Female referee Sara Cox to officiate at Premiership Rugby Cup match

Sara Cox will become the first woman to referee two top-flight English teams when she takes charge of Northampton v Wasps in the Premiership Rugby Cup on Sunday.

Cox, 28, was made the world’s first professional female rugby referee in March 2016 when she earned a central contract with the Rugby Football Union.

She was the first woman to officiate a second-tier men’s game in England when she oversaw Cornish Pirates’ meeting with Doncaster Knights in the Championship in March.

Cox, who gave up her own playing career because of injury, is scheduled to get her first experience of a men’s international this autumn, working on the sidelines of Hong Kong v Germany and Kenya v Germany, while she will also take charge of France Women v New Zealand Women on 9 November.

Three other women will be part of the officiating teams in this round of the Premiership Rugby Cup with Claire Hodnett working as the television match official at Harlequins’ meeting with Newcastle, Clare Daniels in the assistant referee role for Bristol’s match against Gloucester and Danae Zamboulis acting as the citing officer for Leicester v Worcester.

Former Ireland international Joy Neville became the first female referee to oversee a top-level men’s match in the UK in February when she took charge of Ulster’s win over Southern Kings in the Pro14.

Benin players and ex-FA boss given prison sentences for age cheating

Ten Benin youth players and former football federation president Anjorin Moucharafou have been handed prison sentences for age cheating.

A Cotonou court found them guilty of lying about their ages, which saw them failing MRI tests in Niger.

September’s failed tests saw Benin disqualified from last month’s regional qualifying tournament in Niger for the 2019 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations.

The players were given six-month prison sentences with five months suspended.

Because the players have been held in prison since their return from Niamey in September, they do not face more time behind bars.

Moucharafou, who was president of the Benin Football Federation (FBF) until August, was also found guilty because of his administrative role that led to the failed MRI tests.

He was handed a 12-month prison sentence, including 10 months suspended. He has also served some of his time after being arrested earlier.

The national under-17 team coach Lafiou Yessoufof and two other officials received similar sentences for their roles in cheating.

The new president of the FBF, Mathurin de Chacus, declared in August when he was elected that he wanted to “put an end to corruption, improvisation and amateurism” in the country’s football.

He had filed a complaint about the overage players scandal and promised “very heavy” sanctions.

Emma Clarke: FA backs call to honour first British black female player

The Football Association has backed a call to honour Emma Clarke, Britain’s first black female footballer.

The Bootle-born player first featured for the British Ladies’ team in 1895 and went on to appear at stadiums such as Wembley, St James’ Park and Portman Road.

Now Anna Kessel, sports writer and co-founder of Women in Football, wants Clarke to receive wider recognition: “A blue plaque on her childhood home would be brilliant.

“It would also be lovely to see the ground on which she made her debut recognised. I know English Heritage have rules about where a plaque can be attached – on an existing original building – however there are no existing buildings left on the pitch in north London where Clarke played. Maybe English Heritage could rethink their criteria.

“There could also be a statue of Clarke on Wembley Way. When female fans go to watch football at Wembley, they see the statue of England men’s World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore, which is great – but wouldn’t it also be great to see one of the incredible women players we’ve had in this country?

“At the moment there are only two statues of sportswomen in the UK – that’s 1% of the total.”

BBC Black History monthWatch: Get Inspired on the dramatisation of Emma Clarke’s story

The FA has been contacted by Women in Football regarding a statue of Clarke either on Wembley Way or St George’s Park, the national football centre.

The story of Clarke was discovered only last year by Stuart Gibbs, who was researching the history of women’s football for an exhibition. From the subsequent information gathered, parts of her story were dramatised in a production called Offside, which toured the UK in 2017.

Who was Emma Clarke?

Clarke was born in Bootle, Merseyside in 1875.

She lived with 13 other siblings in a terraced house along with her parents – mother Wilhelmina Clarke, believed to be of black Dutch heritage, and father William Clarke, who was a bargeman.

It was when Clarke was aged six or seven that the first official women’s international football match took place in Scotland in May 1881. Later that year a series of matches took place in Liverpool, which is likely to have influenced her.

Her career path saw her transform from a confectioners’ assistant, at the age of 15, to playing for the British Ladies’ team at 20.

Following winter training under the guidance of former Arsenal player Bill Julian during the 1894-95 season, Clarke made her debut on 23 March, 1895 in Crouch End, north London.

