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SportsDay Live: Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Date
Bernard Tomic of Australia during his match to Marinko Matosevic. Click for more photos

APIA International Tennis - Day 3

Bernard Tomic of Australia during his match to Marinko Matosevic. Photo: Brendan Esposito

  • Bernard Tomic of Australia during his match to Marinko Matosevic.
  • Bernard Tomic of Australia serves to Marinko Matosevic.
  • Maria Kirilenko during her losing match to Italian Sara Errani.
  • Maria Kirilenko preparing to serve to Italian Sara Errani.
  • Australian Wild Card entrant John Millman in his win over Tommy Robredo of Spain.
  • Sara Errani of Italy in her win over Maria Kirilenko of Russia.
  • Radek Stepanek of the Czech republic lunges for the ball.
  • Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan during her match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
  • Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during her match against Kimiko Date-Krumm.
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia during her match against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.
  • Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in her match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.
  • Bernard Tomic of Australia during his match to Marinko Matosevic.
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It's time to reveal today's WhoAreYa?

The pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk is heading the way of Swans Fan North of the Border, who was very quick off the mark with his guess of Kerrin McEvoy winning the 2000 Melbourne Cup on Brew. Check your inbox and we'll get the prizes to you soon.  Today’s prizes were ... a DVD of the 2012 State of Origin series, the Encyclopaedia of Australian Cricket Players & a 4-disc "Victory Pack" DVD set on the Melbourne Storm's run through the NRL finals series last year.

And on that charitable note, that's a wrap for us here at SportsDay Live, thanks as always for joining us and we'll be back from 8.30am on Wednesday morning.  Be sure to log on to smh.com.au for all the latest from the world of sport, including Bernard Tomic's Sydney International showdown with Marko Matosevic.

 

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Cricket. Cricket Australia has today confirmed that the Melbourne Renegades will host the first semi-final of the Big Bash League at Etihad Stadium next Tuesday, January 15.
With the Renegades guaranteed to finish on top of the BBL ladder, their opponents (the team that finishes fourth) will be decided after the final match of the season between the Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat on Saturday night. The Renegades are the only team to have won all matches at home this season.

It's competition time again. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the two well-known sporting figures in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out some sweet prizes. Today’s prizes are ... a DVD of the 2012 State of Origin series, the Encyclopaedia of Australian Cricket Players & a 4-disc "Victory Pack" DVD set on the Melbourne Storm's run through the NRL finals series last year.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport with the hashtag #whoareya or via the comments section on the blog.

 

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League. Fans have less than a week to play selector for the 2013 Rugby League All Stars with voting for both the NRL and Indigenous All Stars teams closing next Monday (January 14). Almost 16,000 fans have already registered their selections at www.nrl.com/allstars for the 16 prized public-chosen spots in the 20-man squads for both teams for the fourth annual All Stars match to be played at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on February 9. Only one player from each club is eligible for Wayne Bennett’s NRL All Stars, while fans can choose from all of Rugby League’s best Indigenous talent for Laurie Daley’s Indigenous All Stars. The final squads will be announced in Brisbane on January 16.

Top 10 in overall votes so far:

(Indigenous All Stars) in the list on the left  (NRL All Stars) in the list on the right

1

Greg Inglis

Rabbitohs

1

Jarryd Hayne

Eels

2

Greg Bird

Titans

2

James Tamou

Cowboys

3

Ben Barba

Bulldogs

3

Brett Morris

Dragons

4

Tom Learoyd-Lahrs

Raiders

4

Paul Gallen

Sharks

5

Jamal Idris

Titans

5

Akuila Uate

Knights

6

George Rose

Sea Eagles

6

Billy Slater

Storm

7

Andrew Fifita

Sharks

7

Michael Jennings

Panthers

8

Justin Hodges

Broncos

8

Josh Morris

Bulldogs

9

Nathan Merritt

Rabbitohs

9

David Taylor

Titans

10

Joel Thompson

Raiders

10

Adam Reynolds

Rabbitohs

On this day in 1901 … NSW made 918 in a Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia at the SCG. Five batsmen scored tons and it was the world record for first-class cricket until Victoria made 1059 against Tasmania in 1922-23. Versus Tassie? Did that count as first-class cricket back then?

Basketball. Our resident Celtics fanatic, online sports editor, Steve Samuelson is overjoyed Boston scored a 102-96 win over the New York Knicks, the favourite team of acting Sun-Herald sports editor Paul Zalunardo. Knicks guard JR Smith copped a nasty gash above his eye which needed 11 stitches.

In the other games, the Bulls beat Cleveland 118-92 in Chicago, New Orleans upset San Antonio 95-88, Utah won 100-94 at home over Dallas, Memphis were victorious 113-81 in Sacramento and the Trail Blazers edged out Orlando 125-119 in overtime at Portland.

Tennis/Copyright issues. Fairfax Media's man from north of the border, Phil Lutton, has been quick to point out that he coined the "Millmania" hashtag to describe the feats of John Millman at last week's Brisbane International, and is demanding a share of all royalties for its future use and a cut from all merchandising profits.  As they say in the classics, good luck with that..

Tennis.  And Lleyton Hewitt has some advice for Sam Stosur as well...

‘‘She’s sort of digging a bigger hole for herself, I guess, and putting more pressure and expectation on herself every time she goes out there, and it’s a matter of going out there and enjoying it.’’

Orange bowl ... Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is doused with Gatorade after his team defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA National Championship college football game in Miami.

