Sharapova withdraws from Rogers Cup

TORONTO - World number two Maria Sharapova has pulled out of next week's Rogers Cup after suffering a right leg strain, tournament chiefs confirmed on Friday. The Russian right-hander's withdrawal was announced on the tournament's Twitter feed, which added that Romania's Simona Halep had now been elevated to second seed. World number one Serena Williams will be chasing her fourth Rogers Cup crown after wins in 2013, 2011 and 2001. Five-time Grand Slam tournament winner Sharapova, beaten by Williams in this year's Australian Open final and the Wimbledon semi-finals, has never won the Rogers Cup. The hardcourt tournament is one of several tune-up events leading into the US Open, where Williams will be attempting to complete a calendar year sweep of all four tennis Grand Slam events. –AFP

Pliskova in secures semi berth at Stanford

STANFORD - Karolina Pliskova advanced to the semi-finals of the Bank of the West Classic with a 6-2 6-4 win over Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday. The world number 11 will meet American Varvara Lepchenko in the semi-finals on Saturday while Ukraine's Elina Svitolina will play Germany's Angelique Kerber at the tournament in Stanford. Lepchenko defeated Mona Barthel of Germany 6-7 6-2 6-3 while Svitolina advanced with a 4-6 7-5 6-1 win over American Alison Riske. Germany's Kerber came from behind to beat Poland's second seed Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6 6-4 6-4. Win or lose Pliskova will push herself into the top-10 for the first time when the new rankings are released on Monday. Only world number one Serena Williams (40-1) has won more matches than Pliskova (38-14) this season. –Reuters

PCB officials meet Pindi DCO for T20 event

ISLAMABAD - Intikhab Alam and Shafiq Ahmed Papa met with Rawalpindi Sajid Zafar Dal District Coordination Officer (DCO) on Saturday to discuss security and other issues for holding the National T/20 Super event at Pindi Cricket Stadium. DSO Manzar Shah, DO Abdul Waheed Babar and manager Pindi Stadium Nisar Khan also present in the meeting. The PCB officials and district administration discussed the matters related to holding qualifying round of the event from September 1 to 5 and main round from Sept 8th to 15th at Pindi Stadium and Islamabad’s Diamond and Marghzar cricket grounds. It was also decided to hold detailed meeting with security agencies and PCB representatives on 20th of this month at the DCO office to finalise details before the mega event kicks off in the twin cities.–Staff Reporter

Nasir loses iAustralian Open semis

ISLAMABAD - 5th seed Nasir Iqbal lost against unseeded Paul Coll 3-2 of New Zealand in the semifinals of the $27,000 Australian Open on Saturday. Nasir was firm favourite to win the tie and despite leading 2-1 succumbed to defeat in 65 minutes. Nasir started first game on a high and took the game 11-7 but was outclassed in the second game by his opponent in the second game and lost it 3-11. Third game was a see saw battle before Nasir prevailed and took the game 11-9. In fourth game, he allowed Paul too much room and space as Paul won the 4th game 11-5. In the decider, Paul finished Nasir off with 11-6 victory to set up final with top seed Cameron Pilley of Australia. Pilley beat countryman Ryan Cuskelly in 95 minute in along marathon semifinal 3-2, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 6-11 11-8.–Staff Reporter

Pak U-13 Football team thrashes China 4-0

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan U-13 Youth Football team On Saturday stunned China 4-0 in the their second match of the group in the Football Fiesta being held in Korea.. Pakistan youngsters had also carved out a goalless draw against the hosts South Korea in the first match. Agha Amjedullah, Deputy Director General Pakistan Sports Board, who is managing the kids’ team, said from Korea though his lads didn't get enough time to rest and practice but were able to hold might Koreans in first match they played just few hours after reaching the country. He said his players were fully prepared in the second match and thrashed Chinese Youth team. Atif and Sohaib both scored twice for Pakistan while Pakistani goalkeeper Moiz Akhter was up to the task and did not give Chinese any chance of scoring.–Staff Reporter