Fri, Sep 15, 2017 - Page 16 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

TENNIS

Zhang Shuai eliminated

China’s Zhang Shuai yesterday became the latest seed to exit the Japan Women’s Open when she was ambushed by Kazakh qualifier Zarina Diyas. The 23-year-old Diyas, ranked 72 places below Zhang at 100th in the world, thrashed the second seed 6-4, 6-2 in Tokyo, meaning only two of the top eight seeds in the tournament have reached the quarter-finals. Eighth seed Yulia Putintseva made it a red-letter day for Kazakhstan against Chinese opponents by ousting Han Xinyun, who retired with a hip injury when trailing 6-2, 2-0. As Japanese organizers rue the loss of six seeds and local favorite Kimiko Date in her final tournament at the age of 46, Croatian Jana Fett crushed Slovakia’ Jana Cepelova 6-0, 6-3. In other matches, Wang Qiang restored a measure of pride for China with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Japan’s Kurumi Nara, while Christina McHale of the US overpowered Spain’s Sara Sorribes 6-1, 6-1.

SOCCER

Syria to play in Malaysia

Football Federation Australia said it has received official confirmation that Syria are to host Australia in Malaysia in the first leg of their Asian World Cup qualifying playoff next month. Because of the continuing civil war at home, Syria played all of their third-round Asian World Cup qualifying matches in Malaysia. Officials have stuck with the formula by confirming Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca for their Oct. 5 “home” game, despite speculation the playoff could be staged in the Middle East. The Socceroos are to host the return match in Sydney on Oct. 10. The winner of the Asian playoff faces the fourth-place team from CONCACAF qualifying in North and Central America in another home-and-away series for a place in next year’s World Cup in Russia.

BOXING

Golovkin misses birth

Gennady Golovkin is one of the most dedicated boxers in the world and even the birth of his daughter could not pry him out of the gym. The three-belt champion missed the birth on Friday last week because he was training for his upcoming world middleweight title fight. Golovkin stayed in the gym for two hours after his wife, Alina, gave birth to the couple’s second child. They also have a son. “He didn’t leave the gym until 6pm,” Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez said. “The baby was born at 4pm. His wife was in the hospital for one day. She came home next day so he was home with them.” Golovkin, who holds the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation middleweight belts, faces Canelo Alvarez in a 12-round mega title fight in Las Vegas tomorrow. Sanchez said he was concerned during the long training camp about how Golovkin was doing with the baby on the way and the most important fight of his career around the corner. “I started to voice my concern. ‘The baby’s not here.’ He said: ‘Coach the baby is going to come whether I am there or not. I have already done my part,’” Sanchez said. Golovkin has been in high spirits as the fight preparation shifted this week from their training camp to Las Vegas. “He is in a great mood. I don’t know if it is because of the baby being here or if because he finally got the fight he wanted,” Sanchez said.

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