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The sports wrap 11th June 2018

LanguedocLiving, Jun 10

Nadal wins 11th French Open with awesome demolition of Thiem.

Rafael Nadal was at his awe-inspiring best as he crushed Austrian Dominic Thiem to snatch a record-extending 11th French Open title with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory in Paris on Sunday. The Spanish world No.1 took his Roland Garros win-loss record to 86-2 as he captured his 17th Grand Slam title by demolishing the seventh seed, who was hoping to become the second Austrian to win at Roland Garros. Sunday’s result marked the sixth consecutive Grand Slam won by either Nadal or 20-times major champion Roger Federer, who was absent from this year’s tournament. The muscular Spaniard had won all 10 of his previous Roland Garros finals and although Thiem was the only man to have beaten him on clay over the past two seasons, the Austrian never threatened the claycourt master on Sunday.Nadal called on the trainer to get his forearms massaged twice in the final set but even that problem failed to improve Thiem’s chances of emulating fellow Austrian Thomas Muster’s 1995 triumph. He then had his forearm massaged at the changeover before resuming his demolition job. Nadal had another massage at 5-2 and he ended Thiem’s ordeal on his fifth match point when the Austrian returned long. In the women’s singles final on Saturday, world no.1 Simona Halep finally won her first Grand Slam title with a thrilling comeback victory over American 10th seed Sloane Stephens. Halep, who had lost her three previous major finals, including last year’s French Open, went a set and a break down at Roland Garros. But the 26-year-old Romanian battled back to take a see-saw second set against the US Open champion. She then raced away with the third to win 3-6 6-4 6-1. Halep clinched victory with her first match point, Stephens unable to return a powerful first serve.

Vettel retakes championship lead after Canadian GP win

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel dominated the Canadian Grand Prix to retake the championship lead in Montreal on Sunday as Lewis Hamilton could finish only fifth for Mercedes. Vettel converted pole position into a lead at the first corner and was never headed as he kept Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas at arm's length throughout the race. Red Bull's Max Verstappen took third after a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to pass Bottas through the first two corners. Hamilton started fourth but dropped back to finish fifth and is a point behind Vettel a third of the way through the season. In a bizarre end, the chequered flag was waved a lap too early by model Winnie Harlow, only for Vettel to say over team radio: "Tell them not to wave the flag when it's not done." He continued on his way to take it again after the correct 70 laps, however the race was declared at 68 laps, based on the official count back rules, as a result of the mistake. World champion Hamilton was struggling with engine temperatures in the first part of the race, which forced Mercedes into an earlier than planned pit stop for fresh tyres so they could add more cooling to the car. It meant the Briton lost a place to Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo at his stop, and Hamilton had a nervy moment when Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen emerged alongside him after his much later stop. Hamilton managed to fend the Finn off, and even pulled away despite having tyres 16 laps older than Raikkonen's.

Southern Hemisphere nations draw first blood against European rivals

Australia ended Ireland’s 12-match winning run, South Africa beat England in a 10-try thriller while France were thumped 52-11 by New Zealand as the Southern Hemisphere giants stamped their authority on European rivals in the opening tour matches. Australia ended Ireland's record-breaking winning streak as sterling defence set up an 18-9 defeat of the Six Nations champions in Brisbane. Tries by Bernard Foley and David Pocock helped the Wallabies bring Ireland's 12-game run to a halt. Foley also kicked two penalties and a conversion for the hosts, who take an early lead in the three-Test series. Joey Carbery kicked three penalties for the visitors, who had tries by CJ Stander and Kieran Marmion ruled out. In Johannseburg, England lost their fourth Test in a row as South Africa launched a dramatic fightback to win the first Test 42-39. England raced into a 24-3 lead as Mike Brown, Elliot Daly and Owen Farrell crossed for converted tries. But the Springboks led 29-27 at the break via Faf de Klerk, S'busiso Nkosi (2) and Willie le Roux tries. Aphiwe Dyantyi then went over for the hosts, and two Handre Pollard penalties meant scores from Maro Itoje and Jonny May were not enough for England. In Auckland, France winger Remy Grosso sustained facial injuries in what coach Jacques Brunel described as an "illegal" tackle during the defeat by New Zealand. Grosso, 29, had given the visitors the lead after six minutes with an interception try at Eden Park. But he was replaced in the second half - and taken to hospital - after a tackle by Sam Cane and Ofa Tu'ungafasi. France led 11-8 at half-time thanks to Grosso's try and two Morgan Parra penalties, with Beauden Barrett scoring a try and penalty for the hosts. A Barrett penalty early in the second half tied the scores before France lock Paul Gabrillagues was sin-binned for a head-high tackle. With France reduced to 14 men, New Zealand produced a second-half masterclass and scored 41 points in 28 minutes. In other tour matches, Wales beat Argentina 23-10 while Scotland hammered Canada 48-10.

