World Sports News in Brief

Nadal recovers from upset loss to help Spain move into ATP Cup semi-final

Saturday, 2020-01-11 08:31:05
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Tennis - ATP Cup - Ken Rosewall Arena, Sydney, Australia - January 10, 2020 Spain's Rafael Nadal and Pablo Carreno Busta celebrate after winning their Quarter Final doubles match against Belgium's Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen. (Photo: Reuters)
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World number one Rafael Nadal recovered from an upset loss against Belgium’s David Goffin to win the deciding doubles match and send Spain into the semi-final of the ATP Cup teams event in Sydney in the early hours of Saturday.

Nadal partnered with Pablo Carreno Busta to win the high stakes decider 6-7(7) 7-5 10-7 against doubles specialists Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen after Spain and Belgium split the singles results earlier in the evening. Spain will now play host nation Australia in the inaugural event, while Serbia, led by world number two Novak Djokovic, take on Russia.

* Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said Olivier Giroud could leave Stamford Bridge this month, with Serie A leaders Inter Milan reported to be in pole position to sign the French striker. Sky Sports reported on Friday that France's World Cup winner Giroud, whose Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season, has agreed a 2-1/2 year deal to join the Italian club.

* The odds are stacked against Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur side inflicting a first Premier League loss on runaway leaders Liverpool on Saturday but he says his team should stay at home if they don't believe they can win. Tottenham will be without leading striker Harry Kane for the visit of Liverpool who have won 19 and drawn one of their 20 league games so far and lead the table by 13 points.

* Stephane Peterhansel won the sixth stage of the Dakar Rally on Friday, with Spaniard Carlos Sainz looking forward to a rest day in Riyadh after stretching his overall lead to almost eight minutes. Sainz, a two times Dakar winner whose namesake son competes in Formula One for McLaren, led Toyota's defending champion Nasser al-Attiyah by seven minutes and 48 seconds after the 477km special stage from Ha'il.

* Third seed Naomi Osaka survived another testing three-setter to beat Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-3 3-6 6-3 on Friday, setting up a semi-final clash with defending champion Karolina Pliskova at the Brisbane International. It was Osaka's third consecutive three-setter in the tournament and the former world number one eventually prevailed in two hours to reach the semi-finals for the second year in a row at the Pat Rafter Arena.

* Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has brushed aside comparisons to Arsenal's famous "Invincibles" squad and urged his players to focus solely on Saturday's (Jan 10) Premier League trip to Tottenham Hotspur. Victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will take Liverpool's points tally to 61 from 21 matches, 12 points more than Arsene Wenger's Arsenal at the same stage in 2003-04 when they completed an entire season unbeaten.

* Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said defender Harry Maguire could return for Saturday's Premier League clash against Norwich City at Old Trafford. Maguire, who was signed by United for £80 million in the close season, picked up a hip problem in last Saturday's goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup third round.

* Argentine tennis player Juan Martin Del Potro will miss the Australian Open later this month because of persistent problems with his injured knee, tournament organisers said on Friday.

* Olympique de Marseille kept up a slim chance of challenging Paris St Germain for the Ligue 1 title when second-half substitute Kevin Strootman's late goal earned them a 1-0 win at Stade Rennais on Friday. Dutch midfielder Strootman struck with six minutes left to put OM on 41 points from 20 games, four behind leaders PSG who have two games in hand and will host Monaco on Sunday.

* Oli McBurnie's goal earned Sheffield United a 1-0 home win over West Ham United but they needed a stoppage-time VAR intervention to secure the points that moved them to fifth place in the Premier League on Friday.

* Italy World Cup winner Alessandro del Piero will temporarily step out of retirement to play for Ecuador's Barcelona SC in a friendly this month, the club's president has said. The match against a yet to be named opponent will take place on January 18 at Barcelona's 57,000-seat Estadio Monumental in the Pacific port city of Guayaquil.

* The 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games will be hosted in Gangwon province, the Republic of Korea. The International Olympic Committee announced the decision following its Session on Friday in Lausanne, where the 2020 edition is under way.

* The International Olympic Committee awarded the Olympic Cup 2019 to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Friday. Fillippo Grandi, UN's High Commissioner for Refugees, accepted the Olympic Cup as UNHCR's representative.

* The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said on Friday that Wushu's introduction as an official sport demonstrates the Youth Olympic Games's role as a laboratory for new sports. Wushu is set to debut as an official sport at the 2022 Dakar Youth Olympic Games after having got the nod from the IOC executive board on Wednesday.

* China's ace striker Zhang Yuning is set to miss the rest of the AFC U-23 Championships after suffering a fifth metatarsal fracture to his right foot in Thursday's 1-0 loss to Korea Republic. The 23-year-old forward was stretchered off after he collapsed on the field clutching his right foot in the 42nd minute.

* Japanese police will step up their efforts to defend against potential terrorist attacks from drones during this summer's Tokyo Olympic Games. The Nikkei said that the police will install detection systems around each Olympic venue to locate and incapacitate suspicious drones quickly, aiming to block a potential avenue for terrorism or sabotage.

Reuters, Xinhua