Defending champion Feng leads in Japan

TOKYO - Defending champion Feng Shanshan fired a 9-under 63 to lead in the second round of the LPGA Japan Classic Saturday, leaving behind six others who shared the lead in first round. China's Feng, who is looking to become the first player to defend an LPGA title in 2017, birdied seven holes and eagled on the par-5 12th hole. Japan's Ai Suzuki followed Feng with a 65, with five stellar birdies and an eagle. "What was working well was my putting today," said Feng. Feng birdied five of her first seven holes Saturday to jump ahead – leading by four shots at one point – before Suzuki fired a 6-under-par 30 on the back nine to a hair's-breadth of two shots. "It's not my first time leading a tournament, but of course it's my first time (when) maybe I'm not too far away from a title defence."–AFP

 This time it is for sure, says retiring Massa

LONDON - Brazilian driver Felipe Massa is to retire definitively from Formula One at the end of the season, he announced Saturday. The 36-year-old Williams pilot – who won 11 Grand Prix – decided to call it a day as his team is yet to confirm line-up for next season. Massa had indicated he would like to compete again next year – having originally changed his mind about retiring at the end of 2016 – but Williams are thought to be favouring giving Poland's Robert Kubica, who has performed miracles to return after a terrible crash in a rally in 2011, the drive alongside Canadian Lance Stroll. "I agreed to return this season to help Williams when the call came," said Massa. "I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula 1 will finally come to an end this season."–AFP

 Cavendish sprints to victory in Japan

SAITAMA - Britain's Mark Cavendish produced a blistering late surge to win the Tour de France's Saitama Criterium Saturday, overshadowing crowd favourite Chris Froome in a sprint finish. The Olympic medallist and 30-time Tour de France stage winner pipped Japanese riders Fumiyuki Beppu and Yusuke Hatanaka to claim victory in the fifth edition of the criterium. Froome, who captured his fourth Tour de France title this year, had no response as Cavendish broke away from a peloton that also included Marcel Kittel and Greg van Avermaet to win the 19-lap race over a three-kilometre course. "It was a flat course so I was expecting it to be a sprint," said Cavendish "I tried to save my energy for the final and lucky I did because when the breakaway went, I was fortunate to get them before the end."–AFP

 Saqib, Asad in U-18 Tennis final

ISLAMABAD - Top seed Saqib Umer and 3rd seed Asad Ullah will vie for the top honours in the boys Under-18 singles final of the McDonalds National Junior Tennis Championship 2017, after defeating their respective opponents in the semi-finals played at Pakistan Sports Complex on Saturday. In the first semi-final, Saqib Umer easily defeated Ahmed Asjad in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 by breaking one game each in both the sets and held his service throughout the game. In the second semi-final, Asad Ullah defeated 2nd seed M Shoaib in a well-contested two-set match at 6-3, 7-5. Top seed Shimza Tahir annexed the title for girls’ Under-18 singles category. Shimza eliminated 2nd seed Esha Jawad in a three-hour contest. The score of her victory was 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Both the players displayed quality tennis from the baseline, long rallies were witness during the match. Hasheesh Kumar won the boys Under-14 singles title by beating Hamid Israr in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. Hasheesh was un-seeded player in the draw. Hamza Roman and Hamid Israr moved into the final of boys Under-12 when they eliminated Bilal Asim and Mahatir Muhammad, respectively. Hamza beat Bilal 6-0, 6-1 while Hamid overcame Mahatir 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. Hamza of Peshawar also won the title of boys/girls Under -10 when he defeated 2nd seed Ahtisham Humayun in straight sets 4-0, 4-1. Earlier, Hamza defeated Abdullha Azhar 4-0, 4-0 in semi-final while Ahtisham moved into the final by defeating a girl Sheeza Sajid 4-0, 4-1. The pair of M Shoaib and Saqib Umer beat Asad Ullah and Aqib Umer 6-3, 6-4 to win the Under-18 doubles title.–Staff Reporter