Former world number one Simona Halep says she will put "as much pressure as possible" on herself as she seeks French Open glory.

The 2018 Roland Garros champion came through her first-round clash against 18-year-old lucky loser Nastasja Schunk 6-4 1-6 6-1 on Tuesday.

Number 19 seed Halep, who is now coached by Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, has played 42 main-draw matches at the French Open – more than any other player in this year's competition.

Asked if that experience brings with it more pressure, Halep told a media conference: "Well, hopefully I put as much pressure as possible on myself because I love pressure. It's good to have it and it keeps you focused.

"Everyone is playing well, so it's a big challenge every match. We are at Grand Slam, so it's always tough. But I'm here to face these challenges, and I'm here to give my best.

"So, I will focus on myself. I will try to do what I have to do, and that's it. Then we will see.

"I will think about the next round only, and then if I will win it, I will think about the next one.

"I don't want to look further than that. It's important to just stay focused and to play the next match."

Halep will face Zheng Qinwen in the second round after the Chinese player overcame Maryna Zanevska 6-3 6-1 on Monday. 

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have paid tribute to the "charismatic" Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after the 37-year-old brought his 18-year professional career to a close.

Tsonga, who reached a career-high ranking of world number five in 2012, confirmed in April that he would retire at the culmination of his French Open campaign.

That duly came in the first round on Tuesday as he bowed out to world number eight Casper Ruud 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0).

He retires having won, according to Opta, 464 Tour-level matches since September 2004.

Tsonga is one of just three players, along with Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, to have beaten Nadal, Federer and Djokovic while they were ranked world number one.

He is also one of three players, alongside Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych, who have defeated Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at grand slams.

A video tribute was played on court after his defeat to Ruud, which featured messages from the sport's most iconic players.

Federer said: "I wanted to congratulate you on an amazing career and it was a pleasure to share the court with and play against you, even to lose against you!

"We had some great battles. Enjoy the moment in Paris with all your friends and family, in front of all your adoring spectators."

Djokovic added: "Jo is one of the most charismatic tennis players ever to play the game. I was very happy to share the court with him many times.

"We get along well and he's a really nice guy. He brought a lot of positive attention and popularity to our sport not just because of his dynamic game style, but also his charisma and his personality, so it's a big loss for professional men's tennis to have him retire.

"I wish him all the best, and he definitely should be happy about his career and his achievements. He's made his mark and his legacy in our sport."

Nadal said: "He is very charismatic. I've known him since we were kids; he is a good guy and I think he brings a lot of positive things to our sport so I'm sad to see him going but we are getting old so it's going to happen for everyone."

Speaking at a media conference after his defeat, Tsonga said he would now spend some time relaxing before focusing on the development of his tennis academy.

He said he will miss the adrenaline of playing on court, as well as how he was able to express himself completely when competing.

"It's adrenaline, to step onto a big court like this one," he said. "It's adrenaline you can feel when you have 15,000 people shouting out your name, supporting you on the court.

"This is what I'm going to miss – the contact with the crowd. And with those who have been supporting me for all these years.

"You know, in real life, it's sometimes difficult to be intense. You don't want to shock, you don't want to be too rude, you don't want to hurt somebody.

"You always try to act to be nice, to be sociable. But, you know, on the court, you can express your fever. You can express everything about you, and it's sometimes freeing."

Andrey Rublev is unsure what the best course of action is ahead of Wimbledon, but hopes tennis can "work together" to ensure the grand slam goes ahead, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic targeting history. 

Wimbledon was last week stripped of its ranking points by the WTA and ATP over the decision from The All England Club to ban Belarusian and Russian players – including Rublev – from competing.

That decision was made in the midst of Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

With ranking points now not on offer, several high-profile players, including former WTA number one Naomi Osaka, have suggested they may skip the tournament.

Rublev might have no choice not to compete at Wimbledon, unless The All England Club scraps the ban altogether, but he says it is of utmost importance that tennis comes together to find a solution.

And Rublev believes the very elite players – such as Nadal and Djokovic – will compete anyway, regardless of ranking points or prize money, as he suggested tennis owes the duo, along with fellow great Roger Federer.

He told a news conference: "I don't know, because I haven't talked with any player about it, especially top ones. I guess the top players, especially Rafa, Novak, they are not playing now for points or for money.

