7 Jul 2019

Today's sports news: What you need to know

6:59 pm on 7 July 2019

Latest - Scott McLaughlin's Supercars winning streak has come to an end on the streets of Townsville.

Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin.

Photo: Supercars

The New Zealand driver has had to settle for 12th place in this weekend's second race in North Queensland, after damaging his car in a first lap incident with Australian David Reynolds.

McLaughlin had won his last six races in the category.

Fellow countryman Shane van Gisbergen has taken advantage of his misfortune to win a wet and wild race ahead of another Kiwi, Fabian Coulthard.

It's van Gisbergen's second win of the season.

McLaughlin's championship lead has been trimmed from 358 to 292 points, with eight rounds still remaining in the season.

Another national record for Zane Robertson

Zane Robertson has broken the New Zealand marathon record on his debut over the distance.

The New Zealand runner Zane Robertson celebrates his bronze medal in the 5000m.

The New Zealand runner Zane Robertson celebrates his bronze medal in the 5000m. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

He's clocked a time of two hours, eight minutes and 19 seconds in finishing third in the Gold Coast marathon.

It's seven seconds faster than the national mark his twin brother, Jake Robertson, set in Japan last year.

The time is also the third fastest marathon on Australian soil.

Zane Robertson now holds the national records over the 10km, 15km, 20km, half marathon and marathon distances.

A groin injury denied Robertson the chance to make his marathon debut at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year.

His time was more than eight minutes faster than the gold medallist.

Black Ferns fall to France again

The Black Ferns have suffered their second straight loss to France.

New Zealand's been beaten 25-16 by the Six Nations champions in their third match of the women's rugby super series in San Diego this morning.

Black Ferns' Kendra Cocksedge kicks a conversion.


The result comes after the world champion Black Ferns were beaten 30-27 by France in Grenoble last November.

After trailing 18-6 at halftime, New Zealand improved in the second-half, but stand-in captain Kendra Cocksedge says they made costly errors.

"We knew the momentum was changing...we had the wind in that second-half and we wanted to chip away, but credit to France they played really well and we made some crucial mistakes," Cocksedge said.

New Zealand - who beat Canada and hosts the USA to start the competition - have a bye in the next round - before facing England on Monday week to complete their campaign.

Kiwi takes lead at Laser worlds

Sam Meech showed his class on day three of the Laser class world sailing championships in Japan, rocketing to the top of the standings on the back of two wins.

No caption

Photo: Supplied

The 28-year-old revelled in the fresh winds and big waves, virtually leading from start to finish in both of his races to take a one-point lead over Australia's Matt Wearn.

It's particularly tight in the standings as the best sailors now head into three days of gold fleet racing, with only 10 points separating the top 11 boats. Among them is New Zealand's George Gautrey, who is now seventh, and Tom Saunders is not far behind in 14th.

Gautrey had started the day in third, level on points with the leaders, and was fourth in the first race before he was disqualified in the second for being over the start line.

Most of the main contenders are jostling near the top of the standings, with Olympic, world and European champions all hovering, which will make for some tasty gold fleet racing.

Italian facing a grand slam ban

Italian Fabio Fognini is facing the prospect of being banned from the US and Australian Opens after claiming he wished a bomb would drop on Wimbledon.

Fabio Fognini celebrates his upset over Rafael Nadal at the US Open crop

Fabio Fognini is in trouble with Wimbledon officials. Photo: AFP

Fognini, booted out of Flushing Meadows two years ago after calling a female umpire a 'whore and a c......sucker', was caught making his latest remarks during his 6-3 7-6 (14-12) 6-3 third-round loss to Tennys Sandgren.

Upset about playing his match on Court 14, Fognini who also cut three of his knuckles after punching the strings on his racquet, said during the match in Italian: "Is it fair to play here?

"Damned English damned really. Wish a bomb would explode on this club - a bomb should explode here."

The 32-year-old offered up a half-hearted apology after the match but refused to comment on the possibility of a punishment.

No such stress for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The second and third seeds have won their third round matches in straight sets.


Women's favourites on quarter-final collision course

Serena Williams has lavished Ashleigh Barty with praise as the two heavyweight contenders hurtle towards a blockbuster Wimbledon quarter-final.

6th July 2019, The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England, Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, Day 6; Serena Williams (USA) with a forehand during her mixed doubles match with Andy Murray

Photo: © Actionplus 2018

In a rematch of last year's semi-final against Julia Goerges, Williams again reigned to move ominously into the last 16 at the All England Club for the 16th time with a 6-3 6-4 third-round win over the German.

Without a match since the the French Open, the 23-times grand slam champion looked rusty in her first two outings, but stepped it up overnight to edge to within a likely last-eight showdown with Barty.

The 37-year-old has a habit of slowly working her way into the majors and will be an overwhelming favourite to take out Spanish veteran Carla Suarez Navarro on Monday.

