Ai seizes lead
NAPLES, Florida - Karrie Webb is four shots off the pace as Japan's Ai Miyazato collected nine birdies in an eight-under par 64 to take a one-shot lead midway through the LPGA tour's season-ending Titleholders tournament. South Korea's So Yeon Ryu, who also shared the first-round lead, carded a 72 to fall into a tie for seventh alongside Germany's Sandra Gal and Australian Webb on 138. Miyazato, seeking a third victory this season, had just one blemish on her card, a bogey at the par-five second hole.
AUSTIN, TEXAS - Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel shrugged off technical problems as he dominated yesterday's opening day of practice ahead of the United States Grand Prix for his Red Bull team as he bids to clinch a third successive title. Vettel, who was fastest in the morning free practice session ahead of Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, was quickest again in the afternoon ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber as the champion team stamped their authority on the action.
PROVIDENCE - Former doubles champion Bob Hewitt has been suspended from the International Tennis Hall of Fame after an investigation into allegations that he sexually abused girls he coached, and his legacy has been stripped from the institution. The hall executive committee voted unanimously this week to suspend Hewitt indefinitely after an outside investigation deemed credible the allegations of multiple women who said they were abused by Hewitt while he was coaching them decades ago, Hall CEO Mark Stenning told The Associated Press.
ANGERS, France - France's Olympic gold medallist Camille Muffat set a world record in the short course women's 800m freestyle event at the French championships yesterday. Muffat timed 8min 01.06sec, smashing the previous mark of 8:04.53 set by Italian Alessia Filippi in Rijeka, Croatia, in December 2008, a time before the ban on high-tech polyurethane swimsuits. "My best time over the distance was 8:23," Muffat said. "Fabrice (Pellerin, her coach) threw down the gauntlet and told me I could do 8.04. I couldn't duck that!"
Dream not over
SYDNEY - Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive David Gallop says denials from David Beckham's management don't mean all hope is lost that the soccer superstar could join the A-League for a guest stint from January. The soccer world was buzzing yesterday after the FFA confirmed representatives for Beckham had expressed an interest in the 37-year-old coming down under after his commitments with US club LA Galaxy were through.
MADRID - Barcelona will put Qatar Airways on their shirts in the Spanish football club's first display of a purely corporate advertisement under a E170 million ($F391 million) deal approved last year. Qatar Airways will feature on the Barca shirts for the 2013-2014 season, the Catalan club said. The airline will replace the Qatar Foundation, which currently features on the front of the Barcelona jersey with the United Nation's children's fund UNICEF displayed on the back.