World Sports News in Brief

Djokovic fights off Berrettini to set up Nadal semi-final

Thursday, 2021-06-10 07:42:19
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Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 9, 2021 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his quarter final match against Italy's Matteo Berrettini. (Photo: Reuters)
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A fired-up Novak Djokovic repelled a stirring fightback by Italian Matteo Berrettini to claim a 6-3 6-2 6-7(5) 7-5 victory on Wednesday (June 9) to set up a mouth-watering semi-final showdown with defending champion Rafa Nadal.

The 34-year-old bellowed a series of frightening roars after completing a victory that at one stage looked like a formality but became increasingly fraught as Berrettini threw the kitchen sink at the Serb who becomes only the second man to reach 40 Grand Slam semi-finals after Roger Federer.

* Rafa Nadal dropped a set at Roland Garros for the first time in two years but roared back to beat 10th seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-0 on Wednesday and reach the French Open semi-finals.

* Unseeded Barbora Krejcikova reached the semi-finals of the French Open on her fifth appearance in a Grand Slam main draw as she beat a nervy Coco Gauff 7-6(6) 6-3 on Wednesday.

* The curse of French Open defending champions continued as Iga Swiatek was knocked out 6-4 6-4 by Greek Maria Sakkari in the French Open quarter-finals, leaving the women's draw wide open on Wednesday. Sakkari, the world number 18, will take on Czech Barbora Krejcikova for a place in Saturday's final.

* Kevin De Bruyne played no part in Belgium’s training session on Wednesday, lessening the chances of him playing in their first European Championship match against Russia in St Petersburg on Saturday. Belgium coach Roberto Martinez had already said it would be unlikely that their midfield talisman would compete in the Group B clash after he suffered a double facial fracture playing for Manchester City in last month’s Champions League final.

* UEFA's independent appeals body has suspended disciplinary proceedings against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus over their attempt to launch a breakaway Super League, European soccer's governing body said on Wednesday.

* The six English clubs that signed up to the breakaway European Super League earlier this year have agreed to pay 20 million pounds (US$28 million) as part of a settlement with the Premier League, Sky Sports reported on Wednesday.

* Some 80% of athletes qualified for the Tokyo Olympics have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, with the International Olympic Committee pushing to raise that number with just over a month to go before the start of the Games.

* Korea Republic paid tribute to World Cup hero Yoo Sang-chul as Paulo Bento's side secured their place in the next phase of Asia's qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup on Wednesday with a 5-0 win over Sri Lanka in Goyang. The 10-time World Cup qualifiers moved three points clear of second-placed Lebanon at the top of Group H after the Lebanese slipped to a 3-2 defeat against Turkmenistan earlier in the day.

* Britain's double Olympic rowing champion Helen Glover secured her ticket to Tokyo on Wednesday as a 34-year-old mother of three and said it felt like the biggest achievement of her career. Glover won coxless pairs gold at the London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games with now-retired Heather Stanning and has paired up with Polly Swann, who won silver with the women's eight in 2016.

* Lazio all but confirmed the appointment of Maurizio Sarri as their new head coach on Wednesday by posting a cigarette emoji on social media. The Serie A club's post was a reference to the chain-smoking manager, and numerous Italian media reports say the 62-year-old has signed a two-year deal in Rome.

* Russia's sports minister said on Wednesday that the country's men's national soccer team aimed to reach the knockout stage of the European Championship, as they prepare to kick off their campaign on home turf in St Petersburg on Saturday. Russia take on Belgium, the world's top-ranked team, in their opener on June 12, and then Denmark and surprise qualifiers Finland.

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