Lu crashes out of Memphis
Taylor Fritz on Tuesday night saved three match points in a third-set tiebreaker to beat Taiwan’s eighth-seeded Lu Yen-hsun 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (9/7) in the first round of the Memphis Open. Fritz, the runner-up in the event last year, won without ever breaking Lu’s serve. Earlier on Tuesday, qualifier Darian King defeated No. 5 seed Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4. King, ranked 140th in the world, dropped just 12 points in 10 service games against the 32nd-ranked Tomic. Other winners on Tuesday included No. 7 seed Steve Darcis, Ryan Harrison, Matthew Ebden and Tim Smyczek. Harrison won 6-3, 7-5 over Konstantin Kravchuk to advance to a second-round matchup with No. 3 seed Sam Querrey, while Darcis won 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 over Radu Albot and Smyczek beat Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Ebden rallied from a break down in each of the last two sets to beat Peter Polansky 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-1.
Rain stops play in Qatar
Rain on Tuesday wreaked havoc at the Qatar Ladies Open, with torrential downpours in the desert state pretty much wiping out all of the second day’s play. Of the 11 scheduled singles matches, only one was completed when Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4. However, even that match took more than seven hours to complete because of the constant rain breaks. Pavlyuchenkova’s victory under leaden skies meant she was only the second player to win through to the second round of the tournament. Play was started in three other first-round matches, but none were finished, although American qualifier Lauren Davies finished a set up against Italy’s Roberta Vinci before the rain called a halt for the day. The persistent wet weather had also wiped out large parts of day one. Organizers announced that play would yesterday start three hours earlier due to a growing backlog of matches. Some players, including fifth seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain, yesterday faced playing two singles matches.
Pescara dismiss coach Oddo
Serie A strugglers Delfino Pescara 1936 on Tuesday fired coach Massimo Oddo, but told fans they “never again” wanted to see the “performances offered” so far by the team’s players. Promoted Pescara have spent much of this season in the bottom three, but when embattled Oddo offered his resignation last month, club bosses waved it away in a rare show of support. However, a 5-3 defeat to Torino on Sunday, when the northern side threatened a 5-0 rout at the Stadio Olimpico, prompted Pescara president Daniele Sebastiani to cave in. “It is with a heavy heart that, after meetings between club president Daniele Sebastiani and Massimo Oddo, along with sporting director Luca Leone, that Pescara announces the removal of the head coach from his position,” a club statement said. “It is hoped this latest sacrifice will make the players aware that we never again want to see the performances that have been offered up until now. The club would like to thank Massimo Oddo for his contribution, and the great satisfaction he has given to all the fans, and we wish him all the best for the future.” Pescara have shipped a league-leading tally of 55 goals in 24 games and are 13 points from the safety zone.
As they celebrated Naomi Osaka’s victory in the final of the US Open in New York City’s Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Tokyoites were eager to embrace their heroines’ stand against racial injustice. Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title with a victory over Victoria Azarenka, has used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, wearing a mask bearing the name of a different African American before each of her seven matches in the championship. She had donned masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and Philando Castile. On Saturday, she walked
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
THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City. Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday. It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016. Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front
‘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