EDMONTON, Canada - 16-year-old amateur Kiwi Lydia Ko defends her title at the LPGA Canadian Women's Open starting yesterday at Edmonton's Royal Mayfair after a historic triumph a year ago. Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA history last year at 15 years and four months of age when she captured the crown in Vancouver. This season, Ko has played in nine prior LPGA events, including four majors.
First round loss
NEW YORK - Australian Arina Rodionova has crashed out of US Open qualifying in the first round with a loss to Great Britain's Samantha Murray. Murray defeated Rodionova in straight sets in their contest, winning 6-4 6-1, and will now meet American Taylor Townsend.
NEW YORK CITY - Russian world number three Maria Sharapova has pulled out of the US Open because of a right shoulder injury, tournament organisers announced yesterday. On the eve of the draw for the year's final Grand Slam event that begins Monday on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts, US Open tournament director David Brewer announced the withdrawal.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa have retained the team that crushed Argentina by 60 points last weekend for the return Rugby Championship match in Mendoza on Saturday. Coach Heyneke Meyer had no choice but to give a vote of confidence to the team that far exceeded expectations with a nine-try 73-13 first-round romp in Soweto.
JOHANNESBURG - Former Springbok skipper Joost van der Westhuizen is approaching the end of his life, two years after being diagnosed with deadly motor neurone disease. "I realise every day could be my last," the South African rugby hero said. "It's been a rollercoaster from day one and I know I'm on a deathbed from now on," he told the BBC in an interview.
LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas yesterday confirmed that the Premier League side were in talks with Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala over the signing of Brazilian attacking midfielder Willian. According to British media reports, Willian arrived in London yesterday and Spurs are hoping to complete a move for him by the weekend.
SAN FRANCISCO, California - Team New Zealand swept two races against Luna Rossa yesterday, seizing a 4-1 lead over the Italian boat in quest of a berth in next month's America's Cup. The Kiwi vessel took a commanding lead in the best-of-13 Louis Vuitton Cup challenger races to determine an opponent for American defenders Oracle.
Two months out
MALAGA, Spain - Malaga says Brazilian defender Weligton will be sidelined for two months after having surgery on a broken collarbone. The Spanish club says that Weligton suffered the injury during a recent friendly against Aston Villa. He underwent surgery yesterday in a hospital in Barcelona.