ATP chairman Drewett dies
Brad Drewett, a former tour player who led the ATP as executive chairman and helped increase prize money at Grand Slam tournaments, died on Friday after a short battle with motor neurone disease. He was 54. The ATP said in a statement the Australian died at his home in Sydney. Drewett was a top-40 singles and top-20 doubles player before he retired in 1990. He was hired in 2006 to lead operations in the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific regions. He had led the ATP since January last year.
Deco facing suspension
Former Chelsea and Portugal playmaker Deco is facing a 30-day automatic suspension after his “B” sample confirmed a positive test for a diuretic. Deco tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic which can help hide performance-enhancing substances. The test came after Fluminense’s 2-0 win over Boavista on March 30. If found guilty by Brazil’s sports tribunal, the 35-year Deco faces a suspension of up to two years. Fluminense said on Friday that Deco has already hired lawyers to defend him. The player vehemently denied any wrongdoing and said the result likely stemmed from contaminated vitamins.
Bangladesh win ODI
Ziaur Rahman emerged as an unlikely hero as he took 5-30 to skittle out Zimbabwe in just over 30 overs and guide Bangladesh to a comfortable 121-run win in their first one day international in Bulawayo on Friday. Bangladesh posted a respectable 269-8 in their 50 overs on a flat wicket and then put a stranglehold on their hosts, who were bowled out for 148 in 32.1 overs. Rahman produced a man of the match performance with the ball after Nasir Hosain had anchored Bangladesh’s innings with a sparkling knock of 68. Two early wickets saw Zimbabwe teeter at the start of their reply before Hamilton Masakadza and captain Brendan Taylor looked to be steadying the innings. However, after a 65-run partnership, Taylor’s dismissal set in motion a steady fall of wickets. Rahman, whose bowling average in the international game was 100 before the match, handed Bangladesh the impetus by trapping opener Masakadza plumb in front for 38 with the first ball of his fourth over and took out the off stump of the experienced Elton Chigumbura just three balls later. He then had Prosper Utseya caught as Zimbabwe collapsed from 93-3 to 93-7, leaving their chase in tatters.
Japan clinch title
Japan romped to a sixth straight Asian Five Nations title with a game to spare when they easily despatched South Korea 64-5 at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground in Tokyo yesterday. The Brave Blossoms ran in 10 tries to rack up their third bonus-point win of the tournament to leave them on an unassailable 18 from three games ahead of their final match away to the United Arab Emirates on Friday. Japan raced to a 40-0 halftime lead before their scoring pace slowed in the second period. “It was a very good performance, but we got a little bit tired in the second half,” Japan coach Eddie Jones told local media after the final whistle. Japan opened their campaign with a 121-0 whitewash against the Philippines before overcoming a spirited Hong Kong 38-0 last week. They have won every edition of the Asian Five Nations and success in next year’s tournament will book them a place at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Brands shocks Tipsarevic
Germany’s Daniel Brands pulled off a shock victory to reach the semi-finals of the ATP clay-court event in Munich on Friday as he edged out top seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Brands, the world No. 69, is to face countryman and titleholder Philipp Kohlschreiber for a place in the final, while Tommy Haas, the third German left in the draw, is to play Croatian Ivan Dodig. Kohlschreiber took another step towards his quest for a third triumph in Munich after beating Viktor Troicki 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), having also lifted the trophy in 2007. Meanwhile, the 35-year-old Haas disposed of compatriot Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-1 to set up a last-four meeting with Dodig, who brushed aside Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-4.
‘Les Verts’ suffer blow
AS Saint-Etienne’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League suffered a blow when they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to mid-table Girondins de Bordeaux in Ligue 1 on Friday. Les Verts stayed in fourth place on 59 points with three games left, one point behind archrivals Olympique Lyonnais, who visit relegation-threatened AS Nancy-Lorraine today. The top two teams in Ligue 1 qualify directly for the Champions League group stage, while the third-placed side go into the third qualifying round. Bordeaux remain eighth on 49 points.
Drivers could face bans
Reckless Formula One drivers have been warned that the introduction of a “football-style” penalty points system may lead to them facing race bans in future. Discussions into the viability of a revised punishment system for dangerous or other irregular driving are expected to take place at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix and could be introduced later this year. International Motoring Federation race director Charlie Whiting is due to meet the teams at a meeting of the Sporting Working Group think tank ahead of the Barcelona race to discuss potential future rule changes. “It’s a complex question and we need to get the balance right because banning a driver is a serious issue,” he said. “We need to make sure a driver genuinely deserves any ban. We will be monitoring offences and running a [hypothetical] system in the background to see how it would all work if put into practice. We need to do that for a while.” Last season, several serial offenders on the track emerged after a spate of first-lap accidents and later collisions, and other incidents. They included Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Williams, who was involved in several crashes, and Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Lotus, who was in seven opening-lap crashes in 12 races.
Schalke get boost
Julian Draxler struck late in the game to give Schalke 04 a 1-0 win at fading Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday, boosting their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season. The winning goal came after Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand rolled the ball to a defender and they broke quickly down the left hand side. An exchange of passes ended with Raffael slipping the ball between three defenders for Draxler, 19, to fire past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen for his ninth goal of the league season. Schalke, who are fourth in the Champions League playoff spot, have 52 points from 32 games, four behind third-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen and six ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt in fifth.