Sunday, December 10, 2017
Sports

Strong start for Djokovic

MELBOURNE, Australia — Anyone who didn't know Novak Djokovic won three of the four Grand Slam titles last year only had to look at his shoes.

That's if his emphatic first-round win today at the Australian Open wasn't evidence enough.

Djokovic started his Australian Open defense with a 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 win over Paolo Lorenzi, wearing a pair of red-white-and-blue shoes with images of his three major trophies on the sides and a Serbian flag on the heels.

He gave up an early break but immediately broke back at love as he won the next 17 games, saving a break point in the opening game of the second set.

"It was a great performance for (my) first official match of the 2012 season," said the top-ranked Djokovic, whose only loss at a Grand Slam last year was in the French Open semifinal.

On the women's side, second-ranked Petra Kvitova and No. 4 Maria Sharapova advanced with lopsided wins.

After surrendering her opening service game with a double fault, Wimbledon champion Kvitova won 12 consecutive games in a 6-2, 6-0 win over Vera Dushevina.

Kvitova underlined her growing stature on the tour by breaking her Russian rival's serve three times in each set.

Sharapova won the first eight games of a 6-0, 6-1 win over Gisela Dulko in her first match since returning from a left ankle injury.

The 2008 champion needed just 58 minutes for the win and the only game she lost was on her own serve. She then saved three break points in the last game before serving out the match.

Rafael Nadal, who lost his No. 1 ranking and six finals to Djokovic last year, wondered if he'd even be able to play his first-round match at the Australian Open on Monday after his right knee cracked and cramped and caused him "unbelievable pain" on the eve of the tournament.

After hours of medical tests and treatment, Nadal decided to play but was "scared" when he took the court against qualifier Alex Kuznetsov. Judging by the score line, the outcome looked matter of fact: Nadal won 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.

Third-seeded Federer started his bid for a 17th major title with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over Alexander Kudryavtsev, showing no signs of a back problem that forced him out of a Doha tournament this month. He then batted away any notion of a feud with Nadal. Federer conceded that players differed on ways of resolving certain issues and "things are fine between us … We can't always agree on everything."

Defending champion Kim Clijsters and French Open winner Li Na also advanced Monday along with top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.

Comments
Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria considers his future with the Rays "somewhere in limbo" based on speculation he could be traded as part of a cost-cutting and rebuilding movement."I don't know what to think, really,'' Longoria told the Tampa Ba...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballBryant at Louisville7 p.m.ESPNUChicago State at Northwestern7 p.m.FS1Drake at Minnesota8 p.m.Big TenAlabama A&M at DePaul9 p.m.FS1NBAHeat at Grizzlies8 p.m.Fox SunPelicans at Rockets8 p.m.NBARaptors at Clippers10:30 p.m.NBANFLP...
Updated: 2 hours ago
nflweek14

nflweek14

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The snow sure suits Shady. LeSean McCoy scored on a 21-yard run with 1:33 left in overtime for the Bills’ 13-7 win Sunday over the Colts in a wintry, white-out setting best suited for snow shoes and sled dogs. Mush! He finished w...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Shorthanded Blues win fourth in row

ST. LOUIS — Vladimir Tarasenko scored with 35 seconds left in overtime, and the Blues, down two key players, beat the Sabres 3-2 Sunday night. Brayden Schenn and Paul Stastny also scored, and Joel Edmundson recorded two assists as the Blues topped th...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Celtics get payback for loss

DETROIT — The Celtics prevented Andre Drummond from scoring in the paint and quieted Reggie Jackson on the perimeter. That helped Boston to a 91-81 victory Sunday over the Pistons and avenged a rare loss.When Detroit beat the Celtics last month in Bo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
NFL Week 14: What we learned

NFL Week 14: What we learned

Aaron Rodgers is ready to return, but is he needed in Green Bay? Backup QB Brett Hundley is 2-0 in OT; Rodgers is 1-7. The Pack has its Mr. Clutch, right? Yeah, right. Its 27-21 OT win at Cleveland keeps it alive for a wild-card spot. Mr. Rodgers, yo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
O’Hair-Stricker team wins QBE Shootout in Naples

O’Hair-Stricker team wins QBE Shootout in Naples

NAPLES — Steve Stricker provided the pep talk and Sean O’Hair delivered the shot to secure victory Sunday in the QBE Shootout. Stricker and O’Hair closed with 8-under 64 for a two-shot victory over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry, effectively clinchi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Sports in brief

Sports in brief

Soccermanchester city keeps up record pace with win over manchester unitedMANCHESTER, England — Surely nothing can stop Manchester City now. The race for the English Premier League title is turning into a procession after City beat fierce rival Manch...
Updated: 5 hours ago
FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

Updated: 5 hours ago