The sports wrap, Monday 18 November

415
Stefanos Tsitsipas wins the ATP Finals for biggest win of his career

Tsitsipas holds nerve to win ATP Finals in London

Stefanos Tsitsipas came from a set down to beat Austrian Dominic Thiem on a thrilling final-set tie-break and become the youngest winner of the ATP Finals in 18 years. The 21-year-old Greek won 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) to claim the biggest title of his fledgling career. Thiem, 26, who edged a tight first set, fell away in the second and the start of the third before fighting back. But Tsitsipas forced a tie-break, and then won it, at a raucous O2 Arena in London. The final seemed to herald the beginning of a new young guard at the top after Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Swiss legend Roger Federer all fell by the wayside en route to the final. Tsitsipas collapsed to the floor after Thiem put a forehand return out on the first match point before the pair embraced at the end of a two-hour 35-minute battle. The Greek is the youngest winner of the season-ending championships since Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt in 2001 and claims prize money of just over £2m.

In the men’s doubles, French duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut cruised to the title, beating Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus 6-3 6-4. They became the first French pair to win the year-ender ATP Finals since 2005.

French duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicholas Mahut win the doubles title at the ATP Finals

Having begun the year by completing their Grand Slam collection at the Australian Open the French duo will hope to end it in triumphant fashion when they play at the Davis Cup Finals this week in Madrid. Once the seventh-seeded French team broke for a 3-1 lead they were always in command against the South African/New Zealand pair.

 

England, Portugal, Germany qualify for 2020 Euros

Defending champions Portugal, Germany, England, Croatia, Austria, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands all qualified for next year’s European Championships after weekend matches,.joining World Cup champions France, No.1 ranked nation Belgium and Spain who had qualified earlier in the year. Twenty-four teams will compete in the tournament which will be held for the first time in 12 cities in 12 European countries in June and July next year. Sixteen teams will take part in play-offs next March for the remaining eight places. The final draw will be held on 30 November.

In Pristana, England beat Kosovo 4-0 on Sunday to ensure they will be among the top six seeds. After beating Montenegro 7-0 at Wembley last Thursday to automatically qualify they took a first-half lead as Harry Winks produced a composed finish for his first

Harry Winks opened the scoring for England in their 4-0 victory over Kosovo on Sunday night

international goal. Captain Harry Kane effectively wrapped things up with his 32nd goal for England from close range late on before substitute Marcus Rashford got in on the act with a smooth finish. Mason Mount rounded things off in the closing moments for his first goal for his country at senior level.

In Luxembourg, Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 99th international goal as the defending champions edged past Luxembourg 2-0 to qualify for next year’s finals. Bruno Fernandes broke the deadlock in the 39th minute and Ronaldo wrapped it up with four minutes left to ensure that Portugal finished second in Group B with 17 points, three ahead of Serbia who drew 2-2 with Ukraine.

In Tirana, world champions France completed their qualifying campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Albania to ensure they finish as Group H winners. France required a win to confirm top spot ahead of runners-up Turkey and remain in contention to be one of the top seeds. Corentin Tolisso headed in Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick for his first international goal after eight minutes. Griezmann then converted Leo Dubois’ cut-back midway through the first half.

Both Wales and the Republic of Ireland still have a chance of automatic qualification if they win their final pool matches on Monday and Tuesday against Denmark and Hungary respectively.

For the full rundown on the Euro 2020 qualification go to the BBC Sports website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50070549

Verstappen wins thrilling Brazilian GP for Red Bull

Dutchman Max Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes twice to take a brilliant victory in a gripping Brazilian Grand Prix at Sao Paulo on Sunday. Behind the Red Bull driver, the race developed into a dramatic finale as the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc collided while disputing fourth place. Then, already crowned world champion Hamilton collided with Red Bull’s Alexander Albon, and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly

Max Verstappen won a thrilling Brazilian Grand Prix

held off the Mercedes for a surprise second place on the line. Hamilton took the blame for his collision which resulted in a five-second penalty and demotion from third to seventh place and moved Carlos Sainz to third for McLaren. “What a race!” Verstappen said, summing it up perfectly. “Loved it”. On-pole Verstappen was a deserved winner in a race that he controlled from the start, but Gasly was a star. Six-time world champion Hamilton and Mercedes had an unusually difficult race, and yet again there will be a sharp focus on Vettel’s driving and character, as the four-time champion continued his battle for supremacy at Ferrari with his young Monagesque team-mate.

