Morning Sports Update

TENNIS

World number one Simona Halep’s into the last-16 at the Australian Open – but only after surviving three match points in an epic third round match with American Lauren Davis.

The Romanian eventually came out on top 15-13 in the third set – after nearly four hours on court in Melbourne.
Men’s fourth seed Alexander Zverev is out.


He suffered a shock third round defeat to world number 59 Hyeon Chung – with the South Korean winning in five sets in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic is a potential opponent in the last-16.

RUGBY

Leinster travel to Montpellier this lunchtime with their place in the quarter finals of the Champions Cup already secured.

Last weekend’s win over Glasgow Warriors has allowed the blues to make 6 changes for todays trip to France.

Rob Kearney, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Cian Healy, James Ryan and Dan Leavy all come into the starting 15.

A point will cement Leo Cullen’s side a place as number one seeds, and a home semi-final should they progress to play against a top four seeded team.

Meanwhile, Connacht welcome Oyonnax to the Sportsground for their final Challenge Cup pool game.

A win for Kieran Keane’s side would seal a home quarter final in the competition.

SOCCER

Brighton and Chelsea get the days Premier League action underway when they meet in the lunchtime kick off.

At 3, second Placed Manchester United meet Burnley at Turf Moor.

Arsenal host Crystal Palace at the Emerates.

West Brom go to Everton, Leicester face Watford, Stoke entertain Huddersfield, Bournemouth travel to West Ham.

In the late kick off, Man City welcome Newcastle to the Etihad.

GAELIC GAMES

The Walsh Cup final is the highlight of today’s fixtures,

Kilkenny will look to retain their title when they face Wexford in Nowlan Park from 2pm.

At 6, Donegal and Armagh will battle it out for a place in the McKenna Cup final.

SNOOKER

Mark Allen will meet John Higgins in the semi finals of the Masters at the Alexandra Palace.

The other semi sees 28 year old Judd Trump face off against Kyren Wilson, a man two years his junior.

HORSE RACING

The Grade One Clarence House Chase heads Ascot’s first race meeting of 2018 and all eyes will be on an Irish invader.

Mike Vince looks ahead

The Navan Handicap Hurdle (1.35) is the highlight of a seven-race card at the Co Meath track today and the first race is due off at 12.25.

Gordon Elliott is just over €480,000 clear of reigning champion Willie Mullins in the Irish trainers’ title race and is represented with Burren Life here. The dual winner over hurdles is contesting his first handicap with Jack Kennedy booked to ride and a win would be another championship boost for the Cullentra House trainer with Mullins surprisingly without a runner among the field of ten.

Racing gets underway with the Navan Membership Rated Novice Hurdle (12.25), a race won 12 months ago by Thirsty Work trained by Jessica Harrington. The Moone handler is without a runner this time along with Willie Mullins but Gordon Elliott is double handed. His Stooshie will be partnered by Davy Russell while Jack Kennedy takes the mount aboard Veneer Of Charm who chased home stable companion Mitchouka at Fairyhouse last weekend.

Willie Mullins has six runners at the meeting though including three – Bonbon Au Miel, Cadmium and Chateau Conti – in the Race Displays Events Signage Beginners Chase (2.45) while his newcomer Castlebawn West, ridden by his son Patrick, should also be of interest to many in the concluding four runner bumper at 3.50pm.

The going at Navan is heavy.