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Sports round-up

Tennis: Austria’s Dominic Thiem (picture) dumped seven-times champion Rafael Nadal out of the Italian Open 6-4 6-3 yesterday to reach the semi-finals. Beaten twice by Nadal in the last three weeks, in Barcelona and in Madrid, Thiem made it third time lucky against the 30-year-old, who was unbeaten on clay this year with 17 straight wins. Alexander Zverev earlier reached his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final with a 7-6(4) 6-1 defeat of Milos Raonic. Zverev, 20, will face John Isner for a place in the final after the American beat Croatian Marin Cilic 7-6(3) 2-6 7-6(2).

Rugby Union: New Zealand’s assistant coach Wayne Smith will step down after this year’s Rugby Championship to end his 20-year involvement with the All Blacks, New Zealand Rugby said in a statement yesterday. Smith, who helped guide the All Blacks to back-to-back World Cup triumphs in 2011 and 2015, said he plans to take a break from the game. “It’s unbelievable to think that I’ve been involved in playing and coaching with the All Blacks for 20 years,” he said.

Boxing: Mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor took another step toward setting up a megafight with undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather by applying for a professional boxing license in Nevada. The application was missing some medical documents but the Nevada State Athletic Commission will consider McGregor’s request once those are provided. Should the two sides agree to what would be a lucrative fight, the most likely location for the bout is Las Vegas.

Cycling: Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria continued to take the Giro d’Italia by storm when he timed his sprint to perfection to win the 13th stage yesterday, taking his tally to four victories in the race. The Quick Step-Floors rider came from nowhere at the end of the 167km stage from Reggio Emilia to Tortona to blast through a gap and cross the line first. Gaviria also won the third, fifth and 12th stages and leads the points classification. Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) retained the overall leader’s pink jersey.

Olympics: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will discuss a report on the possibility of awarding both the 2024 and the 2028 Games at the same time a month earlier than expected. Los Angeles and Paris are the only two cities left in the race for the 2024 Games and the IOC is eager to see no losers in this competition as four other cities dropped out, fearful of cost and size of the Olympics. The IOC will discuss the report by its working group during an executive board meeting set for June 9, it said.

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