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    Photo: Getty Images

    She just turned 33 in February, but Italy’s Roberta Vinci is enjoying her best season ever in tennis.

    Four days after her birthday, Vinci cracked the top 10 of the WTA rankings for the first time in a career that has spanned 27 years.

    Her capture of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy title saw her move to eighth spot – 11 was her previous highest ranking – and become the oldest woman to ever debut in the top 10. Betty Stove of the Netherlands held the previous record when she debuted in 1976 at 31 years and 100 days.

    That triumph was also her first one since July 2013 and Vinci is hungry as ever to continue winning in what she feels is her “best” season so far despite already reaching her goal of making the top 10 world ranking. 

    “I'm so happy. I practiced a lot, I won a lot of matches and now I'm in the top 10 for the first time,” she told Yahoo Singapore over the phone from Madrid recently.

    “I don’t have any particular goal, but of course I would like to stay in

    Read More »from Age is no barrier: Vinci eager to stay in top 10 of women’s tennis
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    Swimmers Theresa Goh (left) and Yip Pin Xiu (right) with their team in Portugal. (Photo: Theresa Goh’s Facebook page) 

    Singapore swimmer Yip Pin Xiu set a new world record for the second time in six months when she obliterated the 100m backstroke (S2) mark on Wednesday (5 May).

    In her first race at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming European Open Championships in Funchal, Portugal, the 24-year-old touched the wall first in 2min 9.79sec – almost seven seconds faster than Ukrainian Ganna Ielisavetska’s previous record of 2:16.31 set in 2014.

    Yip, Singapore’s first and only Paralympics gold medallist, also clocked 1:01.39 at the 50m mark of the same race - thus breaking her own world record of 1:01.61, which she set at the Asean Para Games last December. She also set new Asian records in the 50m and 100m (S2) in her second race of the night in the 100m freestyle (S3), where she finished fifth.

    Speaking to Yahoo Singapore** **over the phone on Thursday, a delighted Yip

    Read More »from World record shows Rio preparations going well: Yip Pin Xiu
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    The Garena Young Lions were undone by defensive errors again as they slumped to their 10th defeat in a row. (Photo: S.League)

    Four teams have conceded in the first 10 minutes this season of the S.League, and only one team has done this more than once. 

    On Thursday night at Bedok Stadium, the Garena Young Lions did it for the fifth separate game as they gave up a penalty around 70 seconds after the first whistle had gone in their clash against Geylang International.

    Sahil Suhaimi was adjudged to have been tripped in the box and Carlos Delgado easily dispatched the spot-kick en-route to a 3-1 win for the hosts.

    It was déjà vu for Young Lions head coach Patrick Hesse, who was left fuming at the final whistle after his side crashed to a 10th successive defeat.

    “When we start the game we are already losing 1-0 because the team don’t [seem to] be able to play 10 minutes without conceding a goal,” he said.

    “If you cannot make (do) this, you cannot play in the S.League and I'm very, very

    Read More »from Young Lions concede early goal again in 10th straight S.League defeat
  • Every Thursday, look out for S.League previews and analysis on Yahoo Singapore’s sports section, brought to you by Richard Bok. Richard Bok is the former head coach of the Singapore Armed Forces Football Club (SAFFC, now known as Warriors FC). He helped the team to four S.League titles from 2006 to 2009, and was named S.League coach of the year three times.

    Garena Young Lions vs Geylang International. Photo: S.LeagueGarena Young Lions vs Geylang International. Photo: S.League

    Last week, Geylang International FC’s shock win in Brunei over defending champions Brunei DPMM overshadowed the Tampines Rovers’ 4-2 win over the Warriors.

    Brunei DPMM welcomed back playmaker Paulo Sergio but he could not prevent his team from falling 1-2 to Geylang International. Throughout the whole match, Brunei DPMM created many chances to score including Sergio himself missing a couple. This prompted Steve Kean to adding more shooting practice in his training session. Geylang International’s tactics of soaking the attack from DPMM and hitting them on the counter worked well for them. In one of their few raids, Sahil Suhaimi

    Read More »from S.League: Albirex Niigata FC look to strengthen their grip at the top
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    Iqbal Hussain (14) slaloming past the Tampines Rovers defence to score the equaliser for Hougang United. (Photo: S.League)

    He wanted to prove a point in his first Hougang United start last week, but instead endured a quiet outing.

    On Wednesday night though, Iqbal Hussain was anything but quiet at Hougang Stadium. 

    Just five minutes after coming off the bench midway through the second half, he struck a stunning equaliser against Tampines Rovers to rescue a 1-1 draw.

    The 22-year-old seized upon an errant pass outside the area, then waltzed past a defender before coolly finishing beyond Izwan Mahbud to score his first S.League goal since April last year.

    It helped to repay the faith shown in him by the Cheetahs, who have accommodated and given opportunities to the full-time National Serviceman as he juggles national service with professional football.

    Iqbal’s tough balancing act

    Iqbal has served the past year in the Singapore Civil Defence Force and his camp is in the west of Singapore

    Read More »from S.League: Iqbal stuns Tampines as 10-man Hougang battle to draw
  • "Why I Play” is a weekly column every Wednesday showcasing the stories of people who enjoy playing sports in Singapore. Want to see your sport featured? Let us know via Facebook, Twitter or email.

