UAE, Thailand make Asian Cup last 16, heartbreak for India
Thailand players celebrate after midfielder Thitipan Puangchan,
left, scored his side's goal during the AFC Asian Cup group A soccer
match between United Arab Emirates and Thailand at Al Maktoum
Stadium in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Jan. 14. (AP
Al Ain, United Arab
Emirates (AP) — Thailand's decision to change coaches continued
to prove to be a masterstroke but there was last-minute heartbreak
for India at the Asian Cup on Monday.
Thailand drew against host
side United Arab Emirates 1-1 to qualify for the next round for the
first time since reaching the semifinals in 1972.
UAE finished top of Group A
and the pair could be joined in the round of 16 by Bahrain, who beat
India 1-0 thanks to a last-gasp penalty and will likely progress as
one of the best four third-placed teams.
It was a far cry from
Thailand's first match in the tournament, a 4-1 loss to India that
led to the firing of coach Milovan Rajevac and the appointment of
his assistant, Sirisak Yodyardthai, as interim coach.
UAE started strongly and
took the lead less than seven minutes in. Ismail Al Hammadi's
attempted chip came back off the crossbar but Ali Mabkhout headed
home the rebound.
Thailand started to get into
the match and leveled four minutes before the break when Thitiphan
Puangjan took advantage of panic in the UAE defence to bundle the
ball past goalkeeper Khalid Eisa.
The War Elephants finished
second, a point below UAE and above Bahrain thanks to a better
head-to-head record, having won the match between them 1-0.
Bahrain, who hit the
woodwork earlier in the match, were seconds away from going out of
the tournament as India managed to fend off wave after wave of
However, India captain
Pronay Halder brought down Hamed Alshamsan in the penalty area and
Jamal Rashed converted in stoppage time to send Bahrain into
The knockout stages begin
Sunday, January 20.
On bad hip, Andy Murray out in 1st round of Australian Open
Britain's Andy Murray reacts during his first round match against
Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open tennis
championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 14. (AP
Melbourne, Australia (AP)
— If this was it for Andy Murray, if this truly was it, he gave
himself — and an appreciative, raucous crowd that included his
mother and brother — quite a gutsy goodbye, the type of
never-give-in performance he's famous for.
What Murray could not quite
do Monday at the Australian Open was finish off a stirring comeback
and prolong what might just be the final tournament of his career.
Playing on a surgically
repaired right hip so painful that pulling on socks is a chore, he
summoned the strength and strokes to erase a big deficit and force a
fifth set before eventually succumbing to 22nd-seeded Roberto
Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-2, Murray's first
opening-round loss at a Grand Slam tournament in 11 years.
"If today was my last match,
look, it was a brilliant way to finish," Murray said. "I literally
gave everything that I had on the court, fought as best as I could,
and performed a lot better than what I should have done with the
amount I've been able to practice and train."
Murray, just 31, is a year
removed from his operation, and he said that he will decide in the
next week or so whether to have a second one. If opts to avoid
another procedure, he might be able to play in July at Wimbledon,
where he won two of his three major titles, including the first for
a British man in 77 years. If he decides for further surgery, then
Monday's match might have been his last.
Even with a hitch in his
gait, even as he leaned forward to rest his hands on his knees
between points, Murray summoned the strength and the strokes to push
the match beyond the 4-hour mark.
And the fans tried to will
him past Bautista Agut, who had lost in straight sets all three
previous matches the two men had played.
They roared when Murray
managed to break back to 2-all on the way to taking the third set,
with his mom, Judy, smiling widely as she stood alongside other
They chanted his name when
he grabbed the fourth set.
They rose when the
compelling contest ended.
"Andy deserves this
atmosphere. Andy deserves (that) all the people came to watch him,"
Bautista Agut said. "He's a tough, tough fighter. A tough opponent.
He gives everything until the last point. I want to congratulate him
for all he did for tennis."
Afterward, a video was shown
in the stadium with tributes to Murray from various players,
including rivals Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic,
along with Nick Kyrgios, Caroline Wozniacki, Karolina Pliskova and
Congratulations, buddy," Federer said. "I'm your biggest fan."
Federer opened his bid for a
third consecutive Australian Open championship, and record seventh
overall, with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Denis Istomin at Rod
Laver Arena. Nadal, whose 17 career majors are second among men only
to Federer's 20, overpowered Australian wild-card entry James
Duckworth 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 earlier.
Nadal, who had surgery on
his right ankle in November, hadn't competed since stopping during
his U.S. Open semifinal in September because of a bad knee.
"It's very difficult to
start (again) after an injury," Nadal said. "I know it very well."
Other major title winners
who advanced on Day 1, when the temperature approached 90 degrees
(33 Celsius), included defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, Maria
Sharapova — who beat Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0 — Angelique Kerber,
Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova.
The highest-seeded player to
exit was No. 9 John Isner, who hit 47 aces but lost 7-6 (4), 7-6
(6), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) against 97th-ranked Reilly Opelka in an
The most attention, though,
was drawn by Murray, who is as popular for his success on the court
as his attitude away from it.
The stands were dotted with
British and Scottish flags and with signs of support. When Bautista
Agut entered, he was greeted by a smattering of polite applause.
When Murray was introduced, there were full-throated screams,
followed by chants of his first name.
As play began, Murray
delighted his well-wishers every so often with terrific shots on a
full sprint and his trademark, quick-reflex returns. When he flubbed
a shot or otherwise let a point slide by, Murray displayed the
muttering and leg-slapping self-contempt the world has come to know
and expect — and, let's face it, love — from the guy.
For all that Murray
accomplished over the years, including reaching No. 1 in the
rankings and a pair of Olympic singles gold medals, he never was
able to leave Melbourne with the trophy, finishing as the runner-up
When Murray eventually
succumbed to his weariness — not to mention Bautista Agut — the
arena speakers blared Queen's "We are the Champions," with its
fitting line: "And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end."
If this was, indeed, the
end, Murray did just that.
"I'd be OK," he said, "with
that being my last match."
