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Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Tiger takes charge at rainy Torrey Pines
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - It was just like old times for Tiger Woods at a rain-sodden Torrey Pines on Friday as the former world number one surged into an early three-shot lead in the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Six-times champion Woods eagled the par-five 18th, his ninth hole of the day, en route to a seven-under-par 65 on the easier North Course, one of two layouts hosting the fourth PGA Tour event of the season.
Murray outmuscles Federer to reach Melbourne final
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Andy Murray won a knock-down-drag-out thriller of a scrap with Roger Federer on Friday to set up an Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic and finally beat the Swiss for the first time at a grand slam. Charged with confidence after claiming his first grand slam title at last year's U.S. Open and beating Federer in the Olympic final, Murray met the Swiss as a peer and prevailed 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-7 6-2 after four hours of top quality tennis.
Azarenka eyes second straight Australian Open crown
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Defending champion Victoria Azarenka will bid for back-to-back titles at Melbourne Park on Saturday when she takes on China's late-blooming Li Na in the final of the Australian Open. The 23-year-old Belarusian holds a 5-4 career record against former French Open champion Li, including the last four of their encounters.
Commission adjourned pending UCI documents
LONDON (Reuters) - Cycling's world governing body has yet to release any documents to an independent commission it set up last year to investigate allegations over the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, a hearing was told on Friday. "It amazes me that we've had no documents whatsoever," Britain's 11-times Paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson, one of the three members on the commission, told International Cycling Union counsel Ian Mill.
Federer's mask slips as Murray gets under his skin 2013-01-25T175408Z_1_BRE90O0WL_RTROPTC_0_US-TENNIS-OPEN-MURRAY- FEDERER.XML () -
Injured Venus pulls out of Paris Open and Fed Cup match
PARIS (Reuters) - Former world number one Venus Williams has pulled out of next week's Paris Open and February's Fed Cup match against Italy with a back injury. The 32-year-old American, who has been struggling to get back to her best after suffering a serious autoimmune disease in 2011, was one of the main attractions at the French event whose top seed will be Italian world number seven Sara Errani.
France back Dulin out of Six Nations squad with injury
PARIS (Reuters) - France fullback Brice Dulin will be out of action for several weeks because of a hamstring injury and is set to miss most of the Six Nations championship, the French federation (FFR) said on Friday. Fullback Maxime Medard has been called up as a replacement in the 33-man preliminary squad which will gather on Saturday to prepare for the competition, the FFR said in a statement.
Fisher a PGA Tour convert with rankings goal
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - With his world ranking having plummeted out of the top 100 from a career-high 17th, Britain's Ross Fisher felt the timing was right for him to try his hand on the PGA Tour. So far, so good. The tall Englishman secured his playing privileges on the U.S. circuit for this season by tying for second in the tour's qualifying school and has made an encouraging start to his 2013 campaign.
Qatar leader Wood eyes maiden European Tour victory
DOHA (Reuters) - Briton Chris Wood will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Qatar Masters hoping to end an elusive five-year search for his first win on the European Tour. The 25-year-old Englishman looked set to have a promising career when in 2008, while still an amateur, he finish tied for fifth place behind Padraig Harrington in the British Open at Royal Birkdale.
UCI wants to work with WADA on doping probe
LONDON (Reuters) - Cycling's world body cast doubt on the role of its independent commission inquiry into the Lance Armstrong scandal on Friday by favoring a broader probe with anti-doping agency WADA into drugs use in the sport. International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid told reporters, after a procedural hearing of the independent commission was adjourned until next week, that a process with WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, now appeared to be the best way forward.