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Jan 22, 2015

Wozniacki fears Australia hex after Azarenka loss

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Caroline Wozniacki said she felt “cursed” at Melbourne Park after losing in straight sets to a resurgent Victoria Azarenka in the Australian Open second round on Thursday.

The eighth-seeded Dane Wozniacki enjoyed making the semi-finals in 2011 but has since suffered diminishing returns in every trip to the year’s first grand slam.

Jan 22, 2015

Djokovic lauds American Smyczek’s sportsmanship

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic praised American Tim Smyczek’s act of sportsmanship in his second round marathon against Rafa Nadal as “greater than sport itself” at the Australian Open on Thursday.

Qualifier Smyczek lost the five-setter against a sickly Nadal at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday but won admirers for allowing the Spaniard to repeat a first serve when serving for the match at 30-0 in the fifth set.

Jan 22, 2015

Rising Venus has Serena looking over shoulder

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Venus Williams’s encouraging form at the Australian Open has given younger sister Serena cause to look over her shoulder after the siblings eased into the third round with straight-sets wins at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

For top seed and 18-times grand slam champion Serena, her win over former world number two Vera Zvonareva, on the comeback trail after a 2014 season blighted by injury, was expected.

Jan 22, 2015

Murray points to double-standards after Nadal cramps

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Following Rafa Nadal’s problems with cramps in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, Andy Murray has taken a swipe at critics who gave him a hard time after his own struggles at the U.S. Open.

Third seed Nadal fought through cramps all over his body on a balmy night at Rod Laver Arena to beat American qualifier Tim Smyczek in five sets and was praised for his fighting spirit in mainstream and social media.

Jan 21, 2015

Near-miss against Nadal no heartbreak for gallant Smyczek

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – One of the best matches of Tim Smyczek’s career ended in a five-set defeat by Rafa Nadal at the Australian Open on Wednesday but the American qualifier will head back to the second-tier Challenger tour with renewed faith.

Smyczek exited Rod Laver Arena with a warm ovation from the packed terraces, having pushed a sick Nadal to the wall before succumbing 6-2 3-6 6-7(2) 6-3 7-5 in a second round thriller lasting four hours and 12 minutes.

Jan 21, 2015

Gritty Sharapova digs deep before Federer pushes through

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Roger Federer was made to work for his place in the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday after Maria Sharapova suffered a huge scare against a 150th-ranked qualifier as the heat rose at Melbourne Park.

Rod Laver Arena’s centre court was ground zero for high drama early in the day, with Russian Sharapova finding herself two service breaks down at 4-1 in the deciding set against compatriot Alexandra Panova.

Jan 21, 2015

Murray makes perfect response to Marinko’s coach jibe

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Andy Murray trounced Marinko Matosevic 6-1 6-3 6-2 to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday but insisted there was no edge to the match after the Australian’s criticism of his decision to hire Amelie Mauresmo as coach.

The Briton’s appointment of the French two-time grand slam winner was a surprise to many in the game, but Matosevic’s response was slammed by pro-women’s groups.

Jan 20, 2015

Jittery Serena fends off plucky Belgian

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Serena Williams was dragged into a second set scrap by unheralded Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck but put down the minor threat with some powerful serving to reach the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-0 6-4 win on Tuesday.

Having roared through the first set, Williams was on the back foot as the 106th-ranked 20-year-old went for broke, attacking the world number one’s serve and pushing her behind the baseline.

Jan 20, 2015

Liverpool fan Wozniacki laments Gerrard departure

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – World number eight and Liverpool fanatic Caroline Wozniacki has lamented the departure of another number eight, describing Steven Gerrard’s impending exit from the Merseyside club as “sad” as she ponders trips to Los Angeles to watch him play.

The 34-year-old Liverpool captain announced earlier this month he was moving to Major Soccer League champions Los Angeles Galaxy after playing his entire career at Anfield.

Jan 20, 2015

Tennis-Liverpool fan Wozniacki laments Gerrard departure

MELBOURNE, Jan 20 (Reuters) – World number eight and Liverpool fanatic Caroline Wozniacki has lamented the departure of another number eight, describing Steven Gerrard’s impending exit from the Merseyside club as “sad” as she ponders trips to Los Angeles to watch him play.

The 34-year-old Liverpool captain announced earlier this month he was moving to Major Soccer League champions Los Angeles Galaxy after playing his entire career at Anfield.

    • 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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