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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Italy double blow knocks Germany out 
Dortmund, July 4
Fabio Grosso and Alessandro del Piero grabbed two goals in the final two minutes of extra-time to puncture the German World Cup party and send Italy into the final 2-0.

German fans react after Germany lost semifinal match against Italy in Berlin on Tuesday
German fans react after Germany lost semifinal match against Italy in Berlin on Tuesday. — Reuters photo

In graphic: Second semifinal



EARLIER STORIES




Cry! You’re at the World Cup
Berlin, July 4
The football may not always be flowing at the World Cup but the tears are very much on show. David Beckham became the latest player to wear his heart on his sleeve on Sunday when he announced he was standing down as England captain after his country’s quarterfinal defeat to Portugal. Such displays of emotion were once regarded as the almost exclusive preserve of Latin teams. Eusebio, the great Portuguese striker, famously wept tears of anguish at the World Cup 40 years ago when his country lost to England in the semi-finals.
Switzerland’s Ludovic Magnin broke down after his team lost to Ukraine in a penalty shootout. — Reuters photo

Switzerland’s Ludovic Magnin broke down after his team lost to Ukraine in a penalty shootout
Carlos, Nakata retire
Berlin, July 4
Brazil defender Roberto Carlos has announced he is retiring from international football following his country's World Cup quarter-final defeat against France. “My days playing with the national side are over,” the Real Madrid star said on his personal website.

Roberto Carlos& Hidetoshi Nakata
Roberto Carlos& Hidetoshi Nakata

I didn’t deserve red card: Rooney
London, July 4
In his first public comments since being sent off against Portugal at the World Cup, England star Wayne Rooney says he was “gobsmacked” when referee Horacio Elizondo produced a red card. The incident occurred in the 62nd minute when Rooney broke through two tacklers, then stomped on the prone Carvalho’s groin. England went on to lose the quarterfinal in a penalty shootout. “I remember the incident clearly and have seen it several times since on TV,” the Manchester United striker said in a statement. “I am of the same opinion now as I was at the time, that what happened didn’t warrant a red card. If anything I feel we should have had a free kick for the fouls committed on me during the same incident.


Wayne Rooney being shown a red card during the England vs Portugal match. — Reuters photo
Wayne Rooney being shown a red card during the England vs Portugal match

Kava Brass Band to perform at semifinal
Jaipur, July 4
Sharing the dais with the soccer giants in World Cup may be a distant dream for the Baichung Bhutias but an Indian folk band is all set to make an appearance in the semi-finals of the event during tomorrow’s France-Portugal match in Berlin.

World’s tiniest soccer pitch
Berlin, July 4
A German scientist has created the world’s smallest soccer pitch — so minute that 20,000 of them could fit onto the tip of a human hair. The imitation playing field, created by using nanotechnology, measures 500 by 380 nanometres and can only be seen through a special microscope, said creator Stefan Trellenkamp, whose country is hosting the 2006 World Cup.

Pacers made the difference: Chappell
Kingston, July 4
Coach Greg Chappell has described the performance of the young pace bowlers in India’s series win in the Caribbean as “outstanding” and said the team now had the bowlers to win under any condition.

Players exude air of contentment
Kingston, July 4
It’s around noon yesterday, the day after India won an amazing Test match at the Sabina Park, defeating the West Indies in three days. The win has left the Indian players with two days of nothing to do, just wait for their departure back home after nearly two months.

SINGH AND THE SIREN: Harbhajan Singh signs an autograph for Laura Calley, a resident of Atlanta (USA), at a hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, on Monday. — AP/PTI
Harbhajan Singh signs an autograph for Laura Calley, a resident of Atlanta,  at a hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, on Monday

Lanka hit record 443 runs
Amsterdam, July 5
Sri Lanka today set a new one-day world record by piling up a total of 443-9 in a mismatch against the Netherlands in Amstelveen. Sanath Jayasuriya hit 157 off 104 balls and Tillakaratne Dilshan finished 117 not out as they beat South Africa’s 438-9 against Australia in March.

