Rybakina Sweeps Past Kasatkina to Win Abu Dhabi Title

Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan swept to her second title of the season in Abu Dhabi - AFP
Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan swept to her second title of the season in Abu Dhabi - AFP
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Rybakina Sweeps Past Kasatkina to Win Abu Dhabi Title

Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan swept to her second title of the season in Abu Dhabi - AFP
Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan swept to her second title of the season in Abu Dhabi - AFP

Top-seeded Elena Rybakina secured her second title of the season with a smooth 6-1, 6-4 victory over Daria Kasatkina at the Abu Dhabi Open on Sunday.

The world number five, who started the year with a title in Brisbane, added a seventh trophy to her resume and is now joint-second on the match-wins leaderboard with 11 victories to her name in 2024.

Light rain provided some late drama as it briefly interrupted the final game of the contest, with players instructed to wait on their benches with Rybakina leading 6-1, 5-4, 30/30.

It was only a short delay though as the 2022 Wimbledon champion closed out the win with two good serves on the 68-minute mark.

"First I want to congratulate Daria of course with a great week, congrats to you and the team," Russian-born Kazakh Rybakina said in her victory speech.

"Tough week, especially last matches, and tomorrow is already a match in Doha, so hopefully we both recover and we do well there and maybe play the final there."

Rybakina struck first but double-faulted to hand Kasatkina the break back, AFP reported.

Kasatkina returned the favor immediately, double-faulting to drop serve once again and the Russian failed to win another game in that set as Rybakina secured the set 6-1 in 24 minutes.

Kasatkina hit just two winners in that set, against a whopping 16 unforced errors, and her double-fault count was mounting as she struggled with the windy conditions.

The second set was a more competitive affair but Rybakina's power game ultimately made the difference with Kasatkina clearly feeling the after effects of the taxing three-hour semi-final she played against Beatriz Haddad Maia the previous evening.

Kasatkina has now lost her last four consecutive finals –- including two this year in Adelaide and Abu Dhabi -– and remains in search of a first title triumph since 2022.

"I'm playing a lot of matches, I'm winning most of them, which is very important," said Kasatkina, who is 10-3 win-loss so far this campaign.

"I think it's the best start of the year for me ever. I can be just happy with that.

"Of course there are moments that are disappointing –- to lose the final is not a nice thing but as Daniil Medvedev said after the Australian Open, it's better to play three finals than to lose three first rounds. So I will take that."

The Russian world number 14 has a quick turnaround and will catch a late flight Sunday from Abu Dhabi to Doha, where she is due to face her compatriot and good friend Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round of the Qatar Open on Monday.

"Right now I'm a bit disappointed of course. But sometimes being upset can help you maybe more than being super happy," said Kasatkina.

"That's what happened two years ago when I lost in the semi-finals from match point to Ons (Jabeur) in Rome. I really believe that match made me play semi-final at Roland Garros.

"So I will think this way, thinking that these losses in the finals they will just make me better and will push me to grow."

Seeded number three in Doha, Rybakina has a first-round bye and kicks off her draw there against Varvara Gracheva or Zhu Lin in round two.



Senor Buscador Secures ‘Saudi Cup’ Victory, Defending Home Turf

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz crowned Sharaf Al-Hariri, owner of the horse “Senor Buscador,” winner of the “Saudi Cup” at the King Abdulaziz Equestrian Arena in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz crowned Sharaf Al-Hariri, owner of the horse “Senor Buscador,” winner of the “Saudi Cup” at the King Abdulaziz Equestrian Arena in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Senor Buscador Secures ‘Saudi Cup’ Victory, Defending Home Turf

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz crowned Sharaf Al-Hariri, owner of the horse “Senor Buscador,” winner of the “Saudi Cup” at the King Abdulaziz Equestrian Arena in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz crowned Sharaf Al-Hariri, owner of the horse “Senor Buscador,” winner of the “Saudi Cup” at the King Abdulaziz Equestrian Arena in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, acting on behalf of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, has crowned America’s Senor Buscador as the winner of the 5th edition of the Saudi Cup 2024 horse race at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh.

Following an electrifying race, Senor Buscador emerged victorious, securing the top position in the 9th round of the Saudi Cup race.

This prestigious equestrian event, known globally, offered significant prize money totaling $37.6 million across 17 rounds.

The Saudi Cup, with a prize of $20 million, saw a record-breaking participation of 244 horses.

Upon arrival at the venue, the Crown Prince was received by Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Equestrian Authority and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia.

