World Sports News in Brief

Djokovic brushes aside Struff to advance in New York

Saturday, 2020-09-05 09:21:07
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Sep 4, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Novak Djokovic hits the ball against Jan-Lennard Struff on day five of the 2020 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)
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Top seed Novak Djokovic continued his dominance of Jan-Lennard Struff on Friday (Sep 4) with a 6-3 6-3 6-1 win to advance to the fourth round of the US Open.

Djokovic and Marin Cilic, who won the US Open in 2014, are the only two men remaining in the draw who have won a Grand Slam tournament. Djokovic will be a heavy favourite when he faces 20th seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Spain in the fourth round on Sunday.

* The Czech Republic have called off next week's Nations League match against Scotland citing COVID-19 concerns hours after beating Slovakia 3-1 away in their opener on Friday. Slavia Prague's chairman said shortly before the game against Slovakia that he would ask to withdraw his club's seven players from the Czech squad after another member of the national team staff tested positive for the new coronavirus.

* Bosnia ended Italy’s run of 11 successive wins when they held Roberto Mancini’s side to a 1-1 draw in their Nations League match on Friday. Italy, playing their first match since beating Armenia 9-1 last November, won all 10 of their qualifying matches for Euro 2020 as well as a friendly against the United States for the longest winning run in their history.

* Arsenal have re-signed Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos for a second season-long loan after a successful first spell last term, the Premier League club announced on Friday. Ceballos played 37 times for the north London club last season, sealing his place as a key midfielder in the starting lineup in the second half of the campaign following the appointment of Mikel Arteta as coach.

* Netherlands forward Steven Bergwijn scored just past the hour mark to secure a hard-fought 1-0 win over Poland in their Nations League clash on Friday as heavy home pressure finally paid dividends at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

* West Bromwich Albion have signed winger Grady Diangana from West Ham United after a successful loan spell, the newly-promoted Premier League club said on Friday. Diangana has agreed a five-year deal at The Hawthorns, with British media reporting that Albion paid 18 million pounds for the former England Under-21 international.

* Britain’s Mo Farah returned to the track in style on Friday after three years away when he broke the world record for the one-hour run while Safan Hassan smashed the women’s equivalent by more than a lap at the Brussels Diamond League meeting. Multiple Olympic and world champion Farah, 37, ran 21,330 metres – just over 53 laps – to beat Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie’s mark, set in Ostrava 13 years ago, by 45 metres to claim the first world record outdoors of a remarkable career.

* Sifan Hassan, of the Netherlands, smashed the world record for the women's one-hour race by more than a lap when she ran 18,930 metres during the Brussels Diamond League meeting on Friday. The Ethiopian-born athlete, who won gold in the 1500 and 10,000 metres at the world championships last year, ran 413 metres - more than one whole lap - further than the previous record of 18,517, set by Ethiopian Dire Tune in 2008.

* Chelsea have signed Germany's highly-rated attacking midfielder Kai Havertz from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen on a five-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Friday. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but British media reported the fee for the 21-year-old was in the region of 71 million pounds.

* Former champion Naomi Osaka survived a third-round scare before grinding out a 6-3 6-7(4) 6-2 victory over Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk to reach the last 16 of the US Open on Friday.

* AC Milan have signed attacking midfielder Brahim Diaz from La Liga champions Real Madrid on a season-long loan, the Serie A club said on Friday. The 21-year-old Spaniard scored twice in 21 games in all competitions for Real after his arrival from Manchester City in January 2019.

* Germany's Angelique Kerber advanced to the last 16 of the US Open with a 6-3 6-4 victory over 20-year-old American Ann Li at the Louis Armstrong Stadium on Friday.

* Formula One world championship leader Lewis Hamilton lapped fastest in Italian Grand Prix practice on Friday but predicted "a nightmare" in qualifying, with drivers likely to be jostling for a slipstream advantage. Last year's qualifying shootout at Monza turned into a farce with the top 10 apparently doing all they could to avoid taking the lead at the fastest track on the calendar.

* Parma will become the first Serie A club allowed to have spectators in their ground since the COVID-19 outbreak after being given permission for up to 1,000 fans to watch their pre-season friendly against Empoli on Sunday. The club said in a statement on Friday they had been given the go-ahead by Parma's city council and fans at the game would be divided into two different sections of the Tardini stadium.

* Croatian eighth seed Petra Martic survived another sloppy display to see off Grand Slam newcomer Varvara Gracheva 6-3 6-3 on Friday and reach the US Open round of 16 for the second consecutive year.

* Lionel Messi ended speculation about his future at Barcelona by announcing on Friday that he would reluctantly stay for another season rather than tackle his career-long club in court.

* Belgian Wout van Aert won the seventh stage of the Tour de France, a 168-km ride from Millau on Friday. Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen was second and Frenchman Bryan Coquard took third place.

* Denis Shapovalov bowed out of the US Open third round in his last two trips to New York and will aim to break that run when he faces local hope Taylor Fritz at the same stage on Friday. The 21-year-old dazzled fans at his US Open debut three years ago as he came through qualifying and went on to beat Daniil Medvedev, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kyle Edmund before losing to Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round.

* Serena Williams continues her push for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam trophy when she takes on Sloane Stephens on Saturday in an all-American clash of former US Open champions. Williams has blitzed through the draw without dropping a set but faces a tricky third-round test against the 26th-seeded Stephens, whose run to the 2017 US Open title propelled her to a career-high ranking of No. 3.

* Czech Petra Kvitova struggled with unforced errors but still had enough weapons to defeat American Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-3 on Friday to advance to the fourth round of the US Open. Next up for Kvitova will be another American in Shelby Rogers, who earlier advanced with a 6-2 6-4 win against compatriot Madison Brengle.