In the Premier League, Manchester City continued their chase of table-toppers Arsenal with a resounding 4-1 win over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.

Jannik Sinner beat world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz to set up a title showdown against Daniil Medvedev at the Miami Open.

Petra Kvitova beat Sorana Cristea in a battle of WTA veterans to reach the final at Miami where she will face Elena Rybakina.

The All England Club lifted its ban on Russian and Belarusian players they had place last year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

While Russian players Medvedev and Karen Khachanov welcomed the decision, Kvitova opposed the decision saying she was on the side of Ukrainians.

Max Verstappen clinched pole at the Australian Grand Prix ahead of the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 1 April, 2023:

Manchester City cruise past Liverpool

Manchester City coped without the injured Erling Haaland to keep the Premier League title race alive by coming from behind to thrash Liverpool 4-1 on Saturday.

Goals from Julian Alvarez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish moved the defending champions back to within five points of Arsenal at the top of the table.

City and Liverpool have finished as the top two in four of the past five Premier League seasons, but the Reds are struggling just to qualify for the Champions League after a dreadful campaign and were given another lesson in the gap they have to bridge be back challenging next season.

A chastening defeat leaves Jurgen Klopp’s men still seven points adrift of the top four down in sixth.

A groin injury meant Haaland was watching on from the stands alongside his father and former City midfielder Alfie Haaland.

Despite the absence of their 42-goal striker, Pep Guardiola’s men made a positive start as Alisson Becker was forced into saves from Gundogan and Rodri before Riyad Mahrez fired a free-kick inches wide.

But City were caught out on the counter-attack as Liverpool went in front on 17 minutes.

The home fans were screaming for offside as Diogo Jota broke in behind the City defence before teeing up Mohamed Salah to slot home his 23rd goal of the season.

A VAR review showed Manuel Akanji had played the Portuguese forward onside.

De Bruyne, Mahrez and Grealish combined to open up the Liverpool defence and Alvarez was left with the simple task of slotting in his 13th goal of the season despite spending most of the campaign as Haaland’s deputy.

It took just 53 seconds of the second half for City to edge in front thanks to another scintillating team move.

Alvarez was the creator this time as his cross-field pass freed Mahrez to race into acres of space behind the Liverpool defence.

The Algerian’s cross was perfectly weighted to cut out Alisson for De Bruyne to tap into an unguarded net.

If City’s first two goals were the fruit of collective brilliance, Liverpool’s defending for the third summed up a miserable season for Klopp’s men.

Alvarez was afforded an incredible amount of time inside the box by Fabinho to pick out a shot and, when his effort was blocked by Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gundogan also had the space to take a touch before firing into the top corner.

City’s movement off the ball was again too good for a cumbersome Liverpool defence as Grealish and De Bruyne exchanged a one-two before the Premier League’s most expensive player of all time side-footed into the far corner.

Arsenal, who face Leeds later on Saturday, maintain the upper hand in the title race.

Verstappen clinches Autsralian GP pole

Max Verstappen claimed pole on Saturday for the Australian Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell, but his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez had a torrid time will start last.

In overcast and cool conditions, Lewis Hamilton in the other Mercedes was third ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso in a tight session that went to the wire.

Last year’s winner Charles Leclerc seventh in the Ferrari, with his teammate Carlos Sainz fifth.

It was a huge performance from Mercedes, who have struggled this season, with their speed clearly improving as they again bettered Ferrari.

It is second pole of the year for Verstappen, and the 22nd of his career, after the season-opening race in Bahrain, which he went on to win.

“I think the last run was very good, the whole weekend has been tough to get the tyres in the right window,” said Verstappen, who has never won in Australia and will start on pole for the first time at Albert Park.

“Very happy to be on pole, already looking forward to tomorrow. I think we have a good race car but it is tricky on the tyres, so going to be an interesting race for sure.”

Sinner sets up Miami final with Medvedev

Italy’s Jannik Sinner turned on the style to end Carlos Alcaraz’s hopes of the “Sunshine Double” and his reign as world number one, triumphing 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 in their Miami Open semi-final on Friday.

Sinner will meet Russian Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final while Alcaraz will lose his number one ranking to Novak Djokovic.

Medvedev reached his fifth straight ATP Tour final with a 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-3 win over fellow Russian Karen Khachanov.

Petra Kvitova powered into the final of the WTA Miami Open on Friday with a straight sets victory over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.

Czech veteran Kvitova advanced to a Saturday showdown against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina with a 7-5, 6-4 win in 1hr 41min.

The disappointment for the 19-year-old Alcaraz, the defending champion in Miami and coming off a title at Indian Wells, will be tinged with frustration after he struggled in the third set with leg cramps.

The 27-year-old Medvedev, playing against his boyhood friend, survived a second-set comeback but his trademark precision stroke play saw him through against the big-serving Khachanov in a high quality encounter.

The contest saw a series of long rallies as Medvedev fended off Khachanov’s thumping shots from the baseline and then pinned his opponent back on his service game.

