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Vettel targets third title win

MOTROSPORT: Sebastian Vettel reflected a widespread caution over predicting the outcome of the Formula One season - but at least the world champion was prepared to share his season goal, however unsurprising.

Driver after driver at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix expressed the opinion that winter testing had been inconclusive and only in Saturday's qualifying, perhaps even in Sunday's race, would the true pace of the cars be known.

The 24-year-old Red Bull driver broke the mould, however, when asked whether matching Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as the only drivers to win three successive world titles was important.

"I'm here to win the championship so that's the target," he said ahead of the opening race in Melbourne.

"Whether it is the third or not doesn't make a difference. It would be nice, but the reason we're here is to race and to win."

Trio advance in Indian Wells

Tennis: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer each needed three sets to reach the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells ATP tournament yesterday, while Rafael Nadal advanced with a comfortable win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Djokovic held off a strong fightback by Spaniard Pablo Andujar to triumph 6-0 6-7 6-2, Federer recovered from a shaky first set to beat Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 3-6 6-3 6-4 and Nadal eased through 6-3 6-2.

Argentina's David Nalbandian upset sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 3-6 7-5 6-3 and seventh seed Tomas Berdych was beaten 6-4 6-0 by Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who had lost a bad-tempered fourth-round match to the Czech at the Australian Open in January.

Skiing: Lindsey Vonn capped her dominating World Cup downhill season with victory in the final race in Schladming, Austria.

The American, who had already clinched the downhill title and the overall crown, posted her 12th win of the season, only two behind the all-time record for wins in a single campaign, set by Vreni Schneider in 1989.