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BRIEFLY

Aap, Afp, Pa
Thursday, January 03, 2013

US victory

PERTH - Former world No.1 Venus Williams dug deep into her bag of tricks to power the US to a 2-1 Hopman Cup triumph over France at Perth Arena on Tuesday night. The US appeared headed for defeat after John Isner slumped to a 6-3 6-2 loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Williams dropped the opening set against Mathilde Johansson. But from 4-1 down in the second set, Williams launched a stunning fightback, beating Johansson 3-6 7-5 6-4 in 139 minutes to keep the US in the tie. Williams then teamed with Isner to win the mixed doubles 6-7 (7-5) 6-2 10-8 (match tiebreak), giving the US their second win of the tournament after their first-up victory over South Africa.

CMJ dies

LONDON - Respected English cricket journalist and commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins has died of cancer at the age of 67, his former colleagues have announced. Popularly known as 'CMJ' in Britain, Martin-Jenkins was one of the voices of Test Match Special on BBC Radio and previously worked for The Daily Telegraph and The Times. "Desperately sad to tell you that CMJ died peacefully this morning," his friend and colleague Jonathan Agnew said on Twitter.

Comeback

LONDON - Munster lock Paul O'Connell is targeting an April return after undergoing successful surgery on a bulging disc in his lower back.There had been concerns the Ireland second row would struggle to prove his fitness ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia due to the injury. But the 33-year-old, who skippered the Lions on their 2009 tour of South Africa, is confident of being available for selection, although he will miss all of Ireland's Six Nations campaign.