Carlos Sainz on Sunday claimed his first Formula One victory in his 150th race when he drove his Ferrari to a spectacular triumph in a furious and crash-hit British Grand Prix. The 27-year-old Spaniard, starting from his maiden pole position, resisted a charging Sergio Perez of Red Bull, who recovered from 17th, to take the flag by 3.7 seconds in front of a record 142,000 crowd at the high-speed Silverstone circuit. Local hero and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes took third to claim a record 13th podium finish on home soil, an unprecedented total by any driver at a single event. Drawing on his fresher tires in the closing stages, Hamilton resisted and passed Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari, who finished fourth ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris of McLaren. World champion and series leader Max Verstappen finished seventh for Red Bull, recovering after picking up debris and suffering a puncture, ahead of a revitalized Mick Schumacher of Haas, collecting his first points in his second season. Sebastian Vettel, who had started 18th on his birthday, and Kevin Magnussen in the second Haas completed the top 10. “I don’t know what to say,” said a beaming Sainz. “It is amazing. My first win in Formula One on my 150th race and for Ferrari at Silverstone. It’s amazing.” Verstappen remained ahead in the title race with 181 points, clear of Perez on 147, Leclerc on 138 and Sainz on 127. The start was marred by a massive high-speed multicar collision, which saw Zhou Guanyu make a remarkable escape after his Alfa Romeo was catapulted upside down, with the Chinese rookie’s head saved by the roll hoop-halo protection system, as it skidded off across a gravel trap and over tire barriers into the catch fencing, where it bounced back to finish semi-upright in a stationary position. The
Brandon Brown wanted a way to change the narrative behind the “Let’s go, Brandon” message after his first career NASCAR victory inadvertently fostered a chant that has been used to insult US President Joe Biden. Brown found that new message thanks to the family of an eight-year-old boy with autism. Brandon Brundidge of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, was on a spring-break trip to Houston in March when he saw signs with the “Let’s go, Brandon” phrase. He believed they were meant to encourage him, and consequently started trying activities he never attempted before, such as learning to swim and removing the training wheels from his bicycle. His mother, Sheletta Brundidge, used that story to write a children’s book titled, Brandon Spots His Sign. Brown had the cover of her book on the hood of his Camaro for his Xfinity Series race on Saturday at Road America. “To have this come through was like that breakthrough moment for us,” Brown said. “This can be positive. This can be good. It doesn’t have to be hateful or divisive.” The divisiveness started after Brown earned his first career NASCAR victory in October last year. People at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama chanted “Fuck Joe Biden” during the winner’s post-race interview, but NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast incorrectly told Brown the fans were chanting “Let’s go, Brandon.” From that point, “Let’s go, Brandon,” became a rallying cry for Biden critics, with signs bearing that message popping up all over. Brown unintentionally found himself in the middle of the firestorm that surrounded the chants. “I’ve just been hopeful that I could make it a positive, I could have my name back and not have it be so divisive and scary, where it wouldn’t be a political statement for my friends and family to cheer me on during a race,” Brown said. That is where the Brundidge
Taipei Municipal Fulin Elementary School’s baseball team yesterday beat South Korea in the regional final to win the right to represent the Asia-Pacific region in this year’s Little League Baseball World Series. The Taiwan team’s 1-0 victory over hosts South Korea was largely down to the excellent performance of starting pitcher Liao Kuan-shu, who pitched six scoreless innings, in which he only gave up two hits at Hwaseong Dream Park in South Korea. After Taiwan earned a single in the bottom of the second inning, Liao in the third hit a two-out double, helping to eke out a 1-0 victory, as they capitalized on South Korea’s mistakes. The Asia-Pacific regional tournament started on Wednesday last week, with Taiwan on Thursday losing to South Korea 2-1. Taiwan won back their confidence the next day, as they dominated New Zealand 15-0, which they followed up on Saturday with a 6-0 victory over Guam. On Sunday, they again blanked their opponents, mastering the Philippines with a 12-0 win. Liao also shone in that game, hitting a three-run homer to end the first inning 4-0, and following it up with another three-run homer in the second. The Little League World Series is an annual baseball tournament in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for children aged 10 to 12. From 1969 to 1996, Taiwanese teams won 17 World Series. Taiwan has not represented the Asia-Pacific Region in the series since 2015.
