Pospisil out of Chennai Open
Vasek Pospisil of Canada was the only seed not to reach the Chennai Open second round when he lost to Aljaz Bedene of Britain 7-5, 7-6 (8/6) on Tuesday. Pospisil, seeded seventh, beat Bedene two months ago indoors in Valencia, Spain, but the closely ranked pair virtually went point for point outdoors in Chennai, India. The other two seeds in action, No. 5 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain and No. 6 Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, won three-setters. Russian teen Andrey Rublev, a wild card, beat local qualifier Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 for a shot at two-time defending champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland. Also the top seed, Wawrinka is aiming for a fourth Chennai title. Second-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa also learned of his next opponent, 248th-ranked wild-card Ramkumar Ramanathan of India, who beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain 6-2, 6-0 for his second career win on the ATP Tour.
Dyke eyes England success
Football Association (FA) chairman Greg Dyke said: “We’ll all shoot ourselves” if Roy Hodgson’s team fall at the group stage of Euro 2016. England face Wales, Russia and Slovakia in the tournament in France from June 10, haunted by the memory of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where they were eliminated at the group phase for the first time since 1958. Dyke stood by manager Hodgson after the debacle in Brazil, but said a repeat this year would mean heads would roll. “I think we’ll all shoot ourselves if we don’t get out of the group,” Dyke said. “We’ve got to get out of that group. If we don’t, that really is bad news for English football.” The 68-year-old former BBC director-general was speaking at the launch of a year of celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of England’s 1966 World Cup success. “The FA is the richest FA in the world, the most income. The FA has to take some of the blame,” Dyke said.
Elect right man: Prince Ali
Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter and suspended UEFA president Michel Platini were “totally irresponsible” to agree a payment that has brought ignominy to world soccer, said Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who hopes to take over the FIFA presidency next month. The Jordanian crown prince said the global governing body would be heading for a new “catastrophe” if it fails to elect the right candidate to succeed Blatter in the presidential election on Feb. 26. Eight-year bans against Blatter and Platini have left the pair in disgrace and fighting to save their names. Prince Ali said there is no way they could avoid trouble over a US$2 million payment approved by Blatter to Platini in 2011, adding that it is the sort of dark practice that must be rooted out. “In this day and age, to have an oral agreement is totally irresponsible,” he said.
Browns hire DePodesta
The Cleveland Browns hired MLB executive Paul DePodesta of as their chief strategy officer on Tuesday, taking an unconventional route to fix their NFL woes. DePodesta, 43, served as the vice president of player development and scouting for the New York Mets from 2010 and helped the franchise reach the World Series this past season. DePodesta previously had front office roles with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. He gained further exposure as a key figure of Moneyball, a book-turned-movie that chronicled the Oakland Athletics and their method of using sabermetrics to target players.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being