Sharapova, Henin enter semis
London, July 4
Maria Sharapova dispatched fellow Russian Elena Dementieva 6-1, 6-4 today to secure a place in the Wimbledon semifinals for the third successive year. The 2004 champion ran Dementieva ragged in the first set with hefty serves and typically brutal hitting down both flanks in sultry conditions on Centre Court. Dementieva’s serve is her biggest flaw and she failed to hold her opening service game, allowing Sharapova to take charge and she was a set up after only 27 minutes.


Russia’s Maria Sharapova celebrates after beating compatriot Elena Dementieva in the quaterfinals at Wimbledon on Tuesday. — Reuters photo
Russia’s Maria Sharapova celebrates after beating compatriot Elena Dementieva in the quaterfinals

National b’ball player denied admission on flimsy grounds
Chandigarh, July 4
A Kot Kapura-based five-time national (junior) basketball player, Mehak Dhillon, today alleged harassment at the hands of Panjab University authorities. Mehak, seeking admission in BSc (Honours) under sports quota, could not give trials today as her name was in the list rejected candidates.

India bow out of mixed-team event
New Delhi, July 4
India bowed out of the mixed team event at the Asian Junior Badminton Championship in Kuala Lampur after losing 0-3 to Indonesia in their first round knock-out match today.

Video
Tendulkar to play in charity match against Pakistan.
(56k)


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Italy double blow knocks Germany out 

Dortmund, July 4
Fabio Grosso and Alessandro del Piero grabbed two goals in the final two minutes of extra-time to puncture the German World Cup party and send Italy into the final 2-0.

With a penalty shootout looming, Grosso curled a fantastic left foot drive into the corner and as Germany desperately searched for a late equaliser, substitute Del Piero broke free to guide in the killer second.

Germany had been seeking their eighth appearance in the final where Italy were hoping for a sixth, both countries having won the trophy three times.

The game began at a terrific tempo and it rarely dropped as each side passed sharply and went forward probing for openings.

Generally, however, the defenders were able to resist most forays, with captain Fabio Cannavaro again masterful at the heart of Italy’s back four and Italy’s Simone Perrotta and Germany’s Bernd Schneider missing the best of the few first-half chances.

The end-to-end approach continued after the break though neither side were able to muster the necessary precision to force the goalkeepers into serious action and Sebastian Kehl, in for the suspended Torsten Frings, and Italy’s Gennaro Gattuso were both dominant in screening their defences.

Gianluigi Buffon did have to move sharply to end a Miroslav Klose run and then block a sharp shot on the turn by Lukas Podolski as the home side began to turn the screw midway through the second period.

Coach Juergen Klinsmann threw on wide midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and David Odonkor but neither man was able to make the difference and the game went into extra-time.

Germany had never beaten Italy in their four previous competitive matches including the 1982 World Cup final, but in the plus column they had never lost in Dortmund, winning 13 and drawing one of their 14 games there over 71 years.

If both records had remained intact it would have been penalties, where the Germans’ World Cup record of four wins from four compared with the Italians’ three out of three defeats would leave the hosts as favourites.

Perhaps with that in mind the Italians blasted out of the blocks in extra time and hit the woodwork twice in two minutes. — Reuters

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Cry! You’re at the World Cup

Berlin, July 4
The football may not always be flowing at the World Cup but the tears are very much on show. David Beckham became the latest player to wear his heart on his sleeve on Sunday when he announced he was standing down as England captain after his country’s quarterfinal defeat to Portugal.

Such displays of emotion were once regarded as the almost exclusive preserve of Latin teams. Eusebio, the great Portuguese striker, famously wept tears of anguish at the World Cup 40 years ago when his country lost to England in the semi-finals.

A generation on, though, sobbing soccer stars the world over are no strangers to spectators in victory as well as defeat.

Ludovic Magnin of stoic Switzerland was reduced to tears when his team went out to Ukraine in the second round while the veteran midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata of normally inscrutable Japan sobbed in the changing room after his last professional game ended in defeat by Brazil.

