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Captain Aaron Ramsey has said he would turn his back on playing for Great Britain at the Olympics if he felt it would affect Wales' standing as an independent football nation. This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
The Arsenal midfielder and Tottenham winger Gareth Bale have been pictured posing in the blue Team GB supporters' shirt, and both players have spoken of their desire to be involved in coach Stuart Pearce's squad for the Games.

The Football Association of Wales, and their Scottish and Irish counterparts, do not want their players to be selected as they fear it may lead to a loss of their independent status with Fifa, although they would have no legal basis on which to prevent the players being involved.

Welsh supporters' groups have also voiced their disapproval at the players being used to promote the shirt.

But Ramsey, who along with Bale was today named in Gary Speed's squad for the friendly against Norway, has moved to reassure fans he would not turn out in London next year if it were harmful to Welsh identity on the international stage.

The 20-year-old posted on his official Twitter feed: ''Relax everyone, there is absolutely no way I would play in the Olympic team if it was going to affect Wales identity as an individual nation!''

England Test captain Andrew Strauss has labelled the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption Unit a “toothless tiger” in the wake of the Pakistan spot-fixing convictions.

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were all jailed at Southwark Crown Court this week for corruption during the Lord’s Test in August last year.

They were brought to justice by a sting operation organised by the now-defunct News of the World rather than the ACU, which was set up 11 years ago and now operates under the chairmanship of Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the former Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

“It’s hard to be happy or satisfied when something like this happens. I think it is fantastic that there’s been some sort of repercussions for what these guys did and there’s a deterrent there,” Strauss said.

“For me, there’s still a lot of questions to be answered because they weren’t exposed by any of the cricketing members, they were exposed by the News of the World.

“I think we all know there’s no place for it in the game. We’ve got to be vigilant. I still think the ICC could be doing a lot more than they are doing.

“Unfortunately, the anti-corruption unit is a pretty toothless tiger. They can’t get into the real depth of it all because they haven’t got the resources available to them.

“I don’t hold it against them, they’re doing the best job they possibly can. They can’t do sting operations like the News of the World, they can’t infiltrate these betting networks.

“They’ve tried their best. I’m very hopeful that only a minor percentage of cricketers are involved in it, but the truth is we really don’t know.”

The spot-fixing controversy overshadowed the latter stages of Pakistan’s 2010 tour and there were tensions between the sides.

England will play Pakistan for the first time since then in January, on neutral territory in the United Arab Emirates. They could find themselves up against two players, wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and former Kent pace bowler Wahab Riaz, who face a possible investigation by the ACU after suspicions were raised about them during the trial of Butt and Asif.

But Strauss said that facing players under ICC suspicion would not be an issue for England in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“You play against 11 other cricketers and one of the strong traits we try to foster within the England team is you worry about your own performance,” Strauss said.

“That’s what we’ll be doing in Dubai and it’ll be another keenly contested series as it always is against Pakistan.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board has rejected claims by Amir that Pakistan players are not given anti-corruption training.

“In March 2010 Amir signed the code of conduct for players when he was issued his central contract,” said the PCB in a statement.

“The code of conduct clearly states that by signing the player commits to abiding by all ICC rules regarding betting, match fixing, corruption, and any matter that could call into question the integrity of the game. Amir acknowledged that he understood the code and his responsibilities.

“Amir also attended anti-corruption lectures, which take place before any international tour.”

The Football Association have decided to appeal against the three-match ban that threatens to rule Wayne Rooney out of the entire Euro 2012 group phase.

They have informed Uefa of their intention and now have six days to put together a case to go before European football's governing body.

"We will be appealing against the three-match suspension Wayne Rooney received following the recent Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro," said an FA spokesman.

"We received written reasons for the red card on Tuesday afternoon and we were given until midnight tonight to respond."

Speaking after scoring in Manchester United's Champions League win over Otelul Galati at Old Trafford, Rooney admitted his blatant kick at Miodrag Dzudovic was "stupid".

