AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
MUNICH: Croatian third-seed Marin Cilic booked his place in the final of Munich’s ATP tournament here with a straight sets win over wildcard Tommy Haas in Saturday’s semi-final. Cilic needed just 75 minutes to secure a 6-3, 6-4 win over former World No 2 Haas, who defeated Marcos Baghdatis in Friday’s quarter-finals and also saw off top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earlier in the competition. In Sunday’s final, the 23-year-old Cilic will now face either Spain’s Feliciano Lopez or Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Japan claim ticket
KAKAMIGAHARA: Japan claimed the last ticket to the London Olympics women’s hockey when they smashed Azerbaijan 5-1 in the final qualifying tournament on Saturday. Japan join Argentina, Australia, Belgium, hosts Britain, China, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea and the United States at the London Games. Skipper Yukari Yamamoto said: “We tried to fight believing in ourselves and we did it pretty well. We’ve done a lot of hard training for the tournament. Hopefully, we can play better in London. We’ll try to do our best to clear our goal to finish higher than sixth place.”
Villa warn three
LONDON: Aston Villa have disciplined three members of their first-team squad after they were filmed in a skirmish outside a nightclub, it was confirmed on Friday. Midfielders Fabien Delph and Chris Herd and defender James Collins have all apologised following the incident in the early hours of Tuesday morning which came after the club’s annual awards night. Video footage of the fracas was broadcast on British media outlets on Friday, giving Villa manager Alex McLeish an unwelcome distraction as the relegation-threatened club prepares for their game with Tottenham on Sunday.
Murray out injured
MADRID: Britain’s World No 4 Andy Murray has pulled out of the Madrid Open with a back injury, organisers said on Friday. A winner of the tournament in 2008 when it was played indoors on a hard court, Murray reached the quarter-finals in 2009 and 2010 on clay court, and was knocked out in the third round last year. “It is with regret that on doctors’ advice I have to withdraw with injury,” the 24-year-old said in a statement. The Madrid tournament was also hit Thursday by the withdrawal of US duo Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick.
Zimbabwe clears 33
HARARE: Zimbabwe football authorities have cleared 33 players out of more than 90 facing a probe for fixing matches that involved the national team in Asia, an independent daily paper reported on Saturday. “The disciplinary committee, chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Ahmed Ebrahim, absolved 33 players alongside former Zimbabwe national team coach Valinhos due to lack of impeaching evidence,” the Daily News said, citing a report from ZIFA, the country’s football association. Of the 33 players cleared, the bulk play in the local premiership while midfielder Ovidy Karuru plays for French second division outfit US Boulogne and Khama Billiat is a striker for Ajax in South Africa.