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Haas out of Australian Open

Berlin: German tennis star Tommy Haas will miss next month’s Australian Open following a shoulder operation, it was announced Monday.

Haas, who reached the semi-finals of the Grand Slam last year, was operated on three days back after tearing a tendon in his right shoulder while training at Nick Bolletieri’s tennis camp in Brandenton, Florida.

“The tendon was completely torn, but if everything goes great, maybe I’ll be back by Indian Wells or Miami at the end of March,” Haas said.

He will also miss the Davis Cup tie against Argentina starting February 7.

Haas, however, appeared relieved in some ways by the chance to rest and cure some chronic injuries. Doctors suspect the World No. 11 had played with a partial tear of the tendon for some time.

“I’ve played for months with pain in my shoulder and in my elbow — that got on my nerves,” said Haas, 24.

ICC stays off politics

London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said it has no plans to invite Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who is also patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, to any of the six World Cup matches scheduled in that country but would not stand in his way if he chose to attend.

Defending its decision to allow Zimbabwe to host World Cup matches in February-March, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said it was taken on sporting grounds alone.

“Wherever we play there are politicians who come to the cricket matches and take a political advantage out of their country hosting the events,” Speed said on BBC’s Radio 5 live channel.

Gazza keen on comeback

London: Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne, without a club since the end of last season, says he is fitter than he has been for three years and desperate to join a Premier League or first division club.

“I have been training hard and I am the fittest I have been for three years,” the 35-year-old said Monday. “But I am sick of training on my own. I want a club. I am desperate to get back and prove I can still do it. I would love a Premier League or first division club to take me on.”

“I need to get back on that field because I am missing it a lot,” he told British newspapers. “I have spoken to a lot of agents and it’s just a matter of time. Whoever signs me, I won’t let them down.

Olympic Order for Ashwini

New Delhi: International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Ashwini Kumar has been conferred with the prestigious Olympic Order by the IOC.

Ashwini Kumar was given the award by the IOC president Jacques Rogge in the body’s 104th congress held at Mexico City recently.

Besides the 82-year old Indian, French president Jacques Chirac and Flor Isavafonseca of Venezuela were also chosen for the award.Ashwini Kumar was the president of Indian Hockey Federation for 16 years and also a former secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association.

Asian Games bid

Beijing: The southern Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou is considering a bid to host the 2010 Asian Games, officials said Monday.

“We are deliberating on it,” a municipal government official, who did not want to be named, said.

“We have not decided officially,” he added.

Guangzhou, which is trying to raise its international profile to match Beijing and Shanghai, has never hosted an international sports event.

Paradorn’s Thai honour

Bangkok: Tennis sensation Paradorn Srichaphan easily beat Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to win Thailand’s Personality of the Year award.Nearly 54 per cent voted Paradorn their favourite person.

nCricket: Sachin Tendulkar programming from 4:30 pm on ESPN n Cricket: Talk Show Harsha Online from 10:30 pm on STAR Sports n Soccer: Premier League Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur highlights from 9 pm on ESPN


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