World Sports News in Brief

Auger-Aliassime and Khachanov make early exits in Rome

Tuesday, 2020-09-15 09:12:22
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Tennis - ATP Masters 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - September 14, 2020 Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime in action during his first round match against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
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Seeded players Felix Auger-Aliassime and Karen Khachanov were the major casualties in the first round of the Italian Open in Rome on Monday (Sep 14) as players turned their attention from the hardcourts to the clay swing in Europe.

Top seeds such as Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the men’s draw and Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova and Sofia Kenin in the women’s field received byes into the second round.

* After three tournament wins and a FedExCup title, Dustin Johnson added more hardware to his trophy case on Monday when he was named PGA Tour Player of the Year for a second time.

* Lionel Messi was denied a potentially money-spinning move away from Barcelona this month after a contract-dispute but the Argentine maestro remains the world's richest soccer player. According to a list compiled by Forbes, Messi's total earnings this year are US$126 million - US$92 million from his salary and US$34 million in endorsements.

* Chelsea got their Premier League campaign on track after 20-year-old right back Reece James helped them to a 3-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion with a spectacular goal on Monday.

* Wolverhampton Wanderers scored twice in the first six minutes through Raul Jimenez and Romain Saiss to earn a 2-0 victory at Sheffield United in the Premier League on Monday.

* Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme will be back on the race on Tuesday after testing negative for coronavirus, organisers told Reuters on Monday. Prudhomme left the race last Tuesday after testing positive for COVID-19, saying he would be back after a week provided his new test came back negative.

* Andy Murray, Eugenie Bouchard and Tsvetana Pironkova have received wildcard entries to the French Open which begins later this month, tournament organisers announced on Monday.

* Belgian club AA Ghent fired coach Laszlo Boloni on Monday after just 25 days in the job and on the eve of their Champions League qualifying tie against Rapid Vienna of Austria.

* Britain's Simon Yates claimed overall victory in the Tirreno Adriatico after holding off his rivals in the final stage time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto on Monday. The 28-year-old Mitchelton-Scott rider went into the 10km TT, the eighth stage, with a 16-second cushion over Rafal Majka and finished a handy 17th despite being a specialist climber.

* Jumbo-Visma rider and yellow jersey holder Primoz Roglic said on Monday he and his team have tested negative for COVID-19 after the second round of tests on Sunday and Monday, ahead of stage 16 of the Tour de France.

* South Africa's Olympic 400 metres champion Wayde van Niekerk will make his long-awaited return to the track when he competes at the rescheduled Gala dei Castelli in Bellinzona, Switzerland on Tuesday.

* United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda have been withdrawn from the AFC Champions League after the club failed to arrive in Doha, Qatar for their remaining group matches, the continental soccer governing body said on Monday. The AFC Champions League, Asia's elite club competition which was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to resume in the West Asia hub of Qatar later on Monday and the East Asia hub of Malaysia on Oct. 16.

* US Open champion Naomi Osaka has climbed six spots to third in the latest WTA rankings released on Monday while Victoria Azarenka's career revival gathered traction as the Flushing Meadows finalist returned to the top-15. Australian Ash Barty and Simona Halep of Romania continued to occupy the number one and two spots in the rankings respectively.

* South American football's premier club competition kicks off this week after a six-month hiatus caused by the new coronavirus pandemic. A total of 32 teams from 10 countries will play matches in the Copa Libertadores on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, even though domestic football is still to restart in three of them, including regional giants Argentina.

* Russian Daniil Medvedev has sealed his spot at the season-ending ATP Finals in November after reaching the U.S. Open semi-finals, the men's Tour said on Monday. Medvedev has joined Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem in qualifying for the tournament, which will be held at The O2 in London for the last time from Nov. 15-22 before it moves to Turin in Italy for the next five years.

* Renault's new sports division Alpine will enter the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a series whose jewel in the crown is the Le Mans 24 Hours, the brand's general manager said on Monday.

Reuters