Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 2nd 2014 Contents "I m thinking about everything
around myself in a different per-
spective," he said. "I m excited
to be in the season and to play,
to be back on the tour after all
that misery last year."
Azarenka s match was the only
women s second-rounder to go the
distance Wednesday. She ll next
play Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland,
who advanced when Wimbledon
finalist Sabine Lisicki forfeited due
to a stomach illness.
Maria Sharapova got a walkover
into the quarterfinals when Aus-
tralian teenager Ashleigh Barty
withdrew and fifth-seeded
Angelique Kerber progressed when
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia
retired in the second set with a left
leg injury. Kerber was leading 6-2,
4-3 against last year s runner-up.
Caroline Wozniacki, who with-
drew ahead of the Brisbane tour-
nament after injuring her shoulder
in practice, confirmed her engage-
ment to golf star Rory McIlroy earlier
Wednesday, posting photos of the
couple and the ring on Twitter.
It was no surprise to Azarenka,
who said she d predicted the
engagement last year at the Brisbane
"I m really happy for her. If she
will remember, I called it last year
when I saw her in the locker room,"
Azarenka said. "I said, You ll be
engaged by the end of the year.
Technically, I was right. I even
remember the spot in the locker
room where I said that. I m a psy-
In the Hopman Cup at Perth,
France beat the United States 2-1
to stay unbeaten in its group. Sloane
Stephens beat Alize Cornet 7-5, 6-
0, but Jo-Wilfried Tsonga downed
John Isner 7-6 (1), 6-3 and the
French won the doubles tiebreaker
6-1, 5-7 (10-5).
At Auckland, New Zealand, for-
mer world No 1s Venus Williams
and Ana Ivanovic moved closer to
a semifinal meeting when they won
second-round matches at the WTA s
Williams beat Yvonne
Meusburger of Austria 4-6, 6-3,
6-2 and second-seeded Ivanovic
defeated Johanna Larsen of Sweden
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 2, 2014
Wawrinka of Switzerland advanced
comfortably but second-seeded Mikhail
Youzhny of Russia quit during his sec-
ond-round match due to a stomach
infection in the Chennai Open yester-
Wawrinka defeated Benjamin Becker
of Germany 6-3, 6-1, while Youzhny
retired ill against Dudi Sela of Israel while
trailing 3-1 after 24 minutes.
"It s a stomach problem," Youzhny
said. "I tried my best but it was not
possible. When you have restricted
movement, it s no use to play on center
court and lose. It started last week in
Thailand ... some virus ... and it con-
tinued here this week, too. I m sorry for
the tournament and the spectators."
Wawrinka said Youzhny s retirement
would not make things easier for him.
"For me it does not matter because
if it s not Youzhny it will be someone
else," Wawrinka said. "It s a good start
and I was really happy with my per-
formance today. I think I did a really,
really good job. It s quite slow and humid
out there and it was raining a bit."
Youzhny s compatriot, Alexander
Kudryavtsev, also retired while leading
6-1, 0-3 against Aljaz Bedene of Slove-
nia.Kudryavtsev, who knocked out eighth-
seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain
in the first round, suffered a leg injury.
Seventh-seeded Frenchman Edouard
Roger-Vasselin also defeated Jiri Vesely
of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4.
Wawrinka on top, Youzhny
concedes in Chennai
BRISBANE---Roger Federer showed
shreds of Stefan Edberg s influence as
he got his 2014 season underway,
advancing to the Brisbane International
quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over
Jarkko Nieminen yesterday.
Federer worked briefly with Edberg
in the offseason and will again use the
six-time major winner as a coach in
Melbourne as he tries to end his Grand
Slam drought at the Australian Open
The 32-year-old Swiss star is not sud-
denly turning to a serve-volley mindset,
but he did venture to the net with good
effect in his second-round match against
Nieminen as he honed certain parts of
"I ve been serving OK, my forehand
is going well, my movement is OK, I m
seeing the ball OK," said Federer, who
won the last of his 17 Grand Slam titles
at Wimbledon in 2012. "I expect to play
a bit better in the next match, even
though today was already very good for
a first match in so many weeks."
After a day of injury withdrawals in
the women s draw, No 2-ranked Victoria
Azarenka finished off the night session
with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Casey Dellac-
The reigning two-time Australian
Open champion followed Federer s match
on centre court.
Federer, in the decisive game of the
first set, rallied from 40-0 down and
won the next five points to break for a
3-2 lead. He started with a pinpoint lob
that caught the baseline and followed it
up with a sharp, angled volley that turned
He broke serve twice in the first three
games of the second set and cruised to
a comfortable win.
Awaiting top-seeded Federer in the
quarterfinals is Australia s Marinko Mato-
sevic, who beat American Sam Querrey
5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4. Second-seeded Kei
Nishikori of Japan had a 6-2, 6-2 win
over Matthew Ebden to set up a quar-
terfinal against Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Cilic, in his second tournament fol-
lowing a four-month doping ban, had
a 7-5, 7-5 win over fifth-seeded Grigor
Dimitrov, a Brisbane finalist last year.
Cilic, who reached a career-high No
9 in 2010 but finished last season at No
37, said playing again "feels like a new
beginning for me."
DOHA---Third-seeded Andy Mur-
ray, playing in his first tournament
since back surgery in late Septem-
ber, was upset by Florian Mayer of
Germany 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the Qatar
Murray was leading 6-3, 3-0 when
the 40th-ranked Mayer started to
play more aggressively, going for
winners on nearly every shot. Mur-
ray s lead evaporated as he only won
three of the last 15 games in the one
hour, 51 minute match.
Murray hit 25 winners, but the
reigning Wimbledon champion
countered that with 37 unforced
The last four times Murray played
a tournament during the first week
of the new season he captured the
title: in 2008 and 09 at Doha, and
2012 and 13 at Brisbane.
Murray beaten by
Mayer at Qatar Open
Federer opens 2014 with steady win in Brisbane
Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a shot in his match against Jarkko
Nieminen from Finland during the Brisbane International tennis
tournament in Brisbane, Australia, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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