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Colombian crash the latest air disaster involving sports teams

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 2:14pm

For many sporting teams around the world, the Colombian air disaster which has devastated Brazil's Chapecoense is a reminder of their own tragic histories.

Sydney to Hobart winner allowed to attempt title defence with wife's 'leave pass'

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 2:03pm

Paul Clitheroe, the owner of reigning Sydney to Hobart handicap winner Balance, was planning not to race again, but his wife gave him a "leave pass" to defend his title.

Arthritis forces Aussie cycling champ Jack Bobridge to retire at 27

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 12:16pm

Reigning Australian road-race champion Jack Bobridge's rheumatoid arthritis was so bad he was sometimes "barely able to grip the handlebars".

Murray Leads Historic Season On ATP World Tour In Year-End Emirates ATP Rankings

ATP news - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 12:14pm

The ATP World Tour this week published the 2016 year-end Emirates ATP Rankings on ATPWorldTour.com, after a memorable and exciting season that saw Andy Murray clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking on the final day of the season at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

For the first time in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings (since 1973), there were 10 different countries represented in the year-end Top 10. There were four new players in the year-end Top 10 from last season (No. 3 Milos Raonic, No. 6 Marin Cilic, No. 7 Gael Monfils and No. 8 Dominic Thiem). Monfils and Thiem are first-time additions while Raonic and Cilic are in the year-end Top 10 for the second time.

1. Andy Murray (GBR) – First Brit and 17th different year-end No. 1 continues 13 years of Big 4 dominance at the top of Emirates ATP Rankings

2. Novak Djokovic (SRB) – Finishes in Top 2 for sixth straight year and in Top 3 for 10th consecutive year

3. Milos Raonic (CAN) – Made biggest jump to No. 3 from previous year (14) since Djokovic in 2007 (16 to 3)

4. Stan Wawrinka (SUI) – Finishes No. 4 for third straight year and in Top 10 for fourth season in a row

5. Kei Nishikori (JPN) – Second Top 5 finish in three years and third straight year in Top 10

6. Marin Cilic (CRO) - Second Top 10 finish in three years and best Croat year-end ranking since Ljubicic (5) in 2006

7. Gael Monfils (FRA) – First time finish in Top 10 and ninth Frenchman in year-end Top 10

8. Dominic Thiem (AUT) – The 23-year-old is youngest in Top 10 and first Austrian in year-end Top 10 since Muster (9) in 1997

9. Rafael Nadal (ESP) –  Top 10 for 12th year in a row and one of six players with 12-more Top 10 finishes

10. Tomas Berdych (CZE) – Seventh consecutive finish in the Top 10

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2016 Year-End Emirates ATP Rankings Quick Facts

* For the first time since 2007 France led all countries with 12 players in the Top 100 (including seven in the Top 50). Spain followed with 10 in the Top 100, including an ATP World Tour-high nine in the Top 50.

* Despite ‎losing year-end No. 1 ranking, Djokovic has been in the Top 2 every week since March 21, 2011. He has also finished 10 straight seasons in the Top 3. The only other players to finish in the Top 3 for 10-more consecutive years are Jimmy Connors (12), Ivan Lendl (10) and Federer (10).

* Six players in the Top 15 finished the season with career-high rankings: Murray (No. 1), Raonic (No. 3), Cilic (No. 6), David Goffin (No. 11), Nick Kyrgios (No. 13) and Lucas Pouille (No. 15). Wawrinka finishes at No. 4 for the third straight season.

* Juan Martin del Potro, who jumped from No. 581 in 2015 to No. 38, made the biggest ranking jump in the Top 100 from last season (543 spots). On Feb. 8, he dropped to No. 1,045.

* Teenager Alexander Zverev finished a year-end best No. 24. The 19-year-old German is the first teenager to finish in the Top 25 since Djokovic (No. 16) and Murray (No. 17) in 2006. Zverev led a group of 15 #NextGen players in the Top 200 year-end rankings.

* Zverev and American Taylor Fritz, who finished as the youngest player in the Top 100 at No. 76, were the two teenagers in the year-end Top 100. The 19-year-old Fritz is one of six #NextGen players from the U.S.

