Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Patriots use element of surprise in Super Bowl pursuit 2013-01-14T201207Z_1_BRE90D12L_RTROPTC_0_US-NFL-PLAYOFFS-PATRIO TS.XML () -
Djokovic delivers, Sharapova ruthless on opening day
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic served up only flashes of his best tennis on the opening day of the Australian Open but took a comfortable first step on the path he hopes will lead to an unprecedented hat-trick of titles at Melbourne Park in two weeks' time. Perhaps keeping energy in reserve for the battles that lie ahead, the world number one's workmanlike 6-2 6-4 7-5 victory over Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu on Monday summed up a day where the year's first grand slam failed to really fire.
Armstrong admits to doping during Winfrey interview -report
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - His fall nearly complete, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong finally confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs in an interview on Monday with Oprah Winfrey, USA Today reported. Although American media had widely speculated that Armstrong would admit to cheating in the interview, neither Winfrey nor Armstrong would confirm the report, in which the newspaper cited an anonymous source.
Chiefs player legally drunk when he killed girlfriend: autopsy
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was legally drunk when he killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and then took his own life last month, according to an autopsy released on Monday. The report showed Belcher had a blood alcohol content of .17 - more than double the .08 level that by Missouri law makes a driver drunk.
A's reward manager Melvin with two-year extension 2013-01-14T210120Z_1_BRE90D148_RTROPTC_0_US-BASEBALL-ATHLETICS- MELVIN.XML () -
Spurs guard Ginobili out 10-14 days with injury 2013-01-14T213621Z_1_BRE90D154_RTROPTC_0_US-NBA-SPURS-GINOBILI. XML () -
Murray success brings more moans than cheers Down Under
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia's traditional love of the underdog and admiration for sporting battlers garnered plenty of support for Briton Andy Murray during his long wait for grand slam success. However, the Scot's U.S. Open triumph last September has snuffed out some of the good will at Melbourne Park this year, with Australians having grown weary of sporting success from their former colonial masters.
Champion Azarenka into second round in Melbourne
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number one Victoria Azarenka got her Australian Open title defense underway with an unconvincing 6-1 6-4 victory over Romania's Monica Niculescu on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday. The Belarusian did well to battle back to secure victory without going to a third set after going 3-0 down in the second, but the way her first serve fell apart at times will only encourage her main rivals for the crown.
Serena twists ankle, but still double bagels Gallovits-Hall
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Serena Williams recovered from a nasty fall and painful ankle injury to blast her way into the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday with a 6-0 6-0 victory over Romania's Edina Gallovits-Hall. The world number three, leading 4-0 in the first set, slipped on the Hisense Arena surface then turned her right ankle and lay motionless on the bright blue court before sitting up when medical attention arrived.
McGinley should be Ryder Cup captain, says McIlroy
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - World golf number one Rory McIlroy wants Ireland's Paul McGinley to be Europe's 2014 Ryder Cup skipper, rather than Colin Montgomerie, with a decision on the captaincy due on Tuesday. Victorious 2010 captain Montgomerie has been linked to the position a second time for next year's event in the eight-times European Tour order of merit winner's native Scotland, something McIlroy disagrees with.