Mexico’s goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez had even more cause to break down in tears after his side beat Iran 3-1 in the first round. His exceptional performance in goal occurred only a day after he had attended his father’s funeral.

Professor Bernard Capp, a historian at the University of Warwick who has studied what makes it alright for men to cry in his native England, the land of the “stiff upper lip”, says there is more to it than just the soccer.

“'It partly reflects changes in gender roles. It is now much more acceptable for men to be open about their emotions,” Capp said by telephone.

Just as importantly, he added, soccer had become so much more than a game, with the atmosphere at a big match akin to that at a “religious revival meeting”, a factor that lent the sport an importance which made it acceptable for men to cry.

“It’s no longer about just winning,” Capp said.

Dr Cristina Versari, a sports psychologist based in San Diego, California, said the emotional aspects of high profile sports were driven as much these days by commercial and other considerations as by the competitive passions of the players.

“The investment is much greater so you have more to lose than you ever had,” Versari, a Brazilian who works with professional NBA basketball players, said, citing the huge amounts of money riding on success or failure.

Versari said she had studied the contrasting behaviours of Brazilian and American judo athletes for her doctorate 25 years ago and found the greatest difference to be a higher degree of overt emotions among the Brazilians.

That was now changing, she said, and it was no bad thing that men in more countries felt able to show their emotions.

Britain’s Mental Health Foundation agreed. Though research it published on the eve of the World Cup finals in Germany found more than half of the men it surveyed would feel embarrassed to be seen crying during a match, soccer helped them open up.

“It is encouraging that football makes it easier for men to talk about their feelings as traditionally men are far less likely than women to share their innermost thoughts,” the agency’s chief executive, Dr Andrew McCulloch, said. — Reuters

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Carlos, Nakata retire

Berlin, July 4
Brazil defender Roberto Carlos has announced he is retiring from international football following his country's World Cup quarter-final defeat against France.
“My days playing with the national side are over,” the Real Madrid star said on his personal website. “It’s time to move on and I hope I can hand over the number six shirt to someone else who can continue to win for our country.

“Many thanks to all the players and the fans who have supported me.” Roberto Carlos won 125 caps for Brazil and played in the 2-0 win over Germany in the 2002 World Cup final.

He also played in four out of Brazil’s five games in Germany ending in the heartbreaking 1-0 loss to France in the quarterfinals.

TOKYO: Japanese midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata, one of the most famous Asian players of his generation, has announced his retirement from professional football, his website said yesterday.

“I will never go out onto the pitch again as a professional football player, but I will never give up football,” said the 29-year-old Nakata, whose third World Cup ended in a 4-1 defeat to defending champions Brazil.

The two-time Asian Footballer of the Year was seen lying disconsolate on the pitch with a towel over his face after Japan’s crashed out of the World Cup despite taking a 1-0 lead early on in their final Group F match.

“I had been determined since half a year ago that I would finish my career after the German World Cup and retire from the football world where I stayed for some 10 years,” said Nakata.

“After the match against Brazil on June 22, which was my last game, I felt surely I love football. I was very moved, much more than I had expected.

“Coming into the World Cup, I thought the Japanese team had a lot of potential. Each player’s individual skills are very good and fast. The only disappointment was that we couldn’t play at 100 per cent of our ability. — AFP

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I didn’t deserve red card: Rooney

London, July 4
In his first public comments since being sent off against Portugal at the World Cup, England star Wayne Rooney says he was “gobsmacked” when referee Horacio Elizondo produced a red card.

The incident occurred in the 62nd minute when Rooney broke through two tacklers, then stomped on the prone Carvalho’s groin. England went on to lose the quarterfinal in a penalty shootout. “I remember the incident clearly and have seen it several times since on TV,” the Manchester United striker said in a statement. “I am of the same opinion now as I was at the time, that what happened didn’t warrant a red card. If anything I feel we should have had a free kick for the fouls committed on me during the same incident.

