Radwanska marches into Seoul semis
Radwanska marches into Seoul semis
The world number four will meet Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena, who broke local hearts by ending the run of wildcard entry Jang Su-Jeong 6-0, 6-4.
The third quarterfinal also saw the end of an impressive run by veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, who will celebrate her 43rd birthday later this month.
Krumm, who had claimed the scalp of second-seed Maria Kirilenko to reach the quarter-final stage, took that form into her match with Italy’s Francesca Schiavone, winning the first set 6-4.
But the former French Open champion hit back to take the next two sets 6-4, 6-4.
“It was very tough,” Schiavone said. “Date was really strong and she deserved to win the first set, but fortunately I managed to get back in the match.” The Italian will meet third seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semis after the Russian comfortably saw off Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-2, 6-2.
Qualifier in final
In Beijing, qualifier Vania King of the United States will play in-form wildcard Zhang Shuai in Saturday’s final of the $500,000 WTA Guangzhou Open in southern China.
King, ranked a lowly 124 in the world, recovered from a slow start to see off home hope Zheng Jie — ranked 58 — 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in just over two-and-a-half hours on Friday.
The American will face China’s 112-ranked Zhang in the showpiece final after Zhang — roared on by the home support — emphatically defeated Yvonne Meusburger of Austria 6-1, 6-1 in just over an hour.
All the seeds were out the tournament by the semifinal stage.
Simon in last 8
In Metz, France, American Sam Querrey lost to Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-6 (1) Friday in the quarterfinals of the Moselle Open.
Simon took control of the tiebreaker by hitting a forehand passer down the line to open up a 3-1 lead.
He then forced an error at the net from Querrey, who swiped his racket in frustration after losing the next point. Simon hit a crisp forehand winner that set up five match points and he converted the first when Querrey’s shot sank into the net.
Simon, who did not face a single break point, will play Nicolas Mahut. He beat Germany’s Benjamin Becker 6-2, 6-4.
Juan Antonio Pizzi picks little-known striker in search of more Saudi Arabia firepower
- Haroun Kamara has only played seven times for his club side
- Green Falcons to play Algeria and Greece next month
Al-Qadisiyah’s 20-year-old striker Haroun Kamara has been given an opportunity to stake an unlikely claim for a World Cup spot after being surprisingly named in Juan Antonio Pizzi’s squad for a three-week training camp in Spain.
Kamara, who was born in Jeddah to Guinean parents, has only made seven league appearances for lowly Al-Qadisiyah, scoring four goals and claiming two assists, but he has been given the chance to shine in friendlies against Algeria on May 9 and Greece six days later and book a seat on the plane to Russia.
The youngster follows in the footsteps of the likes of Somalian-British Mukhtar Ali and Egyptian Ahmed Al-Fiqi as the Saudi Football Federation look to harness the pool of players born in the Kingdom to expats and increase the depth of the Green Falcons’ squad.
Pizzi has turned to Kamara having struggled to find options in attack. Hazza Al-Hazza and Mujahid Al-Mania, who were both given their debuts over the past six months, have failed to convince upfront, while Mohannad Assiri has just one goal for his country in more than seven years. Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, who has 26 goals in 33 internationals, is favorite to lead the line, but Pizzi needs more options in attack.
In goal, Yasir Al-Mosaileem, Mohammed Al-Owais and Fawaz Al-Qarni retain their place in the squad, while Al-Nassr’s Waleed Abdullah, who featured in the last squad, made way for Al-Hilal’s Abdullah Al-Mayouf. Only three goalkeepers will be selected for the final 23-man squad.
In defense, Ali Al-Bulayhi is in line for a debut, having established himself as a key player at the heart of Al-Hilal defense, while Mohammed Al-Burayk’s performances at right-back for the Blues earned him a recall to the squad for the first time under Pizzi, replacing Hassan Muath.
The three Hawsawis — Osama, Omar and Motaz — retain their places as do full-backs Yasir Al-Shahrani, Mansour Al-Harbi and Saeed Al-Muwallad. The backline is edging closer to taking shape as Mohammed Jahfali, who was first brought into the squad in March’s friendlies against Ukraine and Belgium, looks to have done enough to convince Pizzi to hand him a second opportunity.
There were no real surprises in midfield as the team is boosted by the recovery of two high-profile names. Nawaf Al-Abed makes his long-awaited return to the national team set-up, having suffered an injury in November’s ill-fated Portugal camp under the now departed coach Edgardo Bauza. Al-Abed’s Al-Hilal teammate, Salman Al-Faraj, is also back in the squad after recovering from a three-month injury lay-off.
Spain-based trio Fahad Al-Muwallad, Yahya Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari miss out due to club commitments.
Saudi Arabia squad for games against Algeria (May 9) and Greece (May 15)
Goalkeepers: Yasir Al-Mosaileem, Mohammed Al-Owais, Fawaz Al-Qarni, Abdullah Al-Mayouf.
Defenders: Osama Hawsawi, Motaz Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Mohammed Jahfal, Ali Al-Bulayhi, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Saeed Al-Muwallad, Yasir Al-Shahrani, Mansour Al-Harbi.
Midfielders: Abdulmalik Al-Khaibari, Abdllah Al-Khaibari, Ibrahim Ghaleb, Abdullah Otayf, Taisir Al-Jassim, Hussein Al-Moqahwi, Salman Al-Faraj, Nawaf Al-Abed, Mohammad Kanno, Mohammed Al-Kuwaikbi, Hattan Bahebri.
Forwards: Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, Mohannad Assiri, Haroun Kamara