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Africa Cup of Nations Countdown Begins

Equatorial Guinea and South Africa kick off a 13-fixture warm-up schedule Friday ahead of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

Sudan have lined up three friendlies, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Tunisia two each and Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia one apiece.

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Injury Threatens Serena's Brisbane Run

A hobbling Serena Williams said she would wait 24 hours before deciding whether to withdraw from the Brisbane International because of an ankle injury she picked up Wednesday.

The injury-prone 13-time Grand Slam winner fell heavily during her second round win over Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski after she rolled her ankle during a baseline rally.

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Misfiring Wozniacki Keeping The Faith

World number one Caroline Wozniacki did little to silence her critics Wednesday as she struggled to win her singles match in Denmark's 2-1 loss to Bulgaria at the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth.

The Dane, who is clinging to the top ranking in women's tennis by 115 points and has been much maligned for failing to win a Grand Slam, made a host of unforced errors in her marathon clash against Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova.

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PSG President Says Beckham Won't Play in Paris

Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser al-Khelaifi says David Beckham will not join the French club, despite weeks of speculation that the 36-year-old former England captain was coming to play.

Speaking in an interview with French radio station RMC, al-Khelaifi said: "David Beckham is in Los Angeles and he's going to stay there."

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Rooney Set for United Return

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is set to recall Wayne Rooney for the Premier League clash at Newcastle on Wednesday following the England striker's surprise absence against Blackburn.

Ferguson has revealed Rooney will be available after the forward did not even make the substitutes' bench for the champions' shock 3-2 defeat by relegation candidates Blackburn at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve.

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Chelsea Goes Fourth with Win as Arsenal Collapses

Late goals provided a fresh twist to the tussle for fourth place in the Premier League on Monday, as Chelsea surged to victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers and 10-man Arsenal slumped to defeat at Fulham.

After the title itself, fourth place is the most hotly contested prize in English football — bringing with it the prospect of qualifying for the lucrative television deals and kudos of the Champions League group stage.

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Pain Makes Me Stronger, Says Federer

Grand Slam record-holder Roger Federer believes that his capacity for playing through pain is one of the reasons why he can challenge for the top titles again in 2012.

Speaking the day before starting the defense of his Qatar Open title, Federer cut an optimistic figure as he contemplated life on an increasingly taxing tour well into his 31st year.

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Last NBA Unbeatens Lose as Heat, Thunder Fall

Miami and Oklahoma City, the last two undefeated teams in the NBA this season, both lost for the first time on Monday as the reigning champion Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks celebrated triumphs.

The Mavericks defeated the visiting Thunder 100-87, improving to 2-4 and avenging a loss at Oklahoma City last week, while the hosts Heat fell 100-92 to the Hawks despite a game-high 28 points from Miami's LeBron James.

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Rooney Fined over Night out

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has been fined the equivalent of a week's wages by the Premier League club for a night out over the Christmas weekend, according to press reports here on Monday.

Rooney was dropped by United ahead of their shock 3-2 home loss to Blackburn last Saturday, officially because of fitness concerns.

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Nadal Gambles to Regain Former Status

Rafa Nadal admits he is having to take risks in order to achieve the level required to win back the world number one ranking.

The French Open champion is gambling with a heavier headed racket here in the first tournament of the 2012 tour, even though he has had little more than a week to get used to the change.

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