Orange bowl ... Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is doused with Gatorade after his team defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA National Championship college football game in Miami. Photo: Getty Images

American football.  We're fairly sure there's plenty of people across Australia right now who'd be happy to be in coach Saban's shoes.  Here he is receiving the traditional thank-you after his Alabama side's big win in the NCAA championship game.

Tennis. 18-time grand slam champion Martina Navratilova has some advice for Sam Stosur after her latest capitulation on home soil, saying the 2011 US Open winner needs to relax to save her Australian summer.

‘‘She has got a risky game,’’ Navratilova said.

‘‘It should be safer than it is. But when she gets a little nervous, she just hasn’t been able to put it together.

‘‘And I think the girls now are on to her serve, they kind of know what is coming and they have gotten used to it so it’s not as much of a surprise.’’

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the two well-known sporting figures in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out some sweet prizes. Today’s prizes are ... a DVD of the 2012 State of Origin series, the Encyclopaedia of Australian Cricket Players & a 4-disc "Victory Pack" DVD set on the Melbourne Storm's run through the NRL finals series last year.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport with the hashtag #whoareya or via the comments section on the blog.

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Tennis. Another result from the Sydney International where Germany's Angelique Kerber has cruised to a straight sets win over Galina Voskoboeva 6-2, 7-5.  Kerber will now face the winner of the aforementioned Wozniacki/Kuznetsova clash in the quarter-finals.

 

Tennis. After dropping the first set to Svetlana Kuznetsova in sweltering conditions at the Sydney International, former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki has her game face on, taking the second 6-1 over the Russian.

American football. It's full-time in Miami and a massive win for Alabama in the NCAA championship game.  The Crimson Tide have recorded a 42-14 win over Notre Dame and that's a third title in four years. 

League. Here's Fairfax Media's Brad Walter's take on the Beau Champion deal:

 

Tennis. Lleyton Hewitt says he's going into his 17th Australian Open free of psychological barriers for the first time in years.  The 2005 finalist, who turns 32 next month, said it would be a relief to be able to concentrate on his game rather than playing with the lingering fear that his body might break down.

‘‘Now I can actually go out there with a clear mind in terms of just worrying about hitting the ball and competing against these guys,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s hard enough playing them when you are 100 per cent, let alone when you’re in pain and got an injury."

Hewitt received wildcard entries into all four grand slam tournaments last year and reached the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Basketball. Bradley Beal found room with a pump fake then sank a game-winning jump shot with three-tenths of a second left as the lowly Washington Wizards beat Oklahoma City 101-99 in a NBA shocker.

Despite the absence of injured Jordan Crawford and Nene, the Wizards captured their fifth win of the season against 28 defeats.  Beal and Martell Webster both scored 22 points for the Wizards and Kevin Seraphin chipped in 19.  Emeka Okafor notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds as Washington won for just the second time in 15 games. The Wizards had lost five in a row going into the game.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points with eight assists and seven rebounds for the Thunder, the Western Conference leaders who had won five of six coming into the contest.

League.  Some of the NRL's young playmakers will be hoping things have cooled off somewhat by Thursday as NSW take a summer step towards ending seven years of Queensland Origin dominance.  Adrian Proszenko tells us the NSWRL's high-performance manager has scheduled an individual halfbacks/five-eighths session for that afternoon.  Laurie Daley, Brad Fittler and Trent Barrett will be putting the players through their paces.  In attendance will be Tigers foursome Curtis Sironen, Jacob Miller, Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses, as well as Cronulla's Chad Townsend, Penrith's Toby Evans, Newcastle's Tyler Sullivan and Dragon Shannon Crook.

 

 

 

American football. It's been a night to remember for the Brisbane-raised Jesse Williams, whose Alabama Crimson Tide outfit have absolutely dominated Notre Dame in college football's night of nights.  There's still nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter but we're confident of calling this one, with 'Bama ahead 42-7 over the Fighting Irish.

Football.  Canberra Times superstar Fleta Page with the latest on the heatwave:
The weather gods seem to be conspiring against Canberra United and the Western Sydney Wanderers in the W-League. Their fixture on Saturday afternoon was delayed due to extreme heat in the capital, then an electrical storm that evening forced the match to be abandoned at 0-0 after 33 minutes.

It was rescheduled for 7pm tonight, but as the Wanderers are on the bus down to Canberra, the Bureau of Meteorology is now predicting another electrical storm for the capital late this afternoon.

Both teams are fighting for a place in the top four with one round remaining, so splitting the points won’t be the option either side is looking for.

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the two well-known sporting figures in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out some sweet prizes. Today’s prizes are ... a DVD of the 2012 State of Origin series, the Encyclopaedia of Australian Cricket Players & a 4-disc "Victory Pack" DVD set on the Melbourne Storm's run through the NRL finals series last year.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport with the hashtag #whoareya or via the comments section on the blog.

whoareya4

whoareya4

ANDREW WU: Cricket. Omen time, for those who believe in this sort of thing: The Melbourne Renegades have beaten the Sydney Sixers into Sydney airport ahead of tomorrow night's Big Bash match. The Sixers were due to land at 1pm, but were delayed, paving the way for the Renegades to beat them to the luggage carousel.

On this day in 1986 … football star David Silva was born in Arguineguín in southern Spain. A member of Spain’s historic 2010 World Cup-winning team, he played six seasons in La Liga with before signing with cashed-up Manchester City in 2010. Known as Merlin for his magic on the pitch, he was a member of City’s FA Cup and EPL champion teams.

