Zenit take Russian title
Zenit St Petersburg clinched their second consecutive Russian title and third overall with a 2-1 win over Dynamo Moscow in the Russian capital on Saturday. The result left Zenit, who also won the 1984 Soviet title, with 84 points from 41 matches and an unassailable 15-point advantage over Moscow sides Dynamo and CSKA. Zenit, who needed just a point in their home match with Dynamo to secure the title, clinched the lead in the 30th minute through midfielder Roman Shirokov, who scored from Andrei Arshavin’s pass. Alexander Kerzhakov added a second six minutes later, scoring with a precise spotkick after Dynamo’s Balazs Dzsudzsak fouled Vladimir Bystrov in the box.
Bertens takes Fes Grand Prix
Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens, the world No. 149 playing in only her second WTA main draw, beat Spain’s Laura Pous-Tio 7-5, 6-0 to win the Fes Grand Prix claycourt title in Fes, Morocco, on Saturday. Before last week, 21-year-old Bertens had only played one WTA main draw, at her home event in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, last year where she lost in the first round. She almost didn’t make it into the main draw, surviving some close encounters in her last two qualifiers — she was down 3-1 in the third set to Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino and 4-1 third set to Kristyna Pliskova — but she survived.
Azarenka wins with ease
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka enjoyed another walk in the park against Agnieszka Radwanska on Saturday, beating the Pole for the fifth time this year to reach the Stuttgart Grand Prix final. Australian Open winner Azarenka next faces world No. 2 Maria Sharapova after the Russian beat Czech Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion, 6-4, 7-6 in their semi-final. Azarenka had already beaten Radwanska in Sydney, at the Australian Open -quarter-finals, in Doha, United Arab Emirates, and in Indian Wells, California. The 22-year-old, who has lost only one match this season, went on to win all four tournaments.
Dawson pummels Hopkins
Chad Dawson defeated Bernard Hopkins by a 12-round majority decision in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Saturday to win the WBC light heavyweight title. The 29-year-old Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) never let a deep cut near his left eye affect his methodical approach at taking out Hopkins. At 47, Hopkins (52-6-2) may have fought his last fight, though it seems impossible to count him out for another run at the belt. This rematch was no classic, but it was an improvement on their first bout in Los Angeles in October last year. Dawson had his TKO victory over Hopkins overturned and the decision was ruled a no-contest and the belt returned to the Philadelphia fighter. Dawson lifted Hopkins and tossed him to the canvas in that one.
Sanchez clinches fifth stage
Rabobank rider Luis Leon Sanchez won the fifth stage of the Tour de Romandie in Sion, Switzerland, on Saturday and took a nine-second lead over Britain’s Bradley Wiggins overall with just one day to go. The Spaniard finished the 184km stage from Bulle to Sion in 4 hours, 56 minutes, 13 seconds to claim his second win in two days. Sky rider Wiggins remained in the peloton as Sanchez won a sprint finish ahead of AG2R La Mondiale’s Rinaldo Nocentini in second and Movistar rider Branislau Samoilau in third.
Wiesberger claims title
Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger eased to a maiden European Tour victory in clinical style yesterday, the overnight leader keeping his pursuers at arm’s length to record a five-shot victory at the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea. Starting his round with a five-stroke cushion, the 26-year-old signed off with a bogey-free four-under 68, playing his last 59 holes at the Blackstone Golf Club in Seoul without dropping a shot to finish on 18-under for the tournament. Richie Ramsay, who closed with a 65, did manage to reduce the gap to three shots at one stage, but he never really posed a serious threat to the runaway winner, who had previously finished second twice last season. “I just tried to enjoy it and I had the three best rounds of my life,” Wiesberger told reporters. Taiwan’s Kao Shang-hung shot a disappointing 80 to finish in 73rd place on 13-over 301.