World Sports News in Brief

Murray bows out in Zhuhai, Tsitsipas forced to retire

Friday, 2019-09-27 08:14:38
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Andy Murray serves against Richard Gasquet during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Centre. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)
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Australia’s Alex de Minaur fought back from a set down to beat former world number one Andy Murray 4-6 6-2 6-4 in the last 16 of the Zhuhai Championships on Thursday.

Murray, who won his first ATP tour singles match in nine months in Tuesday’s first round, battled for two hours and 42 minutes on court before his 20-year-old opponent prevailed. Meanwhile, top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was forced to retire from his last-16 encounter with Adrian Mannarino before the deciding third set after he complained of shortness of breath.

* Australian Adam Scott birdied two of his final three holes to grab a one-shot clubhouse lead over former British Open champion Francesco Molinari in the first round of the Safeway Open in Napa, California on Thursday. Former Masters winner Scott, who started on the back nine at the Silverado Resort, mixed an eagle with six birdies and a bogey for a seven-under-par 65.

* The first ever esports cycling world championships will take place next year after a deal between governing body the UCI and the popular online training platform Zwift. Announced at a pop-up bar in Harrogate on Thursday during the UCI Road World Championships, UCI president David Lappartient said the "exciting" partnership would help make cycling the sport for the 21st century.

* A rampant Real Sociedad moved up to second place in La Liga after easing to a 3-0 win at home to Alaves on Thursday for a third consecutive league win, while Sevilla threw away a two-goal lead in the second half to lose 3-2 away to Eibar. Sociedad are second in the standings with 13 points after six games, one behind leaders Real Madrid.

* South Africa's Justin Walters took a one-shot lead with a stunning nine-under par 63 in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews on Thursday. Walters sank nine birdies, including five on the back nine, to lead four golfers - France's Victor Perez, England's Jordan Smith, New Zealand's Ryan Fox and Spain's Adrian Otaegui - at the Old Course, St Andrews. Otaegui carded 64 at Kingsbarns.

* World number one Ash Barty faced a tough battle before she subdued Croatia's Petra Martic 7-6(6) 3-6 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Wuhan Open for the third consecutive year on Thursday. In the other quarter-final, Ukrainian third seed Elina Svitolina was dispatched 6-1 6-3 by unseeded American Alison Riske. Fifth seed Petra Kvitova advanced to the semis with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska while defending champion Aryna Sabalenka also went through with a 6-3 1-6 6-1 win over Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina.

* Southampton's new recruit Moussa Djenepo remains sidelined with a muscle problem ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Tottenham Hotspur, manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Thursday. Malian winger Djenepo has not played for Southampton since scoring the winner in a 1-0 win at Sheffield United earlier this month and he was unavailable for Tuesday's 4-0 victory over south coast rivals Portsmouth in the League Cup.

* Brighton and Hove Albion will be without Shane Duffy for Saturday's Premier League trip to Chelsea after the defender picked up a calf injury in Wednesday's League Cup defeat to Aston Villa, manager Graham Potter said on Thursday. Duffy, 27, suffered a knock in the second half of their 3-1 loss, forcing Potter to make a substitution as the Republic of Ireland centre back hobbled off the pitch.

* Jamie Chadwick, winner of the inaugural all-female W Series, has moved closer to a Formula One test after being named as one of four finalists for Britain's BRDC Young Driver of the Year award. The eventual winner of the award, co-sponsored by the Red Bull F1 team's title sponsors Aston Martin, will test a Formula One car as well as taking home a 200,000 pounds (US$246,900) cash prize. The four will now undertake fitness and simulator assessments before a two-day test at Silverstone in various machinery, including a Formula Two car. The winner will be announced in December.

* Max Verstappen will have a five-place grid penalty and Daniil Kvyat will start his home Russian Formula One Grand Prix from the back of the field on Sunday as a result of power unit changes. Honda said Kvyat and his Toro Rosso team mate Pierre Gasly, along with Red Bull's Verstappen and Alexander Albon would all have grid drops after being given new engines for the race in Sochi.

* Australia's Nick Kyrgios was handed a suspended ban of 16 weeks and an additional fine of US$25,000 on Thursday for "aggravated behaviour" following an investigation by the ATP. The 24-year-old, one of the most combustible characters in tennis, was fined US$113,000 over a meltdown in Cincinnati last month and courted more trouble with the governing body of men's tennis at the US Open describing them as corrupt. He will miss the remainder of the Asian swing after aggravating a shoulder injury at the Zhuhai Championships.