"They are playing to be the first in history who achieve this amount of slams. So they are playing for a different thing. That's why it's very important to work together, to keep this amazing glory that we are having now, because of these players.

"If we are not going to work together, we just destroy it. What Roger, what Rafa, what Novak is doing, they did all these years. 

"They are other players from another generation, and we have to respect this, and that's why somehow we need finally to defend each other. Players need to defend the tournaments. Tournaments need to defend the players.

"Like this, tennis will grow, grow, grow a lot, because now all the success of tennis is only because of these three players, because of Roger, Rafa and Novak."

Rublev came through his first-round match at Roland Garros on Tuesday, defeating Kwon Soon-woo 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-2 6-4.

However, the seventh seed lashed out after losing the first set, recklessly hitting a ball out onto the court as he approached his chair, before slamming a water bottle into the court in frustration.

"I was quite tight, and I had a lot of emotions and I tried to really control them," Rublev said. 

"I tried to understand the situation. Be positive. I was able to be quiet and just be positive basically until the end of the first set. Then, yes, I lost my mind for a moment, and of course I regret what I did.

"It's unacceptable to hit the ball the way I hit it. It's more, I don't know, better even, if I just hit the racquet on the seat, because the ball can affect – I mean, it's not about me – it can affect someone. That's when the problem comes.

"This is unprofessional from my side, and hopefully I will never do it again."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga brought his 18-year professional career to a close on Tuesday, after his first-round loss to Casper Ruud at the French Open.

Tsonga, who reached a high ranking of world number five, confirmed in April that he would retire at the culmination of his French Open campaign.

For the 37-year-old, that was short-lived, as he bowed out to world number eight Ruud.

Tsonga gave it his all, taking the lead and forcing a tie-break in three of the four sets, but Ruud had too much and prevailed 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0).

That confirmed the end of Tsonga's long career. He bows out having won, according to Opta, 464 Tour-level matches since September 2004.

Tsonga is one of just three players, along with Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, to have beaten Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic while they were ranked world number one.

He is also one of three players (also Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych) who have defeated Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at grand slams.

Tsonga also became the first player since Guillermo Canas in 2002 to defeat four straight top-10 players at a Masters 1000 tournament when he triumphed in Toronto in 2014.

"It's tough for me and all the players that you're stopping. You've been an inspiration to me and so many of the other players, so thank you for the memories," Ruud told Tsonga after the match.

"[I have] so many good memories watching Jo on TV. He's such a great guy [and] nice person on and off the court. He's a good example of what a player should be."

Richard Carapaz's overall lead at the Giro d'Italia was cut to just three seconds as Jai Hindley finished third in a gruelling stage 16 won by Jan Hirt.

The Giro returned in some style on Tuesday following Monday's rest day, with a 202km route from Salo to Aprica that included three category one climbs and over 5,000 metres of climbing in total.

Hirt came out in front, sealing the first grand tour stage win of his career.

The Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert rider was part of the breakaway and subsequently pushed up the final climb on the Valico di Santa Cristina before managing a difficult descent. 

He finished seven seconds clear of Thymen Arensman, with Hindley sprinting ahead of Carapaz to put pressure on the rider wearing the maglia rosa and claim the four-second bonus for finishing third. 

"I've had a few problems during the stage. My chain dropped, I cramped, but I never gave up," Hirt said.

"I'm glad I managed to go solo. I always said that my biggest achievement would be to win a stage at the Giro d'Italia and I could stop after that, but I won't stop now."

Carapaz said: "It's been a hard stage and at the end I'm happy. I thought I was going to win the sprint for third place.

"I eventually didn't, but it's still a good day for me. I've lost a few seconds on Hindley, but I gained more on [Joao] Almeida."

Alejandro Valverde, on his final Giro appearance, got himself up the GC standings, though not enough to be a true contender in the final week. He sits 11th overall.
 

Mythical Mortirolo

An initially big breakaway group split on the Mortirolo Pass, one of the most notorious climbs in professional cycling.

Hirt was one of the riders to drop off, but he recovered brilliantly and joined a seven-strong group that wound its way to the final climb.

"Every time I hear Mortirolo I want to anticipate. I wanted to go in the breakaway today," Hirt said.

