Latvian Ernests Gulbis has won his opening round match at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada on Aug. 8. Following on from his maiden 2011 title in Los Angeles, Gulbis was able to take former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain in three sets, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5. Despite getting in 70 percent of his first serves in the opening set, Gulbis still found himself having to defend at break point on two occasions. He could only manage to hold one, with one break enough to give Ferrero the opening set. It was a reversal of roles in the second set with Gulbis not allowing himself to be pushed to break point at any stage, while he was able to ask the question of Ferrero on four occasions, breaking him on two of those opportunities to easily take the set and tie the match at one set apiece. In the third and deciding set, it was Gulbis toughing it out, finding himself needing to win deuce on more than one occasion in order to hold serve, while at the other end of the court Ferrero was holding on with ease. However, when Gulbis held serve following another deuce to remain in the match at 4-5, the tempo began to change. Straight away Gulbis pounced on Ferrero’s next turn at serve, winning the game to leave him serving for the match. Gulbis had saved his best for last, rushing out to 0-40 before striking an un-returnable serve to move into the second round. There, Gulbis will either play Michael Llodra of France or Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, with the game played after TBT went to print.
Dinamo Riga has signed American forward Robbie Earl for the up and coming Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) season. Ahead of their opening pre-season game against CSKA Moscow in Liepaja on Saturday, Aug. 13, Dinamo Riga announced the inclusion of the 26-year-old in their lineup. Earl has previously played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Minnesota Wild, bouncing between their respective farm clubs and top teams. In the 2007/2008 season, Earl featured in nine games for the Maple Leafs, claiming one assist. After failing to make it out of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2008/2009, he again returned to the NHL in 2009/2010, featuring in 32 games for the Wild, claiming six goals. Last season he was again back at the Wild, but only featured in six games.
Lithuanian Virgilijus Alekna has overtaken Baltic rival Gerd Kanter of Estonia in the Samsung Diamond League discus standings with two rounds remaining. After throwing 65.05 meters in Stockholm on July 29 to win the event and tie on nine points with Kanter, who could only manage a disappointing fifth place, Alekna has now overtaken the Estonian by winning the Aviva London Grand Prix on Saturday, Aug. 6 with a throw of 66.71 meters. Alekna has now amassed 13 points with two legs remaining. London was another disappointing meet for Kanter, who missed out on finishing in the top three by just 20 cm with his best throw of 64.56 meters, 20cm shorter than that of third place getter Ehsan Hadadi of Iran. The fourth place finish also meant that Kanter missed out on gaining any points. Should Alekna win one of the two remaining legs, he will gain an unassailable lead at the top of the table. If Kanter is to regain first place, he must finish in first place in one of the two remaining meetings and then finish better than Alekna in the other meeting. The two remaining legs take place in Zurich, Switzerland on Sept. 8, and Brussels, Belgium a week later on Sept. 16.