|Schiavone shocks Stosur in Sydney |
|SYDNEY US OPEN champion Sam Stosur lost to Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the Sydney International on Monday in another setback in her preparation for next week's Australian Open.
Schiavone beat Stosur in the 2010 French Open final and had little trouble disposing of the local favourite again.
No. 6-ranked Stosur won only one match in Brisbane last week and will be short of match sharpness in Melbourne, where she will chase back-to-back Grand Slam titles following her win over Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final in September.
Schiavone will next play Brisbane International finalist Daniela Hantuchova, who beat another Italian, Roberta Vinci, 7-5, 6-2.
While Stosur struggled, defending champion Li Na, third-seeded Victoria Azarenka, No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 8-seeded Marion Bartoli all advanced to the second round.
Li won the first nine games and needed only 66 minutes to beat Russian qualifier Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 6-3.
The French Open champion next faces South African qualifier Chanelle Scheepers, who had a 6-4, 6-2 win over Melinda Czink of Hungary.
|Espanyol dents Barca's title hopes with 1-1 draw |
|MADRID BARCELONAsuffered a major setback to their hopes of retaining their La Liga title when they were held to a 1-1 draw by city rivals Espanyol on Sunday, a result which left them five points behind Real Madrid.
Barcelona took a 16thminute lead through a header from Cesc Fabregas — the club's 100th goal in all competitions this season — but were rocked when Alvaro Vazquez scored an 86th-minute equaliser with a low header.
Gerard Pique hit the woodwork in injury-time as Barca's last chance for the three points went begging, leaving Real Madrid, who had coasted to a 5-1 win over Granada on Saturday, in control of their title destiny.
"Difficult game tonight, we left two points but we have to keep going till the end. Now time to rest," Fabregas wrote on his Twitter account.
Espanyol have an exciting young side and coach Mauricio Pochettino promised that they would go out to attack which they did.
Joan Verdu was denied twice inside the opening minutes — first by keeper Victor Valdes and then Pique, who cleared the follow up off the line.
|Bhaichung's farewell match excites India |
| NEW DELHI IF it's a memorable farewell for Bhaichung Bhutia, for his India team mates on Tuesday is going to be a match to remember.
They are all keyed up to match their skills against power-packed European giants Bayern Munich at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
None seems to be bothered about the result, let alone embarrassment of the margin.
It is over 20 overs since an Indian team played against an European team, never mind a premier club side. The highflying Dutch club PSV Eidenhoven crushed India 7-0 at the same venue in January 1991. This time around the scoreline should not be all that staggering as the Indians have come a long way in recent years and should be expected to hold their own against the four-time Champions League winners.
Looking at the awesome Bayern line-up, with names like skipper Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller, Frank Ribbery, Arjen Robben, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller, the packed Nehru Stadium should be happy to have feel of some magical football.