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Sharapova grinds out first win but still exits WTA Finals SINGAPORE: Maria Sharapova recovered from a second-set meltdown to record her first victory at this year's WTA Finals with a 7-5 6-7(4) 6-2 triumph over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanksa on Friday but the Russian still bowed out of the elite eight-woman tournament.After losing her opening two Red Group round robin matches, Sharapova needed to win in straight sets to stand any chance of advancing to the semi-finals and maintaining her pursuit of Serena Williams' number one ranking.The Russian looked set fair to keep her side of the bargain when she roared into a 5-1 lead in the second set but she ran into a wall called Radwanska with the Pole returning everything Sharapova threw at her to save three match points and reel off five straight games.Sharapova held a nervy service game to send the second set into a tiebreak and with her booming forehands suddenly unable to find their range, ...

Williams guaranteed year-end number one ranking SINGAPORE: Serena Williams clinched the year-end world number one ranking for the fourth time without hitting a ball on Friday after Maria Sharapova, the only woman with any chance of overtaking her, was eliminated from the WTA Finals.Needing to win in straight sets to stand any chance of advancing to the semi-finals, Sharapova lost the second set of her match against Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska at Singapore's Indoor Stadium, ending her slim hopes of leapfrogging Williams ...
Battered Wallabies head north to put down World Cup marker SYDNEY: Australia's beleaguered rugby union team left for their end-of-season northern hemisphere tour on Friday with a new coach and players talking of giving him an unbeaten start to his tenure as he eyes the World Cup in less than a year's time.New Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was only appointed on Wednesday, two days before the team left for the five-match tour that includes tests against World Cup pool opponents England and Wales.Cheika was hurriedly ...
Japan to get 18th Super Rugby team in 2016: SANZAR SYDNEY: Japan has beaten out Singapore to win the right to host the 18th Super Rugby team when the southern hemisphere provincial competition expands for the 2016 season, governing body SANZAR said on Friday.The Singapore bid effectively conceded defeat on Thursday, leaving the way open for Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU), which will host the World Cup in 2019, to put together Asia's first team in the championship."SANZAR will now work exclusively with the JRFU ...
NZ union signs conditional broadcast agreement WELLINGTON: The New Zealand Rugby Union and Sky Television have signed a conditional five-year deal for broadcasting rights from 2016, the NZRU said on Friday, with the final agreement expected to be signed off by the end of November.No financial details were disclosed due to the continued negotiation of rights in other countries, NZRU chief executive Steve Tew told reporters in a conference call.Sky, which has come under increased threat from Internet television providers for ...
Everton held by Lille but remain top in Europa League PARIS: Everton retained top spot in Group F on Thursday as they battled to a 0-0 draw at Lille in Europa League action following a day of trouble and fighting in the city centre between fans and police ahead of the tie. The Merseysiders, who last won their only continental trophy in 1985 when they lifted the now defunct Cup Winners' Cup, enjoyed the lion's share of possession but lacked a cutting edge up front ...
Royals outfield defenders cram for quirky AT&T test SAN FRANCISCO: The irresistible talents of the Kansas City Royals' outfielders may be tested by the inscrutable elements of San Francisco's quirky right field when the World Series resumes on Friday.Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson and Nori Aoki all had a cram course on Thursday's off-day in gauging caroms off the AT&T Park wall ahead of a Game Three that will snap a 1-1 tie in the best-of-seven championship."It's tough," said center fielder Cain, who has ...


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