Check out his magic here 

Tennis. World No.12 Juan Monaco’s Australian Open campaign is in doubt after injury forced him to withdraw from the Kooyong Classic lead-up event. The Argentine pulled out on the eve of the exhibition event citing a hand problem. His spot in the eight-man field for Kooyong was taken by world No.58 Paul-Henri Mathieu of France.

Tennis. Australian tennis player Greg Jones has continued his giantkilling run at the Auckland Open, knocking out sixth seed Jurgen Melzer of Austria. Jones, ranked 373 in the world, played precision serve-and-volley tennis to defeat the 29th-ranked Melzer 7-6 6-2.

Sydney International wildcard entrant John Millman in his win over Tommy Robredo of Spain.

Sydney International wildcard entrant John Millman in his win over Tommy Robredo of Spain. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Tennis. The Millmania levels are rising nationwide after Queensland cult hero John Millman upset Spain's Tommy Robredo 6-3 6-4 in their first round clash at the Sydney International. 

Finland's Jarkko Nieminen beat German Bjorn Phau 6-0 6-1, Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez eliminated French seventh seed Jeremy Chardy 6-7 7-5 6-3 while Czech sixth seed Radek Stepanek downed Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-3.

Basketball. The New Zealand Breakers are 3-0 up against Townsville in the National Basketball League this season, but face a new threat when the sides meet in North Queensland on Friday night. Having languished at the bottom of the table with an 0-10 record, Townsville have done a sudden U-turn and strung together a five-match winning streak to climb to sixth. Their change in fortune coincides with the acquisition of 2.18m centre Luke Nevill after the West Australian missed out on an NBA contract after trialling with the Indiana Pacers.

Tennis. The legendary Martina Navratilova says Samantha Stosur needs to relax to save her Australian summer. Navratilova believes Stosur’s troubles are a combination of her rivals no longer fearing her power-serving game and the 28-year-old not being able to execute on the big points. ‘‘She has got a risky game. It should be safer than it is. But when she gets a little nervous, she just hasn’t been able to put it together. And I think the girls now are onto her serve, they kind of know what is coming and they have gotten used to it so it’s not as much of a surprise. She has got the skills. If she can just relax and perhaps lower the expectations, take the pressure off - but it’s tricky. I know when I played and the crowd was really on my side, it was almost counter-productive because you miss a shot and you’re already disappointed and the crowd goes ’ahhh’ and it just exponentially gets worse.’’

Mats Wilander playing at the Australian Open in 1988.

Mats Wilander playing at the Australian Open in 1988.

Tennis. The great Mats Wilander believes dumping Bernard Tomic from Australia’s Davis Cup team will be the making of the 20-year-old talent. Tomic has vowed to recommit to tennis this year after tumbling down the world rankings in a controversy-marred 2012 season that culminated in his suspension from Davis Cup duties. Tomic has been banned for Australia’s Cup tie against Taiwan in February, penalised by captain Pat Rafter for a poor attitude. ‘‘We all know that he is very talented and I think we all know that he needed to mature, definitely needed to work a little harder than he has in the last two years,’’ Wilander told reporters in South Australia’s Barossa Valley. ‘‘But from what I read in the papers, that is exactly what he has done. And being taken off the Davis Cup team was probably a really good thing for him - it wakes you up and realise that you have to be selfish, but you have to respect the game, and it seems like that is what he is doing. Now, as he says himself, there is really no limit, he is that talented.’’

Tennis. World No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska declared it ‘‘too hot to play tennis’’ and suggested it might be time for event organisers to halt proceedings as temperatures tipped the 40-degree mark at the Sydney International. The Pole hung tough for a straight-sets win over Kimiko Date-Krumm to reach the last eight of the event but the weather quickly became more of a talking point than the quality of her play. ‘‘I think this is too hot to play tennis. Even for players, for ball kids, for the people sitting out there, I think it’s just too hot. I think I would prefer to go on court at 11:00pm and play a match.’’

Cricket. The Melbourne Stars will be without Lasith Malinga for tonight's clash with Sydney Thunder. He has been called into the Sri Lankan ODI squad and won't be playing in the BBL again this season.

League. Returning Rabbitoh Beau Champion ... 

“I’m over the moon at having the opportunity to return to South Sydney, the Club where my career began, the team which I supported as a kid, and the Club which I’ve always dreamed of playing for. I appreciate everything the people at the Titans and Storm have done for me over the past two years, and I think my time at both Clubs have made me a better player and better person. However now that an opportunity has come up to rejoin Souths, I can’t miss the chance to return to the Club. The Club has taken some big strides forward since I was last there and I’m looking forward to being part of a renewed South Sydney and representing the district and the Members once again.”

Football. Midfielder Rocky Visconte has been linked with Western Sydney Wanderers after being released by A-League champions the Brisbane Roar. The Australian under-23 representative’s contract had been due to expire at the end of the season, but he has made the move after being told by Roar coach Mike Mulvey he’s not likely to feature in first team action.

Sailing. Middle Harbour Yacht Club will host the 8th edition of its popular Sydney Harbour Regatta in March and the Notice of Race is now available online at: http://www.shr.mhyc.com.au/ where prospective competitors can also now enter electronically. To be held on Saturday and Sunday 9-10 March, the regatta, which brings major racing to a close for the year in NSW, attracts entries from across NSW and from interstate, bringing together club racers, state, national and world champions, along with Olympians.

Welcome back ... Souths junior Beau Champion is heading home to the Rabbitohs after getting a release from Gold Coast.

