Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 29th 2015 Contents A55
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
WUHAN---Playing her first match in nearly
three months, Maria Sharapova retired with
an arm injury yesterday in the third set of her
opening match at the Wuhan Open.
The third-ranked Sharapova called for a trainer
to look at her left forearm after the first game
of the final set. She played two more games
before telling the chair umpire she could not
Sharapova was leading Barbora Strycova 7-6
(1), 6-7 (4), 2-1 when she decided to stop.
Sharapova missed the entire hard-court season,
including the US Open, with a leg injury.
"I ve had my share of serious injuries, and I
know this is far from it, something I just have
to take care of," she said.
Sharapova said she hopes to be fit to play in
the October 25-November 1 season-ending WTA
Finals in Singapore and Russia s Fed Cup final
against the Czech Republic on November 14-
15.Earlier, in her first match since losing in the
US Open final, Roberta Vinci rallied to beat qual-
ifier Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 5-7, 6-1, 6-
3 in the first round. The 15th-seeded Italian was
broken three times in the opening set, but picked
up her game to advance to the second round.
At the US Open, Vinci stopped Serena
Williams bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam
by upsetting the American in the semifinals.
Eugenie Bouchard withdrew from the tour-
nament on Monday because of the concussion
she sustained during the US Open. The Canadian
said she s "frustrated and disappointed" that
she won t be able to compete.
Also in the first round, ninth-seeded Ana
Ivanovic of Serbia defeated Alexandra Dulgheru
of Romania 6-1, 6-3; Sloane Stephens of the
United States beat Alison Riske 7-6 (4), 6-3;
and 14th-seeded Madison Keys beat Magdalena
Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4).
Eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech
Republic, who had a bye in the first round,
defeated Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 7-6
(4), 5-7, 7-6 (5) in the second round.
Kyrgios through to 2nd round
of Malaysian Open
KUALA LUMPUR---Seventh seed Nick Kyrgios
of Australia is through to the second round of
the Malaysian Open after Colombian Santiago
Giraldo retired with injury when losing 6-1,
It is Kyrgios first tournament since he lost
to Andy Murray in the first round of the US
Open earlier this month.
Last year Kyrgios lost in the opening round
of the Malaysian Open with a bone stress injury
to his left forearm and underwent rehabilitation
In the day s other first round match, Ger-
many s Benjamin Becker knocked out Kyrgios
countryman Sam Groth 6-1, 7-6 (6).
Krajicek rallies to beat
Duckworth in 1st round
SHENZHEN---Austin Krajicek of the United
States rallied to beat James Duckworth of Aus-
tralia in the first round at the Shenzhen Open
Krajicek lost the opening set but fought back
to take the second on a tie break and level the
match before seeing out a 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-1 vic-
John Millman of Australia is also through to the
second round after Ernests Gulbis retired with injury
when the Latvian was losing 7-6 (7), 2-0. (AP)
England called up veteran No 8 Nick
Easter to avert a potential back-row crisis
ahead of its must-win game against Aus-
tralia at the Rugby World Cup, after Billy
Vunipola was ruled out of the tournament
with a knee injury yesterday.
A scan showed Vunipola strained knee
ligaments in the 28-25 loss to Wales on
Saturday that left the English in real danger
of early elimination from the tournament
they are hosting.
The 37-year-old Easter, who played in
the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, was on
punditry duties at Twickenham for the
Wales game. Now he could be back in the
home of English rugby as a player on Sat-
urday, adding to his 52 test caps. Fellow No
8 Ben Morgan is nursing a knee injury from
the opening win against Fiji and remains
a doubt for Australia.
"Nick was unlucky to miss out on final
selection," England coach Stuart Lancaster
said. "He is a specialist No 8 and an expe-
rienced player. We know he will make a
It s an opportunity for redemption for
Easter, whose reputation was tarnished
somewhat for remarking after England s
quarterfinal loss to France in the 2011 World
Cup that it was "35,000 pounds just gone
down the toilet." That was a reference to
the potential bonuses on offer for England,
and the comment was included in a post-
tournament review that was leaked and
published by a British newspaper.
