Firstpost Spodcast Episode 219: Roger Federer sets up French Open semis against Rafael Nadal, India open World Cup campaign and more

Welcome to Spodcast.

Tennis news first, and the action is hotting up at the French Open. Roger Federer set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal after defeating Stan Wawrinka in four sets to become the oldest men's Grand Slam semi-finalist in 28 years.

Federer won 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 to reach his 43rd major semi-final and eighth at Roland Garros. Wawrinka was no pushover - he saved 16 of 18 break points in a thrilling encounter. He made his compatriot Federer sweat for the win - Federer saved four break points to take the first set into a tie break. But the third seed finished the match quickly after a rain delay to progress to the semis. In the end, Wawrinka committed too many unforced errors - 61 - which proved to be his undoing.

In the women's draw, Johanna Konta became the first British woman in 38 years to reach the semi-finals by sweeping past seventh seed and, last year's runner-up, Sloane Stephens.

In cricket, Sri Lanka recovered from a dramatic batting collapse to knock over Afghanistan for 152 and seal a 34-run win for their first win at the 2019 Cricket World Cup on Tuesday.

Afghanistan now have two losses from two matches while Sri Lanka lost their first match against New Zealand.

South Africa, who have had a less than ideal start to their world cup campaign, were dealt another blow on Tuesday. After news that Lungi Ngidi could miss the match against India due to a hamstring injury, it was reported yesterday that veteran pacer Dale Steyn was ruled out of the entire tournament on account of a second shoulder injury which has not responded to treatment.

Left-arm pacer Beuran Hendricks has been named Steyn's replacement.

India captain Virat Kohli indicated yesterday that the overcast conditions in Southampton may force the team management to opt for an extra seamer against South Africa in on Wednesday.

Kohli also addressed the remarks by Kagiso Rabada that the Indian captain behaved "immaturely" during the IPL. In a recent interview to a cricket website, Rabada recalled an incident during an IPL game. He said, "I was just thinking about the game plan, really, but Virat, he hit me for a boundary and then he had a word. And then when you give it back to him, he gets angry. I don't get the guy. Maybe he does it because it gets him going, but that comes across as very immature for me. He is a phenomenal player but he can't take the abuse."

In football news, Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that they have signed Serbia striker Luka Jovic from German side Eintracht Frankfurt on a six-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The club's statement said, "Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt have agreed the transfer of Luka Jovic, subject to a medical. The player will be tied to the club for the next six seasons, until the 30th of June 2025."

Updated Date: Jun 05, 2019 14:09:26 IST