Keys wins in Strasbourg
Top-seeded American Madison Keys overcame an inconsistent serve to reach the second round of the Strasbourg International with a 6-4, 6-3 win against countrywoman Christina McHale on Monday. Keys had four aces, but also double-faulted twice, dropped her serve twice in the first set and saved all three break points in the second set. The 20-year-old Keys next faces Croatian veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. American Alison Riske also reached the second round after upsetting fifth-seeded Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. Second-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia advanced with a 7-6(6), 6-3 win against Irina Falconi, third-seeded Samantha Stosur of Australia beat Monica Puig 6-0, 6-3, fourth-seeded Alize Cornet of France won 6-3, 6-3 against Qiang Wang, and sixth-seeded Coco Vandeweghe beat Oceane Dodin 7-6(3), 7-5.
Pelicans eye Chinese star
The New Orleans Pelicans have invited Chinese forward He Tianju to attend the NBA Summer League in July with an eye on drafting him. His Chinese club, Liaoning Leopards, yesterday published the invitation from Pelicans’ director of player personnel David Booth, asking the 24-year-old to train from July 3 and play in games in Las Vegas on July 11 and July 21. “I became familiar with He Tianju from a recent scout trip to China at the beginning of January,” Booth was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying in the letter. “I have observed him on several occasions and think that it would be a great experience for him as a player to be involved with our summer league team.” The 2.06m-tall He was voted starting forward in the China Basketball Association All-Star games this year after helping Liaoning to the runners-up position in the league. There are no Chinese players currently playing in the NBA after Yi Jianlian left the Dallas Mavericks in 2012.
Williams to undergo surgery
The Seattle Seahawks’ defensive tackle Jesse Williams is to undergo kidney surgery after being diagnosed with cancer. The Seahawks announced Williams’ diagnosis of papillary type 2 cancer on Monday, but did not provide details. In a statement, the 24-year-old Williams of Australia said he is going to focus on his health and “fighting this battle with a return to football as my ultimate goal.” According to statistics from the American Cancer Society, the average age of people diagnosed with kidney cancer is 64 and kidney cancer for those under the age of 45 is rare. Williams was taken by Seattle in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, but he has been plagued by knee injuries and is still awaiting his NFL debut.
Hewitt to remain on bail
A South African judge has extended the bail of retired doubles tennis champion Bob Hewitt, who wants to appeal his conviction for raping and sexually assaulting minors in the 1980s and 1990s. Judge Bert Bam yesterday ordered that Hewitt, who was sentenced to six years in prison on Monday, be confined to his home until a June 19 hearing on whether he can appeal his conviction and sentence. Bam said he is allowing time for Hewitt’s new lawyer to review case records. Theresa Tolken, one of Hewitt’s accusers, said the defense team is trying to delay the legal process to keep the former Tennis Hall of Famer out of prison. Under Bam’s ruling, 75-year-old Hewitt can only leave his home in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province for medical appointments.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on