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Jan 12, 2014

Tennis-Nervy Rafter could “choke” in doubles return with Hewitt

MELBOURNE, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Australia’s Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter has enjoyed smiting foes in the senior’s tour since his retirement, but fears he may have bitten off more than he can chew by agreeing to partner Lleyton Hewitt in the Australian Open doubles.

The partnership with Hewitt, the most recent of Australia’s grand slam winners, may leave sentimental locals misty-eyed as it hearkens back to the days when Australian men walked tall on the tour at the turn of the century.

Jan 12, 2014

Australian Open champion Azarenka coy on Williams rivalry

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Victoria Azarenka is relishing her return to Melbourne Park as double defending champion and while Serena Williams is a hot favorite to deny her a hat-trick of titles, the Belarusian says she will not focus solely on the challenge from the world number one.

Azarenka’s two grand slam titles have both been achieved without facing the American, who was eliminated in both those tournaments after being hobbled by foot injuries.

Jan 12, 2014

Tennis-Australian Open champion Azarenka coy on Williams rivalry

MELBOURNE, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Victoria Azarenka is relishing her return to Melbourne Park as double defending champion and while Serena Williams is a hot favourite to deny her a hat-trick of titles, the Belarusian says she will not focus solely on the challenge from the world number one.

Azarenka’s two grand slam titles have both been achieved without facing the American, who was eliminated in both those tournaments after being hobbled by foot injuries.

Jan 11, 2014

Swiss Wawrinka taking solace in ‘failing better’

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The recall of a crushing loss might not have the same attraction as the memory of an inspired victory for most top tennis players, but world number eight Stanislas Wawrinka wears failure as a badge of honor stamped permanently on his arm.

The 28-year-old Swiss, one of a number of dark horses hoping to shake up the establishment at next week’s Australian Open, has a quote from literary giant Samuel Beckett inked on his left forearm which reads: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.”

Jan 11, 2014

Tennis-Swiss Wawrinka taking solace in ‘failing better’

MELBOURNE, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The recall of a crushing loss might not have the same attraction as the memory of an inspired victory for most top tennis players, but world number eight Stanislas Wawrinka wears failure as a badge of honour stamped permanently on his arm.

The 28-year-old Swiss, one of a number of dark horses hoping to shake up the establishment at next week’s Australian Open, has a quote from literary giant Samuel Beckett inked on his left forearm which reads: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.”

Jan 11, 2014

‘Faster’ Melbourne Park courts not to Rafa’s taste

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – 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.

Jan 11, 2014

Tennis-’Faster’ Melbourne Park courts not to Rafa’s taste

MELBOURNE, Jan 11 (Reuters) – 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.

Jan 11, 2014

Serena zips her lip after scorchers follow Melbourne shivers

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A subdued Serena Williams vowed never again to complain about Melbourne’s changeable weather after her grumbles on an unseasonably chilly summer’s day were followed by several days of scorching heat.

The world number one, and hot favorite to win her sixth title at Melbourne Park after a brilliant 2013, tweeted her disdain for the cold when arriving in Melbourne earlier this week from sub-tropical Brisbane.

Jan 11, 2014

Tennis-Serena zips her lip after scorchers follow Melbourne shivers

MELBOURNE, Jan 11 (Reuters) – A subdued Serena Williams vowed never again to complain about Melbourne’s changeable weather after her grumbles on an unseasonably chilly summer’s day were followed by several days of scorching heat.

The world number one, and hot favourite to win her sixth title at Melbourne Park after a brilliant 2013, tweeted her disdain for the cold when arriving in Melbourne earlier this week from sub-tropical Brisbane.

Jan 10, 2014

Serena eyes sixth coronation at Melbourne Park

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – If players, pundits and bookmakers are to be believed, Serena Williams has already sewn up her sixth Australian Open title and the other 127 women in the draw may as well pick up their racquets and head home.

Riding a 22-match winning streak, the American juggernaut arrives in Melbourne Park fit, fresh and ravenous for more grand slam success at a tournament where injuries and illness have robbed her of yet more silverware in the past three years.

    • About Ian

      "Based in home-town of Melbourne covering sports in Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Asia Sports desk. Previously covered general news and politics in Beijing with a special focus on the Beijing 2008 Olympics."
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