Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 11th 2014 Contents A49
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
manager David Moyes has been
charged with misconduct by the
English Football Association for his
comments about match officials after
a loss to Sunderland in the League Cup.
Following the 2-1 defeat in the first
leg of the semifinals on Tuesday,
Moyes criticized referee Andre
Marriner and his assistants for their
"terrible" decisions in the build-up of
Ryan Giggs' own goal and a penalty
winner by Fabio Borini.
Moyes added his team was "playing
referees as well as the opposition."
The Scot, who is under pressure
after the Red Devils started 2014 by
losing three games in a row for the
first time since the 2000-01 season,
has until Jan. 15 to respond to the
It is unlikely that Moyes will be
handed a suspension for his
comments as Liverpool manager
Brendan Rodgers was fined 8,000
pounds ($13,000) and received a
warning after admitting to a similar
MELBOURNE---Novak Djokovic and Roger
Federer witnessed Andy Murray s drought-
breaking successes after he hired Ivan Lendl
as coach, and decided they were due for an
overhaul of a major kind.
Both took on past Grand Slam champions
ahead of the Australian Open, with Djokovic
recruiting Boris Becker to help him try to win
a fourth straight title in Melbourne and Federer
working out a part-time deal with Stefan
"It s great to see other legends of the sport
coming back and trying to help the active ten-
nis players during their careers," Djokovic said
yesterday s draw. Federer said he d like to see
even more tennis greats bringing their expe-
rience back to the tour.
Murray stuck with the eight-time major
winner, Lendl---a partnership that has so far
yielded titles at the US Open and Olympics
in 2012, and at Wimbledon last year.
The top ranked players haven t yet followed
the trend for celebrity coaches, though.
Rafael Nadal tried some new therapies on
his knees in the offseason but otherwise has
an unchanged team led by his uncle Toni, who
has guided his career since childhood. It was
good enough to win him ten titles last year
and regain the No 1 ranking after a seven-
month absence from the tour.
Serena Williams sought a little bit of extra
guidance from a tried and trusted source closer
to home this time around, spending time in
the offseason with her father, Richard Williams,
in Florida to fine-tune parts of her game.
"My dad has always been, for me, my great-
est coach and the best coach ever," Williams
said. "He knows when to step back. He knows
when to say Yeah. He knows when to be like,
Ok, this girl is nuts---I m not going to say
anything right now!
"He knows me better than anybody else."
Before her 2013 season, Williams worked
out in Mauritius with Patrick Mouratoglou s
group. After an upset loss in the quarterfinals
at Melbourne Park to Sloane Stephens, she
rebounded to win 78 of her 82 matches last
After opening 2014 with a successful title
defense in Brisbane, with Mouratoglou still in
the stands, Williams is confident she can end
Victoria Azarenka s two-year reign at Mel-
Even in Brisbane, where she had back-to-
back wins over Azarenka and Maria Sharapova,
two of her biggest rivals, Williams was getting
pointers long-distance from her dad.
"He knew what I needed to do. He s like
Serena, you re not doing A, B, and C, this
isn t what we worked on. "
She won t get a chance to play Sharapova
and Azarenka back-to-back in Melbourne,
with both on the opposite side of the draw.
"It was a great test. It showed me where
my level was," she said. "I m happy I was
able to play both Maria and Victoria, because
they brought their A games against me.
"I know now what I need to do for Mel-
Williams, who hasn t lost a competitive
match since August, starts her Australian
Open campaign against Australian teenager
Ashleigh Barty, and has 2011 US Open cham-
pion Sam Stosur and two-time Australian
finalist Li Na in her half of the draw.
Critics have questioned whether Williams
can top her achievements of 2013. She won
11 titles, including two majors, became the
oldest player to be No 1 and spent all but
seven weeks atop the rankings.
"I had a similar question in 2012. I had
such a good year winning two Slams and a
gold ... I just didn t think I could do better,"
she said. "Arguably I may have done better,
so I m just going to be up for that challenge
Azarenka and Sharapova---coming back
after playing just one post-Wimbledon match
in 2013 due to hip and shoulder injuries---
could meet in the semifinals.
Azarenka has a potential fourth-round
match against Stephens, who had an upset
win over Serena Williams in the quarterfinals
last year. Stephens withdrew from the Hop-
man Cup with a left wrist problem, but is
expected to be fit for the season s first major.
Sharapova was content with her run to the
semifinals in Brisbane in her first tournament
back from injury. She has been working with
Sven Groenefeld as coach. Her first-round
match is against Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Of the "Big Four" men, three are on a
loaded top half of the draw.
Nadal, who won the Qatar Open to start
his season, opens against Australia s Bernard
Tomic and has Murray and Federer in his
half. He could meet No 5-ranked Juan Martin
del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, in
Murray lost in the second round at Doha
last week, his first tournament since minor
back surgery in late September. Federer
reached the final at Brisbane, where he lost
to another 32-year-old former No 1, Lleyton
Djokovic has what appears to be an easier
path to the final, but Becker has already
advised him that there s no such thing as an
easy draw at a Grand Slam.
"Boris brings (a) new, fresh approach,"
Djokovic said. "He is a true legend of our
sport ... and his experience will help me win
Djokovic is aiming to be the first man in
the Open era to win five Australian titles.
He was in peak form at the end of last sea-
son, finishing on a 24-match winning streak
after losing the US Open final to Nadal.
With Murray saying it would be "unrealistic"
for him to be considered a top contender for
the Australian title, and 17-time major winner
Federer saying he probably wouldn t be back
in peak form until March or April, Nadal looms
as the main obstacle to Djokovic s fourth
straight Australian title.
He missed the 2013 edition due to injury,
so his last match at Melbourne Park was a 5-
hour, 53-minute, five-set defeat of Djokovic
in the 2012 final.
It has been a decade since Federer won his
first Australian title---something he commem-
orated with a fundraising exhibition match in
front of 14,000 fans on Rod Laver Arena this
After slipping out of the year-end top five
for the first time since 2002 and winning just
one title, Federer realised he needed a fresh
approach. So he called in Edberg, one of his
childhood idols, to help out.
"I trained probably harder than all the guys
ranked ahead of me in the offseason," Federer
said. "I really feel I m on my way back. Who
knows? Maybe I m playing my very best in
March or April is my feeling.
"But I still feel there s a lot possible right
Djokovic, Federer bring
in the greats for help
Defending champions Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Serbia's Novak Djokovic pose with
their trophies prior to the the official draw of the Australian Open tennis championship in
Melbourne Australia, yesterday. AP PHOTO
United manager Moyes charged with misconduct by FA
Links Archive January 10th 2014 January 12th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page