1 Mar 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

7:03 pm on 1 March 2020

Latest - New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus and Australian partner John Peers have won their first tournament together at the ATP 500 tournament in Dubai.

John Peers and Michael Venus

John Peers and Michael Venus Photo: Photosport

It was just their fourth tournament together, and they needed less than an hour to beat fourth seeds Raven Klaasen - Venus's former doubles partner - and Oliver Marach 6-3 6-2.

It's an 11th Tour level title for Venus, with the 32-year-old lifting a trophy in each of the six seasons since his first title run in Nice in 2015.

"With any new partnership, you don't know how it's going to go till you get out there really, until you get on the court and you start to understand exactly what your partner likes to see in certain situations, how they react to things - it takes time to figure those things out," Venus said.

Venus and Peers share $US181,360 in prize money.

The win lifts the pair to eighth in the race to qualify for the ATP Finals in London at the end of the season.

Fifth-round TKO for Parker

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker has recorded a fifth round TKO win over American Shawndell Winters in Frisco, Texas.

Joseph Parker

Joseph Parker Photo: Photosport

In his first bout for eight months, Parker knocked Winters down in the third round and again in the fifth before the referee stopped the contest halfway through the scheduled 10-round bout.

The 28-year-old Parker had to battle back after taking a cut to his right eye in the fourth round.

Parker's last fight was back in June last year, where he posted a solid if unspectacular win over Australian-Samoan Alex Leapai in in Providence, Rhode Island - a TKO in the 10th round.

A fight scheduled for October, against British contender Dereck Chisora, was cancelled when Parker came down with blood poisoning, thought to be from a spider bite.

All Blacks Sevens into LA quarter-finals

The All Blacks Sevens have won all three of their pool matches at the Los Angeles round of the World Series.

Andrew Knewstubb

Andrew Knewstubb Photo: Photosport

The New Zealanders accounted for Wales 42-7 first up, scoring six tries to one and piling on the second-half points after leading 14-7 at the break.

They backed up with a 21-7 victory over Spain after leading 7-0 at halftime. Second half tries to Tim Mikkelsen and Akuila Rokolisoa secured the win.

The All Blacks Sevens completed pool play with a tight 21-17 win over England, with tries to Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Andrew Knewstubb and Etene Nanai-Seturo. A late try after the hooter to England gave a more flattering look to the scoreline.

New Zealand will meet France in the quarter-finals on Monday.

Black Sticks men fall short

The Black Sticks men have been unable to repeat their Pro League hockey win over world No.5 Argentina, falling 3-2 at Ngā Puna Wai in Christchurch.

Sam Lane of the Black Sticks battles with Jose Tolini of Argentina for possession.

Sam Lane of the Black Sticks battles with Jose Tolini of Argentina for possession. Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019 www.photosport.nz

The Argentinian defence, stung by Friday's 5-3 loss to New Zealand, proved the crucial difference.

Sam Lane scored from a penalty corner for the Black Sticks to level the scores 1-1 at halftime.

Ignacio Ortiz and Maico Casella put Argentina ahead 3-1 after 44 minutes, but Lane slotted home his second to keep New Zealand in the match with just over 10 minutes of the final quarter remaining.

Black Sticks coach Darren Smith said they'd expected Argentina to pile on the pressure.

"I thought we were able to respond well and if it weren't for a difficult third quarter, we were right in the contest."

In the later game, the Black Sticks women beat world No.2 Argentina 3-1, with goals to Olivia Merry, Stacey Michelsen and Alia Jaques.

The result reverses that of Friday's game, when Argentina won a penalty shootout 3-1 after the scores were level 1-1 at fulltime.

Djokovic too good for Tsitsipas

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has won the singles title in Dubai, maintaining his undefeated record this season and extending his winning streak to 21 consecutive matches.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic Photo: ATP

One day after saving three consecutive match points to beat Gael Monfils in a dramatic semi-final, Djokovic raised his level and converted each of his three break points to down second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-3 6-4.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion praised Tsitsipas for his desire to improve and and told the ATP that he believes the 21-year-old is also capable of lifting multiple Grand Slam titles.

"I love the fact that he is more than just tennis player and he's always looking to learn from the experience and to understand something new about himself so he can improve, get better," Djokovic said.

"That for me is a trait of a champion, of someone that for sure has a great potential to be No. 1 of the world and win Grand Slams and be a great ambassador of our sport. He already is, but he has a great future ahead of him, I'm sure."

Abu Dhabi triathlon postponed due to coronavirus

The opening round of the 2020 World Triathlon Series scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi has been postponed as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) said .

The event was due to take place on Yas Island from March 5-7, but organisers confirmed they will look to find a new date later in March or April.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has seen eight countries reporting their first cases and the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised its global spread and impact risk alert to "very high".

"Travel restrictions and quarantines imposed by some countries and airlines for individuals and groups travelling from or to areas affected by the outbreak make it impossible to go ahead with the event in the planned dates," the ITU said in a statement.

The final two stages of cycling's UAE Tour were called off on Thursday after two Italian riders tested positive for coronavirus.