Wickmayer, Linette reach Tokyo final

TOKYO - Belgian Yanina Wickmayer will meet Poland's Magda Linette in the Japan Women's Open final after both produced upsets Saturday to continue a trend this week in Tokyo. Former US Open semi-finalist Wickmayer halted seventh seed Ajla Tomljanovic's fine run by catching the Croatian cold in a 7-5, 6-2 victory as sunshine finally graced the rain-hit tournament. Linette, like Wickmayer also unseeded, fought back from a set down to carve out a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over sixth-seeded American Christina McHale in an absorbing semi-final. But Wickmayer, the world number 86 has shown glimpses of the form that took her to the last four of the 2009 US Open semi-finals this week as she chases a fourth career title. Linette is bidding for a first tournament victory on the women's WTA tour.–AFP

Aussie Soliman to fight Frenchman N'Dam

SYDNEY - Australian former International Boxing Federation middleweight champion Sam Soliman said he hopes to take a step towards regaining the title with a fight against France's Hassan N'Dam in November. Soliman won the IBF title with a unanimous decision over German Felix Sturm in May 2014 but lost the crown to American Jermain Taylor that October. The Australian, who will be 42 when the fight is held in Paris on November 21, said he was confident he had what it took to beat Cameroon-born N'Dam, Australian Associated Press reported. "A win will give me the right to fight for the IBF middleweight No.1 spot which grants a mandatory title shot," Soliman said, AAP reported. "I'm 40-plus and my last fight has fuelled my hunger and focused me on what I need to do to become a two-time world champion."–AFP

Champion Hamza gets Rs0.5m cheque

LAHORE - Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Director General Usman Anwar Saturday awarded a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to Asian snooker champion Hamza Akbar here at National Hockey Stadium. Hamza was lauded for his services for the country as snooker champion. Hamza won the Asian Snooker Championship in April this year in Kuala Lumpur by thrashing India’s Pankaj Advani in the title clash. It is to be noted here that Hamza Akbar is going to become the first Pakistani ever to make his mark in the British professional circuit later this month. Hamza expressed his gratitude to the SBP for extending every facility and much wanted encouragement when it mattered most. “I hope the SBP will continue support top sportsmen of the country, who in response, will earn fame for the country in national and international events.”–Staff Reporter

Surgery to sideline Woods until 2016

LOS ANGELES – Golf superstar Tiger Woods said Friday he will be sidelined until 2016 after a second back surgery, but confidently predicted he would make a full recovery. In an article posted on his website, the 14-time major champion revealed he had surgery on Wednesday in Utah. The microdiscectomy was similar to the procedure he underwent on March 31, 2014, Woods said. "This is certainly disappointing, but I'm a fighter," Woods said. "I've been told I can make a full recovery, and I have no doubt that I will." In the meantime, Woods said he would have to withdraw from the USPGA Tour's Frys.com Open in October, as well as the two-man America's Golf Cup in Mexico City. "I'd like to send my regrets to Frys and all those associated with the America's Golf Cup," Woods said.–AFP

World title repeat for Jorgensen

CHICAGO - American Gwen Jorgensen wrapped up her second straight triathlon world title on Friday as she completed an unbeaten 2015 season with a victory in the World Triathlon Grand Final. Jorgensen notched her 13th straight victory. The Wisconsin native, heavily tipped to become America's first Olympic triathlon gold medallist next year, clocked 1hr 55min 36 sec, finishing 29 seconds ahead of Britain's Non Stanford, with Briton Vicky Holland third. Jorgensen was in the lead group after the 1500m swim and the 40km cycle race, pulling away for the victory in the late stages of the 10km run. Jorgensen lifted the world title with a total of 5200 points in the series. New Zealand's Andrew Hewitt finished second in the season standings (4081 points) ahead of Britain's Sarah True (4074).–AFP