Saracens beaten, Clermont sound warning in cup

Sarcens began their defence of the Heineken Champions Cup with a shock 30-10 loss to French side Racing 92 while Clermont Auvergne looked the most impressive in the opening matches with a 53-21 thrashing of Harlequins. Northampton Saints beat French Top 14 leaders Lyon but it was the Irish teams who all emerged unbeaten with Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht winning their pool matches.

In Pool 1, Northampton Saints beat unbeaten Top 14 leaders Lyon 25-14, resisting a second half comeback at Franklin’s Gardens. The Saints led 19-0 at half-time through Rory Hutchinson’s converted try and four Dan Biggar penalties.

Rory Hutchinson scored the opening try for Northampton Saints in their victory over Lyon

But Lyon fought back after the break thanks to two tries from Thibaut Regard and successful conversions from Jonathan Wisniewski. In the other pool match, Leinster earned a bonus point in beating Italian side Benetton 33-19.

In Pool 2, Exeter Chiefs got their cup campaign off to a winning start with a 31-12 bonus-point victory over La Rochelle at the Stade Marcel-Deflandre. Tries from Dave Dennis, Tom O’Flaherty, Henry Slade and Sam Simmonds – with Joe Simmonds kicking 11 points – secured the points. The hosts scored two tries courtesy of Geoffrey Doumayrou and Kini Murimurivalu, with Brock James kicking two points. In the other pool match, Glasgow Warriors beat Sale 13-7.

In Pool 3, Clermont Auvergne thrashed Harlequins 53-21 and earned a bonus point. Peceli Yato scored two quick tries following Alivereti Raka’s opener before Tom Lawday crossed for Quins. Isaia Toeava’s try was replied to by Elia Elia, but Raka’s second was followed by George Moala. James Lang grabbed Quins’ third and while Mike Tadjer scored late on for Clermont, the English side fell short of a fourth try and a bonus point. The home side were 25-7 ahead at half-time with Toeava’s try extending the lead. ensuring the bonus point for Clermont early in the second half. In the other pool match, Ulster pipped Bath 17-16.

In Pool 4, a weakened Saracens team were hammered 30-10 by Top 14 side Racing 92 in Paris.The French side were impressive throughout, and led 18-3 at half-time thanks to converted tries from Virimi Vakatawa and Teddy Thomas. Ben Spencer had landed a penalty before the break for Saracens, who reduced the lead when Alex Lozowski crossed. But further tries from Finn Russell and Wenceslas Lauret gave Racing a convincing win and a bonus point. The English champions have said they may have to prioritise Premiership survival over European ambitions after being docked 35 points and fined 5.36 million pounds by the Premiership for breaching salary cap rules. The club have said they would appeal the punishment. In the other match, Munster beat Ospreys 32-13 away from home.

In Pool 5, four-time winners Toulouse produced a second-half comeback to begin their cup campaign with a 25-20 victory at Gloucester. Toulouse kicked three penalties and Sebastien Bezy scored the only try as the visitors scored 16 unanswered points after the break Kingsholm. Gloucester scrum-half Joe Simpson had given his side a 20-9 lead at half-time after two excellent runaway tries. The hosts rallied late on but they lost a seventh line-out, five metres out. In the other match, Connacht shocked Montpellier 23-20.

Last-minute try gives England win over France

Lydia Thompson scored a last-minute try as an error-strewn England beat France 17-15 in a thriller in Exeter. Jessy Tremouliere’s penalty and Laure Sansus’ try put the visitors 8-0 ahead before two Emily Scarratt penalties had reduced the arrears by half-time. Scarratt kicked two more penalties as England went four points clear. Caroline Boujard’s 67th-minute try looked to have won it for France but, with both sides down to 14 players, Thompson went over to seal the win. The victory was England’s fourth in a row over France – a record going back to March 2018 when they what was a Six Nations decided to a last-minute try in Grenoble.

Fleetwood wins Nedbank Challenge in South Africa

Tommy Fleetwood beat Marcus Kinhult in a play-off to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in South Africa on Sunday. Fleetwood started the final round six shots off the lead but carded a seven-under 65 to finish on 12 under par, which Swede Kinhult matched with

England’s Tommy Fleetwood wins Nedbank Challenge in South Africa after a brilliant final round

a 68. The Englishman, who had three eagles during his round, then made a brilliant par on the first extra hole to win. It was the 28-year-old’s first victory since January 2018 and moved him up to second in the Race to Dubai. Fleetwood’s 65 was three shots better than anyone else and in the play-off he produced a magnificent up-and-down to ensure his par beat Kinhult’s bogey to take home the largest monetary prize on the European Tour – US$2.5million. He is now second behind Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger in the Race to Dubai standings, with only one event to go – the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Buttler’s century fails to force win over NZ

