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The week in numbers: w/e 29/1/12

Azarenka won both her first major and gained the number 1 ranking (image courtesy of Mark Howard/Flickr)

1 – Having lost the opening two games of the Australian Open final, Victoria Azarenka won 12 of the next 13 games to defeat Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-0, winning her first Grand Slam tournament and taking over the number one ranking.

15 – This was the third time in the last six tournaments that only 15 games were required to complete the ladies’ singles final. On each occasion the losing finalist was Russian (Sharapova in 2007 and 2012, Dinara Safina in 2009).

7 –  A joint-England-record seven players failed to score more than one run as the tourists were skittled out for 72 in pursuit of a target of 145 to give Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead in the second of their three-match series.

22 – 22 wickets fell in one day as New Zealand inflicted Zimbabwe’s record defeat to win their one-off Test in Napier by an innings. New Zealand declared on 495/7 before dismissing Zimbabwe for 51 and then 143 following on.

4Andy Murray‘s 6-3 3-6 6-7 6-1 7-5 defeat by Novak Djokovic made him the first player to be eliminated in the semi-finals of four successive Grand Slam tournaments.

3 – The four men’s semi-finalists were Murray, Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. This marked the first time in the Open era that the same four men had contested the semi-finals of three consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.

Djokovic won his third Australian Open in an epic match with Nadal (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

3 – And for the third straight Grand Slam tournament, Djokovic and Nadal contested the final, with the Serbian winning 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5. It was also Djokovic’s seventh straight victory over Nadal.

353 – At 353 minutes (5 hours 53 minutes), the final was the longest singles match in Australian Open history, and the longest Grand Slam final ever in the Open era.

1 – Ethiopia’s Ayele Abshero won the Dubai Marathon – his first competitive race at the distance – in 2:04.23. It was the fourth-fastest time ever and the fastest-ever debut time.

4 – A record four men ran under 2:05 in Dubai. Prior to the race there had been only 13 sub-2:05 times, and never more than two in the same race.

386Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke put on a partnership of 386, the highest in Tests between Australia and India, as Australia completed a 4-0 series whitewash in Adelaide.

626Clarke finishes the four-match series with 626 runs, more than India’s opening three batsmen combined (573).

2 – 34-year old Robert Rock, ranked 117th in the world, lived up to his name as he won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, beating Rory McIlroy by one stroke and Tiger Woods, Graeme McDowell and Thomas Bjorn by two. It was only his second career victory.

14 – Age of Lydia Ko (14 years 280 days), who became the youngest ever golfer to win a professional tour event with a four-shot victory at the women’s New South Wales Open.

15 – Ridden by Ruby WalshBig Buck’s won his 15th consecutive hurdles race to move to within one win of Sir Ken’s all-time record set in the 1950s.

7 – Barcelona drew 2-2 with Real Madrid to win their third Copa del Rey tie 4-3 on aggregate. They are now undefeated against Madrid in seven consecutive games – a new club record.

The FA Cup in numbers

Van Persie inspired Arsenal's comeback with a brace of penalties (image courtesy of arsenal.com)

33 – Robin van Persie scored two penalties as Arsenal recovered from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 and set a new record of 33 consecutive games unbeaten at home in the FA Cup proper.

25Watford had 25 shots against Tottenham but failed to score as Rafael Van der Vaart’s first-half strike gave Spurs a 1-0 win.

1 – In their fourth ever FA Cup meeting, Norwich won 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion. In their prior three meetings, West Brom had won each time and had never conceded a goal.

6Birmingham won 4-0 at Sheffield United. In six meetings, they have never lost to the Blades (four wins, two draws).

1Stevenage beat Notts County 1-0 to reach the fifth round for the first time in their history.

2Bolton beat Swansea 2-1 in only their second ever FA Cup encounter. Their one prior meeting was in 1926, when Bolton went on to lift the trophy.

(Some statistics courtesy of Opta Sports, The Times, StatManJon and Infostrada.)

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About Tim
Father of three. Bit of a geek. That's all, folks.

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