Morning Sports Update

TENNIS

Roger Federer this morning resumes his quest for a 20th Grand Slam title.

The Swiss veteran takes on the unseeded Korean Hyeon Chung in the Australian Open semi finals.


Chung is the lowest ranked player to reach the last 4 in Melbourne in 14 years, but beat Novak Djokovic in straight sets to secure his place in the quarter finals.

Marin Cilic awaits the winner in Sunday morning’s final.


GOLF

Rory McIlroy is three shots off behind the leader Jamie Donaldson heading into his second round at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The Ulsterman has spent the night on 7 under par.

A bogie on the opening hole has droped Paul Dunne to 5 under.

Graeme McDowell is level par, with Darren Clarke a further three shots back.

Shane Lowry and Seamus Power are both well placed at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

Both men carded 3-under par opening rounds to lie four-shots behind the leader Tony Finau.

Tiger Woods made a frustrating return to the PGA Tour – he carded a level par round of 72.


SOCCER

The fourth round of the F-A Cup kicks off this evening.

Alexis Sanchez has gone straight into the Manchester United squad for their trip to League two Yeovil Town.

The Chilean striker, who is on a contract worth around 14-million pounds a year, is set to make his debut against a side sitting 21st in League Two.

Yeovil boss Darren Way would love to see him start

Also tonight, there is an all-Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Reading.

A hamstring injury rules Republic of Ireland centre-back Paul McShane out of Reading’s 4th round encounter against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsboro.

HORSE RACING

Dundalk stage another eight-race card this evening beginning at 5.00pm with two €25,000 handicaps down for decision. Aidan O’Brien’s Clear Skies has won four times around here in recent months and she faces seven rivals in the Phone Alarms Handicap (6.00). Donnacha O’Brien is on board the JP McManus-owned Sea The Stars filly again but won’t have things easy with the progressive Wooster from the Noel Kelly stable and the consistent Commander Won trained by Dermot McLoughlin likely to be involved at the business end. Top-weight Elleval from the Bansha yard of David Marnane steps up in trip here and should be doing his best work in the closing stages.

Marnane’s Settle For Bay has won his last three starts on the Polytrack at Dundalk and heads the weights for the nine-runner D Hotel Drogheda Handicap (6.30). Another in-form trainer Pat Martin runs his two recent course winners Ishebayorgrey and Reckless Lad while Noel Meade’s Light-weight Sheisdiesel is another for the shortlist.

Pat Smullen jets back from Dubai where we had a winner aboard the Jaber Ramadham-trained Dutch Masterpiece on Thursday for a quartet of booked rides at the County Louth venue including Elleval. The former champion jockey teams up with the Des Donovan-trained Menelik in the opening Dundalk Business Club 2018 Handicap (5.00) while half an hour later he’ll fancy his chances on John Honeyman for trainer Adrian Keatley in the NR Rubber Products Handicap at 5.30pm. Smullen is also booked to ride first reserve Ishigati for his boss Dermot Weld in the Staunton Office Supplies Irish EBF Fillies Maiden (7.00).

The going on the Polytrack is standard.

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