Sports Snippets

Basilashvili beats Struff to claim Munich Open
Munich, May 2: Nikoloz Basilashvili clinched his second title of the year with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory over Jan-Lennard Struff in the final of the Munich Open on Sunday. The fifth-seeded Basilashvili, who won in Qatar in March, started well and resumed after a 30-minute rain interruption to win his fifth ATP title. Basilashvili lost just three service points in the 35-minute first set, and he saved the only break point he faced in the sixth game. Basilashvili did not drop a set in five matches in Munich and now has a 5-2 career record in finals. The 44th-ranked Struff shed his record of being the highest-ranked men’s player yet to have played an ATP singles final. (AP)

Messi backs English football’s social media boycott
Barcelona, May 2: Lionel Messi used his social media platform with 200 million followers to call for action against online abuse. The Barcelona forward’s message on Saturday coincides with a four-day boycott of social media by soccer leagues, clubs and players in England to protest against online racial abuse and discrimination. Messi used his Instagram post to send a big hug and congratulations to all the people in British soccer for the idea to hold the campaign against abuse and discrimination on social media. He asked for Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies to do more. “Nobody deserves to be insulted,” Messi wrote in Spanish. “We are seeing, and living with, abuse that is growing and becoming worse on social media and nobody is doing anything to stop it. We must strongly condemn these hostile attitudes and demand that the companies that run these networks take action against this behavior.” (AP)

Rennes face loss against struggling Bordeaux
New Delhi, May 2: Rennes lost ground in the chase for fifth place in the French league and a Europa League spot after a 1-0 defeat at struggling Bordeaux on Sunday. An early red card for Rennes midfielder Steven Nzonzi tilted the balance and 18-year-old forward Sekou Mara punished Rennes with an 11th-minute goal. Belgium forward Jeremy Doku hit the post for Rennes in the second half. With the defeat, Rennes have been left in seventh place, two points behind Marseille and Lens in fifth, ahead of next weekend’s home game against title chaser Paris Saint-Germain. (AP)

Former Asiad gold medallist GM Khan passes away
Jaipur, May 2: The 1982 Asian Games gold medallist rider Colonel Gulam Mohammad Khan (Retired) died on Saturday in Pune. The renowned rider, 74, had joined the Indian Military Academy in 1973. A year later he was judged the Best Rider of the Academy and awarded Polo and Riding colors. From 1980 1990 he captained the ASC team, during which time his team won the National title six times and he became individual National Champion (Eventing) four times. As a member of the team which won the gold medal in Eventing at the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi, Col. Khan gained the individual silver medal riding Goodwill. At the next Asian Games, in Seoul, he was a member of the Dressage and the Eventing teams, winning bronze medals on both teams and gaining the highest place of any Indian rider he was 4th in the Evening and 9th in the Dressage. (PTI)\

German football chief pressured to resign over Nazi remark
Berlin, May 2: German soccer federation president Fritz Keller is facing calls to resign after comparing one of his vice presidents to infamous Nazi judge Roland Freisler. The federation said Sunday that the presidents of its state and regional associations withdrew their confidence in Keller and asked him to step down to avert further damage to the federation. “Such a statement is completely unacceptable and stunned us,” the associations said in the statement published by the federation on Sunday. (AP)

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