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PARIS: Defenfing champion Maria Sharapova looks to end nine years of hurt when she tackles world number one Serena Williams for the French Open title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). The Russian has not defeated the American since 2004, the year when she burst onto the scene winning Wimbledon and…

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PARIS: Defending champion Rafael Nadal moved closer to a historic eighth French Open title on Friday when he defeated world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 9-7 in a titanic semifinals. In Sunday’s title match (Monday in Manila), the third seed will face fourth-seeded compatriot David Ferrer…

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MIAMI: If the remainder of the NBA Finals comes anywhere close to the passion and excitement displayed by the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs in Game One, the basketball world is in for a real treat. “It was anybody’s ball game and we just happened to be fortunate to…

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ARDMORE, Pennsylvania: World No.1 Tiger Woods, second-ranked Rory McIlroy and reigning Masters champion Adam Scott will play alongside each other in the first two rounds at next week’s 113th US Open. The US Golf Association announced in a Twitter posting on Friday that Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the…

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North Cotabato’s best bet in winning the first world boxing championship, Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong of M’lang, will leave for Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday for his June 15 rematch with Zulu fighter Gideon Buthelezi. Dapudong’s registered manager, former Governor Manny Piñol of North Cotabato 1 will accompany the 28-year-old…

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Alex John “Bazooka” Banal will return to the ring in a non-title bout against Mexican Ramon Maas on July 6 in Pinoy Pride 21. Banal said he really wanted to recapture his winning ways after losing via technical knockout against Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu for the vacant World Boxing Organization…

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LOS ANGELES: Ryota Murata, who last year won Japan’s first boxing gold medal at the Olympics in 48 years, has signed with promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank organization, the group announced. More details will be revealed soon at a formal announcement of the deal, including plans for the middleweight fighter’s…

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NEIL Tangalin topped the boys’ 18 and 16-under class of the 2013 HEAD Junior Satellite Circuit national tennis age-group tournament tenth leg in Olongapo City on Wednesday. Tangalin routed Paolo Baran 6-3, 6-4, in the 18-under class final round and John Sanga, 6-0, 6-1, in the 16-under division finals. Meanwhile,…

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JAKARTA: Former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat confirmed on Friday that he would retire after next week’s Indonesia Open Super Series tournament, but was tight-lipped about his plans for the future. One of Indonesia’s best-known sportsmen will bring the curtain down on a brilliant and sometimes controversial career during which he…

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BERLIN: International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidential hopeful Thomas Bach on Friday pleaded for more flexibility regarding the Olympic Games program, emphasizing the need to appeal to the younger generation. While maintaining that the restriction on the number of athletes should remain the same, IOC vice-president Bach added that the organization…