However, Rooney also claimed the punishment, which would scupper his chances of featuring in the tournament at all should England fail to reach the knockout phase, was "a bit harsh".

Owner Frank McCourt reached an agreement with Major League Baseball on Tuesday night to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers, along with Dodger Stadium and the surrounding real estate, a decision that brings to end not only a six-month legal battle with baseball commissioner Bud Selig but also a 7½-year ownership that was simply never embraced by the team's fan base.
A joint statement said there will be a "court-supervised process" to sell the team and its media rights to maximize value for the Dodgers and McCourt. The Blackstone Group LP will manage the sale.

The announcement comes as the Dodgers and MLB were headed toward a showdown in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware at the end of the month as mediation between both sides was ongoing.

McCourt and Selig have traded barbs since MLB took control of day-to-day operation of the team in April over concerns about the team's finances and the way it was being run. McCourt filed for bankruptcy protection in June after the league rejected a 17-year TV contract with Fox, reported to be worth up to $3 billion, that he needed to keep the team afloat. Selig noted that almost half of an immediate $385 million payment would have been diverted from the Dodgers to McCourt.

McCourt apparently realized a sale of the team he vowed never to give up was in his best interest and that of the fans.

"There comes a point in time when you say, 'It's time,'" a person familiar with the situation who requested anonymity because details of the negotiations had not been made public told The Associated Press. "He came to that realization at the end of today."

McCourt purchased the Dodgers from NewsCorp in February 2004 for the price of $420 million, largely on borrowed funds. Based on various media reports, the team is expected to fetch somewhere between $800 million and $1.2 billion this time.

There was no immediate timetable for the sale of the team, but such things typically take several months to complete. It also wasn't immediately clear how this will affect the Dodgers' offseason player moves. General manager Ned Colletti said more than a month ago that McCourt already had given him a player-payroll budget for 2012 and seemed to hint that figure was higher than it had been for 2011, but the team being put up for sale could change that.

McCourt's decision comes at the end of a long legal battle to hold onto the team, this even as home attendance plummeted by 21 percent this season -- there was strong evidence to suggest many fans stayed away as a protest against McCourt's continued ownership of the club. But it became fairly clear last week, when Kevin Gross, the federal bankruptcy judge overseeing the team's case, agreed to delay the next hearing until Nov. 29, that the sides were nearing a settlement, one that could only end with McCourt finally agreeing to put the team up for sale.

McCourt's purchase of the team almost eight years ago was met with widespread skepticism on the part of the local media and the Dodgers fan base. McCourt, his wife Jamie and their four sons moved to Los Angeles from their home in the Boston area to run the team. What followed was a level of on-field success the storied Dodgers had never experienced during their six-year run under NewsCorp -- the Dodgers reached the playoffs four times in McCourt's first six years and in 2008 won a postseason series for the first time in 20 years -- but also a series of public-relations gaffes and missteps on the part of the McCourts and a staggering number of personnel changes both in the baseball and business departments.

The beginning of the end may have come on the eve of the team's ill-fated 2009 National League Championship Series appearance against the Philadelphia Phillies, when news broke that Frank and Jamie McCourt had separated and were likely headed for divorce. That divorce, which eventually became the most expensive in California history, quickly devolved into a fight over whether Jamie McCourt had a legitimate claim to half the team, a claim that ultimately resulted in a recent divorce settlement in which Frank McCourt agreed to pay his estranged wife a reported $130 million by next spring in exchange for her dropping her claim to partial ownership.

The fact the process dragged on for so long contributed to the widely held belief, rightly or wrongly, that the divorce had become so expensive and such a drag on McCourt's finances that he no longer could afford to put enough money into the player payroll to put a competitive team on the field, a notion that only gained steam when the Dodgers got off to a slow start in 2011.