Jesus keeps up scoring spree, Man City beat Wolves 3-0
Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus, left, scores with a penalty against
Wolverhampton Wanderers during the English Premier League match at
the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Monday, Jan. 14. (AP Photo/Dave
Manchester, England (AP)
— Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is keeping a close eye
on Gabriel Jesus now the young striker's family are no longer with
him in England.
Maintaining his hot streak
in front of goal should keep the Brazilian's spirits high.
The 21-year-old Jesus scored
twice in City's 3-0 win over 10-man Wolverhampton Wanderers in the
Premier League on Monday, extending his spree to seven goals across
three different competitions in the past nine days.
Whether he can retain City's
sole striker spot ahead of club great Sergio Aguero, who started on
the bench after a recent illness, remains to be seen but Jesus
cannot be doing any more to impress his manager, Pep Guardiola.
"I know Sergio Aguero is an
amazing player and helps me a lot," Jesus said. "When Sergio plays
he helps the team, and when I play I want to help as well.
"I play better now and to
score goals is important to me."
And having two in-form
strikers can only boost City's chances of reeling in Liverpool in
the Premier League title race. Liverpool's lead was trimmed to four
points by City's win over Wolves, for whom the match was a
damage-limitation exercise from the moment center back Willy Boly
was handed a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Bernardo
Silva in the 19th minute.
By then, Jesus had tapped in
a left-wing cross from Leroy Sane, who was found by a searching ball
forward from center back Aymeric Laporte, to put City in front in
the 10th minute.
Jesus added his second goal
from the penalty spot in the 39th after Raheem Sterling was fouled
by Ryan Bennett.
City piled on the pressure
in the second half — they finished the game with 76 percent
possession — but had only one more goal to show for it, with Conor
Coady glancing a header into his own net from substitute Kevin De
Since losing back-to-back
league games around the Christmas holiday to drop out of the lead
and, at one point, be seven points behind Liverpool, City have been
in relentless form — winning five straight matches in all
competitions and scoring 24 goals in the process. Among them was a
9-0 win over third-tier Burton in the English League Cup, when Jesus
scored four times.
Guardiola spoke ahead of the
game about the club needing to rally around the striker because he
might start to find life difficult after his mother, two older
brothers and nephew returned to Brazil following an extended stay in
Manchester to help Jesus acclimatize.
And teammates Sane and
Sterling could not have handed him easier opportunities to continue
his scoring run.
Wolves were potentially
tricky opponents for City, given their strong record against the top
six in the league. Nuno Espirito Santo's team drew against City at
home in August and recently beat Tottenham.
Boly's straight red card put
paid to any chance of an upset at Etihad Stadium and Wolves failed
to have a shot on target. And neither Boly nor Espirito Santo had
any complaints about the decision, with the defender having got the
ball in a challenge with Silva only to catch him with the
"The game 11 vs. 11 was the
same as 11 vs. 10," Guardiola said.
It was the 16th time this
season that City have scored three or more goals. This latest
victory moved the champion five points clear of third-placed
Tottenham, who lost at home to Manchester United on Sunday.
Liverpool will also be wary
of City's improved form.
"All we can do is win our
own games," Guardiola said. "We spoke many times in the last hours
about this to our players. We cannot control what they do. We can
control what we do. The only way to do that is by being there. Maybe
one day they fail and we try to be there.
"But you can be sure if we
don't win, they will be champions."
SAfrica fast bowlers deliver 3-0 series sweep over Pakistan
Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed is bowled out
for 0 on day four of the third cricket test match between South
Africa and Pakistan at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South
Africa, Monday, Jan. 14. (AP Photo/Christiaan Kotze)
Johannesburg (AP) —
South Africa's fast bowlers delivered another quick victory over
Pakistan on Monday, a 107-run win early on the fourth day of the
final test that sealed a 3-0 series whitewash.
South Africa collected the
seven wickets they needed before lunch at the Wanderers as the
tourists crashed from 153-3 overnight to 273 all out and well short
of their target of 381.
The final nail for Pakistan
— a run out — came just after midday as the lunch break was delayed
with the home team on the verge of wrapping it up.
That series-ending wicket,
when Pakistan No. 11 Mohammad Abbas was run out for 9, was the only
one of the 60 wickets for South Africa in the series that didn't
fall to one of their four fast bowlers.
Abbas was stranded after a
mix-up with Shadab Khan, ending their last-wicket partnership of 31
and Pakistan's last stand.
"A 3-0 series win is right
up there," said stand-in South Africa captain Dean Elgar, leading
the Proteas with Faf du Plessis serving a one-match suspension for
over-rate offenses. "That's what we asked the guys for out of this
series and we got it. It's a good way to start the year."
Duanne Olivier was
Pakistan's chief destroyer, finishing with 3-74 in the final innings
and a series-leading 24 wickets in the three tests, just one wicket
short of the South African record for a three-test series.
Olivier was man of the
series yet only played because fellow fast bowler Lungi Ngidi was
ruled out with injury.
Olivier found a hostile edge
to his game on his return to test cricket after being out of the
team for more than a year. He bowled short and fast throughout to
bombard the Pakistan batsmen and give South Africa a new weapon in
an already-strong fast-bowling arsenal.
Olivier had top-ranked test
bowler Kagiso Rabada, No. 4-ranked Vernon Philander and leading
South African wicket-taker Dale Steyn to back him up, a fearsome
foursome that South Africa hope could take them to No. 1 in the
The four-pronged pace attack
saw South Africa to a seventh consecutive series victory at home, a
ninth win in their last 11 series anywhere, and up to No. 2 in the
test rankings behind India.
"Each bowler brings
something different," Olivier said. "Vernon has tremendous skill, KG
(Rabada) has raw pace, and Dale's record speaks for itself. For me
it was just trying to bring something different to the team and I
got rewarded for that. It obviously worked quite well."
4-time Asian champion runner tests positive for steroid
In this Friday, May 9, 2014 file photo,
Kemi Adekoya of Bahrain gestures after winning the 400m hurdles at
the IAAF Diamond League in the Qatari capital Doha. (AP Photo/Osama
Monaco (AP) —
Four-time Asian Games champion Kemi Adekoya has been provisionally
suspended after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.
