Double Olympic champion Adams to turn professional

LONDON Double gold medallist Nicola Adams is set to turn professional at the age of 34 after being released from her contract with Britain's Olympic boxing programme on Monday.

GB Boxing said the first female Olympic boxing champion, who defended her 2012 flyweight title in Rio de Janeiro last year, would not be part of the squad working towards Tokyo 2020 and was free to pursue other career opportunities.

The only other woman to win two Olympic boxing golds, American middleweight Claressa Shields, made her professional debut last November.

Sexton fit for Ireland squad, Scannell brothers called up

DUBLIN Flyhalf Johnny Sexton was included in the 40-man squad for Ireland's opening two Six Nations games despite suffering another injury at the weekend, the Irish Rugby Football Union said on Monday.

Sexton, who has only played three times for Leinster since he was injured on Irish duty in November and failed to complete a full game on each occasion, lasted 21 minutes against Castres on Friday due to a calf injury.

Ulster's Paddy Jackson is the other flyhalf named in the squad for the Feb. 4 opener in Scotland and the trip to Italy a week later.

Serve-and-volley tennis rises from the dust in Melbourne

By Simon Cambers
| MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE It was John McEnroe who summed it up best. "You did it old school," he told Mischa Zverev after the German had beaten Andy Murray on Sunday.

Zverev's stunning upset of the top seed in the fourth round of the Australian Open was indeed a throwback to the days of the 1980s, when sticking to the baseline was something reserved only for clay courts.

"It was really impressive to watch," Pat Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987, told reporters on Monday.

Top surviving seed Raonic into last eight

By Nick Mulvenney
| MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE Third seed Milos Raonic came safely through a potentially tricky match against Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(6) 3-6 6-4 6-1 on Monday to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals for the third straight year.

The Canadian, the highest surviving seed after the early departures of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, stamped his authority on a sometimes tempestuous match by breaking the Spanish world number 13 to win the third set.

Allardyce predicts Palace survival bid will go down to the wire

Crystal Palace's latest Premier League setback has led newly installed manager Sam Allardyce to predict that the struggling club's bid to avoid relegation will come down to the last two weeks of the season.

Allardyce replaced Alan Pardew as manager on Dec. 23, but has won just one point in five Premier League games since his appointment and watched the team slip into the bottom three following Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Everton.

India rest spinners Ashwin, Jadeja for England T20s

MUMBAI India have rested leading spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the three-match Twenty20 international series against England, the country's cricket board said on Monday.

Off-spinner Ashwin and left-arm colleague Jadeja played all five tests against England, leading the hosts to a 4-0 victory in the rubber.

They also led India's spin attack in their 2-1 victory in the three-match one-day international series.

Klopp frustrated as Liverpool's transfer plans stall

Manager Juergen Klopp has bemoaned Liverpool's lack of progress in the January transfer window following their first home defeat of the season, saying he has identified his targets but clubs are not willing to sell.

Liverpool were stunned 3-2 by a struggling Swansea City in the Premier League on Saturday, a result that saw them slip to fourth in the table, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Liverpool, who have temporarily lost influential winger Sadio Mane to the African Nations Cup, are yet to sign a single player so far in January.

Payet row galvanised West Ham, says Carroll

Midfielder Dimitri Payet's ongoing row with West Ham United over his desire to move in the January transfer window has galavanised the rest of the squad, striker Andy Carroll has said.

Payet has refused to play for West Ham since their 5-0 FA Cup defeat by Manchester City on Jan. 6 in an attempt to force through a move to Olympique de Marseille, according to British media reports.

Age not just a number as Super Serena marches on

By Melanie Burton
| MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE It was back in 2003 that Serena Williams first stamped her name on Australian Open history, the then 21-year-old taking down sister Venus to bring home her first title on the blue courts of Melbourne Park.

Fourteen years on, the American is gunning for her 23rd grand slam title, and, at 35, is now among the oldest players left in the draw having fought off 16th seed Czech Barbora Strycova over two sets on Monday.

Dimitrov beats injury-hampered Istomin to reach quarter-finals

By Ian Ransom
| MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE Grigor Dimitrov reached his first grand slam quarter-final in over two years on Monday by defeating an injury-hampered Denis Istomin 2-6 7-6(2) 6-2 6-1 to end the Uzbek wildcard's fairytale run at Melbourne Park.

Istomin, who sensationally knocked out six-times champion Novak Djokovic in the second round, laboured with an apparent left thigh injury after winning the first set and 15th seed Dimitrov took full advantage of his opponent's struggles.

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