Roddick, Lu to face off again
Taiwanese star Lu Yen-hsun will play former world No. 1 Andy Roddick of the US later this year in a three-match exhibition series in Taiwan, the organizers said on Sunday. The American, who was beaten by Lu in the fourth round of the men’s singles at Wimbledon last year, has been invited to play against the Taiwanese in a best-of-three series in October, the organizers said. With his win over Roddick, Lu became the first Asian male player to reach the Wimbledon singles quarter-finals since 1995. Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, currently ranked 45th, will meet Taiwan’s Jimmy Wang as part of the same event at National Taiwan Sport University in Taoyuan, said Jeff Hsu, chief executive of Integration Sports. The players will also compete in a one-set doubles match, but the pairs had not yet been decided, Hsu said. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale in May.
Bualien take BML Crown
Hong Min Bualien claimed the BML title in a thrilling final game of the season against Taipei City on Saturday evening at the Bailing Bridge Sports Park in Shilin, Taipei. City only needed a draw to land the title, but with very few clear chances at either end, a single goal from Bualien early in the first half proved decisive. Bualien played with great craft and discipline to earn the victory and although City stretched Bualien, the expats were denied by good defending and goalkeeping. It was Bualien’s first title since 2004.
Bayern ‘nein’ to neighbors
Bayern Munich have said they will not help 1860 Munich, who are on the verge of bankruptcy. Bayern share Munich’s Allianz Arena with 1860 Munich who are mid-table in the Bundesliga’s second division and need 8 million euros (US$11.3 million) by the end of the month or the 1966 German champions face going out of business. “No help can be expected from us,” Bayern’s financial controller Karl Hopfer said. “It doesn’t work, we can’t just give a club 8 million euros as a gift. We didn’t cause the whole thing.” Bayern have already deferred 2 million euros worth of rent from 1860 for the Allianz Arena, but their neighbors are still way short of the cash needed.
Marseille second after win
Marseille moved into second place in Ligue 1 after edging Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 at Stade Velodrome on Sunday. All the goals came in the first half, with Andre Ayew giving Marseille victory after Clement Chantome had canceled out Gabriel Heinze’s opener for the hosts. The victory takes Didier Deschamps’s side to within four points of league leaders Lille with 10 matches remaining. PSG remain fifth, six points behind Marseille. The home side took the lead in the 16th minute when Heinze bent a free-kick into the bottom-left corner. PSG goalkeeper Gregory Coupet was at fault for the goal after positioning himself behind the wall, but the visitors’ equalizer owed just as much to disorganization in the opposing defense. Marseille spurned several opportunities to clear the ball, allowing Nene to fire a shot against the right-hand post, and Chantome followed up to slam the rebound home. The hosts’ restored their lead when Ayew scored with a firm header from close range. Earlier in the day, Monaco squandered the chance to move out of the relegation zone by losing 1-0 at home to Nancy. Monaco remain third from bottom, while Nancy climb three places to 14th. In the day’s other game Caen beat Arles-Avignon 2-0 to move up to 13th.
Kim Yu-na sues former agent
South Korea’s Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na is suing her former agent for failing to pay the athlete part of her endorsement earnings, her lawyer said yesterday. IB Sports, the agency Kim left in April last year, failed to pay her 894 million won (US$794,000) earned from advertisement deals for Hyundai Motor and other companies, Kim’s lawyer said. “We filed the suit last November and the first court hearing was held on March 16 in Seoul,” lawyer Lee Sang-hun said. “The sponsors continued to pay IB Sports for deals signed before April 2010 even after Kim left the agency, yet the firm did not give her a share at all,” he said. The figure skating champion dubbed “Queen Yu-na” in her home country was listed by Forbes magazine last year as one of the world’s highest-paid female athletes with annual earnings of US$9.7 million.
Jacquelin wins Sicilian Open
France’s Raphael Jacquelin ended a four-year wait for his third European Tour title by winning the weather-delayed Sicilian Open yesterday. A 2-1/2 hour delay due to lightning on Sunday forced the leaders to play an extra day and Jacquelin held off a spirited challenge from England’s Anthony Wall. Only one shot separated the pair when darkness forced them to abandon play through 12 holes on Sunday. Wall twice wiped out the deficit early yesterday morning, but double-bogeyed the penultimate hole to give the 36-year-old Jacquelin the victory. Jacquelin finished at 12-under, with Wall one shot behind, while Jose Manuel Lara of Spain and Joel Sjoholm of Sweden shared third, five shots back, on the Donnafugata Golf Resort and Spa course.
Angels’ Morales still on DL
Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales will begin the season on the disabled list (DL) recovering from the leg injury he suffered last year while celebrating a game-winning home run. Morales, coming back from surgery on his left ankle, has had difficulty running because of pain in the big toe of his left foot, according to a report on Major League Baseball’s Web site on Sunday. The 27-year-old Cuban, who hit .306 and belted 34 home runs in 2009, fractured his lower left leg in May last year jumping on home plate after smacking a game-ending Grand Slam. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he was shutting Morales down to make sure he was fully fit when he returns to action.
Bynum, Brooks suspended
Andrew Bynum of the two-time reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers and Aaron Brooks of the Phoenix Suns were issued suspensions by the league on Sunday for actions in separate games. Lakers center Bynum was banished for two games without pay for a flagrant foul against Minnesota’s Michael Beasley with 6 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of a 106-98 home victory for the Lakers on Friday. Brooks was banished for one game without pay for tossing a basketball at a referee and striking him in the leg with 7 minutes, 46 seconds to play in the fourth quarter of the Suns’ 108-97 home victory over Golden State on Friday. Beasley was knocked onto the court and hobbled off the court with a bruised left hip in Minnesota’s 15th loss in a row in games against the Lakers. “It was just a hard foul, a playoff foul,” Beasley said after the loss. “They are getting ready for the playoffs. It’s the kind of foul and the kind of basketball they’ve got to play and you’ve got to get used to playing against that.”
‘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
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017