Bouchard battles into quarters at Hobart

HOBART - Canada's Eugenie Bouchard struggled for form but managed to win through to the quarter-finals of the Hobart International on Tuesday. The former world number five, whose ranking has dipped to 47 after a fall at the US Open scuppered the end of her 2015 season, fought through to down Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 7-5. While Bouchard took under an hour to breeze past American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Monday's first round, she was taken to 12 games in the second set against the 44th-ranked Van Uytvanck. Bouchard faces a quarter-finals meet with tournament top seed Italian Camila Giorgi, who reached the last eight with a comfortable straight sets win over Japan's Nao Hibino. "(I'm) happy I fought and pulled through, she's a tough player and can hit some big shots," Bouchard said. –AFP

Vesely makes early Auckland exit

WELLINGTON - Jiri Vesely's hopes of defending his Auckland Classic title disappeared in first round Tuesday when he was bundled out in straight sets by eighth-seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. On a rain-disrupted second day that saw no matches completed during the day session, Bautista Agut made up time in the evening by taking just 76 minutes to dispose of Vesely 6-3, 7-5. Former tournament champion Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany had the worst of the rain disruptions, though he managed to turn it to his advantage. He was trailing compatriot Benjamin Becker 0-30 in the first game when the rain sent the players off the court and they did not resume until nearly six hours later when Kohlschreiber claimed a 7-6 (10/8), 6-3 win. He said the long weather disruption made it a tough day.–AFP

Lopez beats injured Simon at Kooyong

MELBOURNE - Spain's Feliciano Lopez fought off jet lag to open the Kooyong Classic with a 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 11-9 comeback win over an injury-hampered Gilles Simon Tuesday. Despite Simon's abdominal injury, Lopez had to save four match points before prevailing against world number 15. Simon's camp said the problem stemmed from a shoulder injury from September, resulting in a compensated serving action which had strained his abdominal muscles. Nicolas Almagro became the second Spaniard to advance as he beat France's Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5, 6-3, rallying from 3-5 down in the first set and winning five games in a row during his fightback at an event expanded this year to a dozen players. Korea's Chung Hyeon won a battle of young guns as he defeated Australian Omar Jasika 6-4, 6-3 in 71 minutes.–AFP

Platini officially appeals eight-year ban

PARIS - UEFA president Michel Platini has officially appealed to FIFA's appeal committee against his eight-year ban, sources close to the former France player confirmed on Tuesday. FIFA's ethics tribunal on Saturday provided world football governing body president Sepp Blatter and vice-president Platini with the reasons for their decision to ban them for eight years, clearing the way for both to appeal the decision. Platini's lawyer Thibaud d'Ales said the UEFA president had received the reasons behind the ban, and they would "analyse them and launch an appeal on Monday". In December, the ethics tribunal banned Blatter and Platini for eight years, saying they had abused their positions over a $2 million payment made to Platini in 2011 for work carried out between 1999 and 2002.–AFP

National Tenpin Bowling from 25th

ISLAMABAD – The 9th National Tenpin Bowling Championship would start from January 25-30 at Leisure City Bowling Club. Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation secretary Ijaz Ur Rehman Tuesday said the championship would be held in both professional and non-professional categories. Singles, doubles, Trios and team events would be played in professional category while non-professional category consist events for sports journalists, deaf and amateurs (for teens and kids). “We are expecting maximum players to participate and the winners would be awarded cash prizes. The diplomats of different countries and the federal ministers would grace the opening ceremony.” He again requested authorities to allocate land to federation to construct own international standard bowling alley.–Staff Reporter