Garrigues advances at Fez
No. 1-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues advanced to the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Fez, Morocco, beating Bulgaria’s Sesil Karatantcheva 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1. Ranked 34th by the WTA Tour, Medina Garrigues is seeking her first title since last May when she won the Ligue d’Alsace de Tennis on clay in Strasbourg, France. In other second-round play, the field lost three seeds. Greta Arn of Hungary beat No. 3 seed Tathiana Garbin of Italy 6-4, 7-5; eighth-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia fell to Ukrainian Olga Savchuk 7-6 (4), 6-4, and No. 5 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland was defeated by Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 7-5.
Giants’ catcher suspended
Catcher Eliezer Alfonzo of the San Francisco Giants franchise was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Major League Baseball said on Wednesday. Alfonzo, a member of the Giants’ 40-man roster, is currently playing for the Giants Class AAA Fresno minor league affiliate. His suspension was to start today. “The Giants were disappointed to learn that one of our players, Eliezer Alfonzo, has failed a test for a performance enhancing drug,” the Giants said in a statement. “Our organization fully supports Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program ... We will continue to support and counsel Eliezer during his suspension.”
Strawberry writing memoir
Former baseball player Darryl Strawberry, whose achievements on the field were often overshadowed by his struggles with cancer and substance abuse, is writing a memoir, Straw, that will come out next year, publisher Ecco announced on Wednesday. According to Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins, Strawberry’s book “details his life growing up in the Crenshaw part of Los Angeles, his rise to baseball superstardom as a New York Met, Los Angeles Dodger, and New York Yankee, the high life and low life, his brushes with the law, his triumphant battle over cancer, his religious awakening, and his marriage to the love of his life.”
■ ICE HOCKEY
Halifax Worlds begins
Russia and the Czech Republic will aim to topple defending champion Canada at the World Hockey Championships, but establishing Olympic credibility is also high on everyone’s wish list. Many of the teams competing at the Halifax Worlds, which gets under way today, will also use this as a testing ground for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. And since this is the first time since 1962 the Worlds have been held in North America, that means some adjustments for the European teams. They not only is there added travel, but they must also get used to the different size ice surface in North America.
Mathieu advances at ATP
Top seed Paul-Henri Mathieu safely made it into the quarter-finals at the ATP tournament in Munich, Germany, on a day of few surprises as former world No. 1 Marat Safin made the second round. With a host of top names pulling out of the event, including local heros Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber, the clay-court event has been shorn of big names. Mathieu, ranked 19th in the world, had a comfortable straight sets win over Italian qualifier Gianluca Naso 6-3, 6-4 in the second round and will face eighth seed Marin Cilic in the last eight. The Croat beat Germany’s Philipp Petzschner.