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Update January 2019


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Sarri keeps team in locker room after Chelsea loss

Bournemouth's Joshua King, centre, celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game against Chelsea during their English Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, Wednesday Jan. 30. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)

Steve Douglas

London (AP) - Unable to fathom his team's second-half capitulation, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri kept his players in the locker room for around an hour after a humiliating 4-0 loss at Bournemouth on Wednesday.

His assistants weren't allowed in the room. The media were kept waiting. Sarri simply wanted answers.

"I needed to understand," Sarri said. "It's impossible to play in such a different way between the first and second half. I don't understand why."

Sarri even started to question himself.

"Maybe it's my fault," he added, "maybe I'm not able to motivate them."

From 0-0 at halftime, Chelsea conceded four goals to slump to their heaviest loss so far in Sarri's turbulent reign. It's back-to-back league defeats for Chelsea, who were outplayed in a 2-0 loss at Arsenal 11 days earlier.

That led to a coruscating attack from Sarri on his players' attitude and mentality. It hasn't had the desired effect, with Chelsea now out of the top four — on goals scored below Arsenal — in the race to secure one of the four Champions League qualification positions.

Without one of them, Sarri surely won't survive more than a season at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have long since exited the title race, which was thought to be down to two teams — Liverpool and Manchester City. However, Liverpool failed to fully capitalize on City's 2-1 loss to Newcastle on Tuesday by only drawing 1-1 at home to Leicester a day later, giving Juergen Klopp's team a five-point lead when it could have been seven.

Now there might be a third team in contention, with Tottenham rallying to a 2-1 win over Watford to close to within seven points of Liverpool.

___

HIGUAIN INEFFECTIVE

Gonzalo Higuain was handed a first Premier League start by Chelsea after his loan move from Juventus. It was a sobering night for the Argentine striker.

He was substituted after 65 minutes, having failed to record a shot on target or look a significant upgrade on Olivier Giroud — the target man already at the London club.

"You don't know what you are doing," sang Chelsea's fans when Sarri sent on Giroud as a replacement for Higuain, supposedly the answers to Chelsea's scoring problems.

Josh King scored either side of a superb solo strike from David Brooks, before Charlie Daniels added a fourth for Bournemouth in second-half stoppage time.

NERVOUS LIVERPOOL

With Liverpool in position to win a first league title since 1990, the ground staff seems to be doing everything it can to help the team out.

At halftime, workers cleared snow out of the penalty area that Liverpool were attacking but didn't do the same to the one the team were defending. Not that it mattered.

This was an unconvincing, sometimes nervous display by the leaders, who couldn't build on the lead Sadio Mane gave them after 121 seconds — Liverpool's quickest league goal in nearly three years.

Harry Maguire equalized in first-half stoppage time for Leicester, who have beaten Chelsea and Man City in the past five weeks.

It was the first time since April that Liverpool have dropped points against anyone outside the so-called "Big Six" in the league.

TOTTENHAM RECOVER

So much for Tottenham being in a crisis.

After exiting two cup competitions in the space of four days last week, Tottenham ensured they can still have a say in the title race in the league by coming from behind against Watford.

Craig Cathcart headed home a corner in the 38th minute to put Watford ahead but Son Heung-min marked his return from the Asian Cup duty with South Korea with an equalizer in the 80th.

Fernando Llorente then made up for a glaring miss earlier in the game by heading home a cross to secure a second straight late comeback win for Spurs, who netted in injury time to earn a 2-1 win at Fulham in their previous league match.

In Wednesday's other game, Wilfried Zaha scored and was later sent off for Crystal Palace in a 1-1 draw at Southampton, who moved four points clear of the relegation zone.


South Africa win final ODI vs. Pakistan, clinch series

South Africa's Quinton de Kock, left, bats during the ODI cricket match against Pakistan at the Newland's Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, Jan 30. (AP Photo/Nasief Manie)

Cape Town, South Africa (AP) — South Africa clinched the one-day series against Pakistan on Wednesday with a comfortable seven-wicket victory in the decisive final game.

Captain Faf du Plessis and newcomer Rassie van der Dussen saw South Africa home at Newlands and to a 3-2 series win. Both men finished on 50 not out and the home team eased to 241-3 and past Pakistan's 240-8 with 10 overs to spare.

It was a series both teams viewed with importance with the Cricket World Cup starting in May.

Van der Dussen continued his successful start to international cricket with his third half-century in four innings in his debut ODI series. He clubbed a six to go to his 50 and win the game.

His unbroken 95-run partnership with du Plessis took South Africa across the line but opener Quinton de Kock set it up with his rapid 83 from 58 balls at the top of the order. De Kock flayed 11 fours and three sixes after being given a life when he was caught off a no-ball when on 12.

While wicketkeeper-batsman de Kock underlined his value to South Africa's 50-over team, van der Dussen and allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo likely made the biggest impressions through the series.

Phehlukwayo continued his strong form with 2-42 with his seam bowling in the final game. His wickets were opener Fakhar Zaman, who top-scored for Pakistan with 70, and the experienced Mohammad Hafeez for 17. Phehlukwayo took those two wickets in quick succession to slow Pakistan in the middle overs.

Imad Wasim made late runs for his 47 not out off 31 deliveries to get Pakistan to 240 but it wasn't enough to stop South Africa winning a seesaw series. South Africa were 1-0 down, then 2-1 up before Pakistan leveled and sent it to a decider in Cape Town.

Pakistan's campaign was interrupted when captain Sarfraz Ahmed was banned and sent home for a racist on-field comment aimed at Phehlukwayo earlier in the series. He missed the last two games.

South Africa also won the test series, although that contest was a 3-0 whitewash.


Despite doping scandals, Russia bids to host European Games

In this file photo taken on Thursday, July 5, 2018, Tourists enjoy the view during the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

James Ellingworth

Moscow (AP) — Russia is bidding to host the 2023 European Games in Kazan despite a backdrop of years of doping scandals.

Russian Olympic Committee president Stanislav Pozdnyakov is working with regional officials on the Kazan bid and said late Tuesday the city has "unique sports infrastructure at both the Russian and international level."

Kazan hosted the University Games in 2013, the world swimming championships two years later, and World Cup soccer games last year. World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren later said the University Games were used as a "trial run" for the vast doping cover-up when Russia hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

McLaren accused the host nation of leading the medals table for the University Games in part because of "a defense for the Russian athletes" — cover-up orders from the sports ministry which led to eight Russian gold medalists with failed doping tests being reported as clean.

WADA lifted a suspension on Russia's anti-doping agency in September on condition authorities handed over data and samples from the Moscow laboratory at the center of the cover-up. Russia handed over the data this month after missing an earlier deadline, and has until June 30 to provide the samples for reanalysis. If it breaks those conditions, WADA could seek to stop Russia from hosting major international sports events.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listed Kazan alongside Sochi and St. Petersburg as a potential future host of the Olympics in a 2017 interview with Olympic historian David Miller. Russia last hosted the Summer Games in Moscow in 1980.

If Kazan is successful, it would be the third European Games in a post-Soviet country after the inaugural event in Azerbaijan in 2015 and this year's edition in Belarus. The 2019 games were originally meant to be held in the Netherlands but the hosts dropped out in 2015, saying the event cost too much.

Despite launching in 2015 with 20 sports and a lavish opening ceremony, the European Games have struggled to attract big-name athletes. Federations in sports such as track and field, swimming and cycling have guarded their own long-running European championships and joined together to stage them simultaneously in Glasgow and Berlin last year, creating a rival to the European Games format.

The European Olympic Committees, which runs the European Games, said this month that the Polish city of Katowice had expressed interest in the 2023 event.


Petra Kvitova beats Azarenka in 2 sets in St. Petersburg

Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic returns the ball to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy-2019 tennis tournament match in St.Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 30. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

St. Petersburg, Russia (AP) — Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova won eight straight games to take control of the match before needing a tiebreaker to finally beat Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 7-6 (3) on Wednesday in the second round of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

Kvitova, playing her opening match after a first-round bye, went from trailing 2-1 in the first set to a 3-0 lead in the second. But she double-faulted on match point at 5-1 to let Azarenka back into the match.

In the quarterfinals, Kvitova will face eighth-seeded Donna Vekic, who beat lucky loser Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 6-3.

Maria Sharapova withdrew from the tournament with a right shoulder injury, hours before she was to play Daria Kasatkina in the second round. Sharapova had beaten Australia's Daria Gavrilova in the first round Monday and was aiming to win a WTA event in her native Russia for the first time.

"I tried to do everything to be ready to play this week but my right shoulder is still bothering me," she said on the tournament website. "In the next few days I'll meet my medical team to evaluate the situation and I'm looking forward to getting back into competition as soon as possible. Playing in front of my home crowd was something special for me and it's a shame that I couldn't keep competing at this fantastic tournament."

A walkover for Kasatkina sets up a quarterfinal with Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva, who upset fifth-seeded Julia Goerges 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 despite being ranked 97th, 81 places behind her German opponent.


