Top-seeded Jo-wilfried Tsonga Faces 2nd-seeded Gilles Simon In Open De Moselle Final In France

“We prepared very seriously for this game, we knew we had to play with energy from the start,” said Rubio, who had six rebounds, six assists and four steals to go with five points. Rodriguez made a 3-point play, Serbia turned the ball over and Marc Gasol hit a jumper and put Spain up by 23. The lead grew to 43-17 when Fernando San Emeterio made another jumper. Pablo Aguilar made a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to leave Spain ahead by 25 at 48-23. Victor Claver scored the first seven points of the second half and Sergio Llull added a 3 as Spain dominated the Serbs, putting together a 10-0 run. It took Serbia 4:30 to score its first points of the third quarter, but soon it was 69-29 and a 40-point game. “It was a shame how we played today,” said Serbia’s captain Nenad Krstic , who only played 13 minutes after being double-teamed by the aggressive Spanish defense. “Usually our outside shooters can compensate, but we didn’t have our shot today.” “We are a young team and we certainly lacked experience today,” Krstic said. Serbia has nine newcomers with no experience of a major event. The Serbs play Slovenia on Thursday in the playoffs for places five to eight, with the winner qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Spain. The top seven teams will all qualify for the tournament, with Spain holding a direct slot as host.

Air France-KLM Said to Call Board Meeting on Alitalia Takeover

I noticed that he is playing very well. Tsonga leads Simon 5-2 overall. All of Tsongas titles have been on hard courts, half of Simons on clay. Tsonga started the second set aggressively and Mayer had to save two break points early on. In the fifth game, Tsonga paused before serving and then squatted down as if to test the flexibility of his knees. He drew Mayer to the net on the next point and lobbed him to force another break point, which Mayer saved with a forehand pass. Mayer saved another chance on his serve, but Tsonga finally broke him when he returned a weak second serve with a thumping forehand. He held at love, including an ace and a crosscourt winner from the back of the court, to move 5-2 ahead. Tsonga didnt face a break point in the third set. Simon did not face a single break point for the second consecutive match. I broke him early and was solid from the baseline, Simon said. Ive been practicing for a month before coming here. I needed to do that and I think that today was a pretty solid match. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Spain, France to meet in semis

23 to decide whether to bid for control of Alitalia SpA as a lock-up period requiring transactions to be approved by the Italian company ends, a person familiar with the plan said. Air France already owns 25 percent of Alitalia bought for 323 million euros ($438 million) in 2009 and has resolved to decide whether to boost the holding by the years end. The Italian companys board, which loses its veto over investments on Oct. 28, will meet Sept. 26 to study plans to raise cash that might entail a capital increase involving Air France, a second person said. Both asked not to be named since talks are private. For Air France-KLM, already Alitalia s biggest shareholder, taking full control of its Skyteam alliance partner would help lock in access to one of Europes largest aviation markets. Counting against a purchase are the Italian companys mounting losses and Air Frances focus on reviving short-haul operations, which might make a deal involving a third-party such as Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways PJSC more likely, according to Donal ONeill, an aviation analyst at Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin. There would be some sense in Air France looking to increase their holding together with Etihad, said ONeill, who has a hold rating on Air France-KLM, Europes biggest airline. Air France by itself isnt exactly flush with cash at the moment and Etihad has aspirations to grow in Europe. Asian Links Air France-KLM spokesman Cedric Leurquin declined to comment on Alitalia and said he couldnt immediately confirm the date of the next board meeting. A representative of Rome-based Alitalia, where losses quadrupled to 280 million euros in 2012, declined to comment. Etihad, the third-biggest Gulf carrier, has been an ally of Air France since a pact in 2012, and may be a potential Alitalia investor after taking stakes in European operators including Air Berlin Plc (AB1) and Aer Lingus Group Plc. A tie-up would enhance Italy s connections with Asia via Abu Dhabi, complementing links to the west through Air France-KLM bases in Paris and Amsterdam.