Earlier yesterday, flanker Tom Wood was
cleared to play Australia after avoiding a
citing charge for kneeing Wales fullback
Liam Williams on the head during Saturday s
Wood got off with a warning, much to
the relief of Lancaster, whose back-row
option will be limited this weekend if Morgan
doesn t make it.
Wood, James Haskell, and captain Chris
Robshaw are the only other specialist back-
rowers in the squad.
Lancaster also has injury concerns over
lock Courtney Lawes, scrumhalf Ben Youngs
and center Jonathan Joseph.
The England coach has come in for crit-
icism after the English squandered a ten-
point lead three times against Wales, freezing
in the final 25 minutes of a brutal match.
Wales lost three members of its back divi-
sion late in the game, but still fought back
despite finishing with a flyhalf at fullback,
a wing at centre, and a scrumhalf on the
"It pains me to say it," Clive Woodward,
England s World Cup-winning coach from
2003, said in British newspaper The Daily
Mail on Monday, "but England looked like
a team of amateurs playing against street-
wise professionals in the last 20 minutes
Woodward also blamed Lancaster and
the coaching staff after Robshaw chose to
shun a late penalty kick for goal which, if
successful, would have drawn the game,
and go for an attacking lineout instead.
Wales snuffed out the resulting rolling maul.
Lancaster refused to accept England
"choked" against Wales, and his players are
desperate to make amends in the decisive
week of his four-year reign.
"Everything rests on Australia---it s knock-
out rugby," Lancaster said. "Not in the slight-
est will it be hard to pick up the players."
England announces its side for Australia
on Thursday. (AP)
CARDIFF---Wales will not use its deluge
of injuries as an excuse, especially not
when its planning to make players ver-
satile has paid off, so far, backs coach Rob
Howley said yesterday.
Wales released its fifth and six backs this
month after Scott Williams and Hallam
Amos were too hurt to continue in the
Rugby World Cup.
Inside center Williams and winger Amos
were injured in the 28-25 win over England
on Saturday at Twickenham.
Williams knee was twisted in a tackle,
while Amos dislocated his right shoulder
trying to fend off a tackle. An accurate
prognosis of their injuries was yet to be
Fullback Liam Williams, who also came
off in the match, was concussed by the
knee of England flanker Tom Wood, and
will miss the match against Fiji on Thursday
in Cardiff. Whether he was available for
the last Pool A game, against Australia at
Twickenham, was in doubt.
"For us, it is about the here and now,
and coaching the players that we ve got.
We won t look for excuses," Howley said.
"Hopefully, we won t have any more
"After losing some of the boys against
Italy - Rhys (Webb) and Leigh (Halfpenny)
- three weeks ago, we said to all the backs
that in the next six weeks they were going
to be asked to play in positions they are
really unfamiliar with. And to do that under
pressure in the spotlight of the Rugby World
Cup takes a huge amount of homework,
dedication, and commitment.
"For me, (scrumhalf) Lloyd Williams
going on the wing and doing what he did
(created Wales try against England), it was
outstanding. It was a great moment."
James Hook and Gareth Anscombe were
the latest to be summoned to the squad.
Both played in warm-up games, where
Hook made his first appearance since
November, and New Zealand-born
Anscombe made his debut, only to suffer
an ankle injury.
Hook, capped 78 times, will feature in
his third World Cup. He can play flyhalf,
in the centres, and fullback.
Anscombe, who led New Zealand to the
2011 world junior championship, came to
Wales last year, qualifying with a Cardiff-
born mother. He s adept at flyhalf and full-
from comeback match
with arm injury
RUGBY WORLD CUP
England's Billy Vunipola runs with the ball during the Rugby World Cup Pool A match between England and Fiji at Twickenham stadium in
London, Friday. AP PHOTO
Easter in, Vunipola out for England
Wales loses Williams, Amos to injury
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