Welcome back ... Souths junior Beau Champion is heading home to the Rabbitohs after getting a release from Gold Coast. Photo: Getty Images

League. South Sydney junior Beau Champion will return to Redfern for the next two NRL seasons after being granted a release from Gold Coast. The former representative centre was pushed out of Souths before the 2011 season to create room under the salary cap for the arrival of Greg Inglis from Melbourne. But he returns to Souths as the club bids to find an effective centre combination after Inglis's spectacularly successful move to fullback.

Baseball. Get out to the ball game tonight and support the Sydney Blue Sox in their push for an ABL title ... 

Cricket. Don't go Travis Birt, the Twitterverse will miss ya ... 

Cricket. It’s been a bad week for Renegades all-rounder Marlon Samuels, who has now been ruled out of the rest of the Big Bash League season with a suspected eye socket fracture. The Renegades have signed up Englishman Alex Hales to replace him. Hales is en route from Britain and the franchise expects him to play in tomorrow night’s clash with the Sydney Sixers at the SCG. 

Cricket. Wondering why Hurricanes batsman Travis Birt was sanctioned? He posted on Twitter "Umpires ruining games" after he was out in controversial circumstances in the December 23 clash with Sydney Thunder in Hobart. Birt indicated on Tuesday the fine might stop him using the social medium again, tweeting: ‘‘Thanks Twitter, been good while it lasted. See ya.’’

Cricket. Not surprisingly, the TAB has installed Australia as $1.40 favourites for Friday’s opening one-dayer at the MCG. Value in Sri Lanka at $2.90?

Rugby. Waikato five-eighth Sam Christie has claimed the final playing squad contract with the Western Force for the upcoming Super 15 season. Christie, 26, is the ninth new member to the Force’s back division for the 2013 campaign. He is one of four No.10 options for the Force in 2013 along with former Cheetahs playmaker Sias Ebersohn, returning Wallaby Sam Norton-Knight and Australian under-20s representative Kyle Godwin. ‘‘We wanted to ensure we had depth at flyhalf this season,’’ head coach Michael Foley said. ‘‘We’ve now got four quality options at 10 as well as the ability to cover a number of other positions.’’

Australian Open drawcard ... Cheyenne Woods.

Australian Open drawcard ... Cheyenne Woods. Photo: Getty Images

Golf. Former world No.1 Tiger Woods's niece, Cheyenne Woods, and Petr Korda's daughter Jessica Korda will be teeing off at the Australian Open at the Royal Canberra Golf Club in February 14-17. World No.1 Yani Tseng is also lining up. "I've made a lot of good friends at this championship and in Australia and I'm looking forward to playing for my third Australian Open title which would also be a great start to my 2013 LPGA Tour season,” Tseng said. Woods, 22, turned professional in 2012 and will make her Australian Open debut after claiming her first professional win on the SunCoast Ladies Series in the United States in August.

Cricket. Hobart Hurricanes batsman Travis Birt is in trouble again. Cricket Australia has fined him for breaching "Rule 9" of the code of conduct, relating to "Detrimental Public Comment" regarding a comment he made about umpires on Twitter on 24 December 2012. He was in trouble after hitting an advertising sign with his bat after getting out against the Sydney Thunder a couple of weeks ago. Commissioner Ray Brown found Birt guilty of this latest offence and fined him $1000.

Tennis. It's Millmania. Queensland cult hero John Millman has beaten Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo 6-3 in the first set of their Sydney International match. It's 1-1 in the second.

RUPERT GUINNESS: Cycling. If you want to see some top-line bike racing after work, then get on out to Heffron Park in Maroubra where the Subaru/Focus Bikes Summer of Cycling 2013 pointscore series kicks off at 6pm. The Heffron Park circuit will be windblown by the looks of things and temperatures are set to still be high out there. Latest check a few minutes ago had the temperature at 41C out there. But organisers have no intention of calling off the racing - and never had, despite some calls asking if it would still be on. Cycle races are often held in extreme hot weather - you only had to see last week's Jayco Herald Sun Tour and Bay Criterium Series. In the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, temperatures are regularly above 40C and racing has never stopped. Elite athletes in outdoor sports know how to handle the heat - hydration and being prepared for whatever conditions are thrown at them is as important as diet, training and recover. Were it easy, they wouldn't bother.

Washington Wizards centre Emeka Okafor works against Oklahoma City Thunder counterpart Kendrick Perkins.

Washington Wizards centre Emeka Okafor works against Oklahoma City Thunder counterpart Kendrick Perkins. Photo: AP

Basketball. Washington Wizards have scored a huuuuuuge upset in the NBA, beating the high-flying Oklahoma City Thunder 99-94. At New York, the Knicks are leading Boston 66-64 in the third quarter, the Bulls lead Cleveland 53-50 at half-time in Chicago, the Hornets are 49-41 up at the main break over San Antonio in New Orleans, while Dallas have a 13-9 advantage early on in Utah.

The later games are Memphis at Sacramento and Orlando are in Portland.

Football. Adelaide United have lost attacking weapon Marcelo Carrusca for at least two A-League matches because of a groin injury. The Argentinian playmaker suffered a torn adductor muscle during Adelaide’s scoreless draw last Saturday against Newcastle Jets.

Rugby. Queensland Reds director of coaching Ewen McKenzie says Will Genia's recovery from a knee reconstruction appears ahead of schedule but can’t confirm when he will unleash the halfback in the upcoming Super Rugby season. He also says James Horwill is on track to start the season but is unsure whether to use his recovering captain in their two-game pre-season program.

