Rossi storms to San Marino pole

Having crashed out at Indianapolis last Sunday Valentino Rossi is fighting back in style at his home event this weekend and he took pole at the end of an intriguing qualifying practice at Misano on Saturday afternoon.
The Italian legend has been the fastest rider in every session so far this weekend and his last gasp 1’34.338 lap put him in pole position for the sixth time this season in the Rimini sunshine.
As the session drew to a close it looked as though Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa had snatched pole from Rossi with a decent 1’34.560 effort, but the Fiat Yamaha rider found another level in the closing seconds to deny the Spaniard.
Completing the front row, Rossi’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo also marked his best time at the end of the QP, but he finally fell half a second short of his title rival. Lorenzo will need to be at his very best if he is to improve on his second place result in last year’s Misano contest.
The second row of the grid is headed by San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Toni Elías who lapped with a similar pace to Lorenzo and will be desperate for a good performance on Sunday as he fights for his future in the premier class.
Behind Elías on the grid sits the experienced Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and the Texan’s compatriot Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro), who is enjoying plenty of support from the Ducatisti this weekend.
The top ten also features home rider Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) - the veteran Italian surviving an off track excursion unscathed during the session.

Posted in | 0 comments

Fisichella joins Ferrari

Giancarlo Fisichella has been given the green light by Force India to race for Ferrari for the remainder of the season, with immediate effect.

"Following extensive discussions over the past 24 hours, the Force India Formula One Team has agreed to release Giancarlo Fisichella from his contract to join the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team for the remainder of the 2009 season, starting with immediate effect," Force India said in a statment.

Force India team boss Vijay Mallya said that he would not have stood in the way of the Italian taking a race seat with Ferrari.

"Giancarlo and his management team approached me yesterday with the proposal from Ferrari," Mallya said.

"For any Italian driver, a Ferrari race seat is a long-held dream and for Giancarlo it was no exception. No one should stand in the way of this.

"Furthermore the agreement will secure Giancarlo's long-term future with Ferrari and it would be incorrect to jeopardise this, particularly when Giancarlo has made such a vital contribution to Force India."

Amazingly, Mallya said that there had been no financial settlement with Ferrari over the switch of Fisichella, who caused a minor sensation when running Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen close in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix for Force India's first ever championship points.

"This agreement has been made in good faith and for the good of Giancarlo and the sport in general," Mallya insisted.

"A competitive Italian driver in a Ferrari for Monza is a positive story for Formula One, which can only help raise the sport's profile in these difficult times."

Fisichella would now be expected to make his Ferrari debut at the next Formula One Grand Prix at the Italian circuit of Monza on September 13.

The 36-year-old replaces Luca Badoer as Kimi Raikkonen's team-mate, after the Italian test driver filled in for two races following Felipe Massa's accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Stand-in Badoer, 38, struggled in his two races as a replacement for Massa. Making a comeback after almost a decade away from grand prix racing, he qualified last in Valencia and Belgium and was also last to take the chequered flag in both races.

Force India are yet to announce who will replace Fisichella for them for the remainder of the season.

Posted in | 0 comments

Men's Drawsheet- US Open

1st Round Round 2 3rd Round Round 4
Roger Federer (SUI) Davin Britton (USA) Roger Federer (SUI) 6-1 6-3 7-5 Simon Greul (GER) 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-0 7-6 Roger Federer (SUI) 6-3 7-5 7-5 Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 6-3 6-3 6-4
Giovanni Lapentti (ECU) Simon Greul (GER)
Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) Oscar Hernandez (ESP) Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) 6-4 6-4 6-2 Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 6-0 6-3 6-3
Thiago Alves (BRA) Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
James Blake (USA) Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) James Blake (USA) 6-1 6-4 7-5 Olivier Rochus (BEL) 6-3 6-0 6-2
Olivier Rochus (BEL) Igor Kunitsyn (RUS)
Peter Polansky (CAN) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 6-4 6-4 5-7 3-6 6-1 Tommy Robredo (ESP) 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-3
Donald Young (USA) Tommy Robredo (ESP)
Robin Soderling (SWE) Albert Montanes (ESP) Robin Soderling (SWE) 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-4 Marcel Granollers-Pujol (ESP) 2-6 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-0

