Serena 'feeling great' for Aussie Open

MELBOURNE - World number one Serena Williams insists she is fit and ready for a tilt at a seventh Australian Open title, downplaying a knee injury that forced her out of the Hopman Cup. The world number one retired due to soreness in her left knee during a singles match on January 6 at the mixed-team tournament in Perth, casting doubt over her ability to defend her title at the opening Grand Slam of the season. But the 34-year-old told the Melbourne Herald Sun she was "ready for it". "My body is feeling great now," she said. "Obviously I had a hiccup but right now it is doing much better. I've had a few days of training so it's looking good." The 34-year-old, who battled knee problems in the latter half of 2015 and has barely played since October, trained at Melbourne Park on Monday.–AFP

Azarenka primed for Aussie Open run

MELBOURNE – Rejuvenated former world number one Victoria Azarenka believes she is primed for a solid run at the Australian Open after an injury-wracked two years, with the pain-free star happy and in form. The Belarusian won the opening Grand Slam of the season at Melbourne Park in 2012 and defended the title the following year before injuries stalled her high-flying career. She struggled with foot and knee problems in 2014 and only played nine tournaments, also battling depression and a split from long-term boyfriend Stefan Gordy, better known as Redfoo. Then a painful thigh strain in 2015 sent her spiraling down the world rankings. "Definitely a lot more comfortable, a lot more calm, a lot more aware. Happy. Very happy," Azarenka told the Herald Sun late Tuesday as she prepares for another title shot.–AFP

Spieth tops Golf Digest money ranking

NEW YORK - Reigning Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth topped the Golf Digest 50 money list revealed Tuesday while Tiger Woods settled for third place. Woods, whose run to 14 major titles from 1997 to 2008 boosted prize money, has struggled with injuries and turned 40 two weeks ago with a back injury and no timetable for his return to competition. Spieth, 22, made more than $53 million in combined winnings and endorsement deals to top the magazine's list of 2015 golf revenue producers, with $30 million from sponsor Under Armour boosting Spieth's total. Spieth had five PGA triumphs, including the two major wins. At $48.5 million with only $551,000 in prize money, Woods trailed 45-year-old Phil Mickelson and finished just ahead of 26-year-old Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy.–AFP

Ferrer leads top seeds into quarters

WELLINGTON – David Ferrer put last week's Doha disappointment behind him with a comfortable straight-sets win in his opening match at the Auckland Classic on Wednesday. The 6-2, 6-4 victory over Australian qualifier Matthew Barton put the top seed and four-time champion into the quarter-finals to face Czech Lukas Rosol. Ferrer had rushed to Auckland for a wildcard entry after his opening-round loss to Ukraine's Ilya Marchenko in the Qatar Open, and immediately showed his class as he won 23 of 26 first-serve points. The top four seeds all had first-round byes, and all won their opening matches in the second round. Second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was untroubled as he beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4 but it was a different story for the third and fourth seeds, John Isner and Kevin Anderson.–AFP

Suzuki Master Motors win cricket match

LAHORE – Suzuki Master Motors have registered three-wicket victory against Aftab Qarshi in the 1st Turk Plast Cricket Tournament. Aftab qarshi won the toss and elected to bat first. They couldn’t post a decent total on the board and were all out for 118 runs in 17 overs. Rehman Qadir and Zeeshan were wrecker-in-chief of Aftab Qarshi batting line up as they bowled brilliantly and clinched four and three wickets conceding 36 and 24 runs respectively. Suzuki Master Motors replied strongly and playing superb cricket, they reached home safely for the loss of seven wickets in 18.1 over. Siddique Khan was the best batsmen for the winners as he slammed 31 runs hitting boundaries and sixes while Mian Umer contributed significant 16 runs and Akbar unbeaten 12 runs.–PR