As the former couple fought over ownership of the team, the Dodgers' home opener against the rival San Francisco Giants kicked off a year of even worse publicity. A Giants fan, Bryan Stow, was nearly beaten to death in the parking lot. Stow's family has sued the Dodgers and his attorney said medical bills could reach $50 million.

In the outpouring of public sympathy, attention focused on cutbacks in security at Dodger stadium and fans turned their animosity toward Frank McCourt. Scores of police were dispatched to patrol the stadium after the attack.

Meanwhile, Selig announced in April that MLB was taking over operations of the club and appointing a trustee -- he eventually tabbed former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer for that role -- to oversee all of the Dodgers' finances. However, McCourt responded to that opening salvo by Selig by filing for bankruptcy a few weeks later, meaning Gross was now in charge of the team's finances and MLB no longer was in control.

Dodgers attorneys claimed Selig deliberately starved the club of cash and destroyed its reputation in a bid to seize control of the team and force its sale.

"As the commissioner knows and as our legal documents have clearly shown, he approved and praised the structure of the team about which he belatedly complains," the team said in a statement.

The team was asking Gross to approve an auction of the team's television rights as the best path to exit bankruptcy. But the league wanted to file a reorganization that called for the team to be sold.

The bitter legal battle finally came to an end Tuesday night, when McCourt finally made a decision that had seemed inevitable for months, if not years, to almost everyone but himself. It wasn't immediately clear what led McCourt to finally concede defeat in that battle -- although Gross' hesitation to grant McCourt's request that he be allowed to auction off the team's television rights in order to generate immediate revenue can't be discounted as a major contributing factor.

All that is clear is that the battle finally is over now, and McCourt officially is on his way out, paving the way for the Dodgers' third ownership change in the past 15 years since the O'Malley family, which had moved the team to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958, sold the club to NewsCorp in 1998.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

AC MILAN star Antonio Cassano will have to undergo heart surgery after falling ill last weekend.
Cassano, 29, was taken to hospital shortly after his side's 3-2 win at Roma on Saturday.

The Italy international was said to have suffered impaired vision and had problems talking and moving.

A statement from the Italian champions read: "The player will undergo a small surgical cardiological intervention in the coming days and the recovery time will be better defined after the surgery, but it will probably be a few months."

The incident caused Cassano to suffer insufficient blood flow to the brain, causing "ischemic cerebral damage" but no lasting damage has been detected.

His Milan team-mates unveiled a shirt bearing his name after scoring in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at BATE Borisov which secured the Italians' place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, chief executive Adriano Galliani and coach Massimiliano Allegri all visited Cassano at the Policlinico di Milano where he was being treated on Wednesday.

Galliani said: "Antonio is in a good condition, the lad is fine but I'm not a doctor.

"I was very, very worried. His career is not at risk. The doctors say he will need a few months, not too many.

"I don't want to say too much at this stage, maybe in four, five or six months he will be in conditions to play.

"He has told me that he's upset because he had been playing well."

Cassano recently stated football has left him exhausted and revealed he intends to quit the game in 2014.

LONDON: London’s police said they were prepared for the possibility of bomb threats and attacks targeting the Wimbledon tennis championships as the tournament got under way Monday.
Superintendent Pete Dobson, the day-to-day police commander at the All England Club, said their plans for policing the championships had to be set against the national threat levels posed by international and Irish republican terrorism.

He stressed that no specific threats had been made against the tournament but London’s police were nonetheless on alert.

“The tennis championships are one of the great sporting events of the year,” Dobson said.

“We have road-tested plans to ensure we have a safe and secure event for all to enjoy.

“The threat level we are facing from international terrorism is at severe, only at one level away from the top level, critical,” he explained.

“Irish republican terrorism is at substantial. That means we have to be prepared for the possibility of an attack.

“London did receive a coded bomb threat on May 16, so our plans include the possibility of receiving associated bomb threats.”

That threat from Irish republican paramilitaries came on the eve of an historic trip to Ireland by Queen Elizabeth II.

