World Sports News in Brief

Soccer-Man City's De Bruyne wins PFA Player of the Year award for second time

Monday, 2021-06-07 07:13:20
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Everton - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 23, 2021 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
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Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne was named the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year for a second consecutive season on Sunday (Jun 6) after the Belgian led his side to the Premier League title.

De Bruyne scored six goals and provided a club-high 12 assists as City wrapped up a third league title in four seasons, while they also lifted the League Cup and reached the Champions League final. The 29-year-old is only the third player to win back-to-back awards after former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

* Alexander Zverev swept past Kei Nishikori 6-4 6-1 6-1 to reach the French Open quarter-finals for the third time on Sunday. After a competitive opening set the powerful German raced away from the Japanese player who lacked the firepower to make any impression on the sixth seed.

* Serena Williams' wait for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title goes on after the American was beaten 6-3 7-5 by an inspired Elena Rybakina in the French Open fourth round on Sunday. From the moment the 21-year-old Rybakina, playing in only her seventh Grand Slam main draw, held her opening two service games without dropping a point, Williams looked in peril.

* Netherlands beat Georgia 3-0 thanks to goals from Memphis Depay, Wout Weghorst and teenager Ryan Gravenberch on Sunday in a morale-boosting victory ahead of the European Championship.

* A makeshift England side beat Romania 1-0 in their final Euro 2020 warm-up game on Sunday as Marcus Rashford converted a 68th-minute penalty after manager Gareth Southgate made nine changes to the team that beat Austria by the same score on Wednesday.

* Hosts Austria twice hit the woodwork in a 0-0 draw with Slovakia as the pair completed their preparations for Euro 2020 with a final warm-up fixture at a sunny Ernst Happel Stadium on Sunday. Austria open their Euro 2020 campaign against North Macedonia in Bucharest next Sunday, while Slovakia face Poland in St Petersburg a day later.

* Mexican Sergio Perez won a dramatic Azerbaijan Grand Prix for Red Bull on Sunday after a tyre blowout denied championship-leading team mate Max Verstappen certain victory and Lewis Hamilton failed to score.

* Yuka Saso battled back from a horrid start to best Japan's Nasa Hataoka in the third hole of a sudden death playoff to win the 76th U.S. Women's Open golf championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco on Sunday. With the victory, the 19-year-old Saso became the first Filipino player to win a golf major and announced herself as a new force in the game.

* Monica Puig, the reigning Olympic gold medallist in women's singles tennis, said she will miss the Tokyo Games and the rest of the 2021 season after undergoing shoulder surgery. Puig, 27, became the first athlete representing Puerto Rico to win Olympic gold in 2016 when she defeated Angelique Kerber 6-4 4-6 6-1 in the women's singles final at the Rio Olympics.

* Australia coach Graham Arnold will shake up his match-day squad for the World Cup qualifier against Taiwan (China) as the Socceroos look to continue their unbeaten run on the road to Qatar. Arnold said he would look to pick players who were rested for last week's 3-0 win over Kuwait after arriving late to the squad's camp in the Middle East.

* Spain captain Sergio Busquets has tested positive for COVID-19, the national team announced on Sunday eight days before their first match at Euro 2020. The 32-year-old Barcelona midfielder had tested positive on Sunday and had left the camp. The rest of the squad had tested negative but Busquets and his contacts would remain isolated.

* Second seed Daniil Medvedev's new love affair with clay continued to blossom on Sunday with the Russian marching into the quarter-finals of the French Open with a commanding 6-2 6-1 7-5 win over Chilean 22nd seed Cristian Garin.

* Former world number one Roger Federer, who is targeting a record 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, withdrew from the French Open on Sunday, a day after winning a tough third-round match, opting to save himself for the grass-court season.

* Dutch long-distance runner Sifan Hassan broke the women's 10,000 metres world record on Sunday, clocking 29 minutes 6.82 seconds in a Continental Tour meeting on home soil in Hengelo, World Athletics said. Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana held the previous record of 29:17.45, set at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but Hassan shaved more than 10 seconds off that mark.

* Paula Badosa reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final when she beat 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 3-6 6-2 at the French Open, with her aggressive baseline play outclassing the Czech 20th seed on Court Suzanne Lenglen on Sunday.

* Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova rolled back the years as she reached the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time since 2011 by beating former world number one Victoria Azarenka 5-7 6-3 6-2 on Sunday.

* KTM rider Miguel Oliveira overcame Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo in an intense battle to claim his first win of the season at the Catalunya Grand Prix in Barcelona on Sunday. Pramac Ducati's Johann Zarco made a late charge to finish second as championship leader Quartararo dropped down to fourth after being given a three-second penalty for exceeding track limits.

* Tamara Zidansek became the first woman from Slovenia to reach the singles quarter-finals of a Grand Slam on Sunday with a 7-6(4) 6-1 victory over unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea at the French Open.