Sports News Roundup: Tennis-Nadal overpowers Kecmanovic in Madrid on return from injury; Soccer-Arsenal stay in WSL title race after easy win over Spurs and more
Average attendance for the kickoff of the 10th NWSL season was over 10,000 fans per game, boosted by expansion team Angel City FC's 22,000-person sellout in downtown Los Angeles on Friday night. Tennis-Injury recovery was like a 'roller coaster', says Nadal Rafa Nadal said his recovery from a rib injury has been like a "roller coaster" after the 21-times major winner returned to action with a win over Miomir Kecmanovic at the Madrid Open.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Rafa Nadal returned from an injury layoff to beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 7-6(4) on Wednesday and reach the last 16 in the Madrid Open claycourt tournament. Nadal, competing in his first match since March following a rib injury, quickly found his rhythm in a strong start against Serbian Kecmanovic.
Soccer-Arsenal stay in WSL title race after easy win over Spurs
Arsenal stayed in contention for the Women's Super League title with leaders Chelsea after an early goal by Beth Mead and a superb second-half double by Caitlin Foord earned them a 3-0 home win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. Second-placed Arsenal can top the table if they beat sixth-placed West Ham and Chelsea, whom they trail by one point, lose to or draw with fourth-placed Manchester United in the last matchday of the season on Sunday.
NBA-Bryant's rookie jersey could fetch $5 million at auction, says SCP
A purple and gold jersey worn 25 years ago by Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant during his rookie season will hit the auction block next month and is estimated to fetch between $3 million and $5 million, SCP Auctions said on Wednesday. Bryant entered the league as a teenager in 1996 and the number eight jersey has been "resolution photo matched" to four games during his rookie campaign, including two playoff games, SCP said.
Soccer-Real fightback from the brink to stun Man City
Real Madrid fought back from the brink of elimination to beat Manchester City 3-1 after extra time and 6-5 on aggregate in an enthralling and dramatic Champions League semi-final on Wednesday. City led 1-0 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate when Riyad Mahrez scored after 73 minutes but Real substitute Rodrygo equalized in the last minute of normal time and headed home one minute later to level the tie at 5-5.
Golf-Morgan is off to the majors after winning the Australasian Order of Merit
Australian young gun Jediah Morgan will play his first majors at this year's U.S. and British Opens after being confirmed as the Order of Merit champion on the PGA Tour of Australasia on Thursday. The 22-year-old takes an unassailable lead into the final event of the season in the Northern Territory this weekend, ensuring him a ticket to June's U.S Open at Brookline and a shot at winning the Claret Jug at St Andrew's in July.
Soccer-FIFA confirms World Cup playoffs schedule
Global soccer governing body FIFA confirmed that the intercontinental playoffs for the World Cup will be played at Doha's Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on June 13-14. Asian rivals Australia and United Arab Emirates meet in a playoff at the same venue on June 7, with the winner to meet Peru on June 13.
NBA-Nets' Simmons to undergo back surgery
Brooklyn Nets Ben Simmons will undergo back surgery on Thursday to alleviate pain caused by a herniated disc, the team said on Wednesday. "After consultation with multiple back specialists, it has been determined that the best course of action for Ben's long-term health is for him to undergo surgery," the team said.
Basketball-Chicago Sky eye tall task of WNBA title defense
The Chicago Sky are aiming for even loftier heights in their title defense as the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) kicks off a new season on Friday. The Sky snared 2019 Finals MVP Emma Meesseman in February after picking up their maiden title, putting them in an ideal position to become the first franchise to go back-to-back since the Los Angeles Sparks two decades ago.
Soccer-'Challenge accepted': NWSL says fan turnout shows women's soccer is on the rise
Last weekend's slate of season-opening National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) matches smashed the league's previous attendance record and Commissioner Jessica Berman says it's part of a surge in interest in the women's game. Average attendance for the kickoff of the 10th NWSL season was over 10,000 fans per game, boosted by expansion team Angel City FC's 22,000-person sellout in downtown Los Angeles on Friday night.
Tennis-Injury recovery was like a 'roller coaster', says Nadal
Rafa Nadal said his recovery from a rib injury has been like a "roller coaster" after the 21-times major winner returned to action with a win over Miomir Kecmanovic at the Madrid Open. The Australian Open champion was playing in his first event since picking up the injury at Indian Wells in March but showed little signs of rust, cruising to a 6-1 7-6(4) victory on Wednesday.
(With inputs from agencies.)