Muguruza retires injured in Brisbane

BRISBANE - Second seed Garbine Muguruza joined defending champion Maria Sharapova and world number two Simona Halep on the Brisbane International sidelines after retiring hurt in her match against Varvara Lepchenko Wednesday. Lepchenko won a thrilling first set 7-6 (11/9) and was leading 1-0 in the second when Muguruza pulled out with blisters on her feet. Muguruza had called for the trainer after the first set to have her left foot bandaged but her movement was hampered in the first game of the second set and she decided she couldn't continue. Sharapova and Halep both withdrew from the tournament before their opening matches, Sharapova with an arm injury and Halep with a sore Achilles. Their withdrawals mean fourth seed Angelique Kerber is the highest ranked player left in the tournament.–AFP

Williams out of Hopman Cup

PERTH - Tennis world number one Serena Williams has pulled out of the mixed-teams Hopman Cup in Perth due to a knee problem. With less than a fortnight to go before her title defence at the Australian Open, Williams confirmed she would not play in the United States' final round-robin tie against the Czech Republic on Thursday. The 34-year-old, who battled knee problems in the latter half of 2015, retired from her first singles match against Australian Jarmila Wolfe at the Hopman Cup in Perth on Tuesday. She had already missed the United States' opening Hopman Cup tie due to inflammation of her left knee before attempting to play against Wolfe. The American retired when trailing 7-5, 2-1, having appeared extremely restricted in her movement during the match, particularly on her left side.˜AFP

PTF names team for South Asian Games

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has announced team for the South Asian Games scheduled to be held in India next month. PTF secretary M Khalid Rehmani said the capable players were selected for the Games and hopefully they would perform well and earn medals for the country. He said 10-member team included four male and four female players while two officials would also accompany them. Men team comprises Aisamul Haq Qureshi, Aqeel Khan, Yasir Khan, M Abid Mushtaq while Rashid Malik will be captain-cum-coach. The women team consists of Sara Mansoor, Sarah Mahboob, Ushna Suhail and Iman Qureshi while M Khalid Siddique has been appointed as the captain/coach. The tennis matches would be played from February 7 to 11 where the team would play singles, doubles and mix doubles.–Staff Reporter

Nasir, Farhan advance in squash event

ISLAMABAD – Nasir Iqbal and Farhan Zaman are just a step away from playing in the main round of $150,000 Tournament of Champions, after registering contrasting victories in the qualifying round played in New York on Wednesday. Both Nasir and Farhan are the only hopes of Pakistan in the event, which once used to be dominated by the great Khans. Nasir registered 3-1 victory against Sunny Seth in 35 minutes. Nasir started well and won the first game 11-4, but lost the second 10—12. He bounced back in style to win third game 11-4 and fourth 11-6 to set final qualifying round match against Scottish Alan Clyne. Farhan Zaman beat Kiwi Paul Coll 3-0 in 40 minutes to set up final qualifying match date against British Declan James. Farhan won the first game 11-9, second 11-8 and third 13-11.–Staff Reporter

Women squash team for SAG announced

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has announced five-member women team for South Asian Games, 2016, scheduled to be held in India next month. PSF honorary secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz said the players including Maria Toor, Sadia Gull, Samar Anjum and Muqadas Ashraf were selected keeping in view their performance in DG Rangers Squash Championship and other tournaments. Satoot Babar would be the coach of the team in the event. He said already selected men’s team included Nasir Iqbal, Farhan Zaman, Danish Atlas and Sheikh Saqib, while Fahim Gull was the coach. The secretary said the national team had earned gold and silver medals in 2010 South Asian Games and hopefully, the selected players would repeat the same performance this time around too.–Staff Reporter