Sports in brief - 2011-07-14

  • 2011-07-13

NBA (National Basketball Association) veteran center Zydrunas Ilgauskas has exercised his player option and will return to the 2010/2011 season runners up, The Miami Heat, to complete the final year of his two year contract. However, having played a limited role in the recently completed playoffs, it now remains a strong likelihood that the Lithuanian will be traded or, given his age, the more likely option is that he will be bought out of the $1.3 million that he is still owed on his contract. In his first season at Miami, Ilgauskas featured in 72 games, 51 of which he started, averaging five points and four rebounds in 15.9 minutes of court time.

Estonia and Latvia have both lost their latest Davis Cup Group II Europe/Africa tennis ties, played from July 8 through July 10. Playing in Denmark without top seed Ernests Gulbis, Latvia struggled against a Danish side boasting higher ranked players. Andis Juska started the tie well for Latvia, prevailing in four sets to beat Martin Pederson, 6-2, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2. But in the second rubber of the day, Frederik Nielsen was able to win one back for Denmark despite being pushed to five sets by the much lower ranked Martins Podzus 0-6 1-6 7-5 6-3 6-0. Juska would be back on court on day two, teaming up with Deniss Pavlovs to take on Nielsen and Thomas Kromann. Fans would be served up with another five-set thriller as Denmark prevailed, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to give them a 2-1 lead. Having won on day one, Juska was able to do it again in the return singles beating a tiring Neilsen 1-6, 6-2, 2-6, 2-6, sending the tie to a deciding rubber. In the shortest rubber of the tie, Denmark was able to prevail with Pedersen defeating Podzus, 6-2, 6-4, 6-1. In Bosnia-Herzegovina the fate of the Estonians was sealed by the end of the fourth rubber. Jurgen Zopp would open the tie with a win for Estonia, defeating Aldin Setkic, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, but later in the day Amer Delic would tie things up, beating Jaak Poldma 6-4, 6-1, 7-5. On Saturday Zopp took to the court again, teaming up with Mait Kunnap to take on Delic and Ismar Gorcic. Bosnia and Herzogovina would go 2-1 up, winning 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (1), 2-6, 6-2. The tie would then be decided in Sunday’s first rubber when Delic stepped up for his third win of the weekend, defeating Zopp, 7-6, (12), 6-3, 7-5.

Kaia Kanepi has opted to take a slight rest from tennis following Wimbledon, citing on her official Web site that she is still suffering from Achilles tendonitis, which she was diagnosed with back in April after complaining of pain in her defeat at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. She is now hoping that her return will coincide with the American hard court season, which begins in August, but is determined not to return until she is 100 percent recovered from the injury. Since April, Kanepi has struggled to play with any real consistency, suffering five first-round losses and just four wins, seeing her drop outside of the world’s top 20.