“I want to say absolutely categorically I did not intentionally put my foot down on Ricardo Carvalho. He slid in from behind me and unfortunately ended up in a position where my foot was inevitably going to end up as I kept my balance.

That’s all there was to it. From what I’ve seen in the World Cup, most players would have gone to ground at the slightest contact but my only thought then was to keep possession for England.” Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo ran up to the referee to protest Rooney’s actions, getting a shove from his United team-mate in the process.

“When the referee produced the red card I was amazed, gobsmacked,” Rooney said. “I bear no ill feeling to Cristiano (Ronaldo) but I am disappointed he chose to get involved. I suppose I do, though, have to remember on that particular occasion we were not team-mates.”

Ronaldo, who was caught winking to the Portugal bench after Rooney was ejected, denied a rift between the two.

“Dreadful things have been said about me and my teammate and friend Rooney,” Ronaldo said in a column on his agent’s Web site, www.gestifute.com.

“There is no problem at all between me and Rooney. I insist: no problem at all. At the end of the game, we exchanged a series of text messages just as we had on the day before. This reinforces that I have a fine relationship with Rooney.” British papers reported the Ronaldo and Rooney statements and text messages appear to be an attempt at a peace bid brokered by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

But The Sun reported that Rooney still is in no mood to make up, saying he had confided to teammates the only way he would like “to bury the hatchet is in Ronaldo’s head.” Elizondo, speaking to The Times, said he sent off Rooney for lashing out with his boot and catching the defender in the groin, not for the 20-year-old’s push on Ronaldo.

“It was violent play and therefore he got a red card,” the Argentine official said in Frankfurt.

The referee said Ronaldo had not played a part in the decision to show the red card.

“People can say what they want, but this had absolutely no influence,” Elizondo said. “For me it was a clear red card, so I didn’t react to the Portuguese players.” — AP

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Kava Brass Band to perform at semifinal

Jaipur, July 4
Sharing the dais with the soccer giants in World Cup may be a distant dream for the Baichung Bhutias but an Indian folk band is all set to make an appearance in the semi-finals of the event during tomorrow’s France-Portugal match in Berlin.

The Kava Brass band, which has previously made American pop star Michael Jackson dance to its tunes in London, promises to add an Indian flavour to the all-European affair with a traditional Rajasthani folk tune “Pallo Latke”.

The band members said they would play other traditional tunes as well along with bollywood numbers but added that the atmosphere in the stadium will also play a part in the deciding the music for the day.

“Music is like food. Both need improvisation to be good. So, whatever we play will depend on the mood in the stadium. We will play according to the atmosphere and hopefully we will win over some new admirers,” one of the band members said.

The excited band members said though they have been regularly performing at the international stage but playing at the soccer World Cup would be a unique experience in itself.

“We are very excited and hope to spread the Rajasthani music and culture by playing at the FIFA World Cup,” band leader Hameed Khan Kawa said.

Several other cultural groups from different countries have been invited to participate in the event. The band had earlier played at the 1998 World Cup Soccer held in France. — UNI

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World’s tiniest soccer pitch

Berlin, July 4
A German scientist has created the world’s smallest soccer pitch — so minute that 20,000 of them could fit onto the tip of a human hair.
The imitation playing field, created by using nanotechnology, measures 500 by 380 nanometres and can only be seen through a special microscope, said creator Stefan Trellenkamp, whose country is hosting the 2006 World Cup.

“I am really, really proud,” the nanotechnology researcher from the University of Kaiserslautern told Reuters by telephone.

“The only problem is that I really don’t know what to do with it. I can’t put it on show as no one can see it,” he said. “I guess it’ll just stay in my drawer for the time being.”

Trellenkamp said it took him a whole day to engrave the lines of a soccer pitch with an electron beam onto a tiny piece of acrylic glass. A nanometre is a billionth of a metre. — Reuters

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Pacers made the difference: Chappell
Ashish Shukla

Kingston, July 4
Coach Greg Chappell has described the performance of the young pace bowlers in India’s series win in the Caribbean as “outstanding” and said the team now had the bowlers to win under any condition.

