Novak, Federer win, Stosur out of US Open

World No.


1 Novak Djokovic advanced to the second round of the US Open on Tuesday with a 6-1 6-2 6-2 victory over Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis.

Djokovic, seeking his seventh grand slam title and fourth trip in a row to the US Open final, fired 10 aces and 28 winners and needed only 82 minutes to put himself into a last-64 match-up against German Benjamin Becker, who eliminated Czech Lukas Rosol 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Roger Federer made a solid start to his bid for an 18th grand slam title, advancing to the second round by defeating Slovenia’s Grega Zemlja 6-3 6-2 7-5.

The 32-year-old Swiss star and seventh seed booked a second-round meeting with Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq.

“I felt great,” Federer said. “Day session or night session, it doesn’t really matter when you play on Arthur Ashe Court.”

Federer, whose 56th grand slam start in a row matched Wayne Ferreira for the all-time record run, has only one title in his past 14 major starts – that coming last year at Wimbledon.

After a second-round exit at Wimbledon this year, Federer needed only 93 minutes to eliminate Zemlja despite surrendering a third-set break.

“You’re going to have some hiccups like I had today. It was a minor one,” Federer said. “I might have had more confidence if I had closed it out without that. This way I had to fight a bit more. Who knows? Maybe that gives me confidence too.”

Federer, who won five US Open titles in a row from 2004-08, has not made the Flushing Meadows final since losing to Juan Martin del Potro in 2009.

This year, Federer is on a quarter-final collision course with second seed Rafael Nadal, whom he has never faced at the US Open.

Canadian 10th seed Milos Raonic fired 28 aces in beating Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano 6-3 7-6 (8-6) 6-3, while John Isner blasted 16 aces to down Italy’s Filippo Volandri 6-0 6-2 6-3.

Raonic is confident he can reach his first slam quarter-final from a section of the draw that features Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer and French No.8 Richard Gasquet.

Argentine qualifier Maximo Gonzalez upset Polish 14th seed Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 6-4 6-2 as the Wimbledon semi-finalist struggled with back pain and Bulgarian 25th seed Grigor Dimitrov, Maria Sharapova’s boyfriend, lost to Portugal’s Joao Sousa 3-6 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-2.

In the biggest upset of the opening two days, Australian Samantha Stosur crashed out with a shock three-set first-round loss to lowly ranked American qualifier Victoria Duval.

The 2011 champion gave up a one-set lead to lose 5-7 6-4 6-4 to the 17-year-old world No.296.

Stosur had appeared on track for a second-round meeting with veteran Slovak Daniela Hantuchova when she led by a set and 4-2, but collapsed to one of her worst defeats, undone by 56 unforced errors and 10 double faults.

Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon winner, and 2009 US Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki withstood challenges from tenacious Asian rivals to advance.

Kvitova, the top-ranked rival in Victoria Azarenka’s quarter of the draw, fought off Japan’s 92nd-ranked Misaki Doi 6-2 3-6 6-1, while Danish sixth seed Wozniacki dispatched 133rd-ranked Chinese qualifier Duan Ying-Ying 6-2 7-5.

Serbian 13th seed Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open winner, beat Georgian Anna Tatishvili 6-2 6-0 and next faces Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru.

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Pacific leaders to take on big polluters

Big polluters China, the US and India will come in for criticism from small Pacific states threatened by climate change at the Pacific Islands Forum.


Those powerhouses are attending a post-forum dialogue on Friday in the Marshall Islands, where they’ll face off with the leaders of low-lying states, whose future could be underwater unless action is taken to stem rising seas and other climate-related impacts.

Pacific leaders on Thursday agreed to the Majuro Declaration, calling on forum members and others to take meaningful steps to address climate change, including boosting their carbon reduction targets.

The host of next year’s forum, Palau President Tommy Remengesau, says he plans to build on the momentum on climate change that the Marshall Islands has started.

“This is an issue of our very own survival, and our sustainability as a people, and as small island nations here,” he said.

On Friday, US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will hold one-on-one meetings with several leaders, but her reception from the host nation will be lukewarm, the Marshalls’ Foreign Affairs Minister Phillip Muller has indicated.

“We would have expected, if not (Secretary of State John) Kerry, somebody close to him,” he said, adding that Mr Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, attended last year’s forum in the Cook Islands.

“When you send a minister of the interior, that’s the person who manages the internal affairs of another country, and for us I think that’s really more than just a slap in the face.”

Along with pressure on the US to boost its climate change commitments, the Marshalls – a former US territory which endured dozens of nuclear tests 60 years ago – will also demand it live up to its obligations to Marshall Islanders still affected by resulting health issues, and settle the $US2 billion ($A2.19 billion) in compensation claims still outstanding.

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Zimbabwe beat Pakistan in one-dayer

A sturdy 85 from Hamilton Masakadza and a crucial late cameo from Sean Williams saw Zimbabwe record their first one-day win over Pakistan since 1998.


