Sport in brief: Kim hits cracking three wood to set up Allenby semi-final





Golf: Anthony Kim advanced to the semi-finals of the World Match Play Championship against Robert Allenby, despite losing to Scott Strange by three holes yesterday.

Strange needed to beat Kim by at least four holes to advance and was four up going into the 568-yard par-five 18th when the American player responded by hitting his second shot to within four feet. Strange, who had laid up on his second shot, put his approach into the bunker before eventually conceding the hole to Kim.

Kim finished with an aggregate of plus-four holes to Strange's plus-three after three Group A matches. "I'm glad that this point system was set up," said Kim, who struck his three-wood 274 yards at the last. "When Scott laid up, I knew that I had to step up and go for it and it was the perfect number. I hit it as hard as I could and it went to four feet."

Masters champion Angel Cabrera also reached the semi-finals after beating England's Simon Dyson by seven holes in Group C. The Argentine, who lost to Ernie Els in last year's final, will play Ross Fisher in Saturday's other 36-hole match-up after the Englishman beat Jeev Milkha Singh by one hole.

Allenby beat England's Oliver Wilson by three holes to set up a rematch of their Presidents Cup tie, which Kim won.

Jankovic into last four after taking advantage of exhausted Wozniacki

Tennis: One of the toughest years of her career could still have a golden finale for Serbia's Jelena Jankovic who now stands just two victories away from winning the WTA Championships in Doha. The 24-year-old appeared ready to head home on Tuesday when she turned in a limp performance in her opening group match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. But after getting lucky on Wednesday when Russian Dinara Safina withdrew with a back injury, the cards fell in her favour again yesterday. Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was suffering after her exploits of the previous day when she beat Vera Zvonareva in a three-hour battle that left her barely able to walk at the end after being seized with cramp. Jankovic took advantage, producing some aggressive tennis to win 6-2, 6-2 and reach the semi-finals of the Championships for the second consecutive year.

Thomas clocks fantastic time in hot pursuit

Cycling: Sir Chris Hoy and Geraint Thomas showed Great Britain remain the world’s leading nation at Manchester’s Velodrome last night with stunning victories at the Track World Cup. Hoy, who was knighted after winning three gold medals as the Brits dominated in Beijing last year, marked his return to international competition following injury with a supreme display in winning the keirin.

But his performance was usurped by Thomas, who clocked four minutes 15.015 seconds in individual pursuit qualification – a time only bettered by world record holder Chris Boardman – before winning the final with ease. Britain added two more golds on the opening day. Chris Newton won the men’s points race, the Olympic and world bronze medallist dominating the event, which is set to be axed in the revised Games programme. Victoria Pendleton then clinched Britain’s fourth gold of the first World Cup event of the season with victory in the sprint.

Burnett throws Yankees back into World Series

Baseball: New York levelled the World Series at one game each as AJ Burnett outdueled old Yankees nemesis Pedro Martinez in a 3-1 win over the Phillies on Thursday night. Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui homered for the Yankees, who overcame a 1-0 second-inning deficit for the crucial win as the best-of-seven series shifts to Philadelphia for the next three games starting tonight. Burnett gave up four hits in seven innings and struck out nine while walking two. Andy Pettitte starts tonight for the Yankees against fellow left-hander Cole Hamels, last year's World Series MVP for the Phillies.

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