2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Struggling Woods will be fine in the end, says Clarke

    By Bernie McGuire DUBAI (Reuters) - People should not read too much into Tiger Woods' disastrous performance at the Phoenix Open, according to his close friend and fellow former British Open champion Darren Clarke. Clarke himself has struggled since winning golf’s oldest Major in 2011 at Royal St. Georges. The 46-year old Northern Irishman, who is widely tipped to become Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain, has not had a top-10 in 55 events on the European Tour since lifting the Claret Jug.

  • Tennis-Williams overpowers Sharapova to win 19th grand slam

    * Williams wins sixth title at Melbourne Park * American now has 19 grand slam titles * Continues unbeaten streak against Sharapova (Adds quotes) By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Top seed Serena Williams fought off a barking cough to clinch her 19th grand slam singles title with a 6-3 7-6(5) victory over Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final on Saturday. Williams's sixth title at Melbourne Park moved her into a tie with fellow American Helen Wills Moody in third on the all-time list after she joined Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert on 18 at last year's U.S. Open.

  • Foiled again, Sharapova feels Serena breakthrough closer

    By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova's dreams of a sixth grand slam title were ended by Serena Williams and her wrecking ball serve in the Australian Open final on Saturday, but the Russian was adamant she would some day have the American's measure. The Russian bravely saw off two match points with a pair of sizzling winners, but had little say in the third and Williams's 18th ace sealed the match and her sixth title at Melbourne Park with a boom. "If I keep setting up myself chances, absolutely," Sharapova told reporters, when asked if she was getting closer to a breakthrough.

  • Sharapova still haunted by Williams jinx
    Sharapova still haunted by Williams jinx

    Maria Sharapova vowed Saturday to keep grinding away to break her jinx against Serena Williams, after she was beaten to the Australian Open title by a player who has won all 16 of their last encounters. Williams' powerful serve made the difference on Saturday, with the 33-year-old blasting 18 aces to win her 19th Grand Slam 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) and consolidate her place among the game's legends. Coming into the tournament the Russian also had the chance to topple Williams as world number one, but the opportunity also slipped from her grasp.

  • Serena continues mastery of Sharapova for magical 19th

    By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A sickly Serena Williams gave Maria Sharapova another serving of grand slam heartbreak on Saturday to win the Australian Open and bolster her claims to be the all-time greatest player with her 19th major title. Though wheezing, coughing and forced off court to be sick during a rain-break, Williams's serve stayed in the rudest of health and her athleticism astonished in a nerve-shredding 6-3 7-6(5) victory under the lights of Rod Laver Arena. In sealing her sixth title at Melbourne Park, Williams surpassed Martina Navratilova, the woman who handed her the trophy, and Chris Evert in grand slam title wins, while drawing level with fellow American Helen Wills Moody, third in the all-time list.

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