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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Sania-Cara in quarter-finals of Portugal Open

Sports Shorts: Sania-Cara in quarter-finals of Portugal Open

Last updated on: April 30, 2014 20:14 IST

Sports Shorts: Sania-Cara in quarter-finals of Portugal Open

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The top seeded Indo-Zimbabwean pair of Sania Mirza and Cara Black rallied from a set down to quell the challenge of Irina-Camelia Begu and Maria Irigoyen in the opening round of the WTA Portugal Open, in Oeiras, on Wednesday.

They beat the Romanian-Argentine combo 4-6, 6-2, 10-5 in 80 minutes and now await the winner of the first round match between the pairs of Maria Joao Koehler-Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor and Silvia Soler-Espinosa/Shuai Zhang.

Meanwhile, in the euro 485,760 men's doubles event, being held simultaneously, the Indian team of Divij Sharan and Purav Raja advanced to the quarter-finals after a walkover from Colombian pair of Santiago L Giraldo and Alejandro Gonzalez.

They may face top seeds Pablo Cuevas and David Marrero in the next round. The top seeds are up against Florin Mergea and Andre SA.

In the singles event, Somdev Devvarman will meet top seeded Czech Tomas Berdych in the second round.

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Image: Cara Black (left) and Sania Mirza
Photographs: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

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Bouchard makes winning debut in Portugal, Stosur loses

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Teenaged Canadian player Eugenie Bouchard made a successful debut at the ATP-WTA Portugal Open on Tuesday, while third-seeded Samantha Stosur failed to break her downward spiral following a first-round exit.

Second seed Bouchard, who was a semi-finalist at the Australian Open in Melbourne in January, beat Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 6-1 to reach the second round of the tournament in 73 minutes.

According to Sport24, Australian Stosur, who was the Roland Garros runner-up four years ago, was beaten by Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinszky 6-4, 6-0 in just 72 minutes, will now need to improve in Madrid as the French Open draws nearer.

Bouchard will next face Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova for a quarter-final place while top-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro recovered from last week's wrist injury to start with a defeat of Alla Kudryavtseva 6-1, 6-2.

In men's play, Portugal's world number 243 Rui Machado thrashed fifth seed Dmitry Tursunov 6-0, 6-0 while India's Somdev Devvarman defeated Australian Matthew Ebden in straight sets, the report added.

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Image: Eugenie Bouchard
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Ian Thorpe discharged from hospital after battling infection

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Five-times Olympic champion swimmer Ian Thorpe has been discharged from a Sydney hospital after successfully battling a serious infection, his manager said on Wednesday.

Australia's most decorated swimmer retired after the Athens Olympics before making an comeback bid for the London Games in 2012.

He contracted the infection after undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this year and initial reports had him in intensive care battling to save the use of his left arm.

His manager, James Erskine, poured cold water on those reports and, on Wednesday, said the 31-year-old was discharged.

"It looks as though the infections have cleared up. It can always re-infect as it's done twice before but we are hopeful," he told Australian Associated Press.

Thorpe was also admitted to hospital earlier this year to treat depression after he was found disoriented in Sydney.

Police were called when a resident saw Thorpe behaving oddly near a vehicle and Erskine later said he had been taking a mixture of anti-depressants and medication for his shoulder.

Erskine said on Wednesday that Thorpe is unlikely to return to a rehab clinic after his discharge from hospital.

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Image: Ian Thorpe
Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

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NBA bans LA Clippers boss Donald Sterling for life for 'racist' comments

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) has reportedly banned US business magnate and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from professional basketball for life over his racist comments, which were dubbed ''deeply offensive and harmful''.

In a recording made public over the weekend, the man now confirmed to be Sterling told his much-younger girlfriend that he did not want her associating with black people or attending Clippers games with black friends.

According to Sport24, the 80-year-old real estate tycoon, who bought the Clippers in 1981, was $fined 2.5 million and barred from all games, team facilities and board meetings after his comments outraged players, coaches and sent team sponsors running.

Expressing his outrage, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that the views expressed by Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful, adding that Sterling had confirmed he made the comments in question.

Silver said he would urge the NBA board of governors to ''exercise its authority to force a sale of the team'' and would personally push for such a move as it has been a ''painful moment'' for the NBA for which ''appropriate healing'' will be necessary.

Clippers players staged a silent on-court protest, shedding their pre-game warm-up gear and wearing shirts inside-out to mask the team name and logo, along with black socks and wristbands during a game.

Stating that Sterling had not expressed any remorse to him personally, Silver explained that owners have the authority to remove him as the owner of the Clippers, subject to a 75 percent approval vote from owners of the league's other 29 clubs.

Airline Virgin America, insurance giant State Farm, Kia Motors, Red Bull, Sprint and AQUAhydrate, a water brand owned by rap star Sean ''Diddy'' Combs, all said they would suspend their sponsorship, the report added.

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Image: Protester holds a sign in front of the Staples Center in Los Angeles,
Photographs: Kevork Djansezian/Reuters

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Rio Ferdinand feels 'humiliated' by United's rankings

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Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is reportedly embarrassed to see the defending champions currently occupying a lowly seventh place on the Premier League table.

Manchester United is indeed in a diaspora of humiliation regarding their rankings and have sacked manager David Moyes within just 10 months after being in charge and the team’s inability to qualify for the Champions League.

According to Sport24, Ferdinand said that he has not looked at the league table for ages as it is embarrassing for him, adding that it is necessary for the players to take responsibility for their poor form.

The team will now function under the guidance of coach Ryan Giggs, which started on a promising note with a 4-0 win over Norwich. 

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Image: Rio Ferdinand
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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Keane rules himself out of contention for Man Utd assistant coach

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Manchester United legend Roy Keane has decided to not return to the Old Trafford site as assistant manager.

According to the Mirror, the former captain, who is at present assistant manager for the Ireland national side, is currently second on the list of potential assistant coaches after Martin O'Neill ruled out returning to the club as Louis Van Gaal’s assistant.

Keane said he is happy in his current job and fancies a return to club management later in the future.

Giggs is the current top choice to take the assistant manager's role at Manchester United next season, if Louis van Gaal becomes the club’s manager.


Image: Roy Keane
Photographs: Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

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