Schwartzman upsets Goffin
Unseeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman on Saturday upset top-seeded David Goffin 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 to reach the European Open final. He gained some revenge after Goffin routed him in straight sets, dropping just six games, when Belgium beat Argentina in last year’s Davis Cup semi-finals. Schwartzman will need to produce another upset in the final against third-seeded Richard Gasquet, who earlier staged an impressive comeback to beat Britain’s Kyle Edmund 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Gasquet won the final in Montpellier, France, in February, and lost to Tomas Berdych in Shenzhen, China, three weeks ago. He has never played Schwartzman before.
Del Potro advances to final
Olympic silver medalist Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina on Saturday reached his second final of the year at the If Stockholm Open after beating 2013 champion Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 7-5. The wild card Del Potro lost his serve for the first time all week, and again, but compensated with four breaks against second-seeded Dimitrov on the center court in the Swedish capital. In the other semi-final, sixth-seeded Jack Sock of the US beat fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-7 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 in 2 hours, 49 minutes. Sock is after his second career ATP title, and Del Potro his 19th.
Niculescu defeats Kvitova
Romania’s Monica Niculescu on Saturday defeated two-time Wimbledon champion and top seed Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-0 to win the BGL Luxembourg Open, describing it as the “best moment of her life.” It was the first title of this year for the unorthodox player, who was a finalist at the event in 2011 and 2012. “It was my best match this year,” Niculescu said. “I felt fantastic on the court, and after I took the first set I felt even better. I felt like nothing surprised me, but, wow, to beat Petra in the final? That’s the best moment in my life, I think.”
Hansen takes share of lead
Semi-retired Danish veteran Anders Hansen on Saturday reeled off a late flurry of birdies to grab a share of the lead going into the final round of the Portugal Masters. Hansen, who announced his retirement at last year’s event in Vilamoura, Portugal, sank six of his nine birdies after the turn in a nine-under-par round of 62 to ignite hopes of a fourth European Tour title. The 46-year-old is back playing on a part-time basis, with this his fifth tournament of the year, and is level with Finland’s Mikko Korhonen at the top of the leaderboard on 18-under overall. “I didn’t really have a strategy,” Hansen said. “Just go out and play and just try to enjoy it and hit good shots and it turned out alright.”
Hurdler Schaller dies at 104
Simone Schaller, a US hurdler who competed at the 1932 and 1936 Summer Games and was believed to be the oldest living Olympian, has died. She was 104. Grandson Jeffrey Hardy on Saturday said that Schaller died of natural causes on Thursday in the home she and her husband built when they married in the 1930s. Schaller tied Babe Didrikson Zaharias for the world record in the first round of the 80m hurdles at the 1932 Los Angeles Games. Schaller finished fourth in the final behind Didrikson, who set another record. According to Olympic historian David Wallechinsky, Schaller had taken up hurdling only three months earlier. At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Schaller made it to the semi-finals.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to