“I’ve got a number of officers that respond to unattended packages that become suspicious,” Dobson said.

“Then we have specific arrangements that would involve properly-trained explosives officers that would be able to attend within a very short period of time — no different to most locations in London.”

Dobson would not disclose how many officers are on duty at the championships for security reasons, but said they were prepared in case the threat level went up to critical.

“We have to raise our game one notch. We have plans in reserve that should the threat level increase, we can bring them into play. They would overt,” he said.

“It would have implications for the way the championships are run because it would cause some disruption but it would be short of stopping the championships altogether.”

Police officers are also on the look-out for stalkers. Around a dozen people have received written letters telling them they will not be allowed into the club.

“There’s a number of fixated individuals who like to follow some of the international players around the world which we’re fully aware of. It is mainly women players,” Dobson said.

“We have up-to-date intelligence but nothing specific to Wimbledon.”

Dobson also said police were keeping an eye out for peculiar betting practices, including people entering the grounds with laptops trying to beat the system by placing bets a few seconds ahead.

“Should their behaviour go beyond the bounds, where it starts influencing the outcome of matches, then that can become a criminal offence,” he said.

LAHORE: Test discard Mohammad Yousuf will lead reigning champions Lahore Lions while Mohammad Sami last year’s runners-up Karachi Dolphins in place of all-rounder Shahid Afridi as the Pakistan Cricket Board announced the teams, captains and their officials for the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup.
The event will be held at the Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad, from June 24 to July 1.

Yousuf, who is in wilderness after the national selectors ignored him for the World Cup, will reappear on the national scene through this tournament.

Last year, his side won the title for the first time, when they defeated Afridi’s Dolphins before a packed to capacity Gaddafi Stadium.

Afridi, who has preferred to play for English county Hampshire in the ongoing T20 contest in England, is not available for the national tournament.

Abdul Rauf will skipper Multan Tigers. Sohail Tanvir will lead Rawalpindi Rams. Rao Iftikhar has been appointed captain of Islamabad Leopards.

Umar Gul will also appear for the Leopards.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, as usual, will be the captain of Faisalabad Wolves.

Former captain Shoaib Malik, under whose captaincy Sialkot Stallions won the national T20 events twice, will again be leading the side.

Azeem Ghuman will lead Hyderabad Hawks.

MULTAN TIGERS: Abdul Rauf (captain), Zeeshan Ashraf, Ali Moazam, Zulfiqar Babar, Naveed Yasin, Gulraiz Sadaf, Mohammad Zahid, Mohammad Irfan, Zain Abbas, Taimoor Dogar, Rameez Alam, Yasir Arafat, Ansar Javed, Ahmed Raza.

Reserves: Mazhar Bashir, Ahsan Raza, Waqas Sahrif, Salman Khan.

Officials: Shaukat Mirza (coach), Tariq Sarwar (manager).

ISLAMABAD LEOPARDS: Rao Iftikhar Anjum (captain), Umar Gul, Raheel Majeed, Umair Khan, Naeem Anjum, Shan Masood, Afaq Rahim, Zohaib Ahmed, Zeeshan Mushtaq, Saad Altaf, Ameer Khan, Noman Masud Butt, Nasrullah Khan, Immad Wasim.

Reserves: Fakhar Hussain, Qaisar Rehman, Raja M. Kashif Khan, Faizan Riaz.

Officials: Taimoor Azam (coach), Nasir Iqbal (manager).

RAWALPINDI RAMS: Owais Zia, Naveed Malik, Umar Amin, Zahid Mansoor, Adnan Mufti, Hammad Azam, Sohail Tanvir (captain), Jamal Anwar, Mohammad Rameez, Samiullah, Raza Hassan, Muzammil Nizam, Tayyab Riaz, Saddaf Hussain.

Reserves: Rizwan Akbar, Mohammad Ayaz, Usman Saeed, Mohammad Nawaz.

