that destroyed as many as 1,000 centrifuges. The US and Israel are widely suspected of launching the assault.

To appease the international community and get crippling sanctions removed, Iran’s nuclear activities were supposed to be regulated by a 2015 agreement (JCPOA) signed with six world powers, commonly known as the ‘Iran Deal’. The accord, however, was unilaterally abandoned by Donald Trump’s administration in 2018. After that Tehran reneged on its agreed limit on uranium enrichment.

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MADE IN CHINA: Contractor indicted for defrauding US Navy about origin of armor & helmets

A grand jury indictment of a Virginia man whose company allegedly sold Chinese-made helmets and body armor to the government is challenging President Donald Trump’s claim the Pentagon gets only the best American-made goods.

Surveillance Equipment Group Inc. (SEG) CEO Arthur Morgan was charged with two counts of federal wire fraud this week, over some $660,000 worth of ballistic vests, helmets, riot gear, and other items his company sold to six federal agencies between September 2014 and August 2019.

Approximately 11 orders were placed with SEG Armor, the company’s division that Morgan managed from Lorton, Virginia. The Maryland grand jury alleges that Morgan, 67, falsely reported the goods were manufactured in the US or Hong Kong, while they were in fact imported from China.

The General Services Administration (GSA) requires all contractors to sell products only from “designated countries” under the Trade Agreements Act (TAA). China is not one of those countries.

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In fact, the Trump administration has imposed substantial tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods as part of a push to renegotiate trade deals with Beijing, while ramping up a campaign of painting China as a security and economic espionage threat to the US.

A specific example brought up by federal prosecutors cites emails from Morgan to the US Navy that falsely claimed SEG had a factory in southern Virginia where the helmets were in production. Instead, the indictment alleges, they were made by “Chinese Company 1.” If convicted, Morgan faces up to 40 years in prison.

The Pentagon supposedly revised its contracting process to prevent just this kind of thing from happening, after a 2008 scandal when two Florida men attempted to sell Chinese and Albanian ammunition to fulfill a $300 million contract with the US-backed Afghan military.

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EU targets China with controversial ‘DISINFORMATION’ claims, but that’s no reason for a Cold War, says top diplomat

China has waged “targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns” amid the pandemic, the EU’s top diplomat is claiming. Josep Borrell’s office has released a report on the matter, but it cited some dubious sources.

The report, published on Wednesday, details the EU’s response to an “unprecedented infodemic” – that is, the propagation of false or misleading information about Covid-19 – coming amid the pandemic. Some of it was blamed on “foreign influence operations” and singled out China and Russia as culprits.

Borrell, the EU’s foreign affairs representative, said he had discussed Brussels’ complaints about Beijing with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a recent video conference, and had attempted to keep the conversation non-confrontational.

“I told him: ‘Don’t worry – Europe’s not going to embark on any kind of Cold War with China,’” the news agency AFP cited Borrell as saying.

The accusations against Russia and China voiced in the report are based on research provided by the European External Action Service and its research group EUvsDisinfo.

However, their work may not be as reliable as the EU leadership apparently believes. In April, a UK-based media watchdog criticized it, saying EUvsDisinfo tended to misrepresent the coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Russian media, while its headlines and summaries of individual cases or alleged disinformation themselves bordered on disinformation.

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Meanwhile, Washington is seeking to pin the blame for the Covid-19 outbreak on Beijing. US officials accused China of under-reporting the severity of the infection, after it was identified in the city of Wuhan, and possibly even causing the global health crisis through a leak of the disease strain from a laboratory. China denied the accusations and said they were nothing but a political ploy.

So far, European nations seem to be reluctant to subscribe to the US narrative, but some EU officials have accused China of trying to score political points on the back of the pandemic, including through unsavory means. Beijing has denied that this is the case. China’s ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, called disinformation “an enemy for all of us.”

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The report also says the bloc needs to boost strategic communications, both internally and with non-EU partners, primarily NATO allies; pressurize online platforms to make them more forceful in dealing with Covid-19 falsities; and boost fact-checking and pluralistic debate online to deal with the so-called “infodemic.”

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