Scotland stun England to win one-day match by six runs

Scotland secured the biggest win in their cricketing history with a thrilling six-run defeat of England. Callum MacLeod's brilliant 140 not out took the home side to 371-5 in glorious batting conditions in Edinburgh. Jonny Bairstow's 54-ball century looked to have England on course until they slipped from 220-2 to 276-7. Liam Plunkett (47 not out) and Moeen Ali (46) kept them in it, but last man Mark Wood was lbw to Safyaan Sharif from the fifth ball of the 49th over. It is a wonderful result for Scotland, who have been improving steadily since the 2015 World Cup. Here, against the No.1 ranked side in the world, the Scots gave the sort of performance that further questions the International Cricket Council's decision to cut the World Cup to only 10 teams. For England, so impressive in limited-overs cricket in recent years, this first defeat by Scotland can be mentioned in the same breath as the Twenty20 humblings by the Netherlands, and World Cup losses to Ireland and Bangladesh.

France, Spain unconvincing in final pre-World Cup friendlies

World Cup hopefuls France salvaged a late 1-1 draw against the United States in Lyon in their final friendly before the tournament in Russia, while fellow title contenders Spain also needed a late goal as they edged past Tunisia 1-0 on Saturday. Among other fancied nations, Brazil had an easy 3-0 win in Austria, and there were also victories for other finalists Serbia, Denmark, Morocco and Australia, while Sweden were held to a goalless draw by Peru. Didier Deschamps named a strong side as he sought to put the finishing touches to his preparations. However, Julian Green took advantage of a Djibril Sidibe slip to fire a near-post effort past Hugo Lloris on the stroke of halftime to give the visitors a shock lead. The U.S., who did not qualify for Russia, looked as if they would hold on to their advantage until Kylian Mbappe spared Deschamps’s blushes 12 minutes from time. There remain, though, plenty of unanswered questions for Les Bleus heading into next weekend’s opener against Australia, who beat Hungary 2-1 earlier on Saturday. Denmark recorded a 2-0 win over fellow finalists Mexico thanks to strikes from Yussuf Poulsen and Christian Eriksen, while Peru played out a stalemate with Sweden, who will also be in Russia. It looked like being a frustrating night in Krasnodar, Russia, for 2010 champions Spain as well as they struggled to break down a Tunisia side who caused them difficulties on the counter attack. Former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas swept in after good work from Diego Costa six minutes from the end to secure the win and ensure coach Julen Lopetegui remains undefeated in his first 20 games in charge. The World Cup starts on Thursday with a match between the two lowest ranked teams – hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Catalans fight back to beat bottom club Widnes

Catalans Dragons continued their resurgence, fighting back to earn a 32-12 victory in Perpignan on Saturday and ensure a miserable start for Francis Cummins as interim manager of bottom-of-the-table Widnes Vikings. Cummins saw his side make a flying start with Jay Chapelhow touching down Aaron Heremaia's kick and Rhys Hanbury diving in for a 10-0 lead. However, tries by Tony Gigot and Brayden Wiliame helped Dragons lead 12-10 at the break. Further scores by Remi Casty, Kenny Edwards and Fouad Yaha sealed victory. The French side’s sixth league win in 16 games moves them on to 12 points and ninth place on the Super League table. St Helens remained top with 30 points, six points ahead of Wigan Warriors, after an easy 26-4 victory over struggling Hull KR.

Welshman Geraint Thomas wins Criterium du Dauphine

Geraint Thomas won the 70th Criterium du Dauphine in France on Sunday to give Team Sky their sixth win in the last eight years in the event. The Welshman, 32, finished one minute ahead of nearest rival Adam Yates, 25, who won the final stage. Englishman Yates finished the seventh stage in three hours 51 minutes 34 seconds with Thomas in fifth, 19 seconds behind. Double Olympic champion Thomas finished with an overall time of 24 hours 43 minutes and 12 seconds. Frenchman Romain Bardet finished third overall while Britain's Tao Geoghegan Hart came 13th. Despite having to "chase back" after his tyres were punctured during the final stage, Thomas said he was growing in confidence as the race wore on. "I knew I had about one minute 20 seconds to lose on Yatesy so at 200 (metres) to go, when they started sprinting for the win, I was relieved," said Thomas. In a double success for Team Sky, they also won the team event, seven minutes and 18 seconds ahead of Team Emirates.

Warriors win NBA title with 4-0 series win over Cavaliers

The Golden State Warriors won their third NBA title in four seasons with a comprehensive 4-0 series victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Coach Steve Kerr described the triumph in Cleveland on Friday night as "the hardest so far" but his Warriors side routed the Cavaliers 108-85 to prevail in the fourth consecutive finals meeting between the teams. Stephen Curry scored 37 points for the Warriors, while LeBron James claimed 23 in what could be his final Cavaliers game. The win added to the Warriors' victories in 2015 and 2017 and was the first finals clean sweep since the Cavaliers were demolished by San Antonio Spurs in 2007. It was the second time the Warriors have secured the championship in Cleveland during Kerr's four-year tenure. A James slam dunk had Cleveland 39-38 ahead halfway through the second quarter, but Golden State responded to lead 61-52 at half-time and eased to victory from there.

