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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Stanislas Wawrinka brought a dramatic
end to Novak Djokovic s quest for a
fourth successive Australian Open title
in the quarter-finals last night when he
finally found a way to beat the Serbian in
a grand slam five-setter.
e pair held a packed Rod Laver
Arena spellbound with four hours of top
quality tennis studded with breathtaking
rallies before the Swiss emerged a
2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 winner to snap
a 14-match losing streak against the
Wawrinka had come close to beating
Djokovic in a five-hour epic in the
fourth round here last year and another
five-set thriller in the semi-finals of the
US Open last September --- only to fall
e 28-year-old finished the job last
night, though, riding his thunderous
serve and summoning up some
brilliant shotmaking, particularly off
his backhand, to claim what could be
a career-defining win when Djokovic
fluffed a volley.
"He s an amazing champion, he never
gives up. I m really, really, really, really,
really, really happy," Wawrinka said,
whose path to a first grand slam final is
blocked by Czech Tomas Berdych.
"After losing two times against him in
grand slam in five sets, I m really happy
to take that one. It s great for me."
Defeat for Djokovic in his first major
tournament under new co-coach Boris
Becker ended his run of consecutive
grand slam semi-finals at 14, his winning
streak in tour events at 28 matches and
his unbeaten run at Melbourne Park at
" is is probably the court where I had
most excitement in my tennis career," the
four-times champion said.
" ese are kind of matches that you
work for, you live for, you practise for.
Unfortunately somebody has to lose in
the end. isyearit was me.Ilost to a
Czech Berdych came out on top 6-1,
6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in a three-hour arm-wrestle
against David Ferrer to reach the last
four at the year s first grand slam for the
Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard
had earlier kept her poise in the biggest
match of her life to oust Ana Ivanovic
5-7, 7-5, 6-2 and set up a semi-final
against China s Li Na, who dispatched
Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2.
e highlight of the day was always
going to be the final match of the night,
though, and Djokovic started in the
same vein as in his impressive fourth
round victory to claim the first set.
Wawrinka stormed back to take the
second and third sets but Djokovic again
pounced to claim a break at 4-3 in the
fourth, letting out a huge roar before
sending the contest into a fifth stanza.
When the Serbian grabbed an early
break in the decider, it looked like it
might be a case of deja vu for Wawrinka
but he lived up to his "Stanimal"
nickname by muscling his way back into
"It was a really tough battle," the Swiss
said. "Didn t want to let him win that
one. Got a bit lucky there in the last one.
He missed easy shots."
Big-serving Berdych has made a habit
of steaming through the first week in
Melbourne before falling victim to the
first top seed he encounters and he
made the most of his kind draw against
baseline hustler Ferrer.
After cruising to a two-set lead over
the Spaniard, he faltered in the third
before finishing off the third seed for his
first ever victory on the centre court at
"It s really great feeling," the seventh
seed said. "It s been a very special match
for me. I m extremely happy to go
Ivanovic had cleared her own path
to the final by upsetting world No 1
Serena Williams in the fourth round
but was unable to take advantage against
e Serbian looked on course for a first
grand slam semi-final since her 2008
French Open triumph after clinching
the first set but Bouchard charged
straight back into the contest to tie it up
at 1-1 on an Ivanovic double fault.
Ivanovic tried to wrest back the
momentum but as much as she ramped
up her formidable forehand, there was
no putting this particular Genie back in
"It s not exactly a surprise," 19-year-
old Bouchard said, the first Canadian to
reach the last four in Melbourne.
"I always expect myself to do well. I m
not done. I have a match tomorrow. I m
just looking forward to that."
Bouchard lost her composure only
once, when she was asked in her on-
court interview who she would most like
to date and declared a liking for pop star
Li s victory was, by contrast, a stroll
by the banks of the Yarra River as she
blasted her 28th-seeded opponent off
the court to reach the semi-finals for the
fourth time in five years.
After her victory, Li entertained the
crowd on Rod laver Arena with another
of the inter views that have made her a
firm favourite at Melbourne Park --- this
time about how she would never smash a
racket as she considers them friends.
