Serena, Federer run hot as Melbourne sizzles

Updated 18 January 2013
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Serena, Federer run hot as Melbourne sizzles

MELBOURNE: Serena Williams survived a busted lip and Roger Federer and Andy Murray raced into round three on a day of ice-packs and sunscreen as temperatures soared at the Australian Open yesterday.
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka toyed with the fourth “double bagel” of the women’s draw as she went through 6-1, 6-0 at a scorching Melbourne Park, where the mercury nudged 41 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit).
The top seed thumped Eleni Daniilidou to remain on course for a semi-final with the thundering Williams, who appeared unimpeded after rolling her ankle in round one as she demolished Spanish teen Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0.
But Williams did not escape unhurt as she smashed herself in the mouth with her racquet during the first set, leaving her bleeding and fearing she had lost a tooth.
“I just busted it, busted it wide open,” she said. “I think it happens to everyone, but I have never busted it wide open like that. So, yeah, I was like, ‘Oh, no, I can’t have a tooth fall out.’ That would be horrible.” As tannoy announcements urged fans to seek shade, thousands donned hats and sunglasses and slathered themselves in sunscreen for the hottest day of the tournament so far.
However, organizers stopped short of closing the mechanical roofs on the two main courts, the Rod Laver and Hisense arenas.
Braving the heat, US Open champion Murray maintained his Grand Slam winning streak with a quickfire 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 destruction of Portugal’s Joao Sousa — and then headed straight for the Melbourne Park ice baths.
“It’s tough to get used to these conditions and it was extremely tough out there, and it was good to get it done in three sets,” said the Scot.
Former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga booked his place in the next round with a straight-sets win over Japan’s Go Soeda, and Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis stunned German 25th seed Florian Mayer.
Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic downed the Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol, and Germany’s 17th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber had a straightforward win against Amir Weintraub of Israel.
France’s Gael Monfils inexplicably double-faulted four times on match points before finally clinching an erratic, five-set win against Lu Yen-hsun, and sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro beat Germany’s Benjamin Becker.
In the showpiece evening match, Federer blew Nikolay Davydenko away 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to extend his record to 18-2 against the Russian, and set up an encounter with brash Australian Bernard Tomic, 20.
“It’s nice he’s been able to turn it around after a tough end of the year last year. It seems he’s playing well,” Federer said of Tomic, who won his first tour title this month.
“Obviously a difficult match-up in terms of early in the tournament. But I’ve got to be ready, so I’m looking forward to the match.” Azarenka had watched 6-0, 6-0 whitewashes by Williams and Maria Sharapova (twice), and she was similarly dominant as she floored Daniilidou of Greece for the loss of just one game.
“I definitely stepped it up from my first match, and I was in the zone trying to execute all of my shots. I was trying to make everything happen, and that’s what I’m happy about,” she said.
As women’s seeds Roberta Vinci, Maria Kirilenko and Yanina Wickmayer joined Azarenka and Williams in the next round, Australian media howled at the defeat of Samantha Stosur, who was bundled out by Zheng Jie on Wednesday.
“Abject Stosur sinks to new depths,” said The Age, while the Herald-Sun went with “Home-groan talent,” adding that the “Yips are getting bigger” for Stosur after a string of failures on Australian soil.
For the ninth seed, it was her sixth loss in seven matches on home soil, including last year’s first-round exit at Melbourne — which came just months after she won the US Open in New York.


Sublime Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool to stunning 5-2 win over Roma

Updated 25 April 2018
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Sublime Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool to stunning 5-2 win over Roma

  • Liverpool move onto 38 goals for this season’s competition — 11 more than any other team
  • Salah is now on 43 goals for the season in all competitions

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah put his former side Roma to the sword on Tuesday night with a scintillating performance as the Reds ran riot at Anfield, taking a commading 5-2 lead into next week’s second leg in Rome.
The Italian side had no answer to the Egyptian superstar’s sublime skill as he scored two world-class goals and set up another two for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Firmino added the fifth as the Merseyside club romped into a 5-0 lead to put the English side within touching distance of the Champions League final.
Salah’s display was as exquisite as Roma’s defending was naive, with Liverpool scoring all of their goals in a breathtaking 33-minute spell either side of halftime amid a cauldron of noise at Anfield.
But two consolation goals in the final nine minutes from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti has given Roma hope of recreating their heroics from the previous leg against Barcelona.
In the latest virtuoso performance of his stunning first season at Liverpool, Salah curled a shot into the top corner in the 36th minute and doubled the lead in the 45th with a dinked finish that is fast becoming his trademark. He is now on 43 goals for the season in all competitions with potentially five games left.
The Egypt forward was not finished there, taking advantage of Roma’s high defensive line to provide crosses for Mane and Firmino to score almost identical goals in the 56th and 61st minutes, respectively.
Firmino glanced home a header from James Millner’s corner in the 69th to leave Roma’s players on the floor — literally in the case of their distressed goalkeeper, Alisson.
Liverpool moved onto 38 goals for this season’s competition — 11 more than any other team — but cannot begin preparing for the final in Kiev on May 26 quite yet.
Dzeko chested down a long pass to make it 5-1 in the 81st and when Milner handled a shot from Radja Nainggolan, Perotti converted the penalty in the 89th.
Bayern Munich play Real Madrid in the other semifinal, with the first leg in Germany on Wednesday.
Roma knows all about Salah, who scored 15 goals and set up 11 more in the second of his two seasons at the Italian club before joining Liverpool for 42 million euros (then $47 million) in June.
He’s obliterating those figures at Anfield this season. His double saw him surge past Cristiano Ronaldo’s 42 goals for Manchester United in the 2007-08 season, for example.
Salah won English soccer’s Player of the Year award on Sunday. At this rate, the Ballon D’Or could be his next year.