Former world No 1 Daniil Medvedev won the Italian Open to lift his first clay-court title in his career. Medvedev beat 20-year-old Holger Rune to win in the first final in Rome since 2004 that did not feature either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.
In football, Manchester City beat Chelsea before being handed their fifth Premier League trophy in six seasons.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid lost to Valencia in a match marred by alleged racism.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 22 May, 2023:
Medvedev wins Italian Open
Daniil Medvedev beat Holger Rune 7-5, 7-5 to win the Italian Open on Sunday, his first trophy in a clay court tournament and a major boost ahead of the French Open.
“I don’t love clay, but let’s call it a friendship,” said Medvedev after his one-hour, 41-minute win over the 20-year-old Dane.
Medvedev, who had been 0-3 in Rome prior to this year’s edition, claimed his fifth title of the season and 20th of his career.
“I always want to believe in myself and I always want to win the biggest tournaments in the world,” said former world No 1 Medvedev who knocked out 2017 champion Alexander Zverev and 2022 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas on his way to the final.
“But at the same time, I didn’t think I could win a Masters 1000 on clay in my career because usually I hated it, I hated playing on it. I didn’t feel good on it and nothing was working.”
Sunday’s final was the first in Rome since 2004 without either Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.
“When I came here I felt so good in practice and I told my coach, ‘I don’t know what is happening but I am feeling amazing, so let’s see how it goes’,” added Medvedev.
“But then you have to play the toughest opponents in the world to try to make it.
“I am really happy I managed to do it and to prove to myself and everyone else that I am capable of doing it.”
The French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year, starts in Paris next Sunday.
Medvedev was an opening-round loser in the French capital in all his first four visits before making the quarter-finals in 2021 and last 16 in 2022.
“I like clay much more now,” he said after Sunday’s final which secured him a sixth trophy at the elite Masters 1000 level.
Champions Manchester City beat Chelsea
Manchester City fans flooded the Etihad pitch as the English champions celebrated a third consecutive Premier League title by beating Chelsea 1-0 on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s men clinched a fifth title in six seasons on Saturday when second-placed Arsenal were beaten 1-0 at Nottingham Forest.
That gave Guardiola the luxury of resting most of his star names with one eye on the FA Cup and Champions League finals next month as City go for the treble.
City’s domestic dominance has seen them hailed as one of the best sides English football has ever seen.
But Guardiola ackowledged there is still work to do by beating Inter Milan to conquer Europe for the the first time in the club’s history next month.
“We had the feeling we have done something special,” said Guardiola
“To be considered one of the greatest teams we have to win in Europe, the Champions League. Otherwise people will say our time was not complete here.”
Admiration for the quality of CIty’s football in seven seasons under Guardiola has also been accompanied by questions over their financing.
A takeover by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour in 2008 transformed the club’s fortunes but City face more than 100 Premier League charges for alleged breaches of financial rules between 2009 and 2018.
The strength of squad City have assembled was exemplified by Julian Alvarez, who has spent most of the season as Erling Haaland’s understudy, scoring his 17th goal of the campaign to extend the English champions’ unbeaten run in all competitions to 24 games.
Guardiola made nine changes in all from the side that thrashed Real Madrid 4-0 in midweek.
Valencia beat Real Madrid
Valencia snatched a crucial 1-0 win over Real Madrid to boost their La Liga survival hopes on Sunday but the victory was tarnished by an ugly incident involving apparent racism aimed at Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior.
Youngster Diego Lopez struck for Valencia in the first half but the chaotic second period saw Vinicius square off with home fans at Mestalla. He was later sent off in added time at the end of the game for hitting Hugo Duro during a brawl.
Midway through the second half, play was delayed for several minutes after Vinicius appeared to be racially abused by a Valencia supporter.
The Brazilian forward stood in front of the fans behind the goal and pointed to one, with team-mate Eder Militao by his side.
“I don’t want to talk about football, I want to talk about what happened here, it is more important,” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told Movistar.
“A stadium shouting monkey at a player, and that a coach has to think about taking off the player, there’s something bad in this league.”
Referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea spoke to stadium officials, who made an announcement calling for racist insults to stop before play resumed around 10 minutes later.
“There’s a lack of respect for Vinicius shown continuously at almost every stadium in Spain,” Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos told Movistar.
“It’s a shame we’ve got to this point. It’s true the coach asked him if he wanted to keep playing.
“Vinicius is a professional and said he wanted to keep helping the team, but we see that we can’t do anything.”
Valencia striker Justin Kluivert apologised to Vinicius on behalf of his club.
“I apologise from us, all of Valencia, because this is not football. It’s very bad,” he told Movistar.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day