Officials: Sabih Azhar (coach), Ameer Ahmed Shah (manager).

LAHORE LIONS: Mohammad Yousuf (captain), Ahmed Shahzad, Nasir Jamshaid, Umar Akmal, Shabbir Ahmed, Waqas Aslam, Kamran Akmal, Saad Nasim, Usman Salahuddin, Emmad Ali, Abid Ali, Mohammad Waheed, Aizaz Bin Ilyas Cheema, Ahmed Dar.

Reserves: Imran Ali, Adnan Rasool, Aamir Sajjad, Ali Zahid.

Officials: Azmat Rana (coach), Mian Javid Ali (manager).

KARACHI DOLPHINS: Khalid Latif, Shahzaib Hassan, Asad Shafiq, Rameez Raja, Fawad Alam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Tariq Haroon, Misbah Khan, Azam Hussain, Mohammad Sami (captain), Sohail Khan, Rameez Aziz, Tanvir Ahmed, Haris Ayaz.

Reserves: Afsar Nawaz, Junaid Ilyas, Fazal Subhan, Ali Mudassar.

Officials: Azam Khan (coach), Razzik H. Rabbani (manager).

FAISALABAD WOLVES: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Asif Hussain, Mohammad Asif, Ali Waqas, Khurram Shahzad, Abdul Rauf, Mohammad Talha, Faisal Yasin, Mohammad Shahid, Zahoor Ahmed, Mustansar, Naveed Latif, Zulqarnain.

Reserves: Ali Raza, Jehandad, Hassan Mahmood, Sabir Hussain.

Officials: Ijaz Ahmed Jr (coach), Tariq Fareed (manager).

HYDERABAD HAWKS: Azeem Ghumman (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Aqeel Anjum, Faisal Athar, Shahid Qambrani, Mir Ali Talpur, Ghulam Yasin, Ayaz Jamali, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Farhan Ayub, Jamshaid Baig, Nasir Awais, Raja Suleman.

Reserves: Shahzad Jamali, Bilal Irshad, Naeem-ur-Rehman, Mansoor Malik.

Officials: Tauseef Ahmed (coach), Wahid Hussain Pahilwani (manager).

SIALKOT STALLIONS: Imran Nazir, Faisal Naveed, Shahid Yousuf, Shoaib Malik (captain), Mansoor Amjad, Ali Khan, Adeel Malik, Abdul Rehman, Shakeel Ansar, Sarmad Anwar, Haris Sohail, Rana Naveed-ul-Hassan, Qaisar Abbas, Ali Bhutta.

Reserves: Prince Abbas, Farhan Malik, Muntizar Mehndi, Sarfraz Ahmed.

Officials: Naveed Anjum (coach), Naeem Akhtar (manager).

NEW DELHI: India’s cricketers have been denied permission to take part in an inaugural Twenty20 league in Sri Lanka starting next month, a board official said on Monday.
As many as 12 players including fast bowlers Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel had sought permission to play in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) to be staged in Colombo from July 19 to August 4.

“We have decided that no Indian cricketer will be given permission to take part in the league as it is being organised by a private party based in Singapore,” the official told AFP, asking not to be named.

“The board’s policy does not allow players to take part in private tournaments,” he added.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had earlier said it had no problems with the league and that Indian players were free to take part as long as there was no conflict with international or domestic schedules.

The BCCI’s U-turn comes after media reports that the SLPL was being organised by the private Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment Ventures which the reports say has links with Lalit Modi, the sacked former boss of the Indian Premier League.

“We have indications that Modi is behind the Lankan league. A lot of his men who worked in IPL are now involved in managing this league through Somerset Ventures,” the Times of India newspaper said, quoting a BCCI official.

Modi, who now lives in London, faces criminal charges including false accounting, and accusations by the BCCI that more than $106 million dollars were misappropriated during his three-year tenure as IPL chairman.

But Modi was quick to rubbish the speculation.

