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Son of Seve finishes 14th in pro tournament debut

GOLF: Javier Ballesteros (pictured), the son of late golfing great Seve, finished joint 14th in his first professional tournament yesterday at the event where it all began for his father in 1974.

The 21-year-old amateur ended the Peugeot Alps de Barcelona tournament at Sant Cugat on four under par, 12 behind winner and Spanish compatriot Pablo Larrazabal.

Seve, who died in May last year after battling a brain tumour, made his professional debut in Sant Cugat 38 years ago. He went on to be a prolific winner on the European Tour and captured five majors, including the British Open three times. In all he notched 87 tournament victories.

"I come away satisfied, I will gain a lot of confidence from playing here," said Javier.

"I like playing with the pros as I play better, it motivates me, it helps me improve," added the law student, who said he was ready to accept more tournament invitations in the future but his immediate priority was to focus on his studies.



Seven up for Nadal in Barcelona

TENNIS: Rafael Nadal continued his almost total domination of the Barcelona Open by defeating David Ferrer in today's final to win the tournament for a seventh time.

The two Spaniards were meeting in the final for the fourth time in five years and, as was the case on each of the previous three occasions, Nadal emerged victorious with a hard-fought 7-6 (7/1) 7-5 win.

In a match that lasted two hours and 40 minutes, Nadal faced 15 break points and managed to save 12 of them to record his 11th victory in 12 meetings with Ferrer on clay.

World number two Nadal, 25, has now lifted the Barcelona Open title seven times in the last eight years, with the only blemish coming in 2010 when he did not take part in the event due to fatigue and Fernando Verdasco took advantage to beat Robin Soderling in the final.

Yesterday's success was the 48th title of Nadal's career and second of the year following his victory over Novak Djokovic in the final in Monte Carlo earlier this month.

Ferrer, the world number six, was looking to win his fourth ATP World Tour title of 2012 but, despite a battling display, he again came up short against his countryman.



Top time trial wins Wiggins Tour

cycling: Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de Romandie after claiming a stunning victory in the final day time trial.

Wiggins trailed Luis Leon Sanchez by nine seconds heading into yesterday's 16.5km race in Crans-Montana after surrendering top spot to the Spaniard on stage four, but the British ace produced a superb showing to take the title.

Despite suffering a mechanical problem early on, the Team Sky rider clocked a time of 28 minutes 56.60 seconds to win the time trial, finishing narrowly ahead of American Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Barracuda) in the Alpine ski resort.

Wiggins' team-mate Richie Porte of Australia was third, more than 16 seconds behind the Briton, while Sanchez could only come home in a disappointing 22nd spot yesterday, almost 90 seconds off the winning time.

In the overall standings, Talansky took second spot behind Wiggins with Rui Costa (Movistar) third and Porte fourth.

Wiggins' victory follows on from his Paris-Nice triumph last month, and he becomes the first rider to win both races in the same year since Dario Frigo in 2001.



Maguire falls to fifth spot in Troon

GOLF: Leona Maguire dropped down to fifth spot at the Helen Holm Scottish Ladies Open Stroke-Play Championship at Troon.

The 16-year-old from Slieve Russell had started brilliantly with a 68 on Friday to share the opening-round lead but slumped to 75 the following day to fall off the pace.

The teenager carded a final-round 77 for a 54-hole total of 220 -- five under par. That gave her a share of fifth, five strokes behind Welsh winner Amy Boulden.

NBA PLAY-OFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE: Boston 74 Atlanta 83 (Atlanta leads best-of-seven series 1-0)

WESTERN CONFERENCE: San Antonio 106 Utah 91 (San Antonio leads best-of-seven series 1-0), LA Lakers 103 Denver 88 (LA Lakers leads best-of-seven series 1-0), Memphis 98 LA Clippers 99 (LA Clippers leads best-of-seven series 1-0)


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