World Sports News in Brief

Tennis: Osaka to play at US Open, ‘Big Three’ lead men's field

Thursday, 2021-07-22 05:59:00
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Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts during her first round match against Romania's Patricia Maria Tig. (Photo: Reuters)
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Naomi Osaka will defend her title at the US Open, organisers said on Wednesday (Jul 21), after she withdrew from this year's French Open and Wimbledon on mental health grounds.

In the men's section, former champions Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - currently tied for the men's record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles - will resume their quest for more silverware in New York.

* Manchester City have cancelled a pre-season friendly in France against Troyes due to British quarantine requirements, the Premier League champions said on Wednesday. Anyone arriving in Britain from France must quarantine at home or in other accommodation for five to 10 days, under British government rules.

* Norwich City manager Daniel Farke has signed a four-year contract extension, the promoted Premier League side said on Wednesday (Jul 21). The new deal will keep the German at the club until the end of the 2024-25 season. Farke arrived at Carrow Road in 2017 from Borussia Dortmund and led Norwich to the top flight in 2019, before relegation in 2020 and subsequent bounce back.

* Inter Milan have followed Arsenal in cancelling their pre-season tour to the United States for the Florida Cup due to COVID-19 concerns, the Italian Serie A champions said on Wednesday. Inter were scheduled to face Arsenal on Sunday, with the winner facing the victor in Everton's game against Colombian outfit Millonarios on Jul 28.

* Dani Pedrosa will make a wildcard return to MotoGP at Austria's Red Bull Ring on August 6-8, the KTM team said on Wednesday (Jul 21). The 35-year-old Spaniard retired from full-time racing at the end of 2018 but has since served as KTM's factory test rider. Three times a runner-up in the top category, Pedrosa won 31 races with Honda between 2006-2018. The race at the Red Bull Ring will be his first for KTM.

* Serie A club Spezia on Wednesday said their COVID-19 outbreak had risen to 15 confirmed cases as four members of the first- team playing and coaching staff tested positive. Spezia reported 11 positive tests earlier in the week, an outbreak the club's chief medical officer put down to two first-team players' refusal to have the vaccine.

* Ecuador's 200 metres sprinter Alex Quinonez was handed a 12-month ban for whereabouts failures which constitute an anti-doping violation, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Wednesday. The AIU said Quinonez admitted an anti-doping violation for three missed tests between June last year and May this year.

* The bidding process for the hosting rights for the 2027 Asian Cup has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be held in 2022 instead of this year, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Wednesday. The selection of the host nation was initially due to be done at the AFC Congress on Nov. 27, 2021.

* Motorcycling's Thailand Grand Prix, scheduled to be held at the Chang International Circuit in October, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MotoGP said on Wednesday. The Thai Grand Prix is the third Asian race to be cancelled due to COVID-19 following the Australian and Japanese rounds. The Finnish Grand Prix was also cancelled, with the Styrian Grand Prix added in its place.

* The Milwaukee Bucks, powered by a masterpiece from Greek forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, ended their 50-year wait for a second NBA championship with a 105-98 win over the visiting Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.