Manchester City outclassed defending champions Real Madrid on Wednesday to reach their second Champions League final in three years. Bernardo Silva scored twice as City beat Real 4-0 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate.
Top seed Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek exited in the quarter-finals at the Italian Open. While Djokovic fell to seventh seed Holger Rune, Swiatek retired with an injury in her quarter-final clash against Elena Rybakina.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 18 May, 2023:
Man City hit Real Madrid for four
Manchester City produced a landmark performance to reach the Champions League final as Bernardo Silva’s double put Real Madrid to the sword in a 4-0 thrashing that secured a 5-1 aggregate win for the English champions on Wednesday.
Eder Militao’s own goal and Julian Alvarez’s strike in stoppage time rounded off a memorable night for Pep Guardiola’s men as they moved to within three wins of matching Manchester United’s treble in 1998/99.
A fifth Premier League title in six seasons appears a formality with City needing just three points from their final three games, while United await in the FA Cup final on June 3.
But it is a first ever Champions League that City crave the most and they will be strong favourites to finally conquer Europe against Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10.
Seven years into Guardiola’s reign as City boss, the home fans were sent into seventh heaven by the quality of a display that rivalled the former Barcelona boss’ Champions League final wins in charge of the Catalan giants in 2009 and 2011.
Madrid dashed City’s dreams at this stage last season with a remarkable comeback from two goals down in the dying seconds of the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But Carlo Ancelotti’s men this time had no answer to City’s excellence.
Top seeds Djokovic, Swiatek fall in Rome
Seventh-ranked Holger Rune beat a frustrated Novak Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in a rain-interrupted quarter-final at the Italian Open, where women’s top seed Iga Swiatek retired injured on Wednesday.
Serbian star Djokovic, who will drop to second in the world on Monday behind Carlos Alcaraz, admitted that he was outplayed in heavy, wet conditions after a week of rain in normally sunny Rome.
With her French Open title defence looming this month, Swiatek retired in the third set of her quarter-final against Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.
Poland’s Swiatek had roared through the first set but after receiving treatment she called a halt with a right leg injury to hand Wimbledon champion Rybakina a 2-6, 7-6 (7/3), 2-2 win and a semi-final spot.
Rybakina will now take on former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko, who defeated Spain’s Paula Badosa 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Denmark’s Rune will line up against Casper Ruud in the semi-finals after the Norwegian fourth seed defeated Francisco Cerundolo 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.
Argentina’s Cerundolo committed nearly 50 unforced errors and could not prevent 2022 Roland Garros finalist Ruud from reaching a third consecutive Rome semi.
The exit of Djokovic – combined with that of Alcaraz this week - left the men’s field wide open at the Foro Italico.
Between them, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have won 16 of the last 18 editions here; the last time one of the pair did not figure in a Rome final was 2004.
Rune is only the sixth player to defeat Djokovic in Rome.
Collated results on Wednesday 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):
Holger Rune (DEN x7) bt Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
Casper Ruud (NOR x4) bt Francisco Cerundolo (ARG x24) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Elena Rybakina (KAZ x7) Iga Swiatek (POL x1) 2-6, 7-6 (7/3), 2-2 retired
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x20) bt Paula Badosa (ESP) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix cancelled due to floods
The Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix due to be held at Imola this weekend has been called off as it is “not possible to safely hold the event” due to heavy flooding in the region, organisers said on Wednesday.
Five people have died after heavy rains caused flooding across Italy’s northern Emilia Romagna region.
At Imola, the Santerno river which borders the track was flooded and race organisers had asked journalists and team staff not to go to the circuit on Wednesday.
Formula One said in a statement that following high level discussions “the decision has been taken not to proceed with the Grand Prix weekend at Imola”.
“The decision has been taken because it is not possible to safely hold the event for our fans, the teams and our personnel and it is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and cities in the region,” it added.
“It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time.”
The decision to cancel the race was met with equanimity by the teams and drivers.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day