World Sports News in Brief

Nadal overpowers Tsitsipas to reach ATP semis

Friday, 2020-11-20 08:18:42
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Tennis - ATP Finals - The O2, London, Britain - November 19, 2020 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his group stage match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas. (Photo: Reuters)
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Rafa Nadal’s hopes of winning the year-ending ATP Finals for the first time live on after the Spaniard beat defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 4-6 6-2 on Thursday (Nov. 19).

After a flurry of service breaks at the start of the third set, the 34-year-old Nadal showed all his experience to pull away and reach the semi-finals for the first time in five years. As group runner-up behind Austrian Dominic Thiem, he will face Daniil Medvedev for a place in the final with the Russian already assured of top spot in the Tokyo Group.

* Russian youngster Andrey Rublev signed off from his maiden ATP Finals in style by beating Dominic Thiem 6-2 7-5 on Thursday. Defeats by Rafa Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas meant Rublev could not advance, while US Open champion Thiem, runner-up to Tsitsipas in last year’s final here in London, now has a day off to shrug off the defeat and prepare for Saturday’s semi-final when he will face either world number one Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev.

* FIFA has lifted the suspension on the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, the sport's world ruling body said on Thursday.

* Formula One is planning to expand to 24 races in the near future, with some rotation of circuits, chief executive Chase Carey said on Thursday. The sport has pencilled in a record 23 for next year, dependent on developments in the COVID-19 pandemic which forced organisers to rewrite this season's schedule and limit races to Europe and the Middle East.

* Britain's Matt Wallace and Colombia's Camilo Villegas shared a one-stroke lead after players struggled through windy conditions in the first round of the RSM Classic on Thursday. Wallace started strongly with five birdies and a bogey on the front nine at the Seaside Course in Sea Island, Georgia and drained a 30-foot putt for par on the 18th, carding six-under par 64.

* Top-ranked England and France have been drawn in the same pool for next year's women's Rugby World Cup, while hosts New Zealand were drawn with trans-Tasman neighbours Australia at a ceremony in Auckland on Friday. Third-ranked Canada and inaugural champions the United States will be in Pool B for the 12-team tournament which will be held in the southern hemisphere for the first time.

* Real Madrid are set to be without captain Sergio Ramos for their Champions League trip to Inter Milan after they confirmed on Thursday that he suffered a hamstring injury on international duty with Spain. Ramos was substituted in the first half of the team's 6-0 thrashing of Germany on Tuesday.

* Derby County's Wayne Rooney says he hopes to follow in the footsteps of former England team mate Frank Lampard and take charge of the Championship club on a permanent basis. Rooney is part of a four-man coaching team that will lead Derby for Saturday's league game at Bristol City after the Midlands club parted ways with Phillip Cocu last week.

* Burnley manager Sean Dyche is sweating on the fitness of several players ahead of Monday's Premier League game at home to Crystal Palace. Scotland full back Phil Bardsley is set to return to the Burnley squad after missing their last four league games but Iceland winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Ireland winger Robbie Brady are battling to be fit after international duty.

* Newcastle United have confirmed that they are involved in arbitration proceedings against the Premier League over an aborted takeover attempt by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium earlier this year.

* Italy's top-flight Serie A soccer league moved closer to selling a stake in its media business to boost virus-hit revenues when it agreed on Thursday to accept a 1.7 billion euro offer from a private equity consortium. At a meeting in Rome, all 20 clubs backed the offer, Serie A Chairman Paolo Dal Pino told reporters, adding the deal was expected to close in the coming weeks.

* Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has signed a new two-year contract that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2022-23 season, the Premier League club said on Thursday. Spaniard Guardiola has guided City to two Premier League titles and an FA Cup since his arrival in 2016.

* The British government announced a 300 million pounds 'winter survival package' on Thursday to help sport through the COVID-19 pandemic, with rugby set for the biggest share but nothing for top level soccer and cricket. The first payments will be made over the coming weeks, mainly as low-interest loans with flexible terms but also through grants.

* Two more members of the Republic of Korea's national football team have tested positive for COVID-19 taking the tally to 10, the Korea Football Association said. RB Leipzig striker Hwang Hee-chan and a staff member tested positive following Tuesday's 2-1 victory in a friendly match against Qatar. Six players and two members of staff had previously tested positive over the weekend before a 3-2 defeat by Mexico.