Tennis & Badminton

Melbourne: US tennis legend Serena Williams scripted history when she defeated her elder sister Venus in the Australian Open final to become the first woman to capture 23 Grand Slam singles titles here on Saturday. Serena prevailed 6-4, 6-4 over Venus to clinch her seventh Australian Open singles crown. Coming into the final, Serena was tied with German icon Steffi Graf for most number (22) of Grand Slam singles titles.

Melbourne: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig came from behind to beat Indo-Canadian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski to reach the mixed doubles semi-finals of the Australian Open here on Wednesday. The second seeded Indo-Croatian duo held their nerves to save two match points in their 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 win against the unseeded pair of Bopanna and Dabrowski, who wasted as many as four match point chances, in a match that lasted an hour and seven minutes on Show Court 3 here.

Chandigarh: Ace women badminton player Saina Nehwal will be provided land by the Haryana government to set up a badminton academy in the state. The land to the international star will be provided by the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (HSIIDC) at Manesar in Gurugram district, 45 km from New Delhi. HSIIDC Managing Director Sudhir Rajpal said that the land will be provided to Nehwal to further promote sports in the state.

Hong Kong: India's star shuttler P.V. Sindhu defeated local girl Ngan Yi Cheung to storm into the final of the Hong Kong Open tournament here on Saturday. In a match which lasted for 46 minutes, the Olympic silver medallist outplayed Cheung 21-14, 21-16 at Hong Kong Coliseum-1. Sindhu, who entered her second straight Super Series final, started the proceedings with a 2-0 lead but soon she committed three consecutive net errors to concede a one-point advantage.

Bengaluru: Leading sports enterprise EduSports on Tuesday tied up with the tennis academy of professional player Rohan Bopanna to coach school students across the country. "We will offer coaching in schools across the country with a structured curriculum to boys and girls of seven years age and above under the EduSports programme," said Bopanna on the occasion.

London: Canada's Milos Raonic joined Serbian World No. 2 Novak Djokovic in the final four of the ATP World Tour tennis Finals by defeating Austria's Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 here. In a battle of the two youngest players in this elite eight-man event, the 25-year-old Raonic used his massive serve to power past his 23-year-old opponent in an hour and a half on Thursday, reports Efe.

Kolkata: There is a "complete lack of system" in Indian sports, says Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the wiry table tennis player from Chennai who beat higher ranked opponents not once, not twice but thrice to become the first Indian to win the Belgium Open last month.

Beijing: Britain's Andy Murray on Friday beat compatriot Kyle Edmund to advance to the semi-finals of the China Open tennis tournament here. The World No.2 beat Edmund 7-6 (11-9), 6-2, to the penultimate round of the championship where he is to face Spaniard David Ferrer. Following a tie-break in the first set, Edmund initially offered a strong response to Murray's strength, racking up two points in the second set. However, he eventually succumbed to the double Olympic gold medallist's experience, losing the second set 2-6, reports Efe.

Moscow: The absence of Maria Sharapova at major tournaments has a negative impact on the world of tennis, Russian Olympic Champion Elena Vesnina has said. The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday reduced to 15 months Sharapova's two-year suspension, which came into effect on January 26. Sharapova is now eligible to officially return to tennis courts starting April 26 next year, reports Tass. "This is definitely a good news," Vesnina said on Tuesday.

New York: Andy Murray highlighted an eventless day at the US Open tennis tournament with all the big names winning their respective matches at the Flashing Meadows. The second seeded Murray thrashed Bulgarian 22nd seed Grigor Dimitrov, winning in three sets 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 and will join Swiss third seeded Stan Wawrinka, Japanese sixth seeded Kei Nishikori, and Argentine Juan Martin del Potro as quarter finalists. Murray needed only two hours on the Arthur Ashe Court to beat Dimitrov here on Monday.

Shanghai: The Indian challenge at the China Squash Open ended with the elimination of Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa following their respective defeats in the quarterfinal round in Shanghai. 30-year-old Ghosal lost 9-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11 to Egyptian world number six, Karim Abdel Gawad, despite producing a valiant fightback in the USD 100,000 men's event. On the other hand, fifth-seeded Chinappa was beaten 7-11, 5-11, 6-11 to world No. 2 Laura Massaro of England in the USD 70,000 women's event.

New York, Sep 3 (IANS) Veteran Indian star Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna crashed out of the men's doubles competition after losing their respective matches but Sania Mirza made an assured start to her mixed doubles journey at the US Open tennis tournament. The Indo-German pair of Paes and Andre Begemann gave a tough fight before going down 6-2, 5-7, 4-6 in one hour and 59 minutes in the first round against Stephane Robert of France and Dudi Sela of Israel here on Friday.

New Delhi: The All India Tennis Association (AITA) named Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna along with Saketh Myneni in the team for the Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie against Spain. The match will be held at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium here from September 16-18. Paes and Bopanna, with a long history of acrimonious relations between them, paired up for the Rio Olympics earlier this month only to be beaten in the first round. The AITA selection committee retained all the four players that beat South Korea 4-1 in July.

New York: Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal cruised to victory in his first round match over Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin at the US Open tennis tournament. The Spaniard dominated in the match-up against Istomin, vanquishing him in three straight sets 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 here on Monday, reports Efe. Nadal was assured and focused throughout the 126 minute match, consistently placing his shots well. The Spaniard will next go up against Italy's Andreas Seppi, who won his first match against French player Stephane Robert 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Indian shuttler PV Sindhu in action during her women's singles badminton match against China's Wang Yihan at the Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 17, 2016

Rio de Janeiro: India's P.V. Sindhu thumped Nozomi Okuhara of Japan to enter the final of the women's singles event of badminton competitions, assuring the country at least a silver medal at the Olympic Games here on Thursday. World No.10 Sindhu registered a 21-19, 21-10 triumph in the semi-finals over world No.6 Okuhara to become the first Indian shuttler to enter the final of the Olympics.

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