Medvedev hit 13 aces and saved four of six break points as the match turned decisively in his favor when he broke Khachanov in the fourth game of the third set.

Medvedev won 82% (14 of 17) of his first-serve points in the final set and was relieved to have beaten a player who knows his game so well.

In a battle of two of the WTA’s more experienced players, Cirstea, playing in her first WTA semi-final in a decade, was fastest out of the blocks, taking a 5-2 lead in the first set.

But the Romanian, who is enjoying a revival in form having also reached the last eight at Indian Wells, failed to convert on either of the two set points she had on serve at 5-4, with Kvitova breaking twice to take the set.

The Czech’s momentum carried over into the second set where she broke Cirstea in the opening game, her third straight break, and from then it was smooth sailing for the 33-year-old.

Kvitova’s victory gives her the chance of a ninth career WTA 1000 title in what will be her 13th final.

The Czech hasn’t won a WTA 1000 since triumphing in Madrid for a third time in 2018.

Rybakina beat American Jessica Pegula in straight sets in the other semi, played on Thursday, and is looking to complete the “Sunshine Double” having won at Indian Wells earlier this month.

Wimbledon lifts ban on Russian and Belarusian players

Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this year after organisers announced on Friday they were lifting a ban imposed in 2022 in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Competitors from the two countries will be able to enter the Grand Slam in July if they compete as “neutral” athletes and comply with certain conditions.

Players will be prohibited from expressing support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and those who receive funding from the Russian or Belarusian states, including sponsorship from state-operated or state-controlled companies, will remain barred.

The All England Club, which runs Wimbledon, said the conditions had been “carefully developed” after talks with the UK government, Britain’s governing Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and international tennis bodies.

The same conditions will apply for other British tournaments.

The ATP and WTA welcomed the decision, saying in a joint statement: “We are pleased that all players will have an opportunity to compete at Wimbledon and LTA events this summer.

Kvitova said she opposed the All England Club’s decision to allow Russian and Belarusian players to compete at this year’s tournament.

“First of all, for sure I’m always staying against the war. For sure, I’m just more worried about the Ukrainian people and players,” Kvitova told reporters after winning her Miami Open semi-final against Cirstea.

“I appreciate that Wimbledon had a tough time last year not giving the points (after) the Russian and Russian didn’t play.

“I think they shouldn’t be allowed actually. In my opinion, (n)either to the Olympics. So I’m just a little bit on the Ukrainian side of this,” she said.

Meanwhile, world number five Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov welcomed Wimbledon’s decision.

“I’m happy to know about this. I always said that if I can play Wimbledon, I will be really happy to be there,” Medvedev said.

“That’s a tournament I love. That’s the only slam where I haven’t been in quarters yet. And I cannot say I hate grass at least. I kind of like it. So I really want to do well there. It’s a beautiful tournament. And I’m happy that I have the chance to play this year,” he added.

Players will be prohibited from expressing support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and those who receive funding from the Russian or Belarusian states, including sponsorship from state-operated or state-controlled companies, will remain barred.

Medvedev said that would not be a problem for him.

“No, not at all, I don’t have any Russian sponsors, and I’m gonna play there like we played all the last year, every other tournament to be honest, and again I’m gonna be happy to be there,” he said.

“I don’t know what the crowd reaction is gonna be, I can’t control it, but I will be happy to play there in front of all the people, hopefully on big courts, and hopefully have some big amazing matches,” he added.

“All the Russian and Russian players said before that we really would like to play there and I played quarterfinals and I’m in the last eight club. It’s a really, really great and special event in tennis history so that’s why I’m really happy....that we’ll be able to play this year,” he said.

Khachanov said that those conditions were not an obstacle for him as they were similar to how they compete on the ATP and WTA tours.

“I guess we just follow the rules I think we this is what we are doing now right? There’s neutrality, there’s no flag since last year, end of February, so basically we just keep doing the same like all other tournaments. I think it’s nothing different,” he said.

Verstappen fastest at third Australian practice

Double world champion Max Verstappen clocked the fastest time in the third and final practice on Saturday for the Australian Grand Prix, but his Red Bull teammate Sergo Perez had a horror session to finish sixth.

The early championship leader posted a blistering best lap of one minute 17.565 seconds around Melbourne’s Albert Park, 0.162secs ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, who again confirmed his pace and potential.

But Perez, who took pole at the last grand prix in Saudi Arabia and translated it to victory, battled persistent problems.

He was still in garage as mechanics worked on his car 20 minutes into the hour-long session.

When he finally emerged – the last driver out – he was caught in traffic, then ran onto the gravel, skidded as he tried to put a fast lap together, then hit the gravel again late on.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was a surprise third, ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell and Pierre Gasly in the other Alpine.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was seventh, but his teammate Leclerc, last year’s Australian winner, ended a disappointing 13th.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, a two-time Melbourne winner and eight-time Australian pole-sitter, was eighth.

Lance Stroll in an Aston Martin took ninth with China’s Zhou Guanyu, who spun his Alfa Romeo and clipped the barriers, rounding out the top 10.

With text inputs from AFP

Updated through the day