The Athletics Integrity Unit
said Monday a "notice of allegation" was sent to Adekoya, a
Nigerian-born runner who switched allegiance to Bahrain.
The AIU said on its website
the 25-year-old Adekoya tested positive for stanozolol — the steroid
sprinter Ben Johnson used at the 1988 Seoul Olympics — in November.
Last August at the Asian
Games, she took gold in the 400-meter hurdles and 4x400 mixed relay.
Adekoya switched to Bahrain
before the 2014 Asian Games and won the 400 and 400 hurdles. In
2016, she was world indoor champion in the 400, and competed in the
400 at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Also Monday, the AIU imposed
a two-year ban on Kenyan distance runner Lucy Kabuu for a positive
test for morphine.
Kabuu had her results
stripped from April to August, including victory at the Milan
Marathon, and is banned through July 2020.
She still ranks in the
top-30 all-time list in women's marathon for a winning run in Dubai
in 2012. A 10,000-meter specialist on the track, Kabuu was the 2006
Commonwealth Games champion and represented Kenya at the 2004 Athens
Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics, placing fifth.
Tearful Murray says Australian Open could be his last tournament
Britain's Andy Murray reacts during a press conference at the
Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday,
Jan. 11. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Melbourne, Australia (AP) —
A tearful Andy Murray says the Australian Open could be his last
tournament because of the hip injury that has derailed his career.
The 31-year-old Murray said he
trained in the off-season with the main goal of making one last run at
Wimbledon, where he ended the 77-year drought for British men, but now
wasn't sure he'd make it.
In an emotional news conference
at Melbourne Park on Friday, when he had to leave the room shortly after
his first attempt to get it started, and needed to pause several times
to compose himself after returning, Murray said he wasn't sure how much
longer he could play.
"I'm going to play (in
Australia). I can still play to a level — not a level I'm happy playing
at," he said. "But also, it's not just that. The pain is too much
The three-time Grand Slam
champion is scheduled to play his opening match against No. 22-ranked
Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open, where he has reached the
final five times but never won the title. The season-opening major
Murray had right hip surgery in
January 2018 after prolonged problems with the joint. After two brief
attempts to return to the tour, he played only 12 matches last year.
He returned at the Brisbane
International last week, where he won his opening match but lost in the
second round to Daniil Medvedev, showing visible signs of limping
between points and struggling to move around court smoothly.
Murray has had a celebrated
career, breaking long Grand Slam droughts for British men when he won
the U.S. Open in 2012 and at Wimbledon the following year, and also
becoming the only player to win consecutive singles gold medals at the
He was considered part of the
so-called Big Four in men's tennis with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and
Novak Djokovic — the group of players who dominated the majors.
Now it's likely he'll be the
youngest of them to go into retirement. At 37, Federer is in Australia
attempting to win the title for the third consecutive year and for a
seventh time overall. At 31, top-ranked Djokovic is at Melbourne Park
also trying to win a seventh Australian title. The 32-year-old Nadal is
ranked No. 2 and confident of extending his career for several years.
Murray has been preparing for
the 2019 season knowing that his career could be over within months. In
his training program last month, he told his support group that the pain
was becoming too much and that he needed to set a date for retirement.
"I spoke to my team and I told
that I can't keep doing this, that I needed to have an end point because
(I was) just playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop," he
told the news conference Friday. "I said to my team 'I think I can get
through to Wimbledon' ... that's where I would like to stop playing. But
I'm also not certain I'm able to do that.
"I don't want to continue
playing that way. I've tried everything I could to get it right and that
He said he's considering another
hip operation, more to improve his quality of life than as a way of
returning to the top level in tennis.
Jordan reach Asian Cup last 16, Thailand still in the mix in Group A
Thailand midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin, second left, celebrates his
opening goal with his teammates, during the AFC Asian Cup group A soccer
match between Bahrain and Thailand at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai,
United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Jan. 10. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
(AP) — Jordan became the first team to qualify for the knockout
stages of the Asian Cup on Thursday. Thailand now have hopes of joining
them in the last 16 after a change of coaches had an immediate impact,
with the team earning just their second win in 22 games in the
Group B leaders Jordan followed
up their upset win against defending champions Australia in their
opening match with a 2-0 victory over neighboring Syria.
In Group A, Chanathip Songkrasin
scored the only goal as Thailand beat Bahrain 1-0 and United Arab
Emirates beat India 2-0. Bahrain moved top of the group, one point above
India and Thailand.
Thailand fired coach Milovan
Rajevac following Sunday's 4-1 loss to India and appointed his
assistant, Sirisak Yodyardthai, as interim coach.
Sirisak made five changes to the
team which lost to India, and Thailand were also helped by some wayward
finishing from Bahrain who managed only three shots on target out of 15
Thailand grew in confidence as
Bahrain failed to translate their dominance into goals, and Chanathip
broke the deadlock in the 58th minute after Tristan Do's cross was
deflected into his path by Bahrain defender Ahmed Ali Juma.
Chanathip came close to setting
up Thailand's second when he picked out an unmarked Adisak Kraisorn but
his effort hit the post.
The meeting of Thailand and
Bahrain on the pitch came a day after FIFA issued a fresh plea for a
"humane and speedy resolution" to an extradition case involving a
footballer that has been criticized by human rights groups.
Hakeem al-Araibi, a former
international for Bahrain, was granted refugee status in Australia last
year after fleeing his homeland, where he said he was persecuted and
tortured. He was arrested while on holiday in Thailand in November due
to an Interpol notice in which Bahrain sought his custody after he was
sentenced in absentia in 2014 to 10 years in prison for allegedly
vandalizing a police station — a charge he denies.
"This situation should not have
arisen, in particular, since Mr. Al-Araibi now lives and works and plays
as a professional footballer in Australia, where he has been accorded
refugee status," FIFA said in a statement. "FIFA is therefore calling on
all the relevant authorities (in Bahrain, Thailand and Australia) to
take the necessary steps to ensure that Mr. Hakeem Al-Araibi is allowed
to return safely to Australia where he can resume his career as a
The top two teams in each group
and the four best third-place teams advance to the round of 16.
