MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia surged into a tie for the lead in the BMW International Open on Saturday along with Briton Richard Bland after they both fired third-round 67s to move to 13 under par. Spaniard Garcia, making his first appearance in Europe since his first major triumph in April, made his intentions clear during a windswept second round to get to within one shot of the lead. Garcia, who waited nearly two decades to notch his maiden major at Augusta, made seven birdies on Saturday and joined Bland atop the leaderboard, a shot ahead of Swede Joakim Lagergren. Belgian Thomas Detry and Andres Romero of Argentina finished on 10 under while defending champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden dropped five strokes behind the leaders after a disappointing round of 72. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)
June 24, 2017 16:52 UTC
Neither player had surrendered serve en route to the last four so it was a surprise when Cilic broke left-hander Muller in the fifth game before wrapping up the opening set quickly. Cilic failed to convert his opportunities in the second set, however, and one lapse of concentration at 5-6 blotted his copybook to allow Muller to snatch the second set. "Today's match was a really high level," world number seven Cilic, coached by former grasscourt specialist Jonas Bjorkman, said on Queen's Club's centre court. I've felt really good on serve all week and today I was mixing it up and playing smart." Cilic, Queen's winner in 2012, will play either Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov or Spain's Feliciano Lopez in the final.
June 24, 2017 15:33 UTC
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has condemned in the strongest terms the suicide bombing attack near the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in a Twitter post expressed his sympathies to the Saudi government and its people and the 11 victims who were injured in the incident, which included police officers. Najib said that he was disappointed and saddened that such an incident took place in the Holy Land. He added that he was also grateful that no Malaysians were hurt in the incident. - BernamaRelated story:Wisma Putra: No Malaysians involved in attack in Mecca
June 24, 2017 15:22 UTC
IPOH: The spirit of Aidilfitri should serve as a platform to appreciate and respect the diversity existing in the country, by holding open house and welcoming guests from different religions, races and cultures. Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah (pix) said the Aidilfitri celebrations should also prove the nature of the Muslim brotherhood and its humaneness. "Visit relatives and friends, in addition to receiving guests in the spirit of brotherhood and fraternity," he said in his Aidilfitri message. Sultan Nazri also said that in the joy of celebrating Aidilfitri, it must be remembered that there were nearly 60 million Muslims living in refugee centres worldwide. The sultan also urged Muslims to appreciate the sacrifices and services provided by various parties allowing Aidilfitri to be celebrated in a peaceful and cheerful atmosphere.
June 24, 2017 15:00 UTC
KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - The president of Russia's Football Union, deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, said on Saturday that the country was in talks with FIFA on using the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology at some of its stadiums. VAR, which uses two video assistant referees who monitor the action on screens and call the match referee's attention to mistakes or omissions, is being tested at four Russian stadiums hosting the Confederations Cup. Soccer governing body FIFA has already said it would like to use video assistant referees in the 2018 World Cup, and soccer's lawmaking body IFAB is expected to decide next March whether to authorise their use in the game on a permanent basis. Mutko said the VAR technology was "pricey" but that Russia was ready to implement it. Portuguese coach Fernando Santos said the use of video assistant referees was "a bit confusing" after his side's opening goal was ruled out in their 2-2 draw against Mexico last week.
June 24, 2017 15:00 UTC
BAKU (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton surpassed Ayrton Senna's career haul of 65 pole positions in Formula One as he edged Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas in a final lap shootout to secure top spot for Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He will be joined in an all-Mercedes front row by Bottas, who was pipped at the death when Hamilton outpaced him in the final lap after the session had been paused by a red flag. "That was one of the most exciting laps that I've had all year," he told Sky Sports. "(There was) a lot of pressure because of getting temperature in the tyre but the lap just got better and better. Vettel was beaten to third by team mate Kimi Raikkonen in an all-Ferrari second row.
June 24, 2017 14:45 UTC
PETALING JAYA: Like the rest celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri, celebrities have also made their balik kampung trips early to avoid being caught in the last minute rush. Actress Fasha Sandha (pix) boarded the high-speed Electric Train Service (ETS) to return to Perlis on Thursday with her younger sister Elisya Sandha and her two daughters. Another actress Risteena Munim and her sister Ruhainies said they had safely arrived in Penang after four hours of driving. “This year I’m in Raya mood as I didn’t take any lengthy job during the fasting month. The journey was like any normal day and I’m excited to celebrate Raya with my family.
