Seeds tumble in Guangzhou
Wild-card entry Zhang Shuai of China and US qualifier Vania King advanced to the semi-finals of Guangzhou Open on Thursday as the three remaining seeded players were eliminated. King beat eighth-seeded Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/5), while Zhang defeated Johanna Konta of Britain 7-5, 6-3. Also, unseeded Yvonne Meusburger of Austria eliminated second-seeded Alize Cornet of France 6-4, 6-1 and Zheng Jie beat third seed Laura Robson of Britain 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2. King will face Zheng in the semi-finals, and Zhang will face Meusburger. Reigning champion Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan failed to make the quarter-finals at this year’s event, crashing out on Wednesday at the hands of Zhuang.
Champ clarifies comments
World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan issued a statement yesterday to clarify his comments after former world No. 5 Stephen Lee was found guilty of match-fixing this week. Lee faces a lifetime ban from the sport and O’Sullivan tweeted that he believed many other players had been involved in throwing matches. The five-time world champion was asked to explain his comments by World Snooker chief Barry Hearn. “I would like to clarify the comments that I made on Twitter 17th September as they were an instant reaction to an issue which I feel strongly about, namely the integrity of my sport,” O’Sullivan said. “The news about Stephen Lee’s match-fixing case was eye-opening to all players on the circuit, and sends out a clear message to any would-be cheats. I fully support this decision and commend the [sport’s ruling body] WPBSA for taking positive action in this case.” O’Sullivan said his reference to players throwing matches related to rumors from many years ago when the tour was much smaller than it is now.
Radwanska into last eight
Top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska advanced to the quarter-finals of the Korea Open yesterday with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Estrella Cabeza Candela. “I had never played her before, and she started very well, the first few games were long and tight, but after a few games I knew what I had to do to win the match, and I started to play more aggressive from there,’’ Radwanska said. The Pole, making her debut at the Seoul tournament, will next face Vera Dushevina. Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm beat second-seeded Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-1 and will face Francesca Schiavone in the quarter-finals. Date-Krumm’s win over the No.19-ranked Kirilenko was her 10th victory over a top 20 player since coming back to the tour in 2008. Wild-card entry Jang Su-jeong of South Korea also advanced with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over qualifier Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. Jang will face Lara Arruabarrena in the last eight.
Durham win English title
Durham won their third County Championship title in six years after completing an eight-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire with more than a day to spare yesterday. Rain washed out the third day’s morning session, but when play resumed after lunch at Chester-le-Street, northeast county Durham’s headquarters, the hosts needed just 62 more runs to win with all 10 second innings wickets left. They took just 16 overs to reach their target, and although they lost Keaton Jennings and Scott Borthwick along the way, Mark Stoneman’s 35 not out saw Durham to victory, the opener sealing the title in style with a boundary off Paul Franks.