* Ivo Karlovic, 37, finished the season in the Top 20 for the first time and he is the oldest player in the year-end Top 20 since Ken Rosewall (43), at No. 12 in 1977.

* Andy and Jamie Murray are the first brothers to finish No. 1 in the singles and doubles team rankings respectively. They are also only brothers to be No. 1 in singles and doubles at any time, with Jamie atop the individual doubles rankings for nine weeks earlier this season.

* Nicolas Mahut is first Frenchman to finish a season at No. 1 in singles or doubles.

* Jack Sock (No. 23 singles, No. 16 doubles) and Feliciano Lopez (No. 28 singles, No. 11 doubles) finished season with highest combined singles and doubles ranking. Mahut was one back (No. 39 singles, No. 1 doubles). Six players overall ended the year in Top 50 of both singles and doubles.

Smith salivating about Cummins' ODI return for Australia

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 10:26am

Steve Smith is excited to welcome back Pat Cummins' "air speed", as New Zealand braces to stare down Australia's most potent pace attack for Sunday's Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series opener in Sydney.

Football team among plane crash victims mourned in Colombia

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 9:36am

A plane crash that killed 71 in Colombia — including most of Brazil's Chapecoense soccer team — prompts an outpouring of grief.

Tamworth community tennis facility to be upgraded not closed

ABC Tennis news - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 9:08am

After battling for years to stay afloat, a deal has finally been struck to save the Tamworth Tennis Club.

Tamworth community tennis facility to be upgraded not closed

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 9:08am

After battling for years to stay afloat, a deal has finally been struck to save the Tamworth Tennis Club.

No au revoir from Radradra: Eels boss

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 9:06am

Semi Radradra's management "definitively" tells Parramatta he has not signed a deal to join Toulon, according to the NRL club's boss Bernie Gurr.

Axed Nevill lets his bat do the talking with Bellerive century

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 8:55am

Peter Nevill made a statement with his bat about his desire to return to the Test stage at the same venue which hosted his axing, writes Grandstand's Scott Rollinson.

Watch NextGen Behind The Scenes Documentary Part I

ATP news - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 8:33am
ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot goes behind the scenes with NextGen ATP stars during the Asian swing.

Watch NextGen Uncovered

ATP news - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 8:31am

Watch the full #NextGen Uncovered documentary this week where you normally watch ATP World Tour Uncovered. Play the video above for an excerpt.

Staking a claim on the ATP World Tour has never been tougher. In an era dominated by Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, you are given nothing. You take only what you bleed for. But there are those bold enough and talented enough who will sacrifice everything to challenge the establishment… Kyrgios, Zverev, Edmund and Khachanov to name just a few.

Filmed over three weeks in Asia, this is their story, an insider’s look at opportunity, pressure, great wins, agonizing losses, gain, pain and the sparkling lights of fame. It’s a story about a few young men who’ve earned the chance of a lifetime – to compete among the tennis elite on the ATP World Tour.

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Over the past few years each of these men has given his all in a pursuit to be the best. We’ll go deeper than ever before to open a rarely seen window in tennis: one of aspiration and possibility.

What does this process look like from inside? What goes into creating a future champion? How do they deal with the pressure, expectation, the emotional rollercoaster, travel challenges and new cultures? Over the course of three weeks and five tournaments in China and Japan, these are the questions we will answer.

So join us on this intimate yet volatile journey to uncover what it takes to pursue your dreams.

This is #NextGen Uncovered.

Finals Club Celebrates Stars Of The 1980s

ATP news - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 6:43am
Stars of the 1980s Masters re-unite in London 2016 for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Photo: Peter Staples / ATP World Tour

Ablett calls time on Suns AFL captaincy

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 6:35am

Two-time Brownlow medallist Gary Ablett ends his six-year tenure as Gold Coast captain, as speculation grows he may retire before seeing out his contract with the Suns.

Perry hits another half-century in Southern Stars' victory

ABC Sport - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 5:51am

Ellyse Perry closes in on her own world record by smashing a fifth straight half-century to help lead Australia to a decisive 43-run victory in the fifth and final women's one-day international against South Africa.