Tennis. Millmania has come to the Sydney International. John Millman is on court against Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo with the Queenslander up 4-3 in the first set.

Feliciano Lopez leads Jeremy Chardy 6-7 7-5 5-2 and Li Na has thrashed Ayumi Morita in the first set 6-1.

Rugby. Reds and Wallabies centre Ben Tapuai shows his compassionate side ... 

American football. Prime Minister Julia Gillard makes her debut on the SportsDay Live blog ... 

Cricket. Should George Bailey be leading the Australian one-day team in Michael Clarke's absence?

Poll: Should George Bailey be Australia's ODI skipper?

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Cricket. It's finals time in the Women's National Cricket League with the NSW Breakers up against the Western Fury and Victorian Spirit taking on the Queensland Fire on Friday. Both games will be held at Blacktown International Sportspark. The losers will play off for third at 10am on Saturday while the winning semi-finalists will battle it out for the trophy on Sunday at the SCG. All games start at 10am. 

NSW have won 12 titles since the WNCL started in 1996-97, the Vics have been victorious twice. WA, Queensland & SA have each played in two finals (losing to the Breakers on all six occasions). Tasmania and the ACT have never been in a finals series.

Cricket. He has many critics, including cranky old Shane Warne, but George Bailey will become Australia's 21st ODI captain on Friday against Sri Lanka at the MCG. At least he has played a few games and isn't making his debut at the same time like when he became the Twenty20 captain.

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the two well-known sporting figures in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out some sweet prizes. Today’s prizes are ... a DVD of the 2012 State of Origin series, the Encyclopaedia of Australian Cricket Players & a 4-disc "Victory Pack" DVD set on the Melbourne Storm's run through the NRL finals series last year.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport with the hashtag #whoareya or via the comments section on the blog.

 

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Cricket. That Jackson Bird certainly gets around, the rookie Test paceman who grew up in Sydney, plays first-class cricket for Tasmania and lines up in the Big Bash League for the Melbourne Stars ... 

Tennis. Results just in from the Hobart International ... Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) bt Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP) 6-0 7-6 (9-7) and 3-Klara Zakopalova (CZE) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-4 6-3.

Cricket. Is this a concern for fans of the Australian cricket team? Mitchell Johnson is the most capped player for Australia in the squad for Friday's clash with Sri Lanka at the MCG, with 112 games.

Football. Injured Sydney FC pair Fabio and Yairo Yau trained strongly this morning and are expected to be available for the Sunday’s clash v Melbourne Heart at the SFS. Coach Frank Farina would not be drawn on what role they’d play. ‘‘It’s only Tuesday and the game’s Sunday, so there’s no point talking about who’s going to start or who’s going to be on the bench.’’ While the 48-year-old said the club was still hunting a centre back, he admitted: ‘‘it’s a bit of a tall ask at this stage. We can look hard but we’ve got to find one - one that’s ready to play right now, and is available.’’

Football. "As of today, Frank Vercauteren is no longer head coach of the football team,’’ read a terse statement from the club released to the stock exchange." And with that brief statement, Sporting Lisbon sacked Belgian coach Franky Vercauteren less than three months after he was appointed.The 56-year-old - a former international playmaker who was a pivotal member of the outstanding side that reached the 1986 World Cup semi-finals - has been replaced by sporting director Jesualdo Ferreira after he failed to revive the fortunes of the ailing giants.

Football. Wow! Check this out! A team of Greek children playing for AO Giannina put the beauty back into the beautiful game with a glorious passage of passing football straight from the kick-off that results in a goal. Remember Argentina’s extraordinary passing goal during the 2006 World Cup. This is better, with 20 passes, including some dashing skill from the keeper, until the ball ends up in the back of the net before the opposing team even touches the ball.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska is the top seed for the Sydney International.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska is the top seed for the Sydney International. Photo: AFP

TennisAgnieszka Radwanska is has beaten Kimiko Date-Krumm at the Sydney International 6-4 6-3, while Italy's Sara Errani has thrashed Maria Kirilenko 6-1 6-1.

Tennis. Agnieszka Radwanska is one game away from beating Kimiko Date-Krumm at the Sydney International, leading 6-4 5-3, likewise Italy's Sara Errani, who's up 6-1 5-1 over Maria Kirilenko.

Surfing. Hawaiian star Sunny Garcia is not a bad photographer ... 

Welcome back ... Souths junior Beau Champion is heading home to the Rabbitohs after getting a release from Gold Coast.

Welcome back ... Souths junior Beau Champion is heading home to the Rabbitohs after getting a release from Gold Coast. Photo: Getty Images

League. Perhaps the Sydney Roosters should have been sniffing around the Gold Coast if they need a centre instead of trying to get the high-priced Michael Jennings from Penrith. Beau Champion will be a handy pick-up for the Rabbitohs. He played his best footy during his first stint at Souths and hasn't looked settled at the Storm and Titans over the past couple of years.

League. Good news for Rabbitohs fans ... 

Football. The countdown is on to AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015, with tomorrow marking two years until the jewel in the crown of Asian football begins in Australia.

A very happy birthday to Australian golfing stalwart Mike Harwood.

A very happy birthday to Australian golfing stalwart Mike Harwood. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

On this day in 1959 … golfer Mike Harwood was born in Sydney. Over a lengthy career he has recorded 13 professional wins. His career highlight was finishing second at the 1991 British Open. If you are going to be runner-up at a major it might as well be to a fellow Australian in Ian Baker-Finch

League. Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne ready to feel the heat at pre-season training ... 

