2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Nadal back to best, Kyrgios wins five-set thriller
    Nadal back to best, Kyrgios wins five-set thriller

    Rafael Nadal looked back to his best after recent problems as exciting Australian youngster Nick Kyrgios won a memorable five-setter to reach the quarter-finals at the Australian Open on Sunday. Spain's world number three Nadal mastered big-serving South African Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena to set up a last eight showdown with Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych. It will be Nadal's eighth quarter-final appearance as he bids for his second Australian title after losing to Stan Wawrinka in last year's decider. Berdych was too strong for Australia's Bernard Tomic, winning in straight sets.

  • Tennis-Australia finally warms to beaten Azarenka

    * Cibulkova reaches second consecutive Melbourne quarter-final * Azarenka out but not down (Writes through with quotes, adds byline) By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Victoria Azarenka's grand slam comeback from an injury-plagued season ran into a brick wall in the form of feisty Slovak Dominika Cibulkova on Monday, but the former champion leaves Melbourne Park having finally won the affections of the hosts. They mocked her loud grunting in her run to the 2012 title and openly jeered her the year after when she took a controversial medical time-out during her semi-final against American Sloane Stephens after blowing match points. As the year's first grand slam got underway, Azarenka repeatedly professed how much she loved Australia, the nation of her greatest success, and for once the feeling was requited as she pounded Stephens, then eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in a gutsy return to the spotlight.

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