Gulbis, Delbonis in Nice final
Second-seeded Ernests Gulbis was to meet Federico Delbonis in the Open de Nice final yesterday after brushing aside defending champion Albert Montanes on Friday. Gulbis of Latvia dropped just one point on his first serve on his way to a 6-0, 6-3 victory over the Spaniard. Seventh-seeded Delbonis also made light work of home favorite Gilles Simon, defeating the fourth-seeded Frenchman 6-2, 6-4. Gulbis has won all five of his previous finals on the ATP tour, and triumphed in Marseille in February. Delbonis, who beat top-seeded John Isner in the quarter-finals, is 1-1 in his previous tour finals. The 23-year-old Argentine lifted his first title in Sao Paolo in March, after losing in Hamburg last year.
PSG sign David Luiz
French champions Paris Saint-Germain have agreed terms with Chelsea to sign Brazil defender David Luiz, the clubs said on Friday. “The move is now subject to David Luiz agreeing personal terms with PSG and passing a medical examination,” Premier League club Chelsea said on their Web site (www.chelseafc.com). British media reported that the fee for the versatile 27-year-old would be a world record for a defender of between ￡40 million and ￡50 million (US$67.37 million and US$84.21 million). That would surpass the ￡36 million Qatari-backed PSG paid for Luiz’s Brazil teammate Thiago Silva in 2012, although neither club disclosed the financial terms of their agreement. The easily recognizable Luiz, with his long and shaggy hair, joined Chelsea in January 2011 from Benfica and helped the London side win the Champions League the following year.
Evra extends contract
France leftback Patrice Evra has signed a contract to stay at Manchester United for another year, extending his Old Trafford career to a 10th season, the Premier League club said on Friday. There had been media speculation he would leave, but with two experienced defenders, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, already departing, United were “delighted” to announce on their Web site that Evra will remain at the club. The Frenchman, who was 33 last week, joined United from AS Monaco in 2006 and has made 379 appearances for the club, winning 10 major honors. He has been first-choice leftback since and stood in for Vidic as captain on numerous occasions. Dutchman Alex Buttner moved to Old Trafford in 2012 as Evra’s deputy and British media reports say United have lodged a ￡27 million (US$45.5 million) bid to sign 18-year-old Southampton defender Luke Shaw to fill the position in the long-term.
Murray to name coach
Wimbledon champion Andy Murray on Friday revealed he is close to appointing a new coach after identifying the person he wants to succeed Ivan Lendl. Murray began his coaching search last month after the announcement that the Scottish star’s successful two-year partnership with Lendl had ended. The 27-year-old, who won Wimbledon, the US Open and the men’s Olympic singles gold medal during his time with Lendl, has been linked with legends like John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, as well as well-respected coaches Bob Brett and Larry Stefanki. Murray, who is in Paris as he prepares for the French Open, confirmed he has one name in mind and he has held talks with that person, although no deal has yet been offered or agreed.