Sports Update

Commonwealth TT: Ghosh-Mouma make mixed doubles final

Soumyajit-Ghosh-Mouma-DasNew Delhi, May 9 : Soumyajit Ghosh and Mouma Das made the mixed doubles final at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships here Thursday, a day on which India made sure of at least seven medals in the individual competitions.

Ghosh and Mouma beat top seeds from Singapore, Yang Zi and Yu Mengyu, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10, in the semifinals. They will meet another Singaporean pair, Zhan Jian and Zhou Yihan, in the title clash to be held later in the evening.

Djokovic knocked out of Madrid Masters

Novak-Djokovic_Madrid, May 8 : World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was knocked out in the second round of the Madrid Masters after a 6-7 (6), 7-6 (8), 3-6 defeat to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in a match lasting three hours and five minutes.

A tight, hard-fought first set was taken by Dimitrov in the tie-break and Djokovic looked to be heading out of the tournament late Tuesday night in the second set when Dimitrov broke his serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, reports Xinhua.

But the Serb broke back to take the set to another tie-break, which he won after 18 nerve-wracking points.

Chelsea meet Benfica in Europa League final

ChelseaLondon, May 3 : Chelsea outscored Basel 5-2 at Stamford Bridge to enter the Europa League final in Amsterdam where they will face Benfica.

Trailing 1-2 from the first leg at home, the Swiss side levelled the tie Thursday by Mohamed Salah's finish in the area just before halftime. If the score went unchanged to the final whistle, it still was Chelsea who had one more away goal to go through, reports Xinhua.

Teenage golfer Guan fires 69 in Zurich Classic

Guan-TianlangWashington, April 27 : Chinese sensation Guan Tianlang, just 14 years old, fired a 69 in the par-72 USPGA Tour Zurich Classic after a lacklustre first round the day before.

The teenage golfer scored five birdies and two bogeys in his second round effort Friday, reports Xinhua.

His three-under-par total of 141, with an even-par opening round, was nine shots off leader Lucas Glover but within the projected cut line of two-under.

"I think I played a very good round today," said the amateur. "I made a lot of birdies and a couple of good up and downs. So I think... I made the cut."

Nadal beats Berlocq in Barcelona

Rafael-NadalBarcelona, April 25 : Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal beat Argentina's Carlos Berlocq 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of Conde de Godo here.

The 26-year-old Nadal had no trouble at the beginning of the match and quickly broke serve before racing to a 5-3 lead in the first set Wednesday, Xinhua reports.

Berlocq, who is ranked 63rd in the world, showed spirit, breaking Nadal's serve and looking to attack the Spaniard at the net, but Nadal kept cool and took the next game to claim the opening set.

Man United lift 20th title with 3-0 win

Robin-van-Persie-English-leagueLondon, April 23 : Manchester United won an unprecedented 20th English league title with a commanding 3-0 win at home over Aston Villa, four rounds before the end of the 2012-13 football season.

The feat became possible after Manchester City, in second place, lost 1-3 to Tottenham Hotspur Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Robin van Persie was in ominous form as his hat-trick in the first 45 minutes of the Monday match helped seal the win and the title.

Juventus beat Milan to move closer to Serie A title

Juventus-beat-MilanRome, April 22 : Juventus held off AC Milan 1-0 at home to move within four points of their second consecutive Italian Serie A title.

In the 57th minute, Arturo Vidal converted a penalty, which was earned when Kwadwo Asamoah was barged into by Marco Amelia in the area, to give the host three precious points Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Juve need just four more points in the final five matches to retain the Scudetto and their head coach Antonio Conte claimed that this win was a big step forward toward the Serie A title.

Balotelli's ban reduced to two gamess

Mario-BalotelliRome, April 20 : AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has had his three-match ban reduced to two on appeal, but he will still miss the crucial tie against Juventus Sunday.

The Italian international was suspended for insulting a match official during the 2-2 draw at Fiorentina two weeks ago, reports Xinhua.

The January signing was automatically banned for one game for the accumulation of yellow cards, plus two for his verbal outburst.

Milan appealed against the ban Friday and were able to reduce his initial punishment.

Galatasaray coach's nine-match ban approved

Fatih-TerimAnkara, April 19 : Disciplinary board of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has approved Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim's nine-match ban over his overreaction to the referee of the match between Mersin Idmanyurdu and Galatasaray two weeks ago.

Terim has been given a nine-match ban over "unsportsmanlike conduct" during a match against the Super League's Mersin Idmanyurdu April 6. However, Galatasaray then appealed to the disciplinary board to review the decision, reports Xinhua.

Saina, Kashyap retain rankings

Saina-Nehwal-Parupalli-KashyapNew Delhi, April 18 : World No. 2 Saina Nehwal retained her place in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) women's singles rankings released Thursday.

City-mate P. V. Sindhu currently playing in the Badminton Asia Championships in Taipei also kept her 16th place.

London Olympics quarter-finalist Parupalli Kashyap, Mumbai's Ajay Jayaram and Sourabh Verma also retained their positions in the men's singles rankings.

While Kashyap is at a career-best No. 7, Jayaram and Verma are 30th and 38th, respectively.

