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19 April 2024

Ones to watch


By John McAuley


The world No3 suffered a serious setback to the new tennis season when he was dumped out of the first round at the Brisbane International last Tuesday. His straight sets defeat to Latvian Ernests Gulbis was not the ideal preparation for the defence of his Australian Open title in two weeks time, but the Serb can get back on track at the Sydney International, starting Tuesday.


The troubled batsman has been recalled to the South African side for the Twenty20 and ODI matches against Australia following his 30-day rehabilitation period caused by personal problems. However, he faces a tough task as the 34-year-old replaces the in-form captain Graeme Smith, whose hand injury keeps him out of this week's fixtures.


The Ethiopian with the fast feet and infectious smile is back in Dubai this week to attempt to break his own world record on Friday. The new route is said to be quicker so the Olympic champion could get his wish.


The Spaniard has taken over the Royal Trophy captaincy from compatriot Seve Ballesteros, following the 52-year-old's recovery from brain surgery. The competition, which began yesterday, pits Europe against Asia and, despite not attracting the top names that the Ryder Cup does, will still feature some classy players. Can Olazabal prove he has what it takes to be a future Ryder Cup captain?

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The UAE representatives have enjoyed a healthy start to the Dakar Rally and Dr Michael Zeigler and Ron Oakley will look to build on their strong performance as the race enters its final stages.