Adam Yates wins Clasica
Adam Yates became the first British winner of the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian on Saturday with the Orica-GreenEdge rider also claiming his maiden title at UCI WorldTour level. The 22-year-old went into the race on the back of a 50th place finish in the Tour de France. Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert of BMC Racing Team, the 2011 winner, was second just ahead of Spain’s defending champion Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team. Yates won by 15 seconds after reeling in a late escape launched by young French rider Warren Barguil of Team Giant-Alpecin on the race’s final climb, the col de Bordako Tontorra, 7km from the finish. “Incredible,” Yates said. “I won, but I didn’t know I had won. I spoke on the radio to my sport director, but because of the crowds the radio was too quiet. On the final climb there was a breakaway still up the road. Then there was a lot of carnage on the climb, there was a crash with a motorbike and so I just went full gas. At the time I didn’t know if I had reached the lead or not.”
Goffin facing Thiem in final
Top seed David Goffin of Belgium eased to a 6-4, 6-2 win against two-time champion Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil in the Swiss Open semi-finals in Gstaad on Saturday. In yesterday’s final, world No. 14 Goffin was due to face world No. 24 Dominic Thiem of Austria. Thiem beat second seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 to maintain a winning run he started by taking the Croatia Open title the previous weekend. Goffin never allowed Bellucci a break point in the match and took control after converting the only chance to break in the first set at 4-4. The 24-year-old Belgian was seeking his third career title and his first on clay. Thiem never dropped serve, landed 79 percent of his first serves and was helped by Lopez’s nine double faults.
Kiradech makes semis
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat lived up to his billing as the “Asian John Daly” on Saturday when his ambitious game gave him a place in the Paul Lawrie Match Play semi-finals in Aberdeen, Scotland. The 26-year-old recovered from a shaky start to beat Michael Hoey 2-and-1 in his quarter-final. Kiradech was three down after four holes, but he went on to win four of the final seven to see off his opponent and book a last-four clash against second seed Marc Warren of Scotland. Warren shot an eagle on the 19th hole to secure his spot in the semi-finals. The Scotsman overcame a back problem and a three-hole deficit to beat England’s Tyrrell Hatton in a playoff. David Howell was the first man to qualify for the final four when he beat fellow Englishman Chris Wood 5-and-4. Howell was due to take on Robert Karlsson in the semi-finals after the Swede beat Scotland’s Richie Ramsay by one hole.
Widegren grabs the lead
Pontus Widegren of Sweden took a one-shot lead into the final round of the Madeira Islands Open and the hope of a first win on the European Tour. Widegren offset two bogeys with two eagles before the turn, and finished the third round with a five-under 67 to sit on a total of 16-under 200. Widegren said he struggled on the greens, but was able to overcome a tough start by hitting “a nice eagle at No. 3” and building momentum. Tied for second were Scott Henry of Scotland and Roope Kakko of Finland. Henry enjoyed a flawless round of 65 with seven birdies, while Kakko finished his round of 64 with three straight birdies.
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
’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.