Hingis to face Maria

GOLD COAST: Martina Hingis’ return to competitive tennis will be against 63rd-ranked Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela. Hingis, who retired from the WTA Tour in 2002 due to ankle, heel and foot injuries, drew Vento-Kabchi for her first-round match at the Australian women’s hardcourt championships at Royal Pines. The match will be played on Sunday or Monday. The 25-year-old Swiss, a former world No 1, also plans to play next week at the Sydney International and at the Australian Open in Melbourne beginning on January 16. — AP

Bryant suspended

NEW YORK: The NBA suspended Kobe Bryant for two games without pay on Friday for elbowing Memphis forward Mike Miller in the throat during the Los Angeles Lakers’s 101-99 loss on Wednesday. Bryant was called for a flagrant foul with 8:24 to play for elbowing Miller. He is scheduled to serve his suspension on Sunday, when the Lakers host Utah, and on Tuesday, when Los Angeles plays at the Jazz. “Very surprised. Shocked, actually. Very, very surprised,” Bryant said after practice on Friday. — AP

Campbell honoured

WELLINGTON: US Open golf champion Michael Campbell received one of New Zealand’s highest civil honours in the annual New Year’s Honours List. Campbell, who won the Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina in June, was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He was made an Officer of the Order in 2001, a lesser honour. Michael Campbell annually donates all of his New Zealand earnings to junior golf and a percentage of his international earnings to a child cancer charity. — AP

Eddie Barlow dead

JOHANNESBURG: Eddie Barlow, a South African cricket allrounder between 1961-70, has died of a stroke, South African media reported. He was 65. Barlow, who had been confined to a wheelchair after a previous stroke a few years ago, died on Friday. During his 21-year career, Barlow pla-yed for Transvaal (now known as Gauteng), Western Province and English club Derbyshire. He played 30 Tests scoring 2,561 runs, including six centuries and 15 half-centuries. — AP