SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies, with staff writer

Wed, Jun 08, 2016 - Page 18

OLYMPICS

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.”

TENNIS

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.

TENNIS

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.

TENNIS

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.