2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • 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.

  • Cameroon 'gave everything' in defeat
    Cameroon 'gave everything' in defeat

    Cameroon coach Volker Finke insisted his team had given everything despite a 1-0 defeat to the Ivory Coast on Wednesday which saw them eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations at the group stage. A solitary first-half goal by Max-Alain Gradel did for the Indomitable Lions, who bow out without winning a match in Group D, having previously drawn 1-1 with both Mali and Guinea. "I think really the Ivory Coast took advantage of a little mistake we made in the first half to score the goal," said Finke.

  • Neymar subbed for own safety, admits Barca boss
    Neymar subbed for own safety, admits Barca boss

    Barcelona boss Luis Enrique said he had to substitute two-goal star Neymar to prevent the Brazilian from being injured as his side's Copa del Rey quarter-final, second leg with Atletico Madrid turned nasty. The Catalans went through 4-2 on aggregate after coming from behind twice to win 3-2 on the night as Atletico were reduced to nine men and were lucky not to be more harshly punished when Arda Turan was only booked for throwing his boot at an assistant referee. "The moment arrived when the game had got ugly and we took off Neymar so it didn't get any more heated," said Enrique. Neymar had already put Atletico's hopes of reaching the last four to the sword well before he was replaced by Pedro Rodriguez 13 minutes from time.

  • Murray beats Berdych to reach Australian Open final

    By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Andy Murray overcame a blistering start from Tomas Berdych to advance to his fourth Australian Open final with a 6-7(6) 6-0 6-3 7-5 victory on Thursday. Murray will meet either top seed Novak Djokovic or defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who play their semi-final on Friday, for the title.

  • Barca edge nine-man Atletico in five-goal thriller
    Barca edge nine-man Atletico in five-goal thriller

    Neymar bagged a double as Barcelona twice came from behind to book their place in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 3-2 win over nine-man Atletico Madrid to seal a 4-2 aggregate victory. Fernando Torres struck for the hosts inside the first minute to cancel out Lionel Messi's winner in last week's first leg, but Neymar grabbed a vital away goal just nine minutes later. Raul Garcia briefly restored Atletico's lead from the penalty spot, but Barca were in front by half-time thanks to a Miranda own goal and a wonderful counter-attack rounded off by Neymar. The home side should have been reduced to nine men earlier when Arda Turan somehow escaped with just a yellow card after throwing his boot at one of the officials in the second-half, but did eventually see another red card when Mario Suarez picked up a second booking late on.

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