More than 10,000 people paid to watch the match between the teams representing north and south of the country.

The Manchester Guardian reported at the time: “Their costumes came in for a good deal of attention… one or two added short skirts over their knicker-bockers. When the novelty has worn off, I do not think women’s football will attract the crowds.”

The Sportsman newspaper wrote: “I don’t think the lady footballer is to be snuffed out by a number of leading articles written by old men out of sympathy both with football as a game and the aspirations of the young new women. If the lady footballer dies, she will die hard.”

Clarke represented the British team until around 1903, and also played for Mrs Graham’s XI for their tour of Scotland in 1896.

There are few details of what happened to the footballer after 1903.

Her life was commemorated at an event held by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) on Tuesday.

Paris Masters: Rafael Nadal out with injury & Roger Federer through

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Paris Masters with an abdominal injury.

It means Novak Djokovic, 31, will replace him as world number one when the rankings are released on Monday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Roger Federer made it through to the last 16 without playing when Milos Raonic pulled out with an elbow injury.

Nadal’s opponent, 34-year-old Fernando Verdasco, will play Jack Sock in the next round after the American beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-3.

Serbia’s Djokovic returns to the top of the rankings after a two-year absence, with Britain’s Andy Murray having taken over from him as number one in Paris in November 2016.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion, who was ranked 21st going into this year’s Wimbledon, is the first player to be outside the world’s top 20 and the world number one in the same season since Russia’s Marat Safin in 2000.

Spaniard Nadal, 32, was due to make his comeback after nearly two months out with a knee injury that led to him retiring from his US Open semi-final.

“I felt better than I thought I would one week ago but in the last few days I started to feel a bit in my abdominal, especially when I was serving,” the French Open champion said.

“I checked with the doctor and the doctor recommended that I did not play.

“It has been a tough year for me in terms of injury so I want to avoid drastic things.

“I have to think longer term. I want to keep playing tennis for a couple of years, so I have to do the logical thing.”

The Spaniard has not made any decisions yet about whether he will play at the season-ending ATP Finals in London in November.

Kyle Edmund pulls out of Paris MastersThe matches which did happen…

Earlier, Kei Nishikori had a straightforward 7-5 6-4 victory over Adrian Mannarino and John Isner served up 33 aces as he beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-1).

Japanese 28-year-old Nishikori did not face a single break point as he defeated home crowd favourite Mannarino in one hour and 27 minutes to progress.

He will meet seventh seed Kevin Anderson or Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in the next round.

On Court One, Isner’s powerful serving ensured he was not broken at all but wasted opportunities meant he struggled to get past Kazakh Kukushkin.

The American’s serve only let him down at the second-set tie-break, as the world number 54 forced a deciding set.

That went the distance too but this was a different story for Isner, who won early points against the Kazakh’s serve to take the match.

Isner needs to reach the semi-finals in Paris to have any hope of moving up to ninth in the rankings, which would give him a chance of making the ATP Finals.

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Later on Wednesday, Alexander Zverev beat Frenchman Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-4.

The pair traded missed break points in first set before the German, 21, won the final game on Tiafoe’s serve.

In the second set, Zverev broke three times but was broken twice as he wrapped up the eventful match in one hour and 44 minutes.

Ninth seed Grigor Dimitrov is also through after beating Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (12-10) 6-4.

Pathum Nissanka: ‘I feared the worst when my shot struck his head,’ says Jos Buttler

England’s Jos Buttler said he “feared the worst” when his shot struck Sri Lankan fielder Pathum Nissanka on the head, resulting in hospital treatment.

The incident occurred on the final day of England’s drawn match against a Sri Lanka Board President’s XI.

“You’re just worried, and that is the nature of it,” said the 28-year-old, who was given out when the ball looped off the helmet and to Angelo Mathews.

“Short leg is a thankless position to field. Let’s hope he’s not badly hurt.”

Joe Root scores century as England draw

Nissanka, 20, received treatment from England’s medical staff for about 15 minutes before he was taken off on a stretcher, with the players taking an early tea.

England Cricket tweeted that the Sri Lankan was conscious as he left the field and had gone to hospital.

Buttler said: “You always fear the worst, I think.

“I hit him very hard and straight in the middle of the helmet and luckily the medics rushed straight on and treated him.

“You don’t mean to cause injury – it is a really unfortunate accident.”

England drew the two-day match in Colombo. They have another warm-up match, which starts on Thursday, before the first of three Tests gets under way in Galle on 6 November.

