2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Serena and Sharapova's 'black heart' rivalry
    Serena and Sharapova's 'black heart' rivalry

    The bitter rivalry between Australian Open finalists Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova took root on the hallowed Wimbledon turf in 2004 and is still thriving more than a decade later -- both on and off the court. The problem was, the fairytale victory that catapulted her to global celebrity came at the expense of Serena Williams -- top seed at the time and hot favourite for a third straight Wimbledon title -- a result that the American has never forgotten. It has spurred her on to an overall record of 16-2 against Sharapova, with the Russian's last victory over the world number one coming more than a decade ago. Since 2005, the American's winning streak is 15-0, including straight sets wins over Sharapova in the Australian and French Open finals (2007 and 2013), as well as the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics.

  • Spurs star Duncan sues financial adviser for fraud in Texas court

    By Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - NBA superstar Tim Duncan has filed a lawsuit seeking at least $1 million in damages against a longtime friend and financial adviser the basketball player says cheated him in his investments. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in a Texas court against Atlanta businessman Charles Banks, who Duncan said he met during his 1997-98 rookie season in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs.

  • Australian Open finalist Maria Sharapova

    MELBOURNE, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Factbox on Russia's Maria Sharapova, who will meet Serena Williams in the Australian Open final on Saturday: Born: April 19, 1987 in Nyagan, Russia Seed: 2 GRAND SLAM TITLES: Five: Wimbledon (2004); U.S. Open (2006); Australian Open (2008); French Open (2012, 2014) MAKING HER NAME * Born in Siberia, moves to Black Sea coastal resort of Sochi aged two. * Moves to Florida in 1996 to train at Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy in Bradenton. Sharapova's father Yuri moves to U.S. with her but mother, Yelena, has to stay in Russia due to visa restrictions. ...

  • Netanyahu denies wife pocketed from returned bottles
    Netanyahu denies wife pocketed from returned bottles

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday dismissed as "false" reports that his wife Sara had pocketed at least $1,000 worth of public money by returning empty bottles to supermarkets. The reports, which were cause for ridicule in local media, come as the head of the rightwing Likud party prepares to seek re-election in a snap March vote. Earlier this week, reports emerged that Sara Netanyahu had during her husband's second term as prime minister (2009-2013) collected a vast amount of empty bottles bought by the premier's office and returned them to supermarkets, pocketing the money herself. Over several years, the Netanyahus through this practice earned at least 4,000 shekels ($1,000, 885 euros) of what should have been public money, the reports said.

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