Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka was stunned by resurgent Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the Miami Masters, while Jannik Sinner booked a spot for himself in the men’s singles semifinals.

In the women’s Champions League, Barcelona and Arsenal progressed to the the semifinals after dominant performances.

Tottenham Hotspur’s woes continue as after coach Antonio Conte was sacked, Fifa has handed their managing director Fabio Paratici a worldwide ban.

In Formula One news, seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton put to bed rumours of him wanting to leave Mercedes by claiming he intends to remain at the team till his ‘last days.’

Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 30 March, 2023:

Lewis Hamilton wants to retire at Mercedes

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton on Thursday emphatically put to bed any concerns that he wanted to leave Mercedes, saying he planned to be the team “till my last days”.

The Briton’s disappointment after the season-opening grand prix in Bahrain, where he finished a distant fifth in his under-performing W14 car, led to claims that he was set to seek a move elsewhere.

He insisted that was not the case after a more competitive race in Saudi Arabia a fortnight ago.

And to make it crystal clear, the 38-year-old said ahead of the Australian Grand Prix that he wanted to finish his career with the once all-conquering Silver Arrows.

“I feel amazing about it (the future), I continue to feel very, very much at home, it’s a family,” he said in Melbourne of remaining with a team that has been his home for a decade.

“I see myself being with Mercedes till my last days.

“If you look at the legends, Sir Stirling Moss was with Mercedes till the end of his days, and that’s been the dream for me, to one day have that. I mean, I have that, so just continue on with that, continue to build with the brand.”

Hamilton’s first race for Mercedes was in Melbourne in 2013, and he has since delivered them an unprecedented 82 wins and 77 pole positions.

Sabalenka out, Sinner advances

World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka suffered a shock straight sets Miami Open quarterfinal loss to resurgent Romanian Sorana Cirstea, who reached her first WTA 1000 semi-final in a decade.

Cirstea, ranked 74th in the world, triumphed 6-4, 6-4 against the Australian Open champion to secure her first WTA 1000 semifinal since Toronto in 2013.

The 32-year-old is enjoying an upturn in form since taking on Swede Thomas Johansson as her coach, reaching the quarterfinals at Indian Wells and beating world No 4 Caroline Garcia of France in both legs of the “Sunshine Swing.”

“I am a bit speechless,” she said. “I came out hoping that it would be a really tough match. I tried to hold my ground. I’m very happy with my performance today, it is a bit unexpected to be honest.”

“I had confidence in my game. I knew I was playing well, and I knew that if I come out swinging and being aggressive, I would have my chance,” she added.

In the last four, Cirstea will face the winner of the quarterfinal between Ekaterina Alexandrova and Petra Kvitova which was postponed due to heavy rain and will be moved to Thursday.

Sinner through to semifinal

Italy’s Jannik Sinner eased into the Miami semifinals after a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori.

The game was delayed for two hours by rain with Sinner 2-0 up in the second set but the stoppage did nothing to change the momentum of the match.

In the last four, Sinner will face the winner of the other quarter-final between world number one Carlos Alcaraz and American Taylor Fritz which was postponed due to heavy rain on Wednesday and is expected to be played on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Ruusuvuori was the first Finnish player to feature in a Masters 1000 quarter-final since Jarkko Nieminen a decade ago, but he came up against Sinner in determined mood.

The 21-year-old from South Tyrol has not dropped a set so far in Miami.

Barcelona, Arsenal progress

Barcelona booked their place in the Women’s Champions League semifinals by thrashing Roma 5-1 on Wednesday as Arsenal came from behind to knock out Bayern Munich 2-1 on aggregate thanks to a 2-0 win at the Emirates.

Tournament favourites Barca had been held to a slender 1-0 advantage from the first leg in the Italian capital last week.

But last season’s runners-up stormed into a 3-0 lead before half-time in front of 55,000 at the Camp Nou.

Swedish international Fridolina Rolfo struck twice in the first half either side of Mapi Leon’s spectacular long-range effort.

Asisat Oshoala netted from close range immediately after the break and Patri Guijarro headed home the fifth from a corner.

Annamaria Serturini pulled one back for Roma against a Barcelona side who have won 100 percent of their games in the Spanish league and only suffered one defeat all season, against Bayern in the group phase.

Barca have now reached the semi-finals in five consecutive seasons and will face either defending champions Lyon or Chelsea in the last four.

Meanwhile at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal overcame a 1-0 first leg defeat to reach the last four for the first time in 10 years in front of a record crowd of over 20,000.

Despite the absence of injured star forwards Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead, the Gunners blew Bayern away in the first half.

Frida Maanum levelled the tie with a blistering strike in off the underside of the crossbar on 20 minutes.

Moments later Arsenal led as Stina Blackstenius had the simple task of rounding off a brilliant team move with a header into an unguarded goal from Katie McCabe’s cross.

Tottenham’s managing director banned by Fifa

Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici has been given a worldwide ban by Fifa that could end his time with the north London club.

Paratici was handed a 30-month ban from Italian football in January after his former club Juventus were found guilty of false accounting.

The 50-year-old Italian was sporting director and managing director at Juventus before joining Tottenham in June 2021.

His initial ban only applied to his homeland, meaning he was free to continue working at Tottenham, where he was involved in Sunday’s departure of manager Antonio Conte and the start of the search for a new boss.

But a statement issued by Fifa on Wednesday threatened to cut short his spell at Tottenham, with the global governing body saying: “Fifa can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of Fifa disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect.”

Both Paratici and Juventus have appealed against the initial decision.

With text inputs from AFP

Updated through the day