Mischa Zverev (GER) Marcel Granollers-Pujol (ESP)
Kevin Kim (USA) Dudi Sela (ISR) Kevin Kim (USA) 6-3 0-6 6-3 6-2 Sam Querrey (USA) 6-3 7-5 6-4
Michael Yani (USA) Sam Querrey (USA)
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 2-6 7-5 6-0 6-2 Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) 7-6 7-6 6-0
Potito Starace (ITA) Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)
Jan Hernych (CZE) Rainer Schuettler (GER) Jan Hernych (CZE) 1-6 7-6 6-4 2-6 6-3 Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) 6-3 6-4 7-5
Dieter Kindlmann (GER) Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) Novak Djokovic (SRB) 6-3 6-1 6-3 Carsten Ball (AUS) 7-6 6-3 6-4

Juan Pablo Brzezicki (ARG) Carsten Ball (AUS)
Karol Beck (SVK) Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) 2-6 1-6 6-1 6-4 6-3 Jesse Witten (USA) 6-4 6-0 6-2
Jesse Witten (USA) Igor Andreev (RUS)
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) Andreas Seppi (ITA) Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-0 6-4 6-4 Somdev Devvarman (IND) 6-3 6-4 6-3
Somdev Devvarman (IND) Frederico Gil (POR)
Andrey Golubev (KAZ) Leonardo Mayer (ARG) Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 6-4 4-6 7-5 6-3 Radek Stepanek (CZE) 6-4 6-4 6-4
Simone Bolelli (ITA) Radek Stepanek (CZE)
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) Benjamin Becker (GER) Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 7-5 6-4 7-5 Florent Serra (FRA) 7-6 7-6 7-6

Florent Serra (FRA) Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)
Robert Kendrick (USA) Martin Vassalo Arguello (ARG) Robert Kendrick (USA) 6-3 6-2 6-2 Tommy Haas (GER) 7-5 4-6 7-6 6-2
Alejandro Falla (COL) Tommy Haas (GER)
Victor Hanescu (ROU) John Isner (USA) John Isner (USA) 6-1 7-6 7-6 Marsel Ilhan (TUR) 3-6 6-3 3-6 7-5 7-5
Marsel Ilhan (TUR) Christophe Rochus (BEL)
Marc Gicquel (FRA) Dimitry Tursunov (RUS) Marc Gicquel (FRA) 6-2 5-7 6-3 6-3 Andy Roddick (USA) 6-1 6-4 6-2
Bj\xF6rn Phau (GER) Andy Roddick (USA)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) Chase Buchanan (USA) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 6-0 6-2 6-1 Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 7-5 7-6 6-4

Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Flavio Cipolla (ITA) Julien Benneteau (FRA) Julien Benneteau (FRA) 4-6 6-1 6-3 6-3 Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-3 6-3 1-6 2-6 6-1
Peter Luczak (AUS) Viktor Troicki (SRB)
Tomas Berdych (CZE) Wayne Odesnik (USA) Tomas Berdych (CZE) 7-5 6-4 6-4 Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 6-3 7-6 3-6 6-0
Michael Berrer (GER) Horacio Zeballos (ARG)
Josselin Ouanna (FRA) Rajeev Ram (USA) Josselin Ouanna (FRA) 7-6 6-4 3-6 6-3 Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) 6-3 6-3 6-3
Nicolas Massu (CHI) Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)
Ga\xEBl Monfils (FRA) J\xE9r\xE9mie Chardy (FRA) Ga\xEBl Monfils (FRA) 6-1 6-4 6-3 Andreas Beck (GER) 6-3 6-4 2-6 2-6 6-4

Evgueni Korolev (RUS) Andreas Beck (GER)
Marcos Daniel (BRA) Jose Acasuso (ARG) Jose Acasuso (ARG) David Ferrer (ESP) 7-5 5-7 6-3 6-3
Alberto Martin (ESP) David Ferrer (ESP)
Nicolas Almagro (ESP) Steve Darcis (BEL) Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 6-2 6-4 2-6 7-6 Robby Ginepri (USA) 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-0
Robby Ginepri (USA) Andrei Pavel (ROU)
Micha\xEBl Llodra (FRA) Nicolas Kiefer (GER) Nicolas Kiefer (GER) 6-3 6-4 6-4 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 6-2 6-2 6-3
Richard Gasquet (FRA) Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) Juan Monaco (ARG) Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) 6-3 6-3 6-1 Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 1-6 6-4 6-3 6-4

