Top-seeded Roger Federer cruised past Andrei Pavel of Romania 6-3, 6-3 and improved his season record to 14-1 in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Open on Friday. \nFederer broke Pavel to love in the sixth game, and needed three set points to win the first set. \nThe world No. 1 then broke in the fifth game of the second, and again in the ninth to win the match on a forehand winner. \nHe improved to 4-0 against Pavel, and 9-1 in Dubai, where he'll face Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, who defeated eighth-seeded Sjeng Schalken 6-3, 6-3. \n"I'm not playing at my best ... but the most important thing is that I'm playing better than in the first few rounds," said Federer, the last surviving seed. \n"I'm still missing a few shots and my serve is not where I want it to be," he added. \nEarlier, Mikhail Youzhny of Russia reached his first tour semifinal this year with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 defeat of Rafael Nadal. \nThe Russian, ranked 40th, appeared to be spent after dropping the second set in high temperatures and humidity. \nYouzhny, who went out in the first round in his two previous Dubai appearances, will now face another Spaniard in Feliciano Lopez, who overcame Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (4).
A sudden shortage of locks in Australian rugby union has opened the door for Matt Philip to reclaim his Wallabies jersey, but the Melbourne Rebels player says that the uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have left him with a difficult choice. The Australian yesterday named Philip among 16 Rebels players either set to leave the Super Rugby club or seriously considering it, underscoring the challenge Rugby Australia faces to retain talent. Linked with a move to Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees, commonly referred to as Pau, in France’s Top 14, Philip said that he had yet to settle his playing future, and
As professional soccer returned to Denmark, fans used Zoom to be part of the action. Thousands of Danish soccer fans on Thursday logged on to the conferencing software and were transported to Ceres Park for a league match between AGF and Randers that heralded the resumption of the nation’s pandemic-affected soccer season. While the stadium itself was without fans, the faces of thousands of supporters who joined the Zoom call were shown on giant screens that ran along one side of the pitch. Families wearing club shirts and scarves cheered inside their living rooms. Some were seen clenching their fists in joy after
DRIVING AMBITION: ‘I was excited by playing at the Olympics ... Who knows what’s going to happen? Hopefully, I could have a chance to win a medal,’ Tiffany Chan said After just three tournaments this year, a chance of Olympic glory postponed and two weeks alone in quarantine, golfer Tiffany Chan could be forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Instead, Hong Kong’s first LPGA Tour player is sporting a broad grin and taking the positives from the game’s COVID-19 shutdown, determined to establish herself in the fiercely competitive world of women’s golf. The talented 26-year-old kept herself fit physically and mentally during the lockdown, and is happy to be back on the fairways since the easing of coronavirus restrictions last month. “When I came back to Hong Kong [in March], I actually did
It is the land of the world champions, but is it really a soccer country? That is the question that some in France have been asking this week while its European neighbors work to bring the sport back after the COVID-19 shutdown. Debate has raged ever since Ligue 1 decided in late April to bring a premature end to the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed. By contrast, two weeks have passed since the Bundesliga restarted, while Italian Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora on Thursday confirmed that Serie A would return on June 20, and La Liga and the English Premier