Vettel’s Best Yet to Come- Horner

Christian Horner who is the boss of F1 Team Red Bull has said that his driver Sebastian Vettel’s best is yet to come. Vettel has won three consecutive Formula 1 championships and at 25, became the youngest triple champion in the history of F1. He also emulated Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as the only other F1 drivers to clinch three titles in a row.
Horner admitted that the records set by seven time champion Schumacher of wining 91 races and 7 championships would be difficult to match or break, Vettel has the talent and is still to reach his peak. He is having a remarkable career with 26 wins so far and is likely to improve and develop as a driver according to Horner.
Horner agreed that in order to repeat the same performance next year and to stay ahead of the rivals, Red Bull would need to evolve and improve as F1 does not stand still. 2013 was regarded as the toughest year by Horner as Red Bull had to come from behind to make its way take the drivers’ and teams’ race. He was wary of the fact that the rival team would be working hard in the winter to improve and would try to come hard on us. So we need to learn from our mistakes and improve.
  According to Horner, Red Bull had a great foundation, a great basis and a great team of professionals who will improver over the off season. The team knows how to improve again as they have done it before.

SA defeated Australia with a convincing 309 runs to win 3 test match series 1-0 and retain their ICC test ranking top spot. SA had given a record chase of 621 runs to the Australians to win and achieve the top spot in the rankings.  
In order to chase the total, the Australian start was not good. Their 2 wickets fell early on. That brought Ricky Ponting to the crease. In order to honour the great batsmen, SA players welcomed him on to the ground with a guard of honour like welcome. He started off with quite an authority using his trade mark pull shot. The crowd expected a big score from him. However, he was out at eight off Peterson. The whole WACA crowd was up on their feet to bid him farewell. All the SA players bade him good bye as well. Ponting raised his bat in response to their support and applause.
After Ponting, rest of the batsmen including Clarke and Hussey also did not show quite resistance. Only Mitchel Starc, the No 10 batsman and Ed Cowan showed some resistance and scored half centuries. Starc was the top scorer with 68 not out on 32 balls. Australia looked like a team that had used all its cards in the first two tests. Some were left to think that probably, Ponting’s exit had affected Australia’s performance. It was Michael Clarke’s first series loss as captain. 
The score card of the was: South Africa 225 (du Plessis 78*) and 569 (Amla 196, de Villiers 169, Smith 84) beat Australia 163 (Wade 68) and 322 (Starc 68*, Cowan 53) by 309 runs 
Pakistan world’s new snooker champion
(Tribune).Muhammad Asif became the second Pakistani cueist to win the IBSF World Snooker Championship in Sofia, Bulgaria, after overpowering England’s Gary Wilson 10-8 in a thrilling final on Sunday night.
Muhammad Yousuf was the first Pakistani to clinch the world amateur crown in South Africa in 1994. “I have been dethroned,” were Yousaf’s first words over Asif’s victory.
Two-time national champion Muhammad Asif, who was unbeaten in the tournament, won the title after defeating England’s Gary Wilson 10-8 in a match lasting over nine hours.
Thirty-year-old Asif, from Faisalabad, is the third Pakistani to reach the final of the amateur World Championship as well – Yousaf won the title in 1994, whereas Muhammad Saleh lost to India’s Pankaj Advani in 2004.
This was Asif’s fourth appearance in the tournament. His previous best run at the event was last year; he was ranked among the top 32 cueists at the time.
Asif started off his campaign in Bulgaria with confidence, defeating Australia’s Vinnie Calabrese 5-0 in the first round. He overcame Egypt’s Wael Talaat 5-2 in the pre-quarterfinal, crushed Syria’s Mer Alkojah 6-2 in the quarterfinal and outclassed Malta’s Alex Borg 7-1 in the semifinal to make it to the final.
He started Sunday’s match confidently as well, taking a 6-3 lead at the end of the first session in the best of 19-frame final. The 30-year-old continued the match at 7-5 despite Wilson’s break of 111 in the 12th frame.
However, Wilson regained his focus in the subsequent two frames, equalising the score 7-7.
The two battled in the 14th frame. Asif claimed it only to lose the next one as Wilson forced the break of 59 in the 16th frame.
Asif bounced back, however, leading 9-8 and sealing victory in the 17th frame at 64-0 to clinch the trophy.
“It’s unbelievable, I’m just counting my breath, it’s what I have been chasing for the past 10 years,” Asif told The Express Tribune. “I can’t believe I have achieved what Yousaf Bhai achieved so many years ago.”
Meanwhile, the 60-year-old former world champion Yousaf, who was following Asif’s match online back at his home in Rawalpindi, said he feels he has been dethroned by Asif.
“Now I can’t say that I‘m the only snooker world champion from Pakistan, I feel a little jealous now,” said Yousaf.
“But I am happy, Asif’s win is good news for Pakistanis, especially considering everything bad that is going on in the country. Asif has just opened the door for other players in Pakistan. He just made history and I can tell you that he changed more than his own fortunes. His victory at the world championship will help Pakistani snooker in a great way.”
Offering advice to the new world champion, Yousaf said he will have to continue with his form in order to maintain the title.
Chairman of Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) and Vice President of International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) Asghar Valika described Muhammad Asif’s triumph as another golden moment in the history of Pakistan sports.
“Asif’s triumph will again boost and revive the sport in the country. I am absolutely delighted with this win,” said Asghar Valika, under whose Muhammad Yousuf won the title in Johannesburg in 1994.
“It’s great news for Asian snooker fraternity as this is second time when world title came to this continent after Iran’s Hossein Vafaei Ayouri l won the crown,” said a beaming Valika.
He said Asif’s victory was of great significance because he achieved this without any technical support and presence of a coach.
President of Sindh Billiards and Snooker Association Jamil Sakrani announced Rs100,000 for Muhammad Asif.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf also extended his heartiest felicitations to Asif on his victory.
In his message, the premier said that the whole nation is proud of his victory and wishes him many more in future as well.
Cricket Sports
South Africa in Cruise Control in Final Test
Having bowled out for 225 on the opening day of the third and final test between SA and Australia, SA bowlers were quick to settle the score and bowl out the opposition for 163 to take 67 run lead.
Resuming at play at 33 for fall of 2 wickets, Warner and night watchman Lyon were unable to give hosts a good start. First, Warner fell to Steyn to bring in Ponting to the crease and later, Lyon fell shortly to him. Philander took the wicket of Ponting. The only decent resistance from Australians was shown by Matthew Wade. Dale Steyn was the most successful bowler taking 4 Australian wickets that also included the wicket of in form Michael Clarke.
SA start to the second innings was a bit nervous. Soon after tea, Alviro Peterson was out by a classic ca particular, but all 10 wickets remained intact when tea was called. Alviro Petersen would be lost shortly after the resumption when he popped up a botch by Johnson. That brought in the in form Amla at the crease. He and Smith had a partnership of 177 runs to take control of the match. Amla is not out at 99. Smith was out at 84 and deserved a century but a missed hook gave a chance to Nathan Lyon who made a stunning catch.
The third day is going to be make or break for the Australians as SA already has a lead of 197 runs.
Flintoff the ‘Boxer’ Wins Debut Bout