How Bake Off's controversial fire challenge tapped into a roaring food trend

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So there it is, folks. After weeks and weeks of watching the contestants battle it out to be crown the king or queen of The Great British Bake Off 2018, it was talented-but-shy Rahul Mandal who finally clinched victory. 

And while there was some controversy over whether or not Rahul actually deserved to take home the crown, the more interesting debate was over the nature of the final challenges in the tent. 

One challenge saw the bakers leaving the tent (surely not!) and heading over to a live fire to cook pitta bread and prepare accompanying dips. Cue a storm in a Twittercup about whether making dips constituted ‘baking’. 

Still, that controversy shouldn’t engulf the really-quite-interesting challenge of cooking on a live fire. The technique, which, as Paul Hollywood noted, has "been around for thousands of years”, is a hot trend on the restaurant scene at the moment, with new eateries popping up left, right, and centre offering dishes cooked either over a live flame or, as on Bake Off, on a slate held over an open flame. 

Perhaps it’s little wonder that this ancient practice is being revived. The simple yet theatrical method sits perfectly at the crossroads between various modern food trends: dining as an experience, traditional cooking, local methods, and a back-to-basics kitchen approach. 

Mark Parr, the owner of the London Log Company who supplies firewood to hundreds of kitchens across the UK, and a massive live fire enthusiast, notes that this is exactly how our caveman ancestors would have cooked: "It’s the essence of what drove us to be here." 

What’s the point of cooking on an live fire?

Whisky fans will already know that different kinds of wood can impart different flavour profiles into their drinks. The same goes for cooking on a live fire, which imparts a distinct taste and texture depending on the wood that’s used. 

Parr gives the example of Scandinavian smoked salmon. The dish has a sweet taste that’s totally different from Scottish smoked salmon, for example, because it is usually smoked with alder wood, a tree which grows near water and harbours a fungus that must produce a sugar to survive. "Wood is organic, it becomes of the soil it grows in, which gives you different notes to navigate between. Wood exists on an aromatic spectrum with dark and light woods offering totally different tastes."

And this helps to explain why cooking on a fire is suddenly so popular. Parr says that we’ve basically perfected the art of taste in most fields of cooking, to the extent that there’s not many new discoveries left. Live fire cooking is one of the few remaining blind spots.

Neil Rankin, chief director and master chef behind Temper restaurants, whose live fire restaurant Temper City was chosen as one of The Telegraph’s best new restaurants in 2017, says fire cooking allows chefs to give their dishes a much more personal touch: "Cooking over fire allows constant manipulation of the product. You can see it cooking and keep adjusting it for colour and cooking degree. The interaction is not only more interesting for the chef but also the customers who are watching you cook."

St Leonards

Cooking with a live fire is a must at St Leonards, one of the many hot new UK restaurants embracing the ancient art Credit: Bacchus

While acknowledging all those brilliant reasons to jump on the live fire trend, Andrew Clarke, one of the restauranteurs behind the London live fire eatery, St Leonards, says that cooking with live fire is simply more satisfying: "I think I’ve got the most fun kitchen in London. We’ve got so much going on, no one could get bored."

"It’s a very primal way of cooking as well, you know? That excites us. You’re not just looking after the ingredients, you’re looking after the fire; it can’t go out, it needs to maintain a certain temperature; there’s a lot to play with. It seems like a very simple way of doing things but it’s not. You’ve got to be on the ball, working out where your hot spots are and where’s good for slower cooking."

How to cook on an live fire

While most of us will have cooked food on the barbecue over summer, cooking over a live fire is a totally different beast.

“Wood fire is a gentler heat than charcoal, although right over a flame, there is more direct, sharper heat, and it may be higher too," explained chef Niklas Ekstedt, pioneer of the modern cooking with wood flames trend, when The Telegraph spoke to him at his restaurant Ekstedt in Stockholm

Traditionally we’re used to seeing meat cooked on a live fire. Where would a hog roast be without its delicious smoky taste? Vegetables are more of a challenge, as they have a high water content – although that doesn’t mean they’re impossible. "Vegetables are actually better than meat and fish in my opinion," says Rankin. "Meat and fish are great if you’re skilled but sometimes its easier to just cook them in a pan or use a proper smoker.

"Vegetables take heat well. You can burn then and they don’t stick or create flames as meat does with its fat."

