jacobdotyoung1

AP Images

Andy Rihs, Swiss owner of cycling, soccer teams, dies at 75

Leave a comment

BERN, Switzerland (AP) Andy Rihs, a Swiss businessman who owned the BMC Racing cycling team and Young Boys soccer club, has died. He was 75.

Rihs died Wednesday in Zurich after “a patient and valiantly endured illness,” the BMC team said Thursday in a statement.

“Our grief is indescribable, but we will carry on his values,” the team said, praising Rihs for his “generosity, his sense of humor, and his infectious laugh.”

Rihs’s death comes with Young Boys close to winning its first Swiss league title in 32 years. Young Boys leads by 11 points with six matches left.

“Andy, thank you for everything. We will miss you,” Young Boys said in a statement.

Rihs’s brother, Hans-Ueli, is also an owner of the club and Stade de Suisse in Bern, known locally as Wankdorf. The stadium staged the 1954 World Cup final.

As BMC owner, Rihs secured a Tour de France title five years after his previous team was involved in a doping scandal. Cadel Evans of Australia wore BMC’s black and red colors to victory in the 2011 Tour.

In 2006, the Rihs-backed Phonak team disbanded after American rider Floyd Landis was stripped of the Tour title.

Davis Cup: Herbert and Mahut give France 2-1 lead over Italy

AP Images
Leave a comment

GENOA, Italy (AP) Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beat Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 for France to lead Italy 2-1 in the Davis Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

Herbert’s and Mahut’s constant net rushing proved too much to handle for the Italian pair, which fell apart late in the opening set.

Fognini missed an easy overhead smash and Bolelli served consecutive double faults when Herbert and Mahut broke to take the first set.

The French pair won the 2015 U.S. Open and 2016 Wimbledon titles together while Fognini and Bolelli won the 2015 Australian Open.

Fognini replaced Paolo Lorenzi in Italy’s doubles lineup.

In Sunday’s reverse singles on the outdoor red-clay court, Fognini faces Lucas Pouille, and Andreas Seppi meets Jeremy Chardy.

“Hopefully the boys can get the job done in the singles,” Herbert said. “It’s going to be a great match with Lucas and Fognini.”

Defending champion France is aiming for a spot in the last four for the third straight year.

Davis Cup: Nadal levels Spain with Germany in quarterfinals

AP Images
Leave a comment

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) Rafael Nadal returned to action after a long injury layoff on Friday, comfortably defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to leave Spain even with Germany in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.

It was the 23rd straight win for Nadal since 2005, setting the Davis Cup record combining singles and doubles.

The top-ranked Nadal hadn’t played since the Australian Open quarterfinals because of a right hip injury, and was never challenged by the 34th-ranked Kohlschreiber at the bullring staging the clay-court tie in Valencia.

“It’s positive, winning in straight sets. I feel comfortable back on the clay,” Nadal said.

“To play at home at a bullring stadium, it’s very unique. Coming back from injuries is always difficult, but it’s great to be in front of my crowd on a very memorable day.”

Germany won the opening singles when world No. 4 Alexander Zverev defeated David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

Nadal, in his first Davis Cup tie since 2016, had 30 winners against only eight by Kohlschreiber, but the Spaniard finished with eight double faults. Nadal had 18 break opportunities, converting seven.

Earlier, Zverev cruised past the 33rd-ranked Ferrer with four aces and 27 winners.

“I played more aggressively as the match went on. It’s my first clay-court match in a very long time, so it was great to find my rhythm so quickly,” Zverev said. “With Nadal in their team, it’s a point we’re not expecting to get, so it’s important to start well.”

This is the teams’ first Davis Cup meeting since 2004.

Spain is trying to extend its winning streak at home to 27 ties. Italy holds the Davis Cup record with a 29-tie unbeaten run at home from 1949-64. Spain hasn’t lost a tie as host since the first round in 1999 against Brazil.