Even knowing what an unusual Wimbledon this has been, with so many unexpected results and new faces popping up, and so few top seeds — and major champions — remaining, surely Novak Djokovic would not lose to a wild-card entry making his Grand Slam debut. If it did not quite seem plausible, it did at least become vaguely possible a tad past 9:30pm on Sunday night under the closed roof at Centre Court, when 25-year-old Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven — ranking world No. 104 with just eight tour-level victories, all in the past month — had the temerity to smack a 214kph ace past Djokovic and tie their fourth-round match at a set apiece. All of nine minutes later, the time it took Djokovic to grab 12 of the next 15 points, and the next three games, both plausibility and possibility took a hike. Soon enough, the third set was his, and not much later, so was the fourth, and the match, a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 result that gave the tournament’s No. 1 seed a 25th consecutive grass-court victory at the All England Club and a place in his 13th Wimbledon quarter-final. “Novak did his Novak thing,” Van Rijthoven said, “and played very, very well. He had all the answers.” Eventually, the only true question was whether Djokovic would wrap this one up in time, because there is an 11pm curfew. Running up against that would have required them to resume yesterday. “Whew. I am lucky,” Djokovic said after closing the deal with 20 minutes to spare. “It’s never really pleasant if you can’t finish the match in the same day. Glad I did.” His pursuit of a fourth consecutive, and seventh overall, title at Wimbledon, not to mention a 21st major championship, is to continue today against No. 10 seed Jannik Sinner of Italy, who
Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen on Sunday overtook Wout van Aert and Peter Sagan at the line to win the third stage of the Tour de France in a photo finish, while Van Aert extended his overall lead. Groenewegen got behind record seven-time Tour sprint champion Sagan’s wheel when he was battling with Van Aert, and found a gap to squeeze through and nudge his wheel over the line to win for Team BikeExchange-Jayco. “I took a lot of wind and my legs were tired, but I still had enough to sprint to the line,” Groenewegen said. “Wout van Aert always jokes, saying that if you are not sure of having won, you still claim the victory and you celebrate. That’s what I did, [and] I understood I won from the sport directors screaming in the car.” Groenewegen’s fifth Tour stage win came a day after Fabio Jakobsen’s first. Two years ago, Groenewegen was blamed for a heavy crash at the Tour of Poland that sent Jakobsen flying through roadside crash barriers. Jakobsen was put in an induced coma and needed five hours of surgery on his skull and face. Although Groenewegen was remorseful over the incident, he was banned from cycling for nine months by Union Cycliste Internationale. “My family supported me greatly after what happened,” he said. “My new team has put a lot of faith in me and a great train to lead me out. Every victory at the Tour de France is special.” Three years after his last Tour stage win, the 29-year-old Groenewegen was open-mouthed and emotional as he put his hands over his head. The win was even more special since he crashed 9km out and had to catch the peloton up.
