World Sports News in Brief

Tsitsipas fights back to beat Thiem and claim ATP Finals title

Monday, 2019-11-18 08:49:32
 Font Size:     |        Print

Tennis - ATP Finals - The O2, London, Britain - November 17, 2019 Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning the ATP Finals with the trophy. (Photo: Reuters)
 Font Size:     |  

Stefanos Tsitsipas confirmed his meteoric rise into the highest echelon of men’s tennis by battling back to beat Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-7(6) 6-2 7-6(4) in a compelling title duel at the ATP Finals on Sunday.

The 21-year-old debutant, the youngest of the eight qualifiers for the elite season-ender at the O2 Arena, displayed resilience and flair in equal measure to become the youngest champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.

* Brazil staged a remarkable comeback for the second time in a week on Sunday to beat Mexico 2-1 in front of their own fans and win the Under-17 World Cup for a fourth time. Earlier in the day, Arnaud Kalimuendo-Muinga scored a hat trick to help France come from behind to beat the Netherlands 3-1 and take third-place.

* World champions France produced a fitting inaugural match in Albania's newly-built Arena Kombetare stadium after goals from Corentin Tolisso and Antoine Griezmann gave them a 2-0 win in a Euro 2020 Group H qualifier on Sunday. Having already booked their berth in next year's 24-nation tournament, France finished top of the group on 25 points from 10 games, two ahead of second-placed Turkey who cruised to a 2-0 win at Andorra.

* Max Verstappen won a thrilling Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix for Red Bull on Sunday after the Ferraris collided and Mercedes’ six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton was demoted from third to seventh. In a race of safety cars and surprises, Verstappen’s former team mate Pierre Gasly made a first podium appearance in second place for Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso, a rare Honda-powered one-two. Hamilton chased the Frenchman across the line for third but was handed a five-second penalty for tangling with Red Bull’s Alex Albon in a frantic finale to the season’s penultimate round.

* England secured a place among the top six seeds for next year’s European Championship after three late goals helped them to a 4-0 win in Kosovo in their final qualifier on Sunday. England, already assured of a place at the finals, finished top of Group A with 21 points from eight games, their only blip being last month’s 2-1 defeat in the Czech Republic, who have qualified as runners-up.

* French duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut cruised to the title at the ATP Finals on Sunday as they beat Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus 6-3 6-4 at the O2 Arena. In doing so they became the first French pair to win the year-ender since 2005 when Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro won the title in Shanghai.

* Nigeria's in-form forward Victor Osimhen struck twice as they came from a goal down to beat minnows Lesotho 4-2 in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Group L qualifier in Maseru on Sunday. Cameroon needed a second half strike by Ngoumo Ngamaleu to secure a 1-0 win versus Rwanda in Group F. There are 13 more qualifiers on Monday and Tuesday, before the competition takes a nine-month break until August 2020.

* World champion Marc Marquez won the Valencia GP on Sunday with a superb performance for his 12th victory of the season to ensure that the Repsol Honda team won the teams' world title. The 26-year-old, who began the day behind Petronas Yamaha's pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo, overtook the French rookie with a superb move in the eighth lap and never looked back to finish the race in 41 minutes, 21.469 seconds.

* A stoppage time equaliser by late substitute Artem Besyedin gave Ukraine a 2-2 draw in Serbia after the home side led twice in an entertaining Euro 2020 Group B qualifier on Sunday. The Ukrainians, who had already secured a berth in next year's 24-nation tournament, finished their campaign top of the group on 20 points from eight games. European champions Portugal (17 points) joined them after a laboured 2-0 win at Luxembourg while third-placed Serbia, who collected 14 points, will have another chance to advance via the Nations League playoffs in March.

* Netherlands skipper Virgil van Dijk will miss Tuesday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia after withdrawing from the squad due to personal reasons, the Dutch football association said on Sunday. Liverpool defender Van Dijk, 28, played the full 90 minutes as the Netherlands drew 0-0 at Northern Ireland on Saturday to qualify for their first major tournament since 2014.

* Sloane Stephens said she is ready to turn the page on a disappointing 2019 and shift her focus to climbing the world tennis rankings to qualify for next year's Tokyo Olympics. The 26-year-old American, who won the US Open in 2017 and reached world number three in 2018, struggled this year, failing to make the final at any tournament and falling to world number 25.