Steve Smith is “definitely tracking in the right direction” to play in the deciding ODI against England, Australia coach Justin Langer said. Australia’s star batsman, missed the first two matches of the series after getting hit on the head from a throwdown in practice. Smith has “ticked every box” so far in his recovery, Langer said. “Fingers crossed,” he added. The series is tied at 1-1.
Murray given wild card into French Open
Andy Murray received a wild card into the French Open. The former world No. 1 was the only non-Frenchman of eight players to be given a free pass into the main draw of the clay Grand Slam which starts in 13 days. Tsvetana Pironkova and Eugenie Bouchard were the only non-Frenchwomen to receive wild cards. Pironkova achieved an impressive first-time run to the US Open quarterfinals, where she was stopped by Serena Williams. Bouchard reached her first final in more than four years in Istanbul and lost in a third-set tiebreaker.
Nishikori wins; Kerber, Ostapenko lose
Kei Nishikori won for the first time in more than a year, beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4 7-6(3) in the first round of the Italian Open. Nishikori is returning from a right-elbow surgery and missed the US Open after testing positive for Covid-19. Casper Ruud rallied past Karen Khachanov 6-3 3-6 6-1, Borna Coric beat Cristian Garin 6-4 6-4, Grigor Dimitrov eliminated wild card Gianluca Mager 7-5 6-1, Filip Krajinovic beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 7-5 and Benoit Paire lost 6-2 6-1 to Italian teenager Jannik Sinner. In the women’s tournament, last year’s French Open semifinalist Amanda Anisimova edged Donna Vekic 7-6(4) 7-6(6), Katerina Siniakova stunned Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-1 and Magda Linette beat 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko 6-4 6-3.
James’ stunner helps Chelsea sink Brighton
Chelsea got their Premier League campaign on track after 20-year-old right-back Reece James helped them to a 3-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion with a spectacular goal yesterday. New signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz made their debuts up front. Meanwhile, Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has signed a new three-year deal, ending speculation over a potential exit as he entered the final year of his contract. Agencies
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