SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF
LONDON - After winning two grand slams and an Olympic gold medal, Andy Murray has been given the royal seal of approval. Murray received his Officer of the Order of the British Empire medal by Prince William on Tuesday, having been awarded the honour in Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's honours list following his victories at the US Open and London Olympics in 2012
MOSCOW - Former Grand Slam champions Ana Ivanovic and Samantha Stosur advanced to the Kremlin Cup quarter finals with straight-sets victories on Thursday to set up a rematch of last year's semi final. The former top-ranked Ivanovic beat Klara Zakopalova 6-3 6-1, while former US Open winner Stosur extended her winning streak to seven matches by beating Alize Cornet 6-4 6-1 in the second round.
MILAN, Italy - AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli is an injury worry for the Serie A giants ahead of next week's Champions League clash with Barcelona after suffering a thigh injury. Milan, who sit in 12th position and are already 13 points behind league leaders Roma, had been set to welcome Balotelli back from a three-game ban.
LONDON - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Thursday that his club will not abandon their principles despite beginning to make their presence felt in the transfer market. Buoyed by the club-record 50 million euros ($F125 million) purchase of Mesut Ozil, Arsenal won five of their first seven Premier League games and currently lead the table on goal difference from Liverpool.
LONDON - Manchester United will look to get their league title defence airborne at home to high-flying Southampton on Saturday, as the Premier League resumes following the international break. United's England players will return to club duty with a spring in their step after the national team secured qualification for next year's World Cup, but Old Trafford has not been a happy place in recent weeks.
LONDON - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday that he wants to create a supply line of home-grown players to succeed long-serving stalwarts like John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard. Back at the London club after a six-year absence, Mourinho has spoken of his desire to leave a lasting legacy at Stamford Bridge.
MADRID - Barcelona and Real Madrid will be boosted by the return of Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale this weekend as both sides prepare for a vital week in their season. The two will clash in the first El Clasico of the season at the Camp Nou next weekend.
NYON, Switzerland - UEFA has fined Basel E30,000 ($F75,296) for allowing Greenpeace to stage a protest at its stadium during a Champions League match against Schalke. UEFA says Basel was penalised for "insufficient organisation" at the October 1 match. Host clubs are responsible for security at stadiums and ensuring matches run smoothly.