Monday 19 March 2018

In Brief: Federer pleased to seal progress

tennis boxing athletics

Four-time champion Roger Federer became the first to qualify for the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals after beating Robin Soderling.

The Grand Slam record holder from Switzerland defeated the French Open finalist from Sweden 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 in his final match in Group B. Federer, who moved to the semi-finals for the eighth time in nine ATP Finals appearances, didn't drop a set in all three group matches at the O2 arena in London.

Andy Murray also qualified for the last four after winning the opening set of his match against David Ferrer.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams has withdrawn from January's Australian Open as she struggles to recover from a foot injury, which has sidelined her since July, organisers said yesterday.

Elsewhere, Ireland's Colin O'Brien progressed to the last eight of ITF Men's Futures event in Opava, Czech Republic, thanks to a 7-6 (7/3) 1-6 6-2 win over Belarus' Alexander Bury.

IRELAND'S Olympic silver-medalist Ken Egan will have to serve a 45-day medical suspension after receiving a cut over his right eye in helping Miami Gallos beat Los Angeles Matadors in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Americas group.

The Dublin southpaw beat LA's Dorian Anthony on a unanimous decision in Tuesday's match, which saw Miami record a 3-2 victory in both sides' opening group encounter.

But following the fight, Egan required stitches to a cut over his right eye after a clash of heads in the fourth round against the Californian light-heavyweight.

The 10-time Irish senior champ will have to sit out home and away fixtures against Mexico on December 9/17 and the visit of Memphis Force on January 5.

Paris United face Moscow in the European WSB group tonight but Ireland's John Joe Nevin will not feature for Paris because of a statutory 13-day rest period. The Irish champ will be available for selection for next month's clash with Istanbul.

MARTIN Fagan's hopes of impressing the Irish selectors ahead of next month's European Cross Country Championships took a blow when he finished outside the top 10 at the prestigious Manchester Road Race in Connecticut yesterday, writes Cliona Foley.

Fagan is a regular top-three finisher in the Thanksgiving Day race, which attracted 15,000 runners yesterday.

He won it in 2008 and was fourth last year but was only 11th in 22:08 yesterday and was overshadowed by West Waterford's third-placed David McCarthy, who finished just one second behind Ben True (21.43) in a race won by Morocco's Mourad Marofit in 21.38.

McCarthy, like most US-based Irish athletes, is not coming home for the National Inter-County Cross Country Championships this weekend, where all of the podium finishers get automatic selection for the Europeans.

Irish Independent

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