Lunchtime Sports Update

TENNIS

Roger Federer has had a good start to the defence of his Australian Open men’s singles title in Melbourne.

The 19 time Grand Slam winner has recorded a straight sets win over Aljaz Bedene.


It took just an hour and 40 minutes to complete a 6-3 6-4 6-3 victory over the former British Number 2.

There were also wins for Maria Sharapova and Johanna Konta this morning, but two time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitovį has suffered a first round defeat.

Novak Djokovic has played down reports that he called for an Australian Open boycott in a demand for more prize money.

The former World Number One is said to have suggested forming a breakaway players’ union during a meeting on Friday.

Djokovic beat Donald Young in the first round of the Grand Slam in Melbourne this morning

It was his first competitive match since July due to an elbow injury.

The Serb says reports about a revolt have been taken out of context

SOCCER

Manchester United are said to be confident of signing Alexis Sanchez despite Chelsea’s late interest.

United are front runners for Chilean striker after Manchester City withdrew their interest.

Chelsea have yet to make a formal bid, but manager Antonio Conte says he is a player he has been interested in in the past.

RUGBY

Jonathan Sexton appears to be fit for Leinster’s final Champions Cup Pool match against Montpellier.

The Ireland out half injured his neck while scoring a try during the weekend’s win over Glasgow at the R-D-S, but he was able to continue playing.

The Province have released an update, which states they have no new significant injuries heading into Saturday’s game in France.

Jaime Roberts and Luke Charteris have been left out of the Wales squad for the upcoming Six Nations.

The injured Taulupe Faletau and George North are included, as are the uncapped Scarlets Flanker James Davies and Worcester wing Josh Adams.

Alun Wyn Jones will captain the side who are due to play Ireland in Dublin on the 24th February.

MOTORSPORT

Williams have signed Sergey Sirotkin to be their second driver for the upcoming Formula One season.

The Russian will partner Canadian Lance Stroll.

Robert Kubica has been named as reserve.

The Pole has not raced in F-1 since suffering heavy injuries in a rally crash seven years ago.

HORSE RACING

A host of star names and Cheltenham hopefuls from Willie Mullins’ yard are set to head to Leopardstown for the new Dublin Racing Festival early next month.

Wins for the likes of Getabird in recent days have helped exorcise the ghost of a nightmare Christmas Festival at the track when almost nothing went according to plan.

Three wins at the weekend have helped the trainer’s son Patrick move closer to his personal ambition as an Amateur and he’s now much looking forward to the weeks that lie ahead.

Patrick Mullins was asked what’s the next landmark figure for him