Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal reached his first ATP semifinal Friday, beating former Croatia Open champion Magnus Norman of Sweden 6-3, 6-4 in the US$452,000 tournament. \nNadal will next face top-seeded countryman and defending champion Carlos Moya, who ousted eighth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain 6-1, 6-2. \n"I don't think I have a lot of chance against [Moya], but it certainly would be a good match," Nadal said before Moya's victory. Nadal beat Moya at the Hamburg Masters in May. \nThe sixth-seeded Nadal secured a 3-0 lead against Norman -- the 1999 winner and 1998 finalist -- in the first set, and the Swede lost his last chance to break in the eighth game of the second set. \n"It was a hard match for both of us," Nadal said. "It wasn't my best day. But the most important thing is that I won." \nNadal is ranked 58th and is likely to break into the top 50 on a 12-match win streak in the tournament. Moya, who beat Ferrer in the final here last year, profited from his opponent's numerous unforced errors while Ferrer smashed his racket on the ground three times during the match. \n"I was self-confident, and he was tired," Moya said. "It would be much harder" to defeat Nadal. \nIn the most dramatic match of the tournament, which lasted 2 1/2 hours, second-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile was ousted by seventh-seeded Italian Filippo Volandri 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4). \nGonzalez, who retired in the semifinals in Stuttgart last weekend due to stomach pains, suddenly vomited on the court at match point in the second set. \nAfter that, he openly showed fatigue and pain, but continued to fight. He lost another two match points, but also stripped Volandri of one at 6-5 in the third set. Volandri prevailed in the tiebreak. \nIt was not immediately clear what troubled Gonzalez. \nIn the semifinals on Saturday, Volandri will face Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia, who downed Alberto Martin of Spain 7-5, 6-2.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning