Saturday 25 November 2017

In brief: Williams makes his Masters exit


Former world champion Mark Williams bowed out of the Ladbrokes Mobile Masters in the first round, beaten 6-4 by Ding Junhui.

Played at Wembley Arena, China's world No 4 established a 5-2 advantage. World No 3 Williams threatened to make a game of it when he won the next two frames to reduce the deficit to 5-4. However, the Welsh left-hander was made to pay for missing a chance to square the contest in the 10th as Ding booked his place in the second round where he will play Graeme Dott, who beat world number one John Higgins 6-4 in last night's other match.


Wales have been dealt a major blow ahead of the Six Nations with the news that prop Gethin Jenkins has been ruled out of the entire tournament with a toe injury.

The Cardiff Blues loosehead has been struggling with the injury for some time and he will now have surgery on the problem tomorrow, meaning he will be sidelined for 10 weeks. The decision has been taken to allow the 76-cap forward return in time for the Blues' Magners League run-in and ensure he will be fully fit for September's World Cup in New Zealand.


Spaniard Alejandro Valverde has had his appeal against a worldwide two-year doping ban dismissed by Switzerland's Federal Supreme Court.

The 30-year-old has been trying to overturn the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport last May to ban him until January 2012. The CAS ruling came after a successful appeal by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to have the 2009 Tour of Spain winner's ban from competition in Italy extended worldwide. Valverde was first handed a ban by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in May 2009.


IRISH trio Barry King, Sam Barry and Amy Bowtell yesterday nailed down places in the final round of qualifying in their respective ITF events in Glasgow.

After receiving first-round byes in the men's tournament, Dubliner King, the No 4 seed, was leading 6-0 2-0 when Swedish opponent Viktor Stjern was unable to continue due to an arm injury. Limerick's Barry, the No 10 seed, defeated Britain's James Ireland on a 6-4 6-0 scoreline.

Today, both Irish players bid to secure entry into the 48-strong main draw. King is fancied to overcome Marshal Tutu. But Barry will have it all to do against Alexandre Penaud, with the Frenchman seeded No 5. In the women's event, ' Bowtell scored a 6-4 6-0 win over Briton Emily Rodbourne to set up a final-round clash against No 7 seed, Jennifer Ren.

Irish Independent

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