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Conchita bids goodbye

Madrid: Conchita Martinez, the only Spanish woman to win the Wimbledon singles title, announced her retirement on Saturday. Martinez, who will turn 34 on Sunday, prevented Martina Navratilova from winning a 10th Wimbledon singles title when she beat the American in the 1994 final. 'It wasn't an easy decision, but everything has to come to an end,' Martinez said in Valencia. 'There were some hard times but in the end the successes will always remain.'

The baseliner reached two other Grand Slam finals in her career, losing to Martina Hingis in the Australian Open in 1998 and to Mary Pierce at Roland Garros in 2000. Overall she won 33 singles titles after turning professional in 1988, her last victory coming in 2005 when she won at Pattaya City in Thailand.

Racial abuse on Vava

Sofia: Belasitsa Petrich's Brazilian striker Vava was racially abused by Lokomotiv Sofia players and fans in a Bulgarian league match in which he was sent off. The former Levski Sofia striker was targeted by a section of Lokomotiv fans who directed racial abuse, chants and monkey calls at him during Friday's game at the Lokomotiv Stadium in the capital. Referee Alexander Kostadinov sent Vava off mid-way through the second half for hitting Lokomotiv's Kristian Dobrev. The Brazilian said he was provoked. 'He (Dobrev) offended me many times and I just couldn't put up with such treatment,' said the 29-year-old Vava. Vava's teammate Kiki also complained of some Lokomotiv players' behaviour, saying: 'They just did not stop abusing us. I was called 'monkey' during the whole match. Antunovich hit me while Karadzhinov spat in my face.'

Cesc, Sol in doubt

London: Arsenal's teenage midfielder Cesc Fabregas and defender Sol Campbell are doubtful for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg against Villarreal, manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday. Fabregas injured his foot in the 5-0 win over Aston Villa two weeks ago. Wenger told reporters the Spaniard is unlikely to be fit in time after missing the midweek draw at Portsmouth. Campbell is also likely to miss the next two games after surgery on the broken nose he suffered at Portsmouth.

Milan: Twice Italian champions Napoli won promotion to the second flight Serie B on Saturday, two years after they were demoted due to bankruptcy.

Napoli, who won the 'Scudetto' with Argentine striker Diego Maradona in 1987 and 1990, beat Perugia 2-0 on Saturday. With rivals Frosinone losing at Chieti, Napoli have a 12-point lead with three games remaining.

The Naples club were declared bankrupt during the close season of 2004 and refused a licence to play in the second tier Serie B.

Under a special regulation, however, the franchise for football in the city was taken up by a newly-created club formed by cinema producer Aurelio De Laurentiis. The new club was forced to start in Serie C1. Last season Napoli missed out on an immediate return to the second tier after they lost a play-off.

Accrington back in fold

London: Accrington Stanley regained Football League status after a 44-year absence on Saturday when they clinched the Conference title. Accrington's name became a by-word for failure and was famous throughout the football world after financial pressure forced the club to fold in March 1962. The club reformed in 1968 and have risen up the English minor league system. They won promotion to the Conference, one rung below the Football League, in 2003 and secured the title on Saturday with a 1-0 win at Woking.

 

Cricket: Bangladesh vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day I, live from 9.15 am on STAR Sports

Cricket: South Africa vs New Zealand, first Test, Day II, live from 1.00 pm on ESPN

Soccer: Premier League, Blackburn vs Liverpool, live from 6.50 pm on STAR Sports


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