Ash Barty continued her fairy-tale run at the Australian Open, crushing Madison Keys to become the first local woman to reach the singles final in 42 years.

The two-time grand slam champion continued her impressive form at Melbourne Park with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Keys on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

Barty, the world number one, became the first Australian woman to reach the singles final at the tournament since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.

She can become the first to win the title since Chris O'Neil in 1978 when she faces either Danielle Collins or Iga Swiatek in Saturday's final, which she will undoubtedly start as favourite.

Barty has dropped just 21 games on her way to the decider and the reigning Wimbledon champion was again ruthless against Keys, who lost her fourth grand slam semi-final in five such appearances.

The 25-year-old Barty settled well and broke the Keys serve in the opening game.

A powerful forehand created the opportunity before she delivered a cross-court winner off that wing to convert following a Keys drop shot.

Barty only made two first serves in her opening two service games yet did not lose a point.

Spurred on by a hopeful and enthusiastic home crowd, Barty's variety and depth – plus nine unforced errors in five games from Keys – helped her race into a 4-1 lead.

Keys finally won a point against the Barty serve in the sixth game, the Australian forced to save a break point before sealing the opening set in 26 minutes courtesy of a forehand return winner down the line.

The first real signs of nerves from Barty came in the fifth game of the second set, but she dug out a tough hold for 3-2.

Keys had settled, but Barty grabbed the break she was after in the sixth game with back-to-back forehand winners.

Barty looked calm throughout and that did not change as she served out the match in style, booking a spot in the final with a forehand winner.

DATA SLAM: Brilliant Barty on verge of ending Aussie wait

Barty has already ended one long wait – an Australian reaching the women's singles final at Melbourne Park.

She is a win away from ending another by becoming the first Australian winner of the men's or women's singles title in 44 years.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty – 20/13
Keys – 8/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty – 5/0
Keys – 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty – 4/6
Keys – 0/2

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash has provided injury updates on James Harden and Kevin Durant after reports that the latter would be out until after the All-Star Game.

Harden missed Wednesday's 124-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets with "hamstring tightness" while Durant has not played since spraining his MCL on January 15.

The Nets did not provide a timeframe on Durant's return although ESPN claimed it would be between four and six weeks.

ESPN also reporting this week that Durant would miss the All-Star Game scheduled for February 20 although Nash did not confirm that.

"We'll re-evaluate in the next week or so," Nash said at the post-game news conference. "We’ll see how his rehab goes and what the re-evaluations tell us."

Durant is currently averaging 29.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists through 36 games this season.

Harden has averaged 23.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 10.1 assists this season, but is also averaging 37 minutes per game with the absences of Durant and Kyrie Irving impacting his on-court time.

"I think we're all hopeful he'll play next game," Nash said about Harden with the Nets to play the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

"It's day to day, so we'll see. It's likely, probable and we're all very hopeful that he'll be ready to go."

Cameron Thomas top scored with 25 points against the Nuggets, while Patty Mills impressed with 21 points, three rebounds and six assists.

The defeat leaves the Nets with a 29-19 record having lost three in a row, slipping to fourth in the east.

"Details. We're proud of the guys' effort, but details, we talked about them last night," Nash said.

"Part of that, is we had some guys play together who've not played many minutes together over the last few years so there's some cohesion that is lacking and some understanding and familiarity lacking.

"That's where we have to improve especially with guys out of the lineup."

Brazil head coach Tite is bullish that Philippe Coutinho can help replace the injured Neymar in his first appearance in national colours for more than 12 months.

Coutinho, who earlier this month joined Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona, is set to line up for Selecao in place of the suspended Lucas Paqueta in Thursday's World Cup qualifier away to Ecuador.

The 29-year-old has not played for Brazil since October 2020 having undergone knee surgery in January 2021.

Coutinho's return coincides with the absence of Neymar who is out for the upcoming qualifiers with an ankle injury.

"People always want Neymar, but at times things don't happen the way you want," Tite told reporters.

