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BRIEFLY

Ap, Afp, Dpa
Monday, January 06, 2014

Auckland title

AUCKLAND - Ana Ivanovic is savouring the special taste of a drought-breaking victory after holding off Venus Williams to claim the ASB Classic tennis title. Ivanovic, the world No.16 and second seed in Auckland, won 6-2 5-7 6-4 to collect her 12th title and her first since Bali more than two years ago.

'Leisurely' pace

BERLIN - Michael Schumacher was skiing at a moderate pace at the moment of the accident which has left him in coma, news magazine Der Spiegel reported on its website on Saturday, citing a video filmed by a German witness. The witness, a 35-year-old steward, said that he was filming his girlfriend with a smartphone when he captured by chance the moment when Schumacher slammed his head against a rock in the French alps.

Melzer out

PARIS - Austria's world number 27 Jurgen Melzer on Saturday withdrew from the Australian Open with a shoulder injury. "Unfortunately I have to withdraw from this year's Australian Open due to my ongoing left shoulder problems. I will be back next year," tweeted the 32-year-old.

Coach fired

ROME - Serie A side Lazio have fired coach Vladimir Petkovic over his signing of a contract to manage the Swiss national team at the end of the current season, the Rome club said. Edoardo Reja is now set to sign with Lazio after leading the past week's coaching sessions as the team gears up for Monday's home game against Inter Milan.

Still out

BORMIO, Italy - Lindsey Vonn has not skied for two weeks and will "most likely" skip next weekend's World Cup speed races in Austria, her head coach said on Saturday, leaving her status for the Sochi Olympics up in the air. Vonn remains in the United States after aggravating her surgically repaired right knee at a downhill race in Val d'Isere, France, on December 21.

Sidelined

LONDON - Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will miss the FA Cup third-round meeting with Swansea City on Sunday due to a groin injury, manager David Moyes has revealed. The England striker, 28, has been nursing the problem for the past few weeks and sat out his side's 1-0 victory at Norwich City in the Premier League on December 28.

Li wins

BEIJING - Chinese superstar Li Na beat compatriot Peng Shuai in straight sets on Saturday to win the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament. Li, Asia's highest-ranking player in tennis history and the top seed at the WTA tournament, downed Peng, who was seeded fifth, 6-4 7-5.

Li, 31, was the defending Shenzhen Open champion. She is currently ranked No.3 in the world.

Asia Cup

COLOMBO - Asia's cricket chiefs on Saturday said violence-plagued Bangladesh would remain the venue for next month's Asia Cup and added Afghanistan as the fifth team in the regional one-day tournament. All 11 matches in the tournament will take place in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka as planned, despite the violence that has plagued the city in the build-up to Sunday's general elections.








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