2 Oct 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

8:11 am on 2 October 2020

Latest - The New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus and his Australian partner John Peers have won their opening round men's doubles match at the French Open.

John Peers and Michael Venus

John Peers and Michael Venus Photo: Photosport

The 11th seeds rallied from losing the first set to beat Norway's Casper Ruud and Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Venus the 2017 French Open doubles champion (with American Ryan Harrison) and Peers will face Denmark's Freddie Nielsen and Germany's Tim Puetz in the second round tonight.

Venus and Peers have been in fine form in Europe having lost just one of their last eight matches having reached the semi finals at the Rome Masters before winning the European Open in Hamburg.

Wood and Stott take top awards

The Burnley striker Chris Wood and the Football Ferns defender Rebekah Stott have taken the top honours at the New Zealand Football Awards.

Steph Skilton of Auckland and Jack-Henry Sinclair of Wellington were named domestic players of the year.

Former Wellington Phoenix midfielder Sarpreet Singh, who now plays in Germany, and international Claudia Bunge of Northern Lights were named young players of the year.

Lewandowski wins award

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has won the UEFA men's Player of the Year award, ahead of Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich.


The Polish forward scored 15 goals on the way to Bayern Munich's sixth Champions League title, hitting the target in every match before the final except a group game against Tottenham Hotspur when he was rested.

He also fired 34 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches and six in five German Cup games, helping Bayern win both competitions. The German champions' manager Hansi Flick won UEFA's coach of the year of the award.

Pernille Harder, who played for Wolfsburg last season and is now with Chelsea, won the Women's Player of the Year award for the second time.


King makes semi-finals

The New Zealand squash player Joelle King has qualified for the semi-finals of the World Tour Finals in Egypt with an upset win over number one ranked Nouran Gohar of Egypt.

It was a straight shootout between the two players as to who would book their place in the last four. World Champion Nour El Sherbini had already claimed her placed from the group.

World number eight King won 12-10, 11-7 in 28 minutes.

"I just tried to think that I was in the middle of a practice match with one of the guys back in Bristol and just relax," said King who turned 32 this week. "I felt like I was playing some good squash in patches, but not long enough. Nouran is such an amazing player and mentally tough, so I knew I had to do something more," said King.

Messi and Ronaldo to clash in Champions League

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will renew their Champions League rivalry after their teams, Barcelona and Juventus, were drawn together in the group stage.

Barcelona and Juventus, who met in the 2015 final, were paired in Group G along with Dynamo Kiev and Hungarian side Ferencvaros.

Defending champions Bayern Munich must face Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid after they were drawn together in Group A alongside Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow.

The draw produced several other high-profile clashes.

Paris St Germain and Manchester United will clash in Group H, English champions Liverpool must face Ajax Amsterdam in Group D, which also features high-scoring Italians Atalanta, and Real Madrid play Inter Milan in Group B.


Indycars to allow spectators

The Indycars season finale will allow 20,000 spectators to attend as Florida lifts all Covid-19 restrictions on businesses.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda


Originally scheduled as the IndyCar Series opener in March, the St Petersburg Grand Prix was moved to Oct. 25 in a reshuffling of the calendar caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

IndyCar has had a handful of spectators at a few tracks but many races have been run in front of empty grandstands, including the series's crown jewel, the Indianapolis 500.

St. Petersburg city council has approved a promoters plan to operate the event to spectators under specific health and safety protocols.

Everyone attending the race will be required to wear masks or facial coverings at all times unless eating or drinking.

New Zealander Scott Dixon tops the championship standings heading into this weekend's double-header in Indianapolis.


Red Bull spends huge

Red Bull Racing spent $460 million in finishing third in Formula One last season and recognised 'adaptions' would be needed to meet a $220 million cost cap coming in for 2021.

The Honda-powered team, one of two owned by the Austrian energy drink company, reported a profit of $1.2 billion compared to a previous $1.8 billion in the year ending Dec. 31.

The cost cap is being imposed as part of measures aimed at creating a more level playing field for the 10 teams, but that excludes major elements such as driver salaries, marketing and travel.

Red Bull did not detail how much of the 2019 expenditure would be exempt from the cost cap.

Champions Mercedes spent $645 million in winning both titles last year but also reported a profit, according to accounts published last month.