Wozniacki eases into third round against Gajdosova


SPORTS DIGEST:TENNIS: World number one Caroline Wozniacki survived a fightback by Jarmila Gajdosova to ease her way into the third round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

The Dane took the first set 6-1, but then lost the second on a tie-break as Slovakia-born Gajdosova took the match into a third set.

However, Wozniacki fought back to claim the third 6-3 and set up a third-round encounter with Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, a 6-2 6-2 winner against Coco Vandeweghe.

The victor will face either Jelena Jankovic or Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter-finals after the Pole gained revenge for US Open second-round defeat by Angelique Kerber.

Radwanska came from a set down to beat the 33rd-ranked German 3-6 6-3 6-3.

The ninth seed told www.wtatennis.com: “Even though it wasn’t easy, I managed to get some revenge from the US Open, so I’m very happy about that. Angelique has been playing very well the last few weeks.”

However, there was a shock in the other half of the draw as sixth seed and US Open champion Samantha Stosur was beaten 6-2 4-6 6-4 by Maria Kirilenko.

The Russian will face Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic in the next round after she overcame a scare to see off Britain’s Laura Robson 7-5 6-4 in a tight match which saw Robson surrender a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Conlon gets Ireland off to winning start in Azerbaijan

BOXING: Irish flyweight Michael Conlon switched from his regular orthodox stance to southpaw to get Ireland’s campaign off to a winning start at the AIBA World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Conlon, who boxes out of the St John Bosco BC in Belfast, posted a 25-12 decision over Moldovan 2011 European bronze medallist Alexandr Riscan in his opening bout yesterday. The Belfast fighter was 9-4 up after the first and stretched that advantage to 17-8 by the end of the second before adding another eight points to his tally in the third and final frame of the last-64 clash.

The Irish Elite champion will now meet Olzhas Sattibayev of Kazakhstan on Sunday after producing what Irish team manager Des Donnelly described as a polished performance.

“Michael was fantastic.This is his first year at senior international level. He impressed at the European Championships this year and now he’s doing the same at the World Championships,” said Donnelly.

Meanwhile, St Michael’s Athy welterweight Roy Sheehan will be in action versus Carl Hield of the Bahamas in the last-64 tomorrow.

European light-welterweight champion Ray Moylette is between the ropes Friday against Arturs Ahmetous of Latvia, followed by Darren O’Neill and David Oliver Joyce on Saturday. Kilkenny middleweight O’Neill faces Glodi Eneste of Norway, who he beat 13-2 in the 2009 EU final, and Joyce, who also won EU gold in 2009, meets Iranian lightweight Mohammad Momevad.

Cowboys snatch victory at the death

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: A banged-up Dallas offence mustered a late game-winning drive to help the Cowboys grind out an 18-16 win over NFC East rivals Washington yesterday.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, who sustained fractured ribs and a lung injury last week, led the Cowboys 64 yards down the field in the closing minutes to set up the winning field goal.

Washington had one last possession but Dallas linebacker Anthony Spencer stripped quarterback Rex Grossman of the ball in the final seconds to give the Cowboys (2-1) the win. It was the Redskins (2-1) first loss of the season. “This is a great win for us. It was a hard, hard game,” Romo said.

“We had a million mistakes tonight. We’re lucky to get out of here with a win. We’re going to get it fixed – we can’t have that happen,” he added.

Love wants Tiger on his Ryder team

GOLF:Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III has revealed he could follow in the footsteps of Presidents Cup counterpart Fred Couples and hand Tiger Woods a wildcard pick for the 2012 match in Medinah regardless of the former world number one’s alarming slump in form.

Woods is without a victory in almost two years and has been a shadow of his former self since taking a break from the game after revelations about his private life broke at the end of 2009.

The 35-year-old slipped to 50th in the latest round of world rankings but, despite his current travails, still saw Couples come out well in advance of November’s Presidents Cup match to guarantee him one of his two captains picks.

Asked what he might do in a similar situation ahead of next year’s match in Chicago, Love intimated that he too would call on the services of the 14-time major champion.

“Ive been asked that a lot, what would I do if I was in Fred’s situation,” he said.

“You know, you certainly want one of the best players, ever, in the game, you want him on your team,” added Love.

Leonard will not continue MCM role

SAILING:As the fleet for next month’s Volvo Ocean Race assembles in Alicante, former race winner Mike Sanderson yesterday announced that Galway sailor Frankie Leonard will not be continuing as Team Sanya’s Media Crew-member following a bout of seasickness in the recent 2,000-mile qualifying passage.

A statement yesterday described the development as a “cruel blow” to both Leonard and the campaign and paid tribute to the cameraman’s commitment and contribution.

Much of the MCM role is dependent on being below decks for extended periods, either working in the tight confines or at the galley preparing the freeze-dried food for the crew and is a mandatory position within every team.