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Srichaphan too hot to handle

Madrid: A distracted Tim Henman found the tireless Thai Paradorn Srichaphan too much of a handful in the second round of the Madrid Masters on Wednesday, the British number four seed going down to an untidy 6-3, 3-6, 3-6 defeat. Srichaphan went on to beat Croatian Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 6-2 in the third round Thursday. Top seed Tommy Haas lost his place in the tournament, the defending champion having to retire while trailing 7-6 4-1 to Frenchman Fabrice Santoro because of a blister on his hand. Albert Costa, the sixth seed, didn’t even make it on to court, as a back injury forced him to withdraw from his match against Nicolas Lapentti.

Bacher denies racial divide

Durban: Ali Bacher, the chief of the 2003 cricket World Cup organising committee, has denied suggestions that the World Cup music committee was divided along racial and ideological lines.

Bacher was responding to a front-page leading article in a Johannesburg newspaper on Wednesday that said the theme song composed by an African musician was rejected because it was “too African”.

Bacher said the music committee on the whole rejected the song as they felt it might only receive the support of one section of the community.

The revised World Cup song has now been completed and would be representative of all South Africans, he said.

Candela not to leave Roma

Rome: Winger Vincent Candela has denied Italian media speculation that he will leave AS Roma for Juventus when the transfer market opens in January. It had been suggested that the Frenchman, who was jeered by fans during his side’s recent defeats, would be exchanged for Juventus midfielder Edgar Davids, for whom Roma made a series of unsuccessful offers before the season started.

“I’ve never heard anything from anybody at Juventus,” he was quoted as saying in Corriere dello Sport on Thursday.

Torrence golfer of the month

Wentworth: European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance has been named the European Tour’s Golfer of the Month for September following his team’s victory over the United States 19 days ago.

Europe went into the last-day singles at The Belfry as underdogs but, galvanised by Torrance’s bold strategy of sending out his best players early, they surged to a memorable victory.

Torrance, who has earned £1,000 ($1,549) for the Golf Foundation through his award, said in a statement on Thursday: “I’m delighted to accept on behalf of each and every member of the (Ryder Cup) team.”

Capriati hurts ankle

Zurich: Top-seeded Jennifer Capriati injured her left ankle Thursday during her 0-6, 3-6 loss to Conchita Martinez in the second round of the $1,224,000 Swisscom Challenge. She was uncertain to play in her next meet.

Capriati’s WTA injury report listed her as being in “questionable” condition to compete and the 26-year-old said she would have to wait and see how fit her ankle was before deciding if she could play in Linz, austria, next week.

Becker tax wrangle

Berlin: The advisor of German tennis legend Boris Becker Thursday denied an agreement had been reached with the authorities over the retired star’s tax wrangle.

Robert Lubenoff was responding to a report in the Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

The journal claimed Becker was preparing a plea bargain to avoid going to prison over failure to pay millions of euros in back tax by paying 2.5m euros.

n Cricket, India vs West Indies — Second Test in Chennai, Live from 9.30 am on DD Sports n Tennis, ATP Masters Series in Madrid from 12 noon on Star Sports n Soccer, English Premier League preview from 7.30 pm on ESPN


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