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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Wozniacki stuns Muguruza to move into final in Tokyo

Sports Shorts: Wozniacki stuns Muguruza to move into final in Tokyo

Last updated on: September 23, 2017 23:03 IST

 A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Saturday

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki plays a forehand in her semi-final match against Spain's Garbine Muguruza on day six of the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis At Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Saturday

IMAGE: Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki plays a forehand in her semi-final match against Spain's Garbine Muguruza on day six of the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis At Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Saturday. Photograph: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki crushed new world number one Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 on Saturday to advance to the final of the Pan Pacific Open as the Dane remained on course for a third title at the Tokyo tournament.

The third seed rallied from a set down to win her previous two matches but the 27-year-old wasted no time seizing control of her semi-final against Wimbledon champion Muguruza.

The Dane broke the top seeded Spaniard's opening service game and repeated the feat twice more to cruise through the first set.

A stunned Muguruza, who had not lost a set in the previous rounds, was unable to gain any momentum and was shut out for the remainder of a match that was wrapped up in exactly one hour.

In Sunday's final, Wozniacki will face Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who earlier withstood a furious rally to beat Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-4 to advance.

The match appeared headed for a blowout after 26-year-old Pavlyuchenkova, seeking her third title this year, took the first eight games against the former world number one.

However, Kerber dug in and broke Pavlyuchenkova's serve in the third game of the second set before the 29-year-old German forced a tiebreaker and stole the second set.

A rattled Pavlyuchenkova dropped the first three games of the final set but regained her composure to win six of the final seven and notch the victory.

Wozniacki leads Pavlyuchenkova 5-1 in their head-to-head meetings, although the pair have not faced each other since 2012.

Remarkable Rossi qualifies third for Aragon MotoGP

Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi rides during final practice for the MotoGP of Aragon at Motorland Aragon Circuit in Alcaniz, Spain, on Saturday

IMAGE: Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi rides during final practice for the MotoGP of Aragon at Motorland Aragon Circuit in Alcaniz, Spain, on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Valentino Rossi made a remarkable comeback to qualify third for the Aragon MotoGP on Saturday just three weeks after suffering a broken leg, with team mate Maverick Vinales taking pole ahead of Jorge Lorenzo.

The 38-year-old Italian showed no signs of the injury that he suffered while riding an off-road enduro bike.

Vinales finished quickest in the final free practice session and carried that form through to qualifying, sealing pole position ahead of fellow Spaniard Lorenzo of Ducati with team mate Rossi also on the front row for Sunday's race.

Honda’s British rider Cal Crutchlow starts fourth, while Championship leader Marc Marquez is fifth after falling two minutes from the end.

Ghosal in final of Macau Open

India's leading player Saurav Ghosal stormed into the final of the USD 50,000 Macau Open, a major PSA world tour event, in Macau on Saturday.

The national champion, seeded fourth, ousted the top seed Simon Rosner of Germany in five games 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-13, 11-4 in a pulsating semi-final.

The Indian is ranked 28th in the world while the German is placed 11th.

But that did not unsettle Ghosal who showed his characteristic fighting ability and ensured victory in what proved a topsy turvy tussle.

In the title round, Ghosal will meet second seed Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar.

Monaco hammer sorry Lille 4-0

Monaco mauled struggling Lille 4-0 away to move level on points with Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain on Friday as Stevan Jovetic and Rachid Ghezzal both netted their first goals for the champions.

With just one win in their opening seven games, Lille are enduring their worst start to the season in years, and even though Marcelo Bielsa's side looked lively early on, their carelessness was always going to be punished.

As they tried to break up an attack, Lille midfielder Anwar El-Ghazi inexplicably passed to Monaco striker Jovetic on the edge of the area and he rifled the ball home in the 24th minute for his first goal since joining the club from Inter Milan in the summer window.

Monaco needed no help from their hosts six minutes later as Ghezzal arrived late into the box to slam the ball home with his left foot after a sweeping move down the right.

Radamel Falcao netted a simple header three minutes into the second half, nodding the ball into an empty net after Mike Maignan blocked the initial shot by Rony Lopes, and he added a penalty in the 74th minute.

