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BRIEFS

Honour for Williams sisters

Washington: The US House of Representatives Friday honoured star tennis sisters Venus and Serena Williams for their role in breaking racial barriers.

In an unanimous vote, the house said it “honours and recognises the achievements and strides made by Venus and Serena by giving back to their community, promoting excellence, breaking barriers with pride and poise (and) showing that tennis is a sport for all people.”

Venus and Serena have won over 43 professional titles between them. Venus has won two Wimbledon titles and holds the women’s world record for the fastest serve at 127 miles per hour.

Diouf, Diao go scot-free

Liverpool: Senegalese World Cup heroes El Hadji Diouf and Salif Diao will not be disciplined for failing to turn up for African Nations Cup duty, their club Liverpool said Thursday.

The duo, who were inspirational in Senegal’s surge to the World Cup quarter finals where they lost 0-1 to Turkey, did not appear for training with the 2002 African Nations Cup finalists ahead of this weekend’s qualifying opener with minnows Lesotho. However, a Liverpool spokesman said there was no possibility of Diouf or Diao being fined. The club revealed 21-year-old Diouf had been allowed to travel to Senegal because of an illness in the family and former Sedan star Diao, 25, was being given some time off.

Stewart testimonial

London: England wicketkeeper-batsman Alec Stewart has been awarded a testimonial by his County Surrey for 2003, the club announced here Friday.

Now in his 122nd match, Stewart is England’s most capped Test cricketer of all time. Stewart, the son of former Surrey and England batsman Mickey, said in a statement: “Playing for Surrey throughout my career has been a fantastic privilege. “I have been lucky enough to play with some great players and particularly to be a huge part of the success the club has achieved over the last six years.

Back problem ails Ballesteros

Crans-Montana: Severiano Ballesteros withdrew from the European Masters due to recurring back problems on Friday before the Spaniard had started his second round.

The 45-year-old five-times major champion only returned to tour last week in the BMW International in Munich after a two-month break, following an ignominious disqualification in the Irish Open. He withdrew from the British Open.

Ballesteros shot a four-over-par 75 in the first round at Crans-Montana. His re-design of the greens there has come under heavy criticism again this week, particularly by world number three and British Open Champion Ernie Els.

Chela for Canas

Buenos Aires: Juan Ignacio Chela will replace Guillermo Canas in Argentina’s Davis Cup team to meet Russia in a semi-final in Moscow this month, captain Alejandro Gattiker said. Chela will line up with Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian, Gaston Gaudio and Lucas Arnold.

Argentina are looking to reach the final for the second time since 1981.

Palestine pullout

Kuala Lumpur: Palestinian side Al-Quds Friday announced their withdrawal from the Asian Football Confederation Champions League, the AFC said in a statement.

The PFA informed the AFC of the sudden withdrawal, saying the team could not travel to Turkmenistan, where they were due to meet Nisa for the third qualifying round, nor host the match in Palestinian territory due to “security concerns”.

“The current difficulties in Palestine make it very hard for Al-Quds to make the trip to Turkmenistan. At the same time, we are also unable to accommodate Nisa for the return match,” the PFA said in a letter to AFC.

n Cricket, The Npower Test series — India vs England, 4th Test, Day II live from 3.30 pm on ESPN n Cricket, Tri-series — Australia vs Pakistan, final live from 11.55 am on STAR Sports n Tennis, US Open — Women’s singles final live from 6.30 am on STAR Sports (Sunday)


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