Weekly Digest (March 21-27): From Sindhu's Swiss Open triumph to Barty calling it a day

From P.V. Sindhu clinching the Swiss Open title to Ashleigh Barty retiring from tennis at the age of 25, here are the top sporting headlines from the week gone by.

Ashleigh Barty has retired from tennis.   -  Getty Images

From P.V. Sindhu clinching the Swiss Open title to Ashleigh Barty retiring from tennis at the age of 25, here are the top sporting headlines from the week gone by.

CRICKET

India failed to reach the semifinals of the Women's World Cup after a three-wicket loss to South Africa in a must-win round-robin match at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. (REPORT)

Punjab Kings beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in their IPL 2022 opener at the DY Patil Stadium on Sunday. (REPORT)

Nathan Lyon picked up five wickets as Australia won the third Test to pocket the three-match series against Pakistan 1-0. (REPORT)

The British government has supported a parliamentary committee's recommendation to limit public funding for cricket unless the sport can demonstrate continuous progress in getting rid of racism, it said on Thursday. (REPORT)

The Women's IPL is likely to begin next year with six teams. The IPL Governing Council proposed a full-fledged tournament involving Indian and overseas players. (REPORT)

FOOTBALL

Italy has gone from winning the European Championship to failing to qualify for the World Cup in just eight months. In a rapid and stunning fall from grace, the Azzurri were upset by North Macedonia in a 1-0 loss that headlined a night of drama in the European qualifying playoffs. (REPORT)

Italy will miss out on back-to-back World Cups for the first time in the national team's storied history, having also failed to get to the tournament in 2018.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Argentina scored twice in three minutes late in the second half, including a curiously mis-hit effort from Lionel Messi, to cement a 3-0 win over Venezuela in the World Cup qualifier in Buenos Aires. (REPORT)

Christian Eriksen said he made his return to international football in the "perfect way" by scoring two minutes after coming on for Denmark on Saturday following a near-fatal heart attack last year. (REPORT)

Denmark's Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the international friendly against the Netherlands at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on Saturday.   -  AP

 

Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard will undergo surgery to remove a plate in his right leg. (REPORT)

Ecuador and Uruguay have secured their spots at World Cup in Qatar, joining Brazil and Argentina from South America. (REPORT)

The Indian Women’s League (IWL) 2021-22 will kick-off  in Bhubaneswar, Odisha from April 15. This season will feature 12 teams that will fight it out for the top prize in Indian Women’s Football. (REPORT)

Juan Ferrando will continue as the coach of ATK Mohun Bagan after leading to the club to a semifinal finish in the 2021-22 season. (REPORT)

Japan qualified for a seventh successive World Cup after beating Australia 2-0 in Sydney and ending the Socceroos' chances of automatic qualification. The result also qualified Saudi Arabia from Asia Group B. (REPORT)

India lost 0-1 to Bangladesh but still emerged champion of the SAFF U-18 Women's Championships on account of a better goal difference, on Friday. India enjoyed a better goal difference of +11 in comparison to +3 of Bangladesh. (REPORT)

SAFF Championship

The Indian team celebrates winning the SAFF U-18 Championship on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Olympique Lyonnais forward Ada Hegerberg returned to the Norway squad for the first time in nearly five years, handing a huge boost to the team ahead of this year's European Championship. (REPORT

Chelsea supporters will be able to buy tickets to away games, cup games and women's fixtures after the British government amended the club's special licence, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said. (REPORT)

India lost its second friendly in a row as substitutes powered Belarus to a 0-3 win. (REPORT) Earlier in the week, the Blue Tigers lost 2-1 to Bahrain. (REPORT)

TENNIS

Australia's world number one Ash Barty has retired at the age of 25 and at the peak of her game, citing the fulfilment of her tennis goals and fatigue with life on the Tour. (REPORT)

Tyzzer said he noted Barty had lost motivation as early as the Tokyo Olympics, where she crashed out of the singles but won a mixed doubles bronze for Australia.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Iga Swiatek became the No. 1 player in the world on Friday night after a 6-2, 6-0 win over Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland in the second round of the Miami Open. (REPORT)

Indian duo of Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan suffered a straight-sets loss in the final of the ATP Challenger event in the Swiss city of Biel/Bienne on Saturday. (REPORT)

Australian Nick Kyrgios has been fined $25,000 for nearly hitting a ball boy after smashing his racket and yelling an audible obscenity during his Indian Wells loss to Rafael Nadal earlier this month, the governing body ATP said on Friday. (REPORT)

Nick Kyrgios was booed by some in the crowd after he lost his temper following his 7-6(0), 5-7, 6-4 loss to Rafael Nadal.   -  AP

 

Simona Halep withdrew from the Miami Open ahead of her second-round match on Thursday with a leg injury that the former world number one said will keep her out of action for three weeks. (REPORT)

Naomi Osaka beat Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday in a one-sided clash of two former world number ones to reach the third round of the Miami Open, where Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep withdrew with injuries. (REPORT)

Rafael Nadal has suffered a stress fracture in his rib and will be out for up to six weeks, the Spaniard's team said on Tuesday. (REPORT)

Three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka will return to competition next week after sitting out over a year due to a foot injury. (REPORT)

