Marat Safin has been voted the sexiest man in tennis, but it's success at the French Open he really craves as he desperately tries to pull his season out of a depressing tailspin. His second career grand-slam victory at the Australian Open in January has been the only highlight of what has become a wretched 2005.
Deadly hit men Michael Owen and Thierry Henry stunningly shot down rumours of their international demise on Wednesday as both men found the target to keep their countries on the road to the 2006 World Cup finals. Owen scored the only goal of the game as England beat Azerbaijan 1-0 in windswept Baku while Henry added France's second goal in a 2-0 win against Cyprus.
Olympic competitors have been forced to adopt a host of cool measures, from special suits to protective headgear, to beat the soaring summer temperatures that will rocket to more than 30 degrees Celsius over the next two weeks. Even horses taking part in the equestrian programme are getting in on the act.
Marcelo Rios thought it was only good for grazing, Wayne Ferreira loves it but thinks it too slow while Marat Safin hates it so much, he's never going to play another Wimbledon. Nothing divides opinions like the green, green grass of the All England Club and it was driving mercurial Russian Safin to distraction on Tuesday as he crashed out in the first round and vowed never to return.
Ninth seed Elena Dementieva became the first Russian woman to reach the final of the French Open for 16 years on Thursday when she brushed aside Argentina's 14th seed Paola Suarez 6-0, 7-5 in a disappointing semifinal. In the 107-year history of Roland Garros there has never been a Russian winner in the women's singles.
Title favourite Guillermo Coria reached the quarterfinals of the French Open on Sunday without breaking a sweat while British comeback king Tim Henman had to battle down to the wire to make the last eight for the first time. In the women's draw Serena and Venus Williams moved effortlessly closer to a possible semifinal showdown.
Former champion Andre Agassi suffered one of the most crushing defeats of his legendary career on Monday when he crashed out of the French Open at the hands of French qualifier Jerome Haehnel, ranked a lowly 271 in the world. But defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne enjoyed a 6-4, 6-4 win over France's Sandrine Testud.
Zimbabwe and Kenya open their doors to Australia and Sri Lanka on Monday determined again to prove that both England and New Zealand were wrong to boycott planned World Cup matches in their troubled countries.