Robredo into Estoril semis
Tommy Robredo reached the last four of the Estoril Open by beating Argentine Agustin Calleri 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-3 on Friday. The second-seeded Spaniard led 5-3 in the second set before allowing his seventh-seeded opponent back into the match. Robredo was due to face Novak Djokovic in yesterday's semi-finals. The third-seeded Serb, who has won two titles this year, beat Guillermo Garcia Lopez of Spain 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. Fifth-seeded Richard Gasquet also reached the last four, beating Vince Spadea of the US 6-3, 6-4. Gasquet earned a clash with Paul-Henri Mathieu, who beat Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
Cazares defends world title
Mexico's Hugo Cazares successfully defended his WBO junior flyweight title by stopping Colombia's Wilfrido Perez in the second round on Friday. Cazares, making his fifth defense of the title he won in 2005, dropped No. 1 contender Perez twice in the first round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Cazares, 25-3-1 with 19 knockouts, floored Perez, 23-2-3 with 16 knockouts, 25 seconds in the second round and the referee ended the mismatch. Both boxers weighed in at the 108-pound (49kg) limit.
Bouncer fells Dravid
India captain Rahul Dravid was injured yesterday after being hit in the face by a ball during batting practice ahead of his team's tour of Bangladesh. Dravid, who was wearing a helmet, lay on the ground for some time after he took the impact of a bouncer from pace bowler R.P. Singh on his face. He eventually got to his feet and left the field, covering his face with a towel. Samir Dasgupta, a local manager for the Indian team, said Dravid's injury didn't appear to be serious, but doctors have kept him under observation. The Indian team leaves for Bangladesh today to play three limited-overs internationals, followed by two Tests.
Rossi roars to pole position
Motorcycling supremo Valentino Rossi roared to pole position in the Grand Prix of China in Shanghai yesterday with a record-setting lap of 1 minute 58.424 seconds on his Yamaha. It was the seven-time world champion's 48th career pole as the Italian got his MotoGP championship bid back for this season on track after a disappointing performance two weeks ago in Turkey where he finished 10th. American John Hopkins riding a Suzuki was second, just 0.891 seconds off the pace, while fellow countryman and Rossi team-mate Colin Edwards clinched third. Australian Casey Stoner was fourth and last year's winner Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will line up fifth for today's race.
Race to be re-run
Mascalzone Latino will re-sail its Louis Vuitton Cup match race against Desafio Espanol after it broke the rules. For the Naples-based syndicate, a re-sail is much better than getting thrown out of the America's Cup. "The judgment could be seen as lenient," Mascalzone Latino mastman George Skuodas said on Friday. "It's slightly gone in our favor on balance, so we've probably gotten a little bit lucky." Mascalzone Latino altered the configuration of its backstay on the final lap of its fourth-flight victory over Desafio Espanol on Wednesday, its third breach of the America's Cup class rules. The Italian team was fined 10,000 euros (US$13,560) and had the two points from its 35-second win deducted from its round-robin points total.
Thompson leads FedEx
Leonard Thompson shot a tournament-record 8-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead in the FedEx Kinko's Classic, making the 60-year-old player the Champions Tour's oldest first-round leader of the year on Friday. "Everybody can play out here," said Thompson, who finished his round with an eagle on the par-5 18th. "You don't get out if you can't play." Loren Roberts, making his first appearance at the tournament, opened with a 66. He was tied with Japan's Massy Kuramoto, who shared the lead with Thompson before making a double bogey on his final hole, the par-4 ninth.
Castrale leads SemGroup
Nicole Castrale fired a 4-under-par 67 on Friday to claim a one-shot lead after the first round of the US$1.4 million LPGA SemGroup Championship in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. In her second full season on the LPGA tour since turning pro in 2001, Castrale has two top-10 finishes this year, including a fourth-place tie at the Ginn Open three weeks ago. After making US$409,000 in her injury-disrupted first six years as a professional, Castrale has already won US$181,000 this season. "[I've] gotten off to a pretty good start this year," Castrale said.
Pitcher in crash was drunk
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was almost twice over the legal blood alcohol limit when he died in a road accident last weekend, the St. Louis, Missouri, medical examiner announced on Friday. Hancock died shortly after midnight last Sunday when his vehicle smashed into the back of a tow truck which was attending to a previous accident on a St. Louis highway. Medical examiner Michael Graham said Hancock had a blood alcohol level of 0.157 percent. The legal driving limit is 0.08 percent. Police Chief Joe Mokwa said 8.55 grams of marijuana and a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana were also found in Hancock's rented car.
Sabres defeat Rangers
Maxim Afinogenov scored a power-play goal in overtime for Buffalo to defeat the New York Rangers 2-1 and move the Sabres to within a win of the NHL Eastern Conference finals on Friday. Chris Drury forced overtime by scoring with less than eight seconds left as the Sabres finally beat goalie Henrik Lundqvist with their 37th shot on goal. Buffalo rebounded from two defeats at New York -- the Sabres' first losing streak since March -- and a 1-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series that shifts to Manhattan for Game 6 today. If necessary, a deciding game would be held on Tuesday in Buffalo.
Stern pans racism study
NBA commissioner David Stern criticized a study regarding racial bias among league officials and the New York Times for printing it, saying racism "doesn't exist in the NBA." On Friday, Stern said: "This is a bum rap, and if it is going to be laid on us it should be laid on us by basis of some people who are purported to be scholars in a publication that purports to hold us up to a higher standard -- a little bit more should have been done." Justin Wolfers, an assistant professor of business and public policy at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and Joseph Price, a Cornell University graduate student, found white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players.
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
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
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path