Serena to end year as No. 1
Serena Williams has clinched the year-end women’s world No. 1 ranking for the third time in her career after winning two Grand Slam titles during an excellent season. The American has compiled a 67-4 record this season and won nine singles titles on the WTA Tour, including the French Open and the US Open crowns. The 32-year-old, who became the oldest women’s player to clinch the top ranking when she returned to No. 1 in February, has won more than US$9 million in prize money this year so far, the WTA said in a statement on its Web site. “Serena has proven time and time again throughout her career that she is an incredible champion, both on and off the court,” WTA chief executive Stacey Allaster said in the statement. “This season she continues to rewrite the record books, proving she is one of the sport’s greatest athletes of all time.” Meanwhile, China’s Li Na became the fifth player to qualify for the WTA Championships in Istanbul, turkey, next month, where the world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams compete for a US$6 million purse. Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska have booked four of the other spots.
Teen scores double-century
Teenage batsman Dominic Sibley hit 220 not out against Yorkshire on Thursday to become the youngest player to score a double-century in the history of England’s County Championship. His feat, at the age of 18 years and 21 days, also made him the second youngest player to score 200 runs in a first-class game in England, behind only the legendary W.G. Grace, who achieved the feat aged 18 years and 12 days. The right-handed batsman batted for nine and a half hours at The Oval in London, facing 512 balls, and recording 21 fours and two sixes. He was making only his third four-day appearance for Surrey. He enjoyed a partnership of 236 with Hashim Amla, before the South Africa star was dismissed for 151. Sibley, given permission by his school to miss four days of study to play in the game, admitted his day was a dream come true, especially since he was batting with his hero Amla. “Speaking with my mum this morning, I told her how desperate I was to bat with Hashim Amla before he left Surrey,” Sibley said. “Today, I could not have wished for a better partner, because with him there I could just play my own game.”
Van Ginkel goes under knife
Chelsea’s new Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel will be out for about six months after undergoing knee surgery on Thursday, the Premier League club announced. The midfielder, in only his second start for Jose Mourinho’s side since his switch from Vitesse, tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Tuesday’s League Cup win over third-tier Swindon Town. Van Ginkel twisted his knee awkwardly in the early stages of the game at the County Ground and despite trying to play on, he was forced off in the 10th minute.
Adams in critical condition
Hungarian club Ferencvarosi TC’s Trinidad and Tobago international defender Akeem Adams is in a critical condition after a heart attack, the club said on Thursday. Adams, 22, was taken to a Budapest hospital after he felt dizzy on Wednesday following Ferencvarosi’s 3-1 win over archrivals Ujpest on Sunday. “Adams underwent surgeries … but unfortunately he is still in a serious condition,” Ferencvarosi executive director Pal Orosz was quoted as saying on the Nemzeti Sport’s Web site.