World Sports News in Brief

Federer battles hard for semi-final spot in Halle

Saturday, 2018-06-23 07:51:49
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Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during the final at Stuttgart Open against Canada's Milos Raonic, Stuttgart, Germany, June 17, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
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World number one Roger Federer was tested once again in Halle but did enough to overpower Australian Matthew Ebden 7-6(2) 7-5 in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Nine-time Halle champion Federer, who saved two match points to beat Benoit Paire in the second round, edged a tense opening set against 60th ranked Ebden in the tiebreak with a backhand winner. Ebden was leading 5-3 in the second set against the 36-year-old before the Swiss fought back to secure four consecutive games to set-up a semi-final against American Denis Kudla.

* Novak Djokovic chalked up his 800th career victory to reach the semi-finals of the Fever-Tree Queen's Club championships on Friday and suggested he could play on past his 40th birthday. The spring in his step on the London grass courts was evident as he dispatched Adrian Mannarino 7-5 6-1 to set up a semi-final against another in-form Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy.

* Noah Lyles equalled the fastest 100 metres time in the world this year when the 20-year-old ran 9.89 seconds in the semi-finals of the U.S. championships in Iowa on Friday. The performance gave Lyles a share of the world lead with 33-year-old compatriot Mike Rodgers, who pulled out of Friday's competition after running 9.89 on Thursday.

* England midfielder Dele Alli is unlikely to play against Panama due to his thigh injury, manager Gareth Southgate said on Friday. Alli did not take part in the team's training sessions on Friday, working on his own as he tries to get back to fitness following the knock he received in the 2-1 opening win over Tunisia.

* Andy Murray will play at next week's Eastbourne grasscourt championships in a bid to prove his fitness for Wimbledon. The Briton returned to action at Queen's Club this week after almost a year away with a hip injury but lost in the first round of the Fever-Tree championships to Nick Kyrgios. Twice Wimbledon champion Murray joins fellow three-times Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in accepting a wildcard at the event, which is the last tournament before Wimbledon starts on July 2.

* Defending champions Germany are likely to be playing without centre-back Mats Hummels in Saturday's crunch World Cup clash against Sweden, Germany coach Joachim Loew confirmed on Friday. “He injured his neck in a training session yesterday and we don't see any improvement overnight," Loew said at Friday's pre-game press conference.

* Mark van Bommel will take over from Phillip Cocu as head coach of PSV, with the latter leaving for Turkish giants Fenerbahce, the Dutch football club announced on Friday. Last week, Cocu informed PSV of his desire to leave the club. The 47-year-old former Dutch international will sign a multi-year contract at Fenerbahce. 41-year-old Van Bommel is currently in Russia for the World Cup, serving as assistant to Australia's head coach Bert van Marwijk. After the Socceroos' final match, he will return to Eindhoven to sign a three-year deal and begin his new job.

Reuters, Xinhua