Djokovic to lead Serbia in Davis Cup tie against Russia

BELGRADE Ousted Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will lead hosts Serbia against Russia in their Feb. 3-5 Davis Cup first-round tie, the world number two said on Sunday.

"I always look forward to playing in the Davis Cup because it's a very special feeling when we are all together," Djokovic, who suffered a shock second-round defeat by Uzbek Denis Istomin in Melbourne on Thursday, told the Serbian Tennis Association.

"I am convinced (southern Serbian city) Nis will be an excellent host and that we will be victorious in our clash with the Russians."

Stokes all-round display earns England thrilling win

KOLKATA Ben Stokes hit a brisk half-century and then picked up three crucial wickets to help England to a tense five-run win against India in the third and final one-day international at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

It was a consolation victory for England and their first on their tour of India after they lost the five-test series 4-0 and both previous ODIs.

Opener Jason Roy hit 65, his third consecutive fifty, before half-centuries from Jonny Bairstow (56) and Stokes took England to 321-8 after India won the toss and chose to field.

Sandakan stars on debut as Sri Lanka level T20 South Africa series

JOHANNESBURG Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan took four wickets on his debut in a three-wicket victory over new-look South Africa that levelled the three-match Twenty20 series on Sunday.

Hosts South Africa won the toss and elected to bat but were bowled out for 113 by the tourists three balls before the end of their innings at The Wanderers.

Calhanoglu double helps Leverkusen beat Hertha 3-1

BERLIN Bayer Leverkusen's Hakan Calhanoglu struck twice in a 3-1 home victory over Hertha Berlin on Sunday as the visitors missed the chance to move back into the top three of the Bundesliga.

Omer Toprak put the hosts ahead in the 12th minute after a goalmouth scramble and Leverkusen doubled their lead in the 35th with a penalty as Turkey international Calhanoglu sent goalkeeper Rune Jarstein the wrong way.

It was Leverkusen's first Bundesliga penalty goal this season after they failed with their four previous spot kicks.

Free-scoring Monaco take command with Lorient win

PARIS Gabriel Boschilia made the most of an unexpected start as he netted a double to inspire Monaco to a 4-0 home victory against Lorient that sent them to the top of Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The Brazilian struck twice in the first half while Valere Germain also found the back of the net twice to put Monaco on 48 points from 21 games.

Nice are second on 46 points after they drew 1-1 at Bastia on Friday, with champions Paris St Germain in third place a further point back following a 2-0 win at Nantes on Saturday.

Striker Costa back in Chelsea team against Hull

LONDON Diego Costa has been included in Chelsea's starting lineup for Sunday's Premier League game with Hull City at Stamford Bridge.

The striker missed last weekend's match at Leicester City with a back strain amid British media speculation of a row with Chelsea's backroom staff and a possible transfer to China.

But Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said he had no doubts about restoring the club's top scorer to the side on Sunday.

"I try to make the best decision for the team -- and for this reason I decided to start him."

Ten-man Arsenal win thriller with last-gasp penalty

- Arsenal snatched a dramatic 2-1 victory over Burnley to keep their title hopes on track after the referee Jon Moss awarded penalties to both sides and sent off home manager Arsene Wenger in injury time.

Jon Moss first pointed to the spot on 93 minutes when Francis Coquelin fouled Ashley Barnes and boyhood Arsenal fan Andre Gray converted for Burnley's equaliser.

Yet Arsenal, who had taken the lead through Shkodran Mustafi but then had Granit Xhaka sent off for a wild challenge on 65 minutes, won a spot kick of their own.

Concerns mount over poor pitches at finals in Gabon

By Mark Gleeson
| LIBREVILLE

LIBREVILLE Rising concerns over pitch conditions are hanging over the African Nations Cup finals in Gabon and highlight a perennial problem for the continent's sporting showpiece.

The condition of the playing surfaces at all four venues – in the capital Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port Gentil – have been heavily criticised after serious injuries and matches whose quality has been affected by bumpy surfaces.

Melbourne Park carnage as top seeds topple

By Nick Mulvenney
| MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE The whiff of sporting upset hung around Melbourne Park on Sunday after top seeds Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber were handed stunning defeats in the Australian Open fourth round.

Britain's Murray was bamboozled by the serve-volley game of Mischa Zverev to exit after 3-1/2 hours on Rod Laver Arena, while fellow world number one Kerber's title defence was ended in little more than an hour by Coco Vandeweghe.

Strycova keen to give Serena the runaround in fourth round

MELBOURNE Barbora Strycova expects to do a lot of running against Serena Williams in their Australian Open fourth round tie at Rod Laver Arena on Monday but the diminutive Czech will be no pushover for the world number two.

"She's a powerful player, and I'm so small," said 16th seed Strycova, who stands just over 5 feet 4 inches (1.64m).

"I run a lot, but ... I have to do it. Otherwise I can't play tennis. Without my legs, I cannot hit a ball!

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