Sports — International

Federer ‘shocked’, Djokovic ‘hurt’ by Murray retirement bombshell

by Daniel HICKS Agence France Presse MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — Roger Federer admitted Sunday he was shocked that tennis was to lose “legend” Andy Murray this year while long-time friend Novak Djokovic said the bombshell news had “hurt” him. Both paid tribute to the former world number one on the eve of the year’s first Grand Slam with Federer adding that the Scot should be “incredibly proud” of what he had achieved. Murray on Friday […]

Ibaka strikes as NBA-best Raptors outlast Wizards

  LOS ANGELES, United State (AFP) — Serge Ibaka drained the go-ahead three-pointer with 15.2 seconds left in the second overtime Sunday to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 140-138 NBA victory over the Washington Wizards. Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 41 points. That included 10 in overtime as Toronto finally put away the Wizards in a game in which the Raptors led by as many as 23. The Raptors, who improved to an […]

Andy Murray to retire, Australian Open could be last event

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — A tearful Andy Murray on Friday announced he would likely retire this year due to severe pain from a hip injury, saying next week’s Australian Open could be the last tournament of a glittering career. The former world number one and three-time Grand Slam winner broke down at a press conference in Melbourne as he said the pain had become almost unbearable. “I can play with limitations. But having the limitations […]

Aldridge scores 56 in Spurs double OT thriller over Thunder

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — LaMarcus Aldridge tallied a career-high 56 points as the San Antonio Spurs overcame Russell Westbrook’s triple double by outgunning the Oklahoma City Thunder 154-147 in a double overtime thriller on Thursday. Aldridge’s epic performance saw him surpass his previous career high of 45 points which he set against Utah last March. He rattled off seven points in the second overtime as the Spurs outlasted the Thunder one day after […]

Veteran Wade powers Heat to blowout win over Celtics

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Dwyane Wade came off the bench to score 19 points and Justise Winslow had 13 points and a career-high 11 assists as the Miami Heat hammered the Boston Celtics 115-99 on Thursday. The Heat, who led by as many as 26 points, used a balanced attack to beat the Celtics as a half dozen players scored in double figures in front of a crowd of 19,600 — their 400th […]

DNA request made in Cristiano Ronaldo rape case

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Las Vegas police have asked soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to submit a DNA sample as part of their investigation into rape made against him. The Juventus forward has vehemently denied the accusations — with his lawyer, Peter Christiansen, telling AFP the request was standard procedure. “Mr Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature, so it is […]

James progressing from injury, faces update next week: Lakers

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — LeBron James faces at least another week on the sidelines as he continues his rehabilitation from a groin injury, the Los Angeles Lakers said on Thursday. James has not played since limping out of the Lakers’ victory over the Golden State Warriors on December 25. A Lakers medical update on Thursday said James was recovering and had been cleared to step up his training. “LeBron James was evaluated by […]

Cousins will start for Warriors in injury return next week – Kerr

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins, targeting a January 18 NBA season debut after nearly a year sidelined by injury, will start immediately upon his return, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday. “Yeah I’ll start him,” Kerr told reporters at a Warriors practice. “After that, everything’s on the table. We have to figure out what the rotations will look like, how many minutes he can play. “We’ll have to play […]

Djokovic thrashes Murray in Open practice match

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — World number one Novak Djokovic exposed Andy Murray’s frailties in a practice match ahead of the Australian Open on Thursday, with the Scot calling it a day while losing 6-1, 4-1. Three-time major winner Murray is on the comeback trail after missing 11 months with a hip injury which has seen him slump to 230 in the world. He was bundled out of the Brisbane International warm-up last week in round […]

Antetokounmpo leads Bucks over Harden’s Rockets

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Milwaukee’s NBA Most Valuable Player contender Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points to lead the Bucks to a hard-fought 116-109 victory Wednesday over reigning MVP James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Antetokounmpo added 21 rebounds and was a physical presence on both ends of the floor as the Bucks battled back from a 60-54 halftime deficit to end the Rockets’ 10-game home winning streak. “He just does everything,” Bucks coach […]

Pacquiao plays down presidency talk, eyes on Broner

by Rob Woollard Agence France Presse LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — ┬áManny Pacquiao played down reports linking him to a bid for the presidency of the Philippines on Wednesday, insisting he remained solely focused on the twilight of his boxing career. The 40-year-old boxer, already a member of the Philippines Senate, has been repeatedly linked to a future run for the presidency in his homeland where he remains a national hero. However Pacquiao told […]

Djokovic and Halep top seeds at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — World number ones Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep were named top seeds on Thursday for next week’s Australian Open, with 23-time major winner Serena Williams lurking at 16 on the women’s side. Djokovic heads long-time rival Rafael Nadal and defending champion Roger Federer, with young-gun Alexander Zverev seeded four as he targets a maiden Grand Slam title. The Serbian world number one is aiming to make history by claiming a record […]