Djokovic tops Nadal for record 7th Australian Open

Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds his trophy aloft after defeating Spain's Rafael Nadal in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 27. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Howard Fendrich

Melbourne, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic was so good, so relentless, so pretty much perfect, that Rafael Nadal never stood a chance.

Djokovic reduced one of the greats of the game to merely another outclassed opponent — just a guy, really — and one so out of sorts that Nadal even whiffed on one of his famous forehands entirely.

In a remarkably dominant and mistake-free performance that yielded a remarkably lopsided result, the No. 1-ranked Djokovic overwhelmed Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday night to win a record seventh Australian Open championship and a third consecutive Grand Slam title, raising his count to 15 overall.

"An amazing level of tennis," Nadal acknowledged.

After dropping only four games in the semifinals, Djokovic spoke about being "in the zone." Clearly, he did not budge from there, producing 34 winners and only nine unforced errors Sunday.

And this was against no slouch, of course: Nadal is ranked No. 2, owns 17 major trophies himself and hadn't dropped a set in the tournament.

But Djokovic left Nadal smirking or gritting his teeth or punching his racket strings, unable to compete at all.

"Tonight," Nadal said, "was not my night."

So Djokovic added to previous triumphs in Melbourne in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, along with four at Wimbledon, three at the U.S. Open and one at the French Open.

He broke his tie with Roger Federer and Roy Emerson for most Australian Open men's titles. He also broke a tie with Pete Sampras for third-most Grand Slam trophies; Djokovic only trails Federer, with 20, and Nadal.

And he is gaining on them.

"Sometimes, this tournament has been tough for me, in terms of injury," said Nadal, who dropped to 1-4 in Australian Open finals, "and other times, in terms of opponents — like tonight."

A sore right elbow cost Djokovic the last half of 2017. It contributed to a fourth-round loss in Melbourne a year ago, right before he decided to have surgery.

All that is in the past.

The 31-year-old Serb is once again at an elite level. If anything, the gap between him and the rest is growing right now.

"I'm just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months," Djokovic said, mentioning what he called "quite a major injury."

"To be standing now here in front of you today and managing to win this title and three out of four Slams is truly amazing," Djokovic said. "I am speechless."

Nadal also has dealt with all manner of health issues. He retired from his Australian Open quarterfinal and U.S. Open semifinal last year with right leg problems, had an offseason operation on his right ankle, and hadn't competed in about four months when play began in Melbourne.

"It was so important to be where I am today, coming back from injury, and it's good inspiration for me for what's coming," Nadal said. "I'm going to keep fighting hard to be a better player."

Djokovic and Nadal know each other, their styles and their patterns all too well. This was their 53rd meeting — more than any other pair of men in the half-century professional era — and record-equaling 15th at a Grand Slam tournament. It was also their eighth matchup in a major final.

So there should not have been any mysteries out there on Rod Laver Arena's blue court as they began with the temperature, which had topped 105 degrees (40 Celsius) in recent days, at a manageable 75 (25 C) and just a hint of wind.

Right from the start, though, this shaped up nothing like their only previous Australian Open title match, back in 2012, which Djokovic won in 5 hours, 53 minutes, the longest Grand Slam final in history.

Evenly matched as they were that night, this time was no contest. None whatsoever. It lasted a tad more than 2 hours.

Watching things swing so immediately and irrevocably in Djokovic's direction really was rather hard to comprehend, as was how someone of Nadal's experience and excellence could come out of the gate quite so poorly.

Nerves? Perhaps they played a role. So, of course, did Djokovic, whose defense was impenetrable.

No ball, no matter how well-struck, seemed to be out of Djokovic's reach. He slid and stretched and occasionally even did the splits, contorting his body to get wherever he needed to.

Djokovic grabbed 13 of the first 14 points, including all four that lasted 10 strokes or more. A trend was established.

Of most significance, Nadal was broken the very first time he served Sunday. That gave Djokovic one more break of Nadal than the zero that the Spaniard's five preceding opponents had managed combined. But none of them is Djokovic, the best returner in the game now — and maybe ever.

Not a shabby returner, either, Nadal could make no headway on this day. Djokovic won each of the initial 16 points he served and 25 of the first 26.

By the end of the second set, after 75 minutes of action, Djokovic had won nearly twice as many points (59-30), made more winners (23-14) and far fewer unforced errors (20-4), while taking 14 of 17 points that lasted at least 10 strokes.

The longest was a 22-shot point, which ended when Nadal netted a backhand to give Djokovic a set point at the end of the first. Djokovic raised his right fist and held it there while staring at his guest box.

He was on the right path. Nadal could do nothing to stop him.


Palace knock Tottenham out of FA Cup, Chelsea advance

Tottenham's Juan Foyth fights for the ball with Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, right, during their teams’ English FA Cup fourth round soccer match at Selhurst Park in London, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

London (AP) — Tottenham exited their second competition in four days after losing 2-0 at Crystal Palace in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, and defending champions Chelsea were boosted by two video reviews in beating Sheffield Wednesday 3-0.

Palace took a ninth-minute lead when Jeff Schlupp's shot was saved by Paulo Gazzaniga but the Spurs goalkeeper could only push the ball into the path of Connor Wickham and he scored with a routine tap-in for his first goal in 799 days. The former Sunderland striker has endured an injury-ravaged time over the last few seasons.

The hosts extended their advantage after Kyle Walker-Peters handled in the penalty area with Wickham lurking. Former Tottenham winger Andros Townsend slammed the resulting spot kick straight down the middle in the 34th.

Tottenham got a penalty of their own 10 minutes later when Patrick Van Aanholt brought down Juan Foyth, but Kieran Trippier fired well wide to ensure the Eagles took a 2-0 lead into the break.

Pochettino introduced Erik Lamela as a halftime substitute, but Spurs continued to struggle in front of goal in the absence of Christian Eriksen, who was not even on the bench, and the injured Dele Alli and Harry Kane.

Chelsea beat Tottenham in a penalty shootout on Thursday in the English League Cup semifinals after a 2-1 victory for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge left the two sides level 2-2 on aggregate.

The fifth-round draw takes place Monday.

VAR SPOTLIGHT AS CHELSEA WIN

The force — of VAR — was with Chelsea against struggling second-tier Sheffield Wednesday.

Chelsea conceded a first-half penalty, which the video assistant referee subsequently overturned, and quickly got a penalty of their own, which VAR confirmed.

Callum Hudson-Odoi scored on what could be his final Chelsea appearance and Willian netted twice at Stamford Bridge.

Hudson-Odoi started despite reportedly submitting a transfer request in an effort to force through a move to Bayern Munich ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline, and the 18-year-old winger netted Chelsea's second goal after 64 minutes.

Sheffield Wednesday had a penalty overturned by VAR after 22 minutes and Chelsea had a spot-kick awarded four minutes later, Willian converting from the spot, after referee Andre Marriner's decision had been confirmed by VAR.

"With VAR, it was obviously the correct decision but I thought we should have had a corner as a result (instead of a dropped ball) so that seemed a strange decision. But we're all a bit wiser now," Owls caretaker boss Steve Agnew said.

Chelsea celebrated their first goal in front of the Shed End, packed with visiting fans, some of whom took exception, with missiles thrown.

"I wasn't aware of that. It's not the right thing to do," said Agnew.

Willian added a late third as the Blues advanced to the fifth round.

Gonzalo Higuain made his first appearance as Chelsea made eight changes following their win over Tottenham.

Higuain made his debut after signing late on Wednesday on loan from Juventus.

POSITIVE POCHETTINO

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino tried to look on the bright side after the defeat to Palace.

"Of course disappointed because, after Thursday and today again, out of two competitions. You feel disappointed. You can't feel anything different," Pochettino said.

"But now we have to be positive. We are still in two competitions, in a good position in the Premier League and the Champions League is a massive motivation for the whole club. We have to be strong."

Tottenham, who lie third in the Premier League, host Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Feb. 13.

Reacting to the constant pressure for silverware, Pochettino said: "People wish we could win some trophies. But being realistic, we are doing so well. To win a title here in England like the FA Cup or Carabao (League) Cup is about being lucky, not only about quality in your squad."

Pochettino selected a significantly weakened team that featured seven changes from Thursday's game at Chelsea


Top-ranked Justin Rose wins Farmers Insurance Open

Justin Rose, of England, holds the trophy after winning the Farmers Insurance golf tournament Sunday, Jan. 27, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Doug Ferguson

San Diego (AP) — Justin Rose missed a short birdie putt that felt like another bogey. His three-shot lead was down to one through six holes of the Farmers Insurance Open, and the biggest battle was trying not to panic.

That's when he scratched a line on his scorecard after six holes, wanting to start his round from that moment forward.

And he gave himself a pep talk.

"You're No. 1 for a reason. Just start playing like it, please," he said.

And he did.

Rose followed with a perfect wedge to a right pin that led to birdie, the first of five birdies the rest of the way for a 3-under 69 and a two-shot victory Sunday over Adam Scott at Torrey Pines. It was his 10th straight year with a victory worldwide, including his gold medal from the 2016 Olympics, and his 10th career PGA Tour victory gave him the most of any player from England, breaking a tie with Nick Faldo.

