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of the New Zealand Herald
Keeping a cool head did the trick
for New Zealand as they clinched
their place in the World League
final after a sudden death penalty
shoot-out against England in New
Delhi last night.
New Zealand ranked No 7, beat
fourth-ranked England 7-6 after
the teams were locked 3-3 at full
time, then could not be separated
during the penalty shoot-out. So it
went to sudden death, where Hugo
Inglis, Simon Child, Steve Edwards
and finally Phil Burrows scored to
send New Zealand to their first
tier one International Hockey
Federation final since winning
the gold medal at the Montreal
Olympics in 1976.
New Zealand will play world No
3 the Netherlands in the final early
tomorrow morning after the Dutch
eliminated Australia 4-3 in their
England had beaten the Black
Sticks 5-1 in pool play earlier in
the week, but New Zealand played
far better in a rousing contest. ey
had beaten Argentina in another
penalty shoot-out in their quarter-
Once again, goalkeeper Devon
Manchester had a fine game.
We were really disappointed with
our first match against England,"
man of the match Simon Child
ey are a really good team but
we knew we were better than the
5-1 scoreline. We are a young team
but we are growing in confidence
and getting better and better with
Coach Colin Batch was delighted
with New Zealand s growing
prowess in the penalty shootout
We are doing well on shoot
outs, it was the difference between
winning or losing," he said.
e shoot-out lasts so long
because the players are technically
good and the goal keepers are
getting better and better."
New Zealand s goals in regulation
time came from Marcus Child
early in the first half, then Stephen
Jenness and Inglis in the space of a
minute, nine minutes from the end,
which had New Zealand 3-2 up.
However English star Ashley
Jackson levelled it up a couple of
minutes later, sending the contest to
a nerve-rattling conclusion.
e shoot-out finished all square
at 3-3, so the teams went to sudden
death, where Burrows grabbed his
chance after England player Harry
Martin had been denied by the in-
A lot of people will be surprised
to see us in the final," Batch said.
Certainly on rankings they
were not expected to make the
title decider, but saved their best
performance until the semi-final
and got a terrific reward.
New Zealand last played the
Netherlands in the third-fourth
play-off at the World League
semifinal stage in Rotterdamlast
June, losing 4-1.
In other games, world No 1
Germany were surprisingly beaten
5-4 by hosts India while Belgium
beat Argentina 3-1.
e Germans will now face
Argentina in the play-off for
seventh and eighth places, while
Belgium and India will meet
to decide fifth and sixth spots.
Australia and England will contest
the third-fourth match.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
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Michael Venus, right, and his partner Yuki Bhambri celebrate after
victory in their doubles yesterday in Melbourne.
Michael Venus run at the
Australian Open continues
after the Kiwi and his Indian
tennis partner Yuki Bhambri
upset 10th seeds Jean-Julien
Rojer of the Netherlands and
Romania s Horia Tecau 6-4,
6-4 in Melbourne yesterday
By winning their first-
round match, Venus had
become the first New
Zealand male to make
the second round of the
Australian Open in either
singles or doubles since Brett
Steven reached the doubles
quarter-finals in Melbourne
in 1998 with American Pat
Venus and Bhambri, who
received a wildcard entry by
winning the Asia-Oceania
playoff, converted both
they had against their more
fancied opponents and did
not face a break point on
their own serve.
ey will have a wait to
discover the identity of their
third-round opponents with
a number of first-round
matches still to be played.
ey might expect to face
either fourth seeds Ivan
Doig (Croatia) and Marcelo
Melo (Brazil) or fifth seeds
Leander Paes (India) and
Radek Stepanek (Czech
Republic). --- APNZ
Novak Djokovic bared his teeth to
finish off Denis Istomin and extend
the hottest winning streak in tennis to
27 matches in the third round of the
Australian Open last night as a cool
front brought respite to Melbourne after
a four-day heatwave.
Serena Williams earlier made light of
the last of the scorching temperatures,
which again peaked around 42degC, to
blast her way into the fourth round for
the loss of only a dozen games.
China s Li Na escaped defeat by a
matter of centimetres in her third round
match, while Spain s David Ferrer
continued carving his way through the
men s draw largely unnoticed.
Ferrer s compatriot Tommy Robredo
caused the biggest upset of the day by
edging ninth seed Richard Gasquet 2-6,
7-5, 6-4, 7-6(6) in an evening thriller
disrupted briefly by rain.
Djokovic s last defeat was against Rafa
Nadal in the US Open final and No 49
Istomin never looked like stopping his
winning run at 26 matches under the
closed roof of the Rod Laver Arena.
Looking to become the first man in the
professional era to win four consecutive
Australian Opens, second seed Djokovic
raced through the first two sets in 70
minutes before the Uzbek suddenly
upped his aggression to break the
Serbian as he was serving for the match.
Visibly piqued, Djokovic was in no
mood to risk the possibility of giving up
his first set of the tournament and broke
back immediately before overwhelming
Istomin with the power of his shots to
convert his second match point.
"I feel better on the court as the
tournament is progressing," Djokovic
said, who will take on his Italian friend
Fabio Fognini for a place in the quarter-
" ings got tense towards the end of
the match. I didn t want to drop the
third set, obviously, so I was very focused
to get the job done in straight sets."
Temperatures are forecast to plummet
today, a huge relief to players and
organisers alike after four days of
rows over what constitutes dangerous
"I definitely look for ward to playing
in the cooler temperatures," Williams
said, whose 6-3, 6-3 win over Daniela
Hantuchova was a record 61st at the
Australian Open, taking her past local
great Margaret Court s 60.
at Williams achieved her victory
without firing on all cylinders --- "I
wasn t fully on today" --- was another
warning to her rivals that her 11-title
2013 season was by no means a final
flourish at the end of her career.
