Tagged in: switzerland

Jessica Korda shoots 65 in borrowed golf clothes, trails Hinako Shibuno at Women’s Open

Playing in borrowed clothes doesn’t seem to bother Jessica Korda at the Women’s Open.

Still waiting for her suitcase to arrive in Muirfield, Korda recovered from an early bogey to shoot a 5-under 66 in the first round Thursday, putting her 1 shot behind leader Hinako Shibuno of Japan.

Korda made four birdies and an eagle on the 17th despite missing her normal clothes after her luggage got stuck at an airport in Switzerland.

“If anyone knows anyone at the Zurich airport that would like to put my suitcase on the one flight a day that they have coming into Edinburgh, I’d deeply appreciate it,” Korda said. “I know where it is, I have an AirTag on it. I can’t get anyone to actually go get it. … Monday I wore Megan Khang’s pants. Tuesday, I wore my sister’s pants and Wednesday I wore Alison Lee’s pants. Today I’m wearing FootJoy pants.”

Shibuno, the 2019 champion, made birdies on the first three holes and went on to card eight in total in her 65. Scotland’s Louise Duncan and Mexico’s Gabby Lopez were tied for third, 2 shots back.

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“It has been a long time since I’ve played this well, especially putting. Honestly it was a little frightening,” Shibuno said through an interpreter. “I haven’t changed much. My caddie told me that my body balance was off when I was missing putts. Once I focused on this, I could play much better.”

Nelly Korda, Jessica’s sister, was tied for 13th after shooting a 70.

Catriona Matthew, also a former Women’s British Open champion and two-time-winning captain in the Solheim Cup, was elected to hit the opening tee shot Thursday after growing up close to Muirfield, which is hosting the event for the first time.

It was only six years ago that Muirfield didn’t permitted women to even set foot in the clubhouse.

Matthew struggled to a 5-over 76, making double-bogeys on the first and 10th and failing to make a single birdie.

“Being the first women’s pro event to be played here, it’s great, and me being local, it was a huge honor to hit the first tee shot,” Matthew said. “Apart from the two doubles, I actually played quite well. It’s a little frustrating.”

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Emma Raducanu’s Wimbledon availability in doubt after retiring injured from Nottingham Open

U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu retired injured from her opening match at the WTA 250 event in Nottingham on Tuesday, casting doubt over her participation at Wimbledon.

Raducanu retired while trailing 4-3 in the opening set versus Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic, nearly half an hour into the match after she suffered what appeared to be an abdominal or rib injury.

“The first game, I think I pulled something. I am not really sure what exactly happened,” Raducanu stated. “I have just come off court, an absolute freak injury. I don’t know what I could have done more about it.”

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Raducanu, who has been without a full-time coach since April, shot to stardom last September when, as a qualifier, she won the U.S. Open title, becoming Britain’s first female Grand Slam champion since Virginia Wade in 1977.

However, the British No. 1 has struggled since winning her maiden Grand Slam and was eliminated in the second round of the French Open last month, when she lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in three sets.

The 19-year-old reached the last 16 at Wimbledon in 2021, but will need a quick recovery to compete at this year’s tournament which will be held from June 27 to July 10.

“I have no idea [about Wimbledon.] It could have just seized up and gone into spasm and then it is really bad for a few days,” Raducanu added. “I have no idea. I cannot diagnose myself. I will get it checked out.”

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USA basketball draws Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico for World Cup qualifying

Team USA will face Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba in the first round of qualifying for the 2023 Basketball World Cup.

The Americans, who acquired a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo but concluded only seventh at the most recent Basketball World Cup two years ago, found out their qualifying opponents Tuesday when the draw was held at FIBA headquarters in Mies, Switzerland.

It will also be the first major tournament for USA Basketball with Grant Hill as managing director. Hill is succeeding Jerry Colangelo in that role; Colangelo oversaw each of the last four Olympics for the U.S., helping assemble teams that collected gold medals each time.

