Sports News Roundup: Roland Garros bracing for Svitolina v Sabalenka clash; Europa Conference final is real deal for West Ham and Fiorentina and more
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will own 75% of al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr, and Al-Hilal, the sports ministry said on Twitter on Monday following a report by state news agency SPA that Saudi Arabia will privatise several sports clubs from the fourth quarter. Soccer-Europa Conference final is real deal for West Ham and Fiorentina The Europa Conference League might be very much UEFA's third club competition but for West Ham United and Fiorentina, whose solitary European successes came over half a century ago, Wednesday's showdown is being treated like a World Cup final.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Tennis-Gauff charges past Schmiedlova into quarter-finals
Last year's French Open runner-up Coco Gauff overcame an early wobble to outclass Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-5 6-2 and reach the quarter-finals, where she could face a potential rematch with holder Iga Swiatek. Gauff won her previous clash with Schmiedlova in Madrid last year, dropping only two games, and the American made a quick start again with a break in the opening game to pull away and leave her 100th-ranked opponent facing an uphill task.
Tennis-Ruud roars, Jabeur races into French Open quarter-finals
Casper Ruud continued his bid to reach back-to-back finals at the French Open by fending off Chile's Nicolas Jarry in a 7-6(3) 7-5 7-5 fourth-round win on Monday as Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur also stayed on course for a maiden Grand Slam crown. Ruud, who has only dropped two sets in four matches so far, faced a tricky test against lanky claycourt specialist Jarry but pulled through in three hours and 20 minutes as his opponent failed to make his chances count in the last two sets.
Tennis-Roland Garros bracing for Svitolina v Sabalenka clash
Tension will be at its highest at the French Open on Tuesday when Elina Svitolina faces Aryna Sabalenka in front of a notoriously fickle Roland Garros crowd in the most electrifying sporting clash since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. Ukraine's Svitolina has been refusing to shake hands with players from Russia or Belarus, who has been a key staging ground for what Moscow calls a 'special military operation', while Belarusian Sabalenka has been in the eye of the storm for snubbing the media after being grilled about the war.
EXCLUSIVE-Olympics-IBA says has met reform criteria, accuses IOC of intransigence
With boxing teetering on the brink of Olympic elimination, the International Boxing Association (IBA) told the International Olympic Committee it had met its reform criteria and any ban lacked legal basis. In their report to the IOC, obtained by Reuters through a source with knowledge of the proceedings, it also blamed the Olympic body for unilateral actions and for making false statements.
Soccer-Inter manager Inzaghi praises City and Guardiola ahead of Champions League final
Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi expressed his admiration for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City and said his side would have to be at their absolute best if they were to come out on top in the Champions League final on Saturday. Following their fifth Premier League title in six seasons and FA Cup win at the weekend, Guardiola joined Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson as the only managers to win the English double more than once, having also achieved it in 2018-19.
Motor racing-LeBron James to flag away centenary Le Mans 24 Hours race
Basketball great LeBron James will be the official starter when the 24 Hours of Le Mans sportscar race celebrates its centenary this weekend, organisers of the endurance classic said on Monday. The Los Angeles Lakers forward, the NBA's all-time leading scorer and four-time champion, joins a list of celebrity starters who have carried out the ceremonial role over the decades.
Motor racing-Dominant Verstappen ripping through the F1 record books
Max Verstappen is rewriting the record books, ready to overtake some of Formula One's all-time greats in what looks ominously like becoming the most one-sided of seasons. Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix 'Grand Slam' win was a career 40th for Red Bull's dominant double world champion and left him one behind Ayrton Senna, with Alain Prost's tally also in his sights.
Saudi wealth fund to take control of soccer star Ronaldo's club
Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund will take control of four of the kingdom's top soccer clubs including Al-Nassr, which Cristiano Ronaldo plays for, as the government revives a plan to privatise several state-owned sports clubs. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will own 75% of al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr, and Al-Hilal, the sports ministry said on Twitter on Monday following a report by state news agency SPA that Saudi Arabia will privatise several sports clubs from the fourth quarter.
Soccer-Europa Conference final is real deal for West Ham and Fiorentina
The Europa Conference League might be very much UEFA's third club competition but for West Ham United and Fiorentina, whose solitary European successes came over half a century ago, Wednesday's showdown is being treated like a World Cup final. Fiorentina, who lost to Real Madrid in the second European Cup final in 1957, won the first edition of the now-defunct Cup Winners' Cup in 1961. They lost in the final the next season and lost to Juventus in a two-legged UEFA Cup final in 1990.
Soccer-Argentina's Messi keen on rejoining Barcelona, says father
Lionel Messi, who last week played his last game for Paris St Germain, is open to making a return to LaLiga side Barcelona, the Argentine forward's father said on Monday. Barca were forced to let their talisman leave in 2021 because his high wages coupled with strict LaLiga financial rules could have jeopardised the club's future.
(With inputs from agencies.)