“We have won with three young fast bowlers and it’s a credit. Along with Irfan Pathan, we have got four fast bowlers of variety which would help us to play under any condition, inside or outside India. I think we are better equipped than ever before,” Chappell said.

The Australian great, however, made a plea not to over-react to the series triumph.

“I have been in cricket for long to know that you can’t overreact to anything. Good or bad. We shouldn’t get carried away. We have a lot of work to do before we become a very good Test team,” remarked Chappell as he prepared to leave for a short vacation to the United States.

The series victory was India’s first significant rubber triumph outside the sub-continent in 20 years.

Chappell said it took time to build a strong Test team and people should not expect miracles overnight.

“England beat Australia in the Ashes last year and it took them five years to build that team. I don’t know why there is expectation that we can do it in 60 minutes. Playing good Test cricket takes 20 to 30 Test matches before a player really understands what Test cricket is all about,” the coach added.

Along with these youngsters, Chappell underlined the performance of senior cricketers which was a major contributor to the success.

“Rahul Dravid was awesome. His performance on that wicket (in Sabina Park) was critical. He was the outstanding batsman from both sides.

“He continually strives to get better. When he got out in the first innings, he didn’t complain about the wicket. His comment was I should have been forward. It shows the mindset of an individual who is wanting to get better and better.

Chappell said the Indian captain would occupy pride of place in the annals of cricket.

“History would show that he is one of the best players for anyone, forget about India. It takes difficult conditions for the cream to come to the top. He came to the top in this game and we needed him because he was the best equipped player to deal with the situation.” Fellow Bangalorean Anil Kumble also came for special praise.

“Like Dravid, Anil Kumble, one of our other senior players, did tremendously well. He set a great example for the younger players.

“Kumble said to me this morning that he has been coming away for 16 years and it’s the first series win in that time.

A couple of boys are on their first or second tour.

“I hope it changes the mindset of Indian cricket to touring and chances of success away from home,” the coach said.

Chappell also backed Dravid in his evolution as captain. “He is very good and prepared to take some tough decisions. Batting first in Antigua wasn't the easiest of decisions. Batting first here wasn't either. Dravid will continue to improve until the day he retires,” he said.

Looking back at the series, Chappell said, “We did not have some very good days but generally you don’t have five non-stop good days. We went through some tough times. The fact that it took us the last Test to win the series is probably the good thing for us. It made us realise that we still have got some work to do.

“We failed to win the Test in Antigua because we dropped catches. We dropped a few in St Lucia and obviously the weather interfered. That we did it in the last Test means probably the lessons we learnt were greater. The victory is even sweeter,” the batting legend said.

He complimented the team for showing an ability to come back strongly from tough times but said there was always room for improvement which would take time. — PTI

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Players exude air of contentment

Kingston, July 4
It’s around noon yesterday, the day after India won an amazing Test match at the Sabina Park, defeating the West Indies in three days. The win has left the Indian players with two days of nothing to do, just wait for their departure back home after nearly two months. They don’t radiate any particular air of celebration, rather one of quiet contentment.

At the team hotel, the Hilton, in Knutsford Boulevard in the upmarket New Kingston area, there is a gentle buzz of activity, more than the usual, perhaps, on a working day. Especially by the poolside bar.

At one table, on which lie a sheaf of papers with handwritten notes all over it, are sports scientist Ian Fraser and team trainer Gregory King engrossed in a discussion.

At another table, there is Yuvraj Singh chatting with Raj Dev Walia, a Toronto-based sports goods dealer, originally from Jalandhar, who supplies cricket equipment to all Caribbean countries.

On a table by the poolside, computer analyst S Ramakrishnan is busy talking on his cellphone, with team manager Anil Savant sitting alongside.

Mohammad Kaif and Dinesh Kaarthick are standing nearby, having an animated chat, while Rahul Dravid passes by, pausing now and then as hotel residents, and even employees, stop him and seek to be photographed with him or ask for autographs.

