2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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- Djokovic wins 5th Australian Open title, denies Murray a 1st
- Super Bowl Sunday kicks off with scandal and spectacle
The Super Bowl kicks off Sunday as American football seeks to put a scandal-plagued season behind it, with this year's spectacle featuring a Katy Perry concert, ultra-expensive commercials and a compelling clash between Seattle and New England. The extravaganza is expected to draw a whopping 115 million viewers -- or about one in three Americans -- and amounts to an unofficial holiday in the United States, where even those with no interest in the sport gather at countless Super Bowl parties. This year's championship comes with the National Football League battling back from a season of turmoil, accused of complacency and even conspiracy in its handling of issues ranging from domestic violence to concussion dangers. The latest controversy -- accusations that the New England Patriots intentionally deflated footballs -- has dominated news coverage in the days leading up to the game.
- Murray under microscope after Melbourne Park meltdown
By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Andy Murray blamed Novak Djokovic's physical problems in their Australian Open final on Sunday for throwing him off his game but that could hardly explain the meltdown that saw the Scot lose 12 of the last 13 games. After leveling at one-set apiece, Murray led 2-0 in the third but collapsed to lose the match 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0 under the lights of Rod Laver Arena, his fourth defeat in Australian Open finals and third to Djokovic.
- Evergreen Serena hungry for more Slams
With her name freshly engraved onto the Australian Open trophy, Serena Williams feels she can play on indefinitely and is intent on increasing her tally of 19 Grand Slams. The American great, 33, scoffed at talk of retirement after shooting down Maria Sharapova in straight sets to win her sixth title at Melbourne Park, becoming the oldest woman to ever lift the trophy. Williams has endured her share of injury scares during a long career, including a life-threatening pulmonary embolism in 2011 that sidelined her for 12 months. "I can play as long as I like now," Williams said after moving to clear second on the list of all-time Open-era Slam winners behind Steffi Graf on 22.
- Djokovic reigns supreme at Australian Open
By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic may have garnered a reputation as the crown prince of pranksters in tennis but on Sunday he firmly established him as the king of Melbourne's blue hardcourts with his fifth Australian Open title. The 27-year-old Serb, limping from two slips on court, breathing heavily and battling a "physical crisis", overcame a fired-up Andy Murray 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0 to clinch his fourth Australian title in the past five years. He also overcame a slight shift in momentum in the second set when security staff had to remove a group of people, two of whom managed to jump on court but did not get near the players, protesting Australia's policy on refugees. "We both, of course, went through some tough moments physically," Djokovic said.
- Tennis-Djokovic grinds Murray down to win Australian Open
* Djokovic claims his fifth Australian Open title * Murray suffers third final defeat to Serb at Melbourne Park (Adds quotes) By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic ground down Andy Murray 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0 on Sunday to win a record fifth Australian Open title in the professional era and consign the Scot to further grand slam pain Down Under. The pair waged a fierce baseline duel for the opening two sets, but after taking a 2-0 lead in the third set, Murray crumbled under the Serb's pressure to lose 12 of the last 13 games as Djokovic closed out an emphatic win under the lights of Rod Laver Arena. Top seed Djokovic sealed the victory on the second match-point, rushing to the net with a searing approach shot that Murray could only dump into the net. You are a great competitor," Djokovic, clasping the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, said at the trophy ceremony.