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Djokovic back on right track

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates match point against Roger Federer of Switzerland during the final of the BNP Parabas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 16, 2014 in Indian Wells, California. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates match point against Roger Federer of Switzerland during the final of the BNP Parabas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 16, 2014 in Indian Wells, California. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates match point against Roger Federer of Switzerland during the final of the BNP Parabas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 16, 2014 in Indian Wells, California. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

TENNIS: Novak Djokovic banished the doubts in his mind with victory over Roger Federer to win his first title of the season at the BNP Paribas Open.

Question marks about his form persisted when Federer won the opening set and then broke back when Djokovic served for the match in the decider.

But he regrouped to force a tie-break, which he dominated to win 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7/3), collecting a cheque for US dollars one million.

In the women's final, Italy's Flavia Pennetta captured the biggest title of her career when she beat Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-1.

REVENGE FOR IRELAND

WATER POLO: Ireland gained revenge over Austria to win bronze on the final day of competition in the EU 8 Nations Water Polo Championships at the University of Limerick.

The Austrians had beaten the hosts 15-7 on Saturday but the Irish turned that around to to win 13-6 in yesterday's bronze medal game. Ireland keeper Eoin Doyle was the star of the final quarter with some superb saves to keep the Austrians completely out of the Irish net.

BETANCUR COMES GOOD

CYCLING: Colombian Carlos Betancur, the best young rider in last year's Giro d'Italia, claimed his biggest victory when he won the Paris-Nice stage race.

The winner of the day's final stage was France's Arthur Vichot, who outsprinted Spain's Jose Joaquin Rojas and compatriot Cyril Gautier to cross the line first having come close several times this week.

The 24-year-old Betancur, who joined the AG2r-La Mondiale outfit last season, kept his composure in Sunday's 128-km ride around Nice.

HONOURS ARE SHARED

motorsport: Neville Smyth and Stephen Daly shared the honours in the Formula Ford 1600 races at the opening Mondello Park meeting of the season, taking a win apiece in the two fastest races of the day.

Motorsport Ireland/Irish Sports Council Young Driver of the Year Niall Murray started from pole position each time, but dropped down the field with a slow first lap in each race.

HEFFERNAN FINISHES FIFTH

ATHLETICS: World champion Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) came fifth on his return to the international race walking circuit in Switzerland.

Ireland's 50km world champion opened his season over the shorter distance of 20km and was happy with his time of 80 mins, 57 secs.

Only 49 seconds separated the first five men home, led by Ukraine's Ruslan Dmytrenko in 1:20.08.


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