Ashleigh Gardner claimed three wickets towards the end of day four to leave England stuttering at 116-5 in their chase of 268.
Carlos Alcaraz returned to the top of the ATP rankings after winning his first grass court title at Queen’s on Sunday.
Petra Kvitova, Jelena Ostapenko and Alexander Bublik prepared for Wimbledon by winning titles at Berlin, Birmingham and Halle respectively.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for June 26, 2023:
Gardner gives Australia women’s Ashes lead over England
Ashleigh Gardner took eight wickets in England’s second innings as Australia’s women secured victory in the one-off Ashes Test match by 89 runs on Monday.
Chasing the highest run chase in women’s Test history of 268 to win, England were all out for 178 as Gardner took all five wickets to fall on the final day.
Defeat at Trent Bridge gives England a mountain to climb if they are to reclaim the Ashes.
Australia’s Test win is worth four points in the multi-format series with three one-day internationals and T20 matches to come, each worth two points.
The Australians are world champions in both white-ball formats and also proved just too good with the red ball after a tight contest that went all five days in front of record crowds for a women’s Test in England.
The previous three women’s Ashes Tests had finished as a draw with only four days allocated for play.
And Gardner said the value of adding a fifth day was shown in getting a result.
“I wouldn’t have dreamt of it to be honest but it showed having five days in a Test to actually get a result is super important,” said Gardner, who was named player of the match.
“I guess there was a little bit of luck with the conditions out there but as a whole bowling unit, we bowled really well throughout and tried to bowl in partnerships.
“I guess I was the lucky one to come away with the wickets.”
England are looking to win the Ashes for the first time since 2014 and captain Heather Knight believes her side showed they can at least compete with Australia.
Tammy Beaumont’s 208 set England women’s highest ever Test score in the first innings as only 10 runs separated the sides at the halfway stage.
But the England bowling attack let Australia off to a flying start in their second innings, which proved costly.
“What a game,” said Knight. “I’ve been quite vocal about five days and today shows why.
“Credit to Australia, they were outstanding, but we went toe-to-toe with them for a long time.”
Gardner’s three wickets towards the end of play on Sunday left England up against it at 116-5 overnight.
The hosts added 25 to their tally before Kate Cross edged behind off Gardner.
Amy Jones added just four before she was stumped but Danni Wyatt’s half-century got the target down to double figures with three wickets still in hand.
However, those final three wickets fell for just three runs as Gardner removed Sophie Ecclestone, Lauren Filer and Wyatt for figures of 8-66 in the innings and 12-165 in the match.
Alcaraz wins Queen’s
Carlos Alcaraz will return to world number one after beating Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to win his first title on grass at Queen’s Club.
The Spaniard’s fifth title of the season moves him back ahead of 23-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings.
Alcaraz was playing on the grass for just the third tournament of his career.
The 20-year-old has failed to get past the fourth round in two previous attempts at Wimbledon, but his impressive showing suggests he will be the biggest threat to Djokovic securing an eighth title at the All England Club next month.
Despite Djokovic’s Wimbledon record, Alcaraz will now be the top seed for the third Grand Slam of the season.
After battling past French lucky loser Arthur Rinderknech in the first round, the US Open champion did not drop a set in his final four matches at Queen’s.
De Minaur had dumped out Andy Murray and world number six Holger Rune on his route to the final.
But the Australian was left to rue Alcaraz’s ability to win the big points in a tight contest.
De Minaur had two break points for the chance to serve for the first set when he led 4-3.
Alcaraz responded, though, to hold serve and immediately break the world number 18 in the next game before serving out for the set.
He then needed lengthy treatment as he had strapping applied to his right quad.
However, Alcaraz’s movement did not seem affected as he again pounced with his only break point to move ahead 3-2 in the second set.
Two rare errors gave De Minaur some hope in the final game as Alcaraz found himself 0-30 down.
But his booming serve dug him out of trouble as four straight points secured the title and a return to world number one.