Jurgen Melzer (AUT) Marat Safin (RUS)
Pablo Cuevas (URU) Chris Guccione (AUS) Pablo Cuevas (URU) Daniel Koellerer (AUT) 6-2 6-4 2-6 6-2
Daniel Koellerer (AUT) Rui Machado (POR)
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) Fabrice Santoro (FRA) Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) Philipp Petzschner (GER) 7-6 6-7 6-4 4-6 6-3
Philipp Petzschner (GER) Sergii Stakhovsky (UKR)
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) 6-4 6-2 6-3 Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-4 7-6 6-3
Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) Gilles Simon (FRA)
Marin Cilic (CRO) Ryan Sweeting (USA) Marin Cilic (CRO) 7-6 6-4 7-6 Jesse Levine (USA) 7-5 6-1 6-2

Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) Jesse Levine (USA)
Denis Istomin (UZB) Brendan Evans (USA) Denis Istomin (UZB) 6-4 6-4 7-6 Nicolas Lapentti (ECU) 4-6 3-6 7-6 7-6 6-3
Nicolas Lapentti (ECU) Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) Ivan Navarro (ESP) Ivan Navarro (ESP) 6-4 7-6 7-6 Taylor Dent (USA) 4-6 7-6 6-3 7-5
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) Taylor Dent (USA)
Paul Capdeville (CHI) Victor Crivoi (ROU) Paul Capdeville (CHI) 6-3 6-0 7-6 Andrew Murray (GBR) 7-5 6-3 7-5
Ernest Gulbis (LAT) Andrew Murray (GBR)

Posted in | 0 comments

US Open - US Open slice: Day Three

Marat Safin said goodbye to Grand Slam tennis with little more than a whimper, a conflict of character with the fiery persona that electrified his career.

Was it really just nine years ago that a fresh-faced, 20-year-old Safin blew Pete Sampras off the court in New York to claim the first of his two Slam titles?

As he headed into retirement - save for a few minor tournaments between now and the end of the year - Safin looked jaded and relieved to go, ground down by the rigors of the sport and the occasional excesses of his lifestyle.

Safin's defeat to Jurgen Melzer in the first round was laced with disappointment. After an explosive start he faltered badly, eventually losing to the Austrian in four sets, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

As he walked off Louis Armstrong Court you couldn't help but get the sense that Safin's talent was as much a curse as a blessing for the giant Russian.

There is no doubt he had the ability to add more silverware to his collection. But the mentality, so often, was not right and the motivation necessary to attain greatness was regularly absent.

"It is OK," said Safin. "It is the end. I don't care about losses anymore."

As soon as such words become possible for a professional athlete, it is time to go. This is Safin's time, and while there was no storybook ending, his decision is clearly the right one.


Serena Williams was in typically imperious form as she brushed aside Melinda Czink of Hungary in the second round at the end of Wednesday's night session, 6-1, 6-1. However, Williams's petulant stare-down of the line judge who "dared" to foot-fault her (even though her toe was clearly over the line) was in poor taste and deserves censure from the WTA Tour.


Flavia Pennetta's impressive summer continued Wednesday, with the 10th-seeded Italian demolishing India's Sania Mirza 6-0, 6-0. Pennetta is in arguably the best form of her career - and is a player to watch as the tournament progresses.


Fourteenth seed Tommy Robredo has a tough encounter against fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Court 10 on Thursday. Robredo has reached the fourth round here on five occasions, but Garcia-Lopez could bounce him out of the tournament if he finds his best form.


The opening match on Court Seven was the best of the day, with Andreas Beck surviving a spirited comeback from Evgeny Korolev to win in five sets. Beck raced into a two-set lead before being pegged back but held his nerve to take the fifth 6-4.

Posted in | 0 comments

Chelsea hit with shock transfer ban

Chelsea have been banned from registering any new players for the next two transfer windows in a shock move by FIFA after being found guilty of inducing a French teenager to breach his contract with another club.

Gael Kakuta, 18, joined Chelsea from Lens two years ago after which the French club lodged a complaint with FIFA.

Now FIFA's dispute resolution chamber has ruled that Kakuta breached his contract with Lens and that Chelsea induced him to do so.

They now cannot make any signings until January 2011, while the player has been fined £682,000 and banned for four months.

