Taiwan complete rout
Taiwan completed a 5-0 whitewash of Indonesia yesterday in their Davis Cup playoff to retain their spot in Asia/Oceania Group I. In the reverse singles in Greater Kaohsiung, world No. 228 Huang Liang-chi rallied to defeat world No. 505 Christopher Rungkat 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, while world No. 239 Chen Ti cruised past world No. 1,306 David Agung Susanto 6-3, 6-4.
Erakovic to face Safarova
New Zealand’s No. 6 seed Marina Erakovic and third seed Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic advanced to the final of the WTA Bell Challenge in Quebec with victories on Saturday. Croatian-born Erakovic defeated Christina McHale of the US 6-4, 6-3, while Safarova rallied to eliminate fifth seed Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. The final is a rematch of a second-round encounter at the 2009 Australian Open in which Safarova edged Erakovic 9-7 in the third set. That was their only prior matchup.
Luiten grabs one-shot lead
Dutchman Joost Luiten mastered wet and windy conditions on Saturday to shoot a four-under 66 and take a one-shot lead after the third round of the KLM Open in Zandvoort, Netherlands. Luiten, aiming to become the first home winner of the tournament since Maarten Lafeber won the then-Dutch Open in 2003, chipped in twice during a round that featured six birdies and two bogeys. He had a 10-under total of 200 going into yesterday’s fourth round. Overnight leader Miguel Angel Jimenez slipped to second with a 70 at the Kennemer Golf and Country Club. Blustery winds and heavy rain made conditions tough on the links course on the North Sea coast west of Amsterdam. Jorge Campillo of Spain followed his course record-equaling 63 on Friday with a 79 to slump out of contention.
Oracle get much-needed win
Billionaire Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team USA scored a desperately needed win in the America’s Cup on Saturday, chipping away at Emirates Team New Zealand’s extensive lead after the Kiwis nearly capsized their yacht. New Zealand began the eighth match in the best-of-17 Cup with a lead over Oracle, but in a maneuver during an upward leg skipper Dean Barker briefly lost control when the boat’s hydraulically controlled wing sail got stuck. The AC72 catamaran teetered on one hull for several seconds, before dropping back in the water. That gave Oracle a chance to get out in front and they went on to win the race by 52 seconds, just their second victory in the 17-match series in San Francisco Bay. “We didn’t get the hydraulics and if the wing doesn’t tack when the boat does, you’re in trouble,” Barker said. “Fortunately, the boat came up and no collision with the other guys.” Due to rising winds, organizers abandoned a second scheduled race, which New Zealand had been winning.
Lorenzo wins in San Marino
World champion Jorge Lorenzo won the San Marino Grand Prix for Yamaha yesterday, but Marc Marquez extended his overall lead to 34 points after finishing second. Lorenzo’s second win in a row left the Spaniard level with Honda-riding compatriots Dani Pedrosa on 219 points and Marquez, the 20-year-old rookie who had taken the season by storm, on 253. Pedrosa finished third at the Misano Marco Simoncelli circuit in eastern Italy, with local hero Valentino Rossi ending up fourth for Yamaha for the fourth race in a row.