Former England all rounder Andrew Flintoff also known as Freddie registered his maiden victory in his debut bout against American Richard Dawson. The bout was fought in Manchester. He was knocked down in the second round but kept his composure and fought bravely to win by a narrow margin.   
  Some of the influential in the British boxing had opposed the decision to grant Flintoff the licence to fight and had declared the fight as a publicity stunt and a joke. However, there were many who were cheering for him. One of them was his international team-mate Darren Gough. Flintoff was trained rigorously by Barry and Shane Mc Guigan for five months and had lost quite a few ponds. He gave the home crowd some stuff to cheer for in the first round as he landed few clean punches to the American. He recovered from knock down in the second round to win the third and fourth rounds and was declared winner by a point’s win of 39-38. It was Dawson’s first defeat.
The crowd was cheering for the local man like mad. Flintoff later admitted that it was the crowd that made the difference. Flintoff declared the win as his best personal achievement. He would think about his future after Christmas and dedicated his win to his trainers.   
Vettel’s Pass Row Over: Red Bull

After the clarification by the FIA that the overtake pass of Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel crossing Vergne was legal, Red Bull has expressed its satisfaction on the matter. Vettel was at 6th place in the race and was declared world champion for third consecutive year, making his youngest ever triple champion. Red Bull was declared the winner team of the year.
Vettel’s Pass Row Over: Red Bull
Ferrari which was second in the team position of the year had complained FIA regarding the issue. However, FIA declared yesterday that there was no issue with the pass and was declared legitimate according to the rules applicable at the Brazilian GP. In response to the FIA statement, Red Bull has welcomed the decision at their website and celebrated their win as the champion team of the year with their German driver Sebastian Vettel declared champion for third consecutive year. 
Vettel’s Overtake was Legal: FIA

FIA which is the governing body of Formula 1 has declared that German F1 driver Sebastian Vettel’s overtaking Jean-Eric Vergne during the Brazilian Grand Prix was legitimate and informed that no team had approached FIA to inquire the act of the German.  
Vettel of Red Bull stood sixth in the race to win the F1 champion crown for the third straight year.  Fernando Alonso of team Ferrari finished second in the race and was three points behind Vettel in overall standing.
The FIA confirmed to AUTOSPORT that no team had asked for a review of the incident and it didnt comment on the stewards’ decisions. According to the rules applicable in Brazilian GP, if a green flag is displayed before a green light, the first green takes precedence. This was the exact case in Vettel’s overtake.
The race control was not informed as there was no violation of the rules. Hence, Vettel’s pass was legitimate, which is why race control was not informed of any potential infringement.
Ponting Announces Retirement; Former Greats Pay Tribute