"There were difficult moments when the group split, so then we had to come back on the Mortirolo, then in the end on the last climb I had a problem with my bike, it was not shifting properly and the chain was jumping.

"Then I had cramps on the downhill, so I had all these problems, but I just wanted to fight all the way to the finish."

STAGE RESULT 

1. Jan Hirt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 5:40:45
2. Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) +0:07
3. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) +1:24
4. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +1:24
5. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +1:24

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 68:49:06
2. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:03
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:44

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 238 
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 121
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 117

King of the Mountains

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 167
2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 99
3. Diego Rosa (EOLO-Kometa) 92

Daniil Medvedev has given the ATP credit for reaching a "logical" decision to strip Wimbledon of ranking points – and the Russian stands to benefit by going back to number one in the world.

There would need to be a remarkable turn of events for Novak Djokovic to retain top spot at the end of the short grass-court season, given he has a mountain of points to defend over the next two months and will lose the 2,000 that he earned by winning Wimbledon last year.

That is the standard total awarded to a grand slam singles champion, with Medvedev earning the same number for his US Open triumph in September.

The decision by the ATP, which runs the men's professional tour, to effectively punish Wimbledon for its decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players, means the absent Medvedev at least stands to benefit in the rankings given he only has 180 points to lose from the London grand slam.

Djokovic carried a lead of only 680 points over Medvedev into the French Open, where the Serbian is again defending 2,000 points after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year's final. Medvedev was a quarter-finalist in Paris last year, collecting 360 points.

Medvedev may yet go top before Wimbledon, but there is a strong chance Djokovic begins his campaign at the All England Club knowing he will be powerless to prevent his number one status sliding away.

"About the ATP decision, it is not easy to comment, but when I read the FAQ of the ATP, why they made this decision, because they are explaining themselves, they are not just saying, 'Okay, we decided that', I found it very logical what they say at least," Medvedev said.

"This is what I didn't find in Wimbledon explanations. I'm not saying which decision is right, but at least so far in explaining their decisions, I found ATP just more logical."

The ATP said its decision, which has been unpopular with many, was reached "purely on the basis of maintaining a level playing field for our players across the season".

Medvedev began his French Open campaign on Tuesday with a clinical 6-2 6-2 6-2 win against Argentinian Facundo Bagnis, showing no ill effects of recent hernia surgery.

Smiling, Medvedev said it was "very strange" that he might become the world's top-ranked men's player while exiled from Wimbledon.

"But I'd be really happy to play Wimbledon. I love Wimbledon," said the 26-year-old, who plans to compete at grass-court events in Germany and the Netherlands in June.

"I love playing on grass. I will play on grass after Roland Garros. But if I cannot, I'm just going to prepare for the next tournaments and follow what's happening there.

"There are no points, I become number one, well, great for me. If there are points, I cannot become number one, I'm going to be gutted. It is what it is. I cannot change some decisions, both about ATP and Wimbledon."

Denis Shapovalov has attacked Wimbledon and the ATP for the decisions that have led to fears of players skipping the grass-court grand slam.

Canadian left-hander Shapovalov enjoyed a run to the semi-finals at the All England Club last year, eventually losing to Novak Djokovic, but he will lose all his points and be unable to defend them at the 2022 tournament.

The season's third major will not have any ranking points after the ATP and WTA, which run the men's and women's tours, respectively, effectively decided to punish the grand slam's organisers for banning Russian and Belarusian players.

Naomi Osaka has said she is unsure about playing in London on that basis, as she wants to play events where there are points available following a slide on the WTA list, and there are concerns others may also give it a miss. A number of players have voiced concern that prize money could be slashed too.

Shapovalov, who addressed the matter after a shock first-round loss to Denmark's Holger Rune at the French Open on Tuesday, said he did not agree with the banning of players or the subsequent points decision.

"I completely understand the politics and the situation they're in. But if you have a tennis tournament that's supposed to have the best athletes in the world, it shouldn't matter where you're from," Shapovalov said.

"I also don't agree with the ATP to take out all the points. The most guys it's affecting are the guys in the top rankings."

Referring to last year's semi-finalists in the men's singles, Shapovalov, who beat Andy Murray on the way to the last four, said: "Obviously Novak [Djokovic], me, Hubi [Hubert Hurkacz], [Matteo] Berrettini, who is not playing here, we're going to drop a lot.

