Nuzman calls for Rio unity
Brazilian Olympic Committee president Carlos Nuzman on Monday urged protesters angry over the impeachment of suspended Brazlian president Dilma Rousseff not to mar the opening ceremony of the Rio Games in two months. The first Summer Olympics ever staged in South America open on Aug. 5 at Rio’s Maracana Stadium. According to the latest estimates, that could be just a few days after a vote in the Brazilian Senate over whether to remove Rousseff from office — marking a showdown in a months-long political crisis that has divided the country and sparked accusations of a coup d’etat. Asked if he was afraid that crowds would start chanting political slogans or causing trouble inside the famous soccer stadium during the opening parade and lighting of the Olympic cauldron, Nuzman told reporters: “It’s difficult to know what will or won’t happen.” However, he said he thought that Brazilians would “show respect for the Olympic Games and for the 11,000 athletes who will be parading.”
Mahut advances at Ricoh
Defending champion Nicolas Mahut on Monday made short work of his first-round match at the Ricoh Open, beating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-1, 6-4 to set up an all-French second-round match. Mahut, who is seeking his third title on the Rosmalen grass courts in the Wimbledon tune-up, is to face Paul-Henri Mathieu, who beat Rajeev Ram of the US 6-4, 6-4. Stefan Kozlov of the US survived the first day of the tournament by beating Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, while Sam Querrey made it two US wins on the opening day, edging Benjamin Becker of Germany 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5). In the first round of the women’s doubles, Taiwan’s Chan Chin-wei and Aleksandrina Naydenova of Bulgaria fell to a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium in 1 hour, 13 minutes.
Pliskova defeats Sevastova
Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic on Monday arrived late to the Aegon Nottingham Open and avoided an early exit. Saving the only break point she faced, Pliskova served superbly to outlast Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-7 (5/7), 6-0, 6-2. She accepted a wild card only last week and took over the top seeding from Victoria Azarenka, who withdrew after practicing on the Nottingham grass for two days, because she still could not play properly due to a knee she injured at the French Open. Pliskova’s twin, Kristyna, could not get out of trouble against Anna Tatishvili of the US and lost 6-4, 7-6 (6/4). Second-seeded Johanna Konta of Britain and No. 8 Christina McHale of the US also advanced.
Groth dispatches Marchenko
Sam Groth of Australia on Monday fired 15 aces to overcome Illya Marchenko of Ukraine 7-5, 6-4 in the opening round of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. Marchenko beat Groth in their only previous match in February on a Memphis hard court, but with Stuttgart switching its courts from clay to grass, Groth got the upper hand. Also, local wild-card Michael Berrer came from behind to beat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-7 (7/9), 6-2, 6-4. Roger Federer is the top seed in the Wimbledon tune-up and has a bye into the second round. Federer is coming back from a back injury that forced him to skip the French Open.
DRIVING AMBITION: ‘I was excited by playing at the Olympics ... Who knows what’s going to happen? Hopefully, I could have a chance to win a medal,’ Tiffany Chan said After just three tournaments this year, a chance of Olympic glory postponed and two weeks alone in quarantine, golfer Tiffany Chan could be forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Instead, Hong Kong’s first LPGA Tour player is sporting a broad grin and taking the positives from the game’s COVID-19 shutdown, determined to establish herself in the fiercely competitive world of women’s golf. The talented 26-year-old kept herself fit physically and mentally during the lockdown, and is happy to be back on the fairways since the easing of coronavirus restrictions last month. “When I came back to Hong Kong [in March], I actually did
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, who is hoping to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next year, fractured her skull and broke bones in her left hand after falling from a ramp during a training session in California. Brown posted a video of the accident on Instagram, but reassured supporters that she was fine. “I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them ... but this was my worst fall. I just want everyone to know that it’s OK — don’t worry, I’m OK,” she said. “I’m going to push boundaries for girls with my skating and surfing. I’m going for gold in 2021
Zhu Ting stands tall in China — and not just because she is 1.98m tall. The 25-year-old farmer’s daughter has emerged from a poor village life to become a totem of the country’s sporting ambitions. As captain and figurehead of China’s women’s volleyball team, the reigning Olympic champions, Zhu is one of the country’s biggest stars. State television once feted her as “an invincible and dominant superhero.” A nurse fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in March posted a photograph of herself wearing a white protective suit with a picture of the volleyball star drawn on it — also scribbled were the words: “Proud that
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of