Sports in brief - 2011-06-09

  • 2011-06-08

Estonia’s Gerd Kanter is one of the hands-on favorites to win the men’s discus at this week’s Samsung Diamond League meeting in Oslo, Norway, despite currently throwing at distances far from his personal best. Kanter has thrown competitively twice this season, throwing 67.49 meters – nearly six meters off his best – in Doha, Qatar but it still proved good enough to win him the event. His best throw in Oregon, United States on June 4 was even shorter, managing just 65.51 meters, seeing him finish off the podium in fourth. But with the Samsung Diamond League taking in 14 rounds throughout the world, the athletes do not compete at all events, seeing some of Kanter’s closest rivals opting to sit out this week’s action in Oslo, upping his chances of returning to the podium. It is a place he is well familiarized with, following a celebrated career which includes gold medals from the Olympics and the World Championships, as well as winning the Golden League.

Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova has lost her opening match at the eBoks Open in Copenhagen, Denmark on Tuesday. Going into the event seeded seventh, Sevastova failed to overcome Romania’s Simona Halep, losing 7-6 (5), 6(4)-7, 0-6. The match had been shaping up to be the most intriguing on the opening day. That changed, however, when Sevastova failed to fire in the deciding set, winning just 35 percent of the points on her first serve and managing to save just three of six break points. It was the third time that Sevastova has played Halep, having won on the two previous occasions. Sevastova’s losing streak has now extended to five matches, with her last win coming over Polona Hercog in the opening round at Indian Wells back in the second week of March, seeing her world ranking balloon out to 54. Sevastova will now look to snap out of her losing streak when she competes in the opening qualifying round of Wimbledon next week.

Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi suffered the same fate as Sevastova, blowing out to qualifier Arina Rodionova, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the AEGON Classic in Birmingham. Ranked as top seed in the build-up tournament to Wimbledon, Kanepi was granted direct access to the second round. It did her no favors, however, as she looked flat and failed to ever get going. Rodionova, ranked 233 in the world, played a match far superior to her ranking, pushing Kanepi to break point on eight occasions, following through to break the Estonian three times. Kanepi’s inaccurate serving again caused her headaches, with her six aces all but cancelled out by her four double faults. Her second serve was of particular concern, as she managed to win just eight of 20 points. Like Sevastova, Kanepi’s attentions now turn to Wimbledon, where she is expected to claim a top 20 seeding.