World Sports News in Brief

Cilic offers Nadal a Wimbledon reality check

Thursday, 2019-06-27 06:58:28
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Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during his semi final match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
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Spaniard Rafael Nadal got a quickfire reminder of the challenge he faces to win a third Wimbledon title as he was blown away by big-serving Marin Cilic in an exhibition match on Wednesday.

Nadal, who turned 33 this month, has opted not to play any competitive tournaments on grass ahead of the Championships, practising instead at home on grass in Mallorca. He lacked sharpness at the Hurlingham Club in London as a well-drilled Cilic sent him packing in less than an hour - a sweating Nadal going straight from court to a waiting black Rolls Royce and away minutes after his 6-3 6-3 defeat.

* Valencia have signed Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen from Barcelona on a four-year deal, both Spanish clubs said on Wednesday. Cillessen played 32 times in three seasons for Barca, never managing to unseat German Marc-Andre ter Stegen as the club's number one goalkeeper.

* FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Cameroon after an ill-tempered 3-0 loss to England in the last 16 of the Women's World Cup on Sunday, during which they reacted furiously to two VAR decisions. Several Cameroon players remonstrated with the referee and for a long time refused to restart the match after England's second goal was ruled offside and then allowed after a VAR review. Cameroon then thought they had pulled a goal back early in the second half, but VAR again ruled against them for a marginal offside - sparking more chaotic scenes.

* A trio of former world number ones stormed into the quarter-finals at Eastbourne on Wednesday with Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova all sharpening their grasscourt games ahead of Wimbledon. Reigning Wimbledon champion Kerber beat Swede Rebecca Peterson 7-6(4) 6-0 and Pliskova crushed Elise Mertens 6-1 6-2, although Halep was pushed hard by Polona Hercog before emerging with a 6-1 4-6 6-3 victory.

* FIFA on Wednesday defended its VAR review system, saying referees had reached a 98% accuracy rate in decision-making during the group stage of the Women's World Cup in France.

* Former Brazil midfielder Oscar scored the winning penalty in a shootout as Shanghai SIPG knocked twice winners Jeonbuk Motors out of the Asian Champions League on Wednesday.

* After missing Senegal's opening Africa Cup of Nations match against Tanzania, forward Sadio Mane is expected to make his long-awaited first appearance of this year's tournament when they face Algeria in Group C on Thursday. The 27-year-old, who is taking part in the event for the third time, sat out the Tanzania game through suspension for the accumulation of yellow cards during the qualifying competition.

* Holders Cameroon have had their request to replace forward Joel Tagueu, ruled out of the Africa Cup of Nations because of a possible heart defect, rejected by the Confederation of African Football. The 25-year-old, who plays for Portuguese club Maritimo, had an "anomaly in his coronary artery detected by team doctor William Ngatchou, which risks his life if he were to play," the Cameroon Football Federation said on Monday.

* Brighton & Hove Albion have signed midfielder Leandro Trossard from Belgian top-flight side KRC Genk on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club said on Wednesday. Trossard, 24, is the south-coast club's second signing of the close season following the arrival of Matt Clarke from Portsmouth last week. He scored 14 goals and provided seven assists in 34 games as Genk won the league title last season.

* The International Olympic Committee has outlined plans to overhaul the bidding process for future Games, stating that cities interested in hosting the Games should hold referendums before submitting official tenders to avoid having to withdraw their candidacy at a later date.

* Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace on a long-term contract, it was reported on Wednesday. The BBC report added that the deal would be worth £50 million, with the England Under-21 international set to travel to Old Trafford for a medical shortly.

* Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has been ruled out of Brazil's Copa America quarterfinal against Paraguay with a knee injury, Selecao boss Tite said on Wednesday. Fernandinho missed the hosts' 5-0 win over Peru on Saturday because of pain in his right knee and, despite intense physiotherapy, the 34-year-old has failed to recover in time for Thursday's clash at Arena do Gremio.

* The membership of the International Olympic Committee expanded to 105 after 10 new members were elected to the body at the 134th IOC session in Lausanne, Switzerland on Wednesday.

Reuters, Xinhua