Chelsea havea right to appeal the decision directly to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

FIFA said in a statement: "The French club had lodged a claim with FIFA seeking compensation for breach of contract from the player and requesting also sporting sanctions to be imposed on the player and the English club for breach of contract and inducement to breach of contract respectively.

"The DRC found that the player had indeed breached a contract signed with the French club. Equally, the DRC deemed it to be established that the English club induced the player to such breach.

"As a result the player was condemned to pay compensation in the amount of 780,000 euros (£682,000), for which the club, Chelsea, is jointly and severally liable, and sporting sanctions were imposed on both the player and Chelsea in accordance with art. 17 par. 3 and 4 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.

"A restriction of four months on his eligibility to play in official matches is imposed on the player Gael Kakuta while the club Chelsea is banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the two next entire and consecutive registration periods following the notification of the present decision.

"Furthermore, Chelsea, has to pay RC Lens training compensation in the amount of 130,000 euros (£114,000)."

Posted in | 0 comments

La Liga Team Of The Week - Round 1

The Spanish league season is up and running and the Primera team of the week is back...

There were some great displays in the opening round of the Primera season and has weighed up which were the best and named a team that would give any side a game...



Jacobo (Real Valladolid)

Made an impressive claim to become the club's first choice keeper after spells with Numancia and Getafe by making seven crucial saves to earn his side a point against Almeria even after Nivaldo had been sent off.


Daniel Alves (Barcelona)

Despite playing for 120 minutes on a questionable pitch only three days earlier in the European Super Cup, the Brazilian full-back produced another energetic performance against Sporting. His tireless running tormented the Asturians throughout and he set up two goals with his crossing ability.

Cata Diaz (Getafe)

Los Azulones attacking players may have won all the headlines for the team's impressive display in their 4-1 win at Racing Santander on the opening day, but the powerful defender was one of the unsung heroes at the back. His organisation and driving spirit was evident and that drove Geta on.

Alexis (Valencia)

In what proved to be a tight and unspectacular affair at the Mestalla on Sunday evening, Alexis' timing in the tackle on a terrible playing surface helped set up his team for an opening day win against Sevilla. Three crucial interventions denied the visitors a clear shot at goal as he stood out at the back.

Jesus Gamez (Malaga)

The Andalucian outfit were not predicted to fair well against Atletico Madrid at La Rosaleda with many critics believing that Malaga would slump after an impressive return to the top flight last term. Gamez's huge contribution at the back though ensured that Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero were kept quiet.


Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid)

While the focus was firmly on the multi-million euro signings that los Merengues made this summer, it was a player that arrived quietly last January that stole the show. Diarra impressed in the second half of last season and he started this term in the same manner and capped his display with a great goal.

Seydou Keita (Barcelona)

Another Blaugrana player that played two hours of football on Friday and then produced a tireless performance against Sporting to spur coach Pep Guardiola into announcing that he would be a regular in the team this season. A great goal, an assist and a shot off the woodwork were the highlights of his game.

Adrian (Getafe)

In what was the performance of the week from one team in the Spanish top flight, Getafe shined in most areas but the central midfielder stood out for his work-rate, tackling and ability to push the side forward. Set up a goal and could well have added to the scoreline himself.

Duda (Malaga)

Why Sevilla agreed to let the 29-year-old leave this summer rather than provide the ammunition that was so clearly lacking in their first game will raise even more eyebrows after he produced a superb display to guide Malaga to victory. His passing and crossing from the left undid Atletico Madrid.


Gaizka Toquero (Athletic Club)

The relatively unknown striker will become a well-known name if he produces many more performances like the one that inspired Athletic to victory over Espanyol. As well as scoring the only goal, the 25-year-old was at the heart of everything that the hosts did well and will become a regular in the team.

Roberto Soldado (Getafe)

Real Madrid may have just spent a king's ransom on bolstering their attack, but a few fans may look across the city at the homegrown striker that escaped. Soldado's hat-trick for his team at Racing was as impressive as it was unsurprising given his undoubted talent that is coming out now he has the right stage.

Alves - Cata Diaz - Alexis - Gamez
Adrian - Keita - Lass - Duda
Toquero - Soldado

Posted in | 0 comments

Real Madrid And Barcelona Name Squad Numbers

The squads can now be compared player by player after Madrid and Barca named their players for the season...

