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.
Two weeks and counting for the HarBowl hype
BALTIMORE (Reuters) - With two weeks of hype left before the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is already trying to play down the drama of facing his little brother for the National Football League championship. John used to share a room with his brother Jim and, like many siblings, they would place tape down the middle of the room to claim their turf.
Ravens QB Flacco winning respect with Super Bowl berth 2013-01-22T004258Z_1_BRE90L010_RTROPTC_0_US-NFL-SUPERBOWL-FLACC O.XML () -
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 () -
Blue Monday and home loss fails to dampen spirits in Toronto
TORONTO (Reuters) - It may have been Blue Monday, the day identified as the most depressing of the year, but in hockey-mad Toronto it was party-time as the Maple Leafs played their first home game since the end of a bitter lockout. With Christmas bills coming in and New Year's resolutions going out of the window, Welsh researcher Dr Cliff Arnall calculated that January 21 marked the low ebb of the calendar for many people.
Cavaliers' Varejao to miss rest of season with blood clot 2013-01-21T194613Z_1_BRE90K0SS_RTROPTC_0_US-NBA-CAVALIERS-VAREJ AO.XML () -
Li beats Radwanska to make Melbourne last four
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Li Na wore down Agnieszka Radwanska with a barrage of power-hitting to beat the fourth seed 7-5 6-3 and advance to her third semi-final at the Australian Open on Tuesday. The Chinese sixth seed overcame her customary slow start to edge the Pole in a tight first set and after trailing 2-0 in the second, reeled off five straight games to march to the brink of victory in bright sunshine at Rod Laver Arena.
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.