FIERY CLASH: The pair’s bad-tempered match overshadowed the day’s action, which saw world No. 1 Iga Swiatek ousted by Alize Cornet, while Rafael Nadal eased through
Stefanos Tsitsipas said Nick Kyrgios has an “evil side” after a stormy clash at Wimbledon on Saturday in which the victorious Australian called for his Greek opponent to be kicked out of the tournament. The bad-tempered match overshadowed the rest of the action on day six, which included the end of Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak and a routine victory for Rafael Nadal. The mercurial Kyrgios prevailed 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) in an incident-packed third-round match on Court One. The contest descended into mayhem when a frustrated Tsitsipas hit the ball into the crowd after losing the second set. Kyrgios told the umpire that Tsitsipas should be kicked out of Wimbledon, recalling the incident at the US Open in 2020 when Novak Djokovic was defaulted from the tournament after hitting a line judge with a ball. “You can’t hit a ball into the crowd and hit someone and not get defaulted,” said the 27-year-old, who received an audible obscenity warning during the match. He kept up his verbal jousting with the umpire, clearly unsettling Tsitsipas, who was warned over the incident and later handed a point penalty for hitting the ball in frustration toward the back of the court. The bad feeling bubbled up again in post-match news conferences, with fourth seed Tsitsipas saying it felt like a “circus.” “He bullies the opponents,” said Tsitsipas, who admitted trying to hit the ball at Kyrgios. “He was probably a bully at school himself. I don’t like bullies. I don’t like people that put other people down.” “He has some good traits in his character, as well but... he also has a very evil side to him, which if it’s exposed, it can really do a lot of harm and bad to the people around him,” Tsitsipas said. Tsitsipas said he wished players could “come together and put a rule
Nolan Arenado on Saturday sparked a record barrage of four straight home runs by the St Louis Cardinals in the first inning, then hit a tiebreaking drive in the ninth that sent the Cardinals over the Philadelphia Phillies 7-6. With two outs in the first, Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carson homered off Kyle Gibson. It was the first time in MLB history that a team has connected for four homers in a row in the first inning. “It was really cool just being a part of that,” Arenado said. “It was almost surreal. You didn’t really believe it. Those moments are special. I’m very thankful for them.” The Cardinals tied the MLB record for any inning with four in a row. It was the first time they had done it, and the 11th time overall in big league history. “That was incredible,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “Guys took some good swings. They were on attack.” The home crowd at Citizens Bank Park then gasped when Lars Nootbaar followed Carlson and made solid contact on a flyball that was caught in deep left field but well shy of the warning track to end the inning. It was 6-all when Arenado led off the ninth by clearing the wall in left field off Seranthony Dominguez (4-2) for his 17th home run. Arenando hit for the cycle on Friday night in the Cardinals’ 5-3 defeat to the Phillies. “I just got enough of it,” Arenado said. “We’re obviously excited to win the ballgame. That’s what’s most important.” Yairo Munoz hit a two-run double, Matt Vierling had a pair of RBIs and Odubel Herrera had three hits for the Phillies. “These guys kept battling,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said. “Came back to tie twice. Just couldn’t seem to get the lead, but I’m awfully proud
Alexander Volkanovski left no doubt about his supremacy in the UFC featherweight division while wrapping up his trilogy against Max Holloway with style. Volkanovski defeated Holloway for the third time on Saturday night, defending his 145-pound (66kg) title by unanimous decision with a dominant striking performance at UFC 276. Israel Adesanya also retained his middleweight belt with considerably less flair, winning a tepid unanimous-decision victory over Jared Cannonier in the main event at T-Mobile Arena on the Vegas Strip. Volkanovski (25-1) extended his winning streak to 22 fights with a commanding display against Holloway (23-7), the former featherweight champion. Volkanovski executed a sharp boxing game plan against one of the UFC’s best punchers, bloodying Holloway’s face early on and steadily increasing the punishment into the final minutes. “It’s a bit of a journey, this rivalry,” Volkanovski said. “Taking the belt, having the rematch and then the talk and all that. There was a lot of ups and downs in there, but it was good to finally put an end to it and silence a lot of people. A lot of people that needed shutting up.” Holloway’s entire face was crimson at the final bell. Volkanovski won every round on all three judges’ scorecards, 50-45. “Max Holloway is an absolute beast,” Volkanovski said. “That intensity that we both had, I needed it. I really needed it. I had to get in my own head.” Adesanya (23-1) won his belt three years ago as one of the UFC’s most entertaining fighters and personalities, but his elaborate ring walk might have been the most thrilling part of his dry, technical victory over the cautious Cannonier (15-6). After copying famed professional wrestler The Undertaker on a walk that included the wrestler’s signature hat and a large urn, Adesanya patiently picked at Cannonier with kicks and occasional punches for five rounds.