Defending U20 champions New Zealand play France in semis

Defending champions New Zealand will face hosts France while England will play South Africa in the semifinals of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2018 on Tuesday after an exciting conclusion to the pool stages of the tournament. New Zealand and France secured the wins on Thursday that gave them top spot in their pools with the Kiwis having to battle hard to beat trans-Tasman rivals Australia 27-18 in Perpignan, while France produced a scintillating first-half display to beat South Africa 46-29 in Narbonne. England, who had already qualified as winners of their pool, secured a 35-10 win over Scotland in Béziers to finish as top seeds by virtue of a try-bonus point and set up a semi-final with the Junior Springboks in Narbonne on. The other semifinal pits New Zealand against France in Perpignan with both semifinals a repeat of the 2017 Championship in Georgia. Italy beat Argentina 30-26 but missed out on a place in the top four for the first time and will now face Australia in the fifth place semifinal. Wales will face Argentina in the other after a narrow 18-17 victory over Japan in their final pool match.

Justify takes Triple Crown with win in Belmont Stakes

Justify has become the 13th horse to complete US Flat racing's Triple Crown with victory in the Belmont Stakes. The Bob Baffert-trained horse followed his Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with a convincing win in New York on Saturday. The three-year-old colt, ridden by Mike Smith, is now unbeaten in six races since his debut in February. He led from the start and was chased home by Gronkowski, formerly trained in Britain by Jeremy Noseda, with Hofburg in third. The victory marks the second Triple Crown win for Hall of Fame trainer Baffert, who also won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes with American Pharoah in 2015.

For full reports on all the weekend sporting events go to:

http://www.bbc.com/sport, http://www.espn.com, http://www.lequipe.fr, http://www.reuters.com/news/sports, www.skysports.com, www.eurosport.fr.

Calendar Keynotes: 11 – 17 June 

Monday, 11 June

Football: International friendlies – Senegal v South Korea, Belgium v Costa Rica.

Tennis: ATP & WTA Libema Open, S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (till 17 June), ATP Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart Germany (till 17 June), WTA Nottingham Open (till 17 June).

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Suisse, Switzerland (till 17June)

Tuesday, 12 June

Football: International friendlies – Paraguay v Japan, Poland v LIthuania

Rugby Union: World Rugby U20 Championship semifinals – Narbonne: England v South Africa, Perpignan – New Zealand v France.

Cricket: One-day international series, England v Australia (game 1), The Oval, London.

Tennis: ATP & WTA Libema Open, S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (till 17 June), ATP Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart Germany (till 17 June), WTA Nottingham Open (till 17 June).

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Suisse, Switzerland (till 17June) 

Wednesday, 13 June

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Suisse, Switzerland (till 17June)

Tennis: ATP & WTA Libema Open, S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (till 17 June), ATP Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart Germany (till 17 June), WTA Nottingham Open (till 17 June). 

Thursday, 14 June

Football: World Cup Group A – Russia v Saudi Arabia

Rugby League: Super League – Salford Red Devils v Widnes Vikings.

Tennis: ATP & WTA Libema Open, S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (till 17 June), ATP Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart Germany (till 17 June), WTA Nottingham Open (till 17 June).

Golf: US Open, Shinnecock Hills GC, Long Island, New York (till 17 June),

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Suisse, Switzerland (till 17June) 

Friday, 15 June

Football: World Cup Group A - Egypt v Uruguay, Group B Morocco v Iran, Portugal v Spain.

Rugby League: Super League – Huddersfield Giants v Catalans Dragons, Leeds Rhinos v St Helens.

Golf: US Open, Shinnecock Hills GC, Long Island, New York (till 17 June),

Tennis: ATP & WTA Libema Open, S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (till 17 June), ATP Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart, Germany (till 17 June), WTA Nottingham Open (till 17 June).

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Suisse, Switzerland (till 17June)

Saturday, 16 June

Football: World Cup Group C – France v Australia, Peru v Denmark, Group D Argentina v Iceland, Croatia v Nigeria.

Rugby Union: New Zealand v France, Australia v Ireland, South Africa v England, Argentina v Wales, Japan v Italy, World Rugby U20 Championship final – Beziers.

Tennis: ATP & WTA Libema Open, S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (till 17 June), ATP Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart Germany (till 17 June), WTA Nottingham Open (till 17 June).

Rugby League: Super League – Hull FC v Wigan Warriors.

Cricket: One-day international series, England v Australia (game 2), Cardiff.

Golf: US Open, Shinnecock Hills GC, Long Island, New York (till 17 June),

Tennis: ATP & WTA Libema Open, S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (till 17 June), ATP Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart ,Germany (till 17 June), WTA Nottingham Open (till 17 June).

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Suisse, Switzerland (till 17June) 

Sunday, 17 June

Football: World Cup Group E – Costa Rica v Serbia, Brazil v Switzerland, Group F – Germany v Mexico.

Rugby Union: United States v Scotland.

Rugby League: Super League – Wakefield Trinity v Warrington Wolves, Castleford Tigers v Hull KR.

Golf: US Open, Shinnecock Hills GC, Long Island, New York (final day).

Tennis: ATP & WTA Libema Open, S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (final day), ATP Mercedes Cup, Stuttgart, Germany (final day), WTA Nottingham Open (final day).

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Suisse, Switzerland (final stage).

 

 

 

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