Australian Open to embrace shot clock
LONDON • Tennis players will have an additional five seconds between points at next year's Australian Open but time-wasters will have nowhere to hide, thanks to the introduction of shot clocks.
The Grand Slam Board, responsible for the rules at the four Majors, confirmed on Tuesday that the Australian Open's request to raise the time from 20 to 25 seconds and strictly enforce it with an electronic shot clock had been accepted.
The three other Slam events will also allow 25 seconds, bringing them into line with regular Tour events, but are not currently scheduled to have shot clocks.
Williams to use Kubica in Abu Dhabi tyre test
LONDON • Polish driver Robert Kubica will test for Williams again in Abu Dhabi next week as he presses for a Formula One comeback with the former world champions.
The British-based team said the 32-year-old would join Russian Sergey Sirotkin and race regular Lance Stroll at a two-day post-season tyre test at the Yas Marina circuit.
The test is aimed at evaluating the 2018 tyres for Pirelli but also gives Williams another chance to assess Kubica before making a final decision on a replacement for the retiring Brazilian Felipe Massa.
Third mumps case as All Blacks go viral
WELLINGTON • The All Blacks have been hit by another case of mumps after loose forward Ardie Savea became the latest New Zealand rugby player to contract the viral infection, the team said on Tuesday.
Savea, who is the third player on the All Blacks' month-long tour of Europe to be affected, has been isolated at the team hotel and ruled out of their last Test against Wales on Saturday, assistant coach Ian Foster said.
Yakubu quits football on 35th birthday
LONDON • Former Portsmouth and Everton player Yakubu Aiyegbeni has retired from professional football on his 35th birthday.
Yakubu, who also played for Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers, made 250 Premier League appearances and scored 96 goals in a career spanning 20 years and featured three times for fourth-tier side Coventry City this year.