Rivalries Of 2016: Thiem vs. Zverev

ATP news - Wed, 30/11/2016 - 5:12am
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Continuing our Season In Review series, ATPWorldTour.com revisits the fiercest rivalries of 2016. Today we feature Dominic Thiem vs. Alexander Zverev:

The future superstars of the ATP World Tour made their presence known with significant statements in 2016. Players aged 19-23 accounted for 11 titles in total and two of them wasted no time in kicking off a budding rivalry.

Longtime sporting adversaries Austria and Germany added Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev to the fray, with the pair meeting on four occasions this year. Each encounter proved to be an intense clash of exuberance and shotmaking, as 23-year-old Thiem and 19-year-old Zverev contested a trio of three-set clashes on the ATP World Tour, in addition to a four-set battle at Roland Garros.

With three meetings in a mere five-week span during the European clay-court swing, Thiem and Zverev got acquainted early and often this year. The Austrian would take all three encounters, prevailing in the Munich semi-finals, Nice final and Roland Garros third round, but it was far from straightforward.

Thiem rallied from a set down, saving eight of 11 break points for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win in Munich and was pushed the distance in retaining the Nice title. It was the first career final for #NextGen star Zverev, who fell to the reigning champ 6-4, 3-6, 6-0. With a combined age of 41, it represented the youngest final on the ATP World Tour this year.

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"Against a player like Dominic, who is one of the best clay-court players right now, you have to be at your best to beat him," said Zverev. "There's not a lot of chances."

With Thiem hurtling towards the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings and Zverev rapidly ascending to the Top 20, the pair carried the momentum from the Nice final into Roland Garros for the second Grand Slam of the year. Both would enjoy their best major results and a third round encounter brought their growing rivalry to one of the biggest stages in the game. Court Suzanne-Lenglen welcomed Thiem and Zverev, with a Round of 16 berth at stake, and they did not disappoint the French faithful.

Like he did in Munich, Thiem was forced to battle back from an early deficit. He missed six break chances late in the first set as Zverev went on to snatch the opener and grab a quick break in the second. But Thiem struck back, reeling off five straight games and eventually putting the match out of reach with a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory after nearly three hours.

"I knew already before the match that it was going to be a very tough one against such a great player like Sascha," said Thiem. "I think the little difference today was probably the three years' age difference."

The pair would wait five months before capping their season series with a first-round meeting at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Beijing. Fresh off claiming his first tour-level trophy at the St. Petersburg Open, stunning Tomas Berdych and Stan Wawrinka in the semis and final, Zverev scored his third Top 10 win in four days with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over Thiem.

With both players continuing to plot their ascent up the Emirates ATP Rankings, look for many more encounters in the years to come.

View FedEx ATP Head2Head (Thiem Leads 3-1)

Thiem vs. Zverev: 2016 Meetings

 Event  Surface  Round
 Winner
 Score  Beijing
 Hard  1R  Zverev  4-6, 6-1, 6-3
 Roland Garros
 Clay  3R  Thiem  6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3
 Nice  Clay  F  Thiem  6-4, 3-6, 6-0
 Munich  Clay  SF  Thiem  4-6, 6-2, 6-3

Eels' Radradra back in Sydney after failing to appear in court

ABC Sport - Tue, 29/11/2016 - 7:19pm

Code-hopping Parramatta Eels star Semi Radradra arrives back in Sydney after failing to appear in court for domestic violence-related charges, the day after it emerged he had signed a $1 million contract to play rugby in France.

Ellyse Perry continues phenomenal batting form for Southern Stars

ABC Sport - Tue, 29/11/2016 - 5:32pm

Superstar all-rounder Ellyse Perry scores another half-century in her historic purple patch with the bat for the Southern Stars.

Multi-million dollar deal for Kalyn Ponga exaggerated: Newcastle Knights

ABC Sport - Tue, 29/11/2016 - 5:19pm

The Newcastle Knights say the salary amount set to be paid to new signing Kalyn Ponga has been exaggerated in the media.

City coach calls FFA Cup final most important game in club history

ABC Sport - Tue, 29/11/2016 - 4:14pm

Melbourne City have a chance to win major silverware for the first time in the history of the men's team.