Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Mon 1 Jan 2018



The Northern Territory news Mon 1 Jan 2018

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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News Corp Australia

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12 SPORT MONDAY JANUARY 1 2018 12 Monday, January 1, 2018 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 MONDAY ntnews.com.au/sportTENNIS LEBRON James has been beaten on his birthday for the first time since 2013, the Utah Jazz quieting the Cleveland Cavaliers despite another big game from The Andes King. James had not been beaten after blowing out the candles in a decade but that changed yesterday as the pesky, undermanned Jazz did a number on the Cavs, 104-101. James was looking at another huge game, pouring in 20 points before halftime, but was shut down by the Jazz in the third quarter, failing to score or deal out an assist as Utah launched a scorching 23-3 run that erased a 53-48 deficit at the long break. James finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but was outshone by Jazz young gun Donovan Mitchell. Twelve years Jamess junior, Mitchell continued his sublime play for the Jazz, dropping 29 points to go with six assists and three steals, keeping his name in the conversation with Aussie Ben Simmons as the popular picks for the NBAs Rookie of the Year. Simmons was kept quiet by the Denver Nuggets, but that didnt stop the Philadelphia 76ers from atoning for Saturdays woeful capitulation, recording a 107-102 win. Simmons six points, six rebounds, six assists. Birthday a bummer for King James CRIS Cyborg Justino used power strikes and kicks to beat Holly Holm by unanimous decision and defend her featherweight belt at UFC 219 yesterday. Judges scored it 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47, extending Justinos unbeaten streak to 19 with a victory over a former bantamweight champion with a knack for big upsets. It was the first time that Justino was taken five rounds in her career. The fighters stood toe-totoe for much of the first round. Justino (19-1) was able to land some bigger strikes. Justino pressed forward in the third, finishing with a flurry of punches and continued to hold a slight edge the rest of the fight. Holm (11-4), whose face was beat up by the end, was trying for another marquee victory in a career highlighted by her upset of Ronda Rousey in 2015. Earlier in the night, Khabib Nurmagomedov remained undefeated and staked a claim for a lightweight title shot with a dominant unanimous decision over Edson Barboza. Nurmagomedov received winning scores of 30-25, 30-25 and 30-24 from the judges. He improved to 25-0 overall and 9-0 in the UFC. Conor McGregor is lighweight champion, while Tony Ferguson is the interim champ. Power of Cyborg too much for Holm Ash arrives with intent AUSTRALIAN No.1 Ash Barty intends to shore up the error rate in her season-opening match at Pat Rafter Arena tonight against steady opponent Lesia Tsurenko. Barty has handled with good grace the increasing scrutiny of what she is capable this year after a rollicking ride from a No.272 ranking 12 months ago to proud, but watchful ownership of the No.17 spot. The 21-year-old from Ipswich said she saw herself as a really good chance of winning the Brisbane International. Bartys first opponent is Tsurenko, a Ukrainian ranked No.42, and she and coach Craig Tyzzer have a clear match strategy. She is a very solid player and bases her game a lot around opponents errors, said eighth seed Barty, who practised yesterday with doubles partner Casey Dellacqua in the midday sun at the Queensland Tennis Centre. Its important for me to be solid and hopefully exploit a couple of things in her game. Tyzz and I will have some ideas there. Asked about the best chances of the seven seeded women ahead of her, Barty said: Hopefully, I can put myself in the same category as a really good chance. Im very excited to start the year in front of family and friends and I love this court and the conditions. Its a very strong tournament and I have to be ready from the first ball. I feel great physically and a lot of it (success) in tennis is having the confidence to take the game on. Sam Stosur, Australias top-ranked woman for seven years before Daria Gavrilova and then Barty (pictured) went past her in the rankings, said it was the 21-year-olds tennis brain and varied game style which stands her apart. Stosur, 33, struggled to perform in Australian conditions during her best years and says she is really excited to see Barty this month in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Shes really analytical and reads tennis really well. The other players and coaches know more about Ash after (2017), but she would have so much confidence. She has everything you need. PAUL MALONE Been a while but Stosur is itching for Grand Slam glory Sam Stosur returns against Latvian Anastasija Sevastova (inset) yesterday at the Brisbane International Picture: GLENN HUNT/AAP THE year 2018 brings up a seven-year Grand Slam itch Samantha Stosur still has a desire to scratch, despite suffering another early exit from her home tournament. Beaten convincingly by Latvian No.7 seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-1, 6-3 in the Brisbane International first round yesterday, Stosur remains driven by memories of winning the 2011 US Open. And Stosurs fourth-round showing at the 2017 French Open, where she lost to eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko while battling a hand injury that then sidelined her for three months, gives her belief she can at least equal her best Australian Open result of reaching the round of 16 this month. Having that taste of a Grand Slam victory, you think you would like to do that again, Stosur said. At the French Open when I was playing really well, it was kind of getting a little bit exciting and I was feeling really good and I think weeks like that, it really keeps that drive and determination going. Stosur has never made it past the second round in Brisbane in eight appearances. Sevastova took just over an hour to defeat the 33-year-old with a superior service game, while the Queenslander failed to convert five break points. But Stosur was upbeat. I didnt feel too bad, she said. She actually played a really good match. Stosur plans to stay in Brisbane seeking practice matches before heading to Sydney on Wednesday or Thursday. VALKERIE BAYNES Serena still to declare Open plans SERENA Williams is still unsure if she will defend her title at the Australian Open in just two weeks, despite saying her career isnt done yet. Williams lost in her return to tennis on Saturday, beaten by French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match, 6-2 3-6 (10-5). Williams called it a wonderful match despite the defeat. But the Australian Open beginning in Melbourne on January 15 is looming large. I dont know if I am totally ready to come back on the tour yet, Williams said. I know that when I come back I definitely want to be competing for championships. I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there. I am taking it one day at a time. I am going to assess everything with my team before deciding. The 36-year-old Williams took time off after winning the Australian Open last January while pregnant. She gave birth to her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, on September 1. Williams struggled with her serve in the 67-minute match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. She insisted she has a lot more tennis to play. Knowing that I have won 23 Grand Slam titles and several other titles, I dont think I have anything more left to prove, she said. But I am not done yet.