Rose finished at 21-under 267, the lowest 72-hole score at this event in 20 years, and the warm, windless weather had a role in that.

"Twenty-one under around Torrey Pines is great golf," Rose said. "But you had to do it. It felt like I had to work hard for his."

Scott left him little choice. After not making a birdie until the ninth hole — and missing a 20-inch par putt on No. 5 — Scott closed with four straight birdies and kept the outcome in doubt until Rose hit wedge to 3 feet on the 18th hole for his last birdie.

"I just didn't have the game on the front nine, and it's a shame because Justin was a little shaky early with some bogeys," Scott said. "By the time I got it sorted out, it was a bit too late."

Rose became the first player to post all four rounds in the 60s since Peter Jacobsen in 1995, back when the North and South courses were 700 yards shorter. Weather aside, this was an exquisite performance, especially with his three penalty shots on Saturday, and opening the final round with three bogeys in five holes.

Hideki Matsuyama closed with a 67 and tied for third with Talor Gooch, who shot 68. Gooch, who finished fourth last week in the Desert Classic to get into this event, earned a spot in next week's Phoenix Open. He is playing this year on conditional status.

Jon Rahm was never a factor after pulling within one shot with that birdie on No. 6, which turned out to be the only one he made all round. He shot 72 and tied for fifth with Rory McIlroy (69) and defending champion Jason Day (67).

Tiger Woods had to settle for his own version of winning. Starting the final round 13 shots behind, Woods wanted to get into double figures. He birdied his last two holes for a 31 on the front nine to shoot 67 and finish at 10-under 278. He tied for 20th in his 2019 debut.

"Got to have these little goals when I'm not in contention to win a tournament," Woods said. "Still something positive to end the week on."

The timing was ideal for Rose, who takes pride in winning every year. The last time he won in January was in South Africa in 2002, the first of his 22 victories worldwide. But it goes beyond that.

Rose dedicated the victory to his caddie, Mark Fulcher, who had a heart procedure last week and was watching from home. Rose used Gareth Lord, who previously caddied for Henrik Stenson and knows Rose well from Ryder Cup partnerships.

"Probably harder than the heart surgery itself, watching this weekend," Rose said. "This one's for him."

It also was his first victory since signing new equipment deal with Japanese-based Honma, leading Rose to switch out everything but the golf ball.

Even though Rose never lost the lead, and led by at least two the entire back nine, there were a few key moments.

He got up-and-down from delicate spots to save par on the 13th and 14th hole, and made an 8-foot par putt on No. 15 with Scott in tight for birdie, keeping the lead at three shots. On the par-3 16th, Rose holed a 30-foot birdie putt, right before Scott followed him in for birdie from 20 feet. And then Scott closed the gap to two shots with an approach inside a foot on the 17th, giving him a chance on the 18th.

The Australian missed his tee shot on the par-5 18th into a bunker and had to lay up, and Rose effectively ended it with his wedge to 3 feet. Scott also made birdie, a great finish that barely allowed him to make up any ground. His 269 was the same score Woods had in 2008 when he won at Torrey Pines by eight shots. Only four other scores have been lower since this event moved to Torrey in 1968, all of them before it was beefed up ahead of the U.S. Open.

"He's the No. 1 player in the world, and he's showing why," Scott said.


Thurman returns from injuries to beat Lopez, retain title

Keith Thurman, right, punches Josesito Lopez during the fifth round of a welterweight championship boxing match Saturday, Jan. 26, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Brian Mahoney

New York (AP) — Keith Thurman's elbow and hand looked fine, and his chin held up against a determined attack by Josesito Lopez.

It was a good enough return that Thurman might be ready for Manny Pacquiao next.

Thurman came back from a 22-month layoff to beat Lopez via majority decision Saturday night to retain his welterweight title.

Thurman got off to a fast start with a second-round knockdown, withstood a big seventh round from Lopez, and regained control to improve to 29-0. It was the WBA champion's first fight since March 4, 2017, before he was sidelined first by right elbow surgery and then an injured left hand.

Both looked back to normal inside Barclays Center and so did Thurman's legs, as he moved well to mostly stay out of trouble against Lopez, who kept coming forward throughout the fight but often got caught with uppercuts and combinations for his efforts.

"He came right for me," Thurman said. "I said you wouldn't see the best Keith Thurman tonight, but you'd still see a world-class performance, and I gave you that tonight."

He'd likely need a better one against the 40-year-old Pacquiao, who showed he has plenty left with an easy victory over Adrien Broner last week.

"I would most likely definitely take the Manny Pacquiao fight this year," Thurman said. "I feel good. That was a beautiful fight. I'm ready to fight wherever Pacquiao wants it."

Judge Tom Schreck had it 117-109 for Thurman and Steve Weisfeld had it 115-111, while Don Ackerman had it even at 113-113. The Associated Press had it 117-110 for Thurman.

Lopez (36-8) stalked all night and had Thurman hurt in the seventh round, but otherwise Thurman's speed wouldn't let Lopez get in good enough position to have enough power on his punches.

"I was disappointed I couldn't finish him and get him out of there," Lopez said. "If he thinks he's the best welterweight out there, then I want two through five lined up for me."

Thurman was back in the ring for the first time since he edged Danny Garcia in a split decision, also in Brooklyn, to unify 147-pound titles. He had surgery two months later to remove bone spurs from his right elbow and when he resumed training after a lengthy recovery, he hurt his left hand.

That kept him out of the ring for nearly two years and he had to vacate the WBC's version of the title that he had won from Garcia.

Thurman showed no worries about his health, swinging hard with both hands in the opening round. And for sure there was nothing wrong with his legs, as he moved far too quickly for Lopez, getting into position to throw uppercuts and hooks and getting right out of the way for whatever Lopez threw back.

He then knocked Lopez down with a left hook to the chin in the second and appeared to hurt him again later in the round en route to huge advantages in power punches (168-100) and jabs (79-17) in the fight.

Things changed suddenly in the seventh, when Lopez hurt Thurman with a right hand and spent most of the round chasing him around and connecting with shots that appeared to have Thurman in trouble. Thurman recovered toward the end of the round and landed some good combinations in the eighth to regain momentum.

"He had me buzzed and shaken up in the seventh round, but I tried to stay on the outside away," Thurman said.

In the co-main event, Polish power puncher Adam Kownacki, who is based in Brooklyn, stopped Gerald Washington in the second round of their heavyweight bout.

Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs), with entire sections of the stands behind his corner filled with Polish fans wearing red, had Washington caught against the ropes late in the first round and dropped him after a right hand early in the second. Washington struggled to get up, first falling backward into the bottom rope, before rising. Referee Harvey Dock let Washington continue but not for long, stepping in to stop it at 1:09 of the round after Kownacki — not bothered by a cut near his left eye — quickly pounced and hurt Washington again.

"I trained hard for this fight," Kownacki said. "I prepared for 10 hard rounds, but I'm glad I got it done and ended it as fast as I did."

Washington fell to 19-3-1, but 0-3 against the three undefeated fighters he has faced. He was also stopped by heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Jarrell Miller.

Also, Tugstsogt Nyambayar, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist for Mongolia, improved to 11-0 with a unanimous decision against Claudio Marrero (23-3), becoming the mandatory challenger for WBC 126-pound champion Gary Russell.


Serena stunned by Pliskova at Australian Open

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, left, is congratulated by United States' Serena Williams after winning their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 23. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

Howard Fendrich

Melbourne, Australia (AP) — Four times, Serena Williams was only one point — a single point — from closing out a victory in the Australian Open quarterfinals.

On the first such chance, at 5-1, 40-30 in the third set, she turned her left ankle awkwardly. The owner of the best serve in the sport would lose every point she served the rest of the way.

And so it was that a startling reversal and result would follow Wednesday at Melbourne Park, with Williams dropping the last six games of a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 loss to No. 7-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

"I can't say that I choked on those match points," Williams said. "She literally played her best tennis ever on those shots."

The 37-year-old American didn't call for a trainer during the match and later wouldn't blame the ankle for the way everything changed down the stretch, saying afterward that it "seems to be fine."

But instead of Williams moving closer to an eighth championship at the Australian Open and record-tying 24th Grand Slam title overall, it is Pliskova who will continue the pursuit of her first major trophy.

"I was almost in the locker room," Pliskova told the Rod Laver Arena crowd, "but now I'm standing here as the winner."

Normally, Williams is the one manufacturing a comeback. This time, it was surprising to see her let a sizable lead vanish. Only twice before in 380 Grand Slam matches had Williams lost after holding a match point, at the 2010 French Open and 1999 Australian Open.

In Thursday's semifinals, Pliskova will face No. 4-seeded Naomi Osaka, who advanced by beating No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-1. The other women's semifinal will be two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova against unseeded American Danielle Collins.

