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.

  • Rodgers pleads for Sturridge patience
    Rodgers pleads for Sturridge patience

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has cautioned about placing too much expectation on Daniel Sturridge following his goalscoring return to action in a 2-0 win at home to West Ham. After Raheem Sterling put Liverpool ahead, second-half substitute Sturridge doubled the Merseysiders' lead after five months out with thigh and calf injuries.

  • Whitney Houston's daughter found unresponsive in tub
    Whitney Houston's daughter found unresponsive in tub

    ROSWELL, Ga. (AP) — The daughter of late singer and entertainer Whitney Houston was found unresponsive, face down in a bathtub Saturday and taken to a hospital in the north Atlanta suburbs, police said.

  • Golf-Teenager Ko becomes youngest world number one

    (Reuters) - Seventeen-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand became the youngest golfer to hold top spot in the world rankings by tying for second place at the LPGA season-opening Coates Golf Championship in Ocala, Florida, on Saturday. American Tiger Woods was previously the youngest golfer to become world number one when he did it in 1997 at 21, while Shin Ji-yai held the women's record after reaching top spot in 2010 aged 22. The Korean-born Ko, led by as many as four strokes in the final round but slipped behind after a double-bogey six at the 17th hole as she finished one shot behind winner and good friend Choi Na-yeon of South Korea, who fired a 68.

  • Mayweather dampens hopes for Pacquiao fight
    Mayweather dampens hopes for Pacquiao fight

    Unbeaten fighter Floyd Mayweather dampened talk of a possible mega-fight agreement with Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, a day after the Asian star's promoter said a deal was near. Mayweather posted a message on his Shots account that said in part "While they continue to lie about making the fight... I'm just going to continue to travel and explore the world on my private jet. Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum told the New York Post on Friday that he was optimistic a Pacquiao-Mayweather deal for a May 2 fight in Las Vegas would be completed in the next couple of days, with only a few final details to be settled between rival telecasters HBO and Showtime, the rights holders for Pacquiao and Mayweather respectively. Mayweather, who turns 38 on February 24, left England's Amir Khan hanging for months until announcing on his birthday last year that he would fight Argentina's Marcos Maidana instead.

  • Pursuit of Mercedes begins in Jerez
    Pursuit of Mercedes begins in Jerez

    Preparations for the Formula One season start in Jerez on Sunday with the first of three four-day testing sessions and with Mercedes looking to lay down an early marker for continued dominance. Mercedes, who will also use the Spanish track to launch their 2015 car on Sunday, cruised to the constructors' championship last season, whilst Lewis Hamilton edged out teammate Nico Rosberg for the drivers' title. A series of technical changes at the start of 2014 gave Mercedes a huge jump on their title rivals. Despite their success, Hamilton and Rosberg endured a frosty relationship last season with Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff at one point describing their battle as "two enemies competing for the world title".

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