“It seems best way to scuttle any plans is to say Lalit Modi is behind it,”Modi said on Twitter.

“Good to know that just mentioning my name can send a shiver down their spines.”

Relations between the Indian and Sri Lankan boards took a hit early this year after Sri Lanka asked their players to return during the IPL and prepare for the tour of England.

The Sri Lankan board later relented, saying it did not want to spoil “excellent” relations with the government of India and the Indian cricket board.

LONDON: Defending champion Rafael Nadal made an emphatic start to his bid for a third Wimbledon title on Monday while five-time winner Venus Williams was back in the old routine with a dominant display.
Nadal, fresh from a record-equalling sixth French Open, was only troubled briefly by 33-year-old American Michael Russell as he cantered to a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 first round win.

Russell, who has never got beyond the second round, broke for a 4-2 lead in the first set, but Nadal then reeled off six games in succession to take the opener and lead 2-0 in the second set.

Nadal was quickly 4-1 ahead in the third set and there was no way back for the world 91 as the top seed, who unleashed 35 winners, set up a second round meeting with Ryan Sweeting of the United States.

The world No 1 is favourite to win Wimbledon and claim his 11th Grand Slam crown in the process.

Elsewhere, Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych — beaten by Nadal in last year’s final — stormed through with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 win over Italy’s Filippo Volandri.

French ninth seed Gael Monfils defeated Germany’s Matthias Bachinger 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 and Stanislas Wawrinka, the Swiss 14th seed, beat Italy’s Potito Starace 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Richard Gasquet, the French 17th seed, clinched a 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 win over Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo.

Like Nadal, Venus Williams knows what it takes to lift the trophy in south-west London and the 23rd seed wasted little time disposing of Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova, 6-3, 6-1.

Williams showed no signs of the hip injury which kept her off the tour for five months until her Eastbourne return last week. But she was more concerned with focusing on a satisfying return to action at her favourite Grand Slam.

Williams now takes on 40-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm who became the second oldest winner of a singles match at Wimbledon with her 6-0, 7-5 demolition of British wild card Katie O’Brien.

Date-Krumm, a semi-finalist at the All England Club in 1996 and who made her debut in 1989, had the honour of playing the first match on the new Court Three which has replaced the old Court Two, the former Graveyard of the Champions.

Vera Zvonareva, beaten by Serena Williams in last year’s final, made a winning return as the Russian second seed defeated America’s Alison Riske 6-0, 3-6, 6-3.

Russian 12th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated China’s Zhang Shuai 3-6, 6-3 6-4, while Israel’s 22nd seed Shahar Peer went down 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to Ksenia Pervak of Russia.

Russian 28th seed Ekaterina Makarova also lost, 2-6 6-1 8-6 against America’s Christina McHale.

Meanwhile, heavy rain brought Wimbledon’s Centre Court roof into action when play was halted at 1608 GMT with 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone into a final set against 2000 Wimbledon semi-finalist Jelena Dokic on the main showcourt.

Play resumed on Centre Court at 1656 GMT but the heavy rain kept the covers on all the outside courts. Schiavone won 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

Results (prefix number denotes seeding):

Men’s singles:

First round: Dudi Sela (Israel) bt Frederico Gil (Portugal) 6-4, 6-1, 6-4; 6-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) bt Filippo Volandri (Italy) 6-2, 6-2, 6-1; Julien Benneteau (France) bt Ruben Bemelmans (Belgium) 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1; 17-Richard Gasquet (France) bt Santiago Giraldo (Colombia) 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3); Ryan Sweeting (US) bt Pablo Andujar (Spain) 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1; Igor Kunitsyn (Russia) bt Igor Sijsling (Netherlands) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2; Simone Bolelli (Italy) bt Martin Fischer (Austria) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4; 9-Gael Monfils (France) bt Matthias Bachinger (Germany) 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3; 14-Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) bt Potito Starace (Italy) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; 1-Rafa Nadal (Spain) bt Michael Russell (US) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2; Alex Bogomolov Jr (US) bt Donald Young (US) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1; Gilles Muller (Luxembourg) bt Tommy Haas (Germany) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3; Grega Zemlja (Slovenia) bt Lukas Lacko (Slovakia) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4; Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3; 10-Mardy Fish (US) bt Marcel Granollers (Spain) 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; Rainer Schuettler (Germany) bt 30-Thomaz Bellucci (Brazil) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 6-2; Feliciano Lopez (Spain) bt Michael Berrer (Germany) 6-4, 7-5, 6-3; 31-Milos Raonic (Canada) bt Marc Gicquel (France) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
Women’s singles:

