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Volume 10 No. 24

Events and Attractions

Rafael Nadal "let loose his mounting frustrations" at the French Open's weather, schedule, people organizing the tournament and women's tennis, according to Kevin Mitchell of the London GUARDIAN. Nadal had Thursday's second-round match moved to Friday after his third-round opponent, Fabio Fognini, "had already played and was thus allowed to rest before Saturday's match." Nadal: "I think everybody in this room knows that the schedule of yesterday [Thursday] was wrong. I cannot play third after men's and girls when my possible opponents play second after girls. That's not fair. And today, I was playing almost three hours on court and my opponent was watching the TV in the locker room." Nadal added, "So if you tell me that's fair, I say that's not fair. Only thing that I can do is be positive, smile and try to win my match and try to be ready for tomorrow. But this is not right." Roger Federer "played it down the middle" when asked to comment on Nadal's predicament. Roger Federer said, "I understand that he's frustrated. That's understandable -- that is, he would like to play the second day like any other day. But I think 50% of the players couldn't play their match" (GUARDIAN, 5/31). The BBC's Piers Newbery reported the first week of the French Open has been disrupted by poor weather, and Thursday was "the worst hit." Nadal was scheduled third on Lenglen, but after wins for Grigor Dimitrov and Victoria Azarenka, the Spaniard "did not get any further than the knock-up before the rain returned" (BBC, 5/31).

PULLING RANK: In London, Paul Newman reported Nadal repeated his belief that world rankings "should be based on results over two years rather than one." Nadal: "When you get an injury like [Juan Martin] del Potro for nine months you come back as No. 900 in the world, but you are clearly not No. 900 in the world." Nadal said that he would "not object to a longer season." He would be happy to have a 12-month schedule because it would "create more opportunities for more people to make a living from the sport"-- provided there was a reduction in the number of mandatory tournaments (INDEPENDENT, 6/1).

England has confirmed it will play Ireland in a friendly in Dublin. The Ireland FA is keen to play England in Nov. '14, or Feb. '15, the 20th anniversary of "the Landsdowne Road riots which forced the abandonment of the previous meeting between the two countries" (London DAILY MAIL, 5/30). ... The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, setting sail on Sept. 1, will start and finish in London. The fleet is expected to return in July '14 after racing 40,000 miles and visiting 14 ports on six continents in the world's longest ocean race (CLIPPER ROUND THE WORLD). ... Cuba is preparing for a three-day int'l tournament in '14 in honor of World and Olympic boxing champion Teofilo Stevenson. Cuban Federation of Sports Referees & Judges VP Alejandro Barrientos said that "the plan is to invite squads from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan to contest along with the hosting island" (XINHUA, 5/31). ... La Liga side Sevilla will spend part of its preseason in Latin America "with a tour of Ecuador, Puerto Rico and one from Peru and Chile." The club has confirmed that from July 17-27, it will "travel out to South America and the Caribbean to take part in the Copa Euroamericana, alongside Porto, Atlético Madrid, eight South American teams and the Puerto Rico national team" (FOOTBALL ESPAÑA, 6/1). ... South Korea and int'l football officials are discussing "moving the country's upcoming World Cup qualifier in Lebanon to a third location because of security concerns in the Middle East country" (KOREA HERALD, 5/31). ... The UAE claims to rival China in the bid to host this year's Italian Super Cup between Serie A sides Lazio and Juventus. The Italian Super Cup is "the traditional season curtain-raiser between the winners of Serie A and the Italian Cup" (GULF NEWS, 6/2). ... The Association of Surfing Professionals Int'l announced the acquisition of the global Big Wave World Tour, with arrangements for support in '13 and formal sanctioning commencing in '14 (JAKARTA GLOBE, 5/31).