Spain into Hopman final

Updated 03 January 2013
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Spain into Hopman final

PERTH: A tournament-ending knee injury to American John Isner yesterday handed Spain a berth in this weekend’s final of the Hopman Cup.
The US pairing of Isner and Venus Williams were set to face Spain’s Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Madinah Garrigues on Thursday, with the winner to progress to Saturday’s final.
However, Isner withdrew from the tournament yesterday morning citing a right knee problem, handing Spain a 3-0 victory and passage into the final for the sixth time.
Spain have won the mixed teams title three times, most recently in 2010, when Tommy Robredo and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez lifted the title against Great Britain’s Laura Robson and Andy Murray.
“We are happy, of course, to be in the final,” Verdasco said.
“It was going to be a difficult tie today, but when John didn’t play, it is unlucky for everybody, but we are in the final and hopefully it is going to be a good day for us.” Spain will face Serbian top seeds Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic or Australian surprise packets Bernard Tomic and Ashleigh Barty in the final, with the former expected to earn their place in the play-off by beating winless Germany today.
The host nation stayed in contention for the final by beating Italy in yesterday’s evening tie.
Isner looked troubled by his right knee in both his singles matches for the United States this week, losing in straight sets to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson and France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Speaking after his withdrawal, the towering American said he expected to be fit for the Australian Open, starting on Monday week in Melbourne, despite being unsure of the exact nature of the injury.
“I’ve always been a fast healer when I have had real injuries pop up here and there so I’m confident I’m going to be fine for the Australian Open,” he said.

The withdrawal of Isner, who won the event in 2011 with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, ended Venus Williams’ hopes of joining her sister, Serena, as a Hopman Cup winner.
“I feel like I let her down a little bit,” Isner said.
With Isner out, Verdasco found himself playing against Isner’s little-known Australian hitting partner, 16-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis, winning in straight sets despite an unexpectedly spirited showing from the youngster.
Williams then played another exhibition match against Madinah Garrigues, winning 6-3, 6-4 to round out her preparation for the Australian Open in good style.
The 32-year-old won all three of her singles matches during the week and said she was happy with her form heading into the year’s first Grand Slam.
The evening tie saw Australia beat Italy 2-1 to stay in the hunt for the final, although they need Germany to upset Serbia on Friday.
Tomic, 20, backed up his shock win over Novak Djokovic the previous night by beating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-5, converting the only two break points he held during the match.
With wins over three higher-ranked players in Djokovic, Seppi and Tommy Haas, Tomic said his confidence was rising.
“It’s an amazing preparation before the Australian Open,” he said. “I have won three matches that are important for the summer of tennis in Melbourne.
“To beat Novak last night and then win again tonight was huge for me.” Sixteen-year-old Ashleigh Barty then stunned former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone with an imperious 6-0, 6-3 win.
“I don’t even know what happened out there,” Barty said.
“It was incredible.”


LeBron’s last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win in Game 5

James pushes the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 26 April 2018
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LeBron’s last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win in Game 5

  • James' 3-pointer buzzer beater puts Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs
  • James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists.

CLEVELAND: LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
The Cavs were again without starting point guard George Hill, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
DWYANE’S WORLD
James had enough to worry about with the Pacers that he didn’t want to discuss close friend Dwyane Wade’s future.
Miami’s star is mulling retirement after the Heat were eliminated Tuesday in Philadelphia. James spent four years playing in Miami with Wade, who began this season with the Cavs before being traded.
James said that following his last game against Wade he told him, “’If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more.” James wants to wait for Wade to make his decision and will then “give a more in-depth analysis of his career if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
TIP-INS:
Pacers: Following Lance Stephenson’s aggressive, wrestling-like takedown of Jeff Green in the waning moments of Game 4, coach Nate McMillan said he reminded the fiery forward to be careful. “The officials are going to be watching that, Lance knows that and there are some times where I think they (the Cavs) are taking advantage.” ... Dropped to 2-12 in their last 14 games in Cleveland. ... James’ triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against Indiana in the playoffs. James has done it to the Pacers three times.
Cavaliers: With his 21st 40-point game in the playoff, James tied the logo — Jerry West — for the second-most all-time. Michael Jordan scored at least 40 in 38 postseason games. .... Hill’s back has improved in the past few days, but he didn’t look close to playing while sitting stiffly in his locker-room chair before the game. ... Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown sat courtside.
UP NEXT
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.