Daniil Medvedev wins his 19th career title by clinching the Miami Masters, beating Jannik Sinner in the final on Sunday. With Carlos Alcaraz having failed to defend his title – he lost to Sinner in the semifinal – Novak Djokovic retook the world No 1 spot.
In the Premier League, Newcastle United beat Manchester United to climb to third in the table. Meanwhile, Chelsea sacked coach Graham Potter seven months after appointing him.
Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick within seven minutes to help Real Madrid dominate Valladolid in La Liga.
Australian women cricketers have received a huge pay hike after a new five-year deal was agreed between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 3 April, 2023:
Djokovic back to No 1 spot
Novak Djokovic returned to No 1 spot in ATP rankings published Monday despite missing US tournaments last month because of his lack of a Covid vaccination.
Carlos Alcaraz had taken the top ranking from Djokovic after victory in Indian Wells, but the Spaniard bowed out of the semi-finals of the Miami Open on Friday to allow the Serb back for a record 380th week as No.1.
Djokovic has a 380-point lead over Alcaraz, with Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in third, more than 1,000pts behind the leading duo.
ATP rankings as of April 3
1. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 7,160 pts (+1)
2. Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 6,780 (-1)
3. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 5,770
4. Daniil Medvedev 5,150 (+1)
5. Casper Ruud (NOR) 5,005 (-1)
6. Andrey Rublev 3,470 (+1)
7. Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 3,450 (-1)
8. Holger Rune (DEN) 3,370
9. Jannik Sinner (ITA) 3,345 (+2)
10. Taylor Fritz (USA) 3,065
11. Karen Khachanov 2,855 (+5)
12. Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 2,750 (-3)
13. Cameron Norrie (GBR) 2,735 (-1)
14. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 2,715 (-1)
15. Frances Tiafoe (USA) 2,665 (-1)
16. Alexander Zverev (GER) 2,410 (-1)
17. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 2,185
18. Tommy Paul (USA) 2,090 (+1)
19. Alex de Minaur (AUS) 2,050 (-1)
20. Borna Coric (CRO) 1,890
Australian women cricketers get pay rise
Australia’s women cricketers secured a huge pay increase Monday, with the top contracted player on course to earn more than Aus$1 million (US$666,000) a year.
Payments for professional women will rise 66 percent under a new five-year deal between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association.
They will share in a pool worth Aus$133 million, up from Aus$80 million in the previous agreement, rewarding not only members of Australia’s world champion team but significantly increasing the value of Big Bash League and state contracts.
According to the deal, the top CA contract holder who also has a WBBL contract – believed to be national captain Meg Lanning – could now earn more than Aus$800,000 a year.
That could break the Aus$1 million mark with further earnings in India’s Women’s Premier League and The Hundred in England.
The next six contracted players will earn an average Aus$500,000.
Those who do not play for Australia, but compete in the Women’s National Cricket League and WBBL, will be paid more than Aus$151,000 annually.
“I am particularly pleased this MOU (memorandum of understanding) represents another major step forward in the rise of women’s cricket,” said CA chief Nick Hockley.
“(There are) significant increases in remuneration for the inspirational role models of the world champion Australian women’s team and the WBBL who are driving substantial growth in female participation.
Medvedev wins Miami Masters
Russian Daniil Medvedev claimed his fourth ATP title of the year with an emphatic victory over Italy’s Jannik Sinner in the final of the Miami Open on Sunday.
Sinner had upset world No 1 and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in Friday’s semi-final, but the 21-year-old struggled in the heat against the fourth seed Medvedev, who triumphed 7-5, 6-3.
The win was Medvedev’s 19th career ATP title and his fifth in a Masters 1000 event and confirmed his dominance on hard courts in 2023.
Sinner, also beaten in the Miami final two years ago and now with a 0-6 record against the Russian, said he had not been at 100%.
“We woke up this morning not at my best, I felt a little bit sick....unfortunately today I couldn’t play at my best,” said the Italian who, however said there had been no question of him pulling out of the contest.
“No, it was not that bad. But, you know, with the heat, when you run a lot, it gets a little bit worse and worse. Obviously the first half an hour we played in the sun also,” he said.
Medvedev’s 19 ATP Tour wins have come at 19 different events, but he had not won a Masters 1000 event since Toronto in 2021.
“I haven’t won’t such a big title in probably a year and a half. At the end I was quite shaky,” he said.
