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Azarenka shrugs off Serena favourite tag MELBOURNE: Defending champion Victoria Azarenka Sunday insisted she doesn't care that Serena Williams is seen as favourite to win the Australian Open and indicated her motivation was high to beat the world number one.Williams has been in sparkling form, losing just five matches last year and beating Azarenka in the final of the warm-up Brisbane International tournament this month. It has seen her installed as firm favourite to dethrone Azarenka and claim a sixth Australian Open title, her first since 2010."I don't really care about it, honestly. I never cared about it," the Belarusian told reporters, when asked if it bothered her that Williams was considered as the main title contender."I think the favourites, it's predictions that you guys love to do. For us, it's a matter of playing tennis and giving your best on the court."The Monte Carlo-based world number two acknowledged that Williams was in some of the ...

'Faster' Melbourne Park courts not to Rafa's taste MELBOURNE: World number one Rafa Nadal thinks Melbourne Park's resurfaced hardcourts are playing faster than ever and may not provide a good show for fans when the Australian Open begins on Monday.The speed of the blue Plexicushion courts has sparked debate this year, with some players adamant they have picked up in pace, while tournament director Craig Tiley says they were re-laid with exactly the same surface as previous years.The prospect of slick courts, made ...
Del Potro strolls to Sydney title, Isner aces Auckland SYDNEY: Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro served notice of his strong form ahead of the Australian Open when he crushed defending champion Bernard Tomic 6-3 6-1 in the final of the Sydney International on Saturday.The 2009 U.S. Open champion simply overpowered the talented but inconsistent Australian on Ken Rosewall Arena, bringing the one-sided contest to a close with a booming service winner after 53 minutes.Seeded fifth at Melbourne Park, the 25-year-old looks to be approaching ...
Hazard, Torres fire Chelsea to the top LONDON: Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres applied the gloss to a workmanlike 2-0 victory at Hull City that lifted Chelsea ominously to the top of the Premier League on Saturday. In true Jose Mourinho style, the Londoners first nullified the minimal threat posed by Hull, then cut through at will after the break when classy goals by Hazard and Torres earned the Blues a fourth consecutive league victory. Mourinho's in-form side have 46 points, one ...
Messi, Neymar start Atletico clash on bench MADRID: Lionel Messi will have to wait for his first start of 2014 after being named on the bench by Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino for Saturday's crunch top of the table clash away to Atletico Madrid.Brazilian forward Neymar is also surprisingly left out of the starting line-up as Martino keeps faith with Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro Rodriguez in attack.Messi made a sensational return to action after two months out with a hamstring tear ...
Ibrahimovic sets up two as PSG move five clear in Ligue 1 PARIS: Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up both goals as Paris St Germain recovered to snatch a 2-1 win at bottom side AC Ajaccio that put the champions five points clear in Ligue 1 on Saturday. The big-spending visitors went behind in the sixth minute when Eduardo scored for the Corsicans, only for Ezequiel Lavezzi and Blaise Matuidi to find the net each side of the interval to lift PSG to 47 points from 20 games ...
McKie gets Sale Sharks job LONDON: Former Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) chief executive Gordon McKie has been appointed chairman of Sale Sharks, the English Premiership club confirmed on Saturday.McKie, who spent six years at the SRU before being appointed chief executive of the Hong Kong Football Association, takes the role with immediate effect."I have known Gordon for several years and I believe he is the man to chair the club at this stage," Sale owner Brian Kennedy said."He is highly ...

 



 
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