Jos Buttler hit a century but England were unable to force victory in their final warm-up match against New Zealand A in Whangarei. Resuming on 88 on day three, Buttler made 110 to help his side post 405 in reply to the hosts’ 302 for six declared. Jofra Archer and Sam Curran took three wickets each to reduce New Zealand A to 129 for eight, a lead of just 26. But William Somerville and Ajaz Patel held firm for 22.4 overs to guide their side to 169 and ensure the draw. England face New Zealand in two Tests, with the first match at the Bay Oval in Tauranga starting on Wednesday. “It was really nice for me. Spending that time in the middle going into a Test series is great. It gives you confidence,” Buttler told the BBC’s Test Match Special. In Indore, top Test team India crushed Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs inside three days after Mohammed Shami led the hosts’ superb display of hostile seam bowling in the opening test on Saturday. After India declared their first innings on their overnight score of 493 for six, their pace attack, led by Shami, claimed four wickets in the morning session to effectively seal the fate of the match.

PNG beat Lions 28-10 for 4-0 tour whitewash

Great Britain suffered a 4-0 whitewash on their comeback tour after an effervescent Papua New Guinea stunned the Lions in Port Moresby. The 28-10 defeat will intensify scrutiny of Lions and England coach Wayne Bennett, who is now out of contract. Tries from Justin Olam, Watson Boas, Alex Johnston and Nixon Putt, following Edwin Ipape’s stunning first-half score, gave PNG only their second win over Britain.The Lions failed to register a second-half point to end the disastrous tour. Bennett’s team selection, as it has been since naming an unbalanced squad short of outside backs, again raised questions as half-back Blake Austin was again played out of position on the wing, leaving Ash Handley out despite the Leeds Rhinos man being drafted into camp as an emergency replacement for the Lions’ first trip to PNG for 23 years.

Marquez rounds off brilliant campaign with home win

Spain’s six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez won the final race of the season in Valencia on Sunday to round off a superb campaign. The 26-year-old Marquez, who secured his latest world title by winning inThailand last month, made it 12 wins for the season on his Honda after starting second on the grid.

Marc Marquez rounds off a brilliant MotoGP campaign with victory on home soil in Valencia

“It’s been a perfect season,” said Marquez. “It will be difficult to repeat.” French rider Fabio Quartararo, who started on pole, came second on a Yahama while Australia’s Jack Miller finished third on a Ducati. Spain’s three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo finished 13th in his final race before retiring and received rapturous applause from fans after the race. Quartararo, 20, finished fifth in the overall standings in his debut season.

Trump beats O’Sullivan in Northern Ireland Open

Judd Trump has successfully defended his Northern Ireland Open title with a 9-7 win over Ronnie O’Sullivan in a thrilling final in Belfast on Sunday. The world No.1 led from the start and was never behind in a match full of high-quality snooker from both players. A break of 84 in the 16th frame sealed the victory for Trump, who beat John Higgins in the semi-final. The result was a repeat of last year’s NI Open decider at the Waterfront Hall.

For reports on all the weekend sporting events go to: 

http://www.bbc.com/sporthttp://www.espn.comhttp://www.lequipe.frhttp://www.reuters.com/news/sportswww.sports.yahoo.com,www.skysports.comwww.eurosport.frmidilibre.fr.

Calendar Keynotes: 18-24 November

Monday, 18 November

Football: European Championship qualifying – Group J, Greece v Finland, Italy v Armenia, Liechtenstein v Bosnia-Herzegovina, Group D, Gibraltar v Switzerland, Republic of Ireland v Denmark, Group F, Malta v Norway, Spain v Romania, Sweden v Faroe Islands.

Tennis: Davis Cup Finals, Madrid, Spain (till 24 November).

Tuesday, 19 November

Football: European Championship qualifying – Group C, Germany v Northern Ireland, Netherlands v Estonia, Group E, Slovakia v Azerbaijan, Wales v Hungary, Group G, Latvia v Austria, North Macedonia v Israel, Poland v Slovenia, Group I, Belgium v Cyprus, San Marino v Russia, Scotland v Kazakhstan.

Tennis: Davis Cup Finals, Madrid, Spain (till 24 November).

Wednesday, 20 November

Tennis: Davis Cup Finals, Madrid, Spain (till 24 November).

Thursday, 21 November

Cricket: New Zealand v England, 1st Test, Bay Oval, Tauranga (till 25 November), Australia v Pakistan, 1st Test, Brisbane (till 25 November).