June 24, 2017 14:26 UTC
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pix) outlined five new risks and challenges that Malaysia has to face. The Prime Minister identified them as the issue of geopolitics; peace and security; the economy; placing the peoples interests first, and the future and National Transformation 2050 (TN50). Also, he said, Forbes magazine had placed Malaysia at the top of all Asian countries in terms of foreign investment. On the matter of the future and TN50, Najib said that looking forward, the contemporary world was now on the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In concluding his speech, Najib urged all Malaysians to strengthen solidarity and association, set aside all differences and enjoy the existing harmony under the 1Malaysia bonds of brotherhood.
June 24, 2017 13:52 UTC
(Reuters) - French rookie Johann Zarco took the first pole position of his MotoGP career on Saturday with a late flying lap in qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen. The two times Moto2 champion, who rides for the non-works Tech3 Yamaha team, lapped in one minute 46.141 seconds to become the first Frenchman on pole in the top category since Olivier Jacque in 2002. Honda's reigning champion Marc Marquez qualified second, in 1:46.206 on a damp but drying track, with Italian Danilo Petrucci completing the front row on the non-works Octo Pramac Ducati. Championship leader Maverick Vinales of Spain qualified only 11th for Yamaha with closest rival Andrea Dovizioso ninth for Ducati. Italy's Valentino Rossi starts fourth for Yamaha.
June 24, 2017 13:41 UTC
MARAWI CITY (Philippines): One of America’s most wanted terrorists may have escaped a five-week battle with Islamist militants in a southern Philippine city, which began with a raid to capture him, the military said Saturday. An attempt by government troops to arrest Hapilon in Marawi on May 23 triggered a rampage by Islamist militants flying black IS flags who seized parts of the mainly Muslim city. We have some reports that he was already able to slip somewhere but as of now we are still confirming the reports,” Galvez said in an interview with DZBB radio station. Asked if Hapilon was on the run, he said: “Yes, yes because reportedly he suffered a lot of casualties. The military says Hapilon’s group had joined forces with another armed militancy, the Maute Group, to launch the Marawi siege, now on its second month.
June 24, 2017 13:41 UTC
BAKU (Reuters) - McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne's grid penalties at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday have been extended to 40 and 30 respectively, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said. The FIA stewards said in a statement that twice Formula One world champion Alonso had another 25-place grid penalty added to his previous sanction of 15 grid places after changing his car's Honda engine for a seventh time this season. In a separate statement, the FIA said Alonso's team mate Vandoorne has had his grid penalty extended to 30 places after the same offence. Neither Alonso nor Vandoorne have taken any points during the opening seven races of the 2017 season. "Today, we chose to concentrate on our long-run pace because we knew we'd be taking grid penalties for the race."
June 24, 2017 13:30 UTC
He will now face 20-year-old Zverev in a rematch of last year's semi-final, which the German won. Zverev booked his second successive final spot when he beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 4-6 6-4 6-3. Despite a shock exit from Stuttgart on his comeback last week, Federer has improved in Halle and has not lost a set. "I thought it was extremely close, especially that second set," Federer, who has never won a tournament nine times, told reporters. He converted his first match point to reach an 11th Halle final.
June 24, 2017 13:27 UTC
(Reuters) - British driver Jolyon Palmer will miss Saturday's Formula One qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after his car caught fire in practice, Renault Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell said. Palmer completed just four laps and finished at the bottom of the standings in Saturday's final practice session. "Unfortunately the fire in his car pretty much rules him out in qualifying," Bell told Sky Sports. "We'd never get it out in time, so yes, he'll miss qualifying. Palmer, who finished 18th with one point during the 2016 season, has yet to score this campaign.
June 24, 2017 13:18 UTC
Twice Wimbledon champion Kvitova, playing in just her second tournament of the year, was 6-1 1-0 up at the Edgbaston Priory Club when her Czech compatriot pulled out. Kvitova will face Australian Ashleigh Barty who upset Spain's Garbine Muguruza 3-6 6-4 6-3 in the other semi. I played four matches already, so it's a good record and good preparation for the final. In another last-eight game Barty also had a walkover, with Italian Camila Giorgi retiring with a leg injury in the first set. The match turned when Barty broke at 2-2 in the second set after the Spaniard had looked comfortable.
June 24, 2017 12:27 UTC
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Germany coach Joachim Loew said he has had a long and honest discussion with Leon Goretzka about the player's career as the Schalke 04 midfielder's performances continue to attract attention. Arsenal and Bayern Munich are among those who have reportedly shown interest in the 22-year-old whose stock has risen further after this week's Confederations Cup matches against Australia and Chile. "We've only had one training session between the matches," said Loew. Loew avoided referring directly to the result or the match when the subject was brought up by a Brazilian reporter. "They have excellent players and a lot of talent there... Brazil are always favourites in the World Cup."
June 24, 2017 11:48 UTC