In men's action Wednesday, No. 28 Lucas Pouille of France reached his first Grand Slam semifinal by beating 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic of Canada 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4. Pouille, who is coached by two-time major champion Amelie Mauresmo, had been 0-5 for his career at the Australian Open until last week. His next opponent will be 14-time major champion Novak Djokovic, who moved on when 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori stopped playing while trailing 6-1, 4-1.

Nishikori was treated for leg problems by a trainer.

Williams' surprising departure scuttled what would have been a much-anticipated rematch against Osaka, who beat her in the chaotic U.S. Open final last September.

This defeat is the earliest in Australia for Williams since 2014, when she exited with a fourth-round loss to Ana Ivanovic. Since then? She won the tournament in 2015, lost in the final in 2016, and won again in 2017 while pregnant, before missing last year's edition a few months after the birth of her daughter.

As for chasing Margaret Court's all-time mark of 24 Slam trophies in singles, Williams said: "It hasn't happened yet, but I feel like it's going to happen."

The match against Pliskova was played under a stifling sun, with the temperature around 80 degrees (25 degrees Celsius). Williams — coming off an intense three-set victory over No. 1 Simona Halep in the fourth round — often stepped into the patches of shade behind each baseline.

She did not start well, not well at all. Her mistakes were mounting and deficit was growing.

In the first set alone, Williams made more than twice as many unforced errors as her opponent, 11-5, a pattern that would continue throughout. By the end, the margin was 37-15.

Looking increasingly frustrated, Williams would yell at herself after mistakes or gesture as if to say, "That's NOT how I should be hitting the ball!" Add it all up, and Pliskova led by a set and a break at 3-2 in the second.

Only then did Williams get going. From there, she immediately earned her first break point of the match and converted it to get to 3-all, beginning a run in which she claimed nine of 11 games.

"You don't really feel," Pliskova said, "like you're going to win this match."

Serving for the victory at 5-1, 40-30, Williams was called for a foot fault — reminiscent of an infamous such ruling at the U.S. Open a decade ago. During the ensuing point Wednesday, Williams twisted her left ankle and dumped a forehand into the net.

She grabbed at her foot afterward, then double-faulted and would go on to cede that game.

Not a big deal, right? She still had a sizable lead.

Except that three more match points would follow while Pliskova served, and she saved each one.

"There's nothing I did wrong on those match points. I didn't do anything wrong. I stayed aggressive," Williams said. "She just literally hit the lines on some of them."

Williams would again serve for the match at 5-3 — and again get broken. The owner of the most feared and respected serve in women's tennis was broken for a third time in a row at 5-all, and Pliskova was on her way.

"She got a little bit shaky in the end," Pliskova said. "So I took my chances. And I won."

Osaka will carry a 12-match Grand Slam winning streak into the semifinals.

The 21-year-old from Japan moved closer to a second consecutive major championship by parlaying her aggressive and powerful style into a 31-11 edge in winners against Svitolina.

"For me, right now, I just try to keep looking forward. So I'm not really satisfied. Like, I am happy that I'm here, but at the same time, I want to keep going," said Osaka, who never had been past the fourth round at the Australian Open. "There is more matches to win."


Anderson lifts England with 4 wickets on 1st day vs West Indies

 

England's James Anderson, left, celebrates with teammate Ben Stokes after dismissing West Indies' Roston Chase during day one of the first cricket Test match at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Wednesday, Jan. 23. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Bridgetown, Barbados (AP) — James Anderson lifted England with a four-wicket burst to help restrict West Indies to 264-8 on the opening day of the first test on Wednesday.

After West Indies reached 174-3, Anderson helped turn the contest in England's favor, seeing off the settled duo of Shai Hope and Roston Chase, bouncing out Shane Dowrich and finishing with a caught and bowled off captain Jason Holder.

He closed with 4-33, while Ben Stokes pounded some life into a gentle pitch to claim three wickets.

Hope led the West Indies batsmen with 57 runs off 148 balls before nicking an inside edge to the alert Ben Foakes, one of three half centuries on the day. Shimron Hetmyer, who had been dropped on three, finished with an unbeaten 56.

England's bowlers struggled throughout the morning session and West Indies looked set to end the day well on top until Anderson used the new ball with devastating effect.

Roston Chase fed Root at slip for 54, Dowrich got into a tangle when Anderson went short and Holder offered a simple return catch as the West Indies lost control.

Stokes got in on the act once more before stumps, beating Kemar Roach for pace.


India beat New Zealand by 8 wickets in ODI

India's Rohit Shikar Dhawan, right, makes his ground watched by bowler Tim Southee during a one day international cricket match between New Zealand and India in Napier, New Zealand, Wednesday, Jan. 23. (AP Photo/Nigel Marple)

Napier, New Zealand (AP) — Shikhar Dhawan scored an unbeaten 75 and Virat Kohli scored 45 to guide India to an eight-wicket win over New Zealand in a one-day cricket international that was shortened because of so-called sun-strike.

The players were forced from the field for almost 40 minutes as India replied to New Zealand's total of 157 because the setting sun on Wednesday was shining through windows at the back of the grandstand and into the batters' eyes.

India were 44-1 in the 11th over when the stoppage occurred. When the players returned to the field, the target had been revised under the Duckworth-Lewis system from 158 to 156 and one over had been deducted from the innings.

Dhawan and Kohli shared a 91-run partnership which helped India reach the winning target with 85 balls remaining, taking early momentum to start the five-match series.

Kohli won a brief reprieve on 37 when he adjudged lbw to Tim Southee but had the decision overturned on review. Dhawan also had some luck, being dropped by wicketkeeper Tom Latham on 31.

Otherwise, India's progress to an emphatic victory — continuing the form they showed in winning test, one-day and Twenty20 series in Australia — was impeded only by the rays of the setting sun.

New Zealand batted on winning the toss and on what was expected to be a high-scoring pitch. But Mohammed Shami bowled both New Zealand openers, Martin Guptill (5) and Colin Munro (8), to give India the upper hand from the start.

Shami also dismissed Mitchell Santner (14), and wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav (4-39) shared six wickets. Chahal caught and bowled both Latham (11) and Ross Taylor (24), ending Taylor's run of six consecutive ODI 50s.

"When I lost the toss I thought it's going to be 300-par," Kohli said. "But the way the guys bowled and created pressure it turned out to be absolutely the opposite."


Vonn 'hopeful' she can ski again despite ailing knees

United States' Lindsey Vonn speeds down the course during an alpine ski, women's World Cup super-G in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 20. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

Andrew Dampf

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (AP) - Lindsey Vonn isn't quite done yet.

The most successful female skier in World Cup history said Wednesday that she remains "hopeful" she can fix her ailing knees and race again. She just doesn't know when — or if— that will be possible.

"I'm taking things day by day and we will see what happens," Vonn wrote on Instagram . "I know that I might not get the ending to my career that I had hoped for, but if there is a chance, I will take it."

The announcement came three days after Vonn hinted at immediate retirement after failing to finish a super-G in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, citing severe pain in both of her knees.

Vonn said the reason she had "so much pain and muscle shut down in Cortina was due to an impact injury to my peroneal nerve."

"This most likely came from the final jump on the first training run in Cortina, but it's hard to know for sure," Vonn added. "After that training run, the pain got progressively worse each day and by Sunday my lower leg was in a lot of pain and my muscles had completely shut down."

Vonn, who hadn't raced all season because of a left knee injury, finished no better than ninth in three races in Cortina .

"Now that we know the problem the next issue is fixing it," Vonn said. "So far we haven't found a solution and as a result I will not be able to compete in tomorrow's downhill training run."

Downhill training in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, followed downhill and super-G races this weekend.

Vonn needs to start at least one training run to race the downhill, per International Ski Federation rules. She can enter the super-G without any training runs.

"Since this is a new 'injury' per say, I remain hopeful that we can fix it," she said.

Vonn has 82 wins — most among women — and four less than overall record-holder Ingemark Stenmark of Sweden.

After Garmisch, her next scheduled competition is the world championships in Are, Sweden, which open on Feb. 5.

Vonn had been planning to retire in December following races in Lake Louise, Alberta, where she has won a record 18 times.

If she is able to race again this week, Vonn's skis are waiting for her.

"I have just arrived in Garmisch and set up my ski room," Heinz Haemmerle, Vonn's longtime ski technician, told The Associated Press. "The skis are ready whatever she's deciding. That's why I am here. Otherwise I could stay at home."

Rainer Salzgeber, the racing director for Head skis, added that the company is preparing as if Vonn will race in Garmisch and then the worlds.

"For Heinz right now it looks like this," Salzgeber told the AP. "But how it will end up in the next couple of days or hours I do not know."

Vonn had returned to action in Cortina following an injury to her left knee — she hyperextended it and sprained a ligament while training in November. Also, her right knee is permanently damaged from previous crashes.

"I've had four surgeries on my right knee. I've got no LCL (lateral collateral ligament) on my left knee. I've got two braces on. There's only so much I can handle and I might have reached my maximum," Vonn said Sunday.

