Nishikori warned over phone
Japanese No.1 Kei Nishikori has been warned not to let his mobile phone go off on court during next week’s home Davis Cup clash with China. The 19-year-old has been told to leave his phone in the locker room after it kept bleeping during a first-round defeat in Memphis last week, Japanese media reported yesterday. “He will have to be very careful about his mobile phone,” said Japan’s Davis Cup coach Eiji Takeuchi. “I’ll be warning him about that just to be on the safe side.” Nishikori had left his phone in his jacket pocket while playing Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis and ended up a 7-5, 6-3 loser, later admitting the incoming call had put him off. “At the very least he will have to learn to put it on vibration mode,” Takeuchi said.
Another star burgled
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has become the latest Premier League player to have his home in the northwest of England burgled. He was in Italy preparing for United’s Champions League match against Inter on Tuesday when three armed robbers kicked in the front door late on Monday, while his fiancee and her mother were inside the property. A knife was held to Hayley Grice’s throat as she was forced to hand over a ring. Grice’s mother also had jewelry forced from her, police said on Tuesday. In a similar incident, thieves armed with a knife raided the home of Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz while he was away for a match at Portsmouth in November. “It is a cowardly attack if they have targeted Mr. Fletcher, as with Mr. Santa Cruz, because they know the male of the house was away,” police inspector Frank Morris said.
Carter return uncertain
The All Blacks admitted yesterday there was a serious question mark over when star flyhalf Dan Carter will return to top-flight rugby after he recovers from his ruptured Achilles tendon. Carter, who was injured playing for the French club Perpignan, underwent surgery three weeks ago and was initially expected to be back with the All Blacks in six months, halfway through the Tri-nations series. But he may not now be available until the end-of-year tour. All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson said that while Carter was on course to be playing again in six months, it may take him much longer to rediscover the form that saw him rated as one of the world’s best players. “This injury is a good example of how people can recover to play their sport but they may not get that absolute power and pace that’s required to play at the very top level,” Robinson said. “Guys come back and play rugby but they’re not really good for a little while,” she said, adding that Carter would eventually return to 100 percent but it would take time.
New Zealand delays tour
New Zealand has postponed its tour of Zimbabwe in the face of strong political opposition, the country’s cricket board said yesterday. The one-year delay came after New Zealand Prime Minister John Key indicated he was prepared to stop the tour going ahead, citing “very real, genuine security risks” for the players. The decision followed talks between New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan and his Zimbabwean counterpart Ozias Bvuteat at an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Johannesburg. Vaughan said Zimbabwe Cricket was aware of the New Zealand government’s opposition to the tour, originally scheduled for July, and asked for the deferral.