"I think they could have gone with it a different way, maybe keep 50 per cent like they have in the past or some kind of fairness."

Karolina Pliskova lost to Ash Barty in the women's final at Wimbledon last year, and the Czech described the WTA's move to strip points from Wimbledon as a "super tough and unfair and bad decision".

She will play Wimbledon, which starts on June 27, because she feels it is a tournament she can win, and at the age of 30 she is determined to take every opportunity going to land a maiden grand slam. She could become champion this year but, because last year's Wimbledon ranking points will fall off, plunge down the rankings at the same time.

Intriguingly, Pliskova said leading WTA stars could not agree what action tour chiefs should take about points.

"We had a group of WhatsApp chat [between] top 10 players and these 10 girls could not agree on the same thing," Pliskova said. "Some girls were for no points, some were for 50 per cent, to keep just 50 per cent from last year, some were for like all the points. So it is what it is."

Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, who won the French Open in 2017 and reached the Wimbledon semi-finals a year later, suspects there could yet be a twist in the saga to come.

Ostapenko said: "There are of course a lot of rumours and talks, but I think maybe they are going to change their mind. I'm not sure about points. But I think a lot of things may happen within the next week or two weeks.

"That's my personal opinion. Maybe I'm wrong. If there are no points, I'm not really sure what I'm going to do.

"I feel like it's a little bit unfair to play the tournament when there are no points and you can win the tournament and then you don't move one spot up in the ranking."

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez is set to announce a September trilogy fight against Gennadiy Golovkin, meaning his rematch with Dmitry Bivol must wait.

Alvarez suffered only the second defeat of his professional career against Bivol this month after stepping up to light heavyweight.

The Mexican has a rematch option, which he intends to activate, but first will face Golovkin for a third time at super middleweight, he told ESPN.

"We already had that contract [with Golovkin], that agreement, so we have to continue what we started," he said.

"I think those are the two biggest fights in boxing, the fight with Golovkin and the rematch with Bivol.

"Unfortunately, we lost [to Bivol], but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try again. The important thing here is perseverance and we're going to do it again.

"What is certain is that we are going to return in September. And in the coming days, we are going to announce the fight."

A controversial split draw between Alvarez and Golovkin in September 2017 was followed by a Canelo win a year later. That remains the sole defeat of Golovkin's career.

Labelling Tim Anderson as "Jackie" has landed the New York Yankees' Josh Donaldson with a one-game suspension and a fine from Major League Baseball disciplinary chiefs.

Donaldson admitted making the remark to Anderson in Saturday's game between the Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, referencing Jackie Robinson, baseball's black breakthrough star of the 1940s and 1950s.

Shortstop Anderson, who is black, had previously compared himself to Robinson in a 2019 Sports Illustrated interview where he said he hoped to break down baseball's "have-fun barrier".

White Sox manager Tony La Russa said he considered Donaldson had made "a racist comment", and Anderson was angry at the 36-year-old Yankees player's attitude.

"[Donaldson] basically tried to call me Jackie Robinson, like, 'What's up, Jackie?'," said Anderson on Saturday. "I don't play like that. I don't need to play at all. I wasn't really bothering [anybody] today, but he made the comment, and it was disrespectful."

The league said the comments had been "inappropriate", with a one-game suspension accompanied by an undisclosed fine, both of which Donaldson intends to challenge.

MLB's Michael Hill said: "MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident. There is no dispute over what was said on the field.

"Regardless of Mr Donaldson's intent, the comment he directed toward Mr Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgement, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions. In addition, Mr Donaldson's remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline."

Donaldson admitted he had made the "Jackie" comment to Anderson previously in 2019, while an Atlanta Braves player.

Anderson and Donaldson clashed on the field in a May 13 game this year, setting off tensions between the pair. Donaldson said he had tried to defuse the broiling rivalry with the "Jackie" remark eight days later, but it served only to inflame the situation.

The Yankees put Donaldson on a COVID-19 absentee list before Monday's 6-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. His suspension is on hold while he mounts an appeal.

Russell Wilson is determined not to be caught up in the emotion of his Week 1 return to Seattle after leaving the Seahawks for the Denver Broncos.

Wilson's 10-season career on the Seahawks, which included their Super Bowl XLVIII success, ended this offseason with his trade to the Broncos.

