The Malaysian Insider :: Sports

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The Malaysian Insider :: Sports


Wozniacki to face Vesnina in Charleston final

Posted: 09 Apr 2011 06:54 PM PDT

Elena Vesnina of Russia hits her backhand to Peng Shuai of China during their women's singles, semi-final tennis match at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston on April 9, 2011. — Reuters pic

CHARLESTON, April 10 — World number one Caroline Wozniacki defeated Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 6-4 6-4 yesterday to set up a final meeting with Russian Elena Vesnina at the Family Circle Cup.

Dane Wozniacki broke eighth-ranked Jankovic five times but also suffered three breaks of serve herself in a hard-fought encounter that lasted one hour 47 minutes.

Wozniacki is seeking her third tournament victory of the year after title triumphs at Indian Wells and Dubai.

Vesnina, ranked 56th in the world, has never won a WTA Tour event and will hope to break through in her fifth final.

The 24-year-old defeated China's Peng Shuai 7-6 6-3, avenging her defeat in the quarter-finals in Doha in February.

Vesnina has impressed this week, beating number two seed and defending champion Sam Stosur on her way to the final.

Wozniacki defeated Vesnina in the final at New Haven in August 2009 and has a 4-1 record against the Russian. — Reuters

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McCain wins Grand National with Ballabriggs

Posted: 09 Apr 2011 06:36 PM PDT

Ballabriggs, ridden by Jason Maguire, jumps the last fence on the way to win the Grand National Steeple Chase on the final day of the Grand National meeting at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, northern England April 9, 2011. — Reuters pic

LIVERPOOL, April  10 — Trainer Donald McCain followed his father and four-time winner Ginger McCain into Grand National folklore by winning the world famous steeplechase with Ballabriggs at Aintree racecourse yesterday.

Ridden by Jason Maguire, Ballabriggs (14-1) held off the strong challenge of amateur Sam Waley-Cohen on Oscar Time (14-1) with last year's winner Don't Push It (9-1) third.

"Crazy, it's a lifetime dream," a sweat-drenched Maguire told the BBC.

On a warm day, the jockey punched the air with delight before dismounting the exhausted horse almost immediately after the finish line.

"He's just tired, he doesn't save anything... he doesn't keep anything back," said the sharply-attired McCain, who could hardly contain his excitement, sprinting in his pinstripe suit on to the racecourse before embracing Maguire in a long hug.

Ginger McCain trained probably the most famous Grand National horse of them all, winning three times in the 1970s with the great Red Rum. He also won the race for a fourth time in 2004 with Amberleigh House.

The proud dad joked: "He's made a cracking job on him (the horse). If you ever meet his father you should ask him where his brains come from."

In an eventful race, Becher's and one other fence were bypassed on the second circuit while injured horses were attended to. — Reuters

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