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Sports round-up

Tennis: Canada’s world no. three Milos Raonic (picture) has parted ways with coach Carlos Moya after the Spa-niard guided the big-serving right-hander through his best season on the circuit. The 1998 French Open winner joined Raonic’s coaching team in January and helped the 25-year-old reach his first grand slam final at Wimbledon and finish the campaign at a career-high ranking, rising 11 places since the end of 2015. Raonic amassed a personal best 52 victories in a season and won his eighth ATP World Tour title at Brisbane in January.

Commonwealth Games: South Africa remain “fully committed” to hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban despite falling short of requirements, officials said, adding they were still in talks with the Commonwealth Games Federation over their bid. The comments came on Wed-nesday, the deadline to resolve a number of issues, such as failing to have a local organising committee set up within 180 days of winning the bid on April 1, 2014 and not depositing an initial payment of $1.79m. Durban remains the only city with a confirmed bid after Edmonton withdrew in February.

Cycling: Three-times Tour de France champion Chris Froome will again begin his 2017 season in Australia, racing the UCI’s World Tour event in Victoria before defending the Herald Sun title he won earlier this year. The 31-year-old Briton, however, would not ride the Tour Down Under event in South Australia. “I’m really looking forward to starting my season in Australia again,” Froome said. “I love riding in Australia. The weather is great and the crowds always come out in force to support the riders. That makes it the more enjoyable.”

Rugby Union: Nathan Hughes and Marland Yarde will start England’s final test of the autumn series against Australia at Twickenham tomorrow in two forced changes to the line-up that beat Argentina last weekend. Fiji-born forward Hughes replaces Billy Vunipola, who has been sidelined by knee surgery, for his full test debut at number eight after winning two caps this autumn as a replacement. Winger Yarde gets the nod over Semesa Rokoduguni for the spot vacated by Elliot Daly, who was banned for three weeks.

Motor Racing: McLaren have lost another long-term partner to Formula One rivals Red Bull with oil giant ExxonMobil following the example of Tag Heuer. Red Bull said in a statement yesterday that ExxonMobil will replace Total as their official partner for fuel, lubricant and motor oil in 2017. The Mobil 1 and Esso brands will feature on the cars driven by Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, as well as on overalls and helmets.

Snooker: John Higgins fended off Mark Allen to set up a UK Championship quarter-final showdown with world champion Mark Selby. The modern era giants of the game will go head to head in York today after Higgins came from 3-2 behind to see off Allen 6-3 at the York Barbican. “I’m delighted to win but Mark will be kicking himself,” Higgins said. “When he went 3-2 in front he had a couple of good chances to make it 4-2 and he looked as if he was playing well and I was struggling at that time.” Selby earned his quarter-final berth on Wednesday, and Higgins forecasts their afternoon clash will be a feast for the eyes.“He’s world number one for a reason. Every credit to him,” Higgins told reporters. “He’s such a tough competitor and I look forward to it.”

Other result: Jones bt Gilbert 6-2.

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