Sports Digest: Novak Djokovic advances to Italian Open final

 Sports Digest: Novak Djokovic advances to Italian Open final


Novak Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-3 at the Italian Open on Saturday in Rome to reach his biggest final of the year.

Missing a large part of the season because he was not vaccinated against the coronavirus, Djokovic will try to extend his five -straight win against Stefanos Tsitsipas by the end of Sunday.

Tsitsipas reached his first final in Rome by rallying Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

In the women’s semifinals, top-ranked Iga Swiatek defeated Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-1 for her 27th consecutive win and will battle another running back, Ons Jabeur, as she tries to defend his title to Rome.

Jabeur defeated Daria Kasatkina, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 for her 11th straight win after lifting the Madrid Open trophy last week.

FRENCH OPEN: Eighth -ranked Matteo Berrettini has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open as he continues his recovery from surgery on his right hand.

The Italian announced in late March that he had minor surgery. He wrote on Instagram that he is making good progress but is not yet ready to return.


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Host Finland recovered from a first period scare to beat Latvia 2-1 for their second win in two games at the ice hockey world championship on Saturday in Tampere, Finland.

Mikael Granlund scored the winner in a power play with 2:52 left in the final period of the Group B game in Tampere. Rudolfs Balcers put Latvia 1-0 ahead in the opening period then Sakari Manninen equalized for power play in the middle frame. Manninen added an assist to Granlund’s goal.

Germany came back from losing to Canada the previous day by beating Slovakia 2-1 in Group A in Helsinki. Matthias Plachta and Leonhard Pfoderl gave the Germans a 2-0 advantage with Kristian Pospisil answering the Slovakian’s lone goal.


FA CUP: Liverpool beat Chelsea in their first ever FA Cup final penalty shootout at Wembley to stay in contention for, possibly if not impossible, a quadruple of the trophies.

Like the League Cup final in February, the showpiece ended 0-0 after regulation and extra time before Liverpool won. This time, the Reds were assisted by Chelsea midfielder Mason Mason’s penalty saved before Konstantinos Tsimikas won a 6-5 shootout victory on his very first goal for the club.

It was Liverpool’s first FA Cup win since 2006 – one of two previous shootouts settling the cup final that both took place in Cardiff while Wembley was being rebuilt.


EUROPEAN: Ryan Fox birdyed the 18th hole to lead with a shot in the final round of the Soudal Open in Antwerp, Belgium.

The New Zealander bogeyed early in his third round at Rinkven International to get even further back on the run, but birdyed his next hole, and scored five more home runs on 5-under-par 66.

Fox was 11 under overall, one shot ahead of Sam Horsfield, the co-leader in the first two rounds.


Tour of Italy: A decade after his first victory on stage at the Giro d’Italia, Belgian cyclist Thomas De Gendt claimed his second in the eighth period and Juan Pedro López remained wearing the pink jersey.

De Gendt was assisted by Lotto – Soudal teammate Harm Vanhoucke and defeated Davide Gabburo and Jorge Arcas in the sprint at the end of a winding 95-mile route that began and ended on the beach town of Naples.


NFL: Former Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas was arrested in Texas more than two weeks after a warrant was issued for an alleged violation of a protective order.

Beaumont, Texas, television station KBMT reported that Thomas was arrested Friday in Orange, where he was playing high school football. The station reported that the three-time All-Pro was recognized by a restaurant.

A warrant of arrest was issued last month in Austin, Texas, where Thomas played in college for the Texas Longhorns. Police say Thomas violated a court order by sending threatening messages to a woman about him and her children, the Austin American-Statesman reported.


WNBA: Diana Taurasi made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points and Phoenix Mercury beat host Seattle Storm 69-64 to sweep the home-and-home series.

Minnesota (2-1) defeated Seattle (1-3) 97-77 on Wednesday night in Phoenix.

Skylar Diggins-Smith added 14 points and five assists for Phoenix. Brianna Turner had 14 rebounds, and Tina Charles grabbed 10. Diamond DeShields had 11 points and four assists from the bench.

Jewell Loyd made five 3-pointers and scored 26 points for Seattle. Sue Bird scored two points on 1-of-11 shooting. He missed all eight of his 3-point try. Stephanie Talbot had 14 rebounds and eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. Ezi Magbegor had 10 rebounds and blocked seven shots.

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