Two years after a near fatal cycling crash, Fabio Jakobsen won Stage 2 of the Tour de France on Saturday, vindicating his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team’s decision to select him ahead of veteran Mark Cavendish. Jakobsen edged Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert, who took the overall leader’s yellow jersey after the 202.2km run from Roskilde to Nyborg in Denmark that included a treacherous crossing of the 18km-long Great Belt Bridge. Dutch rider Jakobsen’s win means Quick-Step have two victories in as many days, after they chose against picking the 37-year-old Cavendish, a 34-time stage winner on the race. “Cavendish is a legend, I wish we both could have been here,” Jakobsen said. “He helped me get a deal and I’m sure he enjoyed my win,” he added. Jakobsen, 25, suffered a life-threatening crash at the Tour of Poland in 2020, but has recovered to become one of the most feared sprinters in road cycling as he embarks on his first Tour de France. “It’s been a long road for me to get here, if only you knew,” said Jakobsen, who lost all his teeth and underwent 5 hours of surgery the day he crashed over barriers into a metal post. “It’s like a second life,” Jakobsen said. “Those who know me understand the sacrifices I had to make. So today I really am very happy.” “The crash made me more humble, I gave a lot for this, I’m happy but above all grateful and happy for the fans here in Denmark and at home too... I’ll remember today forever,” he said.
Fullback Damian Willemse kicked a pressure penalty after the hooter to secure South Africa a 32-29 victory over ill-disciplined Wales in a see-saw Test at a raucous Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday. Wing Louis Reece-Zammit crossed for two tries and Dewi Lakea got a third for the tourists, who took the world champions close, but paid the price for their cynical play in their own 22 as they lost four players to yellow cards and conceded a penalty-try. The Springboks might have won by a greater margin but for their own lacklustre play, as their tactical kicking was abysmal and decision-making in key phases of play unusually poor. Hookers Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx, and wing Cheslin Kolbe, crossed for tries for the home side, who were playing their first Test in eight months. The second of three Tests in the series is to be played in Bloemfontein on Saturday, with Wales still in search of a first win in South Africa after 11 attempts. “I’m gutted, there was a lot of momentum shifts in that game and we thought we nicked it, but it wasn’t to be,” Wales flank Dan Lydiate told Sky Sports. “We were disappointed after the Six Nations and we wanted to put in a good performance today to restore pride in the jersey, but we came here to win and we’re gutted with the result,” Lydiate said. “Discipline, we talked about it going into the camp, and we have to look at ourselves and rectify it for next week.” Wales had threatened to spoil the party as a sell-out crowd of 51,762 roared on the ’Boks, the first time in 1,051 days that the home side had played in front of their own fans. They would have felt let down with the opening 60 minutes of the game as Wales led 18-3
ICE HOCKEY Flyers player held in Russia A Russian ice hockey player under contract with an NHL team has been detained in Russia over charges he evaded military service, his lawyer said. Ivan Fedotov, a goaltender on the Russian team that won silver at the Beijing Winter Olympics this year, signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers in May. His detention comes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. The Fontanka.ru news Web site on Friday said that the 25-year-old had been detained by St Petersburg police at the request of the military prosecutor’s office. His lawyer, Alexei Ponomaryev, told state news agency RIA on Saturday that Fedotov was taken to an enlistment office on Friday and then a military hospital after falling ill. “As I understand it, due to stress, he had gastritis,” Ponomaryev said. “Ivan feels bad. He says that he is not being provided with full medical assistance.” Ponomaryev denied accusations that his client had evaded military service. SOCCER Ronaldo wants out of Man U Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United this summer if the English Premier League club receives an appropriate offer, multiple reports said on Saturday. The 37-year-old Portugal forward returned to Old Trafford from Juventus last summer, but despite being United’s top scorer last season, and third in the Premier League, the overall campaign was disappointing. United finished sixth in the league, missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification and leaving the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has a year left on his contract plus an optional year, facing the prospect of playing in the Europa League for the first time. Manchester United are adamant that Ronaldo is not for sale. CRICKET Bumrah bats record over Jasprit Bumrah was enjoying a dream debut on Saturday as India captain with bat and ball as England were
‘GOOD START’: The visitors struck first in each half and won the early breakdown battle, but finished the game a long way off ending their winless run in New Zealand
