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Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhupathi, Paes top seeds

New Delhi: Indian duo Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have been given top billing at the $ 355,000 ATP Tour at Long Island, New York.

Bhupathi and Paes will be sharing the same side of the court for the first time in 15 months when they take on Gustavo Kuerten and Flavio Saretta of Brazil in the first round.

Bhupathi and Paes are pairing up since their respective partners, Max Mirnyi of Belarus and David Rikl of the Czech Republic, have opted out of the Long Island event which comes exactly one week before the US Open. Both will revert to their respective partners for the year’s final Grand Slam which begins next week.

Titles for Isha, Sonal

Mumbai: Isha Lakhani and Sonal Phadke did India proud by winning satellite titles in Thailand and Nigeria, respectively, on Saturday.

According to information received here on Monday, Isha shocked top seed Kim Jim-Hee of South Korea 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the final of the $ 10,000 prize money satellite tournament at Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand. Sonal got the better of third seed Michelle Snyman of South Africa 6-2, 6-4 to win the tournament at Lagos in Nigeria.

4th athlete fails dope test

Santo Domingo: Antigua cyclist Charles Fabian became the fourth athlete to fail a dope test at the Pan American Games, organisers said on Sunday. Fabian tested positive for the banned stimulant ephedrine following the 50-km road time trial on August 8, the Pan American Sports Organisation (ODEPA) said in a statement. Fabian was 19th in the 20-rider event with a time of 1:16.45. Colombia’s Jose Serpa won in 1:04.45.

The other three athletes to fail tests at the games were all medal winners.

Batistuta signs for Qatar club

Doha: Former Argentine international Gabriel Batistuta formally signed a two-year contract worth $8 million with Qatar’s Al Arabi Sports Club on Sunday.

The 34-year-old will be paid $5 million in the first year and $3m in the second to train Qatari footballers and play for the club, said a source close to Al Arabi.

Batistuta, Argentina’s leading goalscorer with 56 goals in 78 appearances, said he took the Al Arabi offer because Qatar had fascinated him on his first visit during the finals of the Emiri Cup in 2002.

“I saw a big challenge in Qatar and that was the reason behind opting for this offer. I would like to give my best and score as many goals as possible,” Batistuta said.

Vaidehi, Joshna up

Chennai: India’s Vaidehi Reddy and Joshna Chinappa registered contrasting victories and moved into the third round of the world junior women’s squash meet in Cairo.

While Vaidehi cruised past Chantal Moros of Spain 9-4, 9-0, 9-1, Joshna defeated England’s Georgina Stroker 9-4, 9-7, 10-8.

Both Vaidehi and Joshna had received a bye into the second round, a press release from the Squash Rackets Federation of India said here on Monday.

Coach confusion

Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian soccer’s dance of the coaches produced another bizarre twist on Sunday when Luiz Carlos Cruz walked out on struggling Fortaleza for the second time this year.

Cruz left in April after the team had played only one match in the Brazilian championship. He returned 11 matches later when his replacement Fernandinho Teixeira threw in the towel, only to quit again after another 14 games in charge.

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