The Weekend Roundup
Missed all the sports action last week? We got you. Every week we bring you the essential news and results to make sure you haven’t missed out.
Arsenal have regained their place at the top of the Superleague with a 5-1 thrashing away at Liverpool. Kim Little and Beth Mead both struck to take the visitors 2-0 ahead before half-time. For the rest of the game it felt as if Arsenal were on cruise control, adding another three to their tally in the second half. Liverpool have struggled to find their footing all season; they lost key players to Manchester United over the summer, and manager Neil Redfearn quit after just one league game apparently over frustrations with player calibre and how the club was run. This weekend their only redemption came from a late penalty converted by Sweetman-Kirk. The Gunners meanwhile now need 9 points from their remaining four games to secure the title. They face Birmingham City, Everton (who lost 1-0 away at Bristol City this weekend) and Brighton & Hove Albion before ending the season at home to Manchester City.
In Italy, Juventus beat Fiorentina 1-0 to take The Premiere title in front of a national record crowd of 39,000.
With the French Open a mere two months away, all eyes are turning towards the form of Serena Williams who’s hoping to equal Margaret Court’s record and win a 24th grand slam title. This weekend, though, was anything but serendipitous as she retired from the Miami Open blaming a knee injury. Coming on the back of withdrawal from Indian Wells, the decision raises concerns about the 37 year old’s fitness.
Elsewhere in the competition, world number one Naomi Osaka crashed out in the third round after a three-set loss to Hsieh Su-wei. This leaves the door open for Simona Halep to reclaim the ranking if she can win the competition. Next she faces Venus Williams who was looking back to her best in a 6-3, 6-1 victory against 14th seed Daria Kasatkina.
English Rookie Charlotte Thomas hit a 6 under 66, with 7 birdies and one bogey, to finish 19 under for the tournament at Founders Cup in Arizona. Finishing just two shots off the lead makes for a promising first LPGA outing in the United States for the 26-year-old. Bronte Law, on 14 under for the tournament was the next best English finisher. The title was won by South Korea's Jin Young Ko who hit a bogey free 7 under 65.
Wasps recorded their third loss in four games and fell to third in the Superleague table after a 50-49 away loss to Manchester Thunder on Saturday. The defeat comes on the back of a 60-59 loss away at Loughborough Lightning earlier in the week. Wasps started sluggishly, trailing 16-10 after the first quarter but were quick to bring it back and went into half-time leading 27-28 after an on the buzzer goal by from shooter Rachel Dunn. Wasps look to have sealed the game, taking a five goal advantage into a final quarter, but it wasn’t to be. Sloppiness and complacency crept into their play as Thunder upped their game, fighting hard to overturn the advantage and eventually coming away with the victory.
The result sees Thunder rise to the top of the table on 27 points with Saracens Mavericks (who won 58-50 against Surrey Storm), Loughborough Lightning (54-53 victors away at Severn Stars) and Wasps all three points adrift on 24. Bath, who have a game in hand, sit in fifth place. It’s all to play for.
In shorter form play, England’s women are becoming mesmeric. This weekend, in the Sri Lankan heat, they dismissed their hosts for 94 to win by eight wickets. Tammy Beaumont opened England’s batting and hit 50 to take her past 1,000 international T20 runs. Other star performances came from Linsey Smith, who took 3-18 and Anya Shrubsole with 2-20.