World Sports Brief: June 4, 2023

Roland Garros: Swiatek serves up double bagel as Gauff advance

Defending champion Iga Swiatek continued her imperious, merciless march towards a third French Open title in four years with a 6-0 6-0 humiliation of Wang Xinyu on Saturday (June 3) to reach the fourth round.
Coco Gauff of the US in action during her third round match against Russia's Mirra Andreeva - Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)
Coco Gauff of the US in action during her third round match against Russia's Mirra Andreeva - Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)

The world number one swept her Chinese opponent aside in 51 minutes with a potential quarter-final clash against Coco Gauff, who she demolished in last year's final, looming. Gauff ended the run of fellow teenager Mirra Andreeva with a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-1 victory, recovering from a tough start against the 16-year-old Russian.

* Barcelona won their second Women's Champions League in three years on Saturday when they came back from two goals down to beat VfL Wolfsburg 3-2 in a thrilling final before a sold-out crowd in Eindhoven. Swedish defender Fridolina Rolfo struck the winning goal from close range in the 70th minute, rounding off a sensational comeback for Barcelona who had been 2-0 down at half-time.

* Rafael Nadal's injury-plagued season is all but over after the Spaniard underwent surgery on a hip muscle which will keep him out of action for an estimated five months, his representative said on Saturday. The 14-times French Open champion, who has won a men's joint-record 22 majors, has been out of action since January after hurting his hip flexor in a second-round defeat by Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open.

* Red Bull's championship leader Max Verstappen produced a mighty qualifying lap to take pole position for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday with Ferrari's Carlos Sainz joining him on the front row. McLaren's Lando Norris qualified third in a dramatic session with Alpine's Pierre Gasly fourth but under investigation for two counts of suspected impeding.

* A fan died after falling from a stand at the Argentinian club River Plate's Mas Monumental stadium during Saturday's game against Defensa y Justicia. The match was suspended after 26 minutes and the venue was evacuated following the incident. According to the club's report there was no violence or third party intervention.

* Beatriz Haddad Maia became the first Brazilian woman in 44 years to reach the last 16 of the French Open with a 5-7 6-4 7-5 victory over Ekaterina Alexandrova at Roland Garros on Saturday. The 14th seed received plenty of vocal support from the stands as she emulated the 1978 and 1979 feat of Patricia Medrado.

* Auxerre’s short Ligue 1 stay ended after a 3-1 defeat to Lens confirmed their relegation on the final day of the season on Saturday, while Stade Rennais sealed a Europa League place and Paris St Germain said an unhappy farewell to Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos. Auxerre's loss, coupled with a 1-0 victory for Nantes at home to Angers, meant a return to the second tier after one season, and they join Troyes, Ajaccio and Angers through the Ligue 1 trap-door as the division is cut from 20 clubs to 18 in 2023-24.

* Francisco Cerundolo reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time on Saturday with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 7-5 win over American ninth seed Taylor Fritz in the third round of the French Open. The 24-year-old Argentine's first four outings at the majors all ended in first round defeats but this year he has shown improvement.

* USM Alger lost the battle but won the war as they claimed a first ever continental title with an away goals victory over Tanzanian outfit Young Africans following the second leg of the final of the African Confederation Cup in Algiers on Saturday. The Algerian side led 2-1 from the first game in Dar es Salaam and, though they were beaten 1-0 by their unfancied opponents at home, lift the title on the away goals rule following the 2-2 aggregate draw.

* Alessio Romagnoli and Luis Alberto emerged as the saviours for Lazio when they scored in a 2-0 win at Empoli on Saturday, giving the visitors a second-place finish in Serie A. Earlier in the day, Inter Milan had pushed Lazio down to third place in the standings after a 1-0 victory at Torino. However, Lazio's win ensured they finished the season in second place with 74 points, behind runaway champions Napoli and two points ahead of Inter.

* RB Leipzig won back-to-back German Cup titles with a 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the final at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Saturday, with Christopher Nkunku scoring one second-half goal and setting up Dominik Szoboszlai for the other. The result meant Bayer Leverkusen, who finished sixth in the Bundesliga, qualified for the Europa League again after reaching the semi-finals this season.

* Eden Hazard will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season after agreeing to terminate his contract a year early, the club said on Saturday, with the winger enduring a dismal four years in LaLiga since his move from Chelsea. The former Belgium international, 32, joined Real in 2019 and became the Spanish club's most expensive signing in history, but he has been restricted by several injury problems and struggled to settle at the Santiago Bernabeu.

* Lionel Messi will leave Paris St Germain at the end of season after two years at the Ligue 1 club, Paris St Germain said on Saturday. While he has 21 goals and 20 assists for PSG in all competitions this season, Messi failed to have a big impact at PSG and in his two seasons at the club, could not help them go past the last 16 in the Champions League.