Sports Digest, January 1, 2013

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 January, 2013, 5:56am

Shanghai reject reports of Beckham signing

Shanghai Shenhua have dismissed reports they will sign David Beckham in January. "It is sheer rumour," a source briefed by boss Zhu Jun said of reports in the British media. "Shenhua has no financial strength to sign another superstar." Zhu brought former Chelsea stars Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba to the Chinese soccer league, but stopped paying them their huge salaries in September when he fought with the five state-owned partners for majority control of the club. Daniel Ren


Tired Djokovic helps Serbia to win over Italy

Novak Djokovic shook off pre-match fatigue as he defeated Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 yesterday to help Serbia beat Italy 2-1 at the Hopman Cup in Perth, with the only scare coming after the match as he signed autographs courtside. A crowd barrier collapsed, hitting the Serb on his legs and sending several fans tumbling. Djokovic squatted for a while in discomfort but later took to the court for the mixed doubles, in which Italy won 7-6 (7-4), 6-4. "It was a bit of a shock and I'm glad that the children involved are okay. I am fine," said Djokovic. Today, the American team of John Isner and Venus Williams will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mathilde Johansson, of France. AP


Seamer McGrath to enter ICC Hall of Fame

Glenn McGrath will be inducted into the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame during Australia's third test against Sri Lanka in Sydney, his home ground during a first-class career that included 124 tests and three consecutive World Cup titles. The ICC announced that the retired Australian paceman, who took more test wickets than any other seam bowler and holds the record for most wickets in World Cups, will be inducted as the 68th male member of the Hall of Fame. McGrath, who took 563 test wickets at an average of 21.64 and 381 wickets at 22.02 in limited-overs internationals - including 71 in World Cup competition - retired from international cricket in 2007. AP


Zheng falls early in defence of ASB title

Defending champion Zheng Jie crashed out in the first round of the ASB Classic women's tennis tournament yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand, falling to rising American star Jamie Hampton 7-5, 6-1. Two-time grand slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova was also sent packing on the opening day, beaten 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 7-5 in a marathon match by Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. AFP