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Daily Nation : January 26th 2014
46 | Sport Melbourne Rafael Nadal (left) will look to give Stanislas Wawrinka a rough welcome to his first Grand Slam final as he bids to tie Pete Sampras with 14 major titles at the Australian Open today. American great Sampras will present the winner’s trophy, with the Spanish marvel the hot favourite to vanquish the popular and constantly improving Swiss for the year’s opening Slam title. World number one Nadal has yet to drop a set in 12 encounters with Wawrinka, who knocked over three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic and world number seven Tomas Berdych to reach the final. Nadal again mastered his long-time rival Roger Federer in the semi-finals — a result which installed Wawrinka as Swiss number one — to reach his third Australian final as he seeks to add his 2009 triumph. Victory would also make Nadal only the third man, after Australians Roy Emerson and Rod Laver, to have won each of the four Grand Slam titles twice. It is hard to see past Nadal winning, even though AUSTRALIAN OPEN | Loser is the first person from her country to reach Majors final China’s Li Na lifts women’s title World Number Four hits Slovak Cibulkova to win second Grand Slam after 2011 feat in France Melbourne C hina’s Li Na stormed to her second Grand Slam title yesterday, battling past underdog Dominika Cibulkova to win the Australian Open and give another huge boost to Asian tennis. The 31-year-old fourth seed’s 7-6 (7/3), 6-0 win crowned her the champion on her third attempt after losing the 2011 and 2013 finals, adding to the French Open title she won three years ago. In doing so, she became the oldest winner of the women’s title, surpassing Margaret Court who was 30 when she became champion in 1973. The Chinese star also joins an exclusive list of just seven other players to win a Grand Slam at 30-plus, with her name now in the history books alongside greats such as Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and Serena Williams. She praised “I finally got here,” she said after Evert awarded her the trophy, as she praised her husband Jiang Shan and coach Carlos Rodriguez. “Thanks Carlos. He always believed that I could do well.” The win pushes her one place FORMULA 1 New rules will be introduced into Formula 1 in a bid to make racing fairer for taller and heavier drivers. From 2015, the minimum combined weight of car and driver will be raised by 10kg to 701kg. higher in the world ings to three, jus adrift of Victoria in second behind Williams.It wa effort by the star, who over pressure of ha twice before while bearing the weight of expe from her homeland billion people. Li’s 2011 French O tory, the first Grand S by an Asian player, cally raised the profil in China and she has the figurehead for a Asia by women’s tennis. Tight first set While the dim Cibulkova, nickna “pocket rocket” ha the best form of he was the favourite her experience to the Slovak after a tight set lasting 70 minut “This has been a two weeks of my li think I’m going to cry a tearful Cibulkov the first person from country to make a Gr Slam final. Li got off to the best possible start, going 0 up on the Cibulkov serve when the Slov gifted her the gam with a double-fault on a second break point The Chinese was fortable with the struggled to produc sive returns. Her shot to find their mark. (AFP) ENGLISH FA CUP 2-0 CRICKET Arsenal’s victory over League One side Coventry at the Emirates Stadium on Friday to storm last 16 Skipper Clarke back for final England ODI Australian skipper Michael Clarke will return for the final oneday match against England today, with coach Darren Lehmann warning the tourists will have gained confidence from their first win against the home team. After dominating England this summer, winning the Ashes 5-0 and taking the first three oneday internationals, Australia were outplayed in the fourth 50over game in Perth on Friday — losing by 57 runs. “We didn’t bat very well last night,” Lehmann said Saturday. NBA Carmelo stars as Knicks set record Carmelo Anthony poured in a Knicks-record 62 points on Friday as New York ended a five-game NBA losing streak with a 125-96 win over Charlotte Bobcats. Anthony’s career-high night saw him sink 23 of 35 attempts from the field, six of 11 from three-point range and all 10 of his efforts from the free-throw line in 39 minutes. He also grabbed 13 rebounds and broke Bernard King’s previous franchise record of 60 points. ST 25 WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS 14 - Li Na (CHN) 13 - Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 12 - Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 11 - Kim Clijsters (BEL) 10 - Serena Williams (USA) 2009 - Serena Williams (USA) 2008 - Maria Sharapova (RUS) 7 - Serena Williams (USA) 2006 - Amelie Mauresmo (FRA) 2005 - Serena Williams (USA) 2004 - Justine Henin (BEL) 3 - Serena Williams (USA) 2 - Jennifer Capriati (USA) 1 - Jennifer Capriati (USA) 2000 - Lindsay Davenport (USA) 1999 - Martina Hingis (SUI) 1998 - Martina Hingis (SUI) 1997 - Martina Hingis (SUI) 1996 - Monica Seles (USA) 1995 - Mary Pierce (FRA) 1994 - Steffi Graf (GER) 1993 - Monica Seles (USA) 1992 - Monica Seles (USA) 1991 - Monica Seles (USA) 1990 - Steffi Graf (GER) I finally got there. Thanks Carlos. He always believed that I could do well” ‘‘ , Chinese tennis star SUNDAY NATION January 26, 2014 ATHLETICS Musyoki and Cherotich unseat champions to win Kenya Prisons Cross Country titles. P.47 Nadal bids to tie Sampras record, Wawrinka in the way Wawrinka is playing the best tennis of his life, good enough to take him past close friend Federer in the new world rankings out next week. Nadal, at 27 years, would become the youngest man in history to win 14 Grand Slams, eclipsing Federer’s corresponding feat at Roland Garros in 2009 by 66 days. Sampras was 31 when he reached his 14 Slams. (AFP) OFF THE COURT DEVASTATING FORM Sampras amazed by ‘incredible’ Rafa Tennis legend Pete Sampras de- scribed Rafael Nadal as “incredible” after watching the world number one live for the first time at the Australian Open. Nadal, 27, faces Stanislas Wawrinka in today’s final, and a win will see him equal Sampras’s 14 Grand Slam titles. “I think he’s incredible,” Sampras said. “I saw him play live for the first time on Friday night and the movement he has is incredible. “He’s able to adjust his shots on the run. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Sampras, 42, ended his career in 2002 with a record 14 major singles titles, only for Roger Federer to surpass him and amass 17 in his career to date. IT’S NOT OVER I’ll win a Majors title one day, says Cibulkova Dominika Cibulkova said the expe- rience of playing a Grand Slam final would stand her in good stead and had given her confidence she can become Slovakia’s first major champion. Cibulkova, seeded 20, battled hard in the first set against China’s world number four Li Na in the Australian Open final, but she fell to pieces in the second, crashing 7-6 (7/3), 6-0. It was her first major final, with her previous best performance being the 2009 French Open semi-finals. And she said she had learned some valuable lessons. “I learned a lot and it’ll be great to win my first final of a Grand Slam,” she said. MATCHING ON Swiss underdog proves a point in Melbourne Stanislas Wawrinka has emerged from behind the shadow of Roger Federer to claim his own niche in the men’s tennis order by reaching the Grand Slam summit at the Australian Open. It has been a break-out tournament for the understated Swiss, with an epic five-set win over three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic backed up by beating world number seven Tomas Berdych to march into Sunday’s Melbourne final. It is the 28-year-old’s first Grand Slam final, four months after losing to Djokovic in the US Open semis, and signals a coming of age as he looks to land his maiden major title. GOLF Marc Leishman and Stewart Cink were the men to catch midway through the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Overnight leader Cink began the day on eight under after Thursday’s flawless opening round and picked up another shot on Friday to stay a head.
October 13th 2013
January 27th 2014