Ref-abusing Czech banned from tournament

PRAGUE - A Czech player was banned from the St Petersburg tournament for abusing the umpire in her native tongue after a fellow Czech serving as a line umpire had informed against her. World number 166 Tereza Martincova and 85th-ranked Elise Mertens of Belgium were tied after two sets in the second round of qualifying on Sunday, but Martincova grew increasingly upset with the umpire. "The referee corrected the line umpires against me throughout the rubber," the 22-year-old Martincova told a tennis magazine. "When she did that for the third time in the second set, I yelled at her asking if she was taking the p*ss, but no warning came," she added. Martincova then squandered a 4-1 lead in set three to go 5-5 before a line umpire called a ball out and the umpire corrected him.–AFP


Beck shocks Bertens in St Petersburg

SAINT PETERSBURG - Germany's Annika Beck produced the first upset of the WTA St Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Monday ousting seventh seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. It was Beck's first win over Bertens in their seventh meeting with the upset coming after the Dutch player had looked to be cruising early at the Sibur Arena. The 25-year-old Bertens raced to a 5-3 lead and was serving for the opening set only for her 22-year-old rival to move a gear, reeling off four games for a one-set advantage after 50 minutes. Bertens rallied in the second but floundered in the third, hitting 67 unforced errors throughout the match, with Beck coming through in two hours 19 minutes. "It was a great match and my season's first win," said a delighted 67th-ranked Beck.–AFP


Barry’s face Olympia in Rafi Polo opener

LAHORE – Barry’s will take on Olympia in the opening match of the Rafi Group Polo Cup 2017 to be played here at the Lahore Polo Club (LPC) ground today (Wednesday). Rafi Group chairman Imtiaz Rafi Butt said: “We are always ready to sponsor healthy games and the purpose of sponsoring polo is to help it flourish further. It is the platform of polo, where a great number of national and international players are seen in action, amusing the spectators with their enthralling games.” LPC president Irfan Ali Hyder has thanked the sponsors and hoped they would continue their support for this sport. “The preparations for the high-goal season are on its peak and the polo enthusiasts will certainly enjoy the exciting and enchanting moments throughout the remaining season,” he added.–Staff Reporter


SFP shifts 16 events to Malam Jabba

ISLAMABAAD – The Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) has decided to conduct all the 16 mega events in Malam Jabba. SFP spokesman Obaid Ur Rehman Ababsi said: “Prior to that, 8 races were scheduled to be held in Naltar, but due to bad weather and non-availability of enough snow, the federation was left with no other option but to shift the events to Malam Jabba to ensure skiers get maximum opportunities to showcase their skills.” Obaid said that the International Ski Federation (ISF) had given permission to the SFP to shift the events to Malam Jabba, while the national events would be conducted at Naltar according to previous plans. “Only international events are shifted to Malam Jabba, in which 50 international skiers from 9 countries along with national players will vie for 48 medals on offer.”–Staff Reporter


Bahria Town Interschool Cricket

RAWALPINDI - Dr AQ Khan College Phase 8 has lifted the Bahria Town Interschool Cricket Championship 2017 trophy after beating Dr AQ Khan College Safari 1 in the final played at Rafi Cricket Stadium Phase 8 Bahria Town. The participating were Dr AQ Khan College Safari 1, Bahria Town Int’l Academy Phase 7, Dr AQ Khan College Phase 8 and ACE Int’l Academy Phase 2. With Pakistan’s best 62-inch LED screen, latest floodlights and commodious stands, the international-standard Rafi Cricket Stadium added to the thrill and excitement of the twin cities’ cricket lovers, who turned up in quite a numbers. Batting first, Dr AQK College Phase 8 scored 161 runs in 12 overs and in reply, Dr AQK College Safari 1 were bowled out for just 101. In the end, the winning side was handed over cash prizes.–PR