No sign of appendicitis as Nadal crashes

SHANGHAI - World number two Rafael Nadal showed no signs of suffering from appendicitis as he was dumped out of the Shanghai Masters in his opening match Wednesday, days after being diagnosed with the condition. The Spanish second seed in Shanghai lost 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) to compatriot Feliciano Lopez, after he revealed he was diagnosed with appendicitis on Sunday. Nadal insisted he was still fit to play the tournament after he was put on a course of antibiotics which relieved stomach pains and helped avoid immediate surgery. The 14-times Grand Slam winner is competing in his second event since returning from his latest injury layoff, which stretches back to the end of July. He crashed out of last week’s China Open at the quarter-final stage, and admitted he is still far from his best form.–AFP

Madison  advance in Japan Women’s Open

TOKYO - Second-seed Madison Keys beat Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-0, 6-4 Wednesday in the $250,000 Japan Women’s Open. The victory advanced the American to face Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand, who won singles silver and doubles gold at the Olympic-style event in South Korea. Luksika stayed in form as she beat Japan’s Eri Hozumi 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, after she managed an upset victory on Monday against American seed Christina McHale. It was a well-contested match as the Japanese wont the first game easily 6-2. The American then bounced back and won the next two sets 6-4, 6-4 to register an impressive victory against the Japanese. Third-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine beat Japanese wild-card Naomi Osaka 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan beat sixth-seeded Heather Watson of Britain 6-4, 7-5.–AFP

Howell joins Ryder Cup captain panel

LONDON - England’s David Howell has been named as the fifth and final member of the panel which will select the European Ryder Cup captain for The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minnesota. The 39 year old Howell, who played in Europe’s Ryder Cup wins in both 2004 and 2006, was nominated by the European Tour’s Tournament Committee at a meeting on Tuesday night in Portugal. He will be their representative on the panel which will choose the man to succeed Paul McGinley, who led Europe to a 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 victory at Gleneagles last month. Joining Howell on the panel will be the three previous European Ryder Cup Captains - McGinley, José María Olazábal and Colin Montgomerie - alongside the Chief Executive of The European Tour, George O’Grady.–AFP

Banned for 6 months, no 2015 worlds

WASHINGTON - Michael Phelps, the 18-time Olympic swim champion arrested last week for drink driving, was banned for six months by USA Swimming and dropped from the 2015 World Championships. Monday’s punishments came six days after Phelps was apprehended by police in his hometown of Baltimore and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speed and crossing the center line while driving inside a tunnel. On Sunday, Phelps said on Twitter that he would be taking a break from swimming and “take some time away to attend a program” for treatment of unspecified personal issues. In announcing sanctions against the Olympic superstar, USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus said Phelps’ actions required “significant consequences.”–AFP

Chilean official considers FIFA bid

PARIS - Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who headed a FIFA commission that warned of the dangers of holding the World Cup in Qatar, is considering standing against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency next year. If he goes ahead, the former Chilean federation head would be the third candidate to become head of football’s governing body, along with Blatter and a former FIFA official Jerome Champagne. “A decision is not necessary before January 28 next year. The election is on May 29 so we have all of October, November, December and January,” Mayne-Nicholls said. “That means four months to check everything so that the people who have contacted me - and whom I have contacted - can assess the best way forward,” he added. The Chilean would need the backing of five national federations to stand in the election.–AFP