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ATP Finals: Novak Djokovic beats Alexander Zverev to make semi-finals

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Novak Djokovic moved past Alexander Zverev in straight sets to reach the last four of the ATP Finals.

The Serb world number one beat German Zverev 6-3 7-6 (7-4) at the O2 Arena in London.

Djokovic, seeking a record-equalling sixth title at the end-of-season tournament, was pushed much more in the second set but raised his level at the crucial time in the tie-break.

He will play Dominic Thiem in the last four on Saturday at 14:00 GMT.

That match is live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website.

US Open champion Thiem progressed as winner of Group London 2020 with Djokovic going through in second position in Group Tokyo 1970.

The other semi-final is between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev, who first plays a dead rubber against Diego Schwartzman at 20:00 GMT on Friday.

“I felt great. In the first set he had a couple of break-point chances and I managed to serve well in the important moments,” said 33-year-old Djokovic.

“In contrast to the match against Daniil, I found the right shots at the right time. I have tremendous respect for Sascha, who is a great player and it is not easy to return 140mph first serves.

“It was anybody’s game for most of the match.”

Djokovic quells Zverev fightback in second set

Their five previous meetings had all been won in straight sets without any of them going to a tie-break and it seemed as though this match would follow the pattern as Djokovic, who was victorious in three of them, dominated the early stages.

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He was into the groove with a love hold, while Zverev gave up his first service game in predictable fashion, conceding the break with a double fault.

Zverev did bring up two break-back points at 2-4 but first serves and clean hitting from the baseline helped Djokovic see them off with little fuss, before the Serb sealed the set with a trademark backhand down the line.

The second set was much more competitive with Zverev twice shouting “come on” when saving two break points at 2-2. As ever, though, the differential between his first and second serves was key to the match, with the 2018 champion winning 83% of points on his first delivery and only 35% on his second.

Zverev twice came within two points of the set when Djokovic was serving but the 17-time Grand Slam champion remained solid at key moments, as they eventually played their first tie-break together.

The 23-year-old moved to a 2-0 lead but Djokovic quickly levelled and then got the decisive mini-break with a backhand cross-court winner for 5-3.

“Novak served incredibly well, I thought,” said Zverev. “I had to go very far back to return his serve. It was very difficult for me.

“I started playing really well in the second set, so a few points decided the set.”

Looking ahead to his semi-final against Austrian Thiem, Djokovic added: “Obviously earlier in his career Dominic played his best on clay but being one of the hardest workers on tour, and most dedicated players, found his A-game on other surfaces, and his first Slam came on a hard court earlier this year in New York.

“I played him here last year and lost 7-6 in the third set, it was a thrilling match. Hopefully have another great match – with a different outcome.”

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IAAF bans former Diack lawyer Cisse for life

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REUTERS: Habib Cisse, former legal adviser to disgraced IAAF ex-president Lamine Diack, has been banned for life for corruption and fined US$25,000, the IAAF Ethics Board said on Monday.

The IAAF said its ethics panel had found Cisse guilty of helping to cover up doping violations by Lilya Shobukhova "and other Russian athletes".

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Cisse was accused by independent investigator Dick Pound in 2016 of being part of a clique run by Diack that covered up organised doping in the sport.

Diack, who is to be tried in France on charges of corruption and money laundering, diverted the handling of Russian doping cases to Cisse, who was serving at the time as the Senegalese's personal lawyer.

"The decision (to ban Cisse) enters into force on 9 September 2019, being the date on which the decision was communicated to the parties," the IAAF said in a statement on its website.

The world governing body added that

Haas F1 team parts company with title sponsor Rich Energy

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MONZA, Italy: Haas F1 and title sponsor Rich Energy have parted company after 14 races together, the U.S.-owned Formula One team announced on Monday.

A Haas spokesman said the cars would retain the black and gold livery for the rest of the season but without the energy drink company's branding.

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"Haas F1 Team and Rich Energy have amicably agreed to end their partnership together in the FIA Formula One world championship with immediate effect," the team said in a statement.

It said Rich Energy needed a revised global strategy due to a 'corporate restructuring process' and a termination of the agreement was best for both parties.

The title sponsorship had been in doubt for some time, with Rich Energy posting on Twitter in July that they had terminated the contract.

Shareholders later said in a statement issued by the team that those comments were unauthorised and the 'rogue actions' of one individual.

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Haas, the only U.S.-owned entry in Formula One, are ninth of 10 teams after Sunday's It

Great Eastern and ActiveSG launch personal accident protection plan

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SINGAPORE – Life insurance firm Great Eastern and ActiveSG have partnered to launch Active Care, a personal accident protection plan, on Monday (Sept 9) to encourage people to lead healthy lives without worrying about accidents and injuries.

The plan offers 24/7 coverage, which is not limited to sports, for those between three and 70 years old.

