World Sports News in Brief

Svitolina, Pliskova advance as Wozniacki crashes out in Singapore

Friday, 2018-10-26 06:21:53
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Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova and Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova shake hands after their group stage match at WTA Tour Finals, Singapore Indoor Stadium, Kallang, Singapore, on October 25, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
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Elina Svitolina produced one of the best performances of her career to overcome defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 5-7 7-5 6-3 in a pulsating round robin encounter and reach the last four of the WTA Finals with a spotless 3-0 record on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Karolina Pliskova became the first woman to advance when the big-hitting Czech curbed her attacking instincts to beat compatriot Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-4 and record her second win against a single loss in White Group play.

* Lance Armstrong's former cycling team manager Johan Bruyneel was banned from cycling for life on Wednesday after a successful appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The 54-year-old Belgian was initially banned for 10 years in 2014 by the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport for helping orchestrate an elaborate doping programme that helped Armstrong to seven Tour de France titles.

* Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola says it would be impossible for him to ever coach another team in England and says he is now a Mancunian for life. Guardiola, who led City to the Premier League title last season with a record points tally of 100, signed a contract extension with the champions earlier this year that will take him to the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

* Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy is a doubt for Saturday's Premier League home game against West Ham United due to a stomach bug, manager Claude Puel said on Thursday. Vardy, who has scored three goals this season, was substituted during Leicester's 3-1 league defeat by Arsenal on Monday and did not train with the team for the next two days.

* Albania's parliament passed a law on Thursday banning sports betting and other forms of gambling from the start of 2019 in a bid to tackle addiction among gamblers and match fixing in sport competitions, while also protecting household finances. The legislation, which passed with 75 votes from members of Prime Minister Edi Rama's Socialist Party, will force the closure of slot machine parlours, betting shops and all other forms of sports wagering including via online sites.

* Energy drink Rich Energy, a start-up brand recently linked to billionaire West Ham United soccer club owner David Sullivan, is to become title sponsor of the Haas Formula One team in a multi-season deal starting next season. Rich Energy had previously expressed an interest in buying Force India before the financially-stricken Formula One team was rescued in July by a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

* Kiradech Aphibarnrat does not seem to be fazed at the prospect of being the first Thai to play on the PGA Tour as he kept sight of the leading pack at Sheshan International in Shanghai by shooting a four-under-par 68 in the first round on Thursday. He notched up six birdies to trail American leader Patrick Reed by four strokes at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament.

* Holder Roger Federer recovered from a slow start to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 7-5 and reach the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors, his hometown tournament, on Thursday. Federer comfortably held serve to complete his third victory over Struff this year and claim his 17th successive win at the tournament, a run stretching back to 2014.

* More than 500 gymnasts from 76 countries and regions will take part in the world championships here in Doha, Qatar, with Olympic places up for grabs along with 42 world championship medals. Taking place between Oct. 25 and Nov. 3, the 48th world championships will feature 22 world and Olympic gold medalists from 13 countries and regions.

* Indonesia has set up a meeting with Group B leader Japan for a berth in the semifinals at the AFC U-19 Championship after finishing second in Group A.

Reuters, Xinhua