KERBER JOINS WOMEN'S CASUALTY LIST AHEAD OF OPEN
GERMAN world No. 7 Angelique Kerber withdrew from the Sydney International yesterday, adding to a lengthy list of ailing women stars ahead of next week's tennis Australian Open.
The fourth seed, who won her first-round match against Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in fierce heat over three sets on Monday, pulled out of the tournament citing a gastrointestinal illness.
Her withdrawal follows defending champion Petra Kvitova, who also had gastrointestinal problems, and second seed Agnieszka Radwanska who dropped out with a leg injury.
SAN ANTONIO EQUAL BEST START IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
FORWARD LaMarcus Aldridge collected 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs matched their best start to an NBA season with a 106-79 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.
Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Spurs improved to 33-6, equalling their best 39-game start, set in 2010-11.
A day after firing coach Lionel Hollins and reassigning general manager Billy King, the Nets were not much better in interim coach Tony Brown's debut while owner Mikhail Prokhorov watched from a suite.
MESSI BAGS RECORD FIFTH BALLON D'OR
BARCELONA star Lionel Messi won a record fifth Fifa Ballon d'Or award for the world's best football player at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday.
The Argentine dethroned three-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo in adding to his four awards from 2009-12. Brazil star Neymar, who also plays for Barca, came third in the vote by national team coaches and captains, and journalists.
His Barcelona boss Luis Enrique won the coach of the year award while Jill Ellis took the women's trophy. She had guided the United States to women's World Cup glory in Canada last summer, beating Japan 5-2 in the final.