Azarenka secures back-to-back Australian titles
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Victoria Azarenka (ah-zah-REN'-kuh) has won her second straight Australian Open title, beating Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a dramatic final that included a break for fireworks and two medical timeouts.
Li tumbled twice to the court after twisting her left ankle. She had the ankle taped after falling in the fifth game of the second set.
On the first point after a 10-minute pause in the third set while fireworks crackled overhead from nearby Australia Day celebrations, Li fell over again and slammed the back of her head on the court. The 2011 French Open champion was treated immediately and had another time out before being allowed to resume the match.
Azarenka won five of the next six games to claim her second major title and retain the No. 1 ranking.
The men's title match is being played Sunday with defending champion Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) facing Andy Murray. Djokovic has had Murray's number, having won 10 of their 18 matches. That said, Murray beat Djokovic in the final of last September's U.S. Open final.
Top team back in action
UNDATED (AP) — For the first time since being blown out by Miami of Florida earlier this week, No. 1 Duke is back on the court. The Blue Devils, who are 16-2, are home this afternoon against Maryland.
In other top-5 afternoon contests, the two schools ranked third this week, Kansas and Syracuse, have games. The Jayhawks are playing host to Oklahoma while the Orange are in Philadelphia playing Villanova. Fifth-ranked Louisville is in the nation's capital for a game against Georgetown.
There are no games being played today involving two ranked schools.
Busy night of action in the NBA
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA schedule doesn't feature any day games this afternoon. On tap tonight, ten games comprise the schedule of play in the league.
Those contests feature: Cleveland at Toronto, Philadelphia home to New York, the Bulls in Washington against the Wizards, Minnesota at Charlotte, Houston at home to Brooklyn, Golden State at Milwaukee, the Suns at San Antonio, Denver home to Sacramento, the Jazz playing host to Indiana and the Clippers at Portland.
Lone day game on ice
UNDATED (AP) — There is one day game in the NHL and that contest is being played in San Jose. The Sharks are hosting Colorado in a game featuring two first-place clubs. The Sharks top the Pacific Division while the Avalanche sit atop the Northwest Division.
The remaining games are being played this evening with the Rangers playing host to Toronto, Chicago at Columbus, the Panthers home to the Flyers, St. Louis at Dallas, the Kings in Phoenix, Calgary home to Edmonton and Nashville at Anaheim.
PGA-FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN
Woods on the lead at Torrey Pines in San Diego
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Tiger Woods put himself into great position going into the weekend with a 7-under 65 yesterday and starts the day with a two-shot lead over Billy Horschel at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.