Names In The News
The Australian Open "defended its decision" to ask MARIA SHARAPOVA to carry the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup into the draw ceremony, arguing that she was the only former champion who was available for the showpiece event. In "normal circumstances," defending champion SERENA WILLIAMS would have appeared at the draw, but she is at home in Florida with her four-month-old daughter (London TELEGRAPH, 1/11). ... ALBERTO CONTADOR signed with Eurosport as a cycling commentator. He will join the team formed by ANTONIO ALIX, EDUARDO CHOZAS, LUIS JIMENEZ, JUAN ANTONIO FLECHA and LAURA MESEGUER (CYCLING PUB, 1/11).
BEHIND THE MIC: Snowboarder JENNY JONES joined the BBC lineup for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Jones, 37, "stole headlines at the 2014 Games" when she won Bronze in slopestyle to become the first Briton to win an Olympic medal in a snow event. British Gold Medalists JAYNE TORVILL, CHRISTOPHER DEAN, ROBIN COUSINS and AMY WILLIAMS are also on the BBC team (BBC). ... RIKKI SWANNELL was confirmed as Sky TV's first female Super Rugby play-by-play commentator. It is not the first time Swannell has "contributed to the expanding diversity in sport commentating." She became the first woman to lead the commentary of a men's cricket game last year (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 1/11).