Todd leads at Travelers
Brendon Todd and Dustin Johnson shot career-low 61s at the Travelers Championship on Saturday, leaving Todd with a two-stroke lead over the 2016 US Open champion. Todd, playing a couple holes behind Johnson, had a chance at the tournament’s second 60 of the week but missed a 10-foot putt to the left on the 18th hole. He finished with a 54-hole score of 192, 18-under-par, after shooting 66 and 65 the first two rounds. Johnson also has improved each day, opening with a 69-64. Both shot bogey-free rounds, with Todd making five birdies on the front nine and Johnson five on the back. Taiwan’s C.T. Pan missed the cut.
Lazio return to winning
Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto got title-chasing SS Lazio back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over ACF Fiorentina on Saturday to close the gap on Serie A leaders Juventus to four points. Lazio’s 21-match unbeaten run ended with a 3-2 defeat against Atalanta BC on Wednesday, after surrendering a two-goal lead. However, Simone Inzaghi’s side consolidated second position, behind the eight-time reigning champions, who dominated US Lecce 4-0 in Turin on Friday. “The lads know the stakes are high,” Inzaghi said as Lazio target a first Serie A title in two decades. “It’s a victory of character and determination. We have a limited squad at the moment with several injuries.” Earlier, Cagliari kept their Europa League hopes alive with a 4-2 victory over Torino. Basement club Brescia look destined for a return to Serie B after throwing away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw against relegation-rivals Genoa.
Barca hopes take blow
Barcelona’s title hopes suffered a blow on Saturday after they were held to a 2-2 draw by RC Celta de Vigo, handing Real Madrid the chance to move two points clear at the top of La Liga. Luis Suarez twice put his team in front at Balaidos with his first goals since January, but Iago Aspas bent in a late free-kick to earn Celta a draw in what could prove a pivotal moment in the title race. Barca face an even tougher test tomorrow against in-form Atletico Madrid, who held off a late fightback from Alaves to win 2-1 at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Proposed changes slammed
Women’s cricket needs better marketing and investment to grow, not innovations like a shorter pitch or smaller boundaries, India pace bowler Shikha Pandey wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Her comments were a response to New Zealand captain Sophie Devine recommending a smaller ball and Pandey’s India teammate Jemimah Rodrigues suggesting a shorter pitch to pack more action into women’s cricket. “In Olympic 100m female sprinter doesn’t run 80m to win first place medal... So the whole ‘decreasing the length of the pitch’ for whatever reasons seems dubious,” she wrote. Pandey saw some merit in using a smaller ball, but said it must weigh the same because a lighter ball would be tougher to grip and travel more slowly. She resented the idea of having smaller boundaries to encourage power-hitting. “We have surprised you with our power-hitting in recent times, so remember, this is only the beginning; we will get better. Please have patience.”
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
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