"We feel sorry that Neymar can't be here, but we have other options. I'm talking about Coutinho. He is a player that can play in that role and I believe in his quality.

"Coutinho is an important player and he's been recovering to his best level."

He added: "From a social and human standpoint, I know how much time he has invested and the challenges he has faced to recover from injury."

Ex-Liverpool forward Coutinho has started life at Villa brightly, netting the equalizing goal in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United on debut.

Brazil have already clinched their spot at Qatar 2022, but Tite wanted to push his players in the qualifiers against Ecuador and also Paraguay on Tuesday.

"I thought the emotions and feelings would be lighter but no, we have the same emotions and anxieties," Tite said.

"I want to test players in the upcoming qualifiers. I still have the same pressure."

Tite confirmed that he will field Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior against Ecuador along with Raphinha and Matheus Cunha.

A ruthless century from Rovman Powell gave the West Indies the perfect base to secure a 20-run win in the third T20I against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados to go 2-1 up in the five-match series.

Powell became only the third West Indian to score a T20I century after Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle as he hit an incredible 107 from 53 balls, including 10 sixes. His partnership of 122 with Nicholas Pooran (70) set the hosts on their way to a daunting total of 224-5 from their 20 overs, though England and in particular Tom Banton (73 from 39 balls) and debutant Phil Salt (57 from 24 balls) put up a spirited chase.

Brandon King (10) fell to George Garton - also making his first appearance - in the second over as the Sussex bowler found the top of off stump, before Shai Hope went for just four after clipping a Liam Livingstone delivery against his own leg pad, which sent the ball into the air for a simple catch for wicketkeeper Banton.

Pooran and Powell then set about hitting England's attack all over the park, before the partnership was finally broken in the 17th over when Pooran hit Adil Rashid straight to the waiting Livingstone. Powell reached his century before also hitting a shot to Livingstone, this time off the final ball of Reece Topley's spell.

Jason Roy (19) tried to get England's chase going with a couple of big sixes but soon mishit a Romario Shepherd ball to the waiting hands of Jason Holder, though things looked promising for the tourists as they reached 61-1 at the end of the powerplay, seven runs ahead of the West Indies at the same stage.

Banton and James Vince kept the required rate within reach early on until the latter fell at the end of the eighth over as he hit Akeal Hosein to Kieron Pollard for 16. Stand-in captain Moeen Ali fell for a second-ball duck, dangerman Livingstone could only manage 11, and after Banton was caught by Holder off the bowling of Pollard, Salt and another debutant Harry Brook (10) tried to get the innings back on track before Brook was sent packing by Holder.

Salt's knock before he was bowled by Shepherd in the final over provided a hint of what he can bring to this England team in future, but on this night it was not a victory as the West Indies closed their opponent's innings at 204-9 to edge ahead again in the series.

Ka-Powell

Powell only averages 22.00 from his 26 T20I innings, but did a good impression of the legendary Gayle here as he hit England all over the Kensington Oval.

As well as reaching comfortably his highest score in T20Is, he also did so with a strike rate of 201.88, significantly above his average of 130.81.

England's bowling attack left battered and bruised

Rashid (25-1) and Topley (30-1) might consider themselves to have performed pretty well considering what happened their their team-mates at the hands of Pooran and Powell in particular.

Garton took an early wicket on debut but ended with figures of 57-1, while Livingstone came away with 42-1 from just three overs, and Tymal Mills took 52-1 from his four. Ali also bowled a single over for 14 runs and no wicket.

Erling Haaland is widely recognised as one of the best strikers in the world, but he still believes he can "improve on everything" about his game.

The Borussia Dortmund man has been strongly linked with a move to the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, with reports suggesting he has a release clause of €75million that becomes active at the end of the season.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Haaland may have further tempted those teams and any others who have the money to do a deal by suggesting he is far from the finished article.

"I think I can improve on everything," he said. "If you say I am good at finishing, I can improve my finishing a lot. I can become faster, so I can improve that. I can become stronger, so I can improve that.