Active Care is available exclusively to ActiveSG members for $9 annually and the scheme includes accidental death or permanent total disablement protection of up to $20,000 and medical expense reimbursements of up to $200.

George Chan, whose son Gabriel is a participant in the ActiveSG Football Academy, said: "Active Care is a convenient initiative that offers parents like me an added peace of mind whenever we decide to participate in sporting activities ranging from a simple jog around our estate to group zumba workouts at the stadium."

For every plan purchased, members earn a rebate of $2 that is directly credited to their ActiveSG Wallet. Members can enjoy additional $2 rebates for a limited period of time.

In support of local athletes, each purchase will see a donation of $1 going to the One Team Singapore Fund, an initiative that assists Team Singapore athletes in their training

Football: Belgium boss Roberto Martinez backs ‘focused’ Romelu Lukaku to fire for new club and country

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(REUTERS) – Leaving Manchester United for Inter Milan has reinvigorated Romelu Lukaku and the striker is happy and hungry as he enters an important phase of his playing career, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has said.

The Belgium international joined Inter last month, ending a two-year spell at United, which began well, but ended with him battling for a place in the team.

The 26-year-old has scored two league goals in as many games in Italy and Martinez is confident Lukaku's bright start to life in Serie A can translate into success for the national team.

"This is the first time I've seen him free and happy. Going back to many camps, I've not seen Rom so focused, so happy, so refreshed by the new challenge," Martinez, who previously coached Lukaku at English Premier League club Everton, told reporters ahead of Monday's (Sept 9) Euro 2020 qualifier in Scotland.

"I think he's now ready to face one of the biggest chapters in his career with the Inter move. He's driven to be as good as he can for the national team… I've been impressed."

Lukaku's short time in Italy has not been without problems, however, with the striker subjected to racist abuse by Cagliari supporters last week.

But Martinez said the incident had not affected Lukaku's mood during international duty.

"I haven't seen a difference," he added.

"I

Football: Iranians should be safe for World Cup qualifier despite protests, says Hong Kong coach

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HONG KONG (REUTERS) – Iran's footballers have nothing to fear from anti-government protests in Hong Kong, said the head coach of the city's representative team, despite an unsuccessful bid by the visitors to play Tuesday's (Sept 10) World Cup qualifier at a neutral venue.

Last week, Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation turned down a request from the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran to move the game outside Hong Kong owing to the protests that have hit the city over the past three months.

But Hong Kong coach Mixu Paatelainen stressed that the visitors should not be affected during their stay in the Asian financial hub.

"One thing I know is that Hong Kong is a safe place for any team to come and play," said the former Dundee United and Bolton Wanderers striker.

"Protesters don't come to protest against these teams who come here to play sport. There's no problem at all.

"I know that the Iran team will be safe and they can prepare here and there's no problem at all.

"I'm aware of the protests, but we don't pay any attention to those things. We prepare for the task in hand and put the political issues aside," he said.

Iraq, Bahrain and Cambodia are the other sides in Group C of the Asian World Cup qualifiers.

Games involving the Hong Kong team have been a focal point for protests against the Chinese government in the past, with Fifa fining t

Tennis: Nadal survives five-set test by Medvedev to win US Open, his 19th Grand Slam title

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NEW YORK (AFP/AP) – Calling it one of the most emotional nights of his 18-year career, Rafael Nadal celebrated a dramatic US Open final victory over Daniil Medvedev for his 19th Grand Slam title on Sunday (Sept 8).

The 33-year-old Spanish left-hander grabbed his fourth career title on the New York hardcourts in thrilling fashion, squandering a two-set lead before outlasting the Russian fifth seed 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 after 4hr 50min.

"I more or less had the match under control," Nadal, the second seed, said. "The way he was able to fight to change the rhythm of the match was incredible."

Nadal's head was in his hands as he became emotional in the moments after his epic triumph, feelings compounded when a tribute video of his Grand Slam titles was shown in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"Has been one of the most emotional nights in my tennis career, with that video, with all of you," he told a cheering crowd that chanted his name several times in the intense final set. "There's no stadium in the world that's more energetic than this one."

Outside of the French Open, where he took his 12th title in June, the US Open is the Slam title he has captured the most in his career.

"That's so important," Nadal said of his fourth US Open crown. "This victory means a lot. "And the way it happened. It was hard to control the nerves. The nerves were so high after having the match almost under control."

Nadal has dropped only one Grand Slam match out of more than 200 when he has won the first two sets, that loss coming to Fabio Fognini in the third round of the 2015 US Open.

But he nearly became the first man since 1949 to lose the US Open final after winning the first two sets when Medvedev mounted a charge, shifting styles and rattling the Spanish veteran.

Medvedev broke in the last game of each of the next two sets to force a fifth. But his charge came up just short.

