Agassi makes it to Masters
London: US Open runner-up Andre Agassi is the second player to qualify for season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, the ATP said on Wednesday.
With just six weeks of the regular circuit remaining, the American joins world No. 1 and defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the elite eight-man field.
In the closest-ever Champions Race, just 55 points separate Marat Safin in third place from American Andy Roddick, who lies ninth in the standings.
Having won two Tennis Masters Series events at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami and in Rome, Agassi effectively booked his ticket to Shanghai by reaching the US Open final. The 32-year-old also won titles in Scottsdale and Los Angeles earlier in the year.
England, SA to play friendly
London: England will play South Africa in a friendly in Durban in May, the first time the English have played in the country. The English FA announced on Wednesday that the game would take place on May 22 at Durban’s ABSA Stadium.
“It was organised following a long-standing request by Nelson Mandela, and will be England’s first-ever match in South Africa,” the FA said on its official website.
In 1997, Manchester’s Old Trafford hosted the only other meeting between the nations which England won 2-1.
Olimpia give in to Fifa threat
Asuncion: South American champions Olimpia have promised to withdraw a legal complain filed against Fifa in Zurich after the world body threatened them with suspension. The possible ban would cost the Paraguayan club a prestigious meeting against European champions Real Madrid in the Intercontinental Club Cup final in Japan in December.
Osvaldo Dominguez Dibb, the club’s president. said he had already made the promise to Fifa vice-president Julio Grondona of Argentina and to South American Football Confederation president Nicolas Leoz. “I don’t want to hear anybody talking about this matter,” he said. “I spoke to Grondona and Leoz last week. If the lawyer who represents Olimpia forgot to take a piece of paper, it's not my fault.”
Taxing time for Greek landlords
Athens: Greece is considering imposing a 10 per cent tax on Greeks who rent out their homes to the thousands of visitors expected in Athens for the 2004 Olympic Games, the Athens News Agency reported. On Wednesday it cited sources at Games organisers (ATHOC) as saying finance minister Nikos Christodoulakis had decided late on Tuesday that income from renting out private homes to visitors should carry the tax — double what was previously considered.
Accommodation has been a huge problem for organisers of the Games. After struggling to find the 20,000 luxury rooms for the extended Olympic family, ATHOC earlier this month said it had decided to berth seven cruise ships in Piraeus.
The ships will be used as hotels, adding another 6,000 rooms and suites to the list. Private homes will provide most of the remaining accommodation needs.
Golf hits air pocket
New Delhi: The world airline golf champinship will tee off at the Classic Golf Resort near here on Saturday. Airlines like KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, Air France, Austrian Airlines, SAS and Thai airways, will participate in the two-day championship.
India for junior meet
Beijing: India will participate in the inaugural Asian junior women’s basketball meet to be held in Shijiazhuang, China, from October 28 to November 3, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
n Cricket: UK domestic season, Norwich Union League from 2.00 pm on Star Sports n Soccer: Uefa Champions League, from 4.30 pm and 9.00 pm ESPN n General: Sportsline, live from 7.30 pm on STAR Sports n Soccer: Spanish league highlights from 8.30 pm on ESPN