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Sports Shorts: Sania-Cara crash out of French Open

Last updated on: June 04, 2014 07:00 IST

Sports Shorts: Sania-Cara crash out of French Open



Sania Mirza and Cara Black crashed out of the French Open after being humbled yet again by their nemesis, Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng, in the women's doubles quarter-finals on Tuesday.

The 2-6, 6-3, 3-6 defeat for the fifth seeded Indo-Zimbabwe pair was their third at the hands of Su-Wei and Peng this season.

Sania-Cara had lost to the world No 1 team in the Indian Wells summit clash and quarter-finals of the Madrid event early this season.

In a match that extended to over two hours, Sania and Cara could convert only three of the eight break chances they forced and lost their serve five times.

At the Australian Open too they were ousted at the same stage.

With Sania's defeat, the Indian challenge at the Roland Garros ended.

Earlier, Sania also lost in the mixed doubles, partnering Romania's Horia Tecau, while Rohan Bopanna lost in the  men's and mixed doubles.

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Image: Sania Mirza
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images


Argentina shock Olympic champs Germany in World Cup hockey

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Argentina turned the form book upside down with a stunning 1-0 upset of reigning Olympic champions Germany in the men’s hockey World Cup at the Kyocera Stadium in The Hague on Tuesday.

The all-important goal in the fast-paced encounter came in the 31st minute from Manuel Brunet, who scooped the ball from an acute angle on the left. The ball ended in the net just inside the far post, to the surprise of German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi.

The result opened up Group B, which also features hosts and Olympic silver medalists The Netherlands and New Zealand, who rode on Andy Hayward’s three-goal act to hammer South Africa 5-0 for their second successive victory.

New Zealand now have six points from two games while The Netherlands have three from their first match.

Germany have three points from two matches, having beaten South Africa in their last outing.

Argentina lost 1-3 to The Netherlands in their first game, but today gained full three points.

In the second league game Marcus Child scored before Hayward got into his penalty-corner conversion act to slam the ball twice in the space of three minutes – in the 15th and 17th minutes.

Shea McAleese scored from a penalty-corner in the 52nd minute before Hayward returned to complete his three-goal tally two minutes later.

Three-time champions and hosts The Netherlands had to wait for a last-minute field goal by Robbert Kemperman to overcome South Korea 2-1 for their second successive victory.

Asian champions South Korea took the initial lead in the fifth minute through Nam Hyun-woo's penalty-corner conversion and the Dutch equalized in the 21st minute when Jeroen Hertzberger flicked in a penalty stroke that was awarded for an obstruction inside the circle.

The Netherlands pressed hard, but were kept at bay by the hard-working Korean defenders led by captain Lee Seun-gil.

The match seemed heading for a draw until Kemperman capitalised on a back-pass inside the circle and placed a shot between the pads of goalkeeper Lee Myung-ho for the match winner in the last minute of play.

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Image: The Netherlands' Billy Bakker (left) and South Korea's Seunghoon Lee (right) vie for possession during the group stage match in the men's hockey World Cup in The Hague.
Photographs: KOEN SUYK/AFP/GettyImages

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Barca to answer tax evasion charges over Neymar transfer in court

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Barcelona and their former president Sandro Rosell have been called by a judge to give evidence in a court over charges of tax evasion involved in the Neymar transfer.

The club were forced to backtrack having initially said the Brazilian forward arrived at the Nou Camp for 57.1 million euros ($77.7 million) after the case was taken to court by a fan seeking to reveal the full figures.

The club then said the deal was nearer to 100 million euros, and the prosecution case against them refers to unpaid tax on this amount.

Judge Pablo Ruz has called for representatives of the club and Rosell to appear in court on June 13.

They will be asked to "quantify the amount withheld by FC Barcelona for the income payable in relation to the professional athlete Neymar Da Silva Santos for Income Tax of Non-Residents (IRNR) and (regular) income tax", according to a court order.

The non-payment allegation refers to 2.4m euros ($3.27m) for 2011, 6.7m euros for 2013, and the possibility of a further 2.6m euros for 2014.

In February, Barcelona paid an extra 13.5m euros ($18.53m) to the Spanish treasury after they were charged with tax fraud, restating that they had not committed any offence but that the payment was due to a "possible difference of interpretation" over how much was owed.

Rosell, who has denied any wrongdoing, stepped down in January, saying he wanted to protect the club's image.

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Image: Neymar
Photographs: David Ramos/Getty Images

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'There will never be any good news with Schumacher'

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Fans of Formula One legend Michael Schumacher have been warned that they may 'never have any good news' concerning his condition.

Schumacher, 45, suffered a near-fatal head injury in a skiing accident in Meribel, France, on December 29 last year.

It's been two months since the family relayed any information on the sportsman’s health.

According to, Gary Hartstein, a former F1 doctor, said: 'I'm quite afraid (and virtually certain) we will never have any good news about Michael. At this point, I rather dread seeing that the family has put out a press release.'

Writing on his blog, he added: 'I can conceive of no possible reason that Michael's entourage, understandably extremely protective of his and their privacy, would not tell his fans if significantly good things have happened.'

Roger Benoit, a respected and long-serving member of the F1 media, said: 'Slowly, everybody is really worried. Grenoble and the family have been silent for weeks. Why?'

Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, last issued a statement on April 4.

It read: 'Michael is making progress on his way. He shows moments of consciousness and awakening. We are on his side during his long and difficult fight, together with the team of the hospital in Grenoble, and we keep remaining confident.'

She has been criticized by some for failing to release more information but in the past she has said this is what he would want.

She said: 'Michael Schumacher is in a coma and cannot decide what is reported about him.

