Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz continued on their collision course, coming with with comprehensive wins to make it to the French Open quarterfinals. Both players are expected to meet in a tantalising semi-final.

Karim Benzema scored in his final match for Real Madrid, as the Spanish giants were held by Athletic Bilbao in their last game of the season.

Swedish striker, the 41-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic has decided to retire from professional football, bringing down the curtains on a trophy-laden career.

Meanwhile, Jack Leach has been ruled out of the upcoming Ashes series due to injury.

Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 5 June, 2023:

Djokovic, Alcaraz reach quarters

Novak Djokovic swept into the French Open quarterfinals for the 14th straight year on Sunday as world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz breezed past Lorenzo Musetti to stay on a collision course with the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

Third seed Djokovic ended the surprise run of Peruvian outsider Juan Pablo Varillas, winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, and has yet to drop a set through four matches.

The Serb, chasing a third Roland Garros crown, is into a record 17th French Open quarterfinal after making the last eight at a major for the 55th time.

“I’m proud of it, but my attention is already in the next match,” said Djokovic, who faces Russian 11th seed Karen Khachanov for a place in the semi-finals, where Alcaraz could await.

Khachanov made his third successive Grand Slam quarterfinal after he recovered from a bad start to overcome Lorenzo Sonego 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7), 6-1.

Alcaraz looked every part the tournament favourite as he dismantled the talented Musetti in straight sets to return to the French Open last eight.

Musetti had not lost a set in three rounds but Alcaraz brushed the Italian 17th seed aside in barely two hours, triumphing 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to avenge last year’s defeat on clay in the Hamburg final.

“I think I played such a great level, really high quality of shots. I played a really complete match from the first ball until the last and I’m pretty happy to get through this tough round,” said Alcaraz.

The 20-year-old faces a tough next assignment in 2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas, who eased past Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner 7-5, 6-3, 6-0.

Sabalenka sets up Svitolina clash

Aryna Sabalenka beat 2018 finalist Sloane Stephens 7-6 (5), 6-4 in a topsy-turvy encounter in the night session – the first women’s match to feature in the primetime slot this year.

The Belarusian goes into a politically-charged duel with Elina Svitolina who, playing her first Grand Slam since becoming a mother, reached the quarterfinals for the fourth time.

The Ukrainian defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 7-6 (5) for a seventh win in seven meetings against the Russian who was a semi-finalist last year.

As with all her matches, Svitolina opted not to shake hands with her Russian opponent in protest at the war in Ukraine. Belarus is also a key military ally of Moscow.

Kasatkina still gave her rival a friendly thumbs-up.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 2021 runner-up, rallied from a set and a break down to dump out Belgian 28th seed Elise Mertens 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

The Russian, whose ranking has plunged to 333 after a serious knee injury, is the lowest-ranked Grand Slam quarterfinalist in the tournament’s history. She will take on Karolina Muchova for a place in the last four after the Czech saw off lucky loser Elina Avanesyan 6-4, 6-3.

French Open results on Sunday, the eighth day of the 2023 championships at Roland Garros (x denotes seeded player; players representing Russia and Belarus are banned from competing under the name or flag of their countries):

Men’s singles fourth round

Carlos Alcaraz (ESP x1) bt Lorenzo Musetti (ITA x17) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x5) bt Sebastian Ofner (AUT) 7-5, 6-3, 6-0

Novak Djokovic (SRB x3) bt Juan Pablo Varillas (PER) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Karen Khachanov (x11) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9/7), 6-1

Women’s singles fourth round

Karolina Muchova (CZE) bt Elina Avanesyan 6-4, 6-3

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bt Elise Mertens (BEL x28) 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3

Elina Svitolina (UKR) bt Daria Kasatkina (x9) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Aryna Sabalenka (x2) bt Sloane Stephens (USA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Benzema scores in final Real Madrid match

Real Madrid’s departing great Karim Benzema struck from the penalty spot to earn his side a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday in La Liga as he said goodbye to fans at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Elsewhere Real Valladolid were relegated after a 0-0 draw with Getafe, while five other sides near the bottom were able to breathe a sigh of relief after a gripping conclusion to the season.

