World Sports News in Brief

Nadal edges closer to maiden Paris Masters title

Saturday, 2019-11-02 08:53:55
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Tennis - ATP 1000 - Paris Masters - AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France - November 1, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against France's Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. (Photo: Reuters)
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Rafael Nadal edged closer to a maiden Paris Masters title as he ended local favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s resilience in a 7-6(4) 6-1 victory to reach the semi-finals on Friday.

The 19-times grand slam champion, who will take over from Novak Djokovic as world number one on Monday, faced no break points in a ruthless display to set up a meeting with Canadian Denis Shapovalov. Djokovic brutally dismantled Greek seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1 6-2 to advance into the last four, where he will take on Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, a solid 6-2 7-5 victor over Chile’s Cristian Garin.

* Paris St Germain suffered their third Ligue 1 defeat of the season when they wasted a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 at lowly Dijon on Friday. Kylian Mbappe put the leaders ahead in the 19th minute before Dijon struck back with goals by Mounir Chouiar and Jhonder Cadiz to get a deserved victory. PSG have 27 points from 12 games and lead second-placed Nantes, who travel to Girondins de Bordeaux on Sunday, by eight points.

* Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says that Spanish teenager Eric Garcia is close to challenging for regular first-team action after setting a benchmark for other young prospects with a near-faultless display against Southampton in midweek.

* Chelsea must guard against over-confidence when they take on winless bottom club Watford in the Premier League on Saturday, manager Frank Lampard said on Friday. Though Chelsea bowed out of the League Cup with a 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United on Wednesday, they have won their last four matches in the Premier League and have climbed to fourth.

* Arsenal manager Unai Emery said midfielder Granit Xhaka will not play in Saturday's Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers and he also refused to confirm whether the Swiss will remain as club captain. Xhaka reacted angrily when he was booed by home fans after being substituted during Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.

* Tottenham Hotspur produced a devastating display to win 6-2 at Everton a year ago but Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino says he would take any positive result going into Sunday's game between the sides. Last week's 2-1 defeat by Liverpool left Tottenham in 11th place in the table, the first time the London club have been in the bottom half in November since Pochettino took over in 2014.

* Belarusian high jumper Dzmitry Nabokau has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance used to mask the presence of other drugs, the Athletics Integrity Unit said on Friday. Nabokau's suspension comes less than a month after the world championships ended in early October.

* Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has credited Anthony Martial with helping fellow forward Marcus Rashford to rediscover his goalscoring form and confidence in recent matches. Rashford, who turned 22 on Thursday, scored twice in United's League Cup victory win over Chelsea in midweek, including a stunning free-kick that took his tally to four goals in his past three starts for the club.

* Bournemouth's goal drought in the Premier League is not a matter of concern for manager , Eddie Howe who has backed his attack to find form and is focusing on the positives such as consecutive clean sheets. Bournemouth last scored in a 2-2 draw with West Ham United last month and went through October without finding the net in three matches, which included a 1-0 defeat by Arsenal and goalless draws with Norwich City and Watford.

* The Republic of Korea will host the inaugural Asian Women's Club Championship, the Asian Football Confederation announced on Friday, with the tournament featuring four of the leading female club sides from within the region. Nippon TV Beleza from Japan, China's Jiangsu Suning and Melbourne Victory of Australia will join Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels in the tournament, which will be played on a round-robin basis from Nov. 26 to 30.

* Tokyo has eventually accepted the International Olympic Committee's decision to move the marathon and race-walking events of the 2020 Games to Sapporo from the Japanese capital. The IOC announced last month that the marathon would be moved to the northern Japanese city of Sapporo due to concerns over Tokyo's summer heat. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has been a strong critic of the move and described the IOC decision as "unprecedented" earlier this week.

* Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished first in the second free practice of the F1 US Grand Prix as he clocked a best lap time of 1 minute 33.232 seconds on Friday. After finishing eighth in the first practice, the British driver looked in-form in the second practice. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc trailed behind Hamilton with a time of 1:33.533. Red Bull's Max Verstappen topped the first practice with a time of 1:34.057.

* Hoffenheim reaped their fourth consecutive victory after beating newly promoted bottom side Paderborn on three first-half goals at the opener of the 10th round in Bundesliga on Friday.

* World No. 8 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine was made to sweat but defeated American alternate Sofia Kenin in straight sets, 7-5, 7-6 (10), in their purple group round-robin clash at the 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen on Friday. The defending finals champion will face No. 7 Belinda Bencic in the semifinals.

Reuters, Xinhua