Four of the top six on the men’s tour have skipped Miami, and with the exit of the Russian top seed on Wednesday there are no players with a Masters 1000 title left in the draw.
* Belgium have finalised their preparations for the European Championship, adding a home friendly against Greece to their schedule, the country’s football association said on Thursday (Apr 1).
* Jordan Spieth came into the Valero Texas Open mainly looking to fine-tune his short game ahead of next week’s Masters and on Thursday he did just that as he grabbed the early first-round clubhouse lead. Spieth was a little loose off the tee in tough conditions at TPC San Antonio but more than offset that with a sublime short game en route to a five-under-par 67 that left him one shot clear after the morning wave.
* Seven-times MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi believes there are riders on the grid who do not care enough about their rivals. Italian Rossi was involved in a clash with Brad Binder in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday before finishing 12th in his debut race for Petronas Yamaha.
* Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has sustained a calf injury, the club said in a statement on Thursday. Ramos was an 86th minute substitute in Spain’s 3-1 win over Kosovo in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.
* Ajax Amsterdam and Netherlands defender Daley Blind has torn ankle ligaments and is doubtful for this year’s European Championship. Blind hurt his ankle and knee in the Netherlands’ World Cup qualifying win in Gibraltar on Tuesday.
* Captain Kraigg Brathwaite led the way for the West Indies as they declared late on the fourth day to set Sri Lanka an imposing target of 377 runs to win the second test and the series. Brathwaite, who scored 126 in the first innings, made 85 on Thursday as the West Indies scored 280-4 before declaring their second innings with 40 minutes left of the day’s play in Antigua.
* Twelve-year-old skateboarding prodigy Sky Brown said she has fully recovered from her life-threatening fall last May and plans to broaden her horizons by adding surfing to her Olympic schedule. Brown, who will be the only female member of Team GB when skateboarding makes its highly-anticipated debut in July, suffered skull fractures and a broken wrist and hand after she fell from a half-pipe in Southern California.
* Michelle Wie West, in only her second tournament after a nearly two-year absence, showed she can still compete with the game’s best as she made an encouraging start to the first major of the LPGA season on Thursday in Rancho Mirage, California. Wie West, who was out of action while on maternity leave and recovering from a wrist injury, fired a two-under-par 70 at the ANA Inspiration to sit four shots off the early first-round lead at Mission Hills Country Club.
* Brazilian football saw one of its fastest ever red cards on Thursday when Kaio Wilker was sent off after 17 seconds in Botafogo’s Copa do Nordeste match against state rivals Treze. Wilker threw both feet at a Treze defender’s head with eight seconds on the clock and the referee took about as long again to brandish the red card.
* Yeovil Town’s club captain Lee Collins has died at the age of 32, the National League (fifth-tier) club said on Thursday. Yeovil did not disclose the cause of defender Collins’ death. Their game at Altrincham on Friday has been postponed.
* The absence of Bayern Munich’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski for Saturday’s crunch Bundesliga fixture with second-placed RB Leipzig could prove crucial in the Bavarians’ quest for a record-extending ninth successive league crown. The 32-year-old, voted FIFA men’s player of 2020, has been in sensational form this season, netting 35 league goals so far, but a knee ligament injury sustained last week on international duty has ruled him out for at least four weeks.
* World number four Dominic Thiem said he is not yet fully fit and is skipping this month’s ATP Masters 1000 event in Monaco. The US Open champion opted out of the ongoing Miami Masters and has not played since making an early exit at the ATP 500 event in Dubai last month.
* The Welsh Rugby Union has backed Wayne Pivac to remain as coach until at least the 2023 World Cup following last month’s Six Nations triumph.
* Sport climbing will make its debut at the European Games after being included on the programme for Krakow-Malopolska 2023, the European Olympic Committees said. The sport climbing event will offer qualifying opportunities for athletes ahead of the 2024 Games in Paris. The sport is set for its first appearance at the Olympics this year in Tokyo.
* Shanghai Port will go into the new Chinese Super League campaign without their most expensive signing of the close season after Croatian defender Ante Majstrorovic ruptured his cruciate ligament in training on Thursday.