Stepanek survives scare
Fourth seed Radek Stepanek rallied from a set down to overcome German qualifier Dominik Meffert 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round of the San Jose Open on Monday. The 30-year-old Czech, who won his third ATP title in Brisbane last month, lost the first set and was pressed in the second before finally assuming control of the match with a dominating third set to avoid an upset. In other opening round action, Christophe Rochus of Belgium upset seventh seed Igor Kunitsyn 6-2, 7-6, making the Russian the only seeded player to lose on the tournament’s opening day. American Taylor Dent defeated compatriot Bobby Reynolds 6-3, 6-4 as he continued his comeback from last season’s back surgery.
Red Bull unveils new car
Red Bull officially unveiled its car for this year’s Formula One season on Monday at the Spanish Jerez circuit. The new RB5 car, which was presented by Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, is powered by a Renault engine designed by Adrian Newey and encompasses the far-reaching regulation changes that have been brought in to cut costs. Red Bull hopes to improve on their seventh-place finish in last season’ constructors’ championship. Vettel was due to give the car its maiden run later on Monday.
Luna Rossa beat China
Italy’s Luna Rossa beat China Team by 1 second yesterday to stay in contention in knockout racing among challengers at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series sailing regatta. Luna Rossa carried a penalty throughout the race after being trapped into an infringement 30 seconds before the start by China’s British helmsman and world match racing champion Ian Williams. Several minutes passed before the winner of the race could be determined. The win means Luna Rossa will race BMW Oracle Racing of the US in the challenger quarterfinals. Britain’s TeamOrigin, which beat France’s Pataugas K-Challenge by 1 minute, 52 seconds in the other sailoff, will race Italy’s Damiani Italia Challenge in the second quarter-final.
NBA suspends David West
New Orleans Hornets forward David West was suspended for one game without pay by the National Basketball Association for striking an opponent in the head, the league announced on Monday. West was assessed a flagrant foul for striking Minnesota’s Mike Miller with 1:53 remaining in the second period of a 101-97 New Orleans’ home victory on Sunday over the Timberwolves. The ban knocked West to the bench for Monday’s game at Memphis but allows West to return today for a home matchup against the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics, the Hornets’ last game before the All-Star Game break.
Svindal takes gold
Norway’s Aksel Svindal held his nerve to master a treacherous slalom course and win the super-combined gold medal at the alpine skiing world championships in Val D’Isere, France, on Monday. Svindal posted the fastest time in the downhill section and managed to reach the bottom of a slalom run in which many stumbled to clock a combined winning time of 2 minutes, 23 seconds. France’s Julien Lizeroux, in 22nd position after the downhill, thrilled the home fans with a remarkable comeback, clocking the best slalom time to win silver 0.90 seconds back. Croatia’s Natko Zrncic-Dim took the bronze, 1.58 seconds behind the winner.