It was left to her fellow
thirtysomething Pannetta to assess the
former French Open champion s form.
"I think she s just improved her game a
lot in the last year," the Italian said, who
was 2-2 in career meetings with Li going
into yesterday s match.
"She s really consistent. Today she was
much better than me in the court."
In one sense, it will be the lowest-
stakes grand slam battle Roger Federer
and Andy Murray have had.
But there is still plenty riding on
tonight s Australian Open quarter-
final between the Swiss great and the
Scottish two-time major winner.
ree of their previous four grand
slam meetings have been in finals ---
Federer victorious each time, at the
US Open in 2008, Australian Open in
2010 and Wimbledon in 2012.
Murray, who had not won a major to
that point, hit back to beat Federer in
the 2012 London Olympics final.
He followed that by breaking his
grand slam duck with triumphs at the
2012 US Open and at Wimbledon
In between, he notched his first
grand slam win over Federer, in a
five-set semi-final battle last year at
While this clash comes earlier in
the tournament, it gives both men the
chance to dispel some nagging queries.
Federer, 32, had his poorest year in
the majors for more than a decade
in 2013. But his impressive straight-
sets win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on
Monday night indicated earlier exits
in last year s last two slams might have
been a blip rather than the start of a
en again, if he cannot follow it up
with a strong showing against Murray,
speculation that the 17-time major
winner is permanently on the slide
Murray is coming off spinal surgery,
which restricted him to a handful of
lead-up matches before the open.
While he has progressed comfortably
to this point, tonight s clash provides
the first real test of how seriously that
low-key build-up has impacted his
Earlier today, 22-year-old Bulgarian
Grigor Dimitrov, touted as a future
world No 1, will meet the incumbent,
In women s matches, Slovakian 20th
seed Dominika Cibulkova, coming
off a fourth-round upset of Maria
Sharapova, faces Romania s Simona
Halep. Two-time champion Victoria
Azarenka, yet to drop a set in the
tournament, meets Polish fifth seed
Agnieszka Radwanska. --- AAP
is the favourite to
retain the Kiwis
coaching job, despite
what happened in
last year s World
Cup final, but the
NZRL want to test the market to see if a
better alternative crops up.
Kearney has been in the job since 2008,
when he took over from Gary Kemble,
and oversaw the successful 2008 World
Cup and 2010 Four Nations campaigns.
But he has come under considerable
scrutiny since the Kiwis were demolished
by a slick Australian outfit in last year s
World Cup final. Kearney has indicated
he will re-apply, saying he wants to
continue what he has built on during his
New Wests Tigers assistant David
Kidwell looms as a leading candidate
and has impressed many since joining
the coaching ranks following his playing
Former Kiwis winger Richie Blackmore,
who was an assistant with the New
Zealand Maori, has already indicated he
Applications close on January 31. A six-
man panel will conduct inter views and
recommend a candidate to the NZRL
board by the middle of February with a
view to an appointment being announced
at the end of the month.
e first assignment will be the annual
Anzac test against Australia.
Kearney has considerable support
within the NZRL after building a
professional programme over the past
few years. ere is also a feeling it would
be a mistake to make a change just for
the sake of it, given his experience and
rapport with the players, and parallels
have been made with the situation
confronting their rugby counterparts
when Graham Henry was reappointed
All Blacks coach, despite the failed 2007
World Cup campaign.
Kiwis selector and New Zealand Herald
columnist Richie Barnett thinks Kearney
should be reappointed.
"I think Steve is the right person for
the job and it s echoed by the players,"
he said. " e current management setup
is the perfect model. I don t think they
should mix with things, irrespective of
what happened in the World Cup final.
I have total faith in the makeup of the
coaching and management staff."
