The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Nadal struggles to beat Devvarman Indian Wells

Posted: 16 Mar 2011 10:41 PM PDT

INDIAN WELLS, California (AP) - Rafael Nadal survived his strongest challenge yet at the BNP Paribas Open, beating qualifier Somdev Devvarman 7-5, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals.

The world's top-ranked player dominated his first two matches, dropping just six games while winning in straight sets. But he was challenged from the start by Devvarman, the first Indian ever to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells.

No. 2 Roger Federer, a three-time champion at Indian Wells, played wild card Ryan Harrison in a late match. Federer is 16-2 this year, while the 18-year-old American tries to beat a top-10 player for the first time, having lost two other meetings.

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Cricket: Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar to retire after World Cup

Posted: 16 Mar 2011 10:40 PM PDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar will retire from international cricket after the World Cup, bringing an end to one of the most colorful careers in the sport.

Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam has confirmed that the 35-year-old quick, nicknamed the "Rawalpindi Express," will make a formal announcement at a news conference later Thursday in Colombo.

Shoaib made his international debut in 1997 in a test match against the West Indies and is regarded as one of the fastest bowlers ever to play the game. But his career has been plagued by injuries and, more recently, off-field issues with the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Pakistan plays defending champion Australia at Colombo on Saturday in the last match in Group A. Both teams have already qualified for the quarterfinals.

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