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Round up of internet friendly stories of the day

posted 31 Jan 2011, 12:41 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 31 Jan 2011, 12:49 ]

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic celebrates his second Australian Open victory.

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 31, 2011) REUTERS - 
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic posed with his Australian Open trophy on Monday (January 31) after thrashing Britain's Andy Murray in the men's final at Melbourne Park at the weekend.



Djokovic swapped his tennis clothes for T-shirt and jeans and appeared elated holding the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup at Melbourne Cricket Ground before flying back home later in the day.

The win earned him his second grand slam and Australian Open title.

"Since I woke up this morning I started realising you know how big of a success it is and it's so nice to have this trophy again. It's the best way to start a season," he said.

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South Korean soccer captain Park Ji-sung formally announced his retirement from the national team on Monday, but the Manchester United midfielder said he still has a few more years of football left in him.

The 29-year-old represented his country for 11 years. The highlight of his career was the South Korean team's semi-final finish at the 2002 World Cup finals co-hosted by South Korea and Japan.

"It's been an honour to play on the national team uniform that I'd dreamed of wearing as a young boy. I'm still young to retire from the team, so I feel very sorry to make this decision," Park told a news conference in Seoul. "I'm retiring (from the national team) because I think this is the best decision for myself and for the national team."

He said he would like to provide more opportunities to junior players with great potential and passion to experience big matches.

Park said he will be playing a few more years as a professional soccer player.

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Mercedes have shown how their new 2011 MGP W02 model will look like on Monday when they unveiled photographs, 24 hours before the car's first appearance at Formula One pre-season testing in Spain.

Alongside team drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg at the Mercedes headquarters in Stuttgart were German chancellor Angela Merkel and former footballer Franz Beckenbauer.

Schumacher had a disappointing return to Formula One last season after a three-year absence. In his 19 races with Mercedes his best result was fourth place in Spain, Turkey and South Korea.

The 42 year-old, who finished the 2010 season in ninth place, said he expects progress for him and for Mercedes in 2011.

"Naturally we expect to have built a car that would give us the ability to go back to the winning road. Can we win and drive for the championship this year? I think it is optimistic but let's be optimistic and try. Nevertheless the car of this year should allow us to at least fight for podium and victories and you have to se it in a development process and at the time we decided on a three-year programme to be back to the championship position. So, we are in the right direction on this road," said the seven times world champion.

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Sauber presented their 2011 Formula One car on Monday with a welcome display of new Mexican sponsors where last year there was only a gleaming expanse of white.

The arrival of Mexican rookie Sergio Perez, as team mate to Japanese Kamui Kobayashi, has been accompanied by five backers including the country's telecommunications giant Telmex and Tequila brand Jose Cuervo.

Sauber finished ninth among the 12 teams in the constructors championship and their established driver Kobayashi was 12th in the drivers standings.

Exactly a year ago in Valencia, the Swiss-based team rolled out their first car since the split from BMW with barely a sponsor in sight.

BMW had pulled out of the sport abruptly at the end of 2009, and a planned takeover by Qadbak Investment had come to nothing, leaving principal Peter Sauber racing to save the team he founded in 1993.

As Perez and Kobayashi pulled a tarpaulin off the Ferrari-powered C30 in front of reporters and photographers on a chilly Valencia pit straight, there was still a fair expanse of white on the car.

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Renault unveiled their new black and gold Lotus-backed Formula One car on Monday (January 31) with a determination to be winners again after two seasons without success.

Using the slogans 'Black to the Future' and 'Black to Business', team bosses said the R31 represented a real step

forward as well as harking back to a glorious past when Lotus and Renault were partners in the 1980s with a similar livery.

Owner Gerard Lopez, whose Genii group last year bought out French carmaker Renault's remaining 25 percent stake and now owns 100 percent of the team, said the new car, aside from the engine, was 92 percent new parts compared to the 2010 chassis and "quite revolutionary in a number of areas".

While Kubica, a race winner with BMW-Sauber, is highly-rated as one of the best in the business, Petrov still has plenty to prove after a difficult rookie season when he was overshadowed by his team mate.

The Russian will, however, feel reassured by a two-year contract in his pocket as well as returning to circuits he now

knows.

Renault, who last won a race in 2008 with Spain's Fernando Alonso, ended last season fifth overall.

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