2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • 'Surprised' Serena sets up dream Sharapova final

    By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Serena Williams overcame feisty teenage challenger Madison Keys to set up a dream Australian Open final with Maria Sharapova on Thursday but seemed to be the only person surprised she had made it that far. The world number one had to battle against Keys, considered the heir apparent as the queen of American womens' tennis, before she eventually overcame the 19-year-old 7-6(5) 6-2 to set up the final against the Russian. Williams, a five times champion at Melbourne Park, however, felt she entered the tournament in a funk, having played badly at the Hopman Cup in Perth earlier this month and mindful she had crashed out to lower ranked players in the last three years. "I didn't expect to get to the finals of this tournament when I first got here because I wasn't playing great," she said after she made her first Melbourne Park final since 2010.

  • Motor racing-Vettel considered quitting, says Horner

    By Alan Baldwin Jan 28 (Reuters) - Four times Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel considered quitting as he struggled with the sport's new direction last year, according to the German's former Red Bull boss Christian Horner. "Seb didn't enjoy the regulation changes," Horner told British reporters ahead of this weekend's first pre-season test in Jerez, Spain. "He was preoccupied and to compound that his team mate (Australian Daniel Ricciardo) won three races. The German has since left Red Bull and joined Ferrari, who also failed to win a race last year for the first time since 1993.

  • 'Bad mood' Berdych rues another missed chance
    'Bad mood' Berdych rues another missed chance

    By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Tomas Berdych blamed "one bad set" for his defeat by Andy Murray at the Australian Open on Thursday when his dreams of a maiden grand slam title were again crushed at the semi-final stage. I was just trying to get my chances, trying to fight for it, but it was not enough." The big-serving Czech thrashed third seed Rafa Nadal in straight sets in the previous round, ending a 17-match losing streak to the Spaniard. Much has been made of coach Dani Vallverdu's part in Berdych's run in Melbourne, having joined the Czech after leaving Murray's camp.

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