The Crown Prince watched the final round of the horse race competition that attracted the finest thoroughbreds and top jockeys from around the globe.

The participating horses moved from the grooming arena to the parade ground in front of the Crown Prince before the race commenced. All participating jockeys were also present on the parade ground.

The Crown Prince then congratulated the owner of the horse Senor Buscador, for winning the race and presented them the Saudi Cup.

He also congratulated the horse trainer and jockey and presented them with a horse replica and a cavalry horse helmet respectively.

Japan’s Ushba Tesoro claimed the second position in this high-stakes horseracing event.

Moreover, the horse “Tower of London” won the top spot in the Red Sea Cup, covering 3,000 meters on grass and earning a prize of $1.5 million for its owners.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson also celebrated victory as his horse “Spirit Dancer” claimed first place in the Howden Neom Turf Cup.


Khachanov Ends Mensik's Dream Qatar Run to Clinch Sixth Title

Champion: Russia's Karen Khachanov celebrates © KARIM JAAFAR / AFP
Champion: Russia's Karen Khachanov celebrates © KARIM JAAFAR / AFP
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Khachanov Ends Mensik's Dream Qatar Run to Clinch Sixth Title

Champion: Russia's Karen Khachanov celebrates © KARIM JAAFAR / AFP
Champion: Russia's Karen Khachanov celebrates © KARIM JAAFAR / AFP

Karen Khachanov ended Jakub Mensik's bid to become the 10th youngest ATP champion with a straight sets win in the Qatar Open final on Saturday.

The 17th-ranked Russian won 7-6 (14/12), 6-4 to claim a sixth career title against 18-year-old Mensik, the youngest finalist at a tour event since Carlos Alcaraz at Umag in 2021.

"Every title is a special one," Khachanov, who didn't drop a set all week, said on court, AFP reported.

"Every time, you want to win. We play around 22 tournaments per season and at the end of the day, you compete every week. For sure here in Doha it is one of the nicest trophies."

Czech teenager Mensik, ranked 116 who will break into the top 100 next week, was playing in just his third main draw event following breakout runs to the third round of the 2023 US Open and a second-round appearance at the Australian Open last month.

On his way to the Doha final, he knocked out former world number one Andy Murray as well as top seed Andrey Rublev.

He had his chances in a marathon opener on Saturday when his 27-year-old Russian opponent saved four set points.

"I thought yesterday's tie-break was preparation for today," added Khachanov who had claimed a 14/12 breaker against Alexei Popyrin on Friday in the semi-finals.

"Today I couldn't believe it was the same score, same tie-break... I stayed strong, I'm extremely happy that I won the first set. It lifted me a lot and gave me a lot of confidence to step up in the second."

Khachanov also faced down 16 aces from the young Czech.

"For a minute, I thought I was playing John Isner and not Jakub Mensik today," said the Russian.


Merlier Beats Sprint Rivals for Third UAE Tour Stage Win

The peloton leaving Al Dhafra Walk on the 141km desert run to Liwa © Giuseppe CACACE / AFP
The peloton leaving Al Dhafra Walk on the 141km desert run to Liwa © Giuseppe CACACE / AFP
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Merlier Beats Sprint Rivals for Third UAE Tour Stage Win

The peloton leaving Al Dhafra Walk on the 141km desert run to Liwa © Giuseppe CACACE / AFP
The peloton leaving Al Dhafra Walk on the 141km desert run to Liwa © Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

Tim Merlier burst past a clutch of top sprinters to secure his third win of the UAE Tour on Saturday, winning the sixth and penultimate stage by a convincing margin.

The 31-year-old Belgian cut through the field from around 150 metres out and opened a 20-metre gap before easing off with his left arm raised in triumph at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater finish line.

In the overall standings, Jay Vine of UAE Team Emirates leads his Australian compatriot Ben O'Connor of Decathlon AG2R by 11 seconds, while American Brandon McNulty is third at 13sec.

Only 134 riders set off from the Louvre Abu Dhabi start line Saturday after British veteran sprinter Mark Cavendish pulled out sick.

"He doesn't feel good today, he has some fever," said Astana sports director Dmitry Fofonov. "So we took the decision not to start today because there is hot weather."

Cavendish will be back in action at the Tirreno Adriatico stage race in early March.

Sunday's UAE Tour finale features a 10km climb up Jebel Hafeet mountain which will decide the winner, with Spanish rider Pello Bilbao at 22sec in fifth one of the main men to watch out for.


