Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek began their Italian Open campaigns with contrasting wins on Friday. Djokovic was made to work by Tomas Etcheverry in the second round. Swiatek, a beaten finalist at the Madrid Open last week, began her Italian Open challenge with a 6-0, 6-0 win.
Najmul Hossein scored his first ODI hundred to lead Bangladesh to a thrilling victory over Ireland in the second ODI.
Two-time ICC men’s T20 World Cup-winning captain Daren Sammy has been appointed as the West Indies’s white-ball captain. Former Jamaica wicketkeeper/batsman Andre Coley has been appointed coach of the Test side.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 13 May, 2023:
Djokovic starts Rome campaign with sluggish win
Novak Djokovic fought his way into the third round of the Italian Open on Friday, beating Tomas Etcheverry 7-5 (7/6), 6-2 in a surprisingly tight encounter.
A six-time winner in Rome, the world number one was made to work by the 61st-ranked Argentine, prevailing in one hour, 51 minutes to set up a third round clash with Grigor Dimitrov who beat Stan Wawrinka.
Djokovic, a 22-time Grand Slam title winner, has not been knocked out of an ATP Tour event at the first attempt since the Monte Carlo Masters last year.
Still nursing an injury to his right elbow he had to battle his way past Etcheverry, winning the first set via a tie-break before finally ensuring passage into the next round.
World number seven Holger Rune marked his Rome debut with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Arthur Fils of France.
World number one Iga Swiatek started her bid to win a third straight Italian Open WTA title by demolishing Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 6-0.
Losing finalist in Madrid last weekend, Swiatek looked in great form in the tournament she won last year before going on to blitz the French Open even though she is shaking off a rib injury suffered at Indian Wells.
The Pole’s path to another Rome title opened up on Thursday when world number two Aryna Sabalenka and third-ranked Jessica Pegula were knocked out.
Swiatek faces Lesia Tsurenko in the last 32 after extending her winning streak in the Italian capital to 12 matches.
Last year’s losing finalist, fourth seed Ons Jabeur fell 6-1, 6-4 to Paula Badosa.
The 28-year-old Jabeur has had calf problems in recent weeks, an injury which caused her to retire in the semi-finals at Stuttgart and not defend her Madrid title.
Badosa will face world number 27 Marta Kostyuk in the third round.
Earlier, Jannik Sinner cruised into the men’s last 32 with a straight-sets win over Thanasi Kokkinakis, 6-1, 6-4.
World number eight Sinner took one hour, 18 minutes to deal with the Australian qualifier and will play Russian Alexander Shevchenko, who beat Argentine Sebastian Baez 6-3, 6-4.
Rome has not seen an Italian tournament winner since Adriano Panatta in 1976.
Results on Friday from the ATP/WTA Italian Open in Rome (x denotes seeding, players representing Russia and Belarus are banned from competing under the name or flag of their countries):
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Tomas Etcheverry (ARG) 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x26) bt Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Alex De Minaur (AUS x17) 6-3, 6-4
Cameron Norrie (GBR x13) bt Alexandre Muller (FRA) 6-2, 6-3
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN x10) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
Roman Safiullin bt Sebastian Korda (USA x22) 6-2, 7-6 (7/5)
Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB x30) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6)
Holger Rune (DEN x7) bt Arthur Fils (FRA) 6-3, 6-3
Casper Ruud (NOR x4) bt Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) 6-4, 6-0
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) bt Ben Shelton (USA x28) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2
Laslo Djere (SRB) bt Botic van de Zandschulp (NED x23) 6-2, 6-4
Christian Garin (CHI) bt Tommy Paul (USA x16) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Gregoire Barrere (FRA) bt Karen Khachanov (x11) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Francisco Cerundolo (ARG x24) bt Wu Yibing (CHN) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Alexander Shevchenko bt Sebastian Baez (ARG) 6-3, 6-4
Jannik Sinner (ITA x8) bt Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-1, 6-4
Iga Swiatek (POL x1) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 6-0
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) bt Bernarda Pera (USA x28) 6-4, 6-4
Donna Vekic (CRO x21) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Liudmila Samsonova (x16) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST) 6-3, 6-3
Maria Sakkari (GRE x9) bt Barbora Strycova (CZE) 6-1, 6-3
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) bt Bianca Andreescu (CAN x24) 6-0, 6-1
Anna Kalinskaya bt Elise Mertens (BEL x25) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Elena Rybakina (KAZ x7) bt Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-1
Paula Badosa (ESP) bt Ons Jabeur (TUN x4) 6-1, 6-4
Marta Kostyuk (UKR x32) bt Claire Liu (USA) 6-0, 6-4
Karolina Muchova (CZE) bt Martina Trevisan (ITA x18) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (x15) 6-4, 6-2
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE x10) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-2, 4-1 - retired
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x20) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROM) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
Julia Grabher (AUT) bt Jil Teichmann (SUI x26) 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-3
Daria Kasatkina (x8) bt Lisa Pigato (ITA) 6-1, 6-2
Bangladesh beat Ireland in thriller
Najmul Hossein hit a first one-day international century before Mushfiqur Rahim ensured Bangladesh chased down 320 with three balls left in a tense three-wicket win over Ireland on Friday despite Harry Tector’s career-best 140.
Najmul made 117 off just 93 balls at Chelmsford in front of a 4,000-strong crowd largely made up of Tigers fans.
Victory gave Bangladesh a 1-0 lead in a three-match series after Tuesday’s rain-marred no-result at English county Essex’s headquarters.
Bangladesh veteran Mushfiqur, with four runs required off four balls, hit a boundary and finished 36 not out.
Najmul, who eventually holed out off Curtis Campher, shared a fourth-wicket stand of 131 with Towhid Hridoy (68).
In a match reduced by rain to 45 overs per side, Tector’s fourth century in his last nine ODI innings took Ireland to 319-6.
The 23-year-old struck seven fours and 10 sixes in a mere 113 balls, with George Dockrell making 74.
Bangladesh paceman Shoriful Islam conceded 83 runs in nine overs during an innings where Ireland struck a national record 16 sixes.
This series concludes on Sunday.
Tuesday’s washout, something Ireland hoped to avoid by moving the series to England, denied the Irish the 3-0 series clean sweep they needed to secure automatic entry into this year’s World Cup in India.
Ireland will now have to compete in the June 18-July 9 qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe, that also includes former champions West Indies and Sri Lanka.
Sammy takes over as West Indies white ball coach
Daren Sammy, the only man to lead his side to two T20 World Cup titles, was on Friday appointed the new head coach of West Indies’ white ball teams, the national federation announced.
The 39-year-old from St Lucia captained West Indies to victory over Sri Lanka in the 2012 T20 World Cup final and again in 2016 when they beat England in a dramatic decider.
Within months of the second triumph Sammy, who skippered West Indies in all three formats of the game, was removed as captain but went on to play franchise white ball cricket around the world.
Since retiring as a player, Sammy has coached teams in the Pakistan Super League and the Caribbean Premier League.
His first job will be a three-match ODI series against UAE in Sharjah next month, ahead of the the World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.
West Indies failed to qualify automatically and will now take part in the 10-team tournament to try and take one of the two remaining slots in the main event which will take place in India later in the year.
Cricket West Indies, who decided in March to engage separate coaches for the limited over and Test teams, also appointed former Jamaica wicketkeeper/batsman Andre Coley as the new head coach of the Test side.
Coley, 48, was interim head coach of the team on its tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa earlier this year.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day