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Lunchtime Sports Update

Feb 18, 2021 14:02 By brendan
Lunchtime Sports Update Lunchtime Sports Update
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TENNIS
Novak Djokovic has booked his place in the Australian Open final.

The defending champion beat Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev in three sets in first of the men's semi finals in Melbourne.

Djokovic will play the winner of tomorrow's match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev
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Naomi Osaka will face Jennifer Brady in the women's final on Saturday.

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Osaka beat Serena Williams in two sets to end the 39-year-old's hopes of a 24th Grand Slam singles title

An emotional Williams left her press conference in tears after facing questions about her future.

She says she paid the price for too many mistakes:

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SOCCER
Tonight, in the last 32 of the Europa League, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham will all play at neutral venues due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Manchester United are hoping to bring an unwanted run to an end when they play Real Sociedad in their Europa League last-32 tie this evening.

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The Premier League side are without a win in their last nine games against Spanish opposition.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his players will have to be wary cautious.

Rome is host city venue for Arsenal's meeting with Benfica.

Both matches are being held at neutral venues due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, with the Londoners' 'home' game to be played in Athens next Thursday.

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Boss Mikel Arteta says they'll just have to make the best of things, given the current situation.

Tottenham's will face Austrian side Wolfsberger in Budapest.

Jose Mourinho insists Hugo Lloris remains his first choice goalkeeper.

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Mistakes in recent matches against Everton and Manchester City have led to scrutiny of the French captain's performances.

Mourinho says Lloris is suffering a dip in form, just like Liverpool's number one shot stopper.

Leicester are away to Slavia Prague and Rangers are in Belgium to play Antwerp.
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Last night, Manchester City extended their winning run to 17 games in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola's side won 3-1 away to Everton to go 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
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It's been reported Thierry Henry is in the running to beomce the next Bournemouth manager.

Jonathan Woodgate is currently in charge of the Championship side after Jason Tindall was sacked by the club two weeks ago.

Henry, who is currently in charge of MLS side Montreal Impact, is among a list of candidates that includes Patrick Vieira, John Terry and David Wagner.
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Referee Darren Drysdale will no longer be taking charge of Saturday's League Two match between Southend and Bolton.

His removal from the fixture comes after he was charged with improper conduct by the FA following a confrontation with a player.

Drysdale appeared to square up to Ipswich midfielder Alan Judge during their League One game against Northampton on Tuesday.

RUGBY
Munster haver confirmed 8 new contract extensions.

Brothers Niall and Rory Scannell, Jack O’Donoghue, Craig Casey, Shane Daly and Calvin Nash have all signed two-year extensions while Liam Coombes and Alex McHenry have put pen to paper on one-year deals.

Craig Casey is another player who continues to impress after making the step up to the senior squad ahead of the 2019/20 season with the 21-year-old earning a deserved call-up to Ireland’s 2021 Six Nations squad. Named 2018/19 Academy Player of the Year, the scrum-half has made 21 appearances in red, scoring two tries.
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Keith Earls is believed to have agreed a new one-year deal with the IRFU to remain with Munster for at least another season and others among the seven Irish international players whose central contracts expire this summer are also close to completing their negotiations.

Like Earls (33), Johnny Sexton (35) and Cian Healy (33) have also been offered new one-year contracts, while Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Iain Henderson and Tadhg Furlong are in the throes of negotiating new two-year deals.

It is understood that negotiations with Sexton are all but completed, with an announcement expected soon. Healy, O’Mahony and Henderson are all close to being signed off as well, and the expectation is that Furlong and Stander will follow suit.

GAA
Na Gaeil’s Mary O’Connell has received the Rachel Kenneally Bursary Award.

Kerry’s Mary O’Connell has been selected by Munster LGFA as a recipient of the Rachel Kenneally Bursary in conjunction with Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

The Na Gaeil player and Kerry Midfielder, is amongst six candidates selected by Munster LGFA who have chosen one Candidate from each County to receive the Bursary.

OLYMPICS
Seiko Hashimoto has been appointed as the new President of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee.

She replaces Yoshiro Mori, who resigned last week after making sexist remarks about women.

Hashimoto - who is a former track cyclist and speed skater - had been serving as Olympics minister in the Japanese government.

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