Federer to make 15th Halle appearance

BERLIN - Roger Federer is set to make his 15th appearance at Halle's ATP tournament next month in his bid to win the title for the ninth time, organisers said Thursday. The 18-time Grand Slam winner, currently ranked fourth in the world, has confirmed he will play at the grass-court tournament from June 17-25 - traditionally a warm-up for Wimbledon, which starts on July 3. It will be the 15th-time Swiss tennis legend Federer, 36, has played in Halle which he won for the eighth time in 2015. "We are looking forward to Roger's return," said tournament director Ralf Weber. "He has finally helped bring the tournament into a new dimension and made it even more popular worldwide." Along with Federer, eight of the top 20 in the world will be in Halle including last year's beaten finalist Alexander Zverev.–AFP

Marcelino named new Valencia boss

MADRID - Fallen La Liga giants Valencia named Marcelino Garcia Toral as the man charged with turning around their fortunes next season on Thursday. The former Villarreal boss has signed a two-year deal at the Mestalla to become the sixth coach hired by Singaporean owner Peter Lim in the past two years. "Valencia CF and Marcelino García Toral have reached a full agreement for him to be first team head coach for a minimum period of two seasons," Valencia said. Caretaker coach Voro will remain in charge for Valencia's final two games of the season against Espanyol and Villarreal. Marcelino had been a candidate as far back as September when Pako Ayestaran was sacked just four games into the season. However, La Liga rules don't allow coaches to manage more than one club in the same season.–AFP


25 hurt in scuffles before Madrid derby

MADRID - A total of 20 supporters and five police officers suffered minor injuries in scuffles outside the Vicente Calderon stadium prior to Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. A spokesperson for the Spanish capital's emergency services said the 25 people had been treated for "cuts and bruises, all minor". The altercations happened as several buses carrying Real Madrid fans arrived at Atletico's ground, with home supporters greeting them by throwing bottles and other objects. Police were forced to form a barrier between the rival fans, keeping them apart to prevent further trouble. None of those injured required hospital treatment and police reported no arrests. Reigning European champions Real came into the game leading 3-0 after last week's first leg.–AFP


Pakistan Open Bowling from 19th

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Open National Tenpin Bowling Championship 2017 will commence from May 19 here at Leisure City Bowling Club. PTBF secretary Ijaz-ur-Rehman said: “The championship carries four major categories including master singles, doubles, amateur and women event. We are expecting overwhelming response from the bowlers across the country, as it is the biggest event of the calendar year.” He said despite having limited resources, no major help from the IPC or PSB and almost zero sponsorship from private sector, they had conducted 10 to 15 national events, besides sending bowlers abroad for international events, provided them cash incentives, arranged training sessions. “We are also trying to construct new bowling alleys at other major cities of the country.”–Staff Reporter


Foreign players take part in MMA fighting

LAHORE - Foreign players from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Russia will be displaying their Mix Martial Art (MMA) skills in the MMA fighting to be held here today (Friday) at the University of Lahore (UoL). "In all a dozen of fights are slated in the competition which will be very thrilling and entertaining", said a member of the organising committee of the event on Thursday. He said UoL was hosting this event to supplement the ongoing efforts for the development of MMA fighting in the country. "We are thankful to Zubair and Bashir Ahmed, who have won a number of international MMA titles for bringing this sport to Pakistan, especially in Lahore. The participation of foreign players will help in portraying a soft image of Pakistan, which is safe and suitable to hold such events.”–Staff Reporter