Thorpe reveals he is gay
Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe revealed he is gay in an interview set to be broadcast yesterday, according to media reports, after years of denying rumors about his sexuality. The five-time Olympic gold medallist made the revelation in an interview with British presenter Michael Parkinson due to be aired last night by Australia’s Channel Ten, reports said. Australia’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper said the 31-year-old also describes his years of depression in the emotional interview recorded last month. His decision to come out as gay attracted a flurry of supportive comments on social media.
Rogers, Petkovic reach final
The 147th-ranked Shelby Rogers upset Sara Errani of Italy 7-6 (14/12), 6-3 at the Gastein Ladies tournament on Saturday to reach her first career WTA final. The American, who won three qualifying matches to reach the main draw and had not beaten a top-50 player before the event, was to face the fourth-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany in yesterday’s final. Petkovic, who beat Grace Min of the US 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the first semi-final that was interrupted by rain for 1.5 hours, won the first of her three career titles there in 2009.
Halep to meet Vinci for title
Simona Halep overcame fellow Romanian Monica Niculescu 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 to reach the final of the inaugural Bucharest Open against Roberta Vinci of Italy on Saturday. The top-seeded Halep dropped four straight games to lose the second set, and staved off a break point in the first game of the third to eventually make her fourth final of the year. Halep’s rise, to a current world No. 3 ranking, helped get the tournament off the ground, and the French Open finalist could yet cap the organizers’ dreams in yesterday’s final. She has a 3-2 record against the second-seeded Vinci. Vinci, coming off a Wimbledon doubles triumph, was slowed only by a shower in the second set in beating Kristina Kucova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-3 in their semi-final. Vinci will be playing for her 10th singles title.
Bautista Agut, Rosol in final
Roberto Bautista Agut and Lukas Rosol reached the final of the Mercedes Cup with victories over the top two seeds in the semi-finals on Saturday. Bautista Agut of Spain defeated defending champion and top seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3, 6-4, then Czech player Rosol beat the second-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 7-6 (3), 6-2. No. 3 seed Bautista Agut won almost three-quarters of his service points and saved five break points for victory in 1 hour, 14 minutes. The Spaniard was leading 4-1 in the first set when play was suspended for 40 minutes due to rain. Fognini, who defeated Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in last year’s final, had been bidding to reach his fourth final of the season. Rosol struck 10 aces to Youzhny’s five, and converted four of his nine break points to win in just under 1.5 hours. Youzhny won the tournament in 2002.
Cuevas, Sousa in final
Pablo Cuevas advanced to the Swedish Open final by defeating Fernando Verdasco of Spain 7-6 (6), 6-3, on Saturday. The 28-year-old Uruguayan, who has fought a serious knee injury for the past three years, trailed 5-1 in the tie-breaker before rallying to take the first set at the Bastad Tennis Stadium. Cuevas will play his first ATP final on Sunday against the fifth-seeded Joao Sousa. The Portuguese beat defending champion Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the other semi-final.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions