Simona Halep to miss Eastbourne

LONDON - French Open champion Simona Halep will miss next week's Wimbledon warm-up at Eastbourne after suffering an Achilles problem. Halep won her first Grand Slam title earlier this month after lifting the silverware at Roland Garros with a three-set final victory over Sloane Stephens. It was an emotional moment for Halep, who had lost her three previous Grand Slam finals and trailed by a set and a break against Stephens before fighting back. But the Romanian world number one will go into Wimbledon, which gets under way on July 2, without a competitive match on grass. "I'm very sorry to announce that I'm withdrawing from next week's Nature Valley International," Halep tweeted. "I was experiencing Achilles tendon pain and inflammation during the French Open and it has yet to fully recover.”–AFP

Aussie great Thomson dies aged 88

SYDNEY - Australian golfing great Peter Thomson, who won the British Open five times, died Wednesday aged 88 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, his family said. "He had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and lost his brave battle at home in Melbourne surrounded by family," a statement said. Thomson was the first Australian to win the British Open, claiming the famous claret jug on five occasions between 1954 and 1965, including three consecutive wins. Only American Tom Watson in the modern era has matched the feat. While he won dozens of tournaments in Europe, Australia and Asia, Thomson only played a few seasons in the United States, winning the Texas Open in 1956. Thomson served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years.–AFP

Former PM honours Shihan Raja Khalid

LAHORE – Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf hosted a reception in honour of Pakistani Shihan Raja Khalid, who became first Pakistani to obtain Black Belt 6 Dan from Japan. Pakistan Ko Kukushan Federation officials, notables, political figures were also present on the occasion. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said it is a great honour for Pakistan as Raja Khalid is the first ever Pakistani to achieve this feat. “Nobody can achieve this distinction without merit and sheer hard work. It is an honour for Potohar Region. I will host a grand reception soon in Gujar Khan, where Shihan Raja Khalid will be presented with gold crown,” he said.–Staff Reporter

 Amir Atlas wants to play in Asian Games

ISLAMABAD - Squash player Amir Atlas has appealed Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) to include him in the Asian Games after conducting trials so that he could play his role for the country in the mega event. Earlier he had also asked for inclusion in the Pakistan Circuit-III to be played in Karachi from July 6 to 11. “I had asked for a wildcard entry or to include me in the qualifying round of the Pakistan Circuit-III but no development in this regard has been made so far,” he said and added if given a chance, he won’t disappoint the nation. He said he has been practicing for the past three months for a comeback in the game. “I appeal PSF Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan to include me in Asian Games through trials and also allow me to play national tournaments,” he said.–APP

Hasek replaces Maradona at Al Fujairah

PRAGUE - Czech Ivan Hasek will replace Diego Maradona as coach of UAE side Al Fujairah SC, Czech media reports said Wednesday. Hasek, 54, has signed a one-year deal to return to the club he previously managed in 2014-2015. Maradona resigned in late April after failing to win promotion and then signed a three-year contract with Belarus side Dinamo Brest, to oversee "strategic development". Former Czech international Hasek won 56 caps between 1984 and 1994 and was twice elected Czech player of the season, spending his career with Sparta Prague and French side Racing Strasbourg. He has coached Sparta and Strasbourg as well as Saint-Etienne, Japan's Vissel Kobe, Dubai's Al Ahli, Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal and Qatar SC. Hasek was also president of the Czech football federation from 2009 to 2011.–AFP