UAE had a disappointing start to
the tournament as the hosts needed a late penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw
with Bahrain but the team showed a marked improvement in Thursday's
victory over India.
Khalfan Mubarak chipped India
goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to give UAE the lead four minutes from
India missed a number of good
opportunities and also hit the underside of the crossbar before Ali
Ahmed Mabkhout sealed the result with two minutes remaining.
In Group B, the result never
looked in doubt for Jordan, which scored both their goals in the first
Mousa Suleiman netted the opener
and had a hand in the second as he crossed for Tareq Khattab to head in
at the near post.
Putnam has career-best 62 to lead Sony Open
Putnam hits onto the 10th green during the first round of the Sony Open PGA
Tour golf event, Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu,
Hawaii. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Honolulu (AP) — Andrew Putnam
didn't get a practice round in for the Sony Open because of a bee sting, and
he apparently didn't need one.
Putnam made birdie on half of his
holes Thursday at Waialae, none of them tap-ins, and took only 23 putts for
an 8-under 62. It was the lowest score of his PGA Tour career and gave him a
four-shot lead among the early starters.
Brandt Snedeker, Jason Dufner and
John Chin were at 66, with defending champion Patton Kizzire among those at
Jordan Spieth was hopeful of better
in his 2019 debut. He had to wait until his 16th hole, the par-3 seventh,
for his first birdie of the year. And that was all he made in a round of 73
that left him needing a low round just to make it to the weekend.
He still managed to keep it
entertaining, especially with the new rules.
Spieth, like most players, doesn't
understand the visually awkward change of dropping from knee-height instead
of shoulder-height. Six holes into his round, his tee shot came up inches
short of a sprinkler head. He called for a ruling and was given relief
because of the potential of injury or damaging the club. Then, he did what
he has done his entire golfing life — he held the ball at the level of his
Slugger White, the tour's vice
president of competition, stopped him. Had he dropped and played the shot,
it would have been a penalty. If not, he could have dropped again from the
"I'm like, 'Wouldn't it just be a
re-drop anyway?' What's the big deal?'" Spieth said. "It's unusual."
He caught himself from dropping
shoulder-height behind the 18th green. He also tapped in for par on the
opening hole with the flagstick still in the cup, another change that is
getting plenty of attention early in the year. And he tapped down a spike
mark in the line of a 4-foot putt.
"All in all, I got a test of most of
the new rules today," he said.
Putnam, among 23 players who were on
Maui last week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, made it all look so
easy. This is his third year playing the Sony Open, so the course is not new
to him. But it's unusual for him not to at least get in a practice round.
He was poolside Tuesday when the bee
stung him in the foot.
"I couldn't walk, so I had to
withdraw out of the pro-am," he said. "I was just sitting around all
yesterday and couldn't even hit a shot. Yeah, kind of bizarre how it all
He shot his 62 despite a bogey on
the 15th hole when his pitch came up 12 feet short and he missed the putt.
Putnam didn't miss many in the
opening round. Statistically, he made just over 174 feet of putts, from a
5-footer on the closing hole (his shortest birdie putt) to his longest
birdie on the 14th at just under 30 feet.
"The hole was very large and the
ball was going in," he said. "It was fun."
Snedeker found it a bit more
enjoyable, too, once he got his round going. He wasn't under par until a
birdie at the turn on the par-5 18th, and he shot 32 on the front, which
typically is the slightly tougher side.
It's the same state, different
island, but the course couldn't be any different from last week. Kapalua was
built on the side of a mountain, with enormous greens and large undulations.
Waialae is old school, flat and lined by palms, with smaller greens.
"They are faster and a lot flatter,"
Snedeker said. "The biggest break you'll see here is maybe a foot of break
on a putt. Last week, if you had anything under a foot, you would be
Al-Attiyah, Brabec lead Dakar Rally after dominating stage 4
Driver Sebastien Loeb, of France, and co-driver Daniel Elena, of Monaco,
race their Peugeot during stage four of the Dakar Rally between Arequipa
and Moquegua, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 10. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Lima, Peru (AP) — Driver Nasser
Al-Attiyah and rider Ricky Brabec dominated the fourth stage of the
Dakar Rally on Thursday to lead their categories overall.
Al-Attiyah strengthened his lead
to nearly nine minutes over Stephane Peterhansel after outdueling the
Frenchman by nearly two minutes on the split 351-kilometer route of
valleys and fesh-fesh — fine dust — between Arequipa and Tacna.
"It was very important to catch
Stephane and stay with him all the way,"Al-Attiyah said.
Three decades of racing the
world's toughest rally helped Peterhansel endure the fesh-fesh.
"It's like powder, it goes
inside the car and you can't see anything," he said.
He saw enough to be the only
driver within 20 minutes of the Qatari leader overall.
Nani Roma was nearly 21 minutes
back in third, followed by Jakub Przygonski (22 minutes), Yazeed Al
Rajhi (nearly 25 minutes) and Sebastien Loeb (50 minutes), who suffered
three punctures and came to the finish on a punctured tire.
As it was a marathon stage,
drivers were unable to receive assistance or repairs from their crews.
That meant Al Rajhi, second overall overnight, suffered when he had to
stop near the end. Former champion Giniel de Villiers also lost more
time when he stopped to help the damaged Toyota of teammate Bernhard Ten
After losing his way on
Wednesday, Brabec rode the fourth stage to perfection and increased his
gap to the motorbike field the longer the stage went.
By the finish in Tacna, the
American was six minutes ahead of defending champion Matthias Walkner,
and the new overall leader.
Pablo Quintanilla started the
day as the overall leader by a comfortable 11 minutes, but lost it all
to trail Brabec by two minutes in second.
Toby Price was third, four
minutes down, and Sam Sunderland right behind him after a fall.
Walkner, 21 minutes off the pace
on Wednesday, improved to nine minutes back with six stages to go.
