Reuters Sports News Summary

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Excited China fans cheer NBA game despite row over Hong Kong tweet

Thousands of Chinese fans cheered and clapped through an NBA exhibition game in Shanghai on Thursday after days of controversy and online vitriol over a now-deleted tweet by a team manager backing anti-China protests in Hong Kong. The crowd waved Chinese flags in the arena before the game started, but the packed stands gave the players a huge welcome on court and shouted enthusiastically throughout the game.

ITF chief Haggerty excited as new Davis Cup looms

In the past year International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty has been booed by fans at the Davis Cup final and lambasted over structural changes to the lower rungs of the professional ladder. The final year of the American's first term as head of the ITF has hardly been smooth, but he is okay with that.

Leclerc is Ferrari’s new number one, says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton believes Charles Leclerc has usurped four times world champion team mate Sebastian Vettel as Ferrari's favorite. Tensions between the 21-year-old Monegasque and 32-year-old German flared in Russia two weeks ago when Vettel appeared to ignore a pre-race pact to hand back the lead to Leclerc after the start.

Love backs Woods as playing captain of U.S. Presidents Cup team

The players in the American Presidents Cup team want Tiger Woods to be a playing captain at this year's event in Australia, former U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love said on Thursday. Woods has three more weeks to decide whether to choose himself as one of his four captain's picks to complete the 12-man United States line-up to take on the Internationals at Royal Melbourne from Dec. 12-15.

Biles by miles: U.S. gymnast claims record fifth all-around world title

American Simone Biles became the first woman to win five all-around titles at the gymnastics world championships in Stuttgart on Thursday, building on her legacy as one of the greatest of all time. It was Biles' 16th gold medal at the worlds and added to her all-around world titles from 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

WTA roundup: Bertens advances to face Gauff

Top seed Kiki Bertens rallied to top Alison Van Uytvanck 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz. With the win, Bertens will meet American teenager Coco Gauff on Friday in the quarterfinals.

Athletics: Chicago looks to shine through Salazar shadow

The winds of change are roiling through the sport of endurance running as athletes descend on the Windy City for Sunday's Chicago Marathon, with one of the sport's longstanding figureheads conspicuously out of the picture. American Alberto Salazar, who has coached some of the world's top distance runners, including the marathon's two most recent men's champions, was handed a four-year ban less than two weeks ago for doping violations.

Nets-Lakers game in China sidesteps Hong Kong in NBA preseason marked by tension

A broadcast of a National Basketball Association (NBA) preseason game in Shanghai on Thursday avoided mention of Hong Kong in an event preceded by intense backlash from the Chinese government and fans over a team executive's tweet in support of Hong Kong pro-Democracy protesters. The matchup in which the Brooklyn Nets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-111 was played as scheduled to a packed audience at the Mercedes-Benz arena after widespread speculation on social media that the game could be canceled.

Take 5: Shanahan vs. McVay highlights Week 6

Two of the NFL's brightest offensive schemers - the San Francisco 49ers' Kyle Shanahan and the Los Angeles Rams' Sean McVay - joined the NFC West in 2017, but they haven't faced each other as contenders ... until Sunday. McVay's Rams have won three of four from Shanahan's 49ers, with the only loss a meaningless season finale in 2017. But the Niners are roaring at 4-0, with schemes clicking on both sides of the ball, while the Rams are trying to solve recurring woes.

Pulkkanen rides hot putter to first-round Italian Open lead

Unheralded Finn Tapio Pulkkanen putted superbly to take a first-round lead at the Italian Open on Thursday as Justin Rose survived a shaky start to lurk two shots behind in Rome. Pulkkanen, in his second season on the European Tour, reeled off four successive birdies on his front nine and never looked back in a bogey-free seven-under-par 64 at Olgiata Golf Club.