Nicola Adams retains WBO flyweight title in split decision draw

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Nicola Adams
This was the first time female boxers had fought at the Royal Albert Hall

Two-time Olympic champion Nicola Adams retained her WBO world flyweight title after an unconvincing split decision draw against Mexican challenger Maria Salinas at the Royal Albert Hall.

The British boxer was lacklustre in what was her first fight since October last year, with the judges scoring it 96-94 Salinas, 97-93 Adams, 95-95 draw.

“I was a bit ring rusty I haven’t boxed in a year so it wasn’t my best performance,” said Adams.

“If she wants a rematch I’ll go again.”

Serena Williams
Williams won the title iin 2001, 2011 and 2013

Serena Williams eased into the third round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto with a straight-set victory over Belgium’s Elise Mertens.

Ashleigh Barty’s second-round defeat saw her surrender her eight-week reign as world number one, with Karolina Pliskova also in the running to take over at the top.

Czech third seed Pliskova beat American Alison Riske 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 to set up a meeting with Anett Kontaveit in the next round.

Elsewhere, defending champion and fourth seed Simona Halep beat American Jennifer Brady 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) while sixth seed Elina Svitolina – winner in 2017 – defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Belinda Bencic – champion in 2015 – beat Julia Goerges in straight sets but there were defeats for Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

Williams dominates after steady start

Eighth seed Williams – playing in her first match since losing the Wimbledon final – last won the title in 2013 and is using this year’s tournament as a warm-up for the US Open, which starts on 26 August, where she will go for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

After a slow start, in which Mertens went an early break up, world number 10 Williams fought back to win five consecutive games before serving out the opening set.

In the second set, 23-year-old Mertens broke Williams’ serve at the first opportunity but Williams quickly responded and went a double break up.

She sealed the match on break point with world number 20 Mertens having made eight double faults and 19 unforced errors in the match.

“I feel like my movement is great,” said Williams. “[I’ve] been working on my fitness, so I felt like it really was able to shine through.”

Her third-round meeting with Alexandrova – who beat China’s Zhang Shuai 6-4 6-3 – will be her first against the Russian qualifier

Lamine Diaby-Fadiga sacked by Nice after stealing team-mate’s watch

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Lamine Diaby-Fadiga
Lamine Diaby-Fadiga has played for France at Under-18 level

French Ligue 1 club Nice have sacked Lamine Diaby-Fadiga after he admitted stealing a watch worth a reported £62,000 from team-mate Kasper Dolberg.

Denmark forward Dolberg, 21, had his watch stolen from the dressing room on 16 September and reported the theft to police.

Striker Diaby-Fadiga, 18, has represented France at Under-18 level.

“Nice and Lamine Diaby-Fadiga parted ways on Tuesday,” said a club statement.

“Following the theft of Kasper Dolberg’s watch from the changing room, and the subsequent admission of the player, the club decided to cancel its contract with the forward with immediate effect.

“Above and beyond all sporting and financial consideration, Nice cannot and will not accept such behaviour that betrays the confidence that unites all the club’s employees and all the members of the Rouge et Noir [Red and Black] family.”

Dolberg moved to Nice from Ajax in the summer, while Diaby-Fadiga had been with the club for three years.

Nice, sixth in Ligue 1, play away at third-placed Nantes on Saturday.