Sports briefs: Jan. 28

January 28, 2013 

Australian Open Tennis

Britain's Andy Murray lost the men's final against longtime friend Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Australian Open.

ANDREW BROWNBILL — AP

Tennis

Djokovic wins Australian again

No shirt ripping or bare-chested flexing this time.

Novak Djokovic completed his work before midnight, defeating Andy Murray in four sets for his third consecutive Australian Open title and fourth overall.

It was also the second time in three years Djokovic had beaten his longtime friend in this final. So the celebration was muted: a small victory shuffle, raised arms, a kiss for the trophy. No grand histrionics, although that's not to say the moment was lost on him.

"Winning it three in a row, it's incredible," Djokovic said after his 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 victory Sunday night. "It's very thrilling. I'm full of joy right now. It's going to give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, that's for sure."

Nine other men had won consecutive Australian titles in the Open era, but none three straight years. One of them was Andre Agassi, who presented Djokovic with the trophy.


Golf Tiger looks in control in Farmers Open

Due to the fog that wiped out an entire day of golf, the Farmers Insurance Open was never going to end on Sunday.

Tiger Woods just made it look as if it was over.

Hands thrust in the pockets of his rain pants, Woods walked off Torrey Pines in the chill of twilight with a six-shot lead and only 11 more holes standing in the way of winning on the public course along the Pacific Ocean for the eighth time in his pro career.

Nick Watney and defending champion Brandt Snedeker face the tough task of trying to make up six shots on Woods. Woods was at 17-under par for the tournament and will resume his round on the par-3 eighth hole. CBS Sports wants to televise the Monday finish — no surprise with Woods in the lead — so play won't start until 2 p.m. EST.

• The U.S. Open is returning to Winged Foot, the New York club with a history of clutch moments and one unforgettable collapse.

The U.S. Golf Association will announce Monday that the West Course at Winged Foot will host the 2020 U.S. Open. Only two other courses — Oakmont and Baltusrol — will have held the national championship more times.

Chris Wood eagled the 18th hole to win the Qatar Masters for his first European Tour victory on Saturday, overtaking Sergio Garcia and George Coetzee who finished a shot back.


NFL

NFC blows by AFC in Pro Bowl

Sack-happy defensive end J.J. Watt went out for a pass as a wide receiver, retiring center Jeff Saturday snapped to two Mannings on opposite teams and the NFC blew past the AFC 62-35 in a Pro Bowl that could be the league's last.

Whether the NFL's all-star game will return or not is a question league officials will ponder the next few months. And, the players gave plenty to consider on both sides of the argument Sunday.

The NFC was unstoppable on offense, with nearly each player putting up fantasy-type lines in limited play. The AFC, meanwhile, had five turnovers and scored most of its points well after the game was no longer competitive.

Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph was voted the game's MVP with 122 yards and a touchdown.

Watt, who had 201/2 sacks for Houston, lined up as a wide receiver on the AFC's third play from scrimmage, but missed a pass from Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.


College football

Virginia Tech CB suffers torn ligament

Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum has a torn ligament in his right knee and could miss the start of the 2013 season.

The school announced Sunday that Exum tore his anterior cruciate ligament, though it did not say how, and was expected to miss six to nine months. The Hokies start their season Aug. 31 against Alabama.


Skating

Aaron takes title at U.S. Championships

Little-known Max Aaron won his first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Sunday and helped knock down three-time champion Jeremy Abbott to the last step on the podium. With two quadruple jumps and an arsenal's worth of other tricks in his "West Side Story" program, don't count the 20-year-old upstart out at the world championships in March, either.

Aaron screamed and shook his fists when he finished his program, then slid across the ice giving a Tiger Woods-like fist pump. (He was wearing red, appropriately, and it was Sunday.) When his marks were posted, Aaron's jaw dropped and the audience roared. He won the free skate in a rout to jump from fourth to first, and finished with 255 points overall, almost four better than Ross Miner.

Abbott, who had won three of the last four U.S. titles, dropped to third after a disappointing and flawed free skate.


Auto racing

Pruett ties record as Ganassi wins Rolex

Humbled a year ago when both its cars failed to make the podium, Chip Ganassi Racing returned to the Rolex 24 at Daytona determined to pick up another victory watch.

An eyebrow-raising lineup change that involved Juan Pablo Montoya showed just how serious the team was about winning, and it delivered Sunday with its fifth win in 10 appearances in the prestigious sports car race. The victory was the fifth for lead driver Scott Pruett, tying Hurley Haywood's record for wins in the twice-around-the-clock race at Daytona International Speedway.

The winning team of three-time defending Grand-Am drivers Pruett and Memo Rojas, along with Montoya and IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball, making his Rolex debut, beat the Max Angelelli-led VelocityWW team by almost 22 seconds for the victory.


The last word

La Salle's men's basketball team beat No. 19 VCU 69-61, giving them consecutive wins against ranked teams for the first time in more than 60 years. Coach John Giannini didn't like the insinuation that his team didn't expect to win. Said Giannini:

"If you think we're surprised, you're nuts! You know nothing about our program and our players if you think we're surprised about winning against a good team."

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service