Sharapova beats Dulgheru, advances at Madrid Open
Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer, left, makes a save on Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, center, as Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri looks on during the third period of Game 3 of their first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series, Monday, May 6, 2013, in Toronto. The Bruins won 5-2. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
Madrid — Maria Sharapova rallied from a break down in the first set to beat Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 7-5, 6-2 yesterday and reach the second round of the Madrid Open.
The second-seeded Russian said she was still adjusting to the altitude and changing weather conditions in Madrid after winning the title in Stuttgart last weekend. Madrid is 2,180 feet above sea level.
Sharapova said she was “really happy that I got that break back in the first set,” and dominated the second.
In the men’s event, 11th-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain advanced when Tobias Kamke of Germany retired injured after losing the first set 6-4.
The top-seeded players in the men’s draw, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, have a bye into the second round.
Swiss Win 3rd Straight at Worlds
Helsinki — Switzerland sprung yet another upset at the ice hockey world championship yesterday, beating the Czech Republic 5-2 for its third straight victory over a traditional power.
Switzerland blew a 2-0 lead before scoring three goals in the third period to remain undefeated in the tournament after defeating co-host Sweden and then edging Canada in a penalty shootout Sunday.
Five different players scored for the Swiss, while Jiri Hudler had both Czech goals. Swiss goalie Reto Berra had 37 saves.
In another early game, Slovakia came from behind twice to beat Germany 3-2 after two goals from Tomas Zaborsky in the third period.
Testaverde Selected to College Hall of Fame
New York — Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde of Miami has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Testaverde is one of 12 former players to be picked by the National Football Foundation as part of the latest Hall of Fame class.
The rest of the class, which also will include two coaches, will be announced this morning during a news conference at the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.
Testaverde played four seasons for the Hurricanes and won the Heisman as a senior in 1986. He finished his career with 48 touchdown passes and Miami went 23-3 in Testaverde’s starts. He went on to become the No. 1 overall pick in the 1987 NFL draft and played 21 seasons in the NFL.
Pacquiao Plans Ring Return
Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring Nov. 24 to meet Brandon Rios in a welterweight bout in Macau, the eight-division world champion’s promoter said yesterday.
Bob Arum told The Associated Press that Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) has been focused exclusively on his political career in the Philippines since the congressman’s stunning sixth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December. Pacquiao has lost two straight fights after a 15-bout winning streak, also dropping a much-disputed decision to Timothy Bradley last summer.
“We want to get the people a really good, exciting action fight,” Arum said. “(Rios) is an exciting fighter, so it’s a good matchup.”
Although Marquez left him face-down on the canvas in his last bout, the 34-year-old Pacquiao chose Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) to be his next opponent because of the former lightweight champion’s hard-hitting, crowd-pleasing style. Pacquiao’s camp has also claimed Marquez and Bradley both turned down potential rematches with Pacquiao to fight each other Sept. 14 in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao’s choice for his fight’s location is just as intriguing as his choice of opponent. Pacquiao, who hasn’t fought outside the United States since July 2006, will fight in the CotaiArena at Macau’s Venetian Resort Hotel in an attempt to appeal to the nascent Chinese pay-per-view market.
“We think it opens a tremendous market in China because it enables us to do pay-per-view there in ways that we haven’t done before,” Arum said.
Arum said Pacquiao hopes to improve the overall popularity of boxing in Asia — while also reaping the significant tax benefits of fighting outside the U.S. His fight will be held on a Sunday morning in Macau to keep the Saturday night pay-per-view audience in North America.
Arum and the Venetian are planning regular shows at the venue after the success of a card starring Chinese two-time Olympic champion Zou Shiming in April. Zou is expected to headline another show in Macau in July.
The Texas-born, Kansas-raised Rios lives and trains in Oxnard, Calif. His unbeaten record was blemished March 30 when he lost a unanimous decision in his rematch with fellow brawler Mike Alvarado, but his popularity only increased in a compelling bout filled with wild exchanges and headfirst fighting.
Rios also is promoted by Arum’s Top Rank, putting him in prime position to land the biggest fight of his career when Marquez and Bradley didn’t bite.