Hall of Fame beckons Hingis
Former World No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis was among the nominees announced on Thursday for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame next year. The 32-year-old Swiss standout was atop the rankings for 209 weeks in her career and won Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1997 and in 1997, 1998 and 1999 at the Australian Open. Former World No. 2 Michael Stich, the 1991 Wimbledon winner from Germany; Czech Helena Sukova, a 14-time Grand Slam doubles champion; and Australian Thelma Coyne Long, a 19-time Grand Slam champion in singles and doubles from the 1930s through 1950s, were nominated as former players. Romanian former player Ion Tiriac, now an event promoter and player manager, was nominated in the contributor category along with Charlie Pasarell and Cliff Drysdale, who helped launch the ATP Tour. Voting will take place over the next few months with inductees announced early next year and enshrinement to be staged on July 13 during an ATP event at the Hall of Fame grounds.
Seoul lifts Olympians’ bans
South Korea’s Olympic body has lifted six-month domestic suspensions on four players found guilty of deliberately underperforming during the London Olympics, officials said on Wednesday. However, Jung Kyung-eun, Kim Ha-na, Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung remain suspended from South Korea’s national team for one year, the Korean Olympic Committee ruled. The Korea Badminton Association had initially suspended the players for two years and banned two coaches for life. After an appeal the players’ bans were cut to six months, while the coaches saw their lifetime suspension slashed to two years. The committee also urged the badminton association to take measures to prevent similar scandals. South Korea earned one badminton bronze medal in London — their worst performance in the sport at any Olympics.
McCarthy gets head surgery
Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy got surgery on Thursday after suffering a fractured skull when he was hit in the head with a line drive during a game against Anaheim. The incident took place in the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game. Doctors said he suffered a epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and a skull fracture after being hit by Erick Aybar’s shot. The surgery aimed to relieve pressure on McCarthy’s brain, and the pitcher was resting in the critical care wing of a hospital in Oakland, California. “Our first concern is Brandon’s health, and we are heartened to learn he has shown progress in his recovery after surgery,” A’s vice president Billy Beane said.
Solomons upset Tahiti
The Solomon Islands made full use of home advantage and beat fancied Tahiti 2-0 on Friday in the opening match of the third stage of Oceania qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Henry Fa’arodo scored in the first half and Himson Teleda in the second as the Solomons thrilled a home crowd at Lawson Tama Stadium in the Pacific nation’s capital, Honiara. Fa’arodo struck in the 17th minute, driving home Benjamin Totori’s cross from the right wing. Tahiti was reduced to 10 men just before halftime when Nicolas Vallar was sent off for a reckless tackle on Fa’arodo and Teleda sealed the win with his 59th-minute goal from Fa’arodo’s pass. New Caledonia was due to play New Zealand later yesterday.