Patrick Vignal

Rebellious France face moment of truth

France were on Tuesday 90 minutes away from completing their worst ever performance at a major tournament, or restoring their tarnished reputation.

Humble Henry learns to live on fringes … for now

When the France players visited a township on Sunday, the man all the children wanted to touch was the Cup's most famous substitute, Thierry Henry.

Nadal says there is no doping in tennis

World number two Rafael Nadal said this week tennis was free of doping and repeated his view that the testing procedures were too tough.

Nalbandian to face Nadal in Paris final

Argentine David Nalbandian extended his brilliant run of form by crushing local favourite Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-4 on Saturday to set up a Paris Masters final against world number two Rafael Nadal. The unseeded Nalbandian needed just over an hour to take his record against the Frenchman to a perfect 5-0.

Pumas sign off with second win over France

Argentina ended the World Cup the way they had started it, running in five tries to tame France 34-10 in an ill-tempered third-place playoff at the Parc des Princes on Friday.

France crush Georgia to reach last eight

Two tries by wing Christophe Dominici helped France crush Georgia 64-7 in their final Pool D match on Sunday to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals. Needing four tries to secure a bonus point, France ran in nine in Marseille with Dominici becoming his country's record try scorer in World Cup history.

Boks warm up for England

South Africa test their World Cup credentials against the rugged Samoans on Sunday in Paris in a warm-up for their Pool A decider against defending champions England next Friday. The Springboks, who were knocked out in the quarterfinals in 2003, have had a relatively smooth preparation compared to their own rocky standards and are regarded as one of few sides capable of stopping the All Blacks.

Davydenko sets up showdown with Federer

Russia's Nikolay Davydenko overcame Argentine baseliner Guillermo Canas 7-5 6-4 6-4 on Tuesday to set up a semifinal showdown with world number one Roger Federer. World number four Davydenko (26) showed more composure when it mattered to reach the last four at Roland Garros for the second time in three years.

Federer faces tough French Open draw

World number one Roger Federer faces a tough task in his bid to win the French Open for the first time. The Swiss, dreaming of capturing the only grand slam title to have eluded him, was drawn on Friday in the same half as several dangerous opponents, including former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero.

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