German tennis great Boris Becker "acted dishonestly" by failing to hand over assets including his Wimbledon singles trophies before and after he was declared bankrupt in 2017, a London court heard on Monday. (REPORT)

BADMINTON

Ace Indian shuttler P V Sindhu clinched her second women's singles title of the season with a straight game win over Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan but HS Prannoy went down fighting in the men's singles final at the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament here on Sunday. (REPORT)

PV Sindhu

FILE PHOTO: Double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu defeated Busanan Ongbamrungphan in straight games.   -  Getty Images

 

Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma was re-elected unopposed as the president of Badminton Association of India for another four years term from 2022 to 2026 at the general body meeting held in Guwahati on Friday. (REPORT)

The Chinese badminton team has pulled out of the Swiss Open Super 300 tournament which began on Tuesday due to multiple COVID-19 cases and injuries to its players, the game’s governing body BWF said. (REPORT)

All England Championships finalist Lakshya Sen on Monday pulled out of the Swiss Open Super 300 tournament to get some rest after two weeks of gruelling badminton. (REPORT)

HOCKEY

The Indian men's hockey team will begin the new season of FIH Hockey Pro League against New Zealand and Spain, as per the schedule for the 2022-23 season of the FIH Pro League released on Thursday. (REPORT)

TABLE TENNIS

G. Sathiyan and Manika Batra finished runners-up in the mixed doubles final of the World Table Tennis Contender Doha as they lost to the top-seeded Taipei pair of Lin Yu-Ju and Cheng I-Ching. (REPORT)

Yuvan Licen of China put paid to Sharath Kamal's hopes by overcoming the Indian in a seven-game thriller in the men's singles semifinals of the World Table Tennis Contender in Doha. (REPORT)

ATHLETICS

Avinash Sable re-wrote his national record in the men’s 3000m steeplechase yet again as he won the second leg of the Indian Grand Prix with his new time of 8:16.21 at the Chandrasekharan Nair stadium on Wednesday. (REPORT)

Avinash Sable

Avinash Sable has been on a national record-spree in the last few years.   -  The Hindu

 

Sprinter Pranav Prashant Desai and high jumper Ramsingbhai Govin Padhiyar clinched a gold each on the final day as India signed off with 14 medals from the 13th Fazza International Para Athletics Championships here on Friday. (REPORT)

MOTORSPORTS

Sergio Perez took his first career pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Formula One continued amid heavy scrutiny on Saturday, the day after an attack on a nearby oil depot. (REPORT)

Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

After three days of rigorous competition which tested the endurance and mental strength of the competitors, Haldia born driver and local Municipality Councillor, Sheikh Ajgar Ali (driver) and Mohammad Musthafa (navigator) were crowned as the champions of the Indian National Regulatory Run Championship (INRRC) 2021. (REPORT)

A Saudi Arabian Grand Prix marshal has been removed after saying on Twitter he hoped seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton suffered an accident similar to Romain Grosjean's fiery crash in Bahrain in 2020. (REPORT)

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen on Friday slammed Netflix docu-series 'Drive to Survive', accusing the show of an inaccurate portrayal of the sport's protagonists, including McLaren's Lando Norris. (REPORT)

Germany's Nico Hulkenberg will race for Aston Martin at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah, the team said on Friday, with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel failing to recover from COVID-19 in time for the race. (REPORT)

Six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez is suffering from double vision again after falling heavily in the warm-up for last week's Indonesian Grand Prix, he said on Tuesday. (REPORT)

WRESTLING

Tokyo Olympics medallists Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg) and Bajrang Punia (65kg) won their respective Asian wrestling championships selection trials held in Delhi on Thursday. (REPORT)

File Photo of Ravi Dahiya.   -  MOORTHY RV

 

Olympian and World championships silver medalist Anshu Malik and Worlds bronze medallist Sarita Mor won the selection trials to get picked in the Indian side for the Asian wrestling championships to be held in Mongolia next month. (REPORT)

Sending out a stern message that indiscipline will not be tolerated, the Wrestling Federation of India has barred 10 women wrestlers, including U-23 World Championship bronze medallist Nisha Dahiya and a few youngsters, from competing in the trials for the upcoming Asia Championship. (REPORT)

The Sports Ministry's Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) has approved a financial assistance of Rs 6.16 lakh for Tokyo Games bronze medallist Bajrang Punia for the 18-day special training camp he undertook in Iran. (REPORT)

SHOOTING

Palak beat Rhythm Sangwan 17-15 to take the top spot in air pistol (youth women) in the National shooting selection trials at the Madhya Pradesh Academy in Bhopal. (REPORT)

World junior champion Vijayveer Sidhu pipped Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar 18-17 in 25-metre rapid-fire pistol in the National shooting selection trials at the Madhya Pradesh Academy in Bhopal on Thursday. (REPORT

GOLF

Hitaashee Bakshi became the second player to win multiple titles this season as she claimed the sixth leg of the 2022 Hero Women's Pro Golf Tour at the Golden Greens Golf & Resorts here on Friday. (REPORT)

Indian golfer Tvesa Malik went one shot better than her first round with an even par 73 to make the cut at the Joburg Ladies Open. (REPORT)

After a dramatic sequence of events over the last five holes leading to the playoff hole, Nitithorn Thippong won the inaugural $500,000 DGC Open title for his maiden triumph on the Asian Tour. (REPORT)

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