SPORTS DAY: Four-year absence hasn’t cooled the Fed
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Federer sweeps to victory on Roland Garros return
Roger Federer marked his return to Roland Garros after a four-year absence with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego on Sunday. Federer, the 2009 French Open champion in Paris, will face German lucky loser Oscar Otte for a place in the third round.
‘Muguruza can win any tournament at her peak’
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza has the potential and talent to win any tournament in the world when she is at her peak despite her recent slide down the singles rankings, says two-times French Open finalist Alex Corretja. Muguruza, a 2016 winner at Roland Garros, is seeded 19th this year and has not been in the best form this season, winning only one title, at the Monterrey Open in April after her final opponent, Victoria Azarenka, retired with an injury. From a career-high No 1 singles ranking in 2017, she has since slipped to 19th after a poor 2018 season and was stretched in the opening round on Sunday by American Taylor Townsend before eventually claiming a 5-7 6-2 6-2 victory.
Hamilton extends championship lead
Lewis Hamilton held off an aggressive Max Verstappen, who finished second but was dropped to fourth after being hit with a five-second penalty earlier in the race, and finished more than three seconds ahead of third-placed Valterri in the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
Aussies handle ruthless English fans
Australia duo Steve Smith and David Warner were given a torrid time by the Southampton crowd during their World Cup warm-up victory over England on Saturday. It was the shamed pair’s first appearance against the English since the end of one-year bans for their role in the sandpaper ball-tampering scandal in SA that plunged Australian cricket into crisis in 2018. There were audible boos, jeers and chants of “cheat”, a soundtrack that Warner and Smith will need to get used to as the World Cup progresses. But neither man seemed to fret over the welcome, Smith with a match-winning 116 and Warner making 43.
Wiesberger steams in to win Denmark Open
Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger ended on 14-under par to beat Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre by a single stroke in a thrilling finale at the Made in Denmark Open to claim his fifth European Tour title on Sunday. Wiesberger, who started the final round with the same lead over MacIntyre, carded a five-under par 66 to win his first title since recovering from wrist surgery that sidelined him for seven months last year.
Cataldo outsprints pack to take Giro stage
Astana’s Dario Cataldo won the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday, outsprinting the other survivor of a long breakaway, fellow Italian Mattia Cattaneo, in Como. Richard Carapaz, the overall leader, finished 11 seconds behind with Simon Yates and Vincenzo Nibali, but Primoz Roglic, who came off his bike on the final descent, lost 40 seconds to the Ecuadorean.
Oscar strikes to end Beijing’s perfect record
Oscar scored his fourth goal in two games and set up the winner as Shanghai SIPG ended Beijing Guoan’s 100% record in the Chinese Super League on Sunday. The precious 2-1 home win cuts Guoan’s lead at the top to just two points from the reigning champions and blows the title race wide open with just over a third of the season gone. Former Chelsea attacking midfielder Oscar hit a hat-trick to take SIPG into the Asian Champions League knockout rounds in midweek, and he was at it again after 28 minutes in the top-of-the-table clash.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE