clashes for Kiwis New Zealand tennis players Marina Erakovic and Sacha Jones have been handed taxing first-round matches as they begin their quest to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon. Erakovic, 145th in the world after recent good results including reaching the quarter-finals of the Birmingham Classic last week, was to face Chinese Taipei's world No 95 Yung-Jan Chan overnight in the qualifying tournament at the Bank of England Club in Roehampton, London. Jones was to face Ukraine's Olga Savchuk, ranked 63 places ahead of the 210th-ranked Auckland 20-year-old, at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Nelson for Crusaders The Crusaders have confirmed Nelson's Trafalgar Park as their home venue for the Super 15 playoffs. The New Zealand conference leaders are third in the overall Super 15 table going into Saturday night's final regular-season match against the Hurricanes in Wellington. If the Crusaders finish second overall, they will host a semifinal on July 1 or July 2. If they finish third or fourth they will host a semifinals qualifying match a week earlier on June 24 or June 25.
Ferns' hopes crushed
Australia have crushed New Zealand by six wickets to take an unassailable lead in their three-match Rose Bowl one-day cricket series in Brisbane yesterday. Set 182 for victory on Allan Border Field, Australia needed just 31.3 overs to overhaul the White Ferns' 181 all out in 48.5 overs. Leah Poulton top scored with 54 while veteran opener Shelley Nitschke contributed 48. Earlier, White Ferns opener Frances Mackay celebrated her international debut by top scoring with 36. The first match of the series was washed out on Sunday; game three is scheduled for the same venue tomorrow.
Bruins maul Canucks The Boston Bruins mauled the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 yesterday to send the Stanley Cup final back to Canada's west coast for a winner-take-all Game Seven. An 82-game regular season and two-months of punishing playoffs will reach a dramatic conclusion tomorrow in Vancouver with the Canucks claiming their first NHL championship or the Bruins ending a 39-year title drought.