Patrick Riml, Vonn's coach with the U.S. Ski Team for much of her career and now a representative with Red Bull, one of Vonn's main sponsors, said the decision will come down to how her body feels.

"Obviously there's some issues and some limitations if she can't put pressure on the leg like she wasn't able to in Cortina," Riml said.

"We all want to see her competing and doing a good job," Riml added, noting that the pain may have become too much to endure. "That's for every athlete. If mother nature makes that call it's never fun."


Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 OT

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a touchdown pass to running back Damien Williams against New England Patriots middle linebacker Kyle Van Noy (53) during the second half of the AFC Championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 20, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Barry Wilner

Kansas City, Mo. (AP) — The New England Patriots are headed to their third straight Super Bowl, once more thanks to Tom Brady's brilliance.

The five-time NFL champion guided the Patriots 75 yards after winning the overtime coin toss, and backup Rex Burkhead's 2-yard TD lifted New England past Kansas City 37-31 for the AFC championship Sunday night.

The drive against an exhausted defense was reminiscent of when the Patriots beat Atlanta in the only Super Bowl to go to OT two years ago.

New England (13-5) benefited from two critical replay reviews and made its ninth Super Bowl with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach.

Awaiting them in Atlanta are the Los Angeles Rams, who won 26-23 in overtime in New Orleans for the NFC championship. The Rams last made the Super Bowl in 2002 while based in St. Louis, losing to the Patriots.

It's the first time both conference title games went to OT. The last time both visitors won conference championship matches was 2012.


Zuerlein's 57-yard field goal sends Rams to Super Bowl

Los Angeles Rams' JoJo Natson tries to get past New Orleans Saints' Vonn Bell during the first half the NFL football NFC championship game Sunday, Jan. 20, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Paul Newberry

New Orleans (AP) — A big comeback. A blown call. And, finally, a booming kick that sent the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl.

After rallying from an early 13-0 deficit, the Rams stunned the New Orleans Saints with Greg Zuerlein's 57-yard field goal in overtime for a 26-23 victory in the NFC championship game Sunday — an outcome that might not have been possible without an egregious mistake by the officials in the closing minutes of regulation.

Los Angeles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman committed a blatant interference penalty with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Tommylee Lewis well before the pass arrived inside the 5, forcing the Saints to settle for Wil Lutz's 31-yard field goal that made it 23-20 with 1:41 left in regulation.

"Came to the sideline, looked at the football gods and was like, 'Thank you,'" Robey-Coleman said. "I got away with one tonight."

After the no-call, Jared Goff had enough time to lead the Rams down the field for Zuerlein's tying field goal, a 48-yarder with 15 seconds remaining.

New Orleans won the coin toss and got the ball first in overtime. But, with Dante Fowler Jr. in his face and striking his arm, Drew Brees fluttered up a pass that was picked off by John Johnson III, who was able to hang on to the interception while stumbling backward. Johnson hopped up and celebrated by doing with the "Choppa Style" dance popularized by New Orleans rapper Choppa, whose namesake song had become a Saints' rallying cry and was even performed during the halftime show.

The Rams weren't able to do much offensively, but it didn't matter. Zuerlein booted through the winning field goal from just inside midfield with plenty of room to spare. The NFL said it the longest game-winning kick in playoff history.

"It's unbelievable, man. I can't put it into words," said Goff, who at 24 became the youngest quarterback to win an NFC title. "The defense played the way they did to force it to overtime. The defense gets a pick and Greg makes a 57-yarder to win it. That was good from about 70. Unbelievable."

The Superdome, which had been in uproar all afternoon, suddenly turned eerily silent. It was the first home playoff loss for the Saints with Brees and coach Sean Payton, who and been 6-0 in those games since their pairing began in 2006.

This one really hurt.

If the pass interference penalty had been called, the Saints could've run most of the time off the clock to set up a winning field goal from chip-shot range.

"Being that it happened right there in front of the person who would be the one to make the call, and everyone in the stands saw it, everyone watching at home on TV saw it, that makes it even more difficult to take," Brees said. "Because of this, I'm sure there will be a lot of talk about reviewing penalties, perhaps game-changing penalties."

The Rams (15-3) and their 32-year-old coach, Sean McVay, capped a remarkable rise since moving back to Los Angeles three years ago. The team will be appearing in its first Super Bowl since the 2001 season, when the "Greatest Show on Turf" was still in St. Louis.

The team hasn't won an NFL title in Los Angeles since 1951, well before the Super Bowl era. The team moved to St. Louis in 1995, only to return to Southern California two decades later.

"Shoot, I don't even know what day it is," McVay said. "All I know is we're NFC champs, baby!"

It was another bitter end for the Saints, who lost the previous season in the divisional round on the "Minnesota Miracle" — the Vikings' long touchdown pass on the final play of the game.

This time, New Orleans (14-4) couldn't hang on to the lead or overcome that officiating mistake.

Payton said he talked to the NFL office after the game and was told that Robey-Coleman should have been flagged.

"Not only was it interference, it was helmet to helmet," the coach said. "''I don't know if there was ever a more obvious pass interference."

The Saints were on the verge of blowing out the Rams, scoring on their first three possessions and taking advantage of an interception when Todd Gurley let a pass slip through his hands.

Then a fake punt early in the second quarter gave Los Angeles its initial first down of the game. Sparked by that gutsy call, the Rams finally came to life offensively and drove into position for the first of four field goals by Zuerlein.

Gurley made it 13-10 at halftime on a 6-yard touchdown run just before the intermission.

New Orleans restored its double-digit lead on Brees' 2-yard scoring pass to third-string quarterback Taysom Hill, the first TD catch of the super sub's career. Goff countered with a 1-yard touchdown toss to Tyler Higbee, setting up a wild fourth quarter.

Zuerlein tied the score at 20-all with a 24-yard field goal after McVay passed on a shot at the go-ahead touchdown with fourth-and-goal from inside the 1. A delay of game while lining up for the kick scuttled any thoughts of leaving the offense on the field.

BREES' FUTURE

The 40-year-old Brees made it clear he's got no plans to retire.

"I plan on being here next year and making another run at it," said Brees, who was denied a shot at adding to the Super Bowl title he won during the 2009 season.

He hopes another gut-wrenching loss in the playoffs will spur the team to even greater heights.

"Last year really brought us together as a team and strengthened us," Brees said. "I hope this will too."

INJURY REPORT

The Saints lost tight end Josh Hill to a concussion in the first quarter.

Hill was injured after hauling in a 24-yard pass from Brees. While making the tackle, Los Angeles Rams linebacker Cory Littleton delivered a forearm to Hill's head.

No penalty was called, but Hill staggered off the field to be evaluated by the medical staff. Just before halftime, the Saints announced he was done for the game.

The loss of Hill led to a much bigger role in the offense for Garrett Griffin, who spent most of the season on the practice squad. He caught a 5-yard pass for his first career touchdown.


Pacquiao dominates in retaining title against Broner

Manny Pacquiao, right, hits Adrien Broner during their WBA welterweight title boxing match Saturday, Jan. 19, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Tim Dahlberg

Las Vegas (AP) — Manny Pacquiao showed Saturday night he's still got plenty of fight for a fighter on the wrong side of 40.

Whether Pacquiao's dominating win over Adrien Broner gets him a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, though, is a question that will have to be answered another night.

With Mayweather watching from ringside, Pacquiao showed flashes of his old speed in winning a unanimous 12-round decision over Broner to easily defend his piece of the welterweight title. It was the 61st win of a remarkable career in which Pacquiao has won titles in eight weight classes.

And it put to rest any thoughts of retirement after 24 years as a pro.

"The Manny Pacquiao journey will still continue," Pacquiao said.

Fighting for the first time at the age of 40, the senator from the Philippines won a lopsided decision that was never in doubt before a crowd that roared at every punch he landed. The decision was never in doubt, but Pacquiao pressed the fight into the later rounds as he tried unsuccessfully to score a knockout.

Two judges favored Pacquiao by a 116-112 score, while the third had it 117-111. The AP scored it a shutout 120-108 for Pacquiao.

There were no knockdowns, but Pacquiao landed the heavier punches — and lots of them. He caught Broner in the seventh and ninth rounds with big left hands that sent him backward, while Broner spent most of the fight looking for one big counter that never came.

"At the age of 40 I can still give my best," Pacquiao said. " Although I wanted to be aggressive more, my camp told me don't be careless and to counter him and wait for opportunities. "

Both fighters were cautious late, as the fight slowed in the final two rounds.

Pacquiao, whose pro career stretches back 24 years, showed he still has the speed that carried him over his spectacular career. He also displayed some power, though he was never able to drop Broner.

Pacquiao was clearly the favorite of the crowd of 13,025, who gathered at the MGM Grand arena to see if the part-time fighter still had some fight in him. Turned out Pacquiao did, and then some as he pushed the attack against Broner.

Pacquiao was the aggressor from the opening bell, and he had to be because Broner threw only occasional punches in the opening rounds. Pacquiao attacked at will, winning round after round before the fight started to heat up in the middle rounds.

