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Sports Shorts: Srikanth, Sindhu in Singapore Open QF

Last updated on: April 10, 2014 19:58 IST

Sports Shorts: Srikanth, Sindhu in Singapore Open QF

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Teen sensation P V Sindhu advanced to the women's singles quarter-finals with a straight-games victory, but it was young Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth who created a flutter at the US $300,000 Singapore Super Series with a stunning victory over world number 10 Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam, on Thursday.

The 18-year-old Sindhu, who won the Malaysia Open and Macau Open last year, besides a bronze at the World Championships, prevailed over Japan's Shizuka Uchida 21-17, 17-21, 21-16 and set up a meeting with world No. 3 Yihan Wang on Friday.

After three first round exits -- at the All-England Championships, Swiss Open and India Super Series -- Srikanth finally regained some form to beat the World Championships bronze medallist 18-21, 21-15, 21-8.

A finalist at the India Grand Prix Gold earlier this year, the No 25-ranked Indian will next take on Hong Kong's Yun Hu. He has a 1-0 record against Hu, having beaten him at the Maybank Malaysia Open early in the season.

In the men's doubles, Alwin Francis and Arun Vishnu were humbled by the top seeded Indonesian combo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-17, 24-22.

The mixed doubles pair of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan, too, failed to cross the second round, losing 21-23, 17-21 to Gideon Markus Fernaldi and Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesia.

Parupalli Kashyap, who rose No 19 in the rankings that were released on Thursday, suffered a close 16-21, 21-15, 22-20 defeat to world No. 35 Dong Keun Lee of Korea in the men's singles competition on Wednesday, after world No. 8 Saina Nehwal went down 21-16, 15-21, 11-21 to Eriko Hirose of Japan in the first round.

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Image: Kidambi Srikanth
Photographs: Stanley Chou/Getty Images

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Football pauses to commemorate Hillsborough

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Every senior match in England will kick-off seven minutes later than normal this weekend as football marks the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, when 96 Liverpool fans died at an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

Nowhere will the mark of respect carry greater significance than at Anfield, where Premier League leaders Liverpool face third-placed Manchester City in a match that will have a significant impact on who is going to emerge as champions this season.

The 1989 semi-final was abandoned at neutral Hillsborough in Sheffield after six minutes, and an additional minute of silence will complete the seven-minute observation.

Liverpool's game will get underway at 1337 local time on Sunday, while every match in England's senior divisions will start later between April 11 and April 15, the actual anniversary of the disaster.

With Liverpool now in sight of their first title since 1990, when the scars from the tragedy were still raw, emotions at Anfield will likely be running higher than normal.

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Image: A Liverpool supporter stands in front of the Shankly gates outside Anfield in Liverpool
Photographs: Phil Noble/Reuters

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Milan, Inter fighting over Europa League crumbs

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Accustomed to fighting for the game's biggest honours, Inter Milan and AC Milan finds themselves in a seven-team scrap for a place in the unloved Europa League as their patchy Serie A campaigns draw to a close.

Seven-time European champions Milan host bottom club Catania on Sunday and are in the strange position of being in with a shout of a Europa League spot despite languishing in 11th place, after a bizarre season that has cost them one manager and featured infighting behind the scenes.

Clarence Seedorf, who won two Champions Leagues with the club as a player, has had a rocky ride since taking over as coach from Massimiliano Allegri in January.

But an upturn in form - his side have picked up 10 points from a possible 12 and have won three on the bounce - have left Milan five points behind fifth-placed Inter who have only picked up three points over the same period.

Inter travel on Sunday to Sinisa Mihajlovic's Sampdoria, who have been a tough proposition since the Serb arrived in late November.

Their final six games are significantly tougher too. After Samp they travel to Parma, with whom they are level on 50 points, and they also have to face third-placed Napoli and Lazio, who are two points behind them in seventh, at the San Siro.

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Image: Head coach AC Milan Clarence Seedorf talks to Mario Balotelli and Riccardo Montolivo
Photographs: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

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Sanga, Mahela made correct decision to retire: Ranatunga

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It triggered quite a furore in Sri Lankan cricket but the country's first World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has backed Mahela Jayawrdene and Kumar Sangakkara's decision to call it quits from Twenty20 Internationals, saying the duo's timing was correct.

The Jayawardene and Sangakkara were criticised by Sri Lanka Cricket for not taking the body in confidence before announcing their retirement at the end of the ICC World Twenty20, which Sri Lanka won by beating India in the final.

In response, the two players, at a press conference held immediately after their return on Tuesday, blamed the SLC Secretary (Nishantha Ranatunga) and CEO (Ashley de Silva) for demoralising them ahead of the tournament in Bangladesh.

But Ranatunga felt the retirement was timed to perfection.

Speaking about the team's World T20 triumph, Ranatunga lauded the collective effort of the side.

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Image: Sri Lanka's Twenty20 cricket team captain Lasith Malinga (right) displays the 2014 WT20 trophy to fans
Photographs: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

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McLaren, Red Bull in legal dispute over aero expert

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McLaren consulted their lawyers on Wednesday after Formula One champions Red Bull announced the appointment of an aerodynamics expert their rivals said was contracted to them.

Red Bull said Dan Fallows has been appointed head of aerodynamics, replacing McLaren-bound Peter Prodromou who is now on 'gardening leave'.

The statement drew a swift response from McLaren, who announced at their car launch in January that Fallows had joined along with Prodromou.

"Dan Fallows has a legally binding contract with McLaren, and the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers," said a spokesman for the Woking team.

Red Bull said Fallows had left them last year after working as aerodynamics team leader but had returned and was starting his new job with immediate effect.

McLaren announced last October that Prodromou would be joining them but Red Bull, constructors' champions for the past four years, were determined to hold the much sought-after Briton to his contract.

They did not say when his leave would formally end.

Prodromou was McLaren's head of aerodynamics until 2006, having joined that team in 1991, when he followed Adrian Newey to Red Bull.

McLaren have changed their leadership since Fallows agreed to join, with Ron Dennis retaking overall control and Eric Boullier appointed racing director in place of departed principal Martin Whitmarsh.

The team started the season with a second and third place in Australia for Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button, pending an appeal by Red Bull who had Australian Daniel Ricciardo disqualified.

Red Bull have won the last four constructors' and drivers' championships, with Sebastian Vettel triumphant in the last nine races of 2013, but have started the season chasing dominant Mercedes.

McLaren failed to finish on the podium last year.


Image: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel (right) tries to overtake Jenson Button of McLaren
Photographs: Vladimir Rys/Getty Images

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