2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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- Vintage Venus rolls back the years
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams rolled back the years to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time in five years on Monday, battling fatigue in a gruelling three setter. The 34-year-old American finished strongly to win 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 and stun Polish sixth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, sealing match point with an ace to celebrate her return to the big time. Cheered on from the stands by top-seeded sister Serena, an exhausted Venus somehow found the energy to get past highly rated Radwanska and set up a quarter-final with unseeded compatriot Madison Keys.
- Bouchard regretful as Slam chance goes begging
Canadian seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard admitted she was full of regrets on Tuesday after blowing the chance to make a Grand Slam statement against second seed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open. The 20-year-old, hyped as the rising star of a new generation destined for glory at the majors, was seeded seventh at Melbourne Park but looked outclassed in her quarter-final against the Russian five-time Slam champion. Bouchard insisted she had chances to win the match, including two break points in the first set, but failed to seize them. Bouchard was the most consistent player at Grand Slams last year, making the Australian and French semis along with the Wimbledon final.
- Sharapova eclipses Bouchard as dark horse looms
Second seed Maria Sharapova sent rising star Eugenie Bouchard into a tailspin with an imperious display Tuesday, setting up an Australian Open women's semi-final with enigmatic fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova, 27, flicked aside the Canadian seventh seed 6-3, 6-2 in their glamour quarter-final clash as her quest for a second Australian title gathers pace. She was expected to face a tough battle against Bouchard, the photogenic 20-year-old constantly compared to Sharapova and hyped as the leading light in a group of young guns destined for Grand Slam success. Bouchard made too many mistakes going for big winners, resulting in an early break that Sharapova never relinquished.
- Liverpool scent Chelsea blood as Wembley looms
With Chelsea reeling from FA Cup humiliation, Liverpool will visit Stamford Bridge for their League Cup semi-final second leg on Tuesday with increased confidence of reaching the final. Liverpool were unfortunate not to emerge victorious from last week's first leg at Anfield, drawing 1-1, and they will scent blood after Chelsea were bundled out of the FA Cup by third-tier Bradford City on Saturday. Liverpool's own FA Cup tie did not go quite according to plan, a 0-0 draw with Championship side Bolton Wanderers leaving them with an unwanted replay, but they were at least spared the embarrassment that befell Chelsea.
- Five Cameroon v Ivory Coast facts
Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) (AFP) - Five facts on the Africa Cup of Nations Group D match between Cameroon and Ivory Coast in Malabo Wednesday: