Players criticize FMT
A group of Mexico’s players decided not to take part in this weekend’s Davis Cup World Group playoff against Taiwan because they were not given enough notice about the date or venue by the Mexican Tennis Federation (FMT), they told reporters. In a joint statement released on Monday and signed by Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela and Manuel Sanchez, among other players, they said they would not participate in the Group I qualifier in Metepec. “They [the FMT] called us very late, less than three weeks [ago], we were all in [different] tournaments,” Reyes-Varela said told reporters, adding that they were also not given enough time to fit the tie into their playing schedules. “We have had different attempts to communicate with the federation, with the directors and the coaching staff. In this case it was no exception and after several years of trying we decided to unite to seek a change.” Sanchez said that players’ opinions were not taken into account. “There were only a few days left for the series and they did not even allow us to choose the captain, they did not ask us what surface and conditions would benefit us the most,” he said. Taiwan were to take to the court in Mexico yesterday in their World Group I first-round playoff at the Club Deportivo La Asuncion, with the first match in two days of competition to be between Tseng Chun-hsin and Cesar Ramirez before Hsu Yu-hsiou was to play Alan Fernando Rubio Fierros.
Navarrete claims WBO title
Mexico’s Emanuel Navarrete on Friday survived a knockdown on the way to a ninth-round technical knockout of Australian Liam Wilson to claim the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super featherweight world title. Navarrete, the WBO’s featherweight champ and a former super bantamweight world champion, claimed the title formerly held by Shakur Stevenson in a tense fight in Glendale, Arizona. Wilson gave the heavily favored champ a scare, knocking down Navarrete in the fourth round and hurting him again in the sixth. However, Navarrete, who improved to 37-1 with 31 wins inside the distance, turned the tables in the seventh and eighth with quick flurries that put Wilson on the defensive. Wilson, who fell to 11-2 with seven knockouts, rose from a knockdown in the ninth, but referee Chris Flores called a halt 1 minute, 57 seconds into the round with Wilson withering under Navarrete’s follow-up barrage.
Ronaldo scores for Al-Nassr
Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday scored his first goal for Al-Nassr with a last-gasp penalty to salvage a 2-2 draw against Al-Fateh in a thrilling Saudi Pro League match. The 37-year-old Portugal international converted from the spot three minutes into added time, having failed to score on his debut last month. “Happy to have scored my first goal in the Saudi league and great effort by whole team to achieve an important draw in a very difficult match!” Ronaldo wrote on Twitter after the game. Ronaldo signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Al-Nassr in December and was appointed captain shortly after his arrival. Al-Nassr now top the standings after 15 games, level on 34 points with second-placed Al-Shabab, but with a match in hand.
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying on Saturday crashed out of the BWF All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, with South Korea’s Se Young-an denying the world No. 3 Tai a chance at a fourth All England title. In a replay of their semi-final showdown last year, the world No. 2 Se again beat Tai, saving four match points in a thrilling deciding game to prevail 17-21, 21-19, 24-22. Tai won the women’s singles title in Birmingham in 2017, 2018 and 2020. In the three times the two superstars faced each other prior to Saturday, Tai, 22, had only come out on top once, when
California-born Lars Nootbaar had never played for Japan before the World Baseball Classic, but he has become so popular in his adopted country that sales of pepper mills have shot up in tribute to his trademark celebration. The 25-year-old outfielder — the first player born outside Japan to represent the country at the tournament — mimics twisting a pepper mill after each hit to show he wants to “grind out” a win for his team. The celebration has become a smash hit during Japan’s games in Tokyo, with Nootbaar’s teammates jumping on the bandwagon and fans bringing pepper grinders to the stadium. Nootbaar
LAST ONE STANDING: The world No. 3 was the only Taiwanese left in the tournament, while there were upsets in the men’s singles and the women’s doubles Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying on Thursday defeated Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-19, 21-12 to reach the quarter-finals of the BWF All England Open in Birmingham. Tai, the world No. 3, needed only 40 minutes to close out the round-of-16 matchup at the Utilita Arena. In the opening game, the Taiwanese shuttler established an early 10-5 cushion, before an aggressive Ongbamrungphan fought her way back into the tie, winning nine straight points to take a 10-14 lead. The pair traded the lead to bring the scores to 18-19, but Tai held her nerve to close out the first game. After a 2-2 tie early in
When Taiwan lost to Cuba 7-1 at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Sunday, it was an opportunity missed. A win would have sent the team to the quarter-finals in Tokyo. Instead, the loss gave Taiwan a 2-2 record, the same as the other four teams in Pool A, but they finished last because of tiebreakers. So, was the team’s performance a success or a failure? The 2-2 record would suggest somewhere in between, but two baseball experts, National Taiwan Sport University (NTSU) associate professor Kung Jung-tang and veteran commentator Tseng Wen-cheng, gave Taiwan’s WBC performance a resounding thumbs-up. “The team’s offensive showing was