Munaf Patel lumbers into the lobby, where a couple of packed cricket coffins lie, ready to go to the airport. Some players, including Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman, have been fortunate enough to get seats out of Kingston yesterday itself. For most others, the British Airways flight to London is fully booked, they have no choice but to wait till tomorrow’s flight, on which they were originally booked.

In the midst of all this, are a horde of Indian journalists. The players may have packed their cricket bags, their tour of duty done. But it’s still working time for the journos.

Some are standing at the poolside bar, waiting for coach Greg Chappell, who has said he would be available around noon. Some are waiting in the lobby.

And some are making calls on the hotel’s house phone to players, seeking interviews.

Soon Chappell emerges and is immediately surrounded by the mediapersons. “I have a flight to catch, gentlemen,” he says, “So let’s make it quick.”

Chappell is off to the USA to see his newborn grandchild and will rejoin the team in Bangalore as it prepares for next month’'s trip to Sri Lanka.

It’s a happy and relaxed Chappell who faces the Press. Perhaps, at the back of his mind — and it seemed so when Dravid met the Press on Sunday also — there is an underlying sense of relief.

This tour, comprising five one-day matches and four Tests, may not have gone exactly as planned. India came as heavy favourites to win the one-dayers but lost it 1-4. They were expected to win the Tests comfortably, too, against a side which has been under performing for years, but had to wait till the last Test to get it.

Victory, a series win in the Caribbean after 35 years, a major win away from the subcontinent after 20 years, in many ways, vindicates the policies of this team management, which has shown a bias for youth and young talent.

But Chappell is not one to express that. Rather he advocates caution.

“It is a good step forward,” he says. “No more than that. We can’t afford to exaggerate. We’ve got to be careful, not get carried away.

“I’ve been around long enough in cricket to know that you can’t over-react, good or bad. We’re a long way short of being a great Test team.”

Inevitably, the questions move on to Dravid, his two knocks at Jamaica, his captaincy.

Chappell simply replies “Awesome.”

“He (Dravid) is consistently striving to be better,” adds Chappell. “When he got out in the first innings, he didn’t come in and complain. He just said, ‘I should have gone forward.’ History will show him as one of the best players of all-time, any time, any place.”

History will also record the 2006 series as Dravid’s series, just as the 1971 tour will always be Sunil Gavaskar’s series. — IANS

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Lanka hit record 443 runs

Amsterdam, July 5
Sri Lanka today set a new one-day world record by piling up a total of 443-9 in a mismatch against the Netherlands in Amstelveen.
Sanath Jayasuriya hit 157 off 104 balls and Tillakaratne Dilshan finished 117 not out as they beat South Africa’s 438-9 against Australia in March.

The Sri Lankans’ total bettered the previous best of 438 for nine set by South Africa against Australia in March.

It was further evidence of the tourists’ mastery of the one-day game following on from their 5-0 series whitewash of England.

But it came against a hopelessly outclassed side, one of the leading six Associate countries, which are not part of the full Test playing nations of which Sri Lanka is one.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on January 1 decided to award full ODI status to games involving Associate countries. — AFP

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Sharapova, Henin enter semis

London, July 4
Maria Sharapova dispatched fellow Russian Elena Dementieva 6-1, 6-4 today to secure a place in the Wimbledon semifinals for the third successive year.
The 2004 champion ran Dementieva ragged in the first set with hefty serves and typically brutal hitting down both flanks in sultry conditions on Centre Court.

Dementieva’s serve is her biggest flaw and she failed to hold her opening service game, allowing Sharapova to take charge and she was a set up after only 27 minutes.

The second set was briefly interrupted by a male streaker and 19-year-old Sharapova went from 4-0 up to 4-3 soon after before recovering her composure to seal a place in the last four against either French top seed Amelie Mauresmo or Russia’s Anastasia Myskina.

Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne overwhelmed battling French qualifier Severine Bremond 6-4 6-4 to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals on Tuesday.

The three-times French Open champion took a tight first set with a decisive break for 5-4 against an opponent who showed few nerves despite being ranked 129 and playing in her first grand slam quarterfinal.