NZRL high performance manager
Tony Iro, who acted as Kiwis manager
during the World Cup, has effectively
ruled himself out of contention by being
a member of the panel to recommend a
NZRL chief executive Phil Holden,
who is also on the six-man panel, said
Kearney was a strong candidate. "He s
someone that we will be seriously looking
at because he s the incumbent. He s been
to two World Cup finals and won one
and lost one." --- APNZ
of the Herald on Sunday
"Maybe we can leave
the openers in there so
he only comes in later
at was Ross Taylor s
reaction to Virat Kohli s
expected impact on the
remainder of the New
with the second match
in Hamilton today.
Kohli shone with 123
from 111 balls in New
Zealand s 24-run win at
e bowlers must have
had moments where it
felt like delivering the
ball into a trampoline.
Even the 25-year-old s
dismissal was a drive
which would have left
a vapour trail had Jesse
Ryder not been parked
at catch was the
that ended Kohli s
extraordinary record in
which India had won
in each of the previous
11 ODIs he d made a
second innings ton.
"He s a world-class
player and has been for
a long time," Taylor
"I played with Virat at
Bangalore (in the Indian
Premier League) and
he was an outstanding
talent, as he has been
"I ve watched his
progress --- he s not far
from greatness --- he
looks good even when
he scores runs against
Dhawan, Rohit Sharma,
Suresh Raina and
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
who got out hooking
or pulling, Kohli did
not appear fazed by a
peppering from short
balls at McLean Park.
Often the demise of
those deliveries could
be heard later echoing
off the boundary
at s the risk with
such a bowling tactic.
proved a favourite,
steered through the
legside for three
boundaries and 17 runs,
but Kohli took the
same numbers off the
left-armer through the
offside for a sum of 34
runs from 25 balls.
He also drove Adam
Milne s fastest delivery
(153.4kph) straight for
Dealing with pace
and bounce was not a
problem, nor did he wilt
at sprays of bowling
vitriol, preferring to
stare back unblinking
before letting his bat
e slower wicket
predicted in Hamilton
and inclement weather
might prove a different
test, particularly through
the spinners --- and if
the pace bowlers offer
further variations like
Kohli is the prize
victim for any bowler
this series. --- APNZ
A claim about which battery the
All Blacks trust has sparked a dispute
between rival manufacturers.
e All Blacks endorsed Duracell
in a television advertisement last
year, provoking a complaint from
rival manufacturer Energizer,
which argued the ad went beyond
endorsement by making an
e ad showed the All Blacks
during games, as well as a number of
battery-powered devices including
a stopwatch, radio and television
A voiceover stated: "If you think
any battery will do, consider the All
Blacks. When they want to play at
their best there is only one battery
they trust, Duracell."
e ad then finished: "Duracell.
Rival battery maker Energizer
complained to the Advertising
Standards Authority (ASA),
arguing it was a conceptual
overreach to claim there was only
one battery the All Blacks trusted.
It argued the statement went
beyond endorsement to the point
of being untruthful and likely to
deceive or mislead consumers.
Energizer also complained about
the "trusted everywhere" line,
claiming it went beyond hyperbole
because it implied Duracell
batteries had been widely available
in New Zealand.
However, Duracell had been
absent from the market between
2006 and 2013, and its batteries
were available only from November
1 last year.
e ASA s complaints board did
not uphold the complaint, noting
a letter from the NZ Rugby Union
that confirmed the endorsement
and specifically approved the
wording: "there is only one battery
they (the All Blacks) trust".
e board also found the phrase
"trusted everywhere" was not just a
geographic claim, but a reference to
the many appliances the batteries
could be used in. erefore, the
claim was not misleading.
--- New Zealand Herald
Manchester City swept into the
League Cup final with a ruthless
3-0 win at West Ham today which
completed a 9-0 aggregate victory in
a brutally one-sided semi-final.
Manuel Pellegrini s side had
already effectively booked their
place at Wembley after winning the
first leg 6-0 at Eastlands, but they
did not take it easy in the return at
Alvaro Negredo and Sergio
Aguero put City two goals up
before half-time in east London and
Negredo struck again after the break
to cap another clinical display from
one of the most potent strike-forces
City will face arch rivals
Manchester United in the final
on March 2 if David Moyes side
can overturn a 2-1 deficit in the
second leg of their semi-final
against Sunderland at Old Trafford
tomorrow. "It was a very professional
performance. It was easy to think
the game was finished from the 6-0
in the first leg, but it was important
to reach the final winning all the
games," Pellegrini said after his team
had sealed the biggest ever winning
margin in a League Cup semi-final.
