Taiwan grab last-game win
Taiwan exited the Malaysia leg of the Asian Sevens Series yesterday in 11th place after an easy 24-7, four tries to one win against the United Arab Emirates in the lowest bracket playoff. Earlier, Taiwan trailed 7-5 at halftime in their Bowl semi-final against the Philippines after Chen Chi-kun dived on a loose pass to score, but wilted in the second half, losing two players to the sin bin and conceding two tries to finish 19-5 down. They struggled to secure possession at all in the second spell and never made it out of their half.
Frampton beats Martinez
Carl Frampton won the IBF super-bantamweight belt from Kiko Martinez of Spain by unanimous decision before an ecstatic home crowd of 16,000 in a purpose-built outdoor arena in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Saturday. Frampton put Martinez down once in the fifth round of a fight he dominated, and which the judges agreed by 119-108, 119-108 and 118-111. The unbeaten Frampton (19-0, 13 KO) became the first Northern Irishman to hold a world title in 18 years. Last year, he also relieved Martinez (31-5 23 KO) of the European title in nine rounds.
Minjee Lee turns pro
Top-ranked amateur Minjee Lee turned professional yesterday, a day after leading Australia to the women’s world amateur team championship. The 18-year-old Lee, who shot a seven-under 65 to lead Australia’s comeback win on Saturday in Japan, made the announcement in a light-hearted video with Matthew Pavlich, captain of the Fremantle Australian Rules football team. She will make her first appearance as a professional at this week’s Evian Championship in France. Lee, who was born in Perth and is a member of the Royal Fremantle Golf Club, won the US Junior Girls’ Championship in 2012 and back-to-back Australian amateur championships last year and this year. She also received the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the No. 1 women’s amateur this year. Lee was the low amateur at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in California in April in her first start in a major championship.
Storm leads Masters
Graeme Storm of England fired a hole-in-one in his third round 6-under 64 to lead the European Masters in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, on Saturday. Storm’s 16-under total of 194 was one stroke clear of Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who shot 63 on the sunbathed, 6,848-yard Severiano Ballesteros course. Using a 6-iron in thin Swiss Alps air, Storm aced the 217-yard par-three 11th to win a car worth US$186,000. Brooks Koepka of the US trailed Storm by two after making double-bogey on the par-four 18th, his only dropped shots in a 66. Another American, David Lipsky, shot 66 to be three strokes off the lead in fourth. Ryder Cup rookie Jamie Donaldson of Wales was a further stroke back, losing the lead after triple- and double-bogeys on par-fours coming home.
Roosters finish first
With a little help from their friends in North Queensland, the defending champion Sydney Roosters finished in first place heading into the National Rugby League finals. The Roosters beat South Sydney 22-18 on Thursday, then waited on the outcome of the North Queensland Cowboys match against Manly, when the Sea Eagles could have moved into first place with a win. Instead, the Cowboys beat Manly 30-16, giving the Roosters the minor premiership.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘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
‘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
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first