Nadal broke to lead 3-2 in the fifth and again for 5-2. But he failed to serve out the victory there, double-faulting on

Bowling: Cherie Tan makes history again in the US, becoming first Asian to win PWBA Players Championship

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SINGAPORE – A week after winning a historic Masters title at the World Bowling Women's Championships in Las Vegas, Singapore's Cherie Tan added another feather in her cap by capturing the QubicaAMF Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) Players Championship in Raleigh, North Carolina on Sunday (Sept 8).

She is the first Asian to win the 59-year-old championship, which comes with prize money of US$20,000 (S$27,627).

Tan said: "It's really awesome, because to come away with back to back wins is something that everyone wants, but it's quite hard to achieve, so I'm really pleased with the results."

The 31-year-old had bowled consistently over the week to earn top seeding in the Stepladder Finals with a total of 8,744 pinfalls, ahead of Shannon Pluhowski (8,663).

But it was fifth seed Shannon O'Keefe (8,170), the reigning PWBA Player of the Year, that progressed all the way to the final to meet Tan.

Tan, however, maintained her form, delivering nine strikes in the title match to beat the 40-year-old American 245-204 and claim the championship.

Tan was humble in victory, adding: "Bowling is a sport where it can be anyone's day, and today was just my day. All the competitors are equally great."

The PWBA Players Championship is one of the four major tournaments on the PWBA Tour, and is open only to

Rafael Nadal would love to eclipse Roger Federers Grand Slam record after US Open win

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The Spaniard is now just one major behind his long-time rival (Picture: Getty)

Rafael Nadal says it is an honour to be battling Roger Federer for the all-time mens Grand Slam record after securing his 19th major in Sundays US Open final.

The Spaniard overcame Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 victory which lasted four hours and 51 minutes to claim his fourth title at Flushing Meadows.

It moves him just one Grand Slam title behind Federers record of 20 and while Nadal – who is five years younger – says he would like to eclipse his old rival, its not his ultimate goal.

Rafael Nadal reacts to closing the gap to Roger Federer's Grand Slam record
Nadal had to be at his best to defeat in-form Russian Medvedev (Picture: Getty)

Speaking after his win, Nadal said: I would love to be the one who wins more, but I am not thinking and I not going to practice every day or not playing tennis for it. I am playing tennis because I love to play tennis.

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I cant just think about Grand Slams, no? Tennis is more than Grand Slams. I need to think about the rest of the things.

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I play to be happy. Of course, the victory of today makes me super happy. But few weeks ago I won in Montreal and that was an important moment for me, too.

He continued: I feel honoured to be part of this battle. But I repeat the same: you cant be all day looking next to you about if one having more or one having little bit less because you will be frustrated.

Most men's Grand Slam singles titles

1. Roger Federer – 20
2. Rafael Nadal – 19Read More – Source

Dana White green lights Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Georges St-Pierre fight

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Khabib Nurmagomedov wants a fight with Georges St-Pierre (Picture: Getty Images)

A Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Georges St-Pierre super fight is not off the table, after UFC president Dana White spoke positively of the potential bout.

Khabib defended his UFC lightweight title on Saturday night, submitting Dustin Poirier in the third round of a dominant performance at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.

The Eagle took his record to an incredible 28-0 and furthered his argument to be considered the greatest fighter of all-time, an argument which St-Pierre wins in the eyes of many fans.

The former welterweight champion retired earlier this year and last fought in November 2017 when he won the middleweight title from Michael Bisping.

However, the 38-year-old has admitted he could be lured out of retirement for a fight with Khabib and a shot at becoming the first person to win UFC gold in three weight divisions.

When the possibility of the fight was put to White in the post-UFC 242 press conference, he paused for some time, but replied: Sure.

Georges St-Pierre
St-Pierre wants to make more UFC history (Picture: Getty Images)

When asked about a bout with the legendary Canadian, Khabib said: Georges St-Pierre is great guy, great champion, great athlete.

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Hes very good example for young kids. If he want to come back, if he feel hungry, if he feel he can improve his legacy with fight with me … and he can make 155, I am waiting for him. And I think maybe he like new belt?

If he likes, I can give him, just only for one photo. But then he has to give me back this belt. But if he wants to fight? Welcome.

St-Pierre spoke to Chael Sonnen about wanting to make the fight with the Eagle in the past and the UFC turning down the bout.

We worked very hard to try and make it, my agent tried to make it, we asked many time and the UFC categorically didnt want to do it, said St-Pierre.

My goal was to be the first champ, champ, champ and then we even asked to do it at a catchweight and the UFC didnt want to do it.

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I know Khabib wants it, the fans love the idea of the fight, but it is unfair to [lightweight number one contender] Tony Ferguson because he deserves the title shot.

But now its over, I missed the train, the train is gone, I dont think it will happen.

When I train in the gym I feel like I still get it, if you ask me right after training, when I feel strong and confident, I would say I would consider the fight.

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But if you ask me later I would say no, I dont want to do that damn circus again.

I dont feel right now that I want to go throughRead More – Source

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