World Sports News in Brief

Tsurenko stuns Osaka in Brisbane to book Pliskova final

Sunday, 2019-01-06 07:33:17
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Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko in action during her match against Japan's Naomi Osaka - Brisbane International - Women's Semi Finals - Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane, Australia, January 5, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
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Japan’s Naomi Osaka lamented her poor attitude following a straight sets thrashing by Lesia Tsurenko in the Brisbane International semi-finals on Saturday.

World number five Osaka was beaten 6-2 6-4 in 65 minutes by Latvia’s Tsurenko, who comfortably broke her opponent’s serve four times en route to the biggest final of her career. Tsurenko faces 2017 champion and former world number one Karolina Pliskova, who thumped Donna Vekic 6-3 6-4.

* Japan’s Kei Nishikori closed in on his first ATP title in nearly three years, beating Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2 6-2 to move into the Brisbane title clash on Saturday. Standing in his way is Russia’s Daniil Medvedev who powered past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(6) 6-2.

* Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari is pleased with the progress they have made despite the revival being punctured by Thursday's 2-2 La Liga draw at Villarreal, emphasising the difficult situation he inherited when he took charge in October. Madrid are seven points adrift of leaders Barcelona with 17 games played and are fourth in the standings as they prepare to host Real Sociedad on Sunday.

* Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said on Saturday he was open to staying at the club beyond this season but will wait until the end of the campaign to decide his future, which he added would depend on whether his side win trophies. Valverde lifted a Liga and Copa del Rey double last year and his side are currently three points clear at the top of the table after 17 games and have reached the last 16 of the Champions League.

* La Liga strugglers Rayo Vallecano grabbed a nervy 1-0 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday to boost their chances of top-flight survival, although they had to rely on a late penalty save to take all three points. Midfielder Alvaro Medran gave the Madrid minnows a perfect start by scoring after 29 seconds, finishing off a smart team move from close range to score the fastest goal of the season so far in La Liga.

* Premier League Bournemouth will be without new signing Dominic Solanke throughout January because of a hamstring injury, manager Eddie Howe said on Saturday. The south coast club signed England international Solanke from Liverpool for a fee reported by British media to be 19 million pounds on Friday but he missed the 3-1 FA Cup defeat by Brighton and Hove Albion.

* Real Madrid are set to sign Spain under-19 international forward Brahim Diaz from Manchester City for an initial fee of around 15 million pounds, according to reports in British and Spanish media on Saturday. Diaz, 19, played a total of only 50 minutes for City in the Premier League last season but has not featured in the league this campaign. He has made three League Cup starts this term, scoring twice in a 2-0 win over Fulham in November.

* Alaves continued their excellent home form by recovering to beat struggling Spanish powerhouse Valencia 2-1 on Saturday, climbing into fourth place in La Liga and boosting their chances of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time.

* Venezuela and Argentina will play an international friendly in Madrid on March 25 as part of their preparation for the Copa America in Brazil. The match will be played at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the Spanish capital, the Venezuelan Football Federation said on Saturday.

* Hosts United Arab Emirates scored a late penalty to clinch an 1-1 draw with Bahrain in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup opener on Saturday.

* Top seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus overcame Alison Riske of the United States 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the final of WTA Shenzhen Open on Saturday to claim her third career title.

Reuters, Xinhua