Li, 11, sets US Open record
Lucy Li has become the youngest player to qualify for the US Women’s Open by winning the sectional qualifier at Half Moon Bay in California. The 11-year-old Li shot rounds of 74 and 68 on the par-72 Old Course on Monday and will surpass fellow American Lexi Thompson as the youngest competitor in a U.S. Women’s Open when she tees off at Pinehurst on June 19. Thompson was 12 when she qualified for the 2007 event. Li, who comes from Redwood City, California, already has a big win on her resume, capturing the girls’ 10-11 division at the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt contest at Augusta that preceded the Masters this year. She beat second-place qualifier Kathleen Scavo by seven strokes at Half Moon Bay.
Beckham pushes stadium
Forced to rethink the location of a stadium for his proposed MLS team, retired England captain David Beckham is forging ahead with plans for a new site next to the Miami Heat basketball arena. Representatives of Miami Beckham United — the investment group co-led by the soccer icon — on Monday met Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and his counterpart in Miami-Dade County to outline plans for a stadium sandwiched between two new museums and the basketball arena on Biscayne Bay. Beckham’s initial pick, an undeveloped plot of land on the Port of Miami, was resisted by Royal Caribbean Cruises and others who said the stadium could interfere with port operations. Regalado said after the meeting that the new proposal involved filling in a large boat slip to create extra land by the bay. Beckham’s group has agreed to finance a US$250 million stadium with seating for 20,000 and pay rent for the land it is built on. The proposal has to be vetted by city and county commissioners and undergo public hearings before being put to a referendum later this year.
Conte stays at Juventus
Antonio Conte will remain as coach of Juventus for another season, the Serie A champions said on Monday. “Season 2014-15; coach Antonio Conte,” the club said on Twitter. Conte has won three successive scudetto with Juve in as many seasons since joining the Bianconeri from Siena in 2011, but had refused to commit himself to the Turin-based club since winning the league two weeks ago. Conte is widely reported by Italian media to have told the club he wants sweeping changes for next term to help mount a serious challenge in the Champions League. Juventus won the 2011-2012 league title unbeaten in Conte’s first season in charge and were even more emphatic this season, clocking up a record 102 points in 38 games to finish 17 clear of second-placed AS Roma. However, Juve’s record in Europe has been less impressive. They reached the Champions League quarter-finals before being crushed 4-0 on aggregate by Bayern Munich and eliminated in the group stage. They went to the Europa League, but lost to SL Benfica in the semi-finals.
Baltacha laid to rest
Elena Baltacha’s memory and spirit will live on, the former British No. 1’s family and friends said following her funeral on Monday. Baltacha died of liver cancer on May 4 aged 30, less than six months after she married former coach Nino Severino. Leading figures in British tennis joined her family at St John’s Church in Ipswich, England, for the funeral, for which mourners donned bright colors as Baltacha stipulated before her death. Top tennis stars will take part in “Rally For Bally, ”a cancer fundraising event that will be held in her memory on June 15.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7