Atletico second as Carrasco, Griezmann strikes down Sevilla

MADRID (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid warmed up for next week’s Champions League clash with Chelsea by brushing aside Sevilla 2-0 at home on Saturday thanks to second-half strikes from Yannick Carrasco and Antoine Griezmann.

New Atletico striker Diego Costa, whose transfer from Chelsea was agreed this week, watched on from the stands as both sides hit the woodwork in the opening 20 minutes of an even first period.

It was all Atletico, however, after the break.

Winner of 'dirtiest race in history' Alptekin banned for life - Anadolu

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Asli Cakir Alptekin, who won Olympic gold at London 2012 before being stripped of the title, has been banned for life by the Turkish Athletics Federation for a third doping offence, state-run Anadolu news agency have reported.

Alptekin won the 1500 metres title in London, a race where six of the first nine finishers have served drugs bans before or since, leading some to refer to it as the “dirtiest race in history”.

French Olympic Committee chief 'cannot imagine' 2018 boycott

(Reuters) - French Olympic Committee President Denis Masseglia “cannot imagine” a situation that will lead to the country boycotting next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea amid growing concerns over tensions in North Korea.

France Sports Minister Laura Flessel said on Thursday that if the crisis deepened and “our security cannot be assured, the French Olympics team will stay at home”, before adding “we’re not there yet”.

Pakistan name five uncapped players for Sri Lanka tests

(Reuters) - Pakistan selected fast bowler Mir Hamza among five uncapped players in their 16-man squad for the two-test home series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates starting later this month.

Batsmen Haris Sohail and Usman Salahuddin have both played one-day internationals for Pakistan but are yet to make their test debuts as Pakistan start life without retired batting greats Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan.

Wozniacki stuns Muguruza, advances to Tokyo final

TOKYO (Reuters) - Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki crushed new world number one Garbine Muguruza 6-2 6-0 on Saturday to advance to the final of the Pan Pacific Open as the Dane remained on course for a third title at the Tokyo tournament.

The third seed rallied from a set down to win her previous two matches but the 27-year-old wasted no time seizing control of her semi-final against Wimbledon champion Muguruza.

Pavlyuchenkova gets past Kerber, advances to Tokyo final

TOKYO (Reuters) - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova withstood a furious rally to beat Angelique Kerber 6-0 6-7(4) 6-4 on Saturday and book her spot in the Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo.

The match appeared headed for a blowout after the 26-year-old Russian, vying for her third title this year, took the first eight games against the former world number one.

However, Kerber dug in and broke Pavlyuchenkova’s serve in the third game of the second set before the 29-year-old German forced a tiebreaker and stole the second set.

Team Europe jumps ahead in inaugural Laver Cup

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Team Europe swept the singles matches at the inaugural Laver Cup on Friday before Australian Nick Kyrgios and American Jack Sock took down top-ranked Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych in the doubles to salvage a point for Team World.

The Europeans, the clear favourites with five of the world’s top seven players, jumped ahead 3-1 on the opening day of the three-day competition that is aimed at injecting a new jolt of excitement into tennis but joins a crowded calendar.

Alex Sandro replaces Marcelo in Brazil squad

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Juventus left back Alex Sandro has been called up by Brazil to replace injured Marcelo for their World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Chile, the Brazilian Football Confederation said on Friday.

Real Madrid defender Marcelo has pulled a muscle in his left leg and will miss the final two qualifiers for Russia 2018.

Brazil play Bolivia in La Paz on Oct. 5, before returning home to face Chile five days later.

Golf - Tiger progressing but still no timetable for return

(Reuters) - Tiger Woods is not hitting full shots and has no timetable for his return to competitive golf after undergoing his fourth back surgery in April, the former world number one said on Friday.

In a wide-ranging post on his website that included thoughts about those affected by recent hurricanes and the earthquake in Mexico City as well as congratulations to outgoing U.S. Masters Tournament chairman Billy Payne, Woods said he is sleeping better and no longer has nerve pain going down his leg.

Golf - Thomas jumps into three-way tie for lead at Tour Championship

(Reuters) - Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson and Paul Casey tied for the second-round lead as Jordan Spieth slipped four strokes behind at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Friday.

American Thomas eagled the par-five 18th after hoisting his second shot to five feet for a four-under-par 66 on another benign day at East Lake.

Compatriot Simpson and Englishman Casey carded 67 to join Thomas at seven-under 133, one stroke ahead of a group of four including American Patrick Reed, whose 65 was the best of the day.