Wawrinka stunned in opening round
DUBAI • Holder Stan Wawrinka was sensationally dumped out of the Dubai Tennis Championships yesterday as his form collapsed following an early 4-1 lead.
The Swiss three-time Grand Slam winner was beaten 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in the first round by outsider Damir Dzumhur.
Koeman leaves door open for Rooney
LONDON • English football club Everton's manager Ronald Koeman has opened the door for Wayne Rooney, who is struggling to hold down a regular place at Manchester United, to return to Goodison Park.
"I believe that Wayne Rooney is still playing at a high level," the Dutchman told Sky Sports yesterday. "What will happen at the end of the season? I don't know, but in my opinion, he is one of the players who can make Everton more stronger."
Chinese clubs set record transfer mark
BEIJING • Chinese clubs splashed a record €388 million (S$575 million) on footballers in the January-February transfer window despite an official crackdown on spending, with Oscar's Asian-record €60-million move to Shanghai SIPG leading the way.
In spite of moves to curb "irrational" expenditure, China's top tier beat last year's record of €345 million and outstripped the English Premier League's winter spending €259 million for the second year in a row, according to industry website transfermarkt.com.
Tricky start for Tour de France next year
MOUILLERON-LE-CAPTIF (FRANCE) • Next year's Tour de France will begin on a notorious, slippery passageway linking an island off the west coast to the mainland, organiser ASO revealed yesterday.
The Grand Depart of the 105th edition of the world's most prestigious cycle race will start on June 30, 2018 on the 4km Passage du Gois - a natural periodically flooded land-bridge from the island of Noirmoutier to the Vendee department in the Loire region - with a 195km flat stage.