Broner, meanwhile, fought like he was merely trying to survive, despite being 11 years younger than his opponent. He was booed loudly as he raised his hands in victory and jumped on the corner ropes as if he had won.

"I beat him, everybody out there knows I beat him," Broner said. "I clearly won the last seven rounds."

Mayweather watched it all intently from his ringside seat, and was coy about possibly coming out of retirement for a reprise of the 2015 lackluster fight Mayweather won by decision over Pacquiao.

"You keep asking me about Manny Pacquiao," Mayweather said during the fight. "He needs to get past Adrien Broner first. And right now I'm living a happy and healthy life."

Showtime announcer Jim Gray tried to get Mayweather to climb in the ring after the fight and discuss a possible bout with Pacquiao, but Mayweather demurred.

It was the first fight in the U.S. in two years for Pacquiao, who reunited with trainer Freddie Roach for a bout that would determine how much he had left at the age of 40.

Turns out he had plenty, in a fight that was entertaining even if it wasn't a classic.

Ringside punching stats showed Pacquiao landing 112 of 568 pounds. Broner threw only 295 punches and landed just 50.

Broner landed no more than eight punches in any round, and just one in the final round.


Federer, 37, shocked by Tsitsipas, 20, at Australian Open

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas makes a forehand return to Switzerland's Roger Federer during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 20. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Howard Fendrich

Melbourne, Australia (AP) — Even as his uninterrupted dominance of yore dissipated, even as he took the occasional break, Roger Federer always mattered more often than not in the closing days of Grand Slam tournaments.

Until lately, that is.

Until, at age 37, he was outplayed in the Australian Open's fourth round by a much younger man, 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, during a 6-7 (11), 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (5) surprise that ended Federer's bid for a third consecutive championship at Melbourne Park.

"I have massive regrets," said Federer, who failed to convert any of the 12 break points he earned against Tsitsipas, the first player from Greece to reach a major quarterfinal.

This loss makes it a fourth straight Slam without Federer in the semifinals: He skipped the 2018 French Open, was beaten at Wimbledon in the quarterfinals and exited the U.S. Open in the fourth round.

That is his longest such drought since he claimed the first of his men's record 20 major titles, all the way back in 2003 at Wimbledon.

"Roger is a legend of our sport. So much respect for him. He showed such good tennis over the years. I've been idolizing him since the age of 6," said Tsitsipas, who has worked with Serena Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou.

"It was a dream come true for me ... just facing him," Tsitsipas said about Federer. "Winning at the end? I cannot describe it, you know."

Federer was the oldest man left in the field and would have been the oldest quarterfinalist in Australia since Ken Rosewall at 43 in 1977.

Tsitsipas, a lanky guy who kept his scraggly hair in place with a pink headband, was the youngest to make the fourth round this year. He lost his opening match in Melbourne a year ago, when Federer picked up his sixth Australian Open championship.

"For sure, it's a good win against Roger. I mean, we all know who Roger Federer is, what he has done in tennis. But I still have to keep my focus, keep my concentration on further goals that I want to achieve. That's a very good beginning. I need to stay humble," said Tsitsipas, who next faces another player making his quarterfinal debut at a major, No. 22 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. "This win is a good milestone, let's say good first step, as I said, to something bigger."

At least Federer was able to crack a joke when asked whether Tsitsipas reminds him of a younger version of himself, replying: "He has a one-handed backhand. And I used to have long hair, too."

And before anyone writes off Federer just yet, remember that folks have kept trying to do that for quite some time, and he has repeatedly returned to title-winning form. After this setback, Federer announced that he would return to playing the clay-court circuit this season, including the French Open after missing it the past three years.

This match was a thriller from beginning to end, both in terms of the high quality and entertaining style of play from both men — something long expected of Federer. The world is still learning what the 14th-seeded Tsitsipas can do.

His soft hands serve him well on volleys, and he is that rare man who will press forward as often as Federer and have nearly as much success. On this cool evening, Tsitsipas won the point on 48 of 68 trips to the net, while Federer went 50 for 66.

The kid served well, too, compiling a 20-12 edge in aces and, more significantly, staving off all of those break chances that Federer earned: two in the first set, eight in the second, two in the third.

In the opening game of the match, Tsitsipas twice was called for a time violation after allowing the 25-second serve clock — new in Melbourne's main draw this year — to expire. The second such warning resulted in the loss of a serve, and Tsitsipas proceeded to double-fault, offering up a break point to Federer.

Tsisipas erased that chance with a 123 mph (198 kph) serve initially called out, then reversed on a challenge. Federer insisted to chair umpire James Keothavong that they should replay the point, a request that was denied, drawing the Swiss star's ire.

That would signal a pattern. At each key juncture, either Federer blinked or Tsitsipas delivered something special.

"Hung in there, gave himself chances at some points, stayed calm. It's not always easy, especially for younger guys," said Federer, who was trying to reach his 54th Grand Slam quarterfinal. "Credit to him for taking care of that."

Tsitsipas never even collected a break point of his own until the third set, and the match was nearly 3 hours old when he finally cashed one in, the only one he would need, when Federer pushed a forehand into the net.

The crowd, sensing something special, broke into a chorus of "Tsi-tsi-pas! Tsi-tsi-pas!"

As is often the case when a youngster outdoes an old master, there was buzz about whether this might signal something more meaningful than one result. Each member of the sport's long-ruling Big Three — Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic — already had dismissed challenges from the next generation at this tournament.

This, though, was different.

Tsitsipas is different.

"I see him being high up in the game," Federer said, "for a long time."


Amid injury crisis, Tottenham find scoring hero in Winks

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks, right celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s 2nd goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage in London, Sunday, Jan. 20. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Steve Douglas

London (AP) - With Tottenham's attacking options getting increasingly thin amid a striker crisis, Mauricio Pochettino is going to need goals from unlikely sources to keep alive his team's hopes of silverware this season.

Harry Winks was the player to step up on Sunday.

Nearly 800 days since his first goal for his boyhood club, the center midfielder scored his second to clinch Tottenham's 2-1 win at Fulham in the Premier League. It came in the third and final minute of injury time, and the nature of the goal by Winks made it even more improbable — beating taller players to a header from close range inside a crowded penalty area.

"I can't even remember the last time I scored, to be honest," Winks said. It was in November 2016, on his fifth Premier League appearance.

It wasn't all good news in a frenetic end to the match between teams at opposite ends of the standings at Craven Cottage.

Dele Alli, the scorer of Tottenham's equalizer, hobbled out of action with a left hamstring injury in the 86th minute. With Harry Kane out for two months with an ankle injury and Son Heung-min now with South Korea at the Asian Cup, Pochettino is set to be without his three leading scorers for the next few weeks.

Crucially, this is arguably the most critical period of the season, with Spurs facing matches across four different competitions across the next month as they seek a first trophy under Pochettino. First up is Chelsea in the second leg of the English League Cup, with Tottenham protecting a 1-0 lead.

The Premier League might be the toughest to win, despite the comeback at Fulham.

Tottenham are back to nine points behind first-place Liverpool, with 15 games of the campaign remaining. Maybe as importantly, the gap to fifth-placed Arsenal in the race for the four Champions League qualification positions is now seven points again.

Manchester Cityare more likely to catch Liverpool. The champions ultimately sauntered to a 3-0 victory at last-place Huddersfield thanks to goals by Danilo, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane.

City manager Pep Guardiola wasn't happy with the performance, though.

LLORENTE FAILS AUDITION

With an own-goal and a glaring miss, Fernando Llorente failed his audition to be the short-term replacement for Kane.

The injury to Alli surely will mean Llorente is given more chances by Pochettino, however.

The tall Spanish striker came into the game having played just 36 minutes of Premier League action this season, from six appearances as a late substitute. He is a back-up to Kane and Son, a Plan B because of his aerial threat.

He produced the kind of near-post finish Kane would have been proud of against Fulham. Unfortunately, it was into his own net at a corner to put Tottenham behind in the 17th minute.

Alli equalized in the 51st minute, heading in powerfully from Christian Eriksen's cross, but didn't finish the match. The England international, an attacking midfielder who can play up front, stayed down clutching the back of his leg after sliding into an advertising hoarding following a tackle.

He eventually got up and hobbled to the tunnel.

"We need to assess him in the next few days," Pochettino said. "It doesn't look great."

Llorente further blotted his performance when heading the ball wide from inside the six-yard box at a free kick, when the score was 1-1.

GUARDIOLA UNIMPRESSED

Ever the perfectionist, Guardiola demanded more from his Man City players despite seeing them pass the 100-goal mark for the season with an easy win at Huddersfield.

"This game can teach us and show what we have to do to improve," said Guardiola, who was particularly unimpressed with the pace his team played at, as well as the quality of the passing in the first half.

City were perhaps fortunate to lead at halftime, with Danilo's long-range strike only finding the net because of a deflection off the head of Huddersfield defender Christopher Schindler. That goal saw City reach 100 goals for the season in all competitions.

