While you were asleep: NZ’s Satterthwaite retires, Roma win first Europa Conference League title, Nadal sails into French Open third round, Zlatan out for 7-8 months


Nicolo Zaniolo’s goal earned AS Roma a first major European title in more than 60 years after a 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the Europa Conference League final in Albania on Wednesday, completing a unique European trophy haul for Jose Mourinho. Roma coach Mourinho, who had previously won the Champions League, Europa League and the UEFA Cup with other clubs, can now add the third-tier European title — the Italian side’s first trophy in 14 years — to his medal tally.

Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the Europa Conference League final between AS Roma and Feyenoord at National Arena in Tirana, Albania, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

The 22-year-old Zaniolo earned Roma victory with an expertly-taken finish in the 32nd minute, as he became the first Italian to score in a European final since Filippo Inzaghi against Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League. Roma, whose only previous continental title was the old Fairs Cup in 1961, held off a spirited comeback from their Dutch opponents, who were twice denied by the woodwork in the second half.

New Zealand’s Satterthwaite calls time on international career

Amy Satterthwaite, the seventh most prolific batter in women’s one-day internationals, has called time on her representative career after New Zealand Cricket (NZC) decided not to award her a central contract. The hard-hitting all-rounder, who made her international debut in 2007 and captained her country in 2018 and 2019, scored 4,639 runs in 145 ODIs at an average of 38.33, and another 1,784 for her country in Twenty20 matches. Satterthwaite also took 50 ODI and 26 T20 wickets with her right-arm medium pace and holds the New Zealand record for best bowling figures in the shortest format with 6-17 against England in 2007. “It is with a degree of sadness that I announce my retirement from international cricket,” the 35-year-old said in a news release on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal sails into French Open third round

Rafa Nadal produced an imperious show on Wednesday to secure his 300th Grand Slam match victory, dismantling local hope Corentin Moutet 6-3 6-1 6-4 to book his spot in the French Open third round. Nadal counts 13 Roland Garros titles among his overall 21 majors — the highest among men — and despite his injury-blighted buildup to the claycourt tournament he has looked at his usual best in the first two rounds. The Spaniard, who turns 36 next week, will next meet Dutch 26th seed Botic van de Zandschulp with a potential quarter-final looming against world number one Novak Djokovic who defeated him in last year’s semi-finals.

Ibrahimovic out for 7-8 months after knee operation

AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic had surgery on his left knee on Wednesday and faces up to eight months on the sidelines — if he decides to continue his playing career. Ibrahimovic missed large portions of Milan’s title-winning campaign with injury. The 40-year-old Swede made 23 appearances in Serie A, although most of them were off the bench. Milan said the knee operation, which was performed in France, had been scheduled for a while “to definitively resolve the joint’s instability.” The club added: “The operation was a complete success and the prognosis is estimated between seven and eight months.” Ibrahimovic will be 41 by then.After Milan clinched its first Serie A title since 2011 on Sunday, Ibrahimovic said he would only continue playing if he felt well and added that it had been a difficult few months for him.

-With agencies inputs

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