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WORLD SPORTS at 1330 GMT
Associated Press
2014-01-16 10:01 PM

TOP STORY:

TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Maria Sharapova toiled in 43-degree Celsius (109 F) temperatures for more than 3 1/2 hours on Rod Laver Arena and could count herself among the unlucky early starters at the oppressively hot Australian Open on Thursday. After organizers finally decided to suspend matches due to extreme temperatures in a heat wave gripping southeastern Australia, late lighting and rain caused further delays on day four. SENT. By Dennis Passa.

NEW/DEVELOPING:

CAR--F1-ECCLESTONE TRIAL

BERLIN -- Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone will go on trial on bribery charges in Germany, likely in late April, a court said Thursday. SENT. By Geir Moulson. 400 words.

FOOTBALL:

SOC--ENGLISH PREVIEW

LONDON -- Five things to know about the weekend's Premier League matches. By Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. By 1700 GMT.

SOC--SPANISH PREVIEW

MADRID -- Fresh off his Ballon d'Or triumph, Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid teammates start the second half of the Spanish season looking to put pressure on leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. SENT. By Paul Logothetis. 550 words.

SOC--ITALIAN ROUNDUP

MILAN -- Former AC Milan player Clarence Seedorf is taking charge of his first match as manager of the Serie A team when it hosts in-form Hellas Verona this weekend. By Daniella Matar. UPCOMING. 700 words.

TENNIS:

TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-FEDERER

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Roger Federer joked that he left the locker room early on Thursday to make sure he could find the way to an unfamiliar court. It was the first time in a decade that Federer was not given prime billing at Rod Laver Arena, the 15,000-seat center court where he had played 63 Australian Open matches in a row and won four of his 17 Grand Slam trophies. SENT. By Jocelyn Gecker. 450 words.

TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-EXTREME HEAT

MELBOURNE, Australia -- The scorching weather finally brought play to a halt on the fourth day of the Australian Open when the temperature topped 43 Celsius (109F), but not soon enough for some players who criticized officials for not stopping matches earlier. SENT. By Justin Bergman. 600 words.

MOTOR SPORTS:

CAR--MONTE CARLO RALLY

PARIS -- As he continues his comeback from serious injury, Robert Kubica makes an impressive start on the first day of the Monte Carlo rally, driving superbly to take the early lead after the first two stages. The Polish driver's Formula One career ended when he suffered near-fatal hand and wrist injuries in a minor rally in Italy in three years ago and underwent extensive surgery. He is starting his first full season in the world rally championship. By 1500 GMT. By Jerome Pugmire.

CAR--F1-PIRELLI

PARIS -- Pirelli has secured a new three-year contract with motor sport's governing body to remain Formula One's sole tire supplier, a welcome relief for the Italian manufacturer following an extremely difficult season. Has moved. 400 words. By Jerome Pugmire.

CRICKET:

CRI--PAKISTAN-SRI LANKA

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates -- Kumar Sangakkara hit a chancy 44th test fifty as Sri Lanka prodded to 133-3 at tea on a flat wicket in the decisive third test against Pakistan on Thursday. SENT. By Rizwan Ali. 450 words.

BASKETBALL:

BKN--NBA IN LONDON

LONDON -- The NBA leadership discusses global expansion and the fallout from Dennis Rodman's contentious trip to North Korea. By Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. By 1500 GMT.

BKN--NETS-HAWKS

LONDON -- The Atlanta Hawks host the Brooklyn Nets at London's O2 Arena as part of the NBA's annual trip to the British capital. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos, by 2200 GMT.

YOUR QUERIES: Questions and story requests are welcome. Contact your local AP bureau or the AP International Sports Desk in London by telephone at 44-207-427-4105 or email lonsports@ap.org.

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