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the two well-known sporting figures in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out some sweet prizes. Today’s prizes are ... a DVD of the 2012 State of Origin series, the Encyclopaedia of Australian Cricket Players & a 4-disc "Victory Pack" DVD set on the Melbourne Storm's run through the NRL finals series last year.

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport with the hashtag #whoareya or via the comments section on the blog.

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Whoareya? Whoareya? Whoareya?

Tennis. Radek Stepanek is up 6-2 1-0 over qualifier Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at the Sydney International. Radek has to back up in the heat later in the day for the doubles.

Women's top seed Agnieszka Radwanska leads Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-4 1-0 while Italian third seed Sara Errani leads Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-1 1-0. Maria is also backing up later on for doubles action.

Cricket. Four ODI debutants, the last time, we hear you ask? Well as a matter of fact the last time Australia had four debutants in the one game was v New Zealand in Melbourne in January 1986 when Simon Davis, Dave Gilbert, Bruce Reid and Steve Waugh all played their first match in the canary yellow.

Golf. "Acting" Sun-Herald sports editor Paul Zalunardo empathises with the world's best golfers ... 

Surplus to requirements ... Brisbane Roar have released Rocky Visconte.

Surplus to requirements ... Brisbane Roar have released Rocky Visconte. Photo: Getty Images

SEBASTIAN HASSETT: Football. Rocky  Visconte might have set up the most dramatic equaliser in A-League history during the dying stages of the 2011 grand final but his tenure with Brisbane Roar has been brought to an abrupt halt.

The 22-year old Adelaide-born winger has been released by the Roar this morning with interim coach Mike Mulvey declaring Visconte had no future with the two-time champions.

“These decisions are never taken lightly but we felt it was the right thing to do at this point in time," Mulvey said. "At this stage of his career Rocky needs to play first team football and he was not likely to figure in our first team plans."

Cricket. Fairfax Media cricket correspondent Chloe Saltau didn't hold back with her thoughts on Shane Warne's latest antics.

Read her column here

Rugby. Scotland’s most-capped scrum-half Mike Blair has announced he has retired from international rugby at the age of 31. Blair was capped 85 times for his country and was captain of the side on 14 occasions. His decision follows six weeks after the resignation of Scotland coach Andy Robinson in the wake of the defeat to Tonga in Aberdeen. Australian Scott Johnson has been put in charge for the Six Nations tournament.

Cricket. If Australia name three of their four uncapped squad members in the first ODI v Sri Lanka it'll be the first time they have had three or more debutants in the one game since they played Sri Lanka in Colombo in August 1996 when George Bradley Hogg, Jason Gillespie and Darren Lehman all played their first game.

Golf. Americans Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney and Mark Wilson have made good starts after the US PGA Tour season finally got underway in Hawaii. The trio shot four-under-par rounds of 69 to lead the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on the island of Maui. The tournament has been reduced to 54-holes after play was postponed for three consecutive days because of high winds. Players will play one more round today and the final round tomorrow.

It's competition time. WhoAreYa? Guess the identity of the two well-known sporting figures in the photo and you can win, win, win!!!

We've gone through the pile of Stuff We Found On Peter FitzSimons' Desk to dig out some sweet prizes. Today’s prizes are ... a DVD of the 2012 State of Origin series, the Encyclopaedia of Australian Cricket Players & a 4-disc "Victory Pack" DVD set on the Melbourne Storm's run through the NRL finals series last year.

 

To enter log on, contact us via Twitter @SMHsport with the hashtag #whoareya or via the comments section on the blog.

 

whoareya? whoareya? whoareya?

whoareya? whoareya? whoareya?

Tennis. Results just in from the New Zealand Open in Auckland. Lukas Lacko (SVK) bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-3 6-3. Santiago Giraldo (COL) bt Go Soeda (JPN) 6-1 6-0.

Cricket. Who will be the 200th men's player to wear the canary yellow/modern green outfit for Australia? A total of 196 players have represented Australia in ODIs. Four of the squad of 13 for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka have not made their debut - Ben Cutting, Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja.

 



Cricket. Australia are favourites to beat Sri Lanka in the upcoming ODI series and with good reason - they have played each other 84 times in the ODI format & Australia have won 53, Sri Lanka  28 and there have been three ending in no result

Cricket: Phillip Hughes has been upgraded to the CA Contract List for 2012/13 having achieved sufficient upgrade points. He was upgraded on 3/1/2013 having played 3 x Tests since July 1, 2012. He joins recently upgraded CA contract players George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell and Ed Cowan.

Basketball: It’s all going La-La in La-La-Land for the Lakers. The news became even worse on Monday, as the struggling NBA club announced forward Pau Gasol and centre Dwight Howard will be sidelined indefinitely with injuries. Both players were hurt on Sunday in a home loss to Denver - the Lakers’ third straight defeat. Howard, already playing with a sore right shoulder, suffered a torn labrum in the shoulder and will be re-examined in a week.

Despite the injury, Howard tied his career-high with 26 rebounds in the defeat. Gasol, who took an inadvertent elbow to the face from Denver centre JaVale McGee in the fourth quarter and left the court with a bleeding cut on his nose, has concussion. Both Gasol and coach Mike D’Antoni had predicted Gasol would be ready for Tuesday’s game at Houston but, instead, he won’t be travelling with the team. Jordan Hill was also hurt in the loss to the Nuggets, and was to have his right hip examined by a doctor.

Golf (here we go again): Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney and Mark Wilson made good starts on Monday in the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Then again, just starting was good.

