World Sports News in Brief

Wawrinka sees off determined Dimitrov in Cincinnati

Wednesday, 2019-08-14 06:21:17
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Aug 13, 2019; Mason, OH, USA; Stan Wawrinka (SUI) returns a shot against Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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Swiss Stan Wawrinka overcame battling Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 5-7 6-4 7-6(4) in a roller-coaster first-round match at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday.

Dimitrov clawed back from a double break down in the decider to level at 5-5 and after Wawrinka broke again, Dimitrov forced the tiebreak. The Swiss surged into a 4-0 lead but Dimitrov rallied once more before Wawrinka closed out the match with an ace.

* Juan Martin del Potro will not compete at this year's U.S. Open as the 2009 champion continues to recover from a knee injury, tournament organisers said on Tuesday. The Argentine re-fractured his kneecap during the Queen's Club Championships in June in the latest setback to his injury- plagued career.

* Former European Cup winners had mixed fortunes in Champions League qualifying as Ajax Amsterdam and Red Star Belgrade squeezed into the playoff round while Celtic and Porto were eliminated after a dramatic evening on Tuesday. Ajax, semi-finalists last season, came from behind to beat PAOK 3-2 for a 5-4 aggregate win over the Greeks while Red Star knocked out FC Copenhagen on penalties after a bizarre shootout involving 22 spot-kicks. Krasnodar sprung a major upset with a 3-2 win at Porto to advance on away goals after losing the home leg 1-0 and Romania’s Cluj won 4-3 at Celtic to eliminate the Scottish champions 5-4 on aggregate.

* Tiger Woods says he is ready to play golf again this week after the former world number one withdrew from last week's Northern Trust due to back pain. Woods arrived on Tuesday at Medinah, Illinois, venue for this week's BMW Championship, and said he would play in the second event of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

* Estonian Anett Kontaveit ousted German 13th seed Angelique Kerber 7-6(7) 6-2 in the opening round of the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday. Swiss 12th seed Belinda Bencic retired with a foot injury after trailing former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-4 1-0. Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, Zheng Saisai of China and Croatia’s Donna Vekic were among other early winners.

* American teenager Cori "Coco" Gauff and former champion Samantha Stosur were among players to be given wildcards into the main draw of the US Open starting later this month, organisers said on Tuesday. Gauff, the youngest finalist in the girls' singles event at the US Open in 2017 aged 13, is one of five teenagers given wildcards at Flushing Meadows.

* Premier League champions Manchester City have avoided a transfer ban but have been fined 370,000 Swiss Francs (£314,565) by FIFA for breaches of rules regarding the transfer of Under-18 players, football's world governing body said in a statement on Tuesday. Premier League rivals Chelsea were given a one-year transfer ban and fined 600,000 Swiss francs in February in relation to 29 cases where regulations relating to the international transfer and registration of Under-18 players were breached.

* The English Football League (EFL) has suspended League One side Bury's fourth fixture of the season after the third-tier club failed to provide evidence of a viable plan to settle their debts, the league body said on Tuesday. Bury's first two league fixtures against Milton Keynes Dons and Accrington Stanley and their League Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday had already been suspended and now they will not be playing Gillingham as scheduled on Saturday.

* World number seven Stefanos Tsitsipas is set to make his debut at the Laver Cup in Geneva in September for Team Europe while Australia's Nick Kyrgios was also named in Team World, the organisers said on Tuesday. The Laver Cup, a three-day team event between Europe and the rest of the world, became an official part of the ATP Tour in May this year following its runaway success in its first two editions in Prague and Chicago.

* Stephanie Frappart said she will prove female officials are as competent as their male counterparts when she becomes the first woman to referee a major UEFA competition final in the Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea on Wednesday.

* Former world number one Andy Murray said he expects to be back to his physical best by January next year, 12 months after he had hip resurfacing surgery in a bid to salvage his career. Murray, 32, made his long-awaited singles return at the Cincinnati Masters on Monday - his first singles match since an opening-round Australian Open exit in January - where he lost in straight sets to Richard Gasquet.

* Barcelona's substitute goalkeeper Neto has been ruled out of action for up to two months following wrist surgery, the La Liga champions said in a statement on Tuesday. Barca said the Brazilian, a 26-million-euro close season recruit from Valencia, would be sidelined for between six and eight weeks after undergoing surgery to treat a fracture to his left wrist which he sustained in training on Sunday.

* Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich signed Croatia winger Ivan Perisic on loan for a season from Inter Milan on Tuesday after a widely expected move by Manchester City’s Leroy Sane fell through due to the player’s knee injury. A 2018 World Cup finalist, Perisic, who also played for Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga between 2011 and 2015, will play for Bayern starting on Friday.

* Atletico Madrid have been dealt a setback five days before their La Liga campaign begins with the news that striker Diego Costa has sustained a thigh injury. Atletico said in a statement on Tuesday that Costa had hurt his left thigh in the final minute of the team's 2-1 friendly win over Juventus last Saturday in Stockholm, but did not say how long he would be out of action.

* The marathon race at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will start 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled, as part of the organisers' efforts to tackle the heat threat to athletes and fans in the Japanese capital.

* Valencia continue to strengthen ahead of the new season with the signing of central defender Eliaquim Mangala on a free transfer from Manchester City. Mangala returns to the club where he enjoyed a successful loan spell in the 2016-17 season, making 30 appearances in the Liga Santander.

Reuters, Xinhua