Man City and Chelsea to face Fiorentina and Atletico Madrid respectively in Champions League last 16

Serena Williams and Man City Women

The Women’s Champions League last 16 draw was revealed earlier, but find out what else makes our top 5 headlines from today.

City to play Fiorentina and Chelsea face Atletico Madrid in Champions League last 16

Manchester City have been drawn against Fiorentina while Women’s Super League leaders Chelsea will face Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of this season’s Women’s Champions League.

City saw off Kopparbergs 5-1 on aggregate in the previous round and Chelsea thrashed Benfica 8-0 to reach this stage.

Atletico have knocked out City in each of the previous two seasons, but will come up against a different challenge in Chelsea this year.

Chelsea will face Atletico in the last 16

Arsenal are still the only English team to have lifted the Women’s Champions League, winning the tournament in 2007, but both City and Chelsea will fancy their chances in this round against unseeded opposition.

Seven-time winners Lyon, who haven’t lost a tie in the Champions League since 2015, will face Danish club Brøndby.

The first of the two legs will be played on the 3rd and 4th of March with the second set to take place the following week.

Serena Williams sets up semi-final with Naomi Osaka

Still chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam, Serena Williams showed all her title credentials today as she produced her most complete performance of the championship so far, beating Simona Halep in straight sets to set up a mouth-watering tie against Naomi Osaka in the final four.

Having last won a major title four years ago in Melbourne, Williams has lost four Grand Slam finals since, and with the looming reality of a 40th birthday closing in, the seemingly inevitable 24th triumph has started to look less certain.

In an empty Rod Laver arena, however, the 39-year-old hit 24 winners as she humbled the second seed Romanian, winning 6-3 6-3 to avenge her final defeat against Halep at Wimbledon in 2019.

Serena Williams

For Williams, it is now a 40th Grand Slam semi-final and her ninth at the Australian Open, but standing in her way on Thursday will be an all too familiar opponent in Osaka. The pair met at the 2018 U.S Open final, where Osaka emerged the victor in controversial circumstances to clinch a maiden Slam of her own and since then has added two more majors to her trophy cabinet.

The Japanese third seed needed just 66 minutes today to beat Hsieh Su-wei and book her place in the semi-finals. The 23-year-old has dropped just one set en route to this stage, and hasn’t lost a game since she was defeated by Coco Gauff in Melbourne last year.

England and Reading midfielder Fara Williams reveals she has Nephrotic syndrome

Fara Williams has announced that she is suffering with a kidney condition known as Nephrotic syndrome.

The disorder is caused by damage to the clusters of blood vessels in the kidneys which can cause swelling, mainly in the feet and ankles.

Other side effects include weight gain which Williams has said had a noticeable impact on her performances on the pitch and her physical appearance.

The 37-year-old, who has over 170 caps for England and has played 10 games for Reading this season, revealed on social media that the condition has affected her fitness for almost a year and admitted she should have waited until she was further in recovery before returning to action, despite being cleared to play whilst on medication by anti-doping agencies.

Speaking of her condition on Instagram, Williams said: “It is important to be open and honest about the challenges I have faced”.

Williams also thanked her consultant and the medical team at Reading for their care and added: “I now look forward to getting back on the pitch in good health”.

Mavericks make it back-to-back Superleague wins

Saracens Mavericks overcame a spirited Leeds Rhinos 43-39 on Monday night to join Team Bath at the top of the Netball Superleague.

Both sides were looking to maintain their unbeaten starts to the season, but the Rhinos lost three players, including goal-shooter Donnel Wallam, to injury during the game.

The other game on the night saw Loughborough Lightning register their first victory of the new campaign, with a thrilling 44-43 derby win over Wasps.

Mary Cholhok was the standout performer for Loughborough and deservedly picked up the player of the match award. The six-foot-seven Ugandan goal-shooter scored 39 goals to add to her 35 against Bath on Sunday night.

With the first two rounds of fixtures now completed, the Superleague is back in action this Sunday as the Lightning take on the Mavericks in one of four games.

England lose final New Zealand XI warm-up game by 30 runs

A lacklustre England display saw them lose their final tour game before the limited-overs series against New Zealand.

The New Zealand XI batted first, posting 316-5 from their 50 overs, as Natalie Dodd top-scored with a well-made 91 and Brooke Halliday added 79. Both players have been selected in the White Ferns squad for the one-day international series starting on Monday.

Sophie Ecclestone was the pick of the England bowlers, taking two for 38 from eight overs, as Sarah Glenn, Freya Davies, and Katherine Brunt also claimed one apiece.

In response, Danni Wyatt, Ecclestone, and Captain Heather Knight (batting for the second time) all registered half-centuries, but England eventually fell 30 runs short, having lost 12 wickets in total.

Claudia Green was the standout performer for the hosts, picking up five wickets from her 10 overs as she staked her claim for a call-up to the main squad in the future.

The ODI series gets underway on Tuesday, 23rd February, and will consist of three matches, followed by a further three T20 internationals.

News Now - Sport News