The All Blacks yesterday weathered Ireland assaults at the start of each half, but responded with six tries to open their season with a hard-fought 42-19 victory in Auckland to take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. Ardie Savea scored either side of halftime — his first in a blitz of three tries in eight minutes — as New Zealand avenged a 29-20 loss in Dublin in November last year and extended their unbeaten run at Eden Park to 47 Tests over 28 years. Ireland will take confidence for the Dunedin and Wellington Tests from dominating for extended periods, and breaching the New Zealand line for tries by winger Keith Earls, center Garry Ringrose and Auckland-born midfield replacement Bundee Aki. Fullback Jordie Barrett scored a try and converted all six for the All Blacks, while winger Sevu Reece, center Quinn Tupaea and debutant loose forward Pita Gus Sowakula also crossed for the home side. “We’re pretty pleased, that’s a good start to the year for sure,” All Blacks captain Sam Cane said. “We were good for patches, certainly a good start, but we’ve got a lot to work on. The boys defended really well, right until the end as well.” Ireland, who had won three of the past five meetings between the nations, but have never beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand, came out firing and crucially won the early battle of the breakdown. Earls went over for his 35th Test try after five minutes and Jordie Barrett’s response for New Zealand 16 minutes later was against the run of play. Ireland were again on the attack after half an hour when Reece scooped up an errant pass and raced away for New Zealand’s second try and there was a second blow for the visitors when skipper Johnny Sexton was forced off after a head
It is, to be sure, the stuff of movies: An oft-injured guy ranked outside the top 100, making his Grand Slam debut thanks to a wild card, knocks out two seeded players on his way to a fourth-round matchup at Wimbledon against none other than No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the three-time defending champion. We can guess what Hollywood might do with that script. Tim van Rijthoven, a 25-year-old Dutchman, earned the chance to see what will happen in real life across the net from Djokovic after both men won in straight sets on Friday at the All England Club. “Before the tournament started, it was a dream for me to play him, basically. So to be able to have that chance, and to maybe even play on Centre Court or Court 1, is beautiful and magical,” Van Rijthoven said after beating No. 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 on Court 12, with its capacity of 1,736, to become the first wild-card entry since 2015 to get to the round-of-16 at Wimbledon. “I go into every match thinking I can win the match,” said Van Rijthoven, whose baseline-based style eliminated No. 15 Reilly Opelka earlier in the week. “Also, against Djokovic, I’ll go into that match thinking I can win that match.” Actually, until last month, the backward-ballcap-wearing Van Rijthoven had not won a match on the ATP Tour. Since then, he has not lost one, going 8-0, including a victory over current No. 1 Daniil Medvedev to claim the trophy at a grass-court event in the Netherlands. “It’s been a long one. I’ve had my ups and downs, injuries here and there. Also struggled mentally,” said Van Rijthoven, whose health issues included wrist surgery, a procedure on a vein in his right arm because of thrombosis and nine months healing from “golfer’s elbow” that he noted
Rowdy Tellez on Friday homered for the fifth time in five games, and drove in five runs, while Corbin Burnes took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 19-2. Willy Adames hit a grand slam as the Brewers connected five times. They also had five doubles among their 16 hits. The Brewers got seven runs in the second inning and eight more in eighth. It was the first time in franchise history they had scored at least seven runs twice in an inning in the same game. Tellez’s homer was a three-run shot to right-center field that capped a seven-run second inning against rookie Roansy Contreras (2-2). Tellez also had a two-run double in the fourth to push the Brewers’ lead to 9-0. “He hits the ball hard and when he does square the ball up it has a chance of going out of the ballpark and that’s what he’s been doing,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. In Detroit, Michigan, Vinnie Pasquantino took an unusual path to home plate on his first big-league home run — a furious sprint, a desperate slide and even a tag as he and Hunter Dozier hit back-to-back homers, leading the Kansas City Royals over the Detroit Tigers 3-1. Playing his third game in majors, Pasquantino was zero for six overall when he hit Michael Pineda’s first pitch of the fourth inning to deep right. The ball hit the top of the fence, bounced off a railing and back onto the field. Thinking the ball was in play, Pasquantino tried to get a double out of it, but Javy Baez took Willi Castro’s throw and tagged the rookie as he slid into the bag. The Tigers shortstop then told Pasquantino to get up and enjoy the last half of his home-run trot. “I got tagged
Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying was knocked out of the Malaysia Open yesterday, losing her women’s singles semi-final against Chen Yufei of China 19-21, 21-13, 21-15. Despite two previous victories for second-seeded Tai against Chen this season — including her win in the final of the Thailand Open — fourth-seeded Chen dispatched the world No. 2 in 1 hour, 8 minutes at Kuala Lumpur’s Axiata Arena, securing a spot in the Super 750 tournament’s final. Tai won the opening game of the last-four matchup, scoring two consecutive points after the score was tied 19-19. However, she had a horrific points drought after the break in the second game. Tai had lead by as much as 12-5, but Chen engineered an 11-point rally — including 9-1 after the break, when it was 12-12 — to force the decider. Tai established another buffer for herself in the third game, leading 9-3 early on, but Chen fought back once more. The match was extended after Tai took a tumble in the third game. She had a graze on her right elbow after falling while attempting to catch the shuttle. Tai — who was leading 12-9 at the time — asked for time to treat the wound. Chen leveled the scores at 14-14 and the Chinese player pushed on to a 17-15 lead before finishing off the match with four consecutive points. However, even with the defeat, Tai has a 17-5 head-to-head record against Chen.