Sasnovich, Barty through to Sydney International semifinals
Barty, right, of Australia and Elise Mertens of Belgium embrace after
Barty defeated Mertens in their women's singles match at the Sydney
International tennis tournament in Sydney, Thursday, Jan. 10. (AP
Sydney (AP) — Aliaksandra Sasnovich's
impressive start to the season continued on Thursday with a
straight-sets win over Timea Bacsinszky to advance to the Sydney
The No. 33-ranked Sasnovich, who
made it to the quarterfinals last week in Brisbane, was in control most
of the way to beat the Swiss 6-3, 6-3.
Sasnovich will face two-time
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova or 2016 Australian Open champion
Angelique Kerber for a spot in the final. Kvitova and Kerber played
Ashleigh Barty, who beat
top-seeded Simon Halep on Wednesday, advanced to the semifinals with a
6-3, 6-3 victory over Elise Mertens, breaking the Belgian player's serve
"I thought it was a little bit
of a slow start, but it was good to get the ball rolling mid to late in
that first set," Barty said.
Barty will meet Yulia Putintseva
or Kiki Bertens in the semifinals.
In men's quarterfinals
Thursday, eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi upset top-seeded Stefanos
Tsitsipas 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and No. 3 Diego Schwartzman beat Yoshihito
Nishioka 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (1).
Kohlschreiber, Sandgren, Norrie, Struff reach Auckland semis
Kohlschreiber from Germany plays against Fabio Fognini from Italy during the
quarter finals of the ASB Classic men's tennis tournament in Auckland, New
Zealand, Thursday, Jan. 10. (AP Photo/Chris Symes)
Auckland, New Zealand (AP) —
Former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated second-seeded Fabio Fognini
again 6-3, 6-1 to reach the ASB Classic semifinals on Thursday.
Unseeded Kohlschreiber, who won the
tournament in 2008, will have to go through Tennys Sandgren to reach another
final in Auckland on his 12th visit.
The other semifinal will feature New
Zealand-born Englishman Cameron Norrie, a wild card, against Jan-Lennard
Struff. Norrie or Struff will reach his first ATP final.
Fognini called for the trainer at one
point, and in the second set he made little effort to resist Kohlschreiber's
progress to his seventh win over the Italian in nine meetings.
"I'm still improving my game, even at
35 years old. I think you are still able to improve," Kohlschreiber said.
He captured his first service break in
the third game, held serve in the following game which lasted 10 minutes and
contained five deuces, then clinched the set with relative comfort, breaking
Fognini again in the ninth game.
Sandgren, an Australian Open
quarterfinalist last year, defeated Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 7-6 (5) without
facing a break point.
Sandgren had eight break-point chances
but converted only one.
Norrie beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (3), 6-3,
and Struff beat fourth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 (5), 6-7 (8), 7-6 (9)
in three hours to ensure no seeds reached the semifinals.
Makeshift Liverpool team lose to Wolves 2-1 in FA Cup
Liverpool's Ki-Jana Hoever, left, vies for
the ball with Wolverhampton's Diogo Jota during the English FA Cup third
round match at the Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, Monday, Jan. 7.
(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Wolverhampton, England (AP)
— A makeshift Liverpool team containing three teenagers making their
senior debuts lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 in the third round of
the FA Cup, with a 30-yard strike by Ruben Neves sealing the win on
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp
showed where the competition ranked on the current English Premier
League leaders' list of priorities by leaving star forwards Mohamed
Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench until the 70th minute, and they
failed to have an impact after coming on.
"I changed a lot because I
thought we had to, not because I wanted to," said Klopp, who justified
fielding a weakened team by saying some of key players were absent
because of illness or "little problems."
Klopp, who also used the wind as
a reason for his team's below-par display at Molineux, has yet to
progress beyond the fourth round of the FA Cup in his four seasons in
charge of Liverpool.
Wolves went in front through
striker Raul Jimenez in the 38th minute after James Milner lost
possession in central midfield, but Liverpool equalized when Divock
Origi scored from the edge of the area in the 51st.
Neves regained the lead for
Wolves four minutes later, striking a low and fierce shot inside the
near post past the initially unsighted Simon Mignolet.
Klopp started midfielders Rafael
Camacho and Curtis Jones — aged 18 and 17, respectively — and sent on
another debutant in 16-year-old Dutchman Ki-Jana Hoever in the sixth
minute after center back Dejan Lovren sustained a hamstring injury.
Hoever, at 16 years and 354
days, became the youngest Liverpool player in FA Cup history and the
third-youngest player to make a senior appearance for the team.
Hoever's introduction meant
Liverpool played the majority of the match with a 16-year-old debutant
and a Brazil midfielder, Fabinho, as its central-defensive partnership.
"I am not sure what you all
would have said if immediately from the beginning our center-half
situation was Fabinho and Ki-Jana," Klopp said. "Then probably a few
very smart people would tell me that I don't respect the competition or
Only in the second half did
Liverpool find their stride. Xherdan Shaqiri came closest to forcing a
replay when he curled in a free kick that was tipped onto the post by
Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Liverpool have won the
competition seven times, but not since 2006. The Reds lead the league by
four points after 21 games and are through to the round of 16 in the
Champions League, with those competitions now Liverpool's only chance of
silverware this season.
Some of the momentum in their
season might have been lost, with the defeat to Wolves coming four days
after a 2-1 loss at Manchester City — their first league defeat of the
Klopp, who is without injured
center backs Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, was unsure about how long Lovren
would be out.
"I asked everybody, no signs,
nothing, just out of the blue," Klopp said of Lovren's injury.
Al-Attiyah wins opening stage of Dakar Rally in Peru
Barreda of Spain rides his Honda motorbike during the first stage of the
Dakar Rally between Lima and Pisco, Peru, Monday, Jan. 7. (AP
Lima, Peru (AP) — Nasser Al-Attiyah made
a great start to winning a third Dakar Rally title when he won the
opening stage by almost two minutes on Monday.
Al-Attiyah made light work of the 84-kilometer
special on the dunes around Pisco along the Pacific coast.
He led by 38 seconds at the first marker, and by
45 seconds at the halfway point.
Defending champion Carlos Sainz, another
two-time winner, was second.