How do you perfect the art? “Choose a dry wood, so it will burn evenly, and start frying something," he says. "Try cauliflower, haricots verts or broccoli in a little bit of fat – butter is difficult as it burns, so use animal fat or clarified butter like ghee. If it catches fire a little bit, that’s fine.”

Of course, while live fire cooking is an interesting trend, not all of us have the facilities to invest in a great big fire pit or collect special wood to burn. But fear not, Clarke has a simple method of getting the benefits of live fire cooking with nothing more than a simple barbecue:  "Wood chips are an easy way of doing it. You can soak those in water and sprinkle them over the hot coals and you’ll get some of the same flavours coming off.

"You can also burn the wood. By burning the wood rather than soaking it, we get a flavour that’s a lot more subtle. As soon as you put the wood chips in water, you’re going to get more intense smoke and a more intense flavour."

At which point, Rankin serves a reminder that live fire cooking has its dangers. "Don’t hang meat directly above the fire. It should be offset. A restaurant did that recently at a street food event and everything went up in flames. Fat is no different to oil so you need to be just as careful.

"Also don’t be wasteful and burn down wood for charcoal. Buy nice clean burning charcoal and save wood for smoking in smokers that waste less fuel or for wood fired ovens."

David Price Gets His Championship

LOS ANGELES — Tim Corbin spent Sunday afternoon coaching high school prospects at a camp in Nashville. Corbin is the head coach at Vanderbilt, and he told the players about the day David Price lost the final game of his college career.

This was in 2007, and Price was lined up to be the first overall pick in the draft later that week. Vanderbilt held the No. 1 national ranking and was seeking its first-ever trip to the College World Series. Price was undefeated and had pitched two days earlier, but he offered to work in relief in the regional final against Michigan.

Price allowed a home run, spoiling Vanderbilt’s hopes for a title. But in Corbin’s retelling, it is not the result that mattered. It was Price’s desire to take the ball for his teammates.

“I told them the story in terms of what this guy was willing to do and why he was willing to do it,” Corbin said by phone on Sunday from a sports bar in Nashville, as he watched Price pitch the Boston Red Sox past the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, to clinch the World Series in Game 5.

“It was all predicated on team. I talked about how, when you buy in to the notion of a greater union, and you buy in to the notion of team, there are no limits to what you’ll do. That’s how David was wired as a kid, and that’s how he was wired today.”

A year after that college letdown, Price was pitching in the World Series as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Rays. Yet it took him a decade to return.

In between, Price did almost everything a pitcher could want to do. He won a Cy Young Award. He made five All-Star teams. He led his league, at various times, in victories, earned run average, innings and strikeouts. He helped three more franchises reach the postseason — the Detroit Tigers, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Red Sox, who signed him to a seven-year, $217 million contract in December 2015.

All that was missing was a championship, and the reputation for clutch pitching that would go with it. In his first 10 postseason starts, Price was 0-9 with a 6.03 E.R.A., capped by a miserable division series outing against the Yankees on Oct. 6.

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Price lasted into the eighth inning on Sunday, deeper than any Red Sox starter had gone all postseason.CreditElise Amendola/Associated Press

“I give Alex Cora a heck of a lot of credit,” said Jack Morris, the Hall of Fame starter, who covered the World Series for MLB.com. “There’s a lot of managers who would have put him out in the bullpen after that first round and left him there. But he said, ‘No, we need you,’ and he went out there and did it.”

Price now stands with Morris — who won twice in the World Series in 1984 and 1991 — in the pantheon of pitchers who have owned the brightest stage. Price was 2-0 with a 1.98 E.R.A. against the Dodgers, beating them in Game 2, collecting two outs in relief in Game 3 and then beating them again with seven dazzling innings in Game 5.

“He’s got it in here,” said Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, patting his chest. “He’s got a big heart. That was as good as it gets. I’m speechless. That was an absolutely stunning performance.”

Price assumed Chris Sale would start Game 5 until Cora told him otherwise on the field after Game 4. Price quickly went into his pre-start shell, eating his postgame meal alone in the traveling secretary’s office, listening to rap and hip-hop through his headphones. One selection, Price said, was “The Flute Song,” by Russ.

“People keep talking, I just keep winning,” the chorus goes, continuing after an expletive, “They talkin’ reckless; I don’t believe ’em.”

The lyrics fit a pitcher who knew there was only one way to escape the question that had greeted him in Boston and never ceased: Why did he pitch so poorly under pressure? Price’s simple stock answer — “If you don’t like it, pitch better” — made for a good sound bite, but belied his frustration with the doubters.

