Sports Digest: Novak Djokovic advances to Italian Open final

TENNIS

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

Having missed a big portion of the season because he wasn’t vaccinated against the coronavirus, Djokovic will attempt to extend his five-match winning streak over Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final.

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

In the women’s semifinals, top-ranked Iga Swiatek routed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-1 for her 27th straight win and will face another player on a run, Ons Jabeur, as she attempts to defend her Rome title.

Jabeur beat Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 for her 11th consecutive victory after lifting the Madrid Open trophy last week.

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

The Italian announced in late March that he was having minor surgery. He wrote on Instagram that he’s making good progress but not quite ready to return yet.

HOCKEY

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

Mikael Granlund scored the winner on a power play with 2:52 to go 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 on a power play in the middle frame. Manninen added an assist on Granlund’s goal.

Germany rebounded losing to Canada the previous day by defeating Slovakia 2-1 in Group A in Helsinki. Matthias Plachta and Leonhard Pfoderl gave the Germans a 2-0 advantage with Kristian Pospisil answering with the lone Slovak goal.

SOCCER

FA CUP: Liverpool beat Chelsea in the first-ever FA Cup final penalty shootout at Wembley to stay in contention for, potentially if unlikely, a quadruple of trophies.

Just like in the League Cup final in February, the showpiece ended 0-0 after regulation and extra time before Liverpool prevailed again. This time, the Reds were helped by Chelsea midfielder Mason Mason’s penalty being saved before Konstantinos Tsimikas clinched the 6-5 shootout win with his first-ever goal for the club.

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

GOLF

EUROPEAN: Ryan Fox birdied the 18th hole to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Soudal Open in Antwerp, Belgium.

The New Zealander bogeyed early in his third round at Rinkven International to slip further off the pace, but birdied his next hole, and reeled off five more coming home in a 5-under-par 66.

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

CYCLING

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

De Gendt was helped by Lotto – Soudal teammate Harm Vanhoucke and edged out Davide Gabburo and Jorge Arcas in the sprint at the end of an undulating 95-mile route that started and finished in the seaside city of Naples.

FOOTBALL

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

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

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

BASKETBALL

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

Minnesota (2-1) beat 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 off the bench.

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


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