Sports News Roundup: Tennis-Kyrgios ‘heartbroken’ after pulling out of Japan Open with knee issue; Rugby-Favourites England hand Fiji 14-try mauling at World Cup and more

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Fans mourn victims of Indonesian stadium crush at Friday prayers

Indonesians gathered for Friday prayers and mourned 131 people killed in a soccer crush six days ago amid calls for a prompt investigation into one of the world’s most deadly stadium disasters to enable its victims to rest in peace. Most of those killed after the match in the town of Malang, in East Java province, died of asphyxiation, caught in a panicked crush as they tried to flee after police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse a rowdy crowd.

Tennis-Kyrgios ‘heartbroken’ after pulling out of Japan Open with knee issue

Australian Nick Kyrgios said it was “heartbreaking” to pull out of the Japan Open ahead of his quarter-final because of a knee issue he has been grappling with since last month’s US Open. Kyrgios was due to face Taylor Fritz in Friday night’s match but pulled out shortly before, sending his American opponent through to the semi-finals to face Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Rugby-Favourites England hand Fiji 14-try mauling at World Cup

Winger Claudia MacDonald scored four tries as favorites England opened their women’s Rugby World Cup campaign with an 84-19 rout of Fiji at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday, extending their winning streak to 26 matches. The Red Roses ran in four tries to secure a bonus point in the first half and another 10 after the break in a statement Pool C win over the Fijians, who tired after a promising start to their World Cup debut.

Nike suspends relationship with Hockey Canada amid sex assault allegations

Nike Inc has decided to suspend its relationship with Hockey Canada as the national governing body faces increased scrutiny over its handling of sexual assault allegations, the world’s largest sportswear maker said on Friday. Nike is the latest sponsor to cut ties with Hockey Canada, which has been under fire since news broke in May of an alleged group sexual assault involving members of the country’s 2018 world junior team and subsequent out-of-court settlement.

MLB roundup: Phillies stun Cardinals in ninth as playoffs begin

Jean Segura hit a decisive two-run single in a six-run ninth inning as the visiting Philadelphia Phillies rallied past the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 to open their best-of-three National League wild-card series. The Phillies trailed 2-0 entering the ninth but launched their comeback when Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley had trouble finding the strike zone.

Soccer-Rooney urges out-of-favour Man Utd forward Ronaldo to stay patient

Former Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney urged Cristiano Ronaldo to remain patient and make the most of the opportunities that come his way as the Portugal international looks to work his way back into the Premier League club’s first team. Ronaldo, in his second spell at United, has only started one league game this season and was linked with a move away during the summer transfer window, although manager Erik ten Hag said he still featured in his plans for the season.

Soccer-England in ‘good place’ but not the world’s best team, says Wiegman

England women’s head coach Sarina Wiegman said the team were in a “good place” but played down suggestions they were the world’s best, after beating World Cup holders United States 2-1 in a friendly on Friday. An early goal by Lauren Hemp and a penalty from Georgia Stanway helped European champions England earn a win over the US in front of more than 76,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in a test for both sides ahead of the 2023 World Cup.

Tennis-Tiafoe survives blip to down Kwon and reach Tokyo final

Admitting it wasn’t “pretty”, Frances Tiafoe added a little more sparkle to a glittering season by reaching the Japan Open final with a 6-2 0-6 6-4 victory over South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo in Tokyo on Saturday. The American, who reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open in September, flexed the same muscles that have carried him into the top 20 in the world to reach his second title decider of the season despite a poor second set.

Motor racing-Alpine sign Gasly alongside Ocon for 2023 in all-French line-up

Frenchman Pierre Gasly will join compatriot Esteban Ocon in a race-winning lineup at Renault-owned Alpine next season with Dutchman Nyck de Vries stepping up to replace him at AlphaTauri, the two Formula One teams said on Saturday. Gasly, 26, will fill the seat vacated by double world champion Fernando Alonso, who is leaving the Enstone-based team for Aston Martin at the end of the season, on a multi-year deal.

Motor racing-Verstappen takes pole at Suzuka

Max Verstappen put himself on course to wrap up a second successive Formula One title in the Japanese Grand Prix by edging Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc to pole position in qualifying at the Suzuka circuit on Saturday. The Red Bull racer lapped the 5.8-km track in one minute, 29.304 seconds, beating Leclerc by just 0.010 seconds, with Carlos Sainz also only 0.057 seconds off the pace in his Ferrari in third.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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