“It was tough, absolutely,” Price said in his news conference after Game 5. “To answer that question in spring training — day and day and day and day, and over and over and over and over, anytime it got to September, playoffs — I hold all the cards now, and that feels so good. That feels so good. I can’t tell you how good it feels to hold that trump card. And you guys have had it for a long time. You’ve played that card extremely well. But you don’t have it anymore, none of you do, and that feels really good.”

Price and Boston had seemed to be an uncomfortable fit. In 2013, after a playoff loss for the Rays at Fenway Park, he lashed out at critics in the news media on Twitter. In 2017, he berated the Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, a popular broadcaster, on a team flight after Eckersley had mildly criticized pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez on the air. Price has also publicly clashed with reporters and has been a frequent target of talk-radio critics.

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Price, 33, was the oldest pitcher on Boston’s World Series roster. Manager Alex Cora called him a clubhouse leader.CreditSean M. Haffey/Getty Images

At times, it seemed Price would have been happier with a smaller-market team like the St. Louis Cardinals, who had offered him $187 million in free agency. He went for the better deal with the Red Sox — who gave him an opt-out clause after this off-season — and Corbin was cautiously hopeful it would be a good fit.

“I wanted it to be, for him and for Boston, but you never know how that’s going to pan out,” said Corbin, a native of Wolfeboro, N.H. “He’s had to live through the blender of emotions and circumstances and outcomes. But, look, I remember when they gave Carl Yastrzemski a hard time, and Jim Rice a hard time, and my dad remembered when they gave Ted Williams a hard time. It’s like New York — we’re with you, win or tie.”

Price’s first two Octobers with the Red Sox ended with elimination in the division series. A troublesome elbow limited him to relief work last fall against Houston, but the Boston pitching coach, Dana LeVangie, noticed that Price had thrived in the bullpen. LeVangie mentioned it to Cora soon after the Red Sox made him manager.

“David loves to be ready to compete on a daily basis,” Cora said, repeating what LeVangie told him. “He enjoys being available, and he was available the whole time — the whole time — from the division series to the championship series to the World Series. There was a text: ‘I’m ready for tomorrow. Count on me. Use me.’”

Cora was eager to do so. Sale dealt with shoulder inflammation in the second half of the regular season and with a stomach virus during the A.L.C.S. against Houston, so Cora called on Price to start Game 5 of that series on three days’ rest. Price worked six innings and won, helped by a mechanical adjustment he made while playing catch the day before.

Price held his hands higher in his delivery, he said, which eliminated a hitch and helped his timing. Cora said he noticed an improvement in Price’s changeup, a pitch Price learned from James Shields, an older teammate during his days with the Rays.

Price, 33, was the oldest pitcher on Boston’s World Series roster and has striven to help his teammates in similar ways. Cora called him a clubhouse leader who helps fellow starters by analyzing video and watching their bullpen sessions. Nathan Eovaldi, who also excelled in the postseason, called Price one of the best teammates he has had.

“He’s very caring, so supportive,” said Eovaldi, who has pitched for four teams. “He’s just an unbelievable human.”

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“He’s just an unbelievable human,” Nathan Eovaldi said of David Price.CreditSean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Price said he would have started every postseason game if Cora had asked. He lasted into the eighth inning on Sunday, deeper than any Red Sox starter had gone all postseason. He felt strong, he said, acknowledging only one painful toss — when he heaved his championship cap over the tall netting behind the dugout, where visiting Red Sox fans had chanted his name.

“It hurt,” he said, smiling. “I don’t know why I did that.”

Price’s father, Bonnie, joined him on the field after the victory. So did Price’s mother, wife, son, friends and in-laws.

“He had a job to do and he was fortunate and he did it,” Bonnie Price said. “He’s all about the team. He was raised that way. He fulfilled his commitment from the day he signed.”

From the start, that was always the mandate for Price. John Henry, the principal owner who authorized a major-league-high payroll of more than $230 million this season, was paying Price expressly to do what he did: win the clinchers for the pennant and the championship.

“Those two performances are why we’re standing here tonight,” Henry said.

A year after Henry gave Price the deal, Price donated $2.5 million to upgrade the baseball facilities at Vanderbilt, where former players have their own locker room for off-season training. In effect, Price remains part of his old college team even while working in Boston, where his current teammates revere him.