Three days behind schedule because of high wind, the 2013 PGA Tour season finally began on the day its first tournament was supposed to finish.

Watney rolled in a long eagle putt and joined Johnson and Wilson in a tie for the lead with a 4-under 69. That matches the highest score to lead after one round in 15 years at Kapalua.

The opening round was scrapped on Friday and Sunday because of gusts topping almost 80km/h, and no one could play on Saturday.

The players had about 30 minutes for lunch on Monday before going back out for 18 more holes.

This will be followed by an 18-hole finish on Tuesday to put this wacky event in the books.

Dustin Johnson (R) demonstrates how strong the wind is by letting it hold his jacket against him.

Dustin Johnson (R) demonstrates how strong the wind is by letting it hold his jacket against him. Photo: AP

Basketball: There is life after the Wollongong Hawks for Townsville Crocodiles star Gary Ervin. The former Hawks point guard has been named the NBL Player of the Week for round 13 after scoring 20 points, to go with his nine rebounds and five assists, against the Adelaide 36ers.

 

Cricket: Defending champions Sydney Sixers have called batsman Dominic Thornely and allrounder Ian Moran into their squad for Wednesday's must-win clash with Big Bash League leaders Melbourne Renegades.

The pair come into the 13-man squad to replace Brad Haddin and Steve Smith who are on national team duty for the one-day international series against Sri Lanka.

(More) Football: For those wondering, here is the complete list of award winners at the Ballon d'Or ceremony overnight.

Ballon d'Or
1. Lionel Messi (ARG)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR)
3. Andrs Iniesta (ESP)

Coach
1. Vicente Del Bosque (ESP)
2. Jose Mourinho (POR)
3. Pep Guardiola (ESP)

Team: Iker Casillas (ESP) - Dani Alves (BRA), Gerard Pique (ESP), Sergio Ramos (ESP), Marcelo (BRA) - Xabi Alonso (ESP), Xavi Hernandez (ESP), Andres Iniesta (ESP) - Lionel Messi (ARG), Radamel Falcao (COL), Cristiano Ronaldo (POR)

Best goal
1. Miroslav Stoch (SVK)
2. Falcao (COL)
3. Neymar (BRA)

Fair play: Uzbekistan Football Federation (UFF)

FIFA president award: Franz Beckenbauer (GER)

Woman player
1. Abby Wambach (USA)
2. Marta (BRA)
3. Alex Morgan (USA)

Football: A British television commentator who labelled Luis Suarez "a cheat" following his controversial goal in Liverpool's FA Cup win at Mansfield on Sunday, has been spoken to by his employer.

Jon Champion, an experienced football broadcaster, made his views clear while working for satellite station ESPN who were carrying live coverage of the match between Premier League side Liverpool and fifth-tier Mansfield at the non-league club's Field Mill ground.

The ball hit Suarez on the right wrist before he put Liverpool 2-0 up in a game they eventually won 2-1 but the Uruguay striker's goal was allowed to stand by the referee.

However, as ESPN showed a replay of the incident, Champion said: "That, I'm afraid, is the work of a cheat."

But an ESPN statement issued Monday distanced themselves from Champion's comment, saying: "We take our responsibility to deliver the highest standards of coverage to our viewers.

"ESPN's editorial policy is for commentators to be unbiased and honest, to call things as they see them.

"Inevitably this can involve treading a fine line on occasion, especially in the heat of the moment.

"Comments during the Mansfield v Liverpool match caused offence where none was intended and we have spoken to our commentator about this incident."

On this day in 1962 … a fresh-faced 21-year-old golfer named Jack Nicklaus made his first professional appearance. The Golden Bear finished 50th in his first event as a pro but went on to do a little better in later years, ie, 18 majors. An often overlooked stat is that he has been the runner-up in majors 19 times. Phenomenal. Will Tiger overtake him? Greg Norman for one doesn't think so. To be as good as Jack all you need to do is watch this clip ...

Football: Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, currently on a one-year sabbatical, said on Monday he was already thinking about a return to coaching but stressed he didn't know at which club.

"I want to coach," said Guardiola, who left the Nou Camp last summer. "I'm young, I'm only 41 years old. Now I have another type of life, a type of life that I wanted to have at this moment, that's it.

"I don't have a team to go to, but yes, I'd like to return to coaching.

"I have taken a decision to return to coaching but beyond that no decision has been taken."

Guardiola's name has been linked with jobs at a raft of top-flight clubs and countries after his decision to step down as coach of Barcelona after four years in charge in which he delivered 14 trophies, including two Champions League titles.

Poll: Which manager should feel the most nervous at the prospect of Pep Guardiola returning to the coaching ranks?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Rafa Benitez (Chelsea)

40%

Roberto Mancini (Manchester City)

18%

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)

11%

Carlo Ancelotti (Paris Saint-Germain)

0%

Frank Farina (Sydney FC)

27%

Other

4%

Total votes: 162.

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These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Corin Henry of the Kings. The Sydney side ran out of puff on the weekend.

Corin Henry of the Kings. The Sydney side ran out of puff on the weekend. Photo: Getty Images

@Hoops_Heaven NBL Power Rankings after round 13:

1 NZ Breakers: True pros, copped some bad calls in Wollongong but got the job done.

2 Wildcats: Coach Rob Beveridge says it isn't a two-horse race but he's being diplomatic.

3 Crocs: After losing 10 straight now they can't lose. The improbable finals dream is still alive.

4 Kings: Split their weekend double, running out of petrol in Melbourne, understandable when it's your second game in less than 24 hours.

