Daily Digest: Serena Williams forced to withdraw from Miami Open

Serena Williams

In today's news: Serena Williams withdraws from Miami Open, the FA agrees blockbuster broadcast deal for Women's Super League coverage and Petra Vlhova wins Alpine Ski World Cup.

Serena Williams withdraws from Miami Open

Eight-time Miami Open champion Serena Williams has been forced to withdraw from the competition after undergoing oral surgery.

The tournament got underway this afternoon and Williams has shared her disappointment in having to void her participation.

"Miami is a special tournament for me because it's my home and I am sad I won't be able to see the incredible fans this year," the 23-time Grand Slam singles winner admitted.

Williams joins four of her male counterparts in withdrawing from the competition, as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem will also not feature.

Multi-million pound broadcast deal agreed for WSL coverage

The FA has announced that broadcasting giants BBC and Sky Sports have agreed terms to show up to 44 Women's Super League fixtures as of next season. The agreement, which will run for three years, is said to be worth more than £7million per year.

The current broadcasting deal between BBC and BT Sport is set to end this summer, with the BBC cranking up its coverage by changing from Red Button and iPlayer streaming to primary channel showings.

Women's Super League

This is the biggest financial deal the WSL has landed in its history. As the popularity of the sport grows, the demand for high profile coverage also increases. Up to 18 league matches will be shown live on either BBC One or BBC Two, providing viewers with free-to-all access for the first time.

International surfer Katherine Diaz dies age 22

Salvadorian surfer Katherine Diaz has died after being struck by lightning during training. The 22-year-old was hoping to secure a place in Tokyo this summer as surfing makes its competitive Olympic debut. 

Diaz was training for an upcoming competition at El Tunco beach in her native country when the weather took a sudden and unexpected turn. 

Diaz was El Salvador's top surfer and represented her country across numerous international stages including the World Surfing Games and ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

Petra Vlhova makes history with World Cup win

Petra Vlhova has carved her name into the history books after securing the women's Alpine Ski World Cup overall title at the weekend. The 25-year-old becomes the first ever Slovakian competitor to be crowned the best all-around skier during the competition in Switzerland.

Vlhova's run of unstoppable form put her firmly out of reach after clocking up more than 100 points across the board. She snubbed 2016 overall champion Lara Gut-Behrami after competing in all events, making her 30th start on this season's World Cup circuit on Saturday.

Bristol City keep WSL survival hopes alive

The Vixens aren't giving up their 2021/22 Women's Super League spot without a fight. At the foot of the table, there's a fierce battle going on between them and West Ham. The relegation candidates continue to pile the pressure on each other as they churn out their last remaining fixtures of the current campaign.

Bristol's most recent performance saw them put Spurs to the sword and snatch a point from them at The Hive. Thanks to a goal from Gemma Evans, a goal-line clearance from Yana Daniels and a super save from Sophie Baggaley, City jump out of the drop zone yet again.

Esther Morgan and Ebony Salmon

Their well-earned point puts them just one ahead of West Ham, who hold two crucial games in hand over their relegation rivals. 

Bristol's last five league matches of the season will see them face Birmingham, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester United and then Brighton on the last match day of the term. The Robins must keep up appearances if they want to survive the drop into the Championship.

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