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French Open: Nadal beats Sinner to reach 13th semi-finals

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Rafael Nadal reached his 13th Roland Garros semi-final early Wednesday, defeating Italian teenager Jannik Sinner in a high-quality clash which ended at 01:30, the tournament’s latest ever finish.

Nadal, the 12-time champion, won 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-1 to clinch his 98th victory in his 100th match at the French Open.

The 34-year-old will now face Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, who knocked out third seeded US Open champion Dominic Thiem, the runner-up in Paris to Nadal in the last two years, for a place in Sunday’s championship match.

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Pedro scores as Watford defeat Rooney’s Derby

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Joao Pedro’s strike saw Watford to a 1-0 win as Derby suffered a fifth consecutive home English Championship defeat at Pride Park on Friday.

Pedro settled the match 14 minutes from time.

England great Wayne Rooney could have equalised late on but shot wide, with Derby now having lost four of their opening five matches, while Watford are up to fifth place in the table.

Watford had scored only two goals in four league games this season prior to this match.

In a game of few chances, Derby created an opening in the 40th minute only for Duane Holmes to shoot over the crossbar from 15 yards out.

On the hour, Watford had a penalty appeal rejected when Nathaniel Chalobah’s shot appeared to hit George Evans on the arm.

Eventually, Pedro produced a rare moment of quality when he curled in a shot from the left edge of the area.

Rooney could have made it 1-1 moments later but the former Manchester United striker was off target and he then saw a free-kick just go over the bar.

 

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Olympics: NBBF prepares ahead of likely NBA players’ ban

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vice President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Babs Ogunade, says the country has enough players to prosecute their 2020 Olympics campaign in Tokyo, should the event coincide with the 2021 NBA season.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver warned players hoping to represent their countries at the Games that it was “unlikely” the league would accommodate Tokyo 2020 by pausing their delayed 2021 season.

NBA stars Al-Farouk Aminu, Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu and D’Tigers prospects are among several other players that may miss out on the global sports showpiece following Silver’s declaration.

Ogunade, however, disclosed that the country had players that could conveniently represent the country well at the Olympics should the NBA be in session while the Games were ongoing.

“Until we have clarity on the situation, we are going ahead with our plans. We have a lot of players in Europe, we have players in America and all around the world,” Ogunade told The PUNCH.

“If players in the NBA won’t be part of the Olympics, it will affect everyone.

“Luckily for us, we are going to be in the Afrobasket before the Olympics and there are also the Afrobasket qualifiers in Rwanda. All of these will help us discover new players as we go.

“During the World Cup qualifiers the only player that came from the NBA was Al-Farouk Aminu and we were the first to qualify globally, so we have fallback positions.”

Ogunade also stated that not having NBA players at the Games may take away some of the glamour of the Games.

“It will bite the Olympics if the NBA players are playing when the Games are going on, but if they can’t make it, we have where to fall back on.”

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2019/20 season: Osimhen Europe’s most expensive summer signing

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Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has emerged the most expensive signing in the just-concluded European football season after his €81m move, plus add-ons, from Lille on July 31.

The move also made him the most expensive African signing of all time, eclipsing Ivoirian Nicolas Pepe’s €80m move from Lille to Arsenal last summer.

Osimhen joined Napoli after a breakthrough maiden season at Lille, where he scored 18 goals in 38 matches to emerge the club’s top scorer.

Kai Havertz’s €80m move from German side Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea is the second most expensive signing in the transfer window.

Juventus’ €72m purchase of Brazilian midfielder Athur Melo from Barcelona is the third, while Ruben Dias is fourth after his €68m move from Benfica to Manchester City.

In fifth place is Alvaro Morata’s €65m move to Atletico Madrid from Chelsea. This comes ahead of Miralem Pjanić’s €60m switch from Juventus to Barcelona.

Ben Chilwell and Timo Werner both moved to Chelsea from Leicester City and Leipzig for €55m and €52m to occupy the seventh and eighth positions respectively, while Thomas Partey and Mario Icardi complete the top 10 tied at ninth with their €50m move to Arsenal and PSG respectively from Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan.

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