Allertova upsets Halep in Guangzhou Open

GUANGZHOU - Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic defeated top seed Simona Halep in straight sets in quarterfinal play Thursday in the WTA Guangzhou International Women's Open. Unseeded Allertova pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far, beating the Romanian 6-4, 6-3. Halep, ranked number two, was defeated in the semifinals of the US Open this month by eventual champion Flavia Pennetta of Italy. In another upset, unseeded Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium defeated Romania's Monica Niculescu, the number six seed, 6-2, 6-2. Sara Errani, seeded third, overwhelmed number 8 seed Zheng Saisai 6-1, 6-0, leaving no more Chinese singles players in the event. And in the only battle of seeded players, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, 6-2, 7-5.

Stephens advances to Korea Open quarters

SEOUL - American Sloane Stephens cruised past Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm to advance to the quarter-finals of the WTA Korea Open on Thursday. Third-seeded Stephens defeated 44-year-old Date-Krumm 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the tournament. The 22-year-old American, ranked 32nd in the world, won her first WTA title at the Citi Open in Washington last month. Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, ranked 136th in the world, meanwhile earned a surprise win over Magdalena Rybarikova, currently ranked 73rd, defeating the Slovak 6-3, 6-3. Russia's Elizaveta Kulichkova also breezed past the fourth-seeded American Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 6-2, while Romanian Irina Begu, ranked 29th in the world, defeated Slovenian Polona Hercog after a tough battle, eventually winning 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2.–AFP

Surging Day hungry for victories

ATLANTA – Newly-minted world No 1 Jason Day is on quite a ride, and isn't planning to take his foot off the accelerator at the Tour Championship. "It's great to see my name up there, it's pretty cool to be the best player on the planet," Day said while preparing for the US PGA Tour's season finale. "But I understand that to be the best you have to win consistently, so whatever I am doing right now I need to keep doing that because that's my blueprint that has been working." And now that the wins are coming thick and fast, Day wants to make up for lost time in the 'W' department. "I am just trying to get to my eighth (career) win now," he said. "When I look at wins I've had, to me personally it feels low." He believes the elite Tour Championship is a ‘perfect opportunity’ to add to that tally.–AFP

Serena’s role for squash uplift lauded

ISLAMABAD - Serena Hotels CEO Aziz Boolani has been called on the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sohail Aman, who is also Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) president, here at the Air Headquarters. Sohail Aman congratulated Aziz Boolani on Sitara-e-Imtiaz conferred upon him by the government of Pakistan and also lauded his role for squash uplift in the country. Squash is widely recognised as Pakistan's lost legacy. Last year's much-publicised squash championship was also co-sponsored by Serena Hotels and was the historic one as it was for the first time in seven years that renowned international players visited Pakistan to compete in the tournament. Omar Abdel Meguid of Egypt won the championship in a riveting final match against Pakistan's Aamir Atlas Khan. Meguid would be back this year to defend his title. The Serena Hotels sports diplomacy initiative is working actively to encourage and promote healthy activities through interaction amongst various segments of the society to enhance the social well-being and cultural development. The Serena Hotels also host polo, cricket and golf tournaments including the President of Pakistan's Gold Medal Golf Championship.–Staff Reporter