The win puts Monaco on 18 points and in second place on goal difference behind PSG, who visit Montpellier on Saturday.

Hoffenheim go top of the Bundesliga with 2-0 win over Schalke

Hoffenheim beat Schalke 04 2-0 with a goal in each half on Saturday to go provisionally top of the Bundesliga, with Borussia Dortmund, a point behind, in action later.

Dennis Geiger's low drive put them ahead in the 13th minute and Lukas Rupp added another deep in stoppage time to give Julian Nagelsmann's unbeaten team their fourth win in six league matches, lifting them to 14 points.

Schalke, who have now lost three of their six games, drop to seventh on nine.

In-form Borussia Dortmund, on 13, can reclaim top spot with a draw or win at Borussia Moenchengladbach later on Saturday.

Dortmund, in action against Real Madrid in the Champions League next week, have yet to concede a league goal this season.

RB Leipzig, last season's runners-up, narrowly beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 for their first win in three matches and climbed to sixth on 10 points.

Champions Bayern Munich dropped to third on 13 after wasting a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against VfL Wolfsburg on Friday.

Wolfsburg earn comeback draw at Bayern to snap losing run

VfL Wolfsburg battled back from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw at Bayern Munich on Friday thanks to Daniel Didavi's late equaliser that ended their 19-match losing run in Munich.

Champions Bayern missed their chance to go back on top of the Bundesliga and are on 13 points, second on goal difference to Borussia Dortmund, who are in action against Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

"We did not play as we would have liked. Wolfsburg fully deserved the point," said Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti. "We were too slow, without intensity and not compact enough. In Paris we will have to play differently."

The Bavarians, who travel to Paris St Germain in the Champions League next week, struggled for much of the first half before Robert Lewandowski, who two years ago had scored a league record five goals in nine minutes against Wolfsburg, put the hosts ahead with a 33rd-minute penalty.

Dutchman Arjen Robben then struck three minutes from halftime to double their lead with his shot deflected by team mate Rafinha which wrongfooted the Wolfsburg keeper.

But Wolfsburg were thrown a lifeline when Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich, replacing injured Manuel Neuer, failed to block a Maximilian Arnold free kick from 30 metres out.

"We let them back into the game. We conceded a silly goal and then we missed our chances to finish it off," said Mats Hummels.

Wolfsburg kept taking stabs at the Bayern defence and it paid off when Didavi timed his run to perfection to head in Paul Verhaegh's fine cross in the 83rd and earn their first point in Munich since December 2001.

Captain of Serie A's Benevento fails doping test

The captain of promoted Serie A club Benevento, Fabio Lucioni, has tested positive for a banned substance, Italy's sports anti-doping authority said on Friday.

The anti-doping body said traces of the anabolic steroid Clostebol had been found during routine testing after Benevento's 1-0 defeat to Torino on Sept. 10.

Lucioni could be suspended for up to four years if the failed doping test is confirmed.

Lucioni was quoted by Italian media as saying that he had taken therapeutic medicine "in good faith" on the advice of the Benevento team doctor.

Little-known Benevento, from the southern region of Campania, were promoted to Serie A for the first time in their history last season.

However, they have got off to a terrible start, losing their first five matches and scoring one goal, to leave them bottom of the table.

Winner of "dirtiest race in history" Alptekin banned for life

Asli Cakir Alptekin, who won Olympic gold at London 2012 before being stripped of the title, has been banned for life by the Turkish Athletics Federation for a third doping offence, state-run Anadolu news agency have reported.

Alptekin won the 1500 metres title in London, a race where six of the first nine finishers have served drugs bans before or since, leading some to refer to it as the "dirtiest race in history".

The 32-year-old was stripped of her 2012 Olympic and European titles in 2015 and suspended for eight years by the Turkish Athletics Federation.

She returned to the track this year, however, after the ban was halved and its start date backdated to 2013. She finished 11th in the European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country event in Portugal in February.

"Asli Cakir, who wrote history by winning a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, has received her third punishment for doping," Anadolu said on Friday.

"We will never ever give ground to those who become involved in doping. Everyone should know this," Turkish Athletics Federation Chairman Fatih Cintimar told Anadolu.

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