5 Hawks: Injuries have stalled their momentum mid-season but Tim Coenraad's return will help shooting firepower.

6 Tigers: Good win over Kings, hanging tough down the stretch but they still don't seem to be getting enough out of Jonny Flynn.

7 Cairns: Lost 85-66 to Perth and the scoreline flattered the Taipans. Struggling in every department.

8 Notan-so-Radelaide: It was supposed to be a new era for the Sixers but eight straight losses means coach Marty Clarke should be nervous.

Football: Everton swept into the FA Cup fourth round with a 5-1 rout of League Two minnows Cheltenham on Monday.

Although Everton are flying high in the Premier League and harbour genuine ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League, Toffees boss David Moyes refused to rest his key players and sent out a strong side at Whaddon Road to guard against a potential third round giant-killing.

And his senior stars proved too hot for fourth-tier Cheltenham to handle as Nikica Jelavic's early goal and a Leighton Baines penalty put the result beyond doubt within 21 minutes.

Leon Osman added Everton's third goal soon after half-time and although Russell Penn got one back for Cheltenham there was never any chance of a comeback.

Seamus Coleman and Marouane Fellaini rounded off the scoring to ensure Everton, beaten by Liverpool in the semi-finals last season, earned a last 32 clash with Bolton or Sunderland later this month.

Steve Elliott of Cheltenham Town beats Nikica Jelavic of Everton to a header during their FA Cup third round  match at the Abbey Business Stadium.

Steve Elliott of Cheltenham Town beats Nikica Jelavic of Everton to a header during their FA Cup third round match at the Abbey Business Stadium. Photo: Reuters

Motorsport: 2010 champion Carlos Sainz was reinstated as leader of the Dakar Rally in South America at the expense of defending champion Stephane Peterhansel of France after organisers admitted a satellite problem had hindered the Spaniard during the second stage.

Peterhansel, a 10-time champion on the world's toughest auto endurance race, was initially credited with taking his Mini to victory on the second stage, a 242km timed run in and around Pisco, in 2hr 35min 38sec.

Sainz endured a nightmare session, getting lost as he tackled a tricky dune at the 75km mark, and finished outside the top 10 after losing more than 21 minutes.

But the reason behind Sainz losing that time was not his on-board GPS but the satellites used by the race organisers, officials said.

Sainz was handed the second stage victory and has a 5min 05sec lead over Peterhansel in the overall standings ahead of Monday's 343km third stage from Pisco to Nazca.

Dune buggy ... race leader Carlos Sainz.

Dune buggy ... race leader Carlos Sainz. Photo: AFP

Olympics: The three cities hoping to win the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games completed a significant step towards that goal on Monday as they lodged their bid dossiers with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

All three cities sent high-profile delegations to Olympic headquarters at Lausanne in Switzerland, handing over their dossiers which they hope will convince IOC members to vote for them on September 7 in Buenos Aires.

The three candidates are Istanbul, with the most credible of their bids after failing four times previously; Madrid - bidding to make it third time lucky after finishing third for the 2012 and second for the 2016 editions; and favourites Tokyo - who hosted the Games in 1964.

In other news, the IOC has yet to announce the Australian TV rights holder for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and the 2016 Rio Summer Games. It's only 13 months until the Winter Olympics so the successful bidder has their work cut out.

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How quickly the Test cricket season departs.

Today's back page of the Herald features a story by Michael Chammas regading the extreme heat that is set to afflict the Apia International today - and how the players may have to endure it.

There was also Monday's exclusive revelation by Chris Roots on how bookmaker Tom Waterhouse blew his opponents out of the water to become the NRL's official bookmaker - complete with shameless plug for SportsDay Live.

Stephen Samuelson: Welcome to SportsDay live for Tuesday, January 8. As the mercury soars in Sydney will cover all the action - if any - from the Apia International tennis at Sydney Olympic Park. We'll also be keeping you up to date with all the local and international news from the world of sport.

Sort comments by:
  • Actually is it McEvoy with All the Good in 2008?

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Date and time
    January 08, 2013, 4:13PM
  • Competition- I agree McEvoy and Horse is Brew. Melbourne Cup 2000

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Date and time
    January 08, 2013, 4:10PM
  • I must say it - I think playing in this heat is idiotic, the administrators should have postponed until tomorrow, but more chance of pigs flying by in phalanx formation, except in this heat they'd be dropping out of the skies smokin'.

    Commenter
    Hans von Schlappenplanker
    Location
    Date and time
    January 08, 2013, 4:08PM
  • McEvoy and Makybe Diva

    Commenter
    insomniac
    Location
    Date and time
    January 08, 2013, 3:48PM
  • Good on you tennis players for braving the heat
    I love the wild names some of these girls have must be a commentators nightmare

    Commenter
    reg
    Location
    Date and time
    January 08, 2013, 3:30PM
    • more of a nightmare is listening to the ridiculous screams of the women players - im watching on mute!

      Commenter
      drew
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      January 08, 2013, 3:47PM
  • Is the photo Brew and Kerrin McEvoy?

    Commenter
    North of the Border Swans Supporter
    Location
    Date and time
    January 08, 2013, 12:08PM
  • Luke nolan and black caviar

    Commenter
    Youarentmatt
    Location
    Date and time
    January 08, 2013, 11:56AM
    • not the same silks as black caviar methinks Mdiva

      Commenter
      reg
      Location
      Date and time
      January 08, 2013, 4:14PM
Comments are now closed