"But if I should improve one thing, it would be to not get injured, because if I am not injured, I will play a lot more games and I will deliver even better. If you were to ask what my goals are for 2022, it is to not be injured, and the goals for the rest of my career are to not be injured. That's the main thing."

Haaland has scored 80 goals in 79 games in all competitions since moving to Signal Iduna Park from Salzburg just over two years ago.

Of players in Europe's top five leagues, only Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (107) has scored more in that time, having played in 11 more games than Haaland.

The 21-year-old was named as part of the FIFPro World 11 at The Best FIFA Football Awards, where Lewandowski took home the top men's prize ahead of Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah. Haaland was asked who his top three would have been.

"I think you would have to say Lewandowski number one," he said, "Then you have, for me, [Karim] Benzema has also been amazing, but Messi has also been outstanding – so Benzema and Messi in shared second and third place."

The Norway forward was also asked about his recent comments that Dortmund were forcing him to make a decision on his future as soon as possible.

Haaland said in a post-match interview following last week's 5-1 win against Freiburg that the club "press me to make a decision now about my future", though Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke denied this.

"I don't really want to say too much about it, but I felt it was time for me to say something," Haaland told Sky. "A lot of others were speaking – so that was it. Now, I don't want to say too much. I said what I said, and now we move on."

Joe Schoen is "really excited" to help Daniel Jones "put his best foot forward", with the New York Giants set to stick with their quarterback after ruling out a Deshaun Watson trade.

Schoen has been hired as the new Giants general manager and has plenty of work to do to make the team challengers once more.

The former Buffalo Bills assistant GM will at least be able to name his own head coach, with Joe Judge out after a 4-13 2021 season, but he may not have the same flexibility elsewhere. The Giants are over the salary cap for 2022.

As Schoen attempts to operate on a budget, he will not immediately be looking for an upgrade under center.

Having been a surprise selection with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jones initially impressed with 24 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in 13 games (12 starts) in his rookie year.

The quarterback has since struggled to build on that performance, however, tossing only 21 TD passes across the past two seasons combined.

Many would suggest it is time for the Giants to move away from Jones, but Schoen, it seems, would rather work to get the best out of a 24-year-old who threw an accurate, well-thrown pass with 80.3 per cent of his attempts this season.

That mark ranked ahead of three of the four quarterbacks still alive in the playoffs; Joe Burrow's 86.5 per cent led the league (minimum 100 attempts).

"I've looked at Daniel," Schoen said as he met the media in his new role on Wednesday – with Jones in attendance.

"Once the new staff gets in here, we're going to get together – offensive coordinator, head coach, the entire staff – dive into the film as a group and look at what Daniel does best, and we're going to try to allow him to put his best foot forward.

"I've looked at him. I wasn't here in the past, so I don't exactly know what he was told to do, but I do know this: I know he's a great kid.

"He's been in this building the last two days. I've talked to him. There's not anybody in this building that's said a bad word about his work ethic, passion, desire to win, and I think you've got to have those traits as a quarterback.

"The kid has physical ability. He's got arm strength, he's athletic, he can run. I'm really excited to work with Daniel.

"Again, when the new staff gets in here, we'll build an offense around Daniel to accentuate what he does best."

Jones also has the backing of Giants co-owner John Mara, who accepted the team had "done everything possible to screw this kid up".

And Mara assured there would be no move for wantaway Houston Texans QB Watson.

Watson pushed for a trade before the 2021 season and instead spent the year on the sideline as the subject of police and NFL investigations into sexual assault and misconduct allegations, facing 22 civil lawsuits.

"We're not trading for Deshaun Watson," Mara said. "There are so many reasons why we wouldn't do that.

"Cap-wise, we couldn't afford it, but more importantly with the allegations that are out there right now, that's just not the right fit for us."

Eric Bailly missed from the spot as Egypt progressed to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations by knocking out Ivory Coast on penalties.

