World sports news in brief

Tennis: Halep races past Osaka in Rome, Wozniacki advances in Italian Open

Thursday, 2018-05-17 08:31:23
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World number one Simona Halep of Romania. (Photo: Reuters)
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World number one Simona Halep produced a ruthless display to see off Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-1 6-0 in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday.

Halep will next meet American Madison Keys, who clinched a 7-6(2) 7-6(0) win over Croatian qualifier Donna Vekic. Meanwhile, second seed Caroline Wozniacki began her campaign with a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory over Belgian Alison van Uytvanck.

* Five-times champion Tiger Woods has committed to playing in the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, for what is likely to be his final tune-up ahead of next month's U.S. Open, tournament organisers said on Wednesday. The 14-times major champion has earned four top-12 finishes, including a share of 11th at last week's Players Championship, in the eight events he has played since returning to the PGA Tour this year after spinal fusion surgery in April 2017.

* Peru named their 24-player squad for the World Cup on Wednesday with coach Ricardo Gareca defiantly claiming they can still be a force without suspended striker Paolo Guerrero. Guerrero was left off the list after the Court of Arbitration for Sport increased from six months to 14 months a ban for testing positive for cocaine contained in a tea.

* France international Dimitri Payet's hopes of playing in the World Cup were dealt a serious blow on Wednesday when the Olympique de Marseille captain limped off during the Europa League final with a suspected thigh injury. The 30-year-old had made a strong bid for a recall by coach Didier Deschamps with an impressive run of form which included inspiring Marseille to the Europa League final, but his injury may have ended his chances of playing in the tournament.

* The United States women's national team will host World Cup contenders Australia, Brazil and Japan in a four-team tournament later this year, U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday. The July 26-Aug. 2 Tournament of Nations, which was launched last year and won by Australia, will include three doubleheader events at venues in Kansas City, Kansas, East Hartford, Connecticut and Bridgeview, Illinois.

* England manager Gareth Southgate named a youthful 23-man World Cup squad on Wednesday with several notable absentees. Experienced goalkeeper Joe Hart was left out of the squad for Russia, as was Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere who between them have been capped more than 100 times.

* Former Thai football chief Worawi Makudi saw his ban from the sport slightly reduced to three and half years from five on Wednesday (May 16) after a ruling by world body FIFA's appeal committee. Worawi had received the original ban from FIFA's ethics committee in October 2016. That was after he had been handed a suspended 16-month prison sentence by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court for altering documents ahead of the Thailand football association's presidential election in 2013. Last year he was declared not guilty of forgery and falsification by an appeals court in his country, however FIFA still maintain there were infringements on their code of ethics.

* Everton’s structural shake-up left no room for Sam Allardyce who was sacked as manager on Wednesday after a six-month reign in which he steered the Merseysiders to eighth place in the Premier League. Former England manager Allardyce replaced sacked Dutchman Ronald Koeman in November with the club 13th and five points above the relegation zone. He had a year to run on his contract.

* 2018 FINA Diving World Cup is set to be held from June 4th to June 10th in the Sports Centre of Wuhan, capital city of central China's Hubei province. Divers from 26 countries and regions are expected to take part in the World Cup.

Reuters, Xinhua