World Sports News in Brief

Back in world's top 50, Tiger ramping up for busy stretch

Thursday, 2018-08-02 00:18:53
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Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 18th during the final round of The Open Championship golf tournament at Carnoustie Golf Links, Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland, Jul 22, 2018. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)
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Tiger Woods returned to the top 50 of the world rankings for the first time since 2014 this week.

Woods, whose jump to No. 50 got him into the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this week, is now planning to play in five of the next six tournaments, including next week’s PGA Championship in St. Louis.

* Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain said he hoped to sign for AC Milan on Thursday, as he arrived in the city ahead of an expected move from Juventus. The same deal could also take Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci back to Turin after one season with AC Milan.

* Former European champions Red Star Belgrade, Ajax Amsterdam and Celtic all made it comfortably through to the third qualifying round of the Champions League on Wednesday after surviving away legs.

* Second seed Sloane Stephens was shocked 2-6 6-4 6-2 by Germany's Andrea Petkovic in the second round of the Citi Open on Wednesday, disrupting the American's buildup to her US Open title defence. Stephens' exit left the Citi Open without its two main draws and top seeds after Caroline Wozniacki pulled out of the Washington, D.C. tournament on Tuesday with a leg injury.

* Mercedes reserve George Russell produced the fastest ever lap of the Hungaroring on the final day of a Formula One test on Wednesday. The British Formula Two series leader did 116 laps with an unofficial track record time of one minute 15.575 seconds, three days after Mercedes won the Hungarian Grand Prix with compatriot Lewis Hamilton.

* Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the Citi Open with a hip injury on Wednesday, another setback in the Australian’s buildup to the US Open. World number 17 Kyrgios is scheduled to play tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati before the year’s final major which begins on Aug. 27 at Flushing Meadows.

* England’s Football Association (FA) is carrying out a study into the feasibility of hosting the 2030 World Cup finals, FA chairman Greg Clarke said in a statement on Wednesday. A South American tri-nation bid involving Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay has already been announced for 2030.

* Double Olympic champion Ekaterina Karsten may seek to prolong her illustrious career by another two years and make history in rowing by competing at the Games for the eighth time in Tokyo in 2020, the 46-year-old Belarusian said. Karsten is one of only two rowing athletes who have competed at seven or more Olympics with Canada's female coxswain Lesley Thompson participating eight times between 1984 and 2016, when she became the oldest rower at the Rio Games at the age of 56.

* Former world number one Andy Murray has added the China Open to his schedule in October as he continues his return from hip surgery earlier this year. Murray played three matches in late June but withdrew from Wimbledon as it came too early in his recovery process.

* Everton have signed defender Lucas Digne from Spanish champions Barcelona on a five-year contract, the Premier League club said on Wednesday. The 25-year-old France international joins Everton after two seasons in Barcelona, where he made 46 appearances across all competitions, as the Nou Camp outfit won the La Liga last term and retained the Spanish Cup.

* The Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) said Wednesday it has submitted a joint three-city bid to host the the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. CONI "unanimously resolves to send the proposal for candidacy ... of the cities of Milan, Turin and Cortina," the committee said in a statement.

* Hernan Dario Gomez has been named coach of Ecuador for a second time, the Ecuadorian Football Federation announced on Wednesday. The 62-year-old Colombian signed a four-year contract that will see him take charge of the Tricolor until after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Gomez also coached Ecuador from 1999 to 2004, leading the team to their first ever World Cup appearance in 2002.

* Viktor Axelsen of Danmark and Nozomi Okuhara of Japan stayed on their course for the back-to-back men's and women's singles titles in the BWF World Championships, as both of them claimed straight-game wins in Nanjing, China on Wednesday to storm into the third round of the competition.

* Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has excluded any possibility of star striker Robert Lewandowski being sold this summer.

* Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui looked for positives as he began his reign after a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in an International Champions Cup game played in Miami. Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera put United 2-0 ahead in the first half and although Karim Benzema pulled a goal back for Madrid they were unable to find an equalizer in a game in which both sides were missing key men after the World Cup.

Reuters, Xinhua