“He flat-out got it done,” said Sale, who struck out Manny Machado for the final out Sunday. “It seemed like he threw every bullet. He put it on the line for us. He gutted it out. He was unbelievable.”

When it was over, Price was the first player to reach Sale and catcher Christian Vazquez on the field. After the clubhouse celebration, Price brought his goggles to the interview room. Asked what it meant to be valued as a teammate, he paused for 20 seconds, turned his head, dabbed his eyes and cleared his throat.

“A lot,” he said, finally. “I mean, this is a game we get to play, and it’s the relationships that you make while you do this.”

Price paused and wiped his eyes again on his shirt.

“That’s what makes this game so special,” he said.

England v New Zealand: Captain Sean O’Loughlin out of second Test

Captain Sean O’Loughlin has been ruled out of England’s second Test against New Zealand at Anfield on Sunday.

The Wigan loose forward, 35, suffered a recurrence of a calf injury early in Saturday’s first Test win in Hull.

His replacement as captain will be named on Thursday, although prop James Graham, 33, stood in for O’Loughlin in the warm-up win against France.

England could also give a first start to O’Loughlin’s club-mate Joe Greenwood or Adam Milner of Castleford.

O’Loughlin had been rested against France after leading Wigan to victory in the Super League Grand Final against Warrington.

Former St Helens prop Graham, who now plays for St George Illawarra in the NRL, is set to extend his record for England appearances to 43 in his home city of Liverpool.

Wayne Bennett adds seven Wigan and Warrington players

Elite Trophy: Top seed Kasatkina knocked out in China

Top seed Daria Kasatkina has been knocked out of the WTA Elite Trophy, beaten 6-2 6-4 by Madison Keys.

Keys, 23, broke six times in a dominant display, leaving the Russian with one win and one defeat from her round-robin matches – and no chance of progressing.

The American just needs to win a set on Friday against China’s Wang Qiang – who requires a straight-set victory to go through in Zhuhai.

All four group winners at the 12-player event will reach the semi-finals.

The invitation-only event features the top 11 players who did not qualify for last week’s top-tier WTA Finals, with space for one wildcard.

Elsewhere, Anett Kontaveit beat defending champion Julia Gorges 6-2 4-6 6-4.

The Estonian, 22, broke the world number 14 three times to take the opening set.

Gorges, 29, fell heavily on the hard court during the sixth game of the second set, and needed ice to her right leg during the changeover.

The German fought back to win that set, but Kontaveit, 20th in the world, took the decider.

Kontaveit, seeded 10th, has now played both of her group matches, having lost her opener on Tuesday to Belgium’s Elise Mertens, who still has to play Gorges.

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Garbine Muguruza overcame a scare in the opening match of her group, beating Zhang Shuai 3-6 6-3 6-2.

China’s Zhang, the wildcard entry in her home country, raced into a 3-0 lead in the opening set before Muguruza then left the court for a medical break. Zhang, the world number 36, then served out for the set.

The second set saw an improvement from the 25-year-old Spaniard, who had seven break points across two lengthy Zhang service games, before finally winning one to go 4-2 up. Muguruza, the only former Grand Slam champion at the event, served out to send the match to a final set.

The first five games of the decider went against serve before the former world number one won four in a row to kick off her tournament with a victory.

Nuwan Zoysa: Sri Lanka bowling coach charged with match-fixing

Sri Lanka bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa has been charged with match-fixing by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Zoysa, who played 30 Tests and 95 one-day internationals, is accused of three breaches of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, including being party to an effort to fix an international match.

The 40-year-old former bowler has been suspended and has 14 days from 1 November to respond to the charges.

England’s three-Test series against Sri Lanka starts on Tuesday.

Zoysa is also accused of “directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a player” to fix or influence the progress of a match and failing to disclose approaches to “engage in corrupt conduct”.

Earlier this month, Alex Marshall, general manager of the ICC anti-corruption unit, announced an investigation into “serious allegations of corruption” in Sri Lanka.

Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya was subsequently charged with corruption and is accused of failing to co-operate with an investigation and “concealing, tampering with or destroying evidence”.

Jayasuriya said the charges against him “do not contain allegations pertaining to match-fixing” and that he has always acted with “integrity and transparency”.

According to the BBC Sinhala service, the charges by cricket’s governing body against Jayasuriya related to his refusal to hand over his mobile phone to ICC authorities for “personal reasons”.

Left-arm seamer Zoysa took 172 wickets for Sri Lanka in all formats during his international career between 1997 and 2007.