City were better after the break, with wingers Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane scoring as they eased to a fifth straight win in all competitions.

Fulham stayed in next-to-last place in the standings, seven points from safety. Huddersfield are in even bigger trouble, 10 points from safety and without a permanent manager after David Wagner stood down on Monday.


17-year old Anisimova scores upset at Australian Open

United States' Amanda Anisimova celebrates after defeating Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 18. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Howard Fendrich

Melbourne, Australia (AP) — All of 17, never the winner of a Grand Slam match until this week, Amanda Anisimova is making quite a first impression at the Australian Open.

Anisimova showed precisely why there are those who consider her a possible future star, producing one spectacular shot after another Friday to upset 11th-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-3, 6-2 and reach the fourth round.

"I want to win this tournament," Anisimova said, tapping her right index finger on a table for emphasis at her post-match news conference. "Right now."

She is the youngest American to get this far at Melbourne Park since Jennifer Capriati in 1993 — and at any Grand Slam tournament since Serena Williams at the 1998 French Open. Pretty heady company.

"This is an unreal feeling," Anisimova said. "I can't believe that this is happening right now."

Believe it, kid. She captured a ton of attention on Day 5, when defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was knocked out by 2008 champion Maria Sharapova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Another American woman, 35th-ranked Danielle Collins, joined Anisimova in earning a debut trip to the round of 16 at a major with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 19 Caroline Garcia. Up next for Collins will be three-time major champion and former No. 1 Angelique Kerber, who needed less than an hour to overwhelm 240th-ranked Australian wild-card entry Kimberly Birrell 6-1, 6-0.

At the 2006 U.S. Open, when she was 19, Sharapova became the most recent teen to claim a Slam title. Anisimova grew up cheering for Sharapova — they now share an agent — and would love to match her feat of winning a major before age 20. Who would doubt her?

"I respect her a lot, because I think she's young and has a great game. I mean, she's really proving what she can do," said Sharapova, who sat at the same table as Anisimova at their agent's wedding last year. "She has a really bright future ahead of her."

It's not just that Anisimova, who was born in New Jersey and is based in Florida, has knocked off two seeded players already, including the hard-hitting Sabalenka, who was many a pundit's pick for a deep run at Melbourne Park.

Or that she's dropped a measly total of 17 games through three matches.

It's the way the 87th-ranked Anisimova — there is no one younger in the WTA's top 100 — is doing it, with clean and dangerous shotmaking and impeccable court coverage.

Take the shot — shot of the match? Of the tournament? Of the year so far? — that she produced at 3-0, 15-all in the second set.

It was a 12-stroke exchange in which Sabalenka held the upper hand throughout, steering Anisimova from corner to corner. It culminated with one sprint by Anisimova to her right for a forehand, then a sprint to her left for a backhand, followed by yet another switch of direction for a sprint back to her right. Her momentum carried her well wide of the doubles alley as she conjured up a "How did she do that?!" squash-like forehand that looped past Sabalenka and somehow landed in a corner for a winner, drawing raucous appreciation from the crowd at Margaret Court Arena — and an ever-so-slight smile from Anisimova.

"I'm really feeling good out here," said Anisimova, who is coached by her father, as well as the same person who's worked with her since she was 9. "I'm playing some really good tennis."

That's an understatement.

She delivered more winners than Sabalenka, 21-12, as well as fewer unforced errors, 13-9. Anisimova won all eight of her service games, saving the lone break point she faced. She broke the hard-serving Sabalenka four times.

Anisimova's first trip to Australia, and third appearance in the main draw at a major, now progresses to Week 2 and a matchup against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who beat Belinda Bencic 6-1, 6-4.

On a rainy afternoon that saw the roofs closed on the three main courts, and play delayed on smaller arenas, Sharapova advanced to face No. 15 Ash Barty of Australia, while 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens beat No. 31 Petra Martic 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) and now meets Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.

In the men's draw, Roger Federer dispatched one youngster and set his sights on facing another.

The 37-year-old Federer, seeking a third consecutive title in Melbourne, dismissed 21-year-old Taylor Fritz of the U.S. 6-2, 7-5, 6-2. Federer now takes on 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who eliminated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4.

"We all want them to win all the big stuff, but it just takes time," Federer said about the newest generation of challengers. "I'm still giving them a hard time, sometimes."

Also advancing was the man Federer beat in last year's final, Marin Cilic. He overcame two match points — opponent Fernando Verdasco double-faulted one of them away — and erased a two-set hole to win 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8), 6-3 in a contest that lasted more than 4 hours and ended just before 1 a.m.

Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, now faces No. 22 Roberto Bautista-Agut, a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 winner against No. 10 Karen Khachanov.

Rafael Nadal beat 19-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 and now gets 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych.

Frances Tiafoe, an American who turns 21 on Sunday, got to the fourth round at a major for the first time by defeating Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-7 (3), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Tiafoe now meets No. 20 Grigor Dimitrov, who is being coached by Andre Agassi.


India beat Australia by 7 wickets in 3rd ODI, win series

India's Yuzvendra Chahal dives to attempt to stop a drive from Australia's Marcus Stoinis during their one day international cricket match in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 18. (AP Photo/Mal Fairclough)

Melbourne, Australia (AP) — Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal took a record 6-42 to propel India to a seven-wicket win over Australia in the third one-day cricket international and a 2-1 series win on Friday.

Chahal's return was not only a career-best, beating his 5-22 against South Africa, but matched the best figures in an ODI in Australia, a record held since 2004 by his compatriot, India fast bowler Ajit Aragkar.

Chahal, who missed the first two ODIs, helped India to bowl out Australia for only 230 after captain Virat Kohli won the toss on a rainy afternoon in Melbourne.

After fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed both Australia openers, Chahal ran through the middle and lower order to end the innings with eight balls left in their 50 overs.

Peter Handscomb's 58 from 63 balls was the only substantial contribution from an Australia batting order struggling to find consistency.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again closed out India's match and series victory with an unbeaten innings of 87 from 114 balls in a perfectly paced run chase, completing the win with four balls to spare for the second consecutive match.

After putting on 54 for the third wicket with Kohli (46), a century-maker in the second ODI, Dhoni completed India's win in an unbroken partnership of 121 with Kedar Jadhav, who finished 61 not out.

Dhoni scored half-centuries in all three matches and was named man of the series. His unbeaten half-century in the second match at Sydney also saw India to victory, chasing Australia's 298, with four balls to spare.

"It was a slow wicket so it was a bit difficult to hit wherever you want to," Dhoni said. "It was important to take it to the end because some of their main bowlers were very tight through the middle overs, so you have to target the bowlers that you can in conditions like these.

"There's no point in going after the ones who are bowling well. That was the game plan, very well supported by Kedar.

"He's someone who plays some unorthodox shots. It takes some pressure off when you're going to the last over and it helps to score a boundary in the middle of the over."

Australia bowled exceptionally well in defense of a mediocre total. Jhye Richardson bowled his 10 overs for 27 runs, dismissing Kohli, and spinner Adam Zampa's 10 overs cost only 34 runs.


Underdog Patriots face top seed KC. Yes, you read that right

At left, in a Nov. 19, 2018, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws a pass during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles. At right, in a Dec. 30, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws during the second half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo)

Jimmy Golen

Foxborough, Mass. (AP) — It may have been hard to hear him over the noise of the New England fans celebrating an eighth straight trip to the AFC title game, but Tom Brady is feeling disrespected.

That's right: The three-time NFL MVP and five-time Super Bowl champion told a national TV audience after demolishing the Los Angeles Chargers in the playoffs, "I know everyone thinks we suck and can't win any games.

"We'll see," Brady said with a roguish look in his eyes. "Could be fun."

There hasn't been an NFL run like the Patriots' — at least in the Super Bowl era — with Brady and coach Bill Belichick leading the franchise to 10 straight AFC East titles and 15 in 16 years, resulting in eight trips to the Super Bowl and five NFL crowns.

"You're talking about a dynasty," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "If there is such a thing in the National Football League, they've been that."

And yet as they prepare to travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs (13-4) in Sunday's AFC championship game, Brady is right about one thing: The Patriots (12-5) are a 3-point underdog, and that's an unusual position for them.

"We're going against a team that's the No. 1 seed in the league," Brady said after the team's final practice on Friday. "I'm sure there's a lot of people that are thinking they're going to win. Everyone can have their own opinion. We certainly have an opinion, and we've got to go out there and execute our best in order to accomplish that."

Players have long found their motivation wherever they can, whether it's the oddsmakers or experts or comments from the opposing team that go up on the locker room for all to see. Heading into the NFC title game, some banter about gumbo has turned into a rallying cry for the Los Angeles Rams.

The Chiefs have been careful not to help out with any bulletin board material.

"I don't think they suck," tight end Travis Kelce said. "I can tell you that."

But rustling up slights to motivate themselves is just another thing they've mastered.

