Arsenal’s title pursuit was dented on Sunday after the Premier League leaders squadered a two-goal lead to be held by Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid closed the gap with Real Madrid after a win over Real Vallecano.

In tennis, Ons Jabeur beat Belinda Bencic to win the Charleston Open title, while Frances Tiafoe won his first trophy since 2018, at the Houston ATP.

Meanwhile, world No 1 Novak Djokovic is looking to make a positive start once he returns to the tour at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 10 April, 2023:

Djokovic ready for Monte Carlo Masters

Novak Djokovic says he is “motivated” to make a better than usual start to the clay-court season in Monte Carlo as he tunes up for a 23rd Grand Slam bid at the French Open.

The Serb is back on court after failing to get a waiver to enter the United States for last month’s Indian Wells tournament and Miami Open due to his anti-Covid vaccination stance.

“I hope I will start well, because the last three tournaments in Monte Carlo I have not been very successful,” the world number one said on Sunday.

“And I’m also motivated because I didn’t play for the past month,” added Djokovic, who is due to enter the Monte Carlo Masters fray in the second round against qualifiers American Mackenzie McDonald or Russian Ivan Gakhov.

A winner in 2013 and 2015, Djokovic will fancy his chances of going far in a tournament robbed of 11-time champion Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz due to injury.

Djokovic, who won this year’s Australian Open, is on nodding terms with every inch of clay in Monte Carlo, his local club.

“I know the club very well. I’m one of the players that lives in Monaco and use this club as a training base.

Arsenal held by Liverpool

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta bemoaned the Gunners’ lack of ruthlessness as they surrendered a two-goal lead in a pulsating 2-2 draw at Liverpool on Sunday to blow the Premier League title race wide open.

Arteta’s men edge six points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table, but the defending champions now have the destiny of the title in their own hands.

City have a game in hand and host the Gunners at the Etihad later this month.

Goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus appeared to have Arsenal cruising towards an eighth consecutive league win.

But Mohamed Salah pulled a goal back before half-time to spark a Liverpool fightback.

Salah missed a second-half penalty before Roberto Firmino headed in the equaliser three minutes from time.

Jurgen Klopp’s men then missed a series of chances to complete the comeback as Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale salvaged a point for his side.

“We missed that ruthlessness to take the game,” said Arteta. “The big lesson is we didn’t play the way we did the first half.

“We didn’t continue to play. We gave every ball away, allowed big spaces and big transition moments to the best team in the world in this.”

The match will also live long in the memory for a remarkable incident just after the half-time whistle when assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis thrust an elbow into the face of Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson.

Jabeur wins Chaleston title

Ons Jabeur defeated defending champion Belinda Bencic in straight sets to win the WTA Charleston Open clay court tournament on Sunday.

Jabeur, the world number five from Tunisia, avenged her defeat to Bencic in last year’s final with a hard-fought 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory in just under two hours.

Switzerland’s Bencic was forced to make a quick turnaround on Sunday, completing a 7-5, 7-6 (5) weather-disrupted semi-final win over Jessica Pegula before returning to face Jabeur in the final around 30 minutes later.

There was no immediate sign of weariness from the Swiss player as she started strongly to take a 5-3 lead in the opening set.

However, Jabeur held and then conjured a break to level at 5-5 before holding again for a 6-5 lead.

Bencic was soon in trouble on her serve, but fought back brilliantly from 0-40 down to hold and force tie-break.

Again momentum swung back and forth, with Bencic holding two set points after opening up a 6-4 lead in the tie-break before Jabeur reeled off four straight points to take the set.

Jabeur then raced into a 4-1 lead in the second set, and although Bencic responded well, Jabeur was soon serving for the match at 5-4 up.

Bencic squandered three break points that would have levelled the set at 5-5 before Jabeur eventually converted her second match point to seal the fourth title of her career.

Tiafoe wins Houston ATP

Frances Tiafoe defeated Thomas Etcheverry 7-6 (1), 7-6 (6) to win the ATP clay court title in Houston on a double-duty day in Texas.

The American, playing his first ATP tournament as the top seed, had to win twice on Sunday to secure the crown thanks to the weather delays earlier in the week.

After beating Gijs Brouwer 6-4, 6-1 in the semi-finals he said he was up for the challenge.

“I’m running on adrenaline,” Tiafoe told the crowd after beating Brouwer. “I’m on a mission so I’m happy.”

By Sunday night it was mission accomplished as Tiafoe claimed his second ATP title and his first since 2018 in Delray Beach.

Since then he’d come up empty in four finals appearances.

In other ATP tour finals, Casper Ruud beat Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-2, 7-6 (3) to win the title in Estoril, while Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena won the Marrakesh title after a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 win over Alexandre Muller of France.

Atletico close gap on Real Madrid

Atletico Madrid cut the gap on second place Real Madrid to just two points with a 2-1 win over 10-man Rayo Vallecano on Sunday in La Liga.

Valencia fell to a damaging 2-1 defeat at Almeria which leaves them in the relegation zone, while nine-man Real Betis lost 2-0 at home against Cadiz, denting their bid for Champions League football.

Defenders Nahuel Molina and Mario Hermoso struck first-half goals two minutes apart to put Atletico into a dominant position at Vallecas.

Rayo had defender Florian Lejeune sent off in the second half for a professional foul on Alvaro Morata, allowing Atletico to stroll, but Fran Garcia’s powerful drive gave the hosts some hope in the final stages.

Atletico held on to keep up the pressure on their rivals, champions Real Madrid, who lost 3-2 at home against Villarreal on Saturday.

Diego Simeone’s side have been in superb form in 2023, unbeaten in their last 12 league games, winning nine of those matches.

With text inputs from AFP

Updated through the day