Jakub Przygonski was third. The overall champion
of the Cross-country Rallies World Cup is trying to become the first
Polish winner of the Dakar.
Seven-time winner Stephane Peterhansel was three
minutes back in seventh, and Sebastien Loeb was more than six minutes
Joan Barreda showed the focus of his buildup on
being fit paid off when he won first motorbike stage by a minute from
Pablo Quintanilla. Barreda's Honda teammate, Ricky Brabec, was third.
Barreda had to withdraw last year on the 11th
stage while lying second overall because of knee and hand injuries.
This Dakar has been reduced to a 10-stage race
on Peruvian sand, finishing in Lima on Jan. 17.
Ferrari replaces Arrivabene with Binotto as team principal
this June 19, 2016 file photo, Ferrari team principal Maurizio
Arrivabene grimaces prior to the start of the Formula One Grand Prix of
Europe at the Baku circuit, in Baku, Azerbaijan. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Maranello, Italy (AP) —
Ferrari replaced Maurizio Arrivabene with Mattia Binotto as team
principal on Monday following another failed Formula One title chase.
Binotto, who had been working as
Ferrari's chief technical officer, has been with the team for nearly 25
"After four years of untiring
commitment and dedication, Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team,"
Ferrari said in a statement. "The decision was taken together with the
company's top management after lengthy discussions related to Maurizio's
long term personal interests as well as those of the team itself.
"With immediate effect, Mattia
Binotto will take over as Scuderia Ferrari's Team Principal. All
technical areas will continue to report directly to Mattia."
While Ferrari driver Sebastian
Vettel won the opening two races of the 2018 season and took pole
position in three of the first four races, Ferrari's performance waned
as the year went on, enabling Mercedes to win a fifth straight drivers'
title with Lewis Hamilton.
Arrivabene had been in charge
since the 2015 season, having previously worked for Philip Morris, a key
Arrivabene's criticism of
Ferrari's technical department may have resulted in his ouster.
Having joined Ferrari in 1995 as
a test engine engineer, Binotto was involved in the team's golden years
when Michael Schumacher won five titles. He was promoted to technical
chief in July 2016.
Binotto had reportedly been
chosen previously as Arrivabene's successor by former Ferrari CEO Sergio
Marchionne, who died in July.
Binotto was widely credited with
creating cars that were competitive with Mercedes over the past two
years — which put a spotlight on questionable strategic choices.
Arrivabene was criticized for
the way Ferrari handled its home Italian Grand Prix in September, when a
lack of team orders prevented Kimi Raikkonen from clearing the way for
Vettel at the start — which was followed by contact between Vettel and
There was another tactical error
concerning the choice of tires during qualifying for the Japanese GP.
Hamilton clinched the title two races later in Mexico — with two GPs to
spare — and finished with an 88-point advantage over Vettel.
In four seasons under
Arrivabene, Ferrari won 14 races — 13 by Vettel and one by Raikkonen —
and finished second three times in the constuctors' standings.
The 2019 season opens with the
Australian GP in Melbourne on March 17.
Former Sauber driver Charles
Leclerc has been hired to replace Raikkonen for this season, with
Raikkonen having gone to Sauber.
Raikkonen was the last Ferrari
driver to win a championship in 2007.
Vonn plans return to World Cup at speed races in Austria
In this Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, United States' Lindsey Vonn
celebrates on the podium after winning an alpine ski, women's world Cup
downhill race, in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany. (AP Photo/Gabriele
New York (AP) - Lindsey
Vonn is planning to return from injury this weekend for speed races in
Austria, resuming her quest for the all-time record for World Cup wins.
It will be her first ski races
of the season after hurting her knee and sitting out six events.
"I'm NOT done yet!!!," Vonn
wrote Monday on Instagram alongside a video on her training during her
recovery. "It's been a tough 6 weeks but I'm on skis again and excited
to get back in the starting gate. See you in St. Anton this weekend."
St. Anton am Arlberg is hosting
a downhill on Saturday, followed by a super-G the next day, with
training starting Thursday. It's the first of three consecutive weekends
of speed racing.
The women's World Cup record
holder needs five more victories to break the overall record of 86 wins,
set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in the 1980s.
Focusing on her specialties of
downhill and super-G, Vonn skipped technical races in October and early
November before hurting herself in a training crash at Copper Mountain
in Colorado. She hyperextended and sprained a ligament in her knee and
suffered a bone bruise on Nov. 19, just over a week before her scheduled
season start with two downhills and a super-G in one of her favorite
resorts, Lake Louise, Alberta.
Later, Vonn also missed a
super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, as well as a super-G and a downhill
in Val Gardena, Italy.
The 34-year-old American was
initially planning to retire at the end of this season, but the injury
setback prompted her to announce her participation in one more series of
speed races in Lake Louise next season.
Vonn was also expected to
compete at next month's world championships in Are, Sweden.
Over her career, Vonn has had a
long list of ailments, including torn ACLs, fractures near her left knee
joint, a bruised shin, broken ankle, broken arm, sliced right thumb and
concussions. She missed the 2014 Sochi Olympics after damaging her right
Still, she was closing in on
Stenmark's record toward the end of last season, when she won three of
the last four races to raise her tally to 82.
The timing of her comeback seems
opportune, with six speed races scheduled over the next three weekends.
Vonn has competed in St. Anton
twice before. She won two events on back-to-back days in December 2007,
and she placed sixth and fourth, respectively, in January 2013, when she
was returning to the circuit after a three-week layoff caused by an
After St. Anton, the women's
World Cup moves to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, on Jan. 19-20 and
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, the following week. Each resort will
host one downhill and one super-G.
Vonn has won four overall World
Cup titles and 10 medals at major championships, including downhill gold
at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Eagles stave off Bears on missed FG; Chargers edge Ravens
Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin
Ingram (54) sacks Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the
second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 6,
in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Chicago (AP) —
Nick Foles hit Golden Tate with a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth down
with 56 seconds remaining against the NFL's stingiest defense, lifting
the Philadelphia Eagles past the Chicago Bears 16-15 on Sunday in the
final wild-card game.
