MILAN - Zdenek Zeman's future as coach of AS Roma was placed in further doubt Friday after the Serie A side suffered a 4-2 reverse at home to lowly Cagliari for their fifth straight game without a win. Cagliari shocked the Giallorossi with a third-minute opener thanks to Radja Nainggolan before captain Francesco Totti levelled in the 35th minute. The Sardinians took the lead again a minute after the restart when Roma 'keeper Mauro Goicoechea conceded an own goal and eight minutes later were 3-1 up thanks to striker Marco Sau. Cagliari all but assured the three points with a Francesco Pisano goal in the 71st minute, with only a 93rd minute consolation goal from Marquinho reducing the arrears at the death.
PARIS - World No.1 Novak Djokovic steered Serbia to the brink of the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Friday, easing past Belgian veteran Olivier Rochus on a makeshift court he described as the worst he's ever encountered. Australian Open champion Djokovic needed just an hour and 39 minutes to beat 32-year-old Rochus 6-3 6-2 6-2 to give Serbia a 2-0 lead in their World Group first round tie after Viktor Troicki had earlier needed five sets to defeat David Goffin. Twenty-four hours earlier, Djokovic had lambasted the clay court laid out over the parquet floor at the Spiroudome de Charleroi. "It's the worst court I have ever played on.
LEEDS - Former Wests Tigers star Gareth Ellis is fearing a broken foot which could sideline him for six months, after the Hull skipper didn't even make it to kick-off in his Super League return against Leeds. Ellis suffered the injury during the warm-up, as Hull went on to lose 36-6 to Leeds at Headingley. Meanwhile, Leeds' youngster and Gold Coast product Joe Vickery's hopes of a rags-to-riches World Club Challenge (WCC) appearance against Melbourne appear to have been cruelled by a broken foot sustained in the same match.
WELLINGTON - The Super Rugby champion Chiefs have begun 2013 in impressive style, beating the Highlanders 36-14 in a pre-season match at Taupo. Gareth Anscombe made the most of the absence of All Blacks five-eighth Aaron Cruden with two of his team's tries in a 21-point haul on Saturday. The match was a typically messy pre-season encounter, played in hot conditions with both sides making multiple changes throughout. The Highlanders will play a second pre-season match against the Crusaders in Oamaru on Friday while the Chiefs will face the Reds on Queensland's Sunshine Coast on the same day.
LOS ANGELES, California - Rudy Gay dropped in a game-high 20 points off the bench in his Toronto debut as the Raptors routed the Los Angeles Clippers 99-73 in NBA action on Friday night. The Raptors acquired Gay on Wednesday from the Memphis Grizzlies in a multi-player swap that included Detroit in exchange for Spanish guard Jose Calderon, forward Ed Davis and a 2013 second-round draft pick. Memphis then shipped Calderon to the Pistons for forwards Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. Welcomed by an enthusiastic sellout crowd at the Air Canada Centre, Gay turned in an impressive performance.