With Barty cruising through to the fourth round without dropping a set and odds-on to continue her charge against unseeded American Alison Riske, Australia's world No.1 is tipped to face her sternest test yet against Williams.

Bidding for a record-equalling 24th major, and eighth Wimbledon crown, Williams is full of respect for Barty, admitting she'd been keeping a close eye on the top seed's progress.

"I've always from the day I played her in Australia had a tremendous amount of respect for her game," Williams said.


Kiwi stages big doubles comeback

Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof have pulled off a remarkable comeback in the second round of the men's doubles at Wimbledon.

Marcus Daniell (NZL) with a forehand shot at the net as doubles partner Wesley Koolhof (NED) covers.

Marcus Daniell (NZL) with a forehand shot at the net as doubles partner Wesley Koolhof (NED) covers. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Kiwi/Dutch combination fought back from losing the first two sets, to beat Britain's Cameron Norrie and Jaume Munar from Spain 1-6 4-6 7-6 6-2 6-2 in two hours 50 minutes on court 15.

Given that Daniell lost in the first round at Wimbledon last year, making it to the round of 16 should move him up from his current ranking of 49 to around 41, even if he was to lose his next match.

Meanwhile, Artem Sitak has continued his run in the mixed doubles.

Sitak and his partner Laura Siegemund from Germany knocked out the No. 13 seeds Rohan Boppana from India and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 6-4, with the winning shot finally coming from the fifth match point on Sitak's serve.

Murray makes impressive centre court return

Wimbledon's new power couple got their mixed doubles pairing off to a flying start.

6th July 2019 - Tennis - Wimbledon (Day 6) - Andy Murray (GBR) and Serena Williams (USA) share a joke during their Mixed Doubles 1st Round match against Andreas Mies (GER) and Alexa Guarachi (CHI) - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Photo: © Offside Sports Photography 2019

Andy Murray was back on centre court 724 days after he hobbled off in 2017 and he and Serena Williams beat Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi 6-4 6-1 on their debut outing.

"For me it was a great experience being back on Centre Court with Serena after the last year or so being tough. It was nice. I enjoyed it," the Scot said.

"I think like towards the end of the match when you're kind of in control on the scoreboard, it's easier to sort of relax and enjoy it, whereas the first set, we were obviously taking it seriously to win."

Never has a mixed-doubles partnership received so much attention, but it did not disappoint as Williams' baseline power and Murray's guile at the net means they will be a real force in this discipline.

Defending champ hits the deck on stage one of the Tour de France.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas suffered a scare near the end of the opening stage of the Tour de France, when he hit the deck after being entangled in a pile-up.

No caption

Photo: AFP

The Team Ineos rider was inside the last three kilometres of the 194km stage which started and finished in Brussels when several riders in the peloton went down and Thomas ended up in the barriers.

The Briton lost no time on his General Classification rivals, however, getting back on his bike to finish the stage won by Dutchman Mike Teunissen of Team Jumbo Visna.

"I'm fine. It was pretty slow by the time I hit them," Thomas said. "I gave myself enough space and avoided the actual crash but with the barriers there was nowhere to go.

"It's just one of those things. The main thing is that it didn't do any damage -- the bike took the hit and I just toppled over."

- Reuters

Sweden claim third place at World Cup

Sweden benefited from poor defending and the video assistant referee to beat England 2-1 in the women's World Cup third place playoff match.

Early goals from Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson were enough to see off Phil Neville's side, who pulled one back through Fran Kirby and had an Ellen White equaliser ruled out for handball.

"Well done to Sweden but it is a nonsense game," England coach Neville told the BBC, contradicting his comments on Friday when he described the clash as "very important".

However, the former Manchester United player said his team may have been fighting the disappointment from their 2-1 defeat by the United States in the last four, where they also had an equalising goal ruled out by VAR.

"I think maybe there was carry on from the semi-final - the emotion. The two goals sparked us into life and I don't think I have seen us play better than we did after those first 20 minutes," Neville said.

- Reuters

Messi sent off but Argentina claim third place

Lionel Messi was sent off before halftime as Argentina beat Chile 2-1 to win a scrappy and bad-tempered third-place playoff against Chile in the Copa America.

 Lionel Messi.

Photo: AFP

The match was 34 minutes old when Chilean captain Gary Medel shepherded out a ball near his own goal. Messi challenged him from behind and Medel reacted angrily, pushing the Argentine and raising his hands.

The Paraguayan referee showed Medel a red card and although Messi did not react he was also sent off.

It was only the second red card of Messi's career, the first also coming while playing for Argentina on his debut against Hungary in 2005.

Sergio Aguero put Argentina 1-0 ahead after 12 minutes and Paulo Dybala made it two 10 minutes later with a nice finish after Giovani Lo Celso had put him through on goal.

Arturo Vidal pulled one back for Chile from the penalty spot 14 minutes into the second half.

- Reuters