World Sports News in Brief

Merciless Monfils hands Tsitsipas lesson in Sofia

Saturday, 2019-02-09 08:05:22
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France's Gael Monfils reacts during the match against Taylor Fritz of the US - Australian Open - Second Round - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
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Gael Monfils doled out another lesson in outstanding tennis, winning 93% of points on his first serve, as he reached the semi-finals of the Sofia Open on Friday with a 6-3 7-6(5) win over Greece’s emerging talent Stefanos Tsitsipas.

On Saturday Monfils will meet Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev who dismantled Slovakian Martin Klizan in straight sets to progress to the semi-finals.

* Bayer Leverkusen scored four times in an explosive first half to crush hosts Mainz 05 5-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday and continue their rise up the standings under new coach Peter Bosz. Leverkusen, who have now scored a combined 11 goals in their last three league games, climb to fifth place on 33 points, four behind RB Leipzig who are fourth.

* Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is not guaranteed to be in the starting lineup when the league leaders host Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday. Knee injuries have sidelined De Bruyne for large parts of this season, and the Belgium international has started only four Premier League games.

* British Basketball is to get 75,000 pounds from UK Sport as a second wave of funding to help support preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the British governing body said on Friday. Basketball lost out in the initial round of government funding in which 14 Olympic and Paralympic sports shared a 3 million-pound investment pot in December.

* Qatar-based BeIN Sports said on Friday it had decided not to renew a contract for the rights to broadcast Formula One in the Middle East and North Africa. The previous five-year deal expired at the end of last season. The 21-race 2019 world championship starts in Australia on March 17.

* Switzerland's Wendy Holdener defended her women's combined title at the Alpine skiing world championships on Friday. Slovakia's Petra Vlhova took the silver medal, losing out on gold by three hundredths of a second after the downhill and slalom legs, and Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel the bronze.

* Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo has been ruled out for up to a month with a hamstring injury, handing the La Liga leaders another fitness blow after Lionel Messi missed training on Friday with a thigh problem. A statement from Barca on Friday said Brazilian Arthur, who played 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in a Copa del Rey semi-final first leg on Wednesday, would be out for between three and four weeks.

* Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was named January's Premier League manager of the month on Friday after an unbeaten start to his tenure at Old Trafford. Solskjaer, who replaced Jose Mourinho in December, becomes the first United manager to receive the award since long-time boss Alex Ferguson in Oct. 2012, during the season when the club last won the league title.

* Atletico Madrid have been lifted ahead of Saturday's La Liga derby at home to Real Madrid by the return of inspirational captain Diego Godin from injury, although Spain internationals Koke and Diego Costa look set to miss out. The Uruguayan defender, 32, was given the all clear by doctors to return to action on Friday after sustaining a hamstring injury on Jan. 26. Midfielder Koke and forward Costa did not take part in Friday's training session.

* French football club Nantes will retire Emiliano Sala’s number nine jersey as stars from around the world pay tribute to the Cardiff City player. Sala’s body was recovered and formally identified on Friday after his plane went down over the English Channel more than two weeks ago.

* Liverpool announced record pre-tax profits on Friday of 125 million pounds over the last financial year after reaching the Champions League final and the sale of Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho. The club's annual accounts for the financial year to May 31, 2018 showed pre-tax profits grew by more than 300% from 40 million pounds, eclipsing the 92.5 million pounds made by Leicester City in 2016-17.

* Manchester United must treat Saturday's Premier League trip to Fulham as a test of character before a run of season-defining fixtures across domestic and European competitions, caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday. Solskjaer has won nine out of his first 10 games at Old Trafford but he knows tougher challenges lie in wait as they face French champions Paris St Germain in a Champions League last-16 tie and Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round this month.

* Manchester United defender Phil Jones has signed a new deal that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2023, the Premier League club said on Friday. England international Jones is the latest player to commit his future to the club following French forward Anthony Martial and midfielder Scott McTominay who both signed new deals last month under caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

* Marseille celebrated their second straight win in Ligue 1 as they rallied past troubled Dijon 2-1 in the 24th round match on Friday.

* Individual match tickets for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France will go on sale to the general public on March 7, FIFA and the local organising committee announced on Friday.

Reuters, Xinhua