Chasing 245 in the first one-day international of a three-match series on Tuesday, Masakadza laid the platform before Williams finished the job with an unbeaten 39 from 23 deliveries as Zimbabwe won by seven wickets with 10 balls to spare.

Although Misbah-ul-Haq held the Pakistan innings together in his 50th consecutive ODI as Pakistan captain, he was left to lament his decision to bat first at a venue where the pitch generally improves as the day goes on.

“We misread the pitch – it was looking like it was going to be slow in the second innings, but I think it was slow in the first innings and played better in the second,” said Misbah.

“Still I think Zimbabwe really deserved it – they played really well and played better than us. There was no panic in their batting line-up and they did it comfortably.”

Misbah finished unbeaten on 83 and shared in a 99-run stand for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, who made 70, but with Pakistan’s middle and lower order failing to fire they could only manage 244 for seven.

It could have been far worse for the tourists had Zimbabwe held their catches – both Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad were put down during an opening partnership of 56, while Hafeez was let off on 10 and 55.

Misbah required no such luck in a well-paced knock that saw him go to fifty in 62 balls before opening up towards the end, and his two sixes off Tinashe Panyangara in the final over of the innings ensured that Pakistan at least had something to bowl at.

However Masakadza, who was restored to the top of the Zimbabwean innings for Pakistan’s tour, put on a confident stand of 107 with his opening partner Vusi Sibanda as Pakistan’s bowlers found little assistance in the pitch.

Sibanda was eventually trapped lbw for 54 by Saeed Ajmal, but Brendan Taylor maintained stability with a calm 43 not out as he and Masakadza took Zimbabwe to 176 for one in the 38th over.

Masakadza missed out on a potential century when he slapped an Ajmal delivery straight to short extra cover, and the pressure was back on when Timycen Maruma put in another nervous showing with the bat.

Zimbabwe needed a nerveless innings to put them back on track, and Williams provided it as he struck four fours before finishing the game in emphatic fashion when he hit Mohammad Irfan for six over wide long-on.

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Watmough raring for NRL finals return

This time last week, Anthony Watmough couldn’t even walk, so bad was the pain in his injured knee.


Now the Manly forward is targeting a comeback for the Sea Eagles’ opening NRL finals encounter next weekend.

“The body’s been getting thrown a bit out of whack … but it’s getting better,” Watmough said on Wednesday.

“Hopefully I can run next week without a local (painkilling injection). If I can do that, then hopefully I’ll play without one as well.”

Watmough helped secure a top-four berth for the Sea Eagles when he scored a crucial try in the round-24 victory over Canberra, after having three injections in his knee before kick-off.

The injury was caused by a controversial leg twist from South Sydney forward Jeff Lima week earlier.

“When he twisted it, he must’ve banged the joints together and the bone bruised a bit,” Watmough said.

“And then we went down to Canberra – that didn’t help the situation and flared it up a bit.

“I finished that game and I literally couldn’t walk for two or three days – it was pretty painful.”

The 30-year-old missed Manly’s last-start win over Melbourne and has been rested for Sunday’s final-round match against Penrith at Brookvale Oval.

He said club medical staff told him it was best to wait until the finals before returning – a move which Watmough believes has helped freshen his mind and body.

“The boys thought I’d been on a holiday … there’s no chance! I’ve been getting flogged in my own rehab,” he said.

“I would’ve played this week but it would’ve had to be under local.

“Personally I think it’s up around at 80 per cent at the moment. If you asked me this question this time last week, I would’ve told you there’s no way I’m ever playing a game without a needle.

“But the way it’s come the last couple of days, I’m really super excited.”

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Pies’ Garlett omitted for discipline issue

Forward Jeff Garlett was left out of the AFL side last weekend for disciplinary reasons, Carlton coach Mick Malthouse has confirmed.


Malthouse says Garlett, who had missed a match two weeks ago because of a glute injury, was made to return through the reserves last weekend to show he was “back in touch with reality”.

Garlett has been recalled to the Blues’ side for Saturday’s critical clash with Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

Malthouse explained Garlett’s banishment to the VFL last weekend cryptically, saying he would “never ever let the tail wag the dog”.

“He was injured the previous week. The facts are out there and they’re right, that it was a disciplinary issue (why he was left out last weekend),” Malthouse said on Friday.

“I never ever let the tail wag the dog.

“It was a recommendation from the playing group, from the leaders that they spoke about the issue.

“We’d already spoken about it as a match committee and our best advice to the playing group and to Jeff was that he plays in the reserves and proves that he’s back in touch with reality.

“He went back and played a very significant game.”

Malthouse said the issue had now been resolved, paving the way for Garlett to return to the senior side.

“I’m not about to go through the pros and cons of what did take place – let’s just leave it at that,” Malthouse said.

“He’s a very valued person, a very valued player. The playing group were very aware of it and it’s been resolved.”

Garlett is one of three inclusions to play Port, along with ruckman Matthew Kreuzer and Andrew Walker returning from injury and illness.

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