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Djokovic says ready for another epic with Wawrinka MELBOURNE: After booking a much-anticipated semi-final with his Australian Open title usurper Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday, Novak Djokovic wasted little time reminding the Swiss of the heavy burden of being defending champion.Djokovic's three-year reign at Melbourne Park was ended by the Swiss last January in an epic five-set quarter-final, which followed a year after fending off Wawrinka in another nerve-jangling marathon in the fourth round.The top-seeded Serb ensured there would be a third instalment of their blockbuster series Down Under by thrashing eighth seed Milos Raonic 7-6(5) 6-4 6-2 under the lights of Rod Laver Arena after Wawrinka dismantled fifth seed Kei Nishikori in the earlier quarter-final on Wednesday.Djokovic praised Wawrinka's impressive win over Nishikori, having watched it closely, but was also glowing about his own form ahead of the showdown with the player who ended his run of 14 consecutive grand slam semi-finals in Melbourne last year."He played a ...

Wales focusing on themselves, not England injuries: Gatland LONDON: Wales coach Warren Gatland is not paying too much attention to England's injury crisis ahead of their Six Nations showdown next month, saying Stuart Lancaster's men have enough strength in depth to cope.The Friday night blockbuster in Cardiff on Feb. 6 should provide an explosive opening to the tournament, with memories of England's record 30-3 defeat in the Welsh capital two years ago still fresh in the minds of the Welsh public."I think they ...

Van Praag says has sent six nominations to FIFA AMSTERDAM: Michael Van Praag, the president of the Dutch Football Association (KNVB), on Wednesday named six countries who are backing him for the FIFA presidency.Speaking at a news conference to launch his campaign at the Amsterdam Arena, Van Praag said he had sent the nominations from Belgium, Sweden, Scotland, Romania, the Faroe Islands and the Netherlands to FIFA in Zurich.He also said he would only stand for one four-year term if elected.Candidates need five nominations ...

Top names teeing off at Dubai Desert Classic DUBAI: Three of the top-five ranked players in the world will head a stellar field assembled for this week's Dubai Desert Classic, which tees off Thursday.World number one Rory McIlroy (2009) and number two Henrik Stenson (2007) have already won the tournament once before, while number five Sergio Garcia will be searching for his first triumph at the Emirates Golf Club.European Ryder Cup regulars Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood would be playing their first event ...

Klopp convinced Dortmund will avoid relegation BERLIN: Jurgen Klopp is convinced Borussia Dortmund will avoid relegation despite beginning the second half of the Bundesliga season at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday second from bottom in the table."We are not naively optimistic and know that the pressure situations won't be any less," Dortmund's head coach Klopp told German daily Die Welt."But when we look at our situation, we know we can control it."Despite reaching the Champions League's last 16 as group winners, Dortmund ...

Rain delays fifth one-day international CENTURION: Rain delayed the start of the fifth and final one-day international between South Africa and the West Indies at SuperSport Park on Wednesday.South Africa have already tied up the series 3-1.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

Raonic helpless against Djokovic    MELBOURNE: Milos Raonic said Wednesday he felt helpless as he was dismantled by remorseless world number one Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.Viewed as at the vanguard of the new young breed in men's tennis, the big-serving Canadian eighth seed was neutralised by the power and precision of the seven-time Grand Slam champion in the quarter-finals.The Serbian top seed ran the show, dealing out a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-2 lesson on Raonic in two hours ...


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