Taiwan’s Yang in finals
Taiwan’s Yang Tsung-hua continued his strong run at the ATP Beijing Challenger on Saturday with a straight sets victory over Lim Yong-kyu of South Korea to reach the finals in a Challenger-tier event for the first time in his career. The 20-year-old Yang, currently ranked a career-high 250, topped the South Korean 6-4, 6-4 in just under 80 minutes. Yang will face Farrukh Dustov of Uzbekistan in the final of the US$75,000 Challenger event, which is one flight below the top level ATP Tour. At the same venue in an ITF Women’s Circuit tournament, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei defeated Irena Pavlovic of France 6-4, 7-5 in 1 hour, 50 minutes to advance to the final against Kurumi Nara of Japan. Meanwhile, top-seeded Taiwanese duo Chan Yung-jan and Chan Hao-ching reached the finals of the women’s doubles and will face the unseeded duo of Tetiana Luzhanska of Ukraine and Zheng Saisai of China for the top prize.
Nicasio operated on
Colorado Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio had surgery on Saturday to stabilize a broken vertebra in his neck, a day after he was struck in the head by a line drive in a MLB game. Rockies trainer Keith Dugger said neurosurgeon Peter Witt inserted two screws into the damaged vertebra and also placed a small metal plate on the back of the Nicasio’s neck. The 24-year-old player remains under sedation in the hospital, but has movement in all of his extremities, the team said. “He can move his arms. He can talk. He can sit up with help,” Dugger said. “He remembers every detail of that game, including that pitch. He was squeezing my hand so tight in the room today. It’s a good sign. I’m optimistic, but we just don’t know. We’ll know more once we start getting into the therapy, at about the six-week mark.” Nicasio was hurt in the second inning of the Rockies’ game on Friday when a drive off the bat of Washington’s Ian Desmond hit the right side of his head.
Sagan wins Pologne Tour
Slovakian rider Peter Sagan of the Liquigas team won the 68th edition of the Tour de Pologne on Saturday, after taking second spot on the final stage. The seventh and last stage, run over 128km, was won by Germany’s Marcel Kittel of the Skil-Shimano outfit for his fourth stage win of the race. It was a dramatic final day on the race with Sagan finally edging out Ireland’s Daniel Martin, of the Garmin-Cervelo team, who had won Friday’s penultimate stage, by just six seconds in the overall classification. “This is one of the greatest successes of my career,” Sagan told the PAP news agency. “I had doubts over whether or not I would be able to get back the yellow jersey that I lost yesterday. For me, the race was training for the Tour of Spain, but to win it, that’s not too bad.”
Hall of Fame ceremony held
Three-time Super Bowl champion Shannon Sharpe, receiver Deion Sanders and star rusher Marshall Faulk were among seven inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Saturday. Gridiron videographer Ed Sabol and players Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger and the late Les Richter were the others enshrined into the sporting museum after being selected for the honor in February on the eve of the Super Bowl. Sharpe, a tight end, won two NFL titles with Denver and another with Baltimore, retiring in 2003 with 815 catches for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns. “I am so honored,” Sharpe said. “You don’t know what this means for me. This is the fraternity of all fraternities.”