Saito agrees to new deal
Japanese right-hander Takashi Saito agreed to a US$2 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, a day before the team's pitchers and catchers report for pre-season spring training. "I'm very relieved to clean everything up," he said through a translator. "It just feels a lot better not having to worry about my contract. I'm just very happy that the Dodgers consider me a very important part of the team." Saito was 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA and 39 saves in 43 chances with the Dodgers last season, and made the National League All-Star team. Saito signed a US minor league contract with the Dodgers two years ago after playing 14 seasons for Yokohama of the Japanese Central League.
Three share NZ PGA lead
Canadian David Hearn and Americans Darron Stiles and Matt Bettencourt shot 6-under-par 66s yesterday to share the lead after the first round of the New Zealand PGA Championship. The leading trio was one shot clear of three golfers with 67s -- Americans D.A. Points, Rick Price and Dave Schultz -- in the tournament co-sanctioned by the Australasian PGA and US Nationwide tours. Kiwi Michael Campbell, the 2005 US Open winner, shot 70 and was among 49 players within four shots of the lead. Hearn had six birdies and no bogeys and Stiles gave up the chance for the outright lead when he double-bogeyed the par-four 13th along with eight birdies. Bettencourt held the lead at seven-under until he double-bogeyed the par-four 17th, then birdied 18 to reclaim his share of the lead.
Moya rallies to earn victory
Top-seeded Carlos Moya of Spain bounced back from a first-set scare to rout Olivier Patience of France 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 in the Brasil Open second round on Wednesday. Moya lost his serve only once to lose the first set. Patience won his opening serve of the second then Moya reeled off the last 12 games, allowing Patience just eight points in the third set. He advanced to the quarter-finals where he will face countryman Oscar Hernandez, who defeated Sergio Roitman of Argentina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Italian up-and-comer Fabio Fognini reached his second successive ATP quarter-finals when he upset eighth-seeded Albert Montanes of Spain 7-5, 6-3. Also, Ivo Minar of the Czech Republic defeated Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 to make his first ATP quarter-finals since July 2005.
Blake wins in straight sets
Top seeded American James Blake beat Robert Kendrick 7-5, 7-5 to reach the second round of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championship on Wednesday. Play was interrupted by a six-hour rain delay and resulted in a pair of singles matches getting postponed until today. Unable to get in a groove early due to the delay, Blake fell behind in the second set but rallied to close things out in straight sets. Qualifier Amer Delic battled back to eliminate Donald Young, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3. Young had a 5-0 lead in the first set before unravelling. Sixth-seeded veteran Vince Spadea moved on with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over German Denis Gremelmayr. Japanese qualifier Kei Nishikori also advanced to the second round and led German Florian Mayer, 6-0, 4-3 when Mayer retired with a left leg injury.
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
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, who is hoping to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next year, fractured her skull and broke bones in her left hand after falling from a ramp during a training session in California. Brown posted a video of the accident on Instagram, but reassured supporters that she was fine. “I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them ... but this was my worst fall. I just want everyone to know that it’s OK — don’t worry, I’m OK,” she said. “I’m going to push boundaries for girls with my skating and surfing. I’m going for gold in 2021
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
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of