Sports News in Brief
SYDNEY - John O'Neill has stood down as chief executive of the Australian Rugby Union (ARU). The decision comes earlier than O'Neill had originally forecast in the wake of the Wallabies' semi-final elimination at last year's World Cup when he said he would not continue beyond the end of 2013 when his current deal finished. It is the second time O'Neill has moved on from the job after leaving the ARU in 2004 and then taking charge of Football Federation Australia before returning to rugby in 2007.
SHANGHAI - Roger Federer survived a huge scare to reach the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals and guarantee a 300th career week as world No.1. While Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray showed ominous form, the Swiss 17-time grand slam champion came into the match against compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka with an enviable 11-1 head-to-head record but was forced to dig deep before winning 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-0. In a gripping contest lasting nearly two hours, Wawrinka broke Federer in the seventh game to lead 4-3 before sealing the first set.
Rose into final
BELEK, Turkey - Justin Rose produced a Tiger Woods-like shot to defeat the 14-time major winner and set up a showdown with fellow Englishman Lee Westwood in the World Golf final yesterday. World No.5 Rose was trailing in his semi-final tie against Woods until holing an improbable 110-yard wedge shot at the par four, 14th hole for an eagle. An embarrassed Rose then tried to cover his face with his cap en route to a round of two under par 69 to defeat Woods who signed for a 70.
LINZ, Austria - World No.1 Victoria Azarenka reached the quarter-finals of the Generali Ladies WTA event after a 6-1 6-1 thumping of Romania's Simona Halep. Azarenka dominated play from the baseline as she produced 20 winners, and has now conceded four games in two matches. She will next play either Petra Martic of Croatia or Austria's Patricia Mayr-Achleitner. Bethanie Mattek-Sands reached her first quarter-final of the season by defeating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3 6-3.
Elliott signs deal
SYDNEY - Former Penrith and Canberra coach Matt Elliott has been unveiled as the new Warriors NRL mentor, signing a two-year deal yesterday. Elliott arrives at the club under immediate pressure to overturn a disappointing 2012 campaign, in which they went from grand finalists the year prior to missing the top eight entirely. Elliott, who becomes the eighth head coach at the New Zealand club, brings an experienced head having coached for 14 seasons in the NRL and English Super League.