Paolini Defeats Kalinskaya in Comeback Victory for Dubai Title

Jasmine Paolini of Italy celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis WTA Championships 2024 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 24 February 2024.  EPA/ALI HAIDER
Jasmine Paolini of Italy celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis WTA Championships 2024 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 24 February 2024. EPA/ALI HAIDER
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Paolini Defeats Kalinskaya in Comeback Victory for Dubai Title

Jasmine Paolini of Italy celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis WTA Championships 2024 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 24 February 2024.  EPA/ALI HAIDER
Jasmine Paolini of Italy celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis WTA Championships 2024 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 24 February 2024. EPA/ALI HAIDER

Jasmine Paolini earned her biggest title by defeating Anna Kalinskaya 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday.
Paolini fought back from a break down in the second and third sets en route to the second WTA singles title of her nine-year tour-level career.
The 26th-ranked Paolini and 40th-ranked Kalinskaya defied a field that started with 16 of the top 20 women, including the top four.
Paolini won her first title in Slovenia in 2021 and lost three finals since then. She lost to Kalinskaya a month ago in the Australian Open fourth round. Saturday’s victory assured the Italian of a top 15 debut when the rankings are updated on Monday.
“It's so special. I'm really happy and really surprised,” an emotional, smiling Paolini said on court, according to The Associated Press.
“I'm just happy that I believed I could win every match. I remember my first match this week. It was second set, I'd lost the first and was a break down, yet now I'm here winning the title. It's unbelievable.”
Paolini trailed 6-4, 3-1. Then she was 4-2 down in the third set. She stopped Kalinskaya serving for the match at 5-4.
Kalinskaya came through qualifying and beat three top-10 players in a row — including No. 1 Iga Swiatek — to reach her first final. Kalinskaya will debut in the top 30 on Monday.


FII PRIORITY Summit in Miami Discusses Investment in Sports

Discussions at the PRIORITY Summit, organized by the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute in Miami, focused on the second day on investment in sports
Discussions at the PRIORITY Summit, organized by the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute in Miami, focused on the second day on investment in sports
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FII PRIORITY Summit in Miami Discusses Investment in Sports

Discussions at the PRIORITY Summit, organized by the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute in Miami, focused on the second day on investment in sports
Discussions at the PRIORITY Summit, organized by the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute in Miami, focused on the second day on investment in sports

Sessions, discussions and dialogues at the PRIORITY Summit, organized by the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute in Miami, focused on the second day on investment in sports.
One of the most important questions raised at the summit themed, "On the Edge of a New Frontier," was: What drives growth in sports assets and innovation in sports? How do investors and owners of sports teams reshape sports financially? Speakers pointed out that in recent years, sports investment has witnessed a major transformation with the increase in media broadcast rights for sports events and tournaments, and the achievement of high financial returns as a result of investment projects in this vital field, which attracts many followers around the world.
Speakers at the sessions explained that investing in sports is not just about winning games, but it is rather a huge platform that brings communities together and gets to know each other.
Participants also spoke about the development of sports investment with increasing financial returns in paid broadcasting rights, and about increasing demand, digital expansion, and accessing more global markets, as investors support shaping sports financially and practically, while taking advantage of modern technologies to attract new fans and followers in watching sports tournaments.
The participants also touched upon ways to invest in art, entertainment, museums and media, and the role of media and entertainment companies in developing content across various platforms to attract wider audiences, generate income effectively, and shape culture in their countries.


New Era at Man United Begins with Home Loss to Fulham

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United reacts after Fulham’s second goal during the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham FC, in Manchester, Britain, 24 February 2024. (EPA)
Marcus Rashford of Manchester United reacts after Fulham’s second goal during the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham FC, in Manchester, Britain, 24 February 2024. (EPA)
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New Era at Man United Begins with Home Loss to Fulham

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United reacts after Fulham’s second goal during the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham FC, in Manchester, Britain, 24 February 2024. (EPA)
Marcus Rashford of Manchester United reacts after Fulham’s second goal during the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham FC, in Manchester, Britain, 24 February 2024. (EPA)

The new era at Manchester United got off to a disappointing start as the team lost ground in the race for Champions League qualification with a 2-1 home loss against Fulham on Saturday.

