Lleyton Hewitt, who won his first senior title at the Australian men's hardcourt championships at the age of 18, is back for another attempt at the title after not playing at Memorial Drive for three years. \nHewitt, who has represented Australia in the Hopman Cup at Perth during that time, says he is in strong form ahead of his hometown tournament that begins today. It's one of nine tournaments in Australia over the next two weeks leading into the Australian Open beginning Jan. 17. \n"I always wanted to come back and play here," Hewitt, 23, said yesterday. "It's obviously where it all started for me. \n"I had given the Hopman Cup a run the last few years, and I just felt like to get a real tournament under my belt, where there's ranking points on the line and you have got to go out there and win every match to get match practice." \nSweden's Joachim Johansson and Thomas Enqvist, German Nicolas Keifer, Americans Taylor Dent and Robby Ginepri and Australians Todd Reid and Wayne Arthurs are also entered at Adelaide. \nItalian Flavia Pennetta upset former champion and sixth-seeded Nathalie Dechy of France 7-6 (7), 6-1 yesterday on the opening day of the Australian women's hardcourt tennis championships. \nDechy, the 2003 champion, has made at least the quarterfinals here four times. But she struggled to find her pace yesterday. \n"I played against a really good opponent," Dechy said. "I think she played a really great match. I wasn't able to raise my level of play as much as I wished." \nIn other matches, fifth-seeded Silvia Farina Elia of Italy beat Stephanie Foretz of France 6-3, 7-5 and Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, seeded eighth, defeated Yuliana Fedak of the Ukraine 6-4, 6-1. \nDenisa Chladkova of the Czech Republic defeated Severine Beltrame of France 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 while Li Na of China beat Tathiana Garbin of Italy 6-3, 6-1. \nGuillermo Coria beat David Sanguinetti of Italy 6-1, 7-6 (4) and then teamed with Gisela Dulko to defeat Italy in mixed doubles and give Argentina a 2-1 win in the tournament opener at the Burswood Dome. \nFrancesco Schiavone, Sanguinetti's partner, beat Dulko 6-1, 6-3 in the opening match yesterday to give Italy an early 1-0 lead. Coria, last year's losing finalist at the French Open, and Dulko beat Schiavone and Sanguinetti 7-5, 6-0 in the deciding mixed doubles. \nDulko said nerves and her lack of early season shape caused her problems in her singles match. \n"I am lucky because in doubles I played much better," said Dulko.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
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
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very