Former Eagles kicker Cody Parkey
hit the left upright and then the crossbar with a field-goal attempt
from 43 yards with 10 seconds remaining, silencing the raucous crowd.
The defending league champion
Eagles (10-7) squeezed into the playoffs by beating Washington and
having the Bears (12-5) help them by knocking off Minnesota in the
season finale. Philadelphia thanked its benefactor with a 12-play,
60-yard drive on which Foles, the Super Bowl MVP last February, hit six
Philly plays at New Orleans (13-3)
No team has repeated as Super Bowl
champion since New England in 2004, and the Eagles are a sixth seed. The
last sixth seed to win the NFL title was Green Bay in the 2010 season.
But these Eagles, led by Foles and
a defense down to backups at several positions, seem to have that
magical touch like last season.
It was a sizzling ending to a game
marked by superior defense and several critical mistakes by the Eagles.
They had to survive after Tarik Cohen, an All-Pro punt returner, took
back the kickoff following Philly's go-ahead score 35 yards. Mitchell
Trubisky completed two passes to get the Bears close enough for Parkey.
But his kick took a double deflection and fell harmlessly into the end
He was 11 of 12 in the
fourth-quarter on field goals before missing the biggest kick of his
CHARGERS 23, RAVENS 17
BALTIMORE (AP) — Los Angeles kept
Lamar Jackson grounded, and by the time the rookie got the passing game
going it was too late for Baltimore.
Michael Badgley kicked five field
goals, and Los Angeles harassed and hounded Jackson during a victory in
the opening round of the NFL playoffs.
The Chargers (13-4) will next face
the second-seeded New England Patriots (11-5) on the road Sunday. The
Chargers last won two games during a single postseason in 2007, when the
franchise was in San Diego.
Badgley set a franchise record for
field goals in a playoff game. He connected from 21, 53, 40, 34 and 47
The Chargers built a 23-3 lead in
the fourth quarter before Jackson threw two touchdown passes to make it
close. Given one final chance to complete the comeback, the 21-year-old
Jackson looked every bit like the youngest quarterback to start an NFL
playoff game when he lost the ball on his third fumble of the game.
Jackson finished 14 for 29 for 194
yards with an interception. He was sacked seven times.
The Chargers got even for a 22-10
loss two weeks ago to Baltimore (10-7), the AFC North champions.
Fan-turned-coach helps FA Cup 3rd round deliver 3 big upsets
Oldham Athletic's team and coaching staff
celebrate after the final whistle of their English FA Cup third round
match against Fulham at Craven Cottage in London, Sunday, Jan. 6. (John
Walton/PA via AP)
London (AP) - Until 11
days ago, Pete Wild had been planning to cheer on Oldham as a fan with
his pals in the club’s FA Cup third-round match at Premier League club
Wild was indeed at Craven
Cottage on Sunday but in the dugout, rather than the stands, guiding the
unheralded northern England team to victory in one of three so-called
"giant-killings" on a classic day in the famous knockout competition.
Fourth-tier Oldham beat Fulham
2-1 at the same time as non-league team Barnet were stunning second-tier
Sheffield United in a 1-0 win despite a gap of 84 places in English
A few hours later, fourth-tier
Newport County eliminated Leicester, the seventh-placed team in the
Premier League, after a 2-1 win at their atmospheric Rodney Parade
Ruining the day for the
romantics were Manchester City, who swept to a 7-0 victory over
second-tier Rotherham in their biggest win under Pep Guardiola.
While Guardiola is arguably
soccer's most famous coach, Wild is still making his way in the
managerial game and was Oldham's youth-team manager until Dec. 26, when
he was asked to take charge of the first team on an emergency basis
following the firing of the manager after a 6-0 loss.
The 33-year-old Wild accepted
the challenge, led Oldham to back-to-back wins in two league games, and
has now masterminded one of the biggest FA Cup shocks in recent years .
"It is Roy of the Rovers stuff,"
said Wild, referring to a now-defunct British cartoon about a fictional
soccer player. "It is one you have to savor."
Especially since the manager in
the home dugout at Craven Cottage was Claudio Ranieri, the storied coach
who led Leicester in their fairytale Premier League-winning campaign in
Ranieri's Fulham were 1-0 ahead
with 14 minutes left, only to concede goals to Sam Surridge and Callum
Lang. Lang's 88th-minute winner came moments after Fulham striker
Aleksandar Mitrovic had a penalty saved off his first touch after coming
on as a substitute.
"I did not see desire or
passion," Ranieri said. "I wanted to see desire — show me I am wrong,
show me! I am not wrong."
Aside from the embarrassment of
losing to a team three leagues below them, the loss will not do Fulham's
confidence any good as the club from southwest London fights for
survival in the Premier League. Fulham are in next-to-last place, four
points from safety.
BARNET CUT DOWN BLADES
Another of the day's big upsets
was also plotted by a caretaker manager.
It was an emotional afternoon
for Darren Currie, who led Barnet to their victory over Sheffield United
— the club where his uncle, Tony, is regarded as a soccer great and has
a stand named after him at the stadium at Bramhall Lane.
"Naturally he'll be hurting,"
Darren Currie said. "He wants his team to go through, but he's proud of
me and what I've done today."
Shaquile Coulthirst scored the
only goal of the game, from the penalty spot, to ensure Barnet will be
the only non-league side in the fourth round.
Sheffield United, who are in
third place in the second-tier League Championship, could end up
replacing Fulham in the Premier League but the clubs were united in
NEWPORT STUN LEICESTER
Nearly a year after holding
Tottenham to a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup fourth round, Newport got the job
done against another big team in the Premier League.
It felt like history would
repeat itself when Rachid Ghezzal equalized for Leicester in the 82nd
minute — the same minute that Harry Kane drew Tottenham level 12 months
But this time, there was another
twist as Leicester midfielder Marc Albrighton gave away a penalty for
handball and Padraig Amond converted from the spot.
It rounds off a bizarre festive
period for Leicester, who beat Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton in
the league but also lost to struggling Cardiff in the league and now
Newport in the cup.
Sixth-tier Woking, the
lowest-ranked team in the third round, lost 2-0 at home to Watford.
