Sports Digest: Swiatek punctuates rise to No. 1 by defeating Osaka in Miami Open final

TENNIS

Iga Swiatek continued her searing start to 2022 on Saturday, beating Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-0 to win the women’s title at the Miami Open and extend her winning streak to 17 matches.

Swiatek, who will replace the now-retired Ashleigh Barty at No. 1 in the women’s rankings when the points are updated Monday, also completed the so-called Sunshine Double – winning both Indian Wells and Miami. She’s the fourth woman to do so, joining Victoria Azarenka (2016), Kim Clijsters (2005) and Steffi Graf (1994 and 1996).

The men’s final is Sunday, when No. 6 seed Casper Ruud will face No. 14 Carlos Alcaraz.

• US Open champion Daniil Medvedev expects to be sidelined for one to two months after having hernia surgery.

The No. 2-ranked Medvedev wrote on Twitter that he has been dealing with “a small hernia” in recent months. His surgery could cause him to miss the next Grand Slam event, the French Open, which starts on May 21.

AUTO RACING

CUP SERIES: Ryan Blaney turned a lap of 119,782 mph at Richmond Raceway to earn his third consecutive top starting spot in NASCAR’s top series.

William Byron will start on the outside of the front row on Sunday, with Kyle Busch and Chase Briscoe in the second row, and Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr. next. Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell and Aric Almirola complete the top 10.

Blaney is second in the driver standings behind Chase Elliott. Blaney’s Team Penske teammate, Joey Logano, is third.

XFINITY: Ty Gibbs bumped John Hunter Nemechek from the lead in a furious last-lap battle at Richmond Raceway and won for the third time this season in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series.

Gibbs and Nemechek, teammates with Joe Gibbs Racing, got physical over the final several laps, trading the lead and making contact several times until Gibbs nudged Nemechek’s Toyota in Turn 3 of the last lap. He won by just 0.116 seconds.

“I definitely deserve one back,” Gibbs said in Victory Lane of the bump. “We were racing for wins and they’re hard to come by. … Just got in there deep and had to bump him out of the way up the track. We’re short-track racing. “

Nemechek, who is not racing fulltime in the series and thus ineligible for the championship, was less-than-amused with the way the finish unfolded.

“Him and I will settle it Monday. I do not want to say too much and get myself in trouble, but I just got drove through. He did not even try to make the corner there, so… racers never forget, ”Nemechek said after finishing second.

Gibbs led 114 laps and has seven wins in 25 starts in the series.

SOCCER

ENGLAND: Manchester City maintained its one-point lead over Liverpool in the Premier League as both teams beat relegation-threatened opponents.

Liverpool temporarily moved into first place with a 2-0 win over Watford, thanks to goals by Diogo Jota and Fabinho to make it 10 straight victories in the league.

Then City coasted to a 2-0 victory over Burnley, on goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan.

Liverpool and City have games in the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday before what could be a decisive meeting at City’s Etihad Stadium five days later next Sunday.

• Third-place Chelsea conceded four second-half goals in a stunning 4-1 home loss to London rival Brentford.

• Without Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United was dealt a further setback in its bid to secure Champions League qualification for next season by drawing with Leicester, 1-1 at home.

Ronaldo, who helped Portugal qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday, missed the game because of flu-like symptoms. United is four points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal, which occupies the final Champions League qualification spot and has two games in hand.

SPAIN: With Karim Benzema back from injury, Real Madrid got back on the road to winning the Spanish league, as the France striker converted two of his three penalties in a 2-1 win at Celta Vigo.

Madrid opened a 12-point gap over Sevilla and a 15-point advantage over Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

GERMANY: Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Marcel Sabitzer scored as Bayern Munich stretched its Bundesliga lead to nine points with a 4-1 win at Freiburg, while second-place Borussia Dortmund lost 4-1 at home to Leipzig.


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