Indians bow out

Tashkent: India's campaign ended at the Tashkent ATP Challenger on Tuesday after Davis Cuppers, Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan and Sanam Singh got beaten in their respective first round matches here.

Eighth-seeded Karol Beck of Slovakia scored a 6-1, 6-3 win over Yuki, while Russia's Igor Kunitsyn beat Vishnu 6-3 6-4, and in a battle of qualifiers, Oleksandr Nedovyesov outplayed Sanam 6-0 6-4 here at the Olympic Tennis School.

Calcutta: Smriti Mehra, who faltered in the final round of the seventh leg, will once again start as the favourite for the eighth leg of the Hero-WGAI Women's Pro Tour which begins at the par-72 Classic Golf Resort in Gurgaon on Wednesday. Smriti, leader on the Order of Merit by a big margin over Nalini Singh Siwach, has so far won three of the seven legs.

Buenos Aires: River Plate soccer fans unveiled a 7.8 kilometre banner on Monday they claim is the longest in the world and fit for the Guinness Book of Records. The red and white banner measuring 7,829.74 metres was paraded by thousands of fans from the site of River's former ground in the Palermo district of the capital to the Monumental, their giant World Cup stadium in Nunez opened in 1938.

London: Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has apologised to English Football Association chairman David Bernstein for a Twitter insult he aimed at the FA last week and is free to play for England against San Marino on Friday.

Whether or not he earns his 99th cap in the World Cup qualifier at Wembley is up to coach Roy Hodgson but Bernstein said on Tuesday that Cole was free for selection.

Madrid: Barcelona defender Eric Abidal is training in the Pyrenees mountains following a liver transplant in April, the La Liga club said on Tuesday. The 33-year-old France international is working with club physio Emili Ricart on a regime that includes aerobic work, mountain walks and ball work on a training pitch, Barca said in a statement on their website.

London: Bolton Wanderers have sacked manager Owen Coyle after the club suffered a poor start to their Championship (second division) campaign following their relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season.

Johannesburg: The disciplinary hearing of Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majol has been delayed yet again, this time at the request of the board due to unavailability of one of its key witnesses. CSA asked for a postponement till Wednesday.

The hearing was over one of the recommendations made by the Nicholson inquiry instituted by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, after nearly two years of internal wrangling at CSA over IPL 2 bonuses.