The most frequently contested match in the tournament's history – this was the 11th time these sides have met – was decided when Mohamed Salah swept home to secure a 5-4 win in the shoot-out after 120 goalless minutes in Douala.

In a tight first 90 minutes of few chances, arguably the best fell to Amr El Soleya, who blasted over after being teed up in space by Salah.

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy tipped over a Sebastien Haller header before keeping out a Wilfried Zaha effort, but he was replaced with two minutes of normal time left due to injury.

A bright start from Egypt to extra time saw El Soleya presented with another chance, the Al Ahly midfielder unable to keep his awkward header down from six yards out.

A speculative Ibrahim Sangare strike was well saved by Mohamed Abou Gabal, and Simon Deli got in front of the replacement goalkeeper from the resulting corner only to head over.

Salah's cut-back set up Trezeguet with practically the final kick of extra time, but the Aston Villa man shot straight at Badra Ali Sangare from six yards.

The opening four penalties of the shoot-out were scored before 'Gabaski' clawed Bailly's effort onto the crossbar, the Manchester United defender's run-up not fooling the keeper.

Zaha swept home to put the pressure on Salah, who found the bottom-right corner to set up a last-eight meeting with Morocco.

South Korea international Hwang Hee-chan will join Wolves permanently at the end of the season, the Premier League club has confirmed.

Hwang initially joined on a season-long loan from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and agreed personal terms on a deal before arriving in England.

Wolves have now activated a clause to make the move permanent from July for a fee reportedly in the region of £12million.

The deal will run to 2026 and was confirmed by the club's website on the player's 26th birthday.

The former Salzburg forward made an impactful start at Wolves, scoring four goals in his first six Premier League games, including his first strike just 20 minutes into his debut after coming off the bench in the 2-0 win at Watford in September.

He has failed to find the net since scoring the opener in the 1-1 draw at Leeds United in October, however, and has not played since sustaining a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win at Brighton last month.

 

Hwang first came to prominence at Salzburg during the 2019-20 season, playing in an attack that included Erling Haaland, Takumi Minamino and Patson Daka, before signing for RB Leipzig for around €9m in 2020.

However, he only managed three goals and four assists in 29 appearances across all competitions for Die Roten Bullen – albeit only five of those were starts.

Wolves technical director, Scott Sellars, was delighted to confirm the news and told the club's website: "He's had a really positive affect on not only the team, but also the whole football club, and he's been a fantastic addition to Wolves.

"We could see straight from our first meeting with him that Hee-chan is such a focused and determined young man who wants to be successful in his football career.

"He's not had the experiences he would have liked at Leipzig and he wanted a change, and he's grabbed his opportunity here in the Premier League with both hands. He's shown a lot of determination, a lot of focus and certainly a lot of professionalism every day, and he's got his rewards in terms of his performances and his goals."

Daniil Medvedev drew inspiration from Novak Djokovic in order to complete a storming comeback against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Australian Open.

The Russian was two sets down and facing a quarter-final exit at the hands of his on-song opponent, but he dug deep to roar back and set up a last-four showdown with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

After sealing a memorable 6-7 (4-7) 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 6-4 victory under the roof on Rod Laver Arena, Medvedev revealed that asking himself what world number one Djokovic would do had provided the catalyst for his revival. 

Asked how he managed to win a contest in which he had looked down and out, the US Open champion responded: "I have no idea.

"Talking about the match point, I managed to serve well. If I had a second serve who knows what would have happened.

"I was not playing my best. Felix served unbelievable; I was all over the place.

"Then, I thought to myself, what would Novak do? So I said, 'I am going to make him work'.

"I managed to raise my level and when they closed the roof I was able to go through momentum and I started playing better."

Medvedev, who was beaten by Djokovic in last year's Melbourne final, faced a match point against Auger-Aliassime in the fourth set before finding his groove.

He rode his luck at times, with Auger-Aliassime only converting two of his 11 break points as Medvedev improved his record in meetings between the pair to 4-0.

