Exclusive Reports

Fri, Dec

Former world No 1 Serena Williams was officially entered on the Roland Garros entry list on Wednesday in what would be her first Grand Slam event since the 2017 Australian Open. Also appearing on the main draw line-up in the men's event is Andy Murray, who hasn't played since last year's Wimbledon and was widely expected to return to action at a grass court event in the Netherlands the week after the French Open in June.

Rafael Nadal remains on course for a record 31st Masters title after beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-1 in the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals on Saturday. The top-ranked Spaniard never looked in trouble as he beat the fourth-seeded Bulgarian for the 11th time in 12 career meetings. If Nadal wins Sunday's final, he will also keep his No. 1 ranking. Should he lose, Roger Federer will reclaim it.

Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem both had to come from a set down to win their second-round matches at the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday. The fourth-seeded Dimitrov rallied to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, while the fifth-seeded Thiem saved a match point in his 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 win against Andrey Rublev of Russia.

Nigeria’s table tennis team defeated hosts Australia 3-1 in the men’s team quarter-finals event at the ongoing Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Nigerian team had earlier defeated Belize 3-0 and Malaysia 3-1 respectively in their group games. In match 1, Bode Abiodun defeated Heming Hu 3-2 (11-9,10-12,11-4,8-11,11-8) while Olajide Omotayo lost 3-1 (9-11,11-6,7-11,8-11) to Xin Yan in match 2.

Rafael Nadal crushed fifth seed Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2 to romp into the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals on Friday as he stepped up his bid for the 11th title in style. Thiem was supposed to give the king of clay a run for his money being the last man to beat the Spaniard on his favourite surface. But the Austrian was sent scampering in just over an hour 6-0, 6-2. The Spaniard now leads their head-to-head 7-2.

Patrick Reed held off fellow Americans Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler to claim his first major title with a one-shot win at the Masters at Augusta. The world number 24, who had been ahead since the second round, led Rory McIlroy by three shots overnight. McIlroy, chasing his first Green Jacket to complete the Grand Slam, faded with a two-over 74, while Reed parred the last to shoot 71 and win on 15 under.

Novak Djokovic has split with his coach Radek Stepanek and also confirmed that he is no longer working with Andre Agassi. Djokovic, a 12-times grand slam winner, is battling back from a long injury lay-off and lost his opening match at the Miami Masters two weeks ago. Agassi said on Saturday that he was no longer working with the former world No 1, adding: “We far too often found ourselves agreeing to disagree.”

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