The Australian summer of tennis is heating up and Bulgarian ace Grigor Dimitrov fired the first ace with an impressive three set victory over Japanese star Kei Nishikori in Brisbane.
Overseas, the NFL playoffs got underway with the Wildcard Playoffs as the Seahawks took care of business against the Detroit Lions while the Pittsburgh Steelers crushed the undermanned Miami Dolphins.
Here’s our top 5 countdown to the top 5 weekend highlights.
5 - NFL - Seahawks tame the Lions in NFC Wildcard Playoff
The feared ‘12th man’ was in full voice in Seattle as Russell Wilson and the Seahawks eliminated the Detroit Lions from the NFL Playoffs with a 26-6 victory in the NFC Wildcard Playoff.
Running Back Thomas Rawls was a powerhouse on the ground rushing for a franchise playoff record of 161 yards to go along with one touchdown.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman told ESPN said the Seahawks looked like the Seattle of old. “This felt like old times. This felt great,’’ he said.
4 - Racing - Dal Cielo takes out Summer Sprint at Warwick Farm
New Zealand four-year-old Dal Cielo lived up to the hype with a sizzling sprint in the Summer Sprint (1000m) at Warwick Farm.
A former Group 1 winner as a two-year-old, Dal Cielo clocked a slick 57.7secs and won by two lengths over Hurrara in second and Oxford Poet in third.
3 - Cricket - Watto turns backs the clock with Thunderous hitting in Big Bash
Much-maligned former Australian Test batsman Shane Watson turned turned back the clock as the Thunder blew away the Hurricanes by six wickets in Sunday’s Big Bash clash in Hobart.
Chasing the Hurricanes' 8/161, the defending champions comfortably chased their home side's modest total with Watson clubbing 55 off 31 at a thunderous strike rate of 177.42 in an innings which included two fours and five sixes.
2 - Djokovic and Dimitrov clinch first titles of year
Former world number 1 Novak Djokovic and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov kick-started the new year with a bang after claiming ATP titles in Doha, Qatar and Brisbane respectively.
Djokovic exacted revenge on current world no.1 Murray, whole stole his number 1 ranking last year, with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory while Dimitrov was superb in disposing of in-form Japanese star Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
The Bulgarian secured his 5th ATP Tour title and his first in Brisbane, and if his form is any indication, he could be set for a huge Australian summer.
1 - Sky Blues still sky high at top of A-League ladder
Unbeaten A-League leaders Sydney FC are still at the summit of the A-League ladder after surviving a scare against the lowly Central Coast Mariners.
Graham Arnold’s men surrendered a 2-0 lead after a Bobo brace and were 2-2 with the Mariners deep in the second half before substitute David Carney netted a controversial match-winner in the 77th minute.
The win keeps Sydney’s unbeaten record intact while maintaining their 7-point lead at the top of the ladder over second placed Melbourne Victory.
Next up for the league leaders is a Sydney derby stoush with the Wanderers this Saturday.
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