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Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
49ers finally get chance to add to glory years
ATLANTA (Reuters) - The team of the 1980s are back, at last. The San Francisco 49ers, one of the great franchises of the National Football League, will finally return to the Super Bowl in search of a record-equaling sixth Lombardi Trophy when they face the Baltimore Ravens on February 3 in New Orleans.
Federer and Serena power into quarter-finals
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Roger Federer delivered a lesson to the next generation at the Australian Open, extending his record to a 35th consecutive grand slam quarter-final after Serena Williams set up a clash with her would-be successor. The Swiss maestro sent 22-year-old Canadian Milos Raonic packing with a 6-4 7-6 6-2 masterclass under the lights of Rod Laver Arena on Monday, providing a blueprint for Williams ahead of her all-American quarter-final against teenager Sloane Stephens.
Clinical Federer downs Raonic to reach last eight
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Roger Federer said he was energized by facing younger players after handing Milos Raonic a masterclass in clinical tennis at the Australian Open on Monday to reach a 35th straight grand slam quarter-final. Federer defused the 22-year-old Canadian's serve and held his own comfortably before shifting up the gears when necessary to race to a 6-4 7-6 6-2 victory.
Ravens' Lewis happy for team ahead of Super end to career 2013-01-21T213103Z_1_BRE90K0V3_RTROPTC_0_US-NFL-SUPERBOWL-LEWIS .XML () -
Hot-serving Serena bludgeons past Kirilenko
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Serena Williams was at her enigmatic best on Monday after she bludgeoned her way into the Australian Open quarter-finals with a 6-2 6-0 win over Maria Kirilenko. The 31-year-old American wasted little effort in demolishing the 14th seed in 57 minutes to set up a showdown with young compatriot Sloane Stephens, yet as far as Williams was concerned she struggled against the Russian.
Cavaliers' Varejao to miss rest of season with blood clot 2013-01-21T194613Z_1_BRE90K0SS_RTROPTC_0_US-NBA-CAVALIERS-VAREJ AO.XML () -
No sympathy for Armstrong on social media
LONDON (Reuters) - Lance Armstrong's televised doping confession has done nothing to restore his shattered reputation, a study of responses posted to the Twitter social media site showed. "What was particularly noticeable in our analysis of the Armstrong revelation was the sheer lack of sympathy out there," said Charlie Dundas of sports market research company Repucom.
Seattle group signs deal for Sacramento pro basketball team
SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Seattle-based investment group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen has signed a binding agreement to buy a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings basketball team, paving the way for a return of professional basketball to a city still pining for the loss of its SuperSonics in 2008. Terms of the deal, announced by Hansen's group and confirmed on Monday by the National Basketball Association, were not disclosed. The NBA must approve the deal and that could take several months.
Figure skating-Champion Chan tries to claim underdog role for worlds
TORONTO (Reuters) - Patrick Chan tried hard to paint himself as the underdog on Monday as he assessed his chances of completing a hat-trick of world figure skating triumphs in March on home ice. Even the Canadian had to chuckle when asked if he really believed he would not be the favorite to capture a third successive gold medal in London, Ontario, which will host the last world championships before the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Teenager Stephens realizes last eight is "pretty cool"
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Sloane Stephens had a "pretty cool" realization after she beat Bojana Jovanovski on Monday, she's going to become a member of the Australian Open's "last eight club". The club is an actual players' lounge, but Stephens was referring to a prominent corridor at Melbourne Park where the portraits of the previous year's quarter-finalists are hung.