World Sports News in Brief

Nadal racks up 12th French crown as Thiem runs out of steam at Roland Garros

Monday, 2019-06-10 06:19:23
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Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after his final match against Austria's Dominic Thiem - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 9, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
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Defying the years and one of the most fierce onslaughts he has ever faced at Roland Garros, Rafa Nadal won his 12th French Open crown on Sunday, leaving Dominic Thiem crushed and a packed Parisian stadium shaking their heads in wonder.

The first set had been one for the ages, the second ran it close, but after three hours and one minute all that mattered was that Nadal was once again in familiar pose, flat on his back on the clay, a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 winner to clinch his 18th Grand Slam triumph in total. The 33-year-old Nadal, who becomes the first player to win the same Grand Slam title 12 times, going past Margaret Court’s 11 Australian Opens, now sits two major titles behind his great foe and men’s Grand Slam title record holder, 37-year-old Roger Federer.

* England's keeper Jordan Pickford scored and saved in a shootout as they beat Switzerland 6-5 on penalties to finish third in the Nations League on Sunday after the game ended goalless following extra time. Pickford produced an outstanding save to keep out Josip Drmic's spot kick low to his right to win the game, after both teams had converted all their previous penalties.

* The four main courts at the French Open will be lit from next year, meaning the top matches will not be interrupted by bad light, organisers said on Sunday. Court Philippe Chatrier's retractable roof will also be in operation from 2020 and French tennis federation president Bernard Giudicelli confirmed that it would be used if necessary and that night sessions would start in 2021.

* Evonne Goolagong Cawley led the way as Australia hailed their new Grand Slam tennis champion Ash Barty on Sunday after the proudly indigenous 23-year-old ended the country's 46-year wait for a French Open women's singles champion. That Barty's victory over Marketa Vondrousova on Saturday was only the second for an Australian in a Grand Slam women's final in the 39 years since Goolagong Cawley won her seventh major at Wimbledon made the outpouring all the more understandable.

* Rory McIlroy threatened to shoot 59 but fell just short of that magic number as he made his Canadian Open debut a great one by clinching a seven-stroke victory in Ontario on Sunday.

* Gabriel Jesus got a brace and David Neres chalked up his first international goal as Brazil overran a hapless Honduras 7-0 in a pre-Copa America friendly on Sunday. The win was the perfect run-out for the host nation before they begin their Copa America campaign against Bolivia in Sao Paulo on Jun 14.

* American Lexi Thompson seized a one-stroke victory after Lee Jeong-eun hit the wall with the finish line in sight at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway, New Jersey on Sunday.

* Brazil's Cristiane became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the women's World Cup as the former finalists sealed a superb 3-0 victory over debutants Jamaica on Sunday to kick off their campaign in convincing fashion. At 34 years and 25 days, Cristiane eclipsed the record of American Carli Lloyd who was 32 years and 355 days when she scored three times in a 5-2 win over Japan in the 2015 final.

* England's Nikita Parris and Ellen White scored first-half goals as the Lionesses defeated neighbours Scotland 2-1 on Sunday to make a strong start to their women's World Cup campaign. Phil Neville's team emerged as early leaders of a difficult Group D after a fine attacking display against the debutants at Stade de Nice, with 2015 World Cup runners-up Japan playing their first game, against Argentina, on Monday.

* Barbara Bonansea's brace helped Italy rally to beat Australia 2-1 in their Group C opener of FIFA Women's World Cup in Nice, France on Sunday, the first win for the Azzurre in the tournament since 1999.

* Two first-half goals from Newcastle United forward Salomon Rondon fired Venezuela to a 3-0 victory over a lackluster United States in their international friendly in Cincinnati on Sunday.

* All four places in the semifinals have now been booked at the ongoing Under-20 World Cup in Poland after Ecuador and the Republic of Korea beat their respective opponents on Saturday. On Friday, Ukraine edged Colombia 1-0 and Italy saw off Mali 4-2 in the quarterfinals.

Reuters, Xinhua