Kovalainen returns to Caterham as reserve driver

Heikki-KovalainenBahrain, April 17 : Finnish racing driver Heikki Kovalainen has returned to Caterham and will drive for the Formula 1 team in the first practice sessions in Bahrain and Spain.

Kovalainen is rejoining the team as one of the two reserve drivers, alongside Alexander Rossi who moves to Caterham Racing to compete in the GP2 Series. The Finn was dropped as a Caterham race driver at the end of last season with the Leafield-based outfit going for the inexperienced Charles Pic and Dutch Giedo van der Garde.

NADA finds boxer Vijender's samples negative

Vijender-SinghNew Delhi, April 16 : Olympic medallist Vijender Singh can heave a sigh of relief after the sports ministry announced Tuesday that the boxer's samples tested negative for drugs.

The boxer was alleged to have consumed recreational drugs with sparring partner Ram Singh. The Beijing Olympics bronze medallist had submitted his blood and urine samples to the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) after being directed by the ministry.

Italy, Kazakhstan win in World Ice Hockey

World-Ice-HockeyBudapest, April 16  : Italy, Kazakhstan and South Korea beat their respective opponents at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A here.

South Korea won its first ever game against hosts Hungary 5-4 (0-3, 1-1, 3-0, 0-0, 1-0) in a shootout Monday. Italy defeated Japan 4-1 (1-0, 2-1, 1-1) while Kazakhstan beat Britain 5-0 (2-0, 1-0, 2-0), reports Xinhua.

Italy and Kazakhstan remained undefeated and have good chances to be promoted to the top division. The competition kicked off Sunday and will conclude Saturday.(IANS)

Martina Hingis to coach Pavlyuchenkova

Anastasia-Pavlyuchenkova-Martina-HingisMoscow, April 15 : Rising Russian women's tennis star Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Monday announced that five-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis will be coaching her.

Pavlyuchenkova rose to 20th in the world on the back of her third title in Monterrey last week, and has enlisted the retired Swiss star's help for this weekend's Fed Cup match and beyond.

"Now I'm starting my collaboration with Martina Hingis and we are going to try all the clay court series," the 21-year-old said.

Penalty sends Webber to back of grid

Mark-WebberShanghai, April 13 : Red Bull's Formula 1 driver Mark Webber will start Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit from the back of the grid after the stewards found that he did not have enough fuel in his car for the mandatory one-litre post-qualifying sample.

The Australian had initially qualified in 14th after being told over the radio by his team to park his car midway through Q2. Red Bull later confirmed that the stoppage was caused by a fuel bowser problem that led to 3 kg of fuel not being delivered to Webber's RB9.

'Beast from the East' rules out boxing comeback

Nikolai-ValuevMoscow, April 12 : Former WBA champion Nikolai Valuev, known as the "Beast from the East", has ruled out a comeback to boxing for health reasons.

Reports have appeared in Russian media over recent days that the 39-year-old underwent surgery to have a benign brain tumour removed.

"I don't plan that at all, for medical reasons," Valuev said when asked if he was considering a comeback.

St. Petersburg-born Valuev moved into politics in 2011 as a member of parliament for the ruling United Russia party, representing a coal-mining area of Siberia.

Kashyap achieves career-best ranking of No.7

Parupalli-KashyapNew Delhi, April 11 : London Olympics quarter-finalist Parupalli Kashyap jumped to a career-best ranking of World No. 7 in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released Thursday.

The Hyderabadi jumped a place, overtaking Chinese Chen Jin, to be in the top-7 in the men's singles rankings while Mumbai's Ajay Jayaram retained his ranking of 30th.

In the women's singles, Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal also kept her No. 2 position behind Olympic champion Li Xeurui while rising shuttler P. V. Sindhu, who beat Li last year, also retained her No. 16.

Dortmund defeat Malaga in dramatic Champions League match

Dortmund-defeat-MalagaBerlin, April 10 : Borussia Dortmund's Felipe Santana broke Malaga hearts with his winner in injury time to claim a 3-2 victory in the Champions League quarter-finals second leg football match.

After a goalless first leg, Dortmund were in need of a victory to progress into the semi-finals whereas Malaga needed a draw or a victory to advance, reports Xinhua.

It looked like a decisive goal when Malaga's Eliseu Pereira dos Santos made it 2-1 in the 82nd minute. However, Dortmund turned things around within two minutes to shock the visitors from Spain.

Raonic helps Canada reach maiden Davis Cup semis

milos-raonicVancouver, April 8 : Canada advanced to the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time Sunday when Milos Raonic beat Italy's Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to win the World Group tie 3-1.

The upstart Canadians, who upset top-ranked Spain in February, will now meet Serbia in the next round in September. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat Sam Querrey in four sets to give the visiting Serbians a 3-1 victory over USA Sunday in Boise, Idaho, Xinhua reports.

Chennai's Srinath keeps Asian Junior title

Narayanan-SrinathSharjah, April 6 : International Master Narayanan Srinath retained his Asian Junior title while J. Saranya finished runner-up at the Asian Junior Championship that concluded here Saturday.

Srinath had won the Asian Junior at Tashkent in June 2012 and made his maiden Grand Master norm. He is also a former World Under-12 champion having won it at Belfort, France in 2005. Winning this title again in back-to-back years gives Srinath another Grand Master norm.

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