In the other half of the draw, two-time runner-up Dominic Thiem’s path leads to a potential quarter-final clash with German sixth seed Alexander Zverev. In the women’s draw, defending champion Iga Swiatek will start her campaign against Kaja Juvan while one of the matches to watch will feature last year’s runner-up Sofia Kenin, the fourth seed, against 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko.
* FIFA have voided DPR Korea’s results in the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after they pulled out of the preliminaries earlier this month. The Asian Football Confederation confirmed DPR Korea’s withdrawal on May 15.
* Former United States president Barack Obama has praised England forward Marcus Rashford for his work tackling child food poverty, and the two discussed by video call how young people can make an impact on society.
* Venezia will play in Serie A for the first time in 20 years next season after a stoppage-time equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw with Cittadella in the Serie B playoff final on Thursday to secure a 2-1 aggregate win. Empoli were crowned Serie B champions to book their return to the top flight and Salernitana finished second to seal the other automatic promotion spot.
* Phil Mickelson may have struggled at Colonial Country Club on Thursday in his first start since becoming golf’s oldest major champion but did not appear too bothered as he was still revelling in his PGA Championship victory. The 50-year-old Mickelson shot a three-over-par 73 in Fort Worth, Texas, that left him near the bottom of the field at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
* Valentino Rossi said on Thursday that his performances in the next few MotoGP races starting with this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix might prove decisive when he discusses his future with his team Petronas Yamaha at the end of the season.
* Sponsor interest in the Extreme E electric off-road racing series has accelerated since last month’s debut in Saudi Arabia, team owner and 2016 Formula One champion Nico Rosberg said on Thursday.
* Italy’s Alberto Bettiol stormed to a maiden victory on Thursday with an impressive attack on stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia, a 231-kilometre ride from Rovereto to Stradella.
* Six-times MotoGP champion Marc Marquez said on Thursday that he considered a break in racing after the Spanish Grand Prix as he struggles with his comeback from injury but decided to continue after encouraging discussions with his doctors.
* AC Milan have signed goalkeeper Mike Maignan from Lille on a five-year deal, the Serie A club announced on Thursday. The 25-year-old played every minute of the Ligue 1 season as Lille pipped Paris St Germain to the league title by one point.
* Antonio Conte has spoken out for the first time since terminating his Inter Milan contract, thanking players, staff and fans for their efforts in bringing the club back to where it belongs by winning the Serie A title. Conte led Inter to their first league crown in 11 years this season, but mutually agreed to end his contract one year early on Wednesday amid reports that he was unhappy with plans to cut costs and sell players due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
* Sheffield United have named former Fulham and Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic as their new manager on a three-year deal, the relegated Premier League club announced on Thursday. Jokanovic, who steered both Fulham and Watford to the top flight in 2015 and 2018, respectively, will leave his role at Qatari side Al-Gharafa to take over at Bramall Lane as their first overseas manager.
* La Liga side Valencia have named Jose Bordalas as their new manager after the Spaniard’s stellar work with league minnows Getafe. Getafe, meanwhile, have appointed former coach Michel, who took charge of the club between 2009 and 2011 and took them into the Europa League.
* Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as Real Madrid coach with immediate effect five days after his team were pipped to the La Liga title by city rivals Atletico Madrid, the Spanish club said on Thursday. Former Juventus and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is likely to be in the frame to replace Zidane.
* Portuguese authorities have relaxed COVID-19 safety rules for thousands of English fans coming to Porto for Saturday’s Champions League final, no longer requiring them to stay in bubbles and lifting restrictions on movement.
* Former England midfielder Jack Wilshere has been released by second-tier Bournemouth after his short-term contract expired, the club said on Thursday. The 29-year-old scored two goals in 17 games for Bournemouth after joining them for a second stint in January. He played 27 times for the south coast club in his first spell when he was loaned from Arsenal in the 2016-17 season.
* Paris St Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino is discussing a potential return to Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur after his side failed to defend the Ligue 1 title this season, Sky Sports reported on Thursday.
* Juventus have sacked coach Andrea Pirlo and replaced him with former manager Massimiliano Allegri, Italian media reported on Thursday. Sky Italia said that Allegri will return to the Turin club for a second spell two years on from his departure, after reaching an agreement with the Juve hierarchy.
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