Daniil Medvedev came from two sets down to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime and reach the Australian Open semi-final.

The world number two battled to a 6-7 (4-7) 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 6-4 victory in a thrilling contest on Rod Laver Arena, where 2021 runner-up Medvedev fended off a match point in the fourth set.

He will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas in what is his second consecutive last-four outing at this tournament after improving his head-to-head record against Auger-Aliassime to 4-0.

Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime met in the semi-finals of last year's US Open, when the former prevailed in straight sets en route to winning the title.

But the Russian, beaten by Novak Djokovic in last year's final, was soon on the back foot in Melbourne, handing Auger-Aliassime a break point at 5-5 when he misjudged a shot that he thought was going out, but dropped in.

Medvedev then compounded that error with a double fault, but Auger-Aliassime fluffed his own lines as he failed to serve out the set before redeeming himself in the tie-break.

Auger-Aliassime continued that momentum in the second set, breaking in a mammoth second game after doggedly staying in a long rally before his opponent pushed a forehand wide.

Facing a two-set deficit, Medvedev battled hard in the third as that too went to a tie-break, which he was leading 2-1 when rain arrived and forced the roof to be closed.

He wasted little time getting the job done once play resumed, Auger-Aliassime finally showing signs of weakness as a couple of unforced errors sealed his fate in a one-sided breaker.

Medvedev survived a match point at 5-4 down in the fourth and reeled off three games in a row as he began to combine power and precision to level matters and tee up a decider.

After fending off three break points in his opening service game, it was Medvedev who broke decisively in game three to claim an advantage that he clung onto in the face of spirited resistance from his Canadian opponent.

DATA SLAM: Medvedev continues head-to-head dominance

This was the fourth meeting between these two and Medvedev had only previously lost one of eight sets.

But it threatened to be a very different story on Wednesday before the US Open champion clicked into gear to continue his dominance of the pair's head-to-head record.

Auger-Aliassime will be left to lament his failure to seize on a match-point opportunity as he converted only two of his 11 break points.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev – 49/53
Auger-Aliassime – 64/75

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev  – 15/9
Auger-Aliassime – 18/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev  – 3/5
Auger-Aliassime – 2/11

Bayern Munich will do "everything" to keep Robert Lewandowski for "as long as possible", but Niklas Sule is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

Lewandowski's contract expires at the end of 2022-23 and there have been suggestions Bayern could look to move the Poland star on this year to free up room for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.

That is despite the 33-year-old having just won The Best FIFA Men's Player Award for the second year running, his 34 goals in all competitions this season at least 10 more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.

Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn suggested on Wednesday that the Bundesliga champions have no plans to let Lewandowski leave.

"He is an absolute phenomenon," Kahn told reporters. "Not just for the goals he constantly scores but for the level at which he has been playing for years.

"Of course, we will try to keep Robert with us. He's a kind of insurance for us, with his way of playing football. We will do everything we can to have Robert with us for as long as possible."

 

Sule, however, appears destined to leave the Allianz Arena after rejecting Bayern's offer of a new contract.

The centre-back, 26, has missed just two games in the Bundesliga this season and is reportedly of interest to Chelsea and Newcastle United, who could offer greater salaries.

"Negotiations with Niklas have dragged on for a very long time," Kahn said.

"We made him an offer, but he didn't accept it, as he told us. I think [club president] Herbert Hainer wanted to leave the back door a little ajar.

"Now we know what the situation is. This has happened over the past few days. I think you have to take into account that there are a lot of conversations going on. At some point, a player makes his decision.

"I think it was a very good offer. We have economic limits within which we must move. He's one of the best central defenders out there right now. I think we showed him that appreciation.

"Ultimately, it's the player's decision."

When asked if Bayern would look to sign a replacement, Kahn added: "We always look at all the options. We have a lot of options when it comes to the centre-back position.

"We have Lucas Hernandez in central defence, an excellent centre-back in [Dayot] Upamecano, young talent in Tanguy Nianzou. [Benjamin] Pavard can also play there."