Tennis: Davis Cup Finals, Madrid, Spain (till 24 November).

Golf: USPGA Tour, The RSM Classic, Sea Island Resort, St Simons Island, Georgia, US (till 24 November), PGA European Tour, DP World Tour Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE (till 24 November).

Friday, 22 November  

Football: French Ligue 1 –  Lille v Paris Saint Germain, German Bundesliga – Borussia Dortmund v SC Paderborn 07.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup – Pool 3, Ulster v Clermont Auvergne. European Challenge Cup – Pool 1, Yenisey-STM Krasnoyarsk v Dragons, Pool 2, Toulon v Scarlets, Pool 3, Edinburgh v Bordeaux Begles, Pool 4 – Brive v Bristol, Pool 5, Pau v Calvisano.

Cricket: New Zealand v England, 1st Test, Bay Oval, Tauranga (till 25 November), Australia v Pakistan, 1st Test, Brisbane (till 25 November), India v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Kolkata (till 26 November, India lead series 1-0).

Tennis: Davis Cup Finals, Madrid, Spain (till 24 November).

Golf: USPGA Tour, The RSM Classic, Sea Island Resort, St Simons Island, Georgia, US (till 24 November), PGA European Tour, DP World Tour Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE (till 24 November).

Winter sports: Alpine skiing – FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Wisla, Poland (till 24 November), FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, Levi Finland (till 24 November).

Saturday, 23 November 

Football: English Premier League – West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal v Southampton, Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Manchester City v Chelsea. Scottish Premiership – Celtic v Livingston, Hibernian v Motherwell, Kilmarnock v Hearts. French Ligue 1 – Lyon v Nice, Angers v Nimes. Spanish La Liga – Leganes v Barcelona, Real Betis v Valencia, Granada v Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid v Real Sociedad. Italian Serie A – Atalanta v Juventus, AC Milan v Napoli, Torino v Inter Milan. German Bundesliga – 1 FC Union Berlin v Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Freiburg, Fortuna Dusseldorf v Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig v 1. FC Koln.

Rugby Union: European Champions Cup –  Pool 1, Benetton v Northampton Saints, Lyon v Leinster, Pool 2, Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors, Pool 3, Harlequins v Bath, Pool 4, Saracens v Ospreys, Munsster v Racing 92, Pool 5, Toulouse v Connacht. European Challenge Cup – Pool 1, Castres v Worcester Warriors, Pool 2, London Irish v Bayonne, Pool 3, Wasps v Agen, Pool 4, Zebre v Stade Francais, Pool 5, Cardiff Blues v Leicester Warriors. Women’s international – England v Italy.

Cricket: New Zealand v England, 1st Test, Bay Oval, Tauranga (till 25 November), Australia v Pakistan, 1st Test, Brisbane (till 25 November),  India v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Kolkata (till 26 November, India lead series 1-0).

Tennis: Davis Cup Finals, Madrid, Spain (till 24 November).

Golf: USPGA Tour, The RSM Classic, Sea Island Resort, St Simons Island, Georgia, US (till 24 November), PGA European Tour, DP World Tour Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE (till 24 November).

Winter sports: Alpine skiing – FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Wisla, Poland (till 24 November), FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, Levi Finland (till 24 November).

Sunday, 24 November

Football  English Premier League – Sheffield United v Manchester United. Scottish Premiership – Hamilton Academcial v Rangers, St Johnstone v Aberdeen, French Ligue 1 – Bordeaux v Monaco, Saint Etienne v Montpellier, Toulouse v Marseille, Spanish La Liga – Espanyol v Getafe, Osasuna v Athletic Bilbao, Real Valladolid v Sevilla. Italian Serie A – Roma v Bescia, Sassuolo v Lazio, Lecce v Cagliari. German Bundesliga –  1899 Hoffenheim v Mainz 05.

Rugby Union:  European Champions Cup – Pool 2, Sale v La Rochelle, Pool 5, Montpellir v Gloucester. Women’s international – Scotland v Japan.

Cricket: New Zealand v England, 1st Test, Bay Oval, Tauranga (till 25 November), Australia v Pakistan, 1st Test, Brisbane (till 25 November), India v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Kolkata (till 26 November, India lead series 1-0).

Tennis: Davis Cup Finals, Madrid, Spain (final day).

Golf: USPGA Tour, The RSM Classic, Sea Island Resort, St Simons Island, Georgia, US (final day), PGA European Tour, DP World Tour Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE (final day).

Winter sports: Alpine skiing – FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Wisla, Poland (final day), FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, Levi Finland (final day).