Levy leads in Spain
Alexander Levy of France shot a five-under 66 for a one-shot lead over a group of four including defending champion James Morrison of England after the first round of the Open de Espania on Thursday. Levy, a two-time European Tour winner, opened with a birdie at the 10th at the southwestern Valderrama course, and consolidated his lead with six more in a nine-hole spread, but mixed that with two bogeys. Delighted with his round, Levy said it was “a very tough course, in fantastic condition.” Spaniard Alejandro Canizares, Welshman Stuart Manley and bogey-free Englishman Andrew Johnston all carded 67s alongside Morrison. Pablo Larrazabal of Spain trailed behind alone in sixth on three-under 68. Tournament host Sergio Garcia finished the day on a three-over 74.
Vickery advances in Bogota
Sachia Vickery of the US defeated Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-0, 2-6, 6-3 at the Claro Open Colsanitas at the Club Campestre El Rancho in Bogota on Thursday to move into the quarter-finals. She is to face Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena, who ousted Anne Schaefer of Germany 6-1, 6-0. Others to advance were Silvia Soler-Espinosa, who beat Anna Tatishvili 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-1; Alexandra Panova, who defeated Conny Perrin 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (9/7); and Amra Sadikovic, who eliminated Rebecca Peterson 6-4, 6-4.
Fill-in coaches named
Former England batsman Graeme Hick and former Tasmania bowler Adam Griffith have been drafted temporarily into Australia’s coaching set up for a limited-overs tri-series against the West Indies and South Africa in the Caribbean. Griffth is to deputize as bowling coach in the wake of Craig McDermott’s resignation. Griffith works with Western Australia State bowlers under head coach Justin Langer, who is to fill in as Australia coach for the June 6 to June 26 tournament for head coach Darrren Lehmann. “West Australia have some talented young fast bowlers that have developed under Adam’s watch,” Lehmann said. “It’s great to be able to offer him the chance to work with the Australian side.” Hick, who works at Cricket Australia’s center of excellence in Brisbane, will be assistant coach for the series. Griffith played 50 first-class matches for Tasmania as a right-arm, fast-medium bowler, but his career was curtailed with serious injuries before took up a coaching role with Western Australia in 2011.
Villa captain set fitness goal
Aston Villa club captain Gabriel Agbonlahor is to miss the next two weeks of the season while he works on his fitness levels, caretaker manager Eric Black said. The 29-year-old was dropped for the 4-0 defeat by Chelsea on April 2 after pictures emerged of him apparently smoking a shisha pipe, but an investigation by the Premier League’s bottom club resulted in no further punishment. The striker, who has only scored once this season, also missed Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against AFC Bournemouth with a virus and Black said he and Agbonlahor had agreed that action was required. “We have decided together that we don’t think he’s up to the fitness levels of the Premier League at this moment in time,” Black was quoted as saying by the club’s Web site. “He’s got an individual program that he will follow. Some of it will involve being with the group, some of it not with the group. We will reassess it in two weeks.” Villa face fifth-placed Manchester United at Old Trafford today.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very