Pavlyuchenkova wins in Paris
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia beat Francesca Schiavone 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 and Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic won 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 against wild-card entry Caroline Garcia in the first round of the Open GDF Suez in Paris on Monday. Pavlyuchenkova struggled at times with her serve against Schiavone , making six double-faults, but she also hit four aces and broke the Italian veteran five times. She next faces either seventh-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain or qualifier Johanna Larsson of Sweden in the second round. Zakopalova, who dropped her serve four times, but broke her French opponent six times, will now play fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, who leads their head-to-head record 3-1.
NASCAR owner wants in
NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas wants to field a US-based Formula One team. Haas insisted on Monday he is serious about fielding an F1 team based in North Carolina, on the same land in Kannapolis that houses the Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR team he co-owns with Tony Stewart. “We want to be an American team. We think that has the most sizzle to it,” he said. Haas, through Haas Racing Development, paid a US$5,000 application fee to F1’s governing body during an open application period for new teams interested in racing in either next year’s or 2016’s season. He said he has received some frank advice from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone about the venture. “Mr Ecclestone doesn’t think I have enough money to do this. He doesn’t think we will get the license. So my chances probably aren’t that great of a shot,” Haas said.
Cooper determined to box
Wallaby vice-captain Quade Cooper declared yesterday on the eve of his second professional boxing bout that the fight game has boosted his rugby career and he wants to go on boxing. Cooper, who faces 40-year-old Australian boxer Warren “The Fortress” Tresidder in Brisbane, Australia, tonight, said he was determined to juggle both sports. However, the Queensland Reds flyhalf was aware that Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver has indicated boxing could be out when negotiations start for a new deal with Cooper’s contract, due to expire later this year. “It’s made me a more disciplined person and better athlete and only helped my rugby,” Cooper told Associated Australian Press. “And it keeps you sane. It’s a great way of escaping from the pressure of being a footballer. I love doing both. I won’t let either one come in the way of the other. I still haven’t had a chat with Bill [Pulver], but after everything is out of the way, I’m sure we’ll be able to sit down and chat about the future. I’d love to continue to do it [boxing] and I will continue to do it.”
Pocock to make comeback
Former Australia captain David Pocock is to return from a 10-month injury absence in a Super 15 trial match for the ACT Brumbies against the Highlanders on Friday. Pocock has not played since he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during a match against the New South Wales in March last year. The open side flanker, who captained Australia in 2012, said: “It’s the first big surgery I’ve had, but the Brumbies have such a good rehab’ program and I’m very confident with where I’m at and it’s all mental now. I’m nervous, but I’m more excited.”