 

Brazil duo Neymar and Vinicius Jr could thrive in the same starting XI, despite both forwards preferring to play in the same position, according to Juninho.

While Neymar is out injured, Vinicius has been called up for Brazil's World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Paraguay over the coming week.

Vinicius has only made nine appearances for Brazil and is yet to score for his country, only starting twice – against Chile in September and Argentina in November respectively.

Up until this season, the Real Madrid winger had struggled for consistency, but under the tutelage of Carlo Ancelotti, he has thrived for Los Blancos.

Only Karim Benzema (33) has more direct goal contributions for Madrid in all competitions than Vinicius, who has scored 15 times and provided eight assists.

 

Neymar, meanwhile, has had another stuttering season with Paris Saint-Germain, making just 14 appearances in all competitions and completing 90 minutes only nine times.

However, should he be fit, Neymar will no doubt be Brazil's main man heading to Qatar in November.

With Vinicius in such fine form, though, his place in Tite's squad also seems a certainty, and asked if the attackers - who both play predominantly from the left wing in a 4-3-3 formation - could feature together, Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) director Juninho believes there is no reason why not.

"The two of them can play together," Juninho told Spanish radio show El Larguero.

"Vinicius shows his quality at Madrid and is beginning to show it for the national team now.

"He's improving every game. Now he's been playing very well for a while.

"Like [Philippe] Coutinho or [Lucas] Paqueta, they can also play together."

Juninho may be convinced Neymar and Vinicius fit into the same side, but neither would be suited to playing in a central role in Tite's preferred 4-3-3 system, while both are at their best when given the freedom to drift inside from the left, rather than the right.

 

Neymar is having a poor season in terms of end product. He has only scored three goals (and one of those was a penalty) and provided as many assists, while he has also underperformed his expected goals (xG) of 4.3, suggesting his finishing has been below par.

Vinicius, on the other hand, has outperformed his xG (12), averaging a goal every 169 minutes for Madrid.

The 21-year-old has also created 64 chances in comparison to Neymar's 28. However, when assessed per 90 minutes, the former Barcelona star crafts 2.1 opportunities, which is not far behind Vinicius' 2.3.

Neymar is also a more proficient dribbler, completing 3.6 dribbles per 90 minutes in comparison to Vinicius' 3.4, while he also creates 0.5 big chances per 90, as opposed to the Madrid man's 1.6.

Anthony Martial explained his reason for leaving Manchester United on loan is that he wants to "enjoy football again".

Sevilla announced the temporary signing of the France international on Tuesday, with Martial moving to LaLiga until the end of the season.

While the finances behind the deal have not been revealed, it was reported that it will cost Sevilla roughly €6million, a fee that combines Martial's salary and a loan fee.

Sevilla sporting director Monchi did appear to confirm Martial took a pay cut to get the deal over the line, as United apparently wanted the forward's reported £240,000-a-week (€287,000) wages covered in full.

United interim boss Ralf Rangnick revealed last month that Martial wanted out after struggling for first-team football – he has played the full 90 minutes of a game only once this season and featured for just eight minutes since Rangnick's first game in early December.

Martial considers finding enjoyment again to be his priority.

"For me, it was just about the feeling I had with the manager [Julen Lopetegui], and I decided that at the moment I wanted to come to Sevilla," he told Sevilla's media channels.

"I spoke with him [Lopetegui] a few times, he was very excited to see me coming here to play.

"For me, it's a good club. Whatever, it's not just about money, it's to play and enjoy. That's it, that's why I chose to come here: to play and enjoy football again.

"I feel excited, it's a good club in Spain. I come to help and do a great job. I know they have good players, I'm just coming to help, give my best and try to win a trophy for the fans."

During a behind-the-scenes video of Martial's arrival and introduction to the club, Monchi thanked the striker for making the move happen.

"Thank you, in front of the president and vice president, for the effort you made to come here," he said.

