In Brief: Murray goes out in straight sets
Published 28/12/2012 | 05:00
Andy Murray was defeated in straight sets by Janko Tipsarevic in this week's exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. Murray, the world No 3, looked off his game as he fell to a 6-3 6-4 loss against Tipsarevic on the opening day of the Mubadala World Championship.
The Serbian progressed to the semi-finals with the victory, where he will face Spain's world No 11 Nicolas Almagro, who came in as a late replacement following the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal due to a stomach virus.
After the match, Tipsarevic said: "I am happy with my game. I know it's an exhibition match, but it's not every day you get to play a grand Slam champion and an Olympic gold medal winner.
"I'm just happy I managed to play good tennis. Everyone is pumped up and it's the beginning of the season, so If I can get a few more victories heading to the Australian Open that would be brilliant."
Murray said: "I'm looking forward to training very hard and playing some of my best tennis next year.
"It's nice to play in events like this, there's a great atmosphere."
Michael Clarke's century at the Melbourne Cricket Ground ticked off another milestone for Australia's high-flying captain, but was also a stunning riposte to critics who had suggested he should never have been selected.
Having sustained a hamstring injury in the first test in Hobart, Clarke only announced himself ready to take on Sri Lanka on the morning of the second test. Meanwhile, young seamer Mitchell Starc was rested despite a five-wicket haul that helped drive the hosts to victory in Hobart.
Pundits and former players cried double-standards. Clarke, a selector himself, simply put his head down to score 106 and surpass Ricky Ponting as his country's most prolific test run-scorer in a calendar year.
The four-hour innings of 14 boundaries broke the hearts of Sri Lanka and helped drive Australia to a mammoth first-innings lead of 278. Clarke's 22nd test century made him fourth on the all-time list with 1,595 runs for the year, but he is unlikely to get another chance to reel in Mohammad Yousuf (1,788), Viv Richards (1,710) or Graeme Smith (1,656) this year.
Eddie Power from Waterford got the better of a family battle in Carlow CC Rallysprint at Mondello Park, with his Corolla WRC scoring a six-second win after three runs.
His son Keith led the 96 starters on the opening run, but a slow time next time out dropped him to fourth at the finish.
Graham Kelly's Escort took second place, with another Escort in the hands of Ian Gunning, in third position.
Six-time Hewison Autotest champion Eddie Peterson was the runaway winner of TDC's Christmas Autotest at Baltinglass, setting the best time on nine of the 12 tests to beat Eamonn Byrne by 26 seconds.