Sunday 19 November 2017

Sport in Brief - Serena Williams sweeps to Sony final

Serena Williams returns to Maria Sharapova
Serena Williams returns to Maria Sharapova

Tennis - World No 1 Serena Williams continued her decade-long domination over Maria Sharapova with a clinical 6-4 6-3 win to reach her ninth Sony Open final.

The rematch of last year's final produced the same result as Williams, a six-time winner on the Miami hardcourts, extended her winning streak against Sharapova to 15 matches, a run that stretches back to 2004.

Proving there's no place like home, Williams, who lives an hour's drive from the Tennis Center at Crandon Park, has won the Miami event more than any other tournament, the six titles one better than her five US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon Grand Slam wins.


America's Tejay van Garderen of BMC took his first stage victory in a WorldTour race by outpointing Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) on the Volta a Catalunya's toughest hilltop finish.

The 25-year-old American crossed the line just three seconds ahead of Bardet and Contador, with Joaquim Rodriguez following a second later in fourth.

Ireland's Daniel Martin finished 20th, a minute and 22 seconds behind the stage winner. Rodriguez leads the general classification by four seconds from Contador, with Martin back in 20th almost two minutes behind.


LONDON 2012 silver medallist Sofya Ochigava is in the Russian squad for a round-robin tournament in Hamburg, Germany.

The Russian southpaw, who was beaten by Katie Taylor in the 2012 Olympic final, will line out against Germany 'A' and 'B' and Ireland this weekend.

Taylor, who has three fights in three days coming up at the start of May, is not with the seven-strong Irish squad in Hamburg.

Belfast's Alanna Audley-Murphy will wear the Irish lightweight vest in Hamburg this weekend. The Irish squad will meet Germany and Russia today, tomorrow and Sunday.


The Tony Martin-trained 2013 Cheltenham Festival hero Benefficient has been retired.

Also a winner of three Grade Ones at Leopardstown, he earned his owners over £200,000.

Benefficient last ran in the Ryanair Chase two weeks ago but was pulled up. In a post on Facebook, New York-based owner Aidan 'Red' Shiels and Niall Reilly said: "To everyone who made this great journey possible, from the bottom of our hearts we thank you for everything."


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