“Not even tight, because I’m not scared to win. But still the hands get a little shaky so the serve is a little bit tougher... I managed to get myself together and close the match.”
The 27-year-old has now won five of the six hard-court ATP Masters 1000s and has also reached the final at both hard-court Grand Slams, winning the 2021 US Open.
Newcastle move to third
Newcastle avenged their League Cup final loss against Manchester United as Joe Willock and Callum Wilson clinched a 2-0 win that lifted the Magpies into third place in the Premier League on Sunday.
Eddie Howe’s side were beaten 2-0 by United at Wembley five weeks ago in their first major final for 24 years.
But Newcastle might swap silverware for a lucrative Champions League berth and second half goals from Willock and Wilson at a raucous St James’ Park moved them closer to that ambition.
Newcastle’s third successive league win – and their first against United since 2019 – took them above their fourth placed opponents on goal difference.
They sit one point ahead of fifth placed Tottenham, who visit Everton on Monday, as the race hots up to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top four finish.
It is 46 years since Newcastle last finished above United, but the Magpies, fuelled by Howe’s astute management and the financial backing of their Saudi owners, now have a rare chance to emulate that feat.
In Sunday’s other game, West Ham scrambled out of the relegation zone as Nayef Aguerd’s first goal for the club sealed a crucial 1-0 victory against fellow strugglers Southampton.
David Moyes’ side kicked off at the London Stadium languishing second bottom of the table, with Southampton in last place.
But Morocco defender Aguerd’s first goal since signing from French club Rennes last year lifted the Hammers up to 14th.
West Ham are just one point above the relegation zone, but they have a little breathing space thanks to their first win in three league games.
Chelsea sack coach Graham Potter
Coach Graham Potter paid for Chelsea’s poor form as the Englishman was sacked on Sunday after just seven months in the job.
The Blues had slipped to 11th in the Premier League table after a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday despite spending over £500 million ($616 million) on new signings this season.
Former Brighton defender Bruno Saltor has been placed in interim charge.
Chelsea have won just three games in their last 11 but have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League where they face defending champions Real Madrid.
That tie may have been the decisive factor in the club’s new American owners pulling the trigger now, with the first leg in Madrid just 10 days away.
“We have the highest degree of respect for Graham as a coach and as a person. He has always conducted himself with professionalism and integrity and we are all disappointed in this outcome,” co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said in a statement.
“We have 10 Premier League games remaining and a Champions League quarter-final ahead. We will put every effort and commitment into every one of those games so that we can end the season on a high.”
An unlikely run to the club’s third European Cup now appears Chelsea’s only route back into the Champions League next season as they sit 12 points adrift of the Premier League top four.
Potter becomes the second manager sacked by the consortium led by LA Dodgers co-owner Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake Capital in their first season in charge.
Thomas Tuchel, who was appointed Bayern Munich boss last week, was dismissed in September, just over a year from leading Chelsea to Champions League glory.
Benzema stars in Real Madrid win
Karim Benzema scored a stunning hat-trick in a seven-minute salvo as Real Madrid thumped Real Valladolid 6-0 on Sunday in La Liga.
Champions Real Madrid, second, sit 12 points behind leaders Barcelona after the Catalans beat Elche on Saturday, with 11 games remaining each.
The race for a top four spot intensified as Villarreal, sixth, beat fourth-place Real Sociedad 2-0, and Atletico Madrid earned a 1-0 win over Betis in fifth.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid warmed up for their Copa del Rey semi-final clash on Wednesday with arch-rivals Barcelona in style by dismantling Valladolid, 16th and a point above the drop zone.
Rodrygo Goes opened the scoring early on, before Benzema’s hat-trick, including a spectacular acrobatic effort, with Marco Asensio netting the fifth in the second half and Lucas Vazquez adding another late on.
“Karim is a spectacular player, a world-class star, he’s been here 14 years and year after year he scores goals,” Vazquez told DAZN.
“Year after year he’s been Madrid’s number nine, there’s not much left to say about him, I’m very happy for him and enjoying (playing with) him in each game.”
Starting in a central attacking midfield role, Rodrygo slotted home the opener after 22 minutes after being teed up by Asensio to open the floodgates.
Vinicius Junior set up two goals for strike partner Benzema, who took them with aplomb.
The French forward completed his hat-trick after 36 minutes when he pulled off an impressive overhead effort from inside the six-yard box for his 14th goal of the season in La Liga.
The 35-year-old became the division’s second top goalscorer, behind Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski on 17.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day