World Sports News in Brief

Czech Republic handed 2020 Fed Cup wildcard

Thursday, 2019-08-15 06:36:37
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Tennis - Fed Cup - Fed Cup World Group - First Round - Czech Republic v Romania - Ostravar Arena, Ostrava, Czech Republic - February 10, 2019 Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova celebrates with Katerina Siniakova during their match against Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu. (Reuters)
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Eleven-times champions Czech Republic have been handed a wildcard for next April's revamped Fed Cup finals in Budapest, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Wednesday. The top ranked Czechs join 2019 finalists Australia and France along with hosts Hungary in securing their places for the April 14-19 claycourt finals.

* The running segment of the Elite Womens Triathlon Olympic qualifier, held across the same course which will stage the event during the 2020 Tokyo Games, has been halved by organisers to five kilometres due to fears over extreme heat.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd co-founder Joseph Tsai is nearing a deal to buy the 51per cent stake he does not already own in the U.S. basketball team Brooklyn Nets, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. The deal would value the NBA team at US$2.35 billion (£1.9 billion), the source said.

* Five Russian weightlifters have been provisionally suspended for potential doping violations based on data retrieved from a Moscow laboratory, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has said.

* French side AS Monaco have signed striker Wissam Ben Yedder from Spain's Sevilla on a five-year contract with Portugal midfielder Rony Lopes moving in the opposite direction. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but local media reported that Monaco paid Sevilla about 40 million euros (£37 million) to activate 29-year-old France international Ben Yedder's release clause.

* Thai weightlifters will not be allowed to compete at the world championships despite the country hosting the event, the sport's global body confirmed Wednesday (Aug 14), dashing hopes of a late reprieve after a doping scandal.

* Australian Jack Miller will stay with Pramac Ducati next season after agreeing a contract extension, the MotoGP team said on Wednesday. The 24-year-old had expressed uncertainty about his future after talk of Spain's triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo returning to the Italian manufacturer despite being contracted to Honda.

* Real Betis have signed Spanish striker Borja Iglesias after paying his 28-million-euro (25.8 million pounds) release clause, both La Liga sides said on Wednesday. Iglesias, 26, had spent the bulk of his career outside the top flight until joining Espanyol last season. He soon made a name for himself by striking 17 league goals, helping the club qualify for European football for the first time in 12 years.

* Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis, the injury-plagued world number 212, was on Wednesday (Aug 14) handed the final wildcard for this year's US Open which gets underway in New York on Aug 26. He benefits from a reciprocal agreement between the US and Australian federations which reserve a wildcard spot in their respective Grand Slam events for a player from each nation.

Reuters