2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Agassi says would be happy for Serena if she usurps wife

    By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) - Andre Agassi says it would be a "beautiful thing to watch" if fellow American Serena Williams goes on to surpass his wife Steffi Graf's professional era record of 22 grand slam singles titles. Williams reached 19 with her Australian Open triumph last month and despite being 33 years old, there is little sign that her powers are waning. "Records are meant to be broken and if Serena does it would be a beautiful thing to watch." Williams is currently third on the all time list, behind Australian Margaret Court's total of 24 and Graf's professional era haul of 22.

  • Sharap-ova and out as bug forces top seed to withdraw

    A stomach virus caused world number two Maria Sharapova to pull out of the Acapulco International in Mexico just hours before her semi-final on Friday. "I want to thank the tournament for organizing such a great event and most importantly the fans who were so passionate during all my matches." French Open champion Sharapova, winner of five grand slam titles, reached the last four of the hardcourt tournament with a 6-1 4-6 6-2 win over Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova on Thursday.

  • England make two changes for Ireland Six Nations clash
    England make two changes for Ireland Six Nations clash

    England have made two changes to their starting XV for the Six Nations clash against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday. Alex Goode takes over at full-back after Mike Brown was ruled out of the potentially title-clinching game due to a bout of concussion he sustained during the 47-17 rout of Italy a fortnight ago. Jack Nowell meanwhile replaces Jonny May on the left wing for his first cap since making his five previous Test appearances during last year's Six Nations, ending a near year-long absence due to shoulder and knee injuries. May scored a superb solo try against New Zealand in November, but he wasted a three-on-one overlap against Italy and his defence has always been seen as suspect.

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