Tennis: Kerber knocked out by Estonian Kontaveit in Cincinnati

 Germany's Kerber returns a shot to Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.
Germany’s Kerber returns a shot to Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.PHOTO: AFP

CINCINNATI, Ohio (REUTERS) – Estonian Anett Kontaveit ousted German 13th seed Angelique Kerber 7-6(7) 6-2 in the opening round of the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday (Aug 13).

The 23-year-old Kontaveit came from 5-3 down and saved a set point at 6-5 on the way to taking the opening set against the former world No. 1.

She broke Kerber twice to win the second set, winning the first nine points, and two holds to love gave her a 4-0 lead.

Swiss 12th seed Belinda Bencic retired with a foot injury after trailing former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-4 1-0.

Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, Zheng Saisai of China and Croatia’s Donna Vekic were among other early winners.

Alexandrova turned back Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-4 6-1, Zheng beat Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 6-3 6-1 and Vekic, who will face Azarenka in the second round, was a 6-4 6-3 winner over Czech Katerina Siniakova.

Serena Williams is scheduled to play a night match in her first tournament since withdrawing from the Rogers Cup final in Toronto on Sunday due to back spasms.

Pogba, Maguire, Rashford
Pogba was supported online by Manchester United team-mates Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba says racist abuse “can only make me stronger and motivate me to fight for the next generation”.

Paul Pogba


My ancestors and my parents suffered for my generation to be free today, to work, to take the bus, to play football. Racist insults are ignorance and can only make me stronger and motivate me to fight for the next generation.

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England in New Zealand: Jos Buttler hits century as tourists draw final warm-up

England batsman Jos Buttler plays a shot and New Zealand A wicketkeeper Tom Blundell turns to watch the ball in a warm-up match
Before the two warm-up matches in New Zealand, Jos Buttler had not played since 12 September
Tour match, Cobham Oval, Whangarei (day three of three):
New Zealand XI 302-6dec & 169-8: Archer 3-34, Curran 3-42
England 405: Buttler 110, Pope 88, Denly 68; Kuggeleijn 3-46
Match drawn

Jos Buttler hit a century but England were unable to force victory in their final warm-up match against New Zealand A in Whangarei.

But William Somerville and Ajaz Patel held firm for 22.4 overs to guide their side to 169-8 and ensure the draw.

England face New Zealand in two Tests, with the first match at the Bay Oval in Tauranga starting on Wednesday.

“It was really nice for me. Spending that time in the middle going into a Test series is great. It gives you confidence,” Buttler told the BBC’s Test Match Special.

“It’s not a massive coincidence that when I’ve had time away from cricket and been able to refresh that I play well then.

“New Zealand will be a massive challenge. They are an excellent side and it should be a really exciting series.”

Buttler, Ollie Pope (88) and Joe Denly (68) led England’s recovery from 105-5 on day two at the Cobham Oval, as the tourists reached 355-8 at the close, a lead of 53.

Wicketkeeper Buttler put on 71 for the ninth wicket with Archer (41 not out) as he brought up his sixth first-class hundred – only his second in the past five years.

He finally fell after gloving a pull stroke off Scott Kuggeleijn behind to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.

Kuggeleijn, who was drafted into the New Zealand A side on day two after Hamish Rutherford failed a concussion test, then removed Stuart Broad for a duck with the next ball to end the innings, giving England a lead of 103.

With Rutherford out after being struck by Archer on day one, Tim Seifert was promoted to open – but he lasted just two balls before nicking Archer to Dom Sibley at third slip.

Archer’s pace troubled the batsmen on an otherwise docile pitch and the fast bowler also had opener Rachin Ravindra and Blundell caught by Sibley as the hosts fell to 99-6.

This side is set to start the first Test and Surrey left-armer Curran backed up the decision to play him instead of Chris Woakes by having Glenn Phillips and Jimmy Neesham caught behind, before bowling Kuggeleijn.

Broad and Ben Stokes took one wicket each as England looked to close in on victory, but they could not remove Somerville (32 not out) and Patel (10 not out) and captains Joe Root and Blundell shook hands on a draw with just under an hour of play remaining.

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