The 2022 NFL schedule release then threw up an early treat, with the Broncos visiting Lumen Field on September 12, in Wilson's first regular season game for the team.

But for all the fond memories the nine-time Pro Bowler has of his team as a Seahawk, his focus will be on a first win in Broncos colours.

"I think it's going to be an exciting time," Wilson told reporters. "Obviously, Seattle's meant the world to me over the past 10 years.

"It's a special place, special place to play, Lumen Field. I have a high regard for all those guys over there and what they do.

"I think, for me, it's non-emotional, though – it has got to be non-emotional.

"You've got to be able to go into it with an understanding that it's just ball – and also understand that there's been amazing times. There's been a lot of touchdowns there, won a lot of games there, so I had a great experience.

"It'll always be a special place in my heart forever. So, for me, it's about going up there and trying to play the best football for our football team here and try to go win."

Crucially, Wilson is set to get in Denver what he was denied in Seattle, an offense shaped entirely around his ability at QB.

New Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said: "We want to build this thing completely around him and make sure that he's comfortable and watch him come alive."

The New England Patriots are expecting a big second season from quarterback Mac Jones after he returned to the team "in the best shape of his life".

In his rookie 2021 season, former Alabama QB Jones led the Patriots back to the playoffs with a 10-7 record.

Starting all 17 regular season games, he threw for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Selected 15th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Jones was the standout performer among the rookie QBs, although his season ended in a blowout 47-17 defeat to NFC East rivals the Buffalo Bills in the postseason.

The Patriots head into 2022 without long-time offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who has been named head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, but Jones appears set for another big year.

"He's in the best shape of his life," receiver Kendrick Bourne said of Jones. "He looks really good. His stomach is gone.

"When you're a rookie, you just don't know it until you go through it for a year. So, he's definitely a lot more in shape than he ever was, just dominating in conditioning. It's dope to see."

Jones explained: "I just cleaned up my diet. I've learned more this offseason than I probably ever have about nutrition, sleep, wellness, all that stuff.

"At the same time, I need to be able to maintain my weight and be able to take hits. There's a fine balance for every player.

"I've definitely trimmed down on the body fat, and I'll get a chance to bulk up before the season starts and be able to absorb hits."

Nazem Kadri scored a decisive hat-trick for the Colorado Avalanche against the St. Louis Blues in Game 4, having been determined to perform after alleging threats and racist abuse.

Avalanche center Kadri was involved in a collision with Jordan Binnington in Game 3, bringing a premature end to the Blues goaltender's series.

Former NHL player Akim Aliu revealed on Twitter on Sunday he had subsequently spoken to Kadri, who he said had "been subject to so many racist attacks and threats since last night that police had to be brought in".

The Avalanche confirmed they were aware of threats made towards their player – a Muslim of Lebanese descent – and were working with local law enforcement to investigate.

In the meantime, Kadri responded on the ice with three goals in Monday's 6-3 win to put the Avalanche 3-1 up and on the brink of the Western Conference Finals.

"I wanted to come out tonight and really put a mark on this game, especially after what happened," Kadri said. "I tried to do that as best as possible.

"Sometimes you've got to be patient, and you've got to wait. I was able to strike early in the second period and was able to get the mojo going."

He added of the incidents: "People need to be aware this stuff still happens, and it's hurtful."

Speaking ahead of Game 4, Blues coach Craig Berube – who had questioned Kadri's role in Binnington's injury, referencing his "reputation" in an apparent nod to previous postseason suspensions – said of the threats: "I've got no comment on that stuff."

Erik Spoelstra has no doubt the Miami Heat can inflict the sort of brutal defeat that the Boston Celtics doled out in Game 4 as the Eastern Conference Finals heads towards its climax.

A 102-82 loss in Boston on Monday night came on the back of Miami scoring a trifling 11 points in the first quarter, with Jimmy Butler scoring just six points all night and no Heat starter reaching double figures.

The visitors shot just 33.3 per cent from the field (30 of 90), with Boston's win squaring the series at 2-2 and setting up Game 5 in Miami on Wednesday evening as a pivotal occasion.

Coach Spoelstra said: "More than anything, our offense really hurt us at the beginning. They weren't getting the sort of purposeful execution that you need to on the road. [Boston] were able to get some relief points from that and get to the free-throw line. They did a better job of getting into us and rotating guys into the paint."