First round: 6-Francesca Schiavone (Italy) bt Jelena Dokic (Australia) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3; Monica Niculescu (Romania) bt Sybille Bammer (Austria) 6-1, 6-1; 12-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) bt Zhang Shuai (China) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Alexandra Dulgheru (Romania) bt Jill Craybas (US) 6-2, 6-4; Christina McHale (US) bt 28-Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) 2-6, 6-1, 8-6; Sara Errani (Italy) bt 17-Kaia Kanepi (Estonia) 6-1, 6-4; 2-Vera Zvonareva (Russia) bt Alison Riske (US) 6-0, 3-6, 6-3; Ksenia Pervak (Russia) bt 22-Shahar Peer (Israel) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4; Anna Tatishvili (Georgia) bt Anastasia Pivovarova (Russia) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; 19-Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) bt Varvara Lepchenko (US) 7-5, 6-3; Elena Vesnina (Russia) bt Laura Pous Tio (Spain) 6-4, 6-3; Pauline Parmentier (France) bt Sorana Cirstea (Romania) 6-1, 6-3; 23-Venus Williams (US) bt Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzbekistan) 6-3, 6-1; Kimiko Date-Krumm (Japan) bt Katie O’Brien (Britain) 6-0, 7-5.—Agencies

Chelsea are set to recruit the Porto manager André Villas-Boas, according to reports in Portugal, and the coach has accepted the offer to work in London.

Villas-Boas will earn €5m (£4.4m) a season, the exact salary José Mourinho earned at the west London club, according to Jornal de Notícias. Chelsea will also pay the €15m (£13.2m) release clause in the manager's contract. Maisfutebol reported on Monday that Porto are just waiting for Chelsea to deposit the €15m before officially announcing the departure of their manager.

However, in a statement to the Portuguese Securites Market Commission on Monday lunchtime, Porto said that they have not received an offer which meets the release clause. Chelsea made no comment on the situation on Monday morning.

Villas-Boas has already informed Porto of his decision to leave for the English club, a source linked to the process told the Agência.

On Sunday the Porto president Pinto da Costa said "if a club pay the €15m and if he wants to leave, FC Porto can't do anything about it".

Apparently, Villas-Boas is now willing to leave the "dream job" (a reference to how Da Costa described his position at Porto) to re-join the club where he worked with Mourinho.

Villas-Boas led Porto to the domestic double and Europa League success last term and Chelsea are looking to fill the vacancy created by the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti.

Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, may leave €45m in the coffers at Porto's Dragão stadium in total, moreover. According to A Bola, he also wants to take the Colombian forward Falcao to London as a sweetener for Villas-Boas's signature.

Chelsea have also been in negotiations with Guus Hiddink about returning to the club he briefly managed in 2009. Chelsea have been considering the Dutchman for either the coach's job or the sporting director role – should he take on the latter then there would also be room for Villas-Boas to take a position at the club.

However, his agent, Cees van Nieuwenhuizen, felt the Dutchman would be wary of taking the director of football role. "One hundred per cent we have never discussed that, and I know Guus has not given it a thought for one second. He has a tough enough challenge trying to qualify Turkey for the Euros. And if he does that then he will be going to the finals next year. And if he doesn't then it will probably end with Turkey in November."