2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Djokovic, Wawrinka set up epic showdown, ill Serena through

    By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Top seed Novak Djokovic and champion Stan Wawrinka set up 'The Djoker v The Man 3.0' at Melbourne Park after impressive quarter-final victories on Wednesday, while an ill Serena Williams moved a step closer to her 19th grand slam title. The American, however, will first have to overcome the pure hitting of Madison Keys after the 19-year-old ended the fairytale run of Serena's older sister Venus, despite suffering from a thigh injury that hampered her movement. With many suggesting prior to the tournament it could signify an epochal shift in both games, the teenager represents the up and comers in the semi-finals after Djokovic and Wawrinka crushed the last hopes of 'Generation Next' in the men's draw. Djokovic, seeking to become the second man to win a fifth Australian Open title, beat Canada's Milos Raonic 7-6(5) 6-4 6-2 in the late match on Rod Laver Arena, hours after Wawrinka had easily dispatched fifth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-4 7-6(6).

  • Neymar subbed for own safety, admits Barca boss
    Neymar subbed for own safety, admits Barca boss

    Barcelona boss Luis Enrique said he had to substitute two-goal star Neymar to prevent the Brazilian from being injured as his side's Copa del Rey quarter-final, second leg with Atletico Madrid turned nasty. The Catalans went through 4-2 on aggregate after coming from behind twice to win 3-2 on the night as Atletico were reduced to nine men and were lucky not to be more harshly punished when Arda Turan was only booked for throwing his boot at an assistant referee. "The moment arrived when the game had got ugly and we took off Neymar so it didn't get any more heated," said Enrique. Neymar had already put Atletico's hopes of reaching the last four to the sword well before he was replaced by Pedro Rodriguez 13 minutes from time.

  • Sharapova eases into fourth Melbourne final

    By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The confidence of overcoming two match points in a second round clash against Alexandra Panova has ultimately paid off for Maria Sharapova as she advanced to her fourth Australian Open final with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Ekaterina Makarova on Thursday. "I thought I played solid," said Sharapova. "Those key moments are really important (and) yeah, definitely happy I was able to win really solid today." Makarova, who also reached the last four at the 2014 U.S. Open, had not dropped a set all tournament and her easy win over third seed Simona Halep in the quarter-finals gave her plenty of confidence going into the contest despite her 5-0 losing record against Sharapova. Makarova's forehand also failed her, undoubtedly due to the pressure Sharapova was exerting on her, but even on the rare occasions when she had the court open and the world number two at her mercy.

  • Tennis-Serena to face Sharapova in Australian Open final

    MELBOURNE, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Top seed Serena Williams beat fellow American Madison Keys 7-6(5) 6-2 to reach the Australian Open final on Thursday. Williams will now face Maria Sharapova for the title after the Russian second seed beat compatriot Ekaterina Makarova earlier on Rod Laver Arena. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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