independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

In Brief: Nadal to sit out Australian Open

Rafael Nadal will miss next month's Australian Open due to a stomach virus after his long-awaited return was put on hold again.

The world No 4, who missed the second half of last season with a knee injury, had hoped to be ready in time for the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne. That bid has been scuppered, however, by a virus that forced his withdrawal from this week's exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Nadal had hoped to use the tournament as a key part of his preparation for the hard courts of the Australian Open, which begins on January 14.

But following his latest setback, the 11-time Grand Slam winner has decided he would not be ready for the physical demands of one of the year's showpiece events.

DARTS

Record world title winner Phil 'The Power' Taylor crushed last year's runner-up Andy Hamilton to book a semi-final spot in the PDC World Championship against Raymond van Barneveld at London's Alexandra Palace.

The 15-time champion Taylor set up a tantalising clash with five-time winner Van Barneveld by thumping Hamilton 5-0. Earlier, the Dutchman had eased past Simon Whitlock 5-1 despite a blip in the third set.

"Simon has a good record against me, but I don't he's ever played the Raymond van Barneveld that showed up tonight", said the Dutch ace.

MOTORSPORT

Alan Kilkenny scored his third win of the season in an extra tie-deciding section at the Leinster Le Fanu Cup Sporting Trial near Delgany after he and Philip Erskine scored exactly the same marks all through the 12 normal sections.

Craig MacWilliam was a single mark behind in third place, with Tony Farrell another one down for fourth position. Richard Pain won the Brabazon Trophy for best young driver.

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