Sorana Cirstea of Romania defeated wild-card entry Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal 7-5, 7-6 (9) in the first round on Tuesday at the Sony Ericsson Open to earn a second-round match with Venus Williams.
The 40th-ranked Cirstea has never played Venus or her top-ranked sister Serena Williams, who have 19 Grand Slam singles titles between them.
Taiwanese players enjoyed mixed fortunes in the final qualifying round on Tuesday. In the men’s singles, Lu Yen-hsun defeated world No. 111 Jesse Levine of the US 6-4, 6-1 to set up a first-round clash against Italy’s Fabio Fognini. Lu beat Julio Silva of Brazil 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of qualifying on Monday.
In the women’s singles, British No. 1 Elena Baltacha made the first round thanks to a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) win over Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic beat Tathiana Garbin of Italy 6-4, 6-4 to set up a second-round match against reigning US Open champion and third-seeded Kim Clijsters.
Other first-round winners included Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, Gisela Dulko of Argentina, Peng Shuai of China and Alicia Molik of Australia.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
PANDEMIC HYGIENE: Players had their temperatures checked, carried their own equipment and towels, and tapped rackets to congratulate the match winners Alison Riske and Danielle Collins of the US and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic were among the winners on Friday, the opening day of a women’s tennis mini-tournament in Florida that offered professional players an opportunity to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTA women’s tennis tour canceled four more events this week and is not to resume until at least July 20. However, four women ranked in the top 60 in the world turned out for the UTR Pro Match Series event in Palm Beach, which followed a similar event for men two weeks ago. World No. 51 Collins toppled 28th-ranked compatriot Amanda Anisimova
The Rakuten Monkeys remained atop the CPBL table, despite a 5-7 loss to the Uni-President Lions in Taoyuan yesterday, while the CTBC Brothers fell to the Fubon Guardians at the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium. The visiting Guardians blasted three home runs in their 7-3 triumph, helping Dominican pitcher Henry Sosa pocket his second win of the season. Improving his record to 2-2, Sosa sailed through seven innings, allowing six hits while striking out five. He gave up one earned run in the opening frame, with two Brothers relievers mopping up the final two innings. Fubon’s marquee stars, designated hitter Hu Chin-lung and first baseman
A sudden shortage of locks in Australian rugby union has opened the door for Matt Philip to reclaim his Wallabies jersey, but the Melbourne Rebels player says that the uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have left him with a difficult choice. The Australian yesterday named Philip among 16 Rebels players either set to leave the Super Rugby club or seriously considering it, underscoring the challenge Rugby Australia faces to retain talent. Linked with a move to Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees, commonly referred to as Pau, in France’s Top 14, Philip said that he had yet to settle his playing future, and