It was 57-33 by the halfway mark, and Spoelstra admitted the Heat simply failed to ignite. Yet he says Miami can swiftly set the game aside and dominate the next time the teams meet on court, saying it would not surprise him if the tables are turned.

"We've got guys that love these kinds of moments, the playoffs. You've just got to stay together," Spoelstra said.

"This is part of the playoffs. There are these extreme highs and lows, a lot of emotion. You just have to stay the course, stay together. What you're looking at is a great series. It's 2-2. You have to embrace that. Hopefully this competition beings out the absolute best in all of us.

"They got the best of us tonight. We'll take this hit and then get to Miami and get ready for Game 5. Whatever they have done to us, we can do to them."

Jayson Tatum led Boston with 31 points. The Celtics led by 32 points at one stage before Miami began to claw back the deficit late on.

"We're not making any excuses. They outplayed us tonight, for sure," said Spoelstra.

Jayson Tatum never doubted himself after a poor Game 3 performance, returning to a starring role as the Boston Celtics dominated the Miami Heat 102-82 in Game 4.

The Celtics had their backs to the wall in the latest tussle of the Eastern Conference Finals, with the threat of heading back to Miami for Game 5 trailing 3-1, but they made sure it was not a nervous night for the Boston faithful.

Derrick White – returning to the starting line-up after the birth of his son – started in place of the injured Marcus Smart and scored the first seven points, kick-starting a 26-4 run to open the game.

The Celtics defense proved to be immense, holding the visitors to just 42 points with less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Eleven first-quarter points also set a new record for the Heat's worst offensive first quarter in any playoff game in their history.

After only scoring 10 points in Game 3, Tatum responded in fine fashion, racking up a team-high 31 points on eight-of-16 shooting, hitting 14-of-16 free throws, while adding eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

Speaking later, Tatum highlighted the confidence he has in his ability, despite how dark things can get immediately following a painful loss.

"Right after it's tough," he said. "You're frustrated with how you played, knowing how important this time of year is, and feeling like you let your team-mates down.

"But I think I do a really good job of sleeping it off – regardless of if I have 10 points or 46 points – the next day is the next day, and whatever happened, happened.

"Obviously I was ready to get back to playing, but I didn't doubt myself – I know how to play basketball.

"Regardless of how many points I score, [it's about] just trying to come out and help us get a win. That's most important."

With the series now tied at 2-2, Tatum called it "a new series", but he stressed his side need to bring the same intensity after a win, as opposed to just after crushing losses.

"It's 2-2 – it's kind of like a new series, a best-of-three," Tatum said.

"Human nature plays a part in [the swings in the series]. When you win a game, you can relax a little bit, but obviously when we lose a game, we feel like the next game is do-or-die, and then we come out and play how we did.

"We need to have that mindset going into Game 5 – it is a must-win game – and tonight was essentially something like that. Everybody knew it, we could all feel it, and I think it showed with the way we came out."

When asked if he enjoyed sitting out the fourth quarter after clocking 117 minutes across the first three games of the series, Tatum said: "It was extremely nice – especially because we were winning."

Celtics coach Ime Udoka made sure to highlight the efforts of White after he finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.

"He checks so many boxes for us, it's not only things that show up on the stat sheet," Udoka said.

"He's the guy that moves the ball very well, defends extremely well, multiple positions… I couldn't be more happy with him being here, and what he brings to this team."

Udoka touched on what it will take to come out on top in this series, echoing Tatum's sentiments about bringing the same intensity after a win.

"Our mindset was right coming out, we came out with the right physicality and focus," he said. "We've just got to muster that same energy when we're coming off a win, as well as a loss.

"It wasn't our best offensive night, but defensively, obviously we were elite tonight, for the most part.

"We've got room to grow still, that's the thing with us, and we can always rely on our defense. We've won several games doing that this year when our shots aren't falling.

"To hold them in the 30s for basically three quarters, it's high-level defense.

"We can do that even if our shots are not falling, it's mainly about taking care of the ball, not letting them get anything easy, and kind of wearing on them mentally."

After Game 5 in Miami, Game 6 will head back to Boston, with a potential Game 7 to be played in Miami, if required.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy added to his glittering resume as he shut-out the Florida Panthers 2-0 in Game 4 of their series, locking up a 4-0 series sweep.

