Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is out of the Australian Open after a 6-4 7-5 defeat by 19-year-old Madison Keys, BBC reports. The American teenager broke the Czech fourth seed at 5-5 in the final set of the third-round match. Keys, coached by three-time Grand Slam singles champion Lindsay Davenport, screamed with delight on sealing victory in Melbourne. The world number 35 plays Madison Brengle in the fourth round as four United States players made the last 16. “My hands are still shaking, right now I can’t even process this, I’m just so excited,” said Keys. Kvitova, winner of Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, has never made it past the last four of the Australian Open. Last year she was beaten in her first match by Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum, playing in just her second Grand Slam tournament.
Formular 1 star, Fernando Alonso, will be the first man to test the new McLaren car as the team begin their engine partnership with Honda. The Spaniard will drive the MP4-30 on the first day of the first pre-season test, at Jerez, Spain, on 1-4 February. Team-mate Jenson Button will test it on the second and fourth days, with Alonso driving on the third. Alonso, 33, who has joined from Ferrari, wrote on social media that he was ready to enjoy the challenge. McLaren are taking a similar approach to testing to Mercedes, for whom Nico Rosberg drives on the first day of testing before alternating with world champion Lewis Hamilton thereafter. McLaren will unveil their new car online on 29 January, a day before the wraps come off the 2015 Ferrari, also via the internet. Mercedes are to wait until the morning of 1 February before revealing their new W06. Williams on Wednesday became the first team to release images of their new car.
The world governing body of snooker has submitted a bid to have the sport included at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, BBC reports. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association says snooker should be accepted because of its worldwide appeal. Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “It has been our belief for some time that we should be given our chance on the ultimate global platform for sport.” Tokyo can accept at least one new sport to its Olympic programme. The International Olympic Committee recently changed its rules to allow new sports to enter the Games more easily to freshen up the programme. The approved list of sports has already been agreed and any late inclusion would have to be preceded by a request from the organisers. Ferguson added: “Snooker alone is watched by nearly half a billion people worldwide and played competitively in over 90 countries.” Baseball and softball are seen as favourites to be named for inclusion due to the sports’ popularity in Japan. The last sports to be admitted to the Olympics were golf and rugby sevens, which will be part of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Drug cheats in sports now face a minimum four-year ban under new rules which came into effect from 1 January. Changes to the World Anti-Doping Code, which unifies anti-doping rules for global sports, have increased the suspension for doping from two years. Other changes will see less leniency given for missed tests but possible reduced bans for helping investigators. The punishment for missing three tests within a 12-month period has been increased from 18 months to two years. While deliberate cheating leads to a four-year ban, athletes guilty of “inadvertent doping” will receive a two-year ban – although they can get a reduction if they have “substantial proof that they were not at fault or intending to cheat”. Wada said the 2015 code had more incentive for anyone providing “substantial assistance” in uncovering doping. “Admitting a violation can be rewarded with a reduced ban, with Wada having the final say. In exceptional cases, Wada has the power to eliminate a ban entirely and offer complete confidentiality for substantial assistance,” it said. The revised code was agreed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) in November after over 18 months of research by the governing body.
Real Madrid have reached a deal to sign midfielder Lucas Silva from Brazilian club Cruzeiro on a long-term contract for a reported transfer fee of £9.7m, BBC reports. The 21-year-old has signed a contract keeping him with the European champions until June 30, 2020, although he still has to pass his medical. Silva has represented Brazil at Under-21 level and has helped his club side win the league in 2013 and 2014. Silva is set to be presented to the club’s fans at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Monday. European champions Real are currently one point clear at the top of La Liga.