Kvitova wins Berlin title
Petra Kvitova boosted her status as a leading favourite for a third Wimbledon title by sweeping past Donna Vekic in the final of the Berlin WTA grass-court tournament on Sunday.
The Czech seventh seed won 6-2, 7-6 (8/6) to clinch her second title of the year and 31st of her career.
Sunday’s victory gave her a sixth grass-court trophy for a 31st title, giving her more than any other active player besides Venus Williams’ 49.
Kvitova, 33, who was Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, burst out of the blocks, breaking her opponent twice in the first set.
The pair traded breaks in the second before Kvitova triumphed in a tiebreak.
The world number nine did not drop a set on the way to lifting the title at Steffi Graf Stadium in the German capital.
Moments after the countdown to lift the trophy, Kvitova told the crowd: “I’m in shock right now.
“I wasn’t sure I could count in German, but I did it in the end so I’m happy.”
Vekic praised her opponent, saying: “Your career is something we can only hope for.
“I’ve lost to you a few times and every time I lose to you I feel like you win the tournament.”
Kvitova has now won 12 of her last 13 matches on grass dating back to her title run in Eastbourne last season. She has lost just four sets over that span.
The unseeded Vekic, 26, impressed this week, defeating reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on her way to her first grass-court final since 2019.
Ostapenko claims Birmingham Open title
Jelena Ostapenko won a battle of two former French Open champions beating Barbora Krejcikova 7-6 (10/8), 6-4 to win the Birmingham Open on Sunday.
Krejcikova had sailed into the final without dropping a set with her progress in the English Midlands enough to ensure she will return to the world’s top 10 on Monday.
But Ostapenko showed no sign of fatigue from her more draining route to the final as the Latvian claimed her first title of the season.
Neither player dropped serve in the first set as Ostapenko finally got the upper hand in a marathon tie-break slamming a forehand winner down the line on her fourth set point.
The 2017 French Open champion then looked on course to cruise to victory in the second set as she led 5-1.
Krejcikova fought back to narrow the deficit to 5-4 but it was too little, too late for the Czech as Ostapenko served out for the title at the second time of asking.
Bublik wins Halle title
Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik defeated third seed Andrey Rublev in three sets to win the biggest title of his career at the Halle Open on Sunday.
Bublik won 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the final of the traditional Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Germany.
The Kazakh took the first set after breaking Rublev in his opening service game.
Rublev responded by winning the second set in similar fashion but Bublik raced 3-0 ahead in the decider before clinching his second ATP title.
The 48th-ranked Bublik faced a difficult path to the final, making his way past Borna Coric, Jan-Lennard Struff and Jannik Sinner, before downing home favourite Alexander Zverev in the last four.
Bublik chalked up 42 winners on the way to victory, compared with Rublev’s tally of 23.
World number seven Rublev finished runner-up in Halle for the second time in three years having lost the 2021 final to France’s Ugo Humbert.
Bublik’s win means Rublev’s bid to become the first player in history to win an ATP 500 title on all three surfaces continues.
The Russian previously won on the clay in Hamburg and the hard courts of Vienna, Dubai, Rotterdam and St Petersburg.
Koulibaly moves to Saudi Pro League
Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly became the latest star name to head to Saudi Arabia on Sunday as he joined Al-Hilal from Chelsea, the Premier League club confirmed.
Koulibaly joined the Blues just last year from Napoli for a reported £33 million ($42 million).
However, the 32-year-old struggled in the Premier League as Chelsea finished 12th – their lowest league finish since 1994.
Backed by the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, the Saudi Pro League is luring big names from the major European leagues with the promise of huge salaries.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr in January started the trend.
His former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema and French World Cup winner N’Golo Kante of Chelsea have recently joined Al-Ittihad.
Chelsea could be set to further profit from the Saudi investment.
Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is reportedly close to joining Al Ahli, while Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech is on the brink of a move to Al Nassr.
The English club need to sell players before the end of the month to try and comply with financial fair play regulations after spending over £500 million on new signings over the past 12 months.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day