- Sharapova reaches quarter-finals at Indian Wells
- Under-pressure Wei Feng wiser after All-England flop
- Malaysia hold world champions Australia despite poor display
Posted: 12 Mar 2013 05:14 PM PDT
INDIAN WELLS, California: French Open champion Maria Sharapova booked her quarter-final berth at the Indian Wells ATP Masters and WTA tournament on Tuesday with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino.
Sharapova, ranked third in the world and seeded second here behind defending champion Victoria Azarenka, will face sixth-seeded Italian Sara Errani in a rematch of their French Open final last year.
Sharapova defeated Errani 6-3, 6-2 in the title match at Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam. She also beat Errani last October in first-round group play at the season-ending WTA Championships.
Errani, who won the women's clay-court title in Acapulco in the build-up to Indian Wells, advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over ninth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France. - AFP
Posted: 12 Mar 2013 06:45 PM PDT
PETALING JAYA: National elite shuttler Chong Wei Feng admitted that the pressure of trying to follow in the footsteps of team-mate and world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is slowly getting to him.
But Wei Feng, who had a rather disappointing outing at the All-England in Birmingham last week, is not planning to succumb to that pressure.
The world No. 16 did not play up to expectations in Birmingham as he went down tamely to Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen in the opening round.
He was also a first round casualty in the Malaysian Open in January and his quarter-final appearance in the Korean Open a week prior now seemed like a distant memory.
With several young players such as Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki, India's P. Kashyap, Taiwan's Chou Tien Chen and Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk showing rapid improvement of late, Wei Feng and the likes of Liew Daren and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif certainly has to deliver.
And the soft-spoken Wei Feng has indicated that he has learned from his defeat at the All-England.
"I'm definitely feeling the pressure especially since I didn't play well at all," said Wei Feng.
"But playing under pressure works well for me because it makes me more focussed and I believe that I am mentally ready to deal with it."
The 26-year-old Kedahan also added that he is still working on the physical side of his game and it is showing improvement, despite the insipid defeat to Jorgensen.
"When it comes to the more physical players, I have a slight disadvantage. But I'm working to overcome that handicap and it's showing positive results," said Wei Feng.
"Right now the target for me is to do well in the Swiss Open (which started yesterday). I have a rather favourable draw and I just need to play my normal game in order to get the desired results."
Wei Feng is seeded ninth in Basel and takes on Taiwan's Wang Tzu Wei in the first round. He should have a fairly easy run to the third round where he will face his first real challenge, in the form of fifth seed Kashyap.
Besides Wei Feng, the other Malaysians in the fray are Daren, Arif, Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang.
Meanwhile, in yesterday's qualifying matches, the mixed combinations of Tan Wee Kiong-Vivian Hoo and Gan Teik Chai-Ng Hui Lin both cleared their first round matches.
Mixed doubles: Tan Wee Kiong-Vivian Hoo bt Marcus Ellis-Alyssa Lim (Eng) 10-21, 21-18, 21-16; Gan Teik Chai-Ng Hui Lin bt Bodin Issara-Peeraya Munkitamorn (Tha) 21-14, 21-18.
Posted: 12 Mar 2013 07:00 PM PDT
IPOH: Hosts Malaysia turned in a poor display but still managed to hold world champions Australia to a 1-1 draw in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup yesterday.
And for the third time in as many matches, Malaysia finished stronger with their equaliser coming in the 69th minute of the match.
Australia and Malaysia continue to lead the standings and look a safe bet for a final showdown on Sunday.
Malaysia again kept faith with the same starting line-up that started the previous two matches.
The early exchanges were fairly even although the Australians had three penalty corners in the first 20 minutes but were thwarted by the solid Malaysian defence.
Malaysia had a penalty corner in the 24th minute which came to nought while Mohamed Marhan Jalil broke through in the 27th minute but failed to get the better of Australian goalkeeper George Bezeley.
But there was no denying the world champions in the 34th minute. A quick breakthrough left Trent Mitton with just Malaysia goalkeeper S. Kumar to beat and the former slammed the ball high into the net.
Australia dominated the second half winning a total of nine penalty corners but Kumar was equal to the task in goal.
Malaysia's attack looked jaded at times but they made no mistake with a last-minute penalty corner which saw Faizal Saari netting the equaliser.
Malaysia coach Paul Revington was happy with the result but felt they could have played much better.
"It is always good when you get a result and this was a fantastic one for the team. I don't think we played that well and there are still many areas where we can improve.
"But the results give us hope and I am sure the players have much to be proud of. We must look forward from here and try to learn as we move along," said Revington.
Earlier, defending champions New Zealand found their winning touch when they defeated South Korea 3-0.
The Kiwis had lost their opening matches, 4-3 to Pakistan and 3-2 to Malaysia, and were looking for a win to keep alive their hopes of making the final on Sunday.
The Kiwis took only four minutes to open accounts as a lurking Hugo Inglis was at hand at the far post to deflect Stephen Jenness' shot into goal.
They then doubled their advantage off their first penalty corner in the 12th minute through Cory Bennett whose low drag flick beat South Korean goalkeeper Kim Jae-hyeon.
Though Korea tried, they could not get a single shot on target throughout the first half and the Kiwis trooped off at half time with a two-goal advantage.
Seven minutes into the second half New Zealand scored their third through Andy Hayward who converted a penalty corner.
In another match, India came from a goal down to defeat Pakistan 3-1 for their first win in the tournament.
Pakistan took the lead in the fourth minute through a penalty corner rebound goal by Mohamed Waqas.
But India hit back in the very next minute when Rupinder Pal Singh sent in a pile driver of a flick into the Pakistan net.
Then Akashdeep Singh added the second in the ninth minute and India looked the more settled side after that.
India increased their lead in the 56th minute through Mandeep Singh and with Pakistan missing a number of sitters, the match was India's for the taking.
|You are subscribed to email updates from The Star Online: Sports |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|