Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Motor racing-Verstappen beats Leclerc to win first Miami Grand Prix
Formula One world champion Max Verstappen won the inaugural Miami Grand Prix for Red Bull on Sunday, slashing Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc’s overall lead from 27 to 19 points after five races. Leclerc finished a fighting second, 3.786 seconds behind after starting on pole position, with Spanish team mate Carlos Sainz completing the podium at the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium.
Former world number ones Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka advanced to the second round of the Italian Open in Rome while four-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an ankle injury. Halep, champion in Rome in 2020, beat France’s Alize Cornet 6-4 6-4, exacting revenge for her fourth round loss at the Australian Open in January.
Tennis-Djokovic says ‘special’ Alcaraz is a firm favourite for French Open
World number one Novak Djokovic heaped praise on newly-crowned Madrid Open champion Carlos Alcaraz, saying that the Spanish teenager is a firm favourite for the French Open later this month. Alcaraz announced himself in Madrid when he played with a sore ankle but still dispatched three top five players — Rafa Nadal, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev — en route to his second Masters title, just days after his 19th birthday.
MLB Roundup: Jorge Alfaro’s ninth-inning blast boosts Padres over Marlins
Pinch hitter Jorge Alfaro hit a two-out, three-run home run in the ninth inning Sunday afternoon to give the San Diego Padres a 3-2 walk-off victory at home over the Miami Marlins. Miami pitchers had shut out the Padres for 20 straight innings and had retired 11 straight batters when the Padres launched a game-winning rally against closer Cole Sulser. Jurickson Profar singled with one out in the ninth, which was just the Padres’ sixth hit of the game.
The FIFA Appeal Committee ruled on Monday that the abandoned World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina must be replayed after considering the appeals filed by the countries’ football associations. The qualifier in September was suspended just minutes after kickoff when Brazilian health officials invaded the pitch to stop Argentina’s England-based players from playing, saying they had breached the country’s COVID-19 quarantine rules.
Motor racing-Albon dyeing to score more points for Williams
Something was in the hair for Alexander Albon at the Miami Grand Prix as the Williams Formula One driver jokingly credited a splash of red dye for his second points scoring finish in three races. The British-born Thai racer turned up at last month’s Australian Grand Prix with a fresh look and bagged a point in 10th.
Weightlifting-Gaza weightlifter wins gold at Greece Junior World Championships
Mohammad Hamada, a Palestinian weightlifter from the Gaza Strip, won a gold medal on Monday at the IWF Junior World Championships in Greece, organisers and his family said. It was a rare international victory for an athlete from the territory of two million people, where world-class training facilities are scarce.
Lions sign No. 2 pick Aidan Hutchinson to $35.7M deal
The Detroit Lions signed No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson to his slotted rookie contract, a four-year deal worth a guaranteed $35.7 million, his agent said Monday. It includes a signing bonus of $23.2 million. The Lions have a fifth-year option, standard for agreements with NFL first-round picks.
The two-day season finale of the Diamond League will be held in Brussels in 2024 and 2026 and in Zurich in 2025 and 2027, World Athletics said on Monday. The two cities previously hosted the final — split between two separate meetings — in 2010 and 2019.
Tennis-Alcaraz graduates from up-and-comer to French Open threat
Men’s tennis has waited more than a decade for a player to emerge with the game and mental fortitude to shake up the ‘Big Three’ establishment. On Sunday, Carlos Alcaraz signalled the wait may finally be over as he captured his fourth ATP title of the season at the Madrid Open and affirmed himself as a genuine threat for the French Open title.
(With inputs from agencies.)