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The U.S. has won the World Cup five times, most recently in 2014.

There are 80 teams in the qualifying rounds. It starts with a double round-robin; all teams in the various groups for the first round will play the other three teams in their group twice. First-round games will be played during three different windows — Nov. 20-30, Feb. 21-March 1 and June 27-July 5.

Second-round games start in August 2022 and run through February 2023. The next World Cup — to be hosted by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia — takes place from Aug. 25 through Sept. 10, 2023.

Defending World Cup champion Spain, trying to become one of the 12 European qualifiers for the tournament, opens with games versus Ukraine, Georgia and North Macedonia in the opening round.

As hosts, the Philippines and Japan are already in the 32-team World Cup field. The other 30 spots will be decided through qualifying. Indonesia does not get an automatic spot as a host country.

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Roger Federer to play the French Open, will prepare for it with tournament in native Switzerland

Roger Federer revealed Sunday he will play at the French Open, and the Swiss star is preparing for it on home clay at a tournament in Geneva next month.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion revealed his plans on his official Twitter page.

“Happy to let you know that I will play Geneva and Paris. Until then I will use the time to train. Can’t wait to play in Switzerland again,” Federer wrote.

Federer will aim for his 104th career title at the Geneva Open, which takes place May 16-22 — shortly before Roland Garros starts in Paris on May 30.

The 39-year-old Federer won his only French Open in 2009 and lost to 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals two years ago.

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He did not play there last year.

Federer had a repeat operation on his right knee after a first procedure in February 2020. When that bothersome knee kept swelling up after bike rides or walks with his four children, he announced in June that he had had a second surgery.

The seventh-ranked Federer made his comeback from a 13-month injury layoff at the Qatar Open last month, defeating Daniel Evans in three sets and then losing in three to Nikoloz Basilashvili after failing to convert a match point.

Federer is also trying to earn Wimbledon for a record-extending ninth time, having lost to Novak Djokovic in a fifth-set tiebreaker two years ago. Federer served for the match and had two championship points.

The grass-court major was canceled last year for the first time since 1945 because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is arranged to be played June 28 to July 11.

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Alonso discharged from hospital following cycling accident

Alpine Formula One driver Fernando Alonso has been discharged from hospital following a road traffic accident last week.

Alonso was knocked off his bike while cycling in Switzerland on Thursday and underwent corrective surgery on his upper jaw as a result of his injuries.

After a period of 48 hours observation following the surgery, Alonso left hospital on Monday and will keep his recovery at home.

“He will now have a short period of complete rest before progressively resuming training to undertake preparation for the start of the season,” a statement from the Alpine team said.

Alonso, a two-time F1 champion, returns to the series this campaign after two years racing in other categories.

He became a two-time World Endurance Champion with Toyota while away from F1, which incorporated two victories at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2018. His quest to become only the second driver to collect the Triple Crown — victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and Indy 500 — has been put on hold.

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Alonso entered the Indy 500 in 2017 and 2020, and failed to qualify in 2019, but will not be competing in the event while he is contracted to Alpine’s F1 operation.

He is due to take part in pre-season testing in Bahrain between March 12-14 before the first race of the new season gets underway on March 28 at the same circuit.

The incident did lead to some doubt over Alonso’s fitness ahead of the new campaign, only for Alpine to say last week that it expected him to be “fully operational to undertake preparation for the season.”

Alonso tweeted last Friday that he was “OK and looking forward to getting 2021 underway”, with his extending first outing in the Alpine A521 car due to come in pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Alpine is yet to ratify launch plans for its new car, but will take the covers off prior to the start of the running at the Bahrain International Circuit on 12-14 March.

The new season will then get underway on 28 March with the Bahrain Grand Prix at the same circuit. It will mark Alonso’s maiden outing with the Enstone-based team since his final appearance with the squad in 2009, having also won both of his world titles in Renault colors in 2005 and 2006.

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