Belgian Yves Lampaert on Friday shocked the favorites to pull on the leader’s yellow jersey after the rain-drenched first stage of the Tour de France, an individual time-trial in the Danish capital. Quick-Step rider Lampaert suffered less thanks to a later start than the pre-race favorites on the slippery 13.2km route, finishing 5 seconds ahead of compatriot Wout van Aert, with defending champion Tadej Pogacar third, 7 seconds off the pace. Massive crowds lined the streets as riders sped past the Little Mermaid statue, the harbor-front Blox building and the Amalienborg palace, where Crown Prince Frederik joined the celebration. Lampaert was overwhelmed with emotion as the 31-year-old realized he would wear the overall leader’s yellow jersey on yesterday’s second stage. “I was hoping for a top 10, but not this,” he said. “I beat the big guys.” Two-time defending champion Pogacar pulled on the white jersey as the fastest under-25 rider. “It’s great to be back on the Tour, the white jersey was my aim today,” the Team UAE leader said. “I loved the crowds and my time was good for the GC [general classification] against my rivals,” he said. Stage 2 — a 202.2km ride from Roskilde to Nyborg — was to finish after press time last night.
ON A ROLL: Polish top seed Iga Swiatek surpassed Monica Seles’ 36-match winning streak from 1990 and matched Martina Hingis’ 37-match winning run from 1997
Rafael Nadal on Thursday was again forced to dig deep to reach the Wimbledon third round, as women’s top seed Iga Swiatek survived a stumble to win her 37th match on the spin. The Spanish second seed, chasing a calendar Grand Slam, recovered from losing the third set for the second straight match to beat Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Earlier, Spanish 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut became the third potential dangerman in Nadal’s half of the draw to pull out with COVID-19, following the withdrawals of last year’s runner-up Matteo Berrettini and 2017 finalist Marin Cilic. Nadal has also benefited from a shock first-round exit for Canadian sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who took him to five sets at the French Open. Nadal looked comfortable in the first two sets against Berankis, but was broken in his first service game of the third set and could not claw his way back. However, the Spaniard regrouped and raced into a 3-0 lead in the fourth set, sealing the match with an ace after it resumed under the roof following a sharp rain shower. The 22-time Grand Slam champion, who has not played at Wimbledon since reaching the 2019 semi-finals, admitted he needed to step up his game as he prepares to face Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego. “I didn’t play much on grass in three years,” he said. “It gives me the chance to keep going, so very happy for that. I need to improve. The fourth set was much better... I have to keep working, be humble, even when things are not going well.” Stefanos Tsitsipas and Australian maverick Nick Kyrgios remain two of Nadal’s biggest challenges and they meet today in a mouthwatering contest. Kyrgios was on his best behavior on court as he steamrollered Serbian 26th seed Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in just 85 minutes. Fourth seed
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying yesterday booked a spot in the women’s singles semi-finals at the Malaysian Open after outdueling Pusarla V. Sindhu of India in a match that went to a deciding game. World No. 2 and second seed Tai defeated world No. 7 Sindhu 13-21, 21-15, 21-13 in a quarter-final that lasted seven minutes shy of an hour at the Super 750 tournament at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur. It was the 21st meeting between Tai and Sindhu, with the Taiwanese leading the head-to-head record 15-5 before the match. Tai also extended her winning streak against Sindhu to six matches. In the semi-final, Tai is to face Chinese fourth seed Chen Yufei, who defeated Japanese sixth seed Nozomi Okuhara 14-21, 21-18, 21-18. Tai played with the drift at the start of the opening game as Sindhu secured a lead at the mid-game interval of 11-7. The Indian shuttler then extended her lead to win the first game by eight points. Tai