"Wembley is always important. To
me it is the same whoever we play
With City in possession of a
seemingly unassailable advantage,
Pellegrini made eight changes from
the side that beat Cardiff in the
Premier League on Saturday.
e impressive depth of City s
expensively assembled squad was
on full display as the Chilean
was still able to field the likes of
Negredo, Aguero, Jesus Navas and
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce
handed Andy Carroll his first start
since the final game of last season
after the England striker s long
struggle with a foot injury.
Given the inevitability of City s
progress to Wembley, it was hardly
surprising to see vast swathes of
empty claret and blue seats around
Upton Park. --- Reuters
of the Herald on Sunday
e support of past players has flowed
in for Adam Milne almost as quickly as
the injured pace bowler s 150kph-plus
Martin Crowe and Jacob Oram,
international players who dealt with
their own share of debilitating injuries,
offered encouragement to a bowler who
has captured the public imagination in
a summer which has unearthed more
promise than usual.
Milne s pace has joined the
announcement of Corey Anderson on
the international stage along with the
maturing of Ross Taylor, the development
of Trent Boult, the emergence of Ish
Sodhi and the renaissance of Jesse Ryder
as "feel good" stories for the nation s
at ended prematurely with Milne s
abdominal strain in Napier. An expected
six-week hiatus means the 21-year-old
will return to fitness only in time for
March s World T20.
Crowe acknowledges the news is
devastating after Milne s recent impact
but says the lay-off can be turned into a
"As Adam heals it could be a time to
reflect on his limitations. Sometimes as
cricketers we have to accept we re built
a certain way and assess how we best
sustain our balance and power. at
might mean he returns bowling to 90%
of his threshold. He s got years left in the
game and a test career ahead."
Crowe cited the likes of Australians
James Pattinson and Pat Cummins who
are still struggling to return after stress
fractures in their backs, despite promising
starts to their careers.
Oram, who has played with Milne for
New Zealand and Central Districts, says
his first piece of advice is "don t rush
back", because there is nothing more
demoralising than repeating the dose.
"Adam needs to listen to his body
and do everything the trainers, physio-
therapist and coaches tell him. It s only
natural to be disappointed after starting
to make a name for himself. It s not solely
about the numbers either. He s been
pitching the majority of his balls in the
right place, too. Potentially, he s a missing
link in the team.
"Unfortunately such injuries can be a by-
product of fast bowling. Bio-mechanists
often say you re putting around six times
your body weight through each delivery.
Multiply that over a day s play and there s
going to be a lot of stress placed on your
joints, ankles, knees and back."
Canterbury s Hamish Bennett has
earned a call-up to the ODI squad,
although Kyle Mills is likely to replace
Milne in the starting XI today.
e 26-year-old has had his own
share of ailments, including tears to the
quadriceps, shoulder and groin all derived
from a vulnerable front-on bowling
action and dicky back.
He has been injury free since playing
the Ford Trophy last year after removing
weights from his fitness programme and
replacing them with a mixture of yoga,
swimming, hill walking and acupuncture.
He doesn t put his arms behind his head
in his bowling action either.
"I ve spent so much time on a bed staring
at the roof (post-operation) wondering
if I d get a chance to play again. So I m
thrilled it s led to playing the world s
No 1 ranked one-day team. It s made
those times hating my body worthwhile."
Federer, Murray resume grand slam rivalry
PICTURE: Getty Images
Stanislas Wawrinka celebrates winning in his quarter-final battle against Novak Djokovic in last night s Australian Open in
All Blacks tv battery ad
stokes rival dispute
Man City sails into League Cup final
Injured Milne may have to cut pace
Kearney favoured to remain as coach
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