"For us, it's important that a player wants to come here, but even more so that they want to come so much they make some economic sacrifices. It's an honour for us."

Martial could make his Sevilla debut against Osasuna after the international break.

He joins the club second in LaLiga and just four points behind leaders Real Madrid, with Lopetegui's men hoping to defy the odds by claiming a first league title since 1945-46.

They also remain in Europe and next month face Dinamo Zagreb in the knockout round play-offs of the Europa League, the final of which is to be held in Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in May.

Stefanos Tsitsipas revealed he had defied the expectations of his doctor after surging into the Australian Open semi-finals.

The world number four underwent surgery on his right elbow in November and barely had any competitive court time leading into the tournament in Melbourne.

His doctor suggested that taking part in the first grand slam of 2022 was a remote prospect, but the Greek reached the last four on Wednesday after a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win over Jannik Sinner.

"I'm pretty sure my doctor is watching right now," the 23-year-old said in his on-court interview. 

"We both didn't expect for me to be here, it was not part of our plan. He told me he didn't see me playing in Australia but I proved him wrong.

"He's a big tennis enthusiast and I am happy I found the right person to bring me back even stronger."

Tsitsipas outclassed Sinner on Rod Laver Arena to move into a second consecutive Australian Open semi-final and third in four years.

The Greek fourth seed broke early in each set on his way to a third win in four meetings with 11th seed Sinner, who was playing his second grand slam quarter-final.

Not even a brief rain delay that led to the roof being closed early in the second set could slow Tsitsipas, who delivered his best performance of the tournament so far.

"I am very, very happy with the way I served and used my tactics," he said. "Having the crowd support, it is truly unbelievable.

"It is part of the game. You never know what to expect from the weather. I knew I was heading towards the right direction.

"The conditions might have changed a little bit – slightly faster, not as bouncy – so my mind did. I tried to adapt and it just worked."

Tsitsipas will face either Daniil Medvedev or Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals.

Joel Embiid has no plans to let up after putting on another dominating performance as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated a depleted New Orleans Pelicans side on Tuesday.

Embiid had 42 points alongside 14 rebounds and four assists for the 76ers, who ran out 117-107 victors at the Wells Fargo Center.

Having been criticised in the past for missing games, Embiid recently revealed he has altered his diet in order to compete more regularly.

It certainly seems to have done the trick. Tuesday's game was his 19th in a row, helping Philly to a 13-6 run in that time, during which he is averaging 33.3 points to enhance his MVP credentials having finished runner-up last season.

"That was one of my goals, just to be available. I don't plan on stopping," said Embiid, whose 76ers side are now 28-19 and sixth in the East.

The Pelicans actually led 58-50 at the break despite missing starters Devonte Graham, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram with ankle injuries, while Jonas Valanciunas was rested. Zion Williamson is also still out with the foot injury that has kept him out all season.

Asked what the thought process was for the second half, Embiid said: "Just win.

"Just being aggressive because in the first half everything was easy for them."

Embiid was not the only player to go off on Tuesday, with Nikola Jokic leading the Denver Nuggets in their 110-105 defeat of the Detroit Pistons, which leaves them sixth in the West with a 25-21 record.

Jokic had 28 points, 21 rebounds and nine assists but was uninterested in re-watching the film to try and find an extra assist that would have given him a triple-double.

"I'm not worried about that," he said. 

"It was a good game for me and a huge win for our team. I knew I was having a big night, but I wasn't thinking about the stats."

During the game, Jokic chalked up a 3,000th career NBA assist. He is now the only Denver player to record 3,000 assists and 5,000 rebounds in the NBA.

"It's hard to keep track of all the milestones he's passing," head coach Michael Malone said. 

"He just won Western Conference Player of the Week, and then he has 28, 21 and nine tonight."

Team-mate Jeff Green, who had 20 points himself, added of Jokic: "It's incredible to play with Jokic – he's one of the best players I've ever been on the floor with. 

"When you are out there with him, you know that if you do your job, you're going to get open shots. The defense has to focus on him."

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