The week started with new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe completing his purchase of a minority stake in United and boldly setting out a three-year plan to return the club to the top of English soccer, knocking local rivals Manchester City and Liverpool “off their perch” in the process. It ended with Erik ten Hag's side getting mostly outplayed in its own stadium by an opponent in the bottom half of the standings and conceding the deciding goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Not only did sixth-place United's four-game winning run in the league come to an end, fourth-place Aston Villa beat Nottingham Forest 4-2 and there is now an eight-point gap between the teams. Fifth-place Tottenham is three points ahead of United and has a game in hand.

It remains to be seen if the Premier League will have four or five places in next season's Champions League. Failing to qualify for the lucrative competition will be a huge blow to United's status and finances — and could yet spell the end for Ten Hag as Ratcliffe looks to raise the standards at the fallen giant.

There could be more twists in the title race later Saturday, with second-place City away to Bournemouth and third-place Arsenal hosting Newcastle. City is four points behind Liverpool and Arsenal is a further point back.

In other results, relegation-threatened Everton conceded an equalizer in the sixth minute of stoppage time to draw 1-1 at Brighton and newly hired Crystal Palace manager Oliver Glasner's tenure got off to strong start as his team beat next-to-last Burnley 3-0.


Leverkusen Extends Bundesliga Lead To 11 Points and Sets German 33-Game Unbeaten Record

 Leverkusen's Granit Xhaka celebrates after scoring the opening goal the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (AP)
Leverkusen's Granit Xhaka celebrates after scoring the opening goal the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (AP)
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Leverkusen Extends Bundesliga Lead To 11 Points and Sets German 33-Game Unbeaten Record

 Leverkusen's Granit Xhaka celebrates after scoring the opening goal the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (AP)
Leverkusen's Granit Xhaka celebrates after scoring the opening goal the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (AP)

Granit Xhaka scored his first goal for Bayer Leverkusen as the Bundesliga leader defeated Mainz 2-1 on Friday and set a German record of 33 games unbeaten across all competitions.

Leverkusen, which hasn’t lost a match since last season, stretched its lead to 11 points before 11-time defending champion Bayern Munich hosts Leipzig on Saturday. Eleven rounds remain after this weekend.

“We deserve to be where we are,” Xhaka said. “When you’re eight points, now 11 points, ahead of second-place Bayern, there is a lot to lose. But we’ll keep working day by day, game by game, stay positive, and I’m sure we’ll be able to keep getting our wins.”

The buildup to Friday’s match was dominated by speculation over the future of Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso, with his former clubs Bayern and Liverpool looking for new coaches for next season.

Alonso has no lack of suitors after taking Leverkusen from the relegation zone when he took over in October 2022 to a genuine title candidate in his first senior management job.

“It’s all just speculation, my head is totally here,” Alonso repeated on Friday. “We have so much to do, we’re in such a super position. So enjoying it, preparing, and that’s all that’s going on in my head.”

Supporters celebrated the German soccer league’s midweek decision to scrap its plan to bring in an outside investor for a share of media rights income by displaying a banner saying: “Football belongs to the fans.”

They didn’t have to wait long to celebrate again when Xhaka fired Leverkusen into a third-minute lead. The Swiss midfielder let fly from outside the penalty area for his first goal on his 31st appearance for the club.

But Dominik Kohr replied for the visitors with a header at the other end four minutes later.

Leverkusen went on to dominate possession. The home team’s urgency grew toward the end of the half, when Álex Grimaldo drew a good save from Robin Zentner with a free kick.

Leverkusen’s frustrations grew when Jeremie Frimpong was booked for complaining after he’d been tripped by Mainz defender Phillipp Mwene when he would have been through on goal. TV replays showed there was contact. Alonso was also booked for his complaints.

The frustration remained after the break as Leverkusen failed to find a way through.

Then the otherwise excellent Zentner failed to hold Robert Andrich’s harmless-looking shot and the ball looped in over his head in the 68th. It proved enough for the win as Mainz’s hopes were hit in the 80th when Jessic Ngankam was sent off after a VAR check for a dangerous tackle on Xhaka.

“We’ve played better,” Alonso said. “But that’s normal in a season, you can’t always play super.”


Bologna Beats Verona in Serie A for Best Winning Streak since 1967

Bologna's Giovanni Fabbian celebrates the victory at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match Bologna FC vs Hellas Verona FC at Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, 23 February 2024. (EPA)
Bologna's Giovanni Fabbian celebrates the victory at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match Bologna FC vs Hellas Verona FC at Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, 23 February 2024. (EPA)
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Bologna Beats Verona in Serie A for Best Winning Streak since 1967

Bologna's Giovanni Fabbian celebrates the victory at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match Bologna FC vs Hellas Verona FC at Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, 23 February 2024. (EPA)
Bologna's Giovanni Fabbian celebrates the victory at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match Bologna FC vs Hellas Verona FC at Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, 23 February 2024. (EPA)

Bologna beat Verona 2-0 at home and moved into fourth place in Serie A on Friday.