Responding to the public perception — or at least that of the oddsmakers — receiver Julian Edelman tweeted a Chiefs hype video lauding quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the best player in the league. Edelman made no secret what he thought of that, adding a hashtag: "#BetAgainstUs"; he is also selling T-shirts with the slogan squeezed into the shape of the Patriots logo.

Special teams star Matthew Slater said he wasn't motivated as much by being an underdog in this game as other times he was doubted in his life.

"I'm not supposed to be playing in this league anyways," he said, "so we've got plenty of motivation."

Defensive back Jason McCourty was a sixth-round draft pick — just like Brady.

And, just like Brady, and he hasn't forgotten.

"You've just always had that chip on your shoulder, and no matter what you go through in life, especially with football, there's just always someone or something," McCourty said.

"I think that type of mindset, no matter if you're 16-0, you're rolling through the playoffs, no matter what the situation is, there's always going to be somebody that's doubting you or saying something about you. I think for certain guys individually, it may be something that kind of gives you that extra kick."


Pacquiao awaits Broner bout in crossroads fight at age 40

Manny Pacquiao, left, and Adrien Broner pose for photographers during a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 16, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Tim Dahlberg

Las Vegas (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has been beating the odds since he was a teenager in the Philippines stuffing his pockets with metal at weigh-ins so he wouldn't look like a 98-pound weakling.

Nearly a quarter century later, Pacquiao is still up for a challenge.

He fights Saturday night against Adrien Broner in a true crossroads bout that will determine a lot about his future in the ring. Chasing a second fight with Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao will be tested by a younger and talented fighter who has a lot to prove himself.

He's 40 now, an age where fighters either have long stopped lacing up the gloves or are very careful in picking opponents. Pacquiao is not only still fighting, but willing to take on a 29-year-old who thinks of himself as a young Mayweather.

And he's not terribly concerned about the possibility he might lose.

"I still have that killer instinct and the fire in my eyes is still there," Pacquiao said. "That aggressiveness, the interest in this career is still there 100 percent. The speed and the power are still there."

That showed in a gym session this week in Hollywood, where Pacquiao looked sharp and fast while hitting the mitts with trainer Freddie Roach. The two have reunited for the fight, Pacquiao's first in the U.S. in more than two years.

But while Pacquiao is favored, there's always a chance in boxing that age often catches up to a fighter in the wrong place — the ring.

And that adds some intrigue to seeing a fighter who has been so much of a part of the fabric of boxing for the last 15 years.

"He's unbelievable," Roach said. "His work ethic is great, he has fast hands and he still hits hard. I think he actually wants to knock this opponent out."

That may be asking a lot since Pacquiao went nearly a decade without knocking anyone out before stopping Lucas Martin Matthysse in a fight in Malaysia last July. But if Pacquiao needed any more motivation he got it after Broner mocked the Parkinson's that Roach has.

"Manny's a great guy to have on your side," Roach said.

Indeed, Broner has done his part to sell the fight by acting boorish and flashing money around like his mentor, Mayweather. At this week's final news conference, Broner went into a profane rant about Showtime announcer Al Bernstein, though his comments about Pacquiao were more respectful.

"Pacquiao's a legend," Broner said. "He'll always go down as one of the best in the boxing business. But I just feel like it's my time to take over this sport and I'm coming to take the throne from Pacquiao."

Broner (33-3-1, 24 knockouts) certainly has the skills to do just that. He has long been considered an elite fighter, though he has lost most of his bigger fights and tends to be undisciplined in the ring.

To beat Pacquiao he will have to use his speed to match that of the Filipino senator, and figure out a way to deal with an unorthodox style that has puzzled opponents since Pacquiao began fighting for $2 purses so he could help his mother feed the family.

"Adrien Broner is not a tuneup fight," Pacquiao said. "He's a former champion. He's fast, he moves fast and he's a good boxer."

Unfortunately, a lot of fans won't be watching. The fight is on Showtime pay-per-view and the price ($74.95) is lofty for a fighter a few years removed from his prime.

Still, Pacquiao will make millions, and Broner will have a big payday of his own. Both would also profit with a win, with Broner regaining some of his reputation and Pacquiao putting himself in line for another possible huge payday against Mayweather, who still says he is officially retired.

Pacquiao blamed an injured shoulder for his poor performance in the 2015 bout, a lackluster affair won by Mayweather. A second Mayweather fight would cap Pacquiao's career and put him closer to retirement and full-time duties in the Senate in his home country. It's on Pacquiao's mind, as well as the mind of his millions of fans.

"You cannot avoid people will ask if there's a rematch with Floyd Mayweather," Pacquiao said, "because I think they have a big question mark in their mind and also in their heart about what happened in that fight."


Lowry takes 3-shot lead into final round in Abu Dhabi

Shane Lowry of Ireland follows his ball on the 18th hole in round three of the Abu Dhabi Championship golf tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Jan. 18. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Shane Lowry kept up his brilliant scoring on the par-3 holes at the Abu Dhabi Championship in shooting a 5-under 67 in the third round to extend his lead to three strokes on Friday.

For the third straight day, the Irishman made birdie on the each of the short Nos. 7, 12, and 15 holes to strengthen his bid for a first victory in 3 1/2 years. His last win was in 2015 at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

"I've been hitting some lovely iron shots," said Lowry, who was on 17-under 199 overall. "It just so happens that I've hit them on the par threes."

Richard Sterne of South Africa was the only player within four strokes of Lowry after a round of 69, which included his first and only bogey of the week. Sterne chipped in for eagle at the par-5 10th hole for one of the best shots of a breezy day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club when conditions were the hardest all week.

Sterne has had to wait even longer for a win, with his last of his six overall coming in 2013.

"Maybe there's some magic left in me," Sterne said.

Ian Poulter sent a 3-wood approach to 10 feet and rolled in the putt for eagle at No. 18 for a 69 to lift him into third place outright on 12 under, five shots off the lead. He will play in the next-to-last group with former winner Pablo Larrazabal (68, for 11 under).

Lowry, who tied the course record with a 62 in the first round, tied the best score of the third round and remained on course for a wire-to-wire victory. That would lift him back into the world's top 50 and get him into golf's showpiece events in 2019.

He is back playing on the European Tour after losing his U.S. PGA Tour card last year and slipping to No. 75 in the rankings.

"I'm not going to say I feel invincible because we all know that this game is not easy, and it can jump up and bite you when you least expect it," Lowry said.

In attacking the par 3s, he is 8 under in 12 holes. Nine of his 21 birdies this week have come on the course's four short holes.

His bunker play has also been impressive, no more so than on No. 17 when he chipped out of the sand at the right of the green to within 2 feet to save par — just when Sterne was making a run at the lead.

Moments later, Sterne — who teed off on No. 18 just two shots back — miscued his second shot into a bunker that was left and well short of the green. After chipping onto the green, Sterne saw his birdie putt lip out.

Three-time major champion Brooks Koepka, who has a chance to return to No. 1 in the world this week, mixed five birdies with three bogeys for a 70 and was eight strokes behind alongside Lee Westwood (73).

Dustin Johnson was 13 shots off the lead after a 72.

Another shot back was Tommy Fleetwood (72), whose hopes of a third straight title in Abu Dhabi looked to be over.


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 Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

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 attacks.

However, India captain Pronay Halder brought down Hamed Alshamsan in the penalty area and Jamal Rashed converted in stoppage time to send Bahrain into unbridled joy.

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 Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Howard Fendrich

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 spectators.

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 Sloane Stephens.

"Amazing career. 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 all-American match.

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 five times.

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 Thompson)

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 Bruyne's cross.

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 follow-through.

"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 world.

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 Faisal)

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)

John Pye

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 really,"

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 starts Monday.

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 Olympics.

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 hasn't worked."

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 competition.

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 attempts.

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 professional footballer."

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 halftime.

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 half.

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

Andrew 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)

Doug Ferguson

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 67.

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 shoulder.

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 proper height.

"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 worked out."

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 excited."


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 Brinke.

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

Ash 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 Photo/Rick Rycroft)

 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 International semifinals.

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 later Thursday.

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 six times.

"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

Philipp 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 Monday.

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 whatever."

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 season.

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

Joan Barreda of Spain rides his Honda motorbike during the first stage of the Dakar Rally between Lima and Pisco, Peru, Monday, Jan. 7. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

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 back.

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

In 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 years.

"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 Ferrari sponsor.

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 Hamilton.

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 Facciotti)

Eric Willemsen 

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 knee.

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 intestinal illness.

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 passes.

Philly plays at New Orleans (13-3) next Sunday.

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 zone.

He was 11 of 12 in the fourth-quarter on field goals before missing the biggest kick of his career.

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 yards.

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)

Steve Douglas

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 Fulham.

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 soccer's pyramid.

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 ground.

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 2015-16.

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 misery Sunday.

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 ago.

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.

OTHER RESULTS

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)

Gerald Imray

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 Sunday.

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)

Eric Willemsen

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 years ago.

"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 technical team.

"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 top."

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 one venue.

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)

Brisbane, Australia (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.
 


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