Daily Digest: Ashleigh Barty powers into Miami Open final

Ashleigh Barty

In today’s news: Ashleigh Barty moves one step closer to silverware in Miami, the BBC promises to show Scottish Women’s Premier League matches, and Simon Middleton names his side for England’s Six Nations opener.

Barty comfortably defeats Svitolina to reach Miami final

World number one, Ashleigh Barty, has reached her second consecutive Miami Open final, with a straight-set win over fifth seed Elina Svitolina.

The Australian won 6-3 6-3 against Svitolina to set up a final with Canada’s Bianca Andreescu.

Barty will remain the number one ranked player in the world, irrespective of what happens in tomorrow’s final, after Naomi Osaka was knocked out in the quarter finals.

Speaking after her win today, Barty said: "I thought I played a really good match, I wanted to be aggressive and I executed it.

"To be in the last match of the tournament, I'm grateful to have another opportunity to play for a title."

Barty

England name starting team for Six Nations opener

Simon Middleton has named his squad for England’s opening Six Nations match against Scotland in Doncaster on Saturday.

England are defending champions, having won their 15th Grand Slam in 2020, but will be without regular captain Sarah Hunter, who is yet to return from a long-term injury.

Emily Scarrett will lead the side in her absence, while Lydia Thompson starts instead of last year’s top try-scorer, Abby Dow, who is unavailable for personal reasons.

Elsewhere, full-back Sarah McKenna and flanker Zoe Aldcroft are also back, after injury ruled them out of the November fixtures.

The match is live on BBC iPlayer at 3pm tomorrow.


Alphonsi named as Women’s Six Nations ambassador

Seven-time Six Nations winner Maggie Alphonsi will act as an ambassador for this year’s Championship.

The Hall of Famer played 74 times for England and helped her country win the 2014 Rugby World Cup.

Each week, Alphonsi will engage with fans on Instagram, via a live question and answer session –– providing key analysis and discussion from every game.

Speaking of her involvement with this year’s tournament, Alphonsi said: "It means the world to me to be an ambassador for the Women’s Six Nations and I can’t wait for the action to start.

"We haven’t seen international women’s rugby since last year so for it to come back with a vengeance now is really important. It will be great to see women’s rugby thrive and get the shop window it deserves.”

Maggie Alphonsi

BBC to show two Scottish Women’s Premier League games

Two Scottish Women’s Premier League games will be broadcast by BBC Scotland this Sunday as the season finally resumes.

Reigning champions Glasgow City face Celtic away, while Hearts play Rangers, as the rest of the fixtures this weekend are scheduled to be shown as part of a new highlights show on Sunday night.

Rangers lead City on goal difference at the top of the table, with Celtic two points adrift of both teams as it stands.

The highlights programme will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.


English trio start well at the ANA Inspiration

Charley Hull, Bronte Law and Georgia Hall are all in contention at the ANA Inspiration, after the opening round in California.

The English trio are all on three under par, with Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit leading the way on six under.

Shanshan Feng and Leona Maguire are tied for second, while four players are a shot further back on four under.

Michelle Wie is also in contention after a two-year absence, having carded a two under 70.

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