Retired Hewitt to play Aussie Open doubles

MELBOURNE - Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt will come out of retirement to play doubles at next month's Australian Open in Melbourne, reports said Friday. The 36-year-old will partner Sam Groth, 30, who has announced that the January 15-28 Grand Slam will be his last tournament. "It's going to be a bit of fun -- that's what the Australian Open is about," Hewitt told the Melbourne Herald-Sun newspaper. "I'm going to really enjoy it." Hewitt, a US Open and Wimbledon singles champion, retired from top-level tennis after his home Grand Slam in January last year. It is not the first time he has returned to action since. In last year's Davis Cup tie with the United States, Hewitt and John Peers, came close to upsetting Bob and Mike Bryan in an epic doubles five-setter. –AFP

 

 

Rose retains lead at Indonesian Masters

JAKARTA - England's Justin Rose retained the clubhouse lead after a curtailed second round at the storm-hit Indonesian Masters Friday, as Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat vaulted to second on the leaderboard. Rose, the world number six, was on an aggregate score of 14-under through 16 holes on day two before play was abandoned due to fading light. Lightning storms in the area had halted play for two hours in the afternoon, disrupting Rose's round. Two-time Asian Tour winner Kiradech fired an eight-birdie 64 -- including five birdies in a row -- to lie second with a a two-day total of 12-under-par 132. "I have been hitting it good all week and playing some good golf," Kiradech said. "I am happy with the five birdies in a row that I made and only missed two birdies putts overall. –AFP

 

 

Brazilian football chief gets 90-day ban

PARIS - FIFA handed Brazilian football confederation (CBF) president Marco Polo Del Nero a 90-day provisional ban from all football activities Friday. The 76-year-old, a former member of the FIFA Council, is the latest prominent South American official to be banned by FIFA as part of its investigation into a vast corruption scandal. Del Nero was indicted on corruption charges in the United States in December 2015 and has faced numerous calls, including from Brazilian greats Pele and Zico, to step down. "Mr Polo Del Nero is banned from all football activities at both national and international level," FIFA said in a statement. "The ban comes into force immediately." FIFA added that Del Nero's ban could be extended by up to 45 days while the ethics committee completes its investigation. –AFP

 

 

Maradona lauds 'revelation' Mbappe

MADRID - Argentina great Diego Maradona praised Kylian Mbappe oFriday as "the revelation of football" after the French teenage sensation's spectacular rise to stardom. Mbappe, who only turns 19 on December 20, finished seventh in last week's Ballon d'Or voting – ahead of the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Harry Kane and Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Edinson Cavani. "For me Mbappe is the revelation of football," Maradona, the star of Argentina's 1986 World Cup triumph, said in an interview with Spanish daily As. "He seems to me that he can be better than lots of players." It has been a remarkable 2017 for Mbappe. He helped fire Monaco to a first French league title in 17 years and reached the Champions League semi-finals, before joining PSG in a stunning deal worth 180 million euros. –AFP

 

 

Inter-School Hockey final today

LAHORE - Aitcheson College will meet Crescent School in the Himont Cup Inter-School Hockey Tournament final to be played here at the National Hockey Stadium today (Saturday). After the conclusion of league stage, both the teams have qualified for the ultimate showdown. Kims School will face Government High School, Dhing Shah, Kasur in the match for the third position. Director General Sports Board Punjab Aamir Jan and Aitcheson College head Andrew Egan watched the matches on the last day of the league phase on Friday. Earlier on day one, three matches were decided. In the first match, Kims School defeated Govt High School Kasur 2-0. In the second match, Crescent School outclassed Govt Wafaqi Colony by 3-1. In the last league match, Aitcheson College thrashed Govt Shahdra High School by 5-0.–Staff Reporter