Henin-Hardenne, who is seeking to complete her set of grand slam titles by winning Wimbledon, broke Bremond’s serve twice at the start of the second set and confirmed victory with a backhand volley.

In the last four, the 2001 runner-up faces either China’s Li Na or Belgian second seed Kim Clijsters.

Paes-Damm win

It turned out to be a disappointing day for the Indians at the Wimbledon with only Leander Paes managing to come through in the doubles second round as he teamed up with Martin Damm to record a straight victory over the Czech pair of Cyril Suk and Robin Vik.

Seeded seventh in the Championship, Paes and Damm registered a 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7/1) win over their unheralded opponents.

Paes and Damm ran away with the initiative in the first two sets as they completed them in less then an hour but it was the third set — lasting 48 minutes -- in which the Indo-Czech duo was tested by Suk and Vik.

The Czech pair came back strongly to take the set to a tie-breaker. However, Paes and Damm kept their cool to ward off the challenge and seal the match in their favour.

However, Paes could not replicate this form in the mixed doubles second round match against the Australian-Ukranian pair of Paul Hanley and Tatiana Perebiynis and — partnering Aussie Samantha Stosur — lost the match 3-6, 4-6, 10-12. Paes and Stosur were seeded fourth in the category but failed to live up to their billing and crashed out of the event.

In another mixed doubles second round match, despite being seeded 11th, Mahesh Bhupathi and his Chineses comrade-in-arms Zi Yan proved no match for the unheralded American duo of Bob Bryan and Venus Williams as they went down 4-6, 1-6 to bow out of the event.

In the 45 and over men’s doubles event, Vijay Amritraj and Anand Amritraj were ousted by the US-Iranian pair of Gene Mayor and Mansour Bahrami in the first round.

The Indian pair was completely out of sorts in the first set as they lost it 2-6 but came back to put up a fight in the second set. However, the effort proved to be too little too late as they lost the set and the match 5/7 in the tie-breaker. — Reuters, UNI

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National b’ball player denied admission on flimsy grounds
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mehak Dhillon
Mehak Dhillon

Chandigarh, July 4
A Kot Kapura-based five-time national (junior) basketball player, Mehak Dhillon, today alleged harassment at the hands of Panjab University authorities. Mehak, seeking admission in BSc (Honours) under sports quota, could not give trials today as her name was in the list rejected candidates.

Mehak said, “I was not allowed to take trials because I failed to attach a photocopy of the affidavit containing my achievements with the prescribed form.”

Her father, Mr Charanjit Dhillon, said, “We attached the affidavit with the application form of Common Entrance Test. However, the department insisted that affidavit should also be sent to the Deputy Director (Sports).”

He also blamed that the language, used in the prospectus regarding the information of applying for admission, was ambiguous. It was not clear that a separate affidavit should be attached with the form of the sports department.

“We spent a lot of money and time to take CET exam on June 12. The officials concerned should inform the rejected candidates about their status in advance to save their money and precious time,” lamented Mr Dhillon.

On the other hand, Ms Dolly Dahiya, Deputy Director, Campus Sports, and Convener, Chief Admission Committee, claimed that the department followed admission rules in rejecting the case.

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India bow out of mixed-team event

New Delhi, July 4
India bowed out of the mixed team event at the Asian Junior Badminton Championship in Kuala Lampur after losing 0-3 to Indonesia in their first round knock-out match today.

Third seed Indonesia stamped their authority by sailing through to the next round comfortably without conceding a single game to India.

Jishnu Sanyal lost to Bandar Sigit Pamungkas 21-16, 16-21, 21-19 in the first boys’ singles match.

Saina Nehwal, of whom the Indian team had high hopes, ran close to Pia Zebadiah Bernadet before giving up 19-21, 21-16, 21-18 in the girls’ singles tie.

After Saina’s loss, Jishnu Sanyal and Akshay Dewalkar went down to Fernando Kurniawan and Subakti 21-13, 21-16 in the boys’ doubles match. — PTI

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