'We, of course, know how he deals with such things and try in his interest to handle these matters for him.'

Since these statements there has been no news.

This is the longest period of silence since the accident.

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Image: Michael Schumacher
Photographs: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

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Banned US sprinter Gay to make return in Lausanne

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Former World sprint champion Tyson Gay will return from a one-year doping suspension at next month's Lausanne Diamond League meeting, organisers said on Monday.

The US record holder, suspended after a 2013 positive test for an anabolic steroid, will race American rival Justin Gatlin, who served a four-year doping ban, and Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut over 100 metres at the July 3 meeting.

"Lausanne has always been one of my favourite meets, and I'm thrilled to have it be my opening meet," said Gay, noting he had been in training for several months.

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said last month that Gay, the world's joint second fastest man, had accepted a one-year suspension backdated to June 23, 2013 after offering what it termed substantial assistance in his case.

He also returned his silver medal from the 4x100 metres relay at the 2012 London Olympics.

The controversial decision meant Gay would be eligible to compete from June 23.

Normally athletes receive a two-year suspension for their first doping offense but under anti-doping rules the ban can be reduced for substantial cooperation.

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Image: Tyson Gay
Photographs: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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FIFA investigation into Qatar 2022 to report within weeks

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The fate of the 2022 soccer World Cup could be decided within weeks after the man leading the internal investigation into how Qatar won the right to host it announced on Monday he would complete his probe next week and report back in July.

Former US prosecutor Michael Garcia appears to hold the future of Qatar's multi-billion dollar World Cup bid in his hands after new allegations of bribery brought loud calls for the tournament to be moved if corruption is proved.

In a statement, he set out a timetable that would see him file a report just after this year's World Cup ends in Brazil.

Garcia, who heads an investigative committee for world soccer's governing body FIFA, was in the Middle East, where he was expected to meet Qatar soccer officials as part of the probe. Speaking to Reuters in Muscat, capital of nearby Oman, he declined further comment on the inquiry, noting that he was "restrained by ethics".

Qatar has strongly denied reports in Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that bribes were paid to officials to bring the sporting world's biggest global event to the tiny Gulf emirate, where temperatures during the summer when the tournament is played can soar above 50 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit).

The allegations of corruption at the heart of soccer's governing body threaten to overshadow the run-up to the four-yearly World Cup, which begins in 10 days in Brazil.

“After months of interviewing witnesses and gathering materials, we intend to complete that phase of our investigation by June 9, 2014, and to submit a report to the Adjudicatory Chamber approximately six weeks thereafter," Garcia said in a statement released by FIFA and referring to a FIFA panel.

"The report will consider all evidence potentially related to the bidding process, including evidence collected from prior investigations.”

Six weeks from June 9 is July 21, a week after this year's tournament ends with a final in Rio de Janeiro.

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Image: Sheika Moza bint Nasser poses with the World Cup trophy after Qatar were awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Photographs: Getty Images

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NBA: Vogel says Pacers still on course for title goal

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Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel said on Monday his team remained on track in its pursuit of an NBA title despite a disappointing finish and a 25-point dismissal by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference clincher.

"We built something here that's going to give us a chance every year," Vogel told reporters at his season-closing news conference. "This group, as constructed, has room to grow."

After a sterling start that produced a 33-7 record in the first half of the regular season, the Pacers struggled but managed to hang on to top-seeding in the East with a 56-26 record.

They needed seven games to get past eighth-seeded Atlanta before losing to LeBron James and the Heat in the conference finals for the second season in a row.

"We're still very young. I think that experience matters and I think that going into another year, (there is) more room for growth," said Vogel.

Despite rumors that Vogel's job was in jeopardy due to the team's lackluster finish, the coach won support from management following the playoffs to return for a fifth season.

Vogel said he believed in the Pacers' ability to thrive with two big players dominating in the middle, center Roy Hibbert and power forward David West.

Yet Vogel conceded he needed to get more consistent play from shot-blocker Hibbert, who was a non-factor in numerous games down the stretch.

"I think we can win at the highest level with this style of play," the coach said, adding that Hibbert has "got to continue to work and continue to raise his level of play."

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Image: Paul George of the Indiana Pacers shakes hands with head coach Frank Vogel
Photographs: Rob Carr/Getty Images

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Donald Sterling sued over alleged sexual harassment of former aide

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A lawsuit filed on Monday against Donald Sterling accuses the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner of repeatedly subjecting a woman who worked for him to sexual demands and racist comments and says he ultimately fired her when she protested.

An attorney representing Sterling, Bobby Samini, rejected the assertions, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Anyone objectively reviewing Ms. King's claims will have no doubt that they are without merit," the newspaper quoted Samini as saying.

Sterling, 80, has been banned for life by the National Basketball Association over racist remarks in a private conversation that were recorded secretly and leaked to the media.

Last week the NBA, seeking to terminate Sterling's team ownership, said it had reached an agreement to sell the Clippers. Sterling has mounted a legal challenge.

The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court said Sterling lobbed a "steady stream of racially and sexually offensive comments" at Maiko Maya King, with whom he was in a "romantic relationship" from 2005 to 2011.

"He supported her financially and she worked for him and his foundation," the suit said, adding she returned to work for Sterling for a second stint until he dismissed her over her protests in early May.

King, who is seeking unspecified compensatory damages, alleged that Sterling "dangled money only if she would have sex with him" and made other sexual demands, and withheld wages when she refused.

King also accused Sterling of spewing racial epithets against her former husband, who is black, and their children, and more broadly, such as "black people do not take care of their children. All they do is sit at home and smoke dope," according to the lawsuit.

Image: Donald Sterling
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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