Serena reinforces huge rankings lead

PARIS - Serena Williams reinforced her huge lead at the top of the WTA rankings a week out from the start of the French Open after winning the Italian Open on Sunday. Williams beat Madison Keys in the final in Rome to set herself up nicely for Roland Garros. Second place in the rankings was reclaimed by Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska from Germany’s Angelique Kerber. Elsewhere, Victoria Azarenka moved up a place to fifth at the expense of Simona Halep and Timea Bacsinszky and Flavia Pennetta were also climbers in the top 10. WTA top 10: 1. Serena Williams 9,030, 2. Agnieszka Radwanska 5,850, 3. Angelique Kerber 5,740, 4. Garbine Muguruza 5,196, 5. Victoria Azarenka 4,341, 6. Simona Halep 4,301, 7. Roberta Vinci 3,505, 8. Belinda Bencic 3,330, 9. Timea Bacsinszky 3,150, 10. Flavia Pennetta 2,963.–AFP


Murray back up to second in rankings

PARIS - Andy Murray has reclaimed second place in the world rankings from Roger Federer after beating world No 1 Novak Djokovic in the Rome Masters final. The Scot underlined his credentials for the upcoming French Open at Roland Garros by beating Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 on his 29th birthday. Elsewhere, Milos Raonic of Canada is up a place to ninth and Richard Gasquet climbs two places to 10th. Their rise comes at the expense of Spain’s David Ferrer, who drops three places to 12th after his third-round defeat in Rome to Lucas Pouille of France. ATP Top 10: 1. Novak Djokovic 16,150 pts, 2. Andy Murray 8,435, 3. Roger Federer 7,015, 4. Stan Wawrinka 6,110, 5. Rafael Nadal 5,675, 6. Kei Nishikori 4,470, 7. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 3,355, 8. Tomas Berdych 2,850, 9. Milos Raonic 2,785, 10. Richard Gasquet 2,725.–AFP



Lochte clinches 200 IM crown

WASHINGTON - World record-holder and triple Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte won the 200-meter individual medley title Sunday at the US Pro Swim Series meet in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 31-year-old American won in 1min 58.97 with countryman Conor Dwyer second in 2:00.90 and Hungary’s Norbert Szabo third in 2:01.56. Lochte, who won the 400 IM title on Friday, set the 200 IM world record of 1:54.00 at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. He took Olympic 200 IM silver in 2004 and 2012 and bronze in 2008 and is the reigning Olympic 400 IM champion. “It was a solid meet, especially for where I am right now in my training,’ Lochte said. “ Lochte hopes to defend his 400 IM gold and take another shot on the 200 IM crown at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August, but he must first qualify in the US team trials.–AFP



Ijaz annexes Tenpin Bowling title

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s highly decorated international bowler Ijaz Ur Rehman won the 8th Tenpin Bowling Championship men’s singles title here at Leisure City Bowling Club on late Sunday night. The men’s singles and woman singles competitions were conducted in the three-day event. Ijaz secured the first position by scoring 216 pins in best-of-two games final with 166 average while Sikander Hayat earned the second position with 160 with an average of 156 and Saqib remained third with 194 and average of 144. In woman singles, Humera Jabeen secured first position while Tanzeela was second position and pins while Fozia bagged third position with 72 pins.–Staff Reporter



Sagan opens Tour of California with win

LOS ANGELES - Reigning champion Peter Sagan extended his Tour of California stage victories record on Sunday as he opened the defense of his crown with a win. The Slovak Tinkoff rider sprinted to victory in the 106-mile (170.5km) first stage held in and around San Diego, finishing clear of Dutch duo Wouter Wippert and Dylan Groenewegen.  Sagan, who won the Gent Wevelgem at the end of March before claiming the prestigious Tour of Flanders in early April, bided his time to weave through a strong field to cross just ahead of Wippert.  It was a record 14th career stage victory in the Tour of California for Sagan.–AFP