Top-seeded Angelique Kerber journeyed to her first Dubai Tennis Championships semifinals, while Caroline Wozniacki reached her sixth semi at the tournament.
Top-seeded Gael Monfils and No 2 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals of the Open 13 on Thursday.
Pole vault titleholder Anzhelika Sidorova is the best known of the three, along with sprinter Kristina Sivkova and hammer thrower Alexei Sokirsky.
Novak Djokovic accepted a wild card to play in the Acapulco tournament that starts Monday.
Ranieri was fired by Leicester on Thursday, nine months after the 65-year-old Italian manager guided the club to the English Premier League title at preseason odds of 5,000-1.
In a statement addressing his future amid interest from Chinese Super League clubs, Rooney said on Thursday he wanted to help United in its fight for trophies this season.
In the latest show of strength in French soccer, Lyon powered into the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday by handing AZ Alkmaar a second heavy beating in a week.
With the 2016-2017 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) regular season on the books, the first-round of playoff action, dubbed "the most intense in history," is set to start on Friday.
Choi Da-bin won the women's short program in figure skating at the Asian Winter Games on Thursday.
World champion Ning Zetao has violated the rules of the Chinese national swimming team and was turned back to his original Chinese Navy team for training.