No one had ever seen Ricky Ponting as emotional as he was today when he announced he would retire after Perth Test. He couldn’t stay composed when he told his team mates about his decision to retire from international cricket.
It was not only Ponting who was emotional. All the team mates wept when they heard about this decision. Michael Clarke’s red eyes in front of the media were telling the whole story as to how much the decision had made the team emotional. He was unable to speak much with the media and even shed some tears during the press conference. 
It was not the end of a career but end of an era. Ponting started his journey as a test player in 1995 at the same venue, WACA’s Perth cricket ground. His cover drives and pull shots were the most lethal weapons the opponents were afraid of.  In his 167 test matches, Ponting scored 13366 runs with an average of 52.21. He has scored 41 hundreds. He had already announced his retirement from short version of cricket last year. In that, he had scored 13704 runs with an average of 42.03 including 30 centuries. He was second highest runs scorer in both the formats of cricket and way no doubt, the second best. He received many awards including ICC Player of the Year – 2006,2007; ICC Test Player of the Year – 2003, 2004, 2006; One-Day International Player of the Year – 2002; Allan Border Medal – 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009; Wisden Cricketer of the Year – 2006; Cricinfo Player of the Decade – 2000-09.
Although he was the highest runs scorer in Australian domestic season, he was unable to perform well in the three innings he had played. According to him, he was no longer good enough to perform at the highest level and so the time was right to give way to younger players. Ponting clarified that the retirement decision was purely his own and the selectors still wanted him in the team. He insisted that the captain and selectors were always very vocal in supporting him. Ponting was keen that the announcement would inspire Australia’s fight for world No. 1 ranking. 
  After the test match, Ponting will play domestic season for Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmania in the Big Bash League. We all will miss you ‘Punter’.
Struggling Robin Soderling unsure of Tennis Future

Struggling Robin Soderling unsure of Tennis Future
Former world number four Robin Soderling of Sweden who was runner up in the Roland Garros in 2009 and 2010 has expressed serious concerns over his future in tennis. The swede is out of the pro tennis circuit since 2011 due to mononucleosis or glandular fever. He is still battling his illness and that is the reason of his uncertainty in tennis. 
The disease takes a lot of toll on the person suffering from it. The ability to focus diminishes, at one moment the person feels high and energetic but in the next moment, may be due to physical activity, an element of fatigue and hopelessness occurs. The person feels demotivated and same are the feeling Soderling is going through. 
Soderling admitted that he had been trying hard to come back to the tennis circuit and felt that he would be there in a couple of month, however, that had not been the case as he felt fatigued, unwell and jaded again. He is now 28 and has not played for a year and a half. Time is running from him and his motivation to return to the professional arena is fading. Soderling said that he was not as desperate to come back as six or eight months ago. Although he pledged to give a try to make a comeback, but expressed that he would accept if that was not possible.
The only good thing for Soderling in these tough times is that he has recently became a father after his long-term partner Jenni Mostrom gave birth to their daughter Olivia.
Despite the entire lean patch in his career, Soderling was optimistic that he had at least 5 more years in him to spend on court. 
Selectors Back Ponting for Ashes

Selectors Back Ponting for Ashes
Although Ricky Ponting has only scored 20 runs in three innings against SA, the selection panel has backed the great batsman and feels his role is the test team is as pivotal as ever. The Australian coach Micky Arthur, chief selector Rod Marsh and captain Michael Clarke have all shown their support for Ricky Ponting’s place in the Australian test team. According to the coach, 
Ponting is a must player for next year’s Ashes series. Ponting is the second highest test runs scorer after Sachin Tendulkar with more than 13,400 runs at an average of over 50. However, the batsman is unable to find runs which according to Micky are must for any batsman and Ponting is no exception.
Ponting has already told that Perth is a big test for him. He would be playing against West Indies as a captain of Prime Minister’s XI on January 29. Former captain Ian Chappell believes that Perth is make or break venue in Ponting’s career. If he fails, a young batsman like Phillip Hughes or Usman Khawaja must be given chance to prove their worth. Chappel way even of the view that Ponting should retire anyways and Perth is the beat venue to do that and Australian cricket must move ahead and prepare younger players for future fixtures. The options available are Hughes who has performed magnificent in domestic season. The other player in line is Usman Khawaja who has started to make some runs.
It would be great if they are given a chance to play against Sri Lanka so that they are rady for future key roles in Australian Cricket. But for that to happen, Australian cricket need to finish it off in Perth.