Barcelona and Real Madrid have both released their squad numbers for the new league season and the Blaugrana will have nobody wearing seven, while Rafael van der Vart has retained 23 at the Bernabeu.

While most supporters will already have their favourite player's name with the correct number on their new shirt there are some changes from last term.

At Camp Nou Daniel Alves has taken advantage of Martin Caceres' departure to Juventus to claim the number two jersey, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken over number nine from Samuel Eto'o.

No player will wear the number seven as the squad was lodged with the league only hours after Eidur Gudjohnsen left to join Monaco and saw no takers for his shirt.

At Madrid it is well known that Cristiano Ronaldo has gone the same route as David Beckham and not challenged Raul for seven, instead taking the number nine vacated by Javier Saviola.

Kaka has the number eight with Fernando Gago deciding that he prefers the number five jersey and newcomer Alvaro Arbeloa has claimed number two for himself after Michel Salgado left and Miguel Torres followed him out of the club.

When Madrid had made all their summer signings the club's hierarchy stated that they had to reduce the squad down to at least 25, but instead they have gone one better and joined Barca in only registering 24 players.


1 - Victor Valdes
2 - Dani Alves
3 - Gerard Pique
4 - Rafa Marquez
5 - Carles Puyol
6 - Xavi
8 - Andres Iniesta
9 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic
10- Lionel Messi
11- Bojan
13- Jose Manuel Pinto
14- Thierry Henry
15- Seydou Keita
16- Sergio Busquets
17- Pedro
18- Gaby Milito
19- Maxwell
21- Dmytro Chygrynskiy
22- Eric Abidal
24- Toure Yaya
28- Jonathan
32- Andreu Fontas
33- Marc Muniesa
35- Jeffren Suarez

Real Madrid

1 - Iker Casillas
2 - Alvaro Arbeloa
3 - Pepe
4 - Sergio Ramos
5 - Fernando Gago
6 - Mahamadou Diarra
7 - Raul
8 - Kaka
9 - Cristiano Ronaldo
10- Lassana Diarra
11- Karim Benzema
12- Marcelo
13- Jerzy Dudek
14- Jose Maria Gutierrez ‘Guti’
15- Royston Drenthe
17- Ruud van Nistelrooy
18- Raul Albiol
19- Ezequiel Garay
20- Gonzalo Higuain
21- Cristoph Metzelder
22- Xabi Alonso
23- Rafael van der Vaart
24- Esteban Granero
25- Antonio Adan (inscribed in the Champions League)

Posted in | 0 comments

Gunners set to appeal Eduardo's "diving" ban

Angry Arsenal look set to launch an appeal against UEFA's decision to hand striker Eduardo a two-match European ban for diving to win a penalty against Celtic in a Champions League qualifier.

Celtic's players confronted Eduardo after he won a penalty last Wednesday.

The Croatia international was punished for "deceiving the referee" when he went down in the penalty box at Emirates Stadium last week despite there appearing to be no contact with Bhoys goalkeeper Artur Boruc. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has lambasted the UEFA actiion as a "witch-hunt" and Arsenal made a 19-page submission to UEFA ahead of the hearing, which clearly made little impact on the panel.

Eduardo did not appeal for a foul on the night, and UEFA have failed to rule on countless controversial incidents under their jurisdiction, with the Gunners themselves aggrieved following what was a dubious yet vital penalty awarded to Liverpool's Ryan Babel in the Champions League quarter-final two seasons ago.

The Premier League club now have three days to lodge an appeal against the suspension which, if upheld, would rule Eduardo out of the Champions League group matches away at Standard Liege on September 16 and the home match with Olympiacos on September 29.

"The club is disappointed with UEFA's decision to suspend Eduardo for two Champions League matches starting with Standard Liege on September 16," a statement from Arsenal read.

"We have been informed that we will receive a 'reasoned decision' from UEFA by Thursday of this week. Once we receive UEFA's rationale, we will make a decision on the next steps."

The statement continued: "We have been deeply frustrated by the perfunctory and apparently arbitrary process that UEFA has followed in this instance. We believe it is imperative that UEFA's explanation for its decision provides clear and comprehensive standards that will be consistently enforced. It is also critical that UEFA provides specific details of the processes it plans to adopt in reviewing all games under its jurisdiction."

Posted in | 0 comments