Vonn wins slalom in Finland
Defending overall champion Lindsey Vonn of the US won the women’s season-opening opening World Cup slalom race at Levi, Finland, on Saturday, seeing off Sweden’s Maria Pietilae-Holmner and Germany’s Maria Riesch. Vonn, from Vail, Colorado, has a predilection for the speed events but managed what was her maiden slalom triumph by first topping the first-leg standings and then holding onto her lead despite a major error in the second run. She won in 1 minute 47.98 seconds for a 0.4 second margin over Pietilae-Holmner.
Taylor dominates Lacy
Jermain Taylor dominated Jeff Lacy to win a 12-round unanimous decision in a WBC super middleweight eliminator fight on Saturday on the campus of Vanderbilt University. Taylor (28-2-1, 17 KOs), the former undisputed middleweight champion, used strong left and right jabs to keep Lacy (23-2, 17 KOs) off balance and seemed to land punches at will throughout the bout. It was the first fight for Taylor since February, when he lost a second straight fight to Kelly Pavlik. Taylor landed 48 percent of his 442 punches and by the fourth round Lacy’s left eye began to swell.
Haye makes hay of Barrett
David Haye floored Monte Barrett five times and launched his heavyweight career with a fifth-round stoppage victory on Saturday. Former undisputed world cruiserweight champion Haye showed his full range of shots at O2 Arena. Haye had Barrett down twice in the third round, once in the fourth and produced a right-left combination that had Barrett down again in the fifth of the non-title bout. Barrett’s arrival in the ring was a disaster. The American decided to leap over the top rope, caught it with his leg and wound up hitting the canvas before his opponent got into the ring.
Marshall breaks own record
US swimmer Peter Marshall broke his own world record in the 100m backstroke on the first day of the short-course World Cup meet in Berlin on Saturday. Marshall clocked 49.64 seconds, 0.31 faster than the record he set earlier in the week in Stockholm — where he also broke the 50m backstroke record. Randall Bal, another American, finished second in 50.55. Li Tao of Singapore set a World Cup record in the women’s 100 butterfly, clocking 56.28 seconds to beat the previous mark set by American Natalie Coughlin in 2002 by 0.06. South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh won the men’s 50 backstroke in 26.05, missing his world record from Stockholm by 0.11. Olympic gold medalist Alain Bernard of France won the men’s 100 freestyle in 46.28, Coralie Balmy of France won the women’s 200 freestyle in 1:54.05.
British teen sets out solo
A 16-year-old British boy has set out on an attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Michael Perham left Portsmouth, England on his Open 50 Racing Yacht on Saturday and was expected to be alone at sea for more than four months. His only contact with his family is to be through satellite link-ups. Perham says he plans to sleep in short breaks while the boat is controlled by an electronic auto-pilot. Late next month he should be in the South Atlantic off the coast of South Africa. He is expected to return sometime near his 17th birthday on March 16. The world solo youth record was set by 18-year-old Australian Jesse Martin in Melbourne in 1999.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first