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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Jan. 7, 2013 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

Doug Marrone is new Buffalo Bills coach

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Doug Marrone, who had a 25-25-record in four seasons as a college coach, was introduced Monday as the coach the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

Marrone, 48, coached Syracuse the last four seasons, posting an 8-5 overall mark and 5-2 Big East record in 2012. That left him 25-25 in his career as head coach. While the .500 mark isn't imposing, the Orange were 10-37 in the four seasons before Marrone took over.

He previously worked in the NFL as offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-08 and offensive line coach for the New York Jets from 2002-05.

Marrone replaces Chan Gailey, who was 34-46 in three seasons as the Bills coach. Buffalo was 6-10 in 2012, missing the playoffs for a 13th consecutive season.


Djokovic given No. 1 seed in Australia

MELBOURNE, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, going for a third consecutive Australian Open championship, on Monday was announced as the top seed for the 2013 tournament.

It is little surprise that Djokovic was made the No. 1 seed, with the top ranking and 2012 and 2011 men's singles titles in his favor. He defeated Rafael Nadal in five sets last January in the 2012 final.

Roger Federer, who owns four Australian Open titles, is the second seed and Andy Murray, a two-time tournament runner-up, is third.

The seedings for the 2013 men's singles basically follow the ATP rankings. However, world No. 4-ranked Rafael Nadal last month withdrew from the Australian Open, citing recovery from a stomach virus. He hasn't played an ATP event since losing in the second round at Wimbledon last year.

That leaves the No. 4 seed in Melbourne to world No. 5 David Ferrer.

Tomas Berdych was seeded fifth followed by, in order, Juan Martin del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic. Each are seeded one spot higher than their rankings.

The second eight -- seeds 9-16 -- are: Richard Gasquet, Nicolas Almagro, Juan Monaco, John Isner, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic, Gilles Simon and Stanislas Wawrinka.

The 2013 Australian Open runs from Jan. 14-27.


Azarenka top women's seed in Melbourne

MELBOURNE, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Victoria Azarenka was announced as the No. 1 women's seed for the Australian Open, where last year she won her first Grand Slam title.

Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova in straight sets in winning the 2012 women's singles title in Melbourne in 2012.

In addition to the first major title, the win allowed Azarenka to reach No. 1 in the rankings for the first time. She's been No. 1 for 46 of the 50 weeks since.

The women's singles seedings, announced Monday, follow the WTA rankings. The draws for the event are to be announced Friday. The tournament opens next Monday and the women's singles final is scheduled for Jan. 26.

Sharapova is seeded second and much attention will be placed Friday in which side of the draw organizers place third-seeded Serena Williams, who has lost just two matches since last March. Sharapova won the French Open last year but Williams took Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Williams has won the Australian Open five times, most recently in 2010.

Agnieszka Radwanska is the No. 4 seed, with No. 5 Angelique Kerber, sixth-seeded Li Na, seventh-seed Sara Errani and No. 8 Petra Kvitova in the next tier.

Seeds 9-16 are, in order: Samantha Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Kirilenko, Dominika Cibulkova and Roberta Vinci.


Messi collects fourth FIFA Ballon d'Or

ZURICH, Switzerland, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Lionel Messi was announced Monday as the winner of the FIFA Ballon d'Or, symbolic of being the best soccer player in the world in 2012.

It was the record fourth consecutive year that Messi was selected Player of the Year. He was second in the voting in 2007 and '08.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who played for Real Madrid and Portugal, came in second to Messi. It was the fourth time since 2007 Ronaldo was second in the Ballon d'Or balloting. Andres Iniesta, from Barcelona and Spain, was third. He was second a year ago.

Messi set a calendar-year record with 91 total goals last year for Barcelona as a professional player and the Argentine national team.

"To tell the truth, this is really quite unbelievable," Messi said at the announcement ceremony. "The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words.

"I would like to thank my other colleagues from Barcelona. Iniesta, it has been great to train and play alongside you. I would also like to recognize all my friends from the Argentinean national team."

U.S. player Abby Wambach won the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award with her teammate Alex Morgan, the runner-up. Brazil's Marta, who has won the honor five times and been second twice, came in third for 2012.

The FIFA Men's Coach of the Year was Vicente del Bosque, who leads the Spanish national men's team. The FIFA Women's Coach of the Year was Pia Sundhage who recently resigned as coach of the U.S. women's team. Both the Spanish men and the U.S. women are ranked No. 1 in the world.

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