"For whatever reason, I feel like I just
never was really able to reach my full
potential, and I feel like recently I just
have been able to do a little better," she
e next hurdle in the 32-year-old s
path to a sixth Australian Open title
is Ana Ivanovic after she ended Sam
Stosur s hopes of winning her home
grand slam for another year with a
6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-2 victory on Rod Laver
"I ve been playing some good tennis all
summer. It s going to be nice test to see
where I m at," Ivanovic, who squandered
a 6-3 lead in the first set tiebreak against
Stosur, said of her meeting with the
17-times grand slam champion.
Ferrer s attritional style was made for
hot conditions and he sur vived a second
set wobble to wear down Frenchman
Jeremy Chardy and reach the fourth
round at a 15th consecutive grand slam
with a 6-2, 7-6, (7-5), 6-2 victory.
Ranked and seeded third after Andy
Murray missed the back end of last
season, Ferrer next faces Florian Mayer
with Tomas Berdych or Kevin Anderson
waiting in the quarter-finals.
Anderson came from two sets down
for the second time in five days to reach
the last 16, outlasting Edouard Roger-
Vasselin 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, (7-5), 7-5 in
just under four hours.
e tall South African trailed 0-4 in
the fourth set tiebreak and 3-5 in the
fifth and let out a huge roar when the
Frenchman went long to hand him the
win on Margaret Court Arena.
"It was a lot of emotions at the end,"
Anderson said. "Just a lot of excitement.
A little bit of disbelief as well. Sitting
down there at 4-5 9in the (fifth), going
out to return serve, knowing sort of it s
your one last shot."
Berdych, by contrast, eased into the
fourth round without having dropped a
set all week courtesy of a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
victory over Bosnian qualifier Damir
With Nadal, Roger Federer and
Murray in the other half of the draw,
Berdych knows he will rarely have a
better chance to reach a first semi-final
at Melbourne Park.
"You know, it s always about the draw,"
the Czech seventh seed said. "Really, if
I m going to have it once pretty good,
yes, I take it."
Li staged the most dramatic escape of
the day when she faced a match point
against Czech Lucie Safarova, who
failed to convert it by the smallest of
margins when her backhand down the
line was called out, a decision confirmed
"I think five centimetres saved my
tournament," Li said, who rallied to win
the subsequent tiebreak and then seal a
1-6, 7-6, (7-2) 6-3 victory. "If she had
hit it in, the whole team would be on the
way to the airport."
You will have a good read on how far
this Wellington Phoenix team has come
in the past month based on how they
fare against the Melbourne Victory at
the Cake Tin tonight.
Sure, they beat the high-flying
Western Sydney Wanderers on New
Year s Day and they finally broke their
Victorian curse with a 1-0 defeat of the
Melbourne Heart late last month but
the Victory are one of those yardstick
sides for the Phoenix.
Historically, Wellington have
struggled against the Victory --- plus
the Brisbane Roar --- and whether it
comes down to a clash of styles or the
continued good form of the Victory,
they have always been a tough prospect
for the Phoenix.
Wellington coach Ernie Merrick
currently has his ninth-placed side in
the best shape they have been in all
season and they have not been knocked
over in their past four outings.
Confidence is high in the squad
and despite losing Paul Ifill (Achilles
tendon) and Louis Fenton (shoulder)
recently for the rest of their campaign,
they have played some attractive
Last weekend s 1-1 draw with Central
Coast can be put down to the windy
conditions the Cake Tin offered and
a dour Mariners outfit and tonight s
game looks set to be more exciting.
Melbourne, who occupy third on
the ladder, beat the Phoenix 3-2 on
November 4 when the Victory ran riot
during the first half at Etihad Stadium
but Wellington showed fighting
qualities that night as they nearly pulled
off a remarkable draw.
at game was also the last time
Jeremy Brockie scored in an A-League
encounter and as his drought continues,
Wellington have evolved under
Merrick s watch.
e Victory boast a dangerous
side with attacking dynamos Archie
ompson, Kosta Barbarouses, James
Troisi and Gui Finkler all capable of
causing havoc for a backline.
Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante
had an uncharacteristically off-night in
November against the Victory and he
said his side had spent valuable time in
the video analysis room this week.
"We ve just got to make sure that we
don t get sucked in to everyone getting
behind the ball too much and them
controlling the game," Durante said.
"We ve got to also try and attack them
and take the game to them so that s
been the message from Ernie: make
sure we take the game to them and we
are not consistently on the back foot. So
it s going to be a bit of cat and mouse at
the beginning to suss out where we are
at but I m pretty confident that we can
take it to them." --- APNZ
PICTURE: Getty Images
Veteran attacker Phil Burrows scored the decisive goal to beat
Victory looms as big test for Phoenix
Venus out of this world
in Aussie Open upset
Djokovic, Serena charge into fourth round
New Zealander Tim
Wilkinson sits six shots
off the lead after the
opening round of the
PGA Tour s Humana
Challenge in La Quinta,
e left-hander opened
his season with a three-
under 69 to sit in a share
of 48th place.
Patrick Reed of the
United States leads
the tournament by one
shot at nine-under after
carding a 63, with five
birdies coming on the
New Zealand s Danny
Lee is in 129th place
at one-over following a
round which included
three birdies, two bogeys
and a double-bogey.
Campbell has had a poor
start to the season after
opening the Abu Dhabi
Championships with a
six-over 78. --- APNZ
Wilkinson near leaders
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