There were also wins for Queens Park Rangers, Doncaster and Millwall.
South Africa win 2nd test, seal series against Pakistan
South African Captain Faf du Plessis bats on
day four of the second cricket test match between South Africa and
Pakistan at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa, Sunday,
Jan. 6. (AP Photo/Halden Krog)
Cape Town, South Africa (AP)
— South Africa won the second test and the series against Pakistan
by making the 41 runs they needed on the morning of the fourth day on
It wasn't as simple as South
Africa were hoping, with the Proteas losing stand-in opener Theunis de
Bruyn for 4 and seeing Hashim Amla retire hurt on 2 before they reached
the simple target.
De Bruyn was opening in place of
Aiden Markram, who was injured fielding on the third day.
Still, South Africa got there
and were 43-1 to seal a nine-wicket win and a seventh straight series
win at home by taking a 2-0 lead over Pakistan in the three-test
contest. The final test in Johannesburg starts Friday.
Pakistan fell to a second
straight series loss and failed throughout to deal with the South
African pace bowling attack.
Pakistan were bowled out for 177
in the first innings at Newlands and South Africa were in control after
that, with Dale Steyn's seven wickets in the match the fast bowler's
best performance since a career-threatening shoulder injury in 2016.
Austrian Hirscher gets 30th career World Cup slalom win
Austria's Marcel Hirscher, center, winner of an alpine ski, men's World
Cup slalom, poses with second placed France's Alexis Pinturault, left,
and third placed Austria's Manuel Feller, in Zagreb, Croatia, Sunday,
Jan. 6. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)
Zagreb, Croatia (AP) —
Marcel Hirscher returned to winning ways Sunday, triumphing in the first
men's World Cup slalom of 2019 after he had missed the podium in the
last two races.
The seven-time overall champion
trailed Austrian teammate Marco Schwarz after the opening leg but posted
the fastest time in the final run before Schwarz straddled a gate and
failed to finish.
"It was today definitely not the
easiest victory I have made so far," said Hirscher, who has won 10 of
the last 12 slaloms. "But in the end of the day I am super, super happy.
It was quite a hard day of work."
It was Hirscher's 64th career win
and 30th in the discipline. Only Sweden's Ingemar Stenmark (40) and
Italy's Alberto Tomba (35) have won more men's slalom races.
Hirscher rarely misses out on a
podium in consecutive races. The last time he didn't make the podium in
three straight races was in February 2016.
After placing 26th in the last
slalom of 2018 in Italy and starting the new calendar year by placing
seventh in the city event in Oslo, he spoke of "a mini-crisis."
His focus on winning is so big,
that he calls finishing 26th or even seventh a "DNF," a did-not-finish.
"After finishing two races with a
DNF, it is nice to be back in the finish area with another 100 points.
The last two races not scoring points was not fun, it was making me
nervous, even after all those years," he said, adding that "the people
in Austria want to see me winning, or at least on the podium."
And Hirscher was fast to
acknowledge that Sunday's win had "not really" ended his doubts.
"The feeling is a little bit weird
with the changing conditions we have this year," Hirscher said. "It is
hard to find the right set-up for each terrain and for every condition."
Alexis Pinturault of France was
0.60 seconds behind Hirscher in second, and Manuel Feller of Austria was
another 0.02 further behind in third for his first career slalom podium.
Hirscher's main rival in the slalom
World Cup, Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway, finished in fifth place.
Pinturault returned to a slalom
podium for the first time since winning in Wengen, Switzerland, five
"I had troubles finding my best
level and with my skis and the setup. These were really hard years,"
said the Frenchman, adding he had put more focus on slalom training
again last summer.
Schwarz's half-time lead and
Feller's third-place finish underlined the depth of the Austrian
"We have been a pretty good and
fast team the last years, too. We are getting better and better," Feller
said. "The coaches did a really good job, we came out of nothing. And
with Marcel as our leader, we know how fast we have to be to get to the
It was Hirscher's fifth victory on
the outskirts of the Croatian capital. No other male skier has won more
slaloms at a single resort. Only Stenmark (in both Madonna di Campiglio
and Kitzbuehel) and Tomba (in Sestriere) have also recorded five wins at
Watched by 10,000 spectators along
the icy Crveni Spust course, Hirscher started the race with a solid run
but still trailed Schwarz, who led an Austrian sweep of the top three in
the opening run.
Five days after winning his first
World Cup at the city event in Oslo, Schwarz was 0.37 faster than
Hirscher, while Feller was 0.42 behind in third. Pinturault was 0.77 off
the lead in fifth.
On a course set by his coach Helmut
Grassl, Olympic champion Andre Myhrer of Sweden finished 2.71 seconds
off the lead and failed to qualify for the second run.
The men's World Cup continues with
another slalom and a GS in Adelboden, Switzerland, next weekend.
Nishikori, Pliskova win Brisbane International titles
Kei Nishikori of Japan plays a shot during his final match against Daniil
Medvedev of Russia at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in
Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 6. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)
(AP) — Kei Nishikori won his first ATP title since Memphis in 2016 with
a dominating final set to beat Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the Brisbane
International final on Sunday.
The 2014 U.S. Open finalist served for the match at 5-1
in the third set, but Medvedev earned a temporary reprieve when he broke the
Japanese player's serve to extend the match.
But Nishikori, who had lost nine consecutive ATP finals
over 52 tournaments in nearly three years, broke the Russian player's serve
on four consecutive points in the final game to clinch the match in just 2
hours, 6 minutes, at Pat Rafter Arena.
Earlier, Karolina Pliskova won her second Brisbane
title, beating Lesia Tsurenko 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 after coming within just two
points of defeat.
Serving for the title at 5-4 Sunday, Tsurenko lost 13
straight points. It came after Tsurenko rolled her ankle in the second game
of the deciding set.
Tsurenko was 4-0 in her previous WTA finals. Pliskova
won her first Brisbane title two years ago.
Pliskova improved her record in Brisbane to 13-2 and
joined Victoria Azarenka (2009, 2016) and Serena Williams (2013-14) as the
third woman to win the tournament twice.