Anna smashes Kournikova
Shanghai: Anna Smashnova dashed Anna Kournikova’s hopes of a first WTA title with a 6-2, 6-3 victory in Sunday’s Shanghai Open final.
Though Kournikova ran faster and hit the ball harder than Samshnova, the 21-year-old Russian foundered on unforced errors, repeatedly hitting balls too long from the baseline and missing key net shots.
Smashnova, a 26-year-old Israeli, ranked 19th in the world, remained precise and controlled. She pleased the crowd on several occasions with perfect winners hit in mid-stride as a hapless Kournikova looked on.
Smashnova seized the rhythm of the match early breaking Kournikova in the first game, and then easily held her own serve.
It wasn’t until the third game of the first set that Kournikova managed to score a point, when Smashnova hit wide.
Shuttlers for Bundesliga
Bangalore: Leading Indian shuttlers Nikhil Kanetkar and Arvind Bhat, the top two trainees of the city’s Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, have been invited by German clubs to play for them in the German badminton league — Bundesliga.
Kanetkar would be playing for B C Saarbrucken in Bischmisheim, Saarland and Bhat for TSV Neubeberg, Munich, according to an academy release here.
League matches get underway on September 22 and would continue for a period of three months, it was stated.
Currently, Kanetkar is at his highest IBF world ranking of 43 after his good showing at the Singapore Open last month
Boulami claims innocence
Paris: Moroccan 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Brahim Boulami has insisted he is innocent of doping despite testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Erythropoietine (EPO). The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Friday that the athlete’s B sample carried out in Lausanne, Switzerland, revealed results “clear and equivalent to those of the first sample”.
The initial test had been taken the evening before Boulami bettered his own world record in Zurich on August 16 with a time of 7min 53.17sec.
India fifth in junior Fed Cup
New Delhi: India beat a stronger Hungary 2-1 to finish fifth in the finals of the junior Fed Cup tennis championships held in La Baule, France.
Ankita Bhambri lost to Barbora Pocza 2-6, 6-7 (3-7) but Sania Mirza beat Antonia Xenia Toth 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.
Then Bhambri and Mirza took the deciding doubles tie against Pocza and Toth 6-2, 6-1, according to information received here on Sunday.
Spikers in semis
Chennai: The Indian men’s team has qualified for the semi-finals of the Asian Junior Volleyball Championship being held in Teheran. According to Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) secretary general K.Murugan, the team trounced Chinese Taipei 3-0 in the quarter finals.
De la Hoya keeps title
Las Vegas: Oscar de la Hoya recorded an 11th-round technical knockout of fellow American Fernando Vargas to retain his WBC super-welterweight championship and also win the WBA super-welterweight title.
De la Hoya’s victory took his career record to 35 wins and two defeats. Vargas has 22 wins and two defeats.
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