Bologna’s fifth in a row earned its best winning run since 1967.

Giovanni Fabbian scored the first after 27 minutes. A corner evaded everyone and when Riccardo Orsolini struck the ball low back across goal, Fabbian was on hand in a crowded box to turn it in.

Remo Freuler doubled the lead with a left-foot volley after 66 minutes. It was the Swiss midfielder’s first goal of the season.

Verona has gone six games without a victory. It remained third from bottom in the standings.


League Cup Trophy a Part of Final Chapter with Liverpool, Says Klopp

Liverpool's manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after the English Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC, in Liverpool, Britain, 21 February 2024. (EPA)
Liverpool's manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after the English Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC, in Liverpool, Britain, 21 February 2024. (EPA)
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League Cup Trophy a Part of Final Chapter with Liverpool, Says Klopp

Liverpool's manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after the English Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC, in Liverpool, Britain, 21 February 2024. (EPA)
Liverpool's manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after the English Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC, in Liverpool, Britain, 21 February 2024. (EPA)

Winning the League Cup would be a crucial addition to the final segment of a memoir with Liverpool, the soon-to-depart manager Juergen Klopp said before his side's final match against Chelsea.

Klopp has announced his decision to step down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season, citing dwindling energy levels.

The 56-year-old, who is the only Liverpool manager to win six different major trophies, would dedicate the victory to everyone connected to the Merseyside club as part of his trophy-laden nine-year epoch.

"I want to win on Sunday but not for me or my trophy cabinet," Klopp said of the League Cup final. "It is for the boys, for the club, for the people. That is much more important.

"We wrote, and we are still writing, a wonderful book, and when I leave we close that book and put it on the shelf and then someone else will write a wonderful book.

"Yes, there is space for some chapters. It is long. I am not there and writing the resume already? Not at all. I am 100% in trying to create a few special memories on top of what we have done."

Klopp's side have a lengthy injury list that could hinder their chances of securing a record-extending 10th League Cup triumph at Wembley, with the likes of Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson and Curtis Jones sidelined and forwards Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai doubtful for Sunday.

Liverpool's most recent triumph came in the 2021-22 campaign when they also lifted the FA Cup, and narrowly missed securing a treble as they finished second in the Premier League.


Defending Champion Norrie Beats Seyboth Wild to Reach Rio Open Semifinals

Cameron Norrie of Britain in action against Hugo Dellien of Bolivia during a match in the Rio de Janeiro Tennis Open at Jockey Club Brasileiro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 19 February 2024. (EPA)
Cameron Norrie of Britain in action against Hugo Dellien of Bolivia during a match in the Rio de Janeiro Tennis Open at Jockey Club Brasileiro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 19 February 2024. (EPA)
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Defending Champion Norrie Beats Seyboth Wild to Reach Rio Open Semifinals

Cameron Norrie of Britain in action against Hugo Dellien of Bolivia during a match in the Rio de Janeiro Tennis Open at Jockey Club Brasileiro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 19 February 2024. (EPA)
Cameron Norrie of Britain in action against Hugo Dellien of Bolivia during a match in the Rio de Janeiro Tennis Open at Jockey Club Brasileiro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 19 February 2024. (EPA)

Defending champion Cameron Norrie beat Brazil's Thiago Seyboth Wild 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Rio Open.

The second-seeded British player will take on Argentina's Mariano Navone on Saturday. Navone overcame Brazil's 17-year-old sensation João Fonseca 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

The 23rd-ranked Norrie became the favorite to win the clay court tournament again after Carlos Alcaraz retired with a right ankle injury and Stan Wawrinka and Nicolás Jarry were defeated.

The British player said he was excited playing against the crowd who saw him win the tournament last year in a hard-fought final against Alcaraz.

“This was a very fun match and the public certainly had a great part in that,” Norrie said. “These are the matches you want to play. At night, with the public cheering for you or against you.”

Earlier Friday, two players from Argentina won their quarterfinal matches and will face off for a place in the final of the clay-court tournament.

Fourth-seeded Francisco Cerúndolo beat Serbia's Dusan Lajovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. His semifinal rival will be Sebastián Báez, who beat Brazil's Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.