rallied in the second game, scoring eight consecutive points to lead 10-1, but Sindhu fought back with seven consecutive points of her own to trail by only two points at 17-15. However, Tai was able to step up her work rate to finish off the game with four consecutive points, forcing a third and deciding game. In the decider, the scores remained close at 16-13, before Tai put together a four-shot surge that took her to match point at 20-13. Putting on a show for the fans, the Taiwanese returned with a breathtaking behind-the-back shot, followed by a backhand which Sindhu hit wide. Tai is keen to defend the title she won at the Malaysia Open in 2013 as well as 2017 to 2019. The event was not held in 2020 and last year.
The Taoyuan Leopards on Thursday confirmed that they have extended the contract of American former NBA player Deyonta Davis, who helped turn the municipality into Block City last season by posting the highest average number blocks per game in the T1 League. The 2.11m center led with an average of 2.5 blocks per game in the league’s inaugural season, while averaging 16.4 points, 14.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.9 minutes of floor time, the club said in a statement. Davis also made it into the T1 League All-Defensive First Team, an honor given to the best defensive players during the regular season, the Leopards said, adding that he is a vital defender in restricted areas. Leopards head coach Bobo Liu said Davis worked well with local players in their pick-and-rolls and integrated nicely into the team. “I hope he can continue to train in the United States during the off-season, adjust to his best state, and come back to work well with the team,” Liu said. In response, Davis said the Leopards mean a lot to him and he wants every chance to show what he can do to help the team win. In addition to his defense, Davis said he is working on his offense and is confident that his performance will be a factor at both ends of the court. “Be ready for next year because we’re making the playoffs,” Davis said. The 25-year-old Michigan native played for the Memphis Grizzlies from 2016 to 2018 and the Atlanta Hawks from 2018 to 2019, appearing in 107 NBA games and posting 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in an average of 12.1 minutes per game. He later played in the NBA G-League, the NBA’s official minor league, for the Santa Cruz Warriors, posting 11.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks, and shooting 69.6 percent from the
Backup catcher Michael Perez on Thursday had three home runs, while rookies Oneil Cruz and Jack Suwinski hit back-to-back shots as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-7. It was the first multi-homer game of Perez’s five-year career. He also doubled his season home run total. Perez hit a two-run blast in the fourth inning off Brent Suter (1-2) to break a 3-3 tie. He added another two-run homer in the sixth to make it 6-4, before connecting again for a solo shot in the eighth to increase the lead to 8-4. “Three really good swings,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “He didn’t miss any of them. He got all of them. The thing is, we needed every one of them. What a great night for him.” The outburst came one day after the Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds had a three-homer game in a win at Washington. Suwinski homered three times on June 19 in a victory over San Francisco. The Pirates had three players have three-homer games in the same month for the first time in the franchise’s 140-year history. “Hopefully, it’s a contagious bug of three-homer games that is going around,” winning pitcher J.T. Brubaker said with a smile. “I’m happy for Mikey. He always does a good job behind the plate and I think a night like this made it easier for him to call the game.” Perez went four for five to set a career-high for hits and raise his batting average to .169. He finished with five RBIs as the Pirates ended their eight-game losing streak against Milwaukee that dated to last season. “I always believe in myself, that I can do my best every day,” Perez said. “To be a part of this and the win, it feels good.” The Brewers scored three runs in the ninth inning to pull to 8-7. Willy