    Serena Tsang of the Singapore Women's Ice Hockey Club poses for a photo at The Rink on March 3, 2016 in Singapore. Photo: Lim Yong TeckSerena Tsang of the Singapore Women's Ice Hockey Club poses for a photo at The Rink on March 3, 2016 in Singapore. Photo: Lim Yong Teck

    Serena Tsang, 27, picked up ice hockey just three years ago, and now suits up for the women’s national team. A graphic designer by day, Tsang also helps out in the marketing department at Singapore Ice Hockey Association (SIHA). The team finished as first runner up at the 2015 Malaysia Invitational Ice Hockey Tournament, and were crowned champion at 2013 Malaysia Invitational Ice Hockey Tournament

    How did you get involved in this sport? 
    When I was studying at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, I joined the ice skating club and I was gradually exposed to ice hockey and it looked really interesting. There wasn’t any women’s team back then. I waited until 2012 and when The Rink at JCube opened, some of my friends and I picked it up.

    What kind of a workout do you get from playing this sport?
    We work out all

    Read More »from Why I Play: Serena Tsang, ice hockey
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    Warriors FC head coach Jorg Steinebrunner let rip at referee Farhad Mohamad for what he perceived to be a wrong penalty call in their defeat to Tampines Rovers. (Photo: S.League)

    A contentious penalty decision against Warriors FC and the subsequent red card for the goalkeeper were the major talking points as the team went down 4-2 to Tampines Rovers on Saturday (30 April) night in the S.League.

    The incident occurred in the 50th minute with the Warriors leading 2-1 at Jurong West Stadium, when the Rovers' Fazrul Nawaz appeared to have been brought down in the penalty area by the Warriors' goalkeeper Yazid Yasin.

    Referee Farhad Mohamad immediately pointed to the spot, before walking over to confer with his linesman Mohd Asadullah as 1,756 spectators waited expectantly. After a few minutes of deliberation, the official showed a straight red card to Yazid.

    Substitute Jermaine Pennant confidently dispatched the spot-kick and the hosts eventually ran out 4-2 winners over their 10-man

    Read More »from S.League: Steinebrunner rages at red card in Warriors loss to Tampines
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    Faris Ramli opened his account for Home United as they saw off Hougang United. (Photo: Home United)

    A sparkling display from Home United attacker Faris Ramli helped his side record a 3-2 victory over Hougang United at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.

    The 23-year-old set up one goal before scoring what proved to be the winner on only his third start of the season, and his first since returning from a six-week injury lay-off.

    Having made his comeback as a substitute in last week’s 2-1 victory over Warriors FC, the former LionsXII player showed what he could bring to his new team in front of 2,613 spectators.

    “Actually, I didn’t expect to complete the game because I'm (still) gradually recovering,” said Faris, who also paid tribute to the Home coaching staff for their patience and belief.

    “Personally, it’s great to be back in the starting line-up; for the team, it’s great to keep this momentum going.

    “Before tonight, we knew Hougang was on a good run of form. For us, we are trying to

    Read More »from S.League: Faris Ramli shines as Home beat Hougang in thrilling match
  • <i>WTA Finals ambassador Martina Navratilova (C) with Sarah Clements, Vice-President of Tennis – Asia at Lagardère Sports (L) and Melissa Pine, Vice-President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of WTA Finals (R)</i>

    WTA Finals ambassador Martina Navratilova (C) with Sarah Clements, Vice-President of Tennis – Asia at Lagardère Sports (L) and Melissa Pine, Vice-President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of WTA Finals (R)

    She has been the world's No. 1 female tennis player for the last 167 weeks, but Serena Williams’s reign at the top looks to be under real threat this year.

    The streak is 19 weeks short of Steffi Graf’s all-time record, which lasted three and a half years between 1987 and 1991. Williams ended 2015 atop the rankings for the fifth time in her career, joining the elite company of Graf (8), Martina Navratilova (7) and Chris Evert (5).

    However, tennis great Navratilova believes that the rise of new challengers could make it difficult for Williams to stay on her throne.

    It has been a quiet year so far for Serena Williams. Her shock semi-final exit at the US Open last year was followed by an upset defeat in the Australian Open this January. The 34-year-old has played only two

    Read More »from Top spot not ‘foregone conclusion’ for Serena Williams: Martina Navratilova
  • <i>Tatsuro Inui (centre) inspired Albirex Niigata (S) to a fifth consecutive victory in the S.League. (Photo: Albirex Facebook)</i>

    A comfortable 3-0 victory over the Garena Young Lions on Thursday night at Jurong East Stadium saw Albirex Niigata (S) continue their excellent form in the S.League this year.

    The Japanese side are currently sitting pretty at the top of the table with a six-point lead over second-placed Tampines Rovers, albeit having played two more games.

    Nonetheless, the White Swans have chalked up 23 points so far, their best-ever point tally after the opening 10 games of any season since joining the league in 2004.

    It was also a fifth consecutive victory for Naoki Naruo’s men, a run that includes putting giants Tampines, Home United and defending champions Brunei DPMM to the sword.

    However, the 41-year-old, who is helming the club for a second time after a first stint in 2009, insisted that his charges are not feeling the heat as they gun for a first-ever league crown.

    “For now, we are simply concentrating on taking things one game at a time,” he asserted. “We just want to focus on what we have to

    Read More »from S.League: Albirex off to a flying start, but not feeling the pressure

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