Champions Barcelona were beaten 2-1 at Celta Vigo, with Gabri Veiga’s brace ensuring the Galician side will remain in the top flight next season.

Benzema, whom Madrid confirmed would leave this summer earlier in the day, departing after 14 years at the club, rolled his penalty down the middle to level the game, before being substituted to great applause.

The draw ensured Real Madrid would finish above city rivals Atletico Madrid in second place, after Diego Simeone’s side tied 2-2 at Villarreal on the final day.

“I spoke with him this morning and he told me he was going. He’s taken the decision and I told him I respect it completely,” said Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Ancelotti said Benzema’s choice came by surprise, after the Italian himself said Saturday he expected the forward to stay.

“I have coached one of the best in the world, not a forward, a complete footballer,” continued the coach.

“A very friendly, humble, serious person. We can’t be happy he is going, but we have to respect his decision. What he has done at this club is legendary and unforgettable.”

Ibrahimovic retires from professional football

Zlatan Ibrahimovic brought the curtain down on a long, trophy-packed career on Sunday when he unexpectedly announced his retirement from football.

Veteran striker Ibrahimovic revealed his decision to quit the game during an on-pitch ceremony following AC Milan’s 3-1 win over Verona which ended their Serie A campaign.

“It’s the moment to say goodbye to football, not just to you,” said Ibrahimovic on the San Siro pitch.

“There are too many emotions for me right now. Forza Milan and goodbye.”

The 41-year-old had been expected to simply bid farewell to Milan fans after his departure from the seven-time European champions was announced on Saturday.

He returned to Milan in late 2019 for a second spell after a previous two-year period in which he won the Serie A title in 2011.

“The first time I came here you gave me happiness, the second time you gave me love,” said Ibrahimovic.

“You welcomed me with open arms, you made me feel at home, I will be a Milanista for the rest of my life.”

Ibrahimovic was a key figure in Milan’s resurgence to the top of Italian football after his return to the club, helping to bring them back from the doldrums and eventually win the Scudetto last season.

“I used to be scared when journalists asked by about my future, but now I can accept it, I’m ready,” Ibrahimovic told reporters after his announcement.

“I’ve been doing this all my life, football made me a man. It allowed me to know people I otherwise would never have known, I’ve travelled the world thanks to football. It’s all thanks to football.”

Over the course of his career Ibrahimovic won league titles in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France, although his only major European trophy was the 2017 Europa League with Manchester United.

Jack Leach ruled out of Ashes

England’s Ashes preparations were dealt a blow on Sunday as frontline spinner Jack Leach was ruled out of the series due to a lower back stress fracture.

The 31-year-old developed the injury as England wrapped up victory in a lone Test against Ireland on Saturday.

“A scan on Sunday in London has revealed a stress fracture, which will keep him out of the forthcoming Ashes Test series,” the England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement.

No replacement for the Somerset left-armer has been announced, but Leach’s absence leaves a big gap to fill for the selectors for the showdown against Australia.

He was the only spinner named in the 16-man squad on Saturday for the first two Tests and England’s depth in that area will now be tested.

Leach impressed during the winter tours of Pakistan and New Zealand to improve his Test tally to 124 wickets in 35 matches.

But teenager Rehan Ahmed also shone on his Test debut in Pakistan, taking seven wickets in one match at an average of less than 20 runs.

Surrey all-rounder Will Jacks is also in contention after he started the first two Tests in Pakistan.

England head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes could opt for an all-seam attack, with Joe Root providing a spin option.

But that could be a risky approach with doubts over how many overs Stokes will be fit to bowl due to a knee injury.

With text inputs from AFP

Updated through the day