It marks the sixth time Vasilevskiy has shut-out an opponent in a series-clinching win – the most in NHL history.

He also became the first player since at least 1955-56, when saves first started being tracked, to save at least 30 shots, allow no more than one goal, and earn the win in five consecutive games. 

The Lightning outscored the Panthers 13-3 for the series.

In Monday's game, Tampa Bay's home fans had to wait until the third period for the deadlock to finally be broken, as Pat Maroon got on the end of a Zach Bogosian assist, before Ondrej Palat sealed things with an empty-net goal with the clock winding down.

Speaking to post-game media, Lightning coach Jon Cooper highlighted how silly it was to question the quality of an all-time goaltender like Vasilevskiy after a tough start to their last series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"I’m not so sure there’s much more I can say about [Vasilevskiy]," he said. 

"It’s funny how the playoffs are – five games into the Toronto series and you’re asking all these questions about what’s wrong with Vasilevsky.

"It's never a doubt in our locker room. A goalie's job, if you want to be elite, is to give your team a chance to win.

"When a goaltender gives your team a chance to win, it comes in a variety of ways. Tonight, it was that he wasn’t letting anything in. And we’ve seen that time and time again."

Tampa Bay's Alex Killorn added that it is a joy to take the ice next to a future Hall-of-Famer.

"It’s pretty cool to play with a player that I think will go down as one of the best goalies that’s ever played the game," he said. 

"That’s how you kind of gauge players – how they perform in big-time games – and he’s been nothing but tremendous in his game."

Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette said while it was a tough pill to swallow, it was a tremendous learning experience for his side after winning their first playoff series since 1996 to earn a shot at the reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup winners.

"They’re really good – I mean, they’re Stanley Cup champions for a reason," he said.

"Their evolution of how they were once a high-flying, kind of offensive team, and [now] they've found their recipe on how to win, and they stick with it.

"Obviously, we aspire to be them, and this was another learning experience for us. We need to be better."

The New York Yankees have lost three games in a row for the first time this season after a 6-4 defeat against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Making the win even more impressive for the Orioles was the fact that Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was on the mound, and superstar Aaron Judge blasted a first-inning home run.

Jose Trevino doubled the Yankees' lead with an RBI single in the second frame, before Cole began to struggle in the third.

Orioles batters Ramon Urias and Robinson Chirinos kicked off the third inning with back-to-back doubles, before Austin Hays drove in two with his base hit and Ryan Mountcastle made it 4-2 with an RBI fielder's choice.

Cole woke up after that, striking out the next five Orioles batters, and when Judge stepped up in the fifth inning and tied the game with his second home run, it appeared the Yankees were going to take over down the stretch.

But the Orioles would not go away, with Urias blasting his own home run off Cole to put his side up 5-4, and they were able to add an extra insurance run in the top of the last inning.

Judge's two home runs take his tally to 17 for the season – five more than any other player.

The Yankees still hold a half-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers as the best team in baseball, now 29-13.

Dodgers win with small-ball

The Los Angeles Dodgers piled on 10 runs without a home run as they defeated the Washington Nationals 10-1.

Of the Dodgers' 10 runs, one was driven in through a ground-out, four through singles with runners in scoring position, four with doubles, and one via a Christian Taylor triple.

Trea Turner finished with a game-high three RBIs, while Freddie Freeman collected a game-high three hits from five at-bats.

Tyler Anderson was superb on the mound for the Dodgers, pitching eight full innings for eight strikeouts while giving up no runs, no walks and five hits.

Goldschmidt delivers in extra innings

St. Louis Cardinals first-baseman Paul Goldschmidt continued his historic hitting streak in style, capping off his side's 7-3 win against the Toronto Blue Jays with a walk-off grand slam in extra innings.

With the game tied at 3-3 after nine innings, the Cardinals were able to hold the Blue Jays scoreless in the top of the 10th, before two walks loaded the bases for Goldschmidt.

He blasted the fourth pitch of the at-bat 366 feet over the left-field wall to give his side the win, and extend his hitting streak to 15 games.

Since RBIs became an official stat in 1920, no player has ever matched Goldschmidt's numbers of 28 hits, 12 doubles, five home runs and 22 RBIs over a 15-game stretch.

