Latest – New Zealand squash player Paul Coll will defend his British Open title on Monday morning.
Paul Coll. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021 www.photosport.nz
Coll defeated Egypt’s Mostafa Asal in straight sets in the semi-final in Hull.
Although the match was close on the scoreboard, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, in 68 minutes Coll never looked like losing.
Coll has now set himself up for a contest with Egypt’s Ali Farag in the final. If Coll wins the final he will retain the No 1 world ranking in May, however if he loses the final Farag will take over top spot again.
The pair have played 19 times with Farag ahead 15-4, however since the beginning of 2021 Coll is ahead 3-2 and has won the last two matches.
Joelle King put up a great fight in her first semifinal at the tournament but was beaten by Egyptian Hania El Hammamy 11-5, 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3 in a match which lasted well over an hour.
Phoenix lose big against A-League leaders
The Wellington Phoenix suffered their biggest loss since 2016, going down 6-0 to the A-League leaders Melbourne City on Saturday night in Sydney.
City were ahead 1-0 at halftime.
Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay was pleased with the first half and said he couldn’t fault the effort of his players in the loss.
“It was the third game in seven days for the boys and the pitch wasn’t great, it was quite heavy to be honest, so I think it took its toll and the way we conceeded three set pieces makes your life a lot more difficult to try to win games,” Talay said.
The Phoenix’s next game is against the Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday.
Iga Swiatek wins Sunshine Double
Poland’s Iga Swiatek kept her remarkable run intact with a 6-4 6-0 win over Japan’s Naomi Osaka in the Miami Open final.
The Polish second seed, who will take over the world number one ranking next week, did not drop a set in Miami and has now won 17 consecutive matches dating back to her championship run at the Qatar Open in February.
Poland’s Iga Swiatek. Photo: PHOTOSPORT
With the victory, the 20-year-old Swiatek becomes only the fourth woman to win the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments back-to-back, a feat known as the “Sunshine Double” given the tournaments’ respective locations in California and Florida.
The two players wasted no time getting into the heat of the battle as the match began with a wild seven-deuce opening game during which four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka saved two break points and fired down four aces to hold serve.
The match remained on serve until Swiatek broke Osaka when she ripped a brilliant crosscourt backhand winner to go ahead 3-2 and then went on to close out the first set without facing a break point despite serving under 40 percent.
The former French Open champion raised her level in the second where she broke Osaka three times to race out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back as she sealed the 79-minute match on her first championship point when Osaka sent a forehand wide.
Medvedev to miss matches for surgery
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev will be out of action for one or two months as he goes under the knife to fix a hernia problem, casting doubt over the world number 2’s participation at next month’s French Open.
Medvedev, who won the U.S. Open last year and lost in the Australian Open final to Rafa Nadal in January, will likely miss out on this month’s Monte Carlo Masters as well as the ATP 1000 events in Madrid and Rome in May.
“The last months I have been playing with a small hernia. Together with my team I have decided to have a small procedure done to fix the problem,” Medvedev wrote on Twitter.
“I will likely be out for the next 1 – 2 months and will work hard to be back on court soon. Thanks for all the support.”
Medvedev’s bid to reclaim the world number one ranking fell short on Thursday as the Russian lost 7-6(7) 6-3 to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the Miami Open quarter-finals.
The French Open will be held in Paris from 22 May 22 to 5 June.
Simmons seeks NBA payment
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons filed a grievance seeking to recoup nearly $20 million in pay the Philadelphia 76ers are withholding from him, ESPN reported.
Ben Simmons Photo: PHOTOSPORT
The grievance will go through arbitration. It was shared with the team, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, which is backing Simmons.
Last offseason, Simmons asked the 76ers to trade him, and he didn’t play all season, citing mental health reasons, in part, for his refusal to play. The 25-year-old showed up at training camp last fall, days before the start of the season, but was sent home for conduct detrimental to the team. The team assessed heavy fines as he stayed away from the team.
He already had received an advance of half of his $33 million salary in the offseason, and the team held back the remainder of his salary in fines in an attempt to recoup the advance.
The 76ers contend Simmons breached his contract. The NBA and the NBPA disagree about the issue, and the arbitration could establish a precedent about how matters of mental health and contracts are dealt with down the road.
The 76ers traded Simmon to the Nets in February. Simmons has yet to play for the Nets, citing a back issue.
-Field Level Media