2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Keys injury time-out cost me momentum, says beaten Venus

    By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Venus Williams blamed an injury time-out by opponent Madison Keys for robbing her of rhythm and momentum during their Australian Open quarter-final on Wednesday. The seven-times grand slam champion was leading 4-1 in the second set when play was halted for about eight minutes to allow 19-year-old Keys to have treatment on her left thigh.

  • Djokovic, Wawrinka set up blockbuster Australian Open semi
    Djokovic, Wawrinka set up blockbuster Australian Open semi

    Raging favourite Novak Djokovic will play defending champion Stan Wawrinka in a blockbuster semi-final at the Australian Open after dominant wins on Wednesday. The Serbian world number one bossed Canada's eighth seed Milos Raonic in straight sets to storm into his fifth Australian semi. Swiss fourth seed Wawrinka frittered away five match points but was still an easy winner against Japanese superstar Kei Nishikori, taking the match 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) in just over two hours. Djokovic was in irrepressible form in dominating power-serving Raonic 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-2 in a similar time in the night match on Rod Laver Arena.

  • Golf number one McIlroy looking for desert storm
    Golf number one McIlroy looking for desert storm

    Rory McIlroy says he’d be focused completely on trying to win a second Dubai Desert Classic title, this week rather than thinking about his upcoming date in a Dublin court. The world number one has fond memories of recording his first win as a professional in what is the oldest golf tournament in the Middle East, and, having finished second in his last three starts on the European Tour, McIlroy is hoping to go one better and add to his 2009 title in the desert. "I’ve done this the last few years where I’ve played Abu Dhabi, taken another week off to practise and then come here and play in Dubai.

  • Serena, Sharapova on course for Australian Open showdown
    Serena, Sharapova on course for Australian Open showdown

    The 18-time Grand Slam champion was at her brutal best on Wednesday, crushing last year's finalist Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets to set up an all-American last four showdown on Thursday with unseeded teenager Madison Keys. The other semi-final clash on Thursday is an all-Russian affair between second seed Sharapova, who owns five Grand Slam titles, and Ekaterina Makarova, seeded 10th.

  • Kyrgios and tricky wind cannot stop Murray march
    Kyrgios and tricky wind cannot stop Murray march

    By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Testing wind conditions could not blunt Andy Murray's clinical win over local hope Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open on Tuesday as the Briton set up a semi-final with Tomas Berdych with a 6-3 7-6 (5) 6-3 victory. The sixth seed put the hype surrounding Kyrgios's second grand slam quarter-final to the back of his mind and used the winds to his benefit to dispatch the 19-year-old in just over two hours. "It was tricky because it was a very strong breeze," Murray told reporters. "If you tried to play with any sort of height the ball was dropping short and it was very easy to attack so I tried to just keep the ball low from that end, use a lot of slice and played pretty flat -- I think I did that quite well." While Murray's efforts took the Rod Laver Arena crowd out of the equation and improved his record against Australian opponents to 11-0, he was unsure if it was a step up from his fourth-round win over 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

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