The Boston Celtics smothered the Miami Heat all night on the way to a 102-82 victory in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

With the win, the Celtics evened the series at 2-2, and are still yet to lose back-to-back games this postseason. 

It all started on the defensive end for Boston, playing in front of their raucous home fans, as the Heat missed their first 14 field goal attempts.

The Celtics led 29-11 at quarter time – after leading 26-4 at one stage – marking the fewest first-quarter points ever scored by a Heat team in the playoffs. They shot three-for-20 from the field.

Victor Oladipo tried to ignite the Heat off the bench, scoring 18 of their first 28 points, but it was a historically bad showing from Miami's starting line-up, made even worse by the fact Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro was out injured.

With three minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Heat trailed 73-42, leading to their starters getting benched for the final frame. Their five starters combined to score 18 points and shoot seven-for-38 (18 per cent) from the field.

For Boston, Jayson Tatum was terrific, scoring 24 of his 31 points in the first half, finishing up with shooting figures of eight-of-16 from the field and 14-of-16 from the free throw line.

The big-man combination of Al Horford and Robert Williams III was also game-changing, as the duo combined for 22 rebounds and six blocks, while Derrick White also shined in his first game since becoming a father.

White missed Game 3 for the birth of his child, and after scoring no more than nine points since Game 4 of the Celtics series against the Milwaukee Bucks, he had 10 points in the first quarter as he started in the place of the injured Marcus Smart.

He went on to finish with 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

Game 5 will head back to Miami with plenty on the line. Throughout NBA history, when a series has been tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 goes on to win the series 82 per cent of the time – although the Celtics bucked that trend last round.

Novak Djokovic found his footing after the first set to cruise past Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 6-1 6-0 in Monday's opening round, and said he feels good returning to Roland Garros after winning the French Open in 2021.

It was a relatively close opening set of the tournament for Djokovic, as Nishioka created three break-point opportunities compared to the Serb's two, but Djokovic was able to save all three, while capitalising on one of his own.

Overall for the first set, Djokovic won 55 per cent of the total points, and that number climbed the longer the match went on. He won 63 per cent of the points in the second set, and 67 per cent in the third.

Speaking with the media after his match, Djokovic was excited to be back on clay as he seeks his third French Open crown – the only grand slam he has not won at least three times.

"I have to be pleased with the match," he said. "I struggled to adapt in the first set. 

"He is a very quick player. The first set was close, but I cruised through the second and third.

"I always expect the highest for myself, but it was a very good start. I have been feeling well on clay in the past few weeks. 

"I am happy to be back. The memories from last year are fresh in my mind."

In the second round, Djokovic will play the winner between Alex Molcan and Federia Coria.

Rafael Nadal declared he must improve every aspect of his game despite dominating Jordan Thompson in the first round of the French Open on Monday.

Nadal arrived at Roland Garros with just five matches under his belt in the clay-court season after recovering from a foot injury, but cruised to a 6-2 6-2 6-2 victory over Thompson on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

That moved him beyond Roger Federer's record number of victories at a single grand slam with 106 from 109 matches, with the Swiss great's 105 coming at Wimbledon.

Nadal, bidding to win the Paris major for a record-extending 14th time and take his overall haul to 22, will face Corentin Moutet in the second round and the fifth seed says there is plenty of room for improvement.

The Spaniard said: "I need to improve in all ways. I think I need to improve my movement, the speed of my forehand, the speed I think could be better and should be better. 

"I did things well, for a while was good. The conditions were heavier than usual here, very humid, the court. I don't know, [maybe] having the roof on for a long time.

"I am happy with the performance. It has been a positive start. Then of course, the kind of player that I am, I'm always looking for something else, looking for better things. 

"That's what I am going to try to find in my practice tomorrow and then in the next match."

Nadal says there is no point dwelling on the disappointment of not having played on his favourite surface as often as he usually has before the second major of the year.

He added: "I got injured, and that's it. What happened is past, and here we are. We are in Roland Garros. I am here to try my best.

"And how is my level of confidence, how the things would be or if I didn't get injured, I don't know. We will never know.

"I'm not a big fan of think about the things that could happen if – 'if' is a dangerous word.  You have to accept the moment to accept the moment, to accept the situation and to have the confidence to put all my effort in every single day, to get better and better. Let's see how far I can keep going."

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