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Players ready for next round


NEW YORK – Fourth seed Serena Williams eased into the third round of the US Open after a straight sets victory over Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

The Wimbledon and Olympic champion took an hour and 22 minutes to secure a 6-2 6-4 victory over the unseeded Sanchez.

Former champion Venus Williams is out after being beaten 6-2 5-7 7-5 by Angelique Kerber in an epic encounter at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska fought back from a set down to beat Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 4-6 6-3 6-0. Serbia’s Ana Ivanovicalso progressed to the third round with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson.

In men’s action, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga crashed out of the tournament in the second round, losing 6-4 1-6 6-1 6-3 to Martin Klizan. The Slovakian, ranked 52 in the world, had 19 break points against the Frenchman.

There was no such trouble for world number one Roger Federer who beat Bjorn Phau 6-2 6-3 6-2.

Andy Murray will face Feliciano Lopez in the third round tomorrow after the Spaniard beat his compatriot Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 3-6 7-5.


Maicon makes move to City

LONDON – Manchester City have confirmed the arrival of Maicon at the Etihad Stadium from Inter Milan.

Roberto Mancini has turned to a man he knows well in an effort to solve City’s problems at right-back, with Maicon having worked under the Blues boss during his time with Inter.

The pair spent three productive years together at Giuseppe Meazza and will be hoping to get

their hands on further silverware after reuniting in England. Maicon brings considerable international and European experience

with him to City, with the star Brazilian defender having graced the 2010 World Cup and 2010 UEFA Champions League final.

The 31-year-old will also provide cover down City’s entire right-hand side, with his buccaneering style of play making him as comfortable on the wing as he is at full-back.


Hamilton outs Armstrong in book

TEXAS – Tyler Hamilton says Lance Armstrong gave him an illegal blood booster before the 1999 Tour de France and that the teammates took blood transfusions together during the cycling race the following year.

Hamilton makes the allegations in his book, ‘’The Secret Race. Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France, Doping, Cover-ups and Winning at All Costs,’’ set to be published September 5.

Hamilton and Armstrong rode together on the U.S. Postal Service team from 1998 to 2001.

Armstrong has long denied doping but last week chose not to fight drug charges by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. USADA has erased 14 years of Armstrong’s competitive results, including his seven Tour de France titles.

Hamilton described a doping plan put in place by the team for the 1999 Tour de France, with Armstrong’s knowledge, that included a motorcyclist riding behind racers with a thermos full of EPO. It was to be dispensed to riders in the team camper after race stages.

He said team leaders, doctors and managers encouraged and supervised doping and PEDs were handed out to cyclists in white lunch bags.

Hamilton said he and Armstrong sat near each other to take a blood transfusion after the 11th stage of the 2000 Tour de France, under the watchful eye of team director Johan Bruyneel. That would have been right before the Tour’s punishing and famous Ventoux mountain stage.

Hamilton also renewed his claims that Armstrong told him he tested positive for EPO at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland but was able to get the International Cycling Union to cover it up. The UCI, cycling’s governing body, has denied Hamilton’s claim.

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