James Ward and Jamie Baker, the two men hoping to gain a place at the first Grand Slam event of the year, have won their first qualifying rounds in Australia.
Ward breezed past Serbian opponent Boris Pashanski in straight sets, coming out a 6-4 6-3 victor. Baker had a slightly tougher game against Julio Cesar Campozano of Ecuador, pushed to 7-5 in the second set but it was another straight sets victory for him. They need to win another two matches to join Andy Murray in the first round draw of the main competition. Ladies Johanna Konta and Anne Keothavong were in action today, with results coming in tomorrow’s news.
It was Swansea 2, Branislav Ivanovic in the second semi-final of the Capital One Cup as the Chelsea defender gifted the visitors two easy goals in the first leg. He was initially caught in possession for Michu to take it off him and open the scoring. Later, a terrible backpass allowed Danny Graham to double the lead in the last few minutes. Chelsea now have a mountain to climb and they are the second higher-ranked team in a row to suffer to underdogs, much like Aston Villa’s crushing from Bradford City in the previous match,
Scott Waites made light work of his second round encounter with Geert de Vos in the second round of the BDO World Championships. The favourite demolished de Vos four sets to one to set up a quarter-final encounter with fellow Englishman Paul Jennings, who failed to drop a set last night against Jason Cullen. Richie George is also through after fighting past Jimmy Hendriks and prepares to face another Dutchman in the form of Jan Dekker, who defeated Garry Thompson 4-3.
The second group of the Championship League started yesterday, with most of the first group’s personnel still in place. One new arrival was last year’s Premier League winner Stuart Bingham but started this year’s campaign with decidedly mixed luck. From losing 3-0 to Neil Robertson to beating previous semi-finalist Martin Gould by the same score, he lies in the middle of the group. Ali Carter, beaten in the first round’s final, lies top of the table after only dropping two frames.
The latest leg of Ski Cross’ Europa Cup began in Alpe d’Huez but the action largely left our girls behind. Out of the 34 finishers, Liz Stevenson came in 22nd and Pamela Thorburn 34th. Emily Sarsfield didn’t start the competition.
It was an horrific start of the BWF SuperSeries for Britain’s badminton players. Olympian Rajiv Ouseph, the sole entrant into the male singles competition limped out in straight sets to Kashyap Parupali of India and he wasn’t the only casualty. It may be a new beginning for many doubles pairs, but Robert Blair/Bin Shen Tan, Chris Langridge/Peter Mills, Marcus Ellis/Paul Van Rietvelde, Jillie Cooper/Kirsty Gilmour, Heather Olver/Kate Robertshaw, Robert Blair/Jillie Cooper, Chris Langridge/Heather Olver and Marcus Ellis/Alyssa Lim all bailed out at the first opportunity. Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis retired from their first round match, but at least Chris Adcock came back with Gabby White to claim Britain’s only win of the day against Malaysia’s Jian Guo Ong and Yin Loo Lim.
Grant Crossingham scored a respectable sixth place out of 102 competitors in the second task of the World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championships. Gary Wirdnam finished 21st, Dave Matthews 39th. Kathleen Rigg, the only British female, came 42nd, beating the likes of Gordon Rigg, Carl Wallbank and Anthony Stephens. The British skiing invasion of France moved to Les Houches, with Eilidh McLeod coming ninth in the Giant Slalom. Laurie Taylor was the best male on the piste, closely followed by Kenneth Morton. Jai Geyer continued his dominance over other Brits on Chatel’s slalom run, but still could only muster 58th place.
In the Squash Revolution National Capital Open, Britain’s highest seed Adrian Waller easily swatted aside Pakistan’s Farhan Zaman, but the same couldn’t be said for Wales’ Peter Creed.