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Sharapova's Twitter debut; Murray's new look

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Sharapova's Twitter debut; Murray's new look

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Maria Sharapova has made her Twitter debut at the Australian Open, and she's tweeting on THE trend of this year's tournament.

``Everyone got dressed in the same closet, wearing yellow on court at the aus open,'' she tweeted Tuesday. It was only her second posting and she already had more than 50,000 followers.

Yellow is hands down the color of choice among players - or rather, sponsors - at this year's Australian Open. Yellow sneakers, yellow shorts, yellow dresses, yellow visors.

For fans in the upper decks, it can be hard to tell who's who on certain courts.

Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki wore a white-and-pale yellow tennis dress designed as part of her Adidas line with Stella McCartney.

It was very similar to the white-and-pale yellow Nike dress on her opponent, German Sabine Lisicki. It didn't help that both wore visors over their blond ponytails. Wozniacki won and faces Donna Vekic of Croatia in the second round.

Some men were sporting yellow, too, including France's Gael Monfils whose fluorescent muscle T-shirt matched the tennis balls and was only slightly brighter than the yellow shirt of his 18th-seeded opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov.

``The colors are a joke,'' said 73rd-ranked Timea Babos of Hungary. ``It's the same for everyone - yellow, grey and white.''

She should know. Way out on Court 22, Babos played hard and lost to France's Kristina Mladenovic, 6-3, 4-6, 11-9 in a nearly three-hour battle against a player who looked like her mirror image.

The two wore identical yellow tank dresses with white and gray trim - which provided some comic relief, Babos said, smiling through tears after her loss.

``Having the same outfit was hilarious,'' she said, adding that it was the talk of the locker room. ``Everyone was joking about it. They said, `It doesn't matter, you look better.'''

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ADVICE FROM CHINA: French Open champion Li Na had some advice for her close friend and compatriot Wu Di the night before he made history by becoming the first Chinese man to play in the singles draw of a Grand Slam tournament in the Open era.

``Last night before I go to bed I get a text message from her,'' said Wu, who is from Li's hometown of Wuhan and frequently practices with her. ``She told me, `Don't be nervous. Don't think about tennis. Just go to bed. Your answer will be tomorrow, not tonight. So, don't think about anything else.'''

Li speaks from experience. She became the first Asian player to reach a Grand Slam final at the 2011 Australian Open and then the first Asian winner of a Grand Slam at Roland Garros.

Wu, ranked 186th in the world, lost his first-round match Tuesday at Melbourne Park against Croatia's Ivan Dodig, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. But he the 21-year-old who mostly plays on the lower-level Challenger and Futures circuits fought hard.

The speedy Wu kept points lively as he ran down Dodig's heavy forehands and drop shots and forced the Croatian player into countless errors. When he broke Dodig's serve to go up 5-4 in the second set, his red-clad Chinese supporters in the stands broke into a raucous cheer: ``Jia you, Wu Di,'' which roughly translates as ``Let's go, Wu Di.''

Frenchman David Moreau, Wu's coach for the past eight months, said the Chinese player has the game to compete in more Grand Slams but he needs to be more decisive and aggressive on court.

``Of course, he needs to improve his serve. He's a short guy, but he's been improving a lot already. And now it's going to be about moving forward into the court,'' he said.

Wu is aiming to qualify for the French Open men's draw next, but isn't so optimistic about his chances.

``Of course, I want to participate two Grand Slams in a row, but red clay is not my strongest surface,'' he said.

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ANDY'S NEW LOOK: Andy Murray has had to explain that his chest is not more muscular, it just looks that way because he's wearing a tighter shirt this year.

Since Murray started working with coach Ivan Lendl, he has certainly bulked up.

``Most of the weight that I put on is in my legs. But the T-shirt I'm wearing is tighter,'' said the stolid Scotsman, when told he seemed to be filling out his shirt better this year.

In his mumbling monotone, the 25-year-old added: ``It's not that I'm any bigger in my upper body. It's just because of the tightness of the T-shirt, maybe it appears that way.''

Third-ranked Murray advanced to the second round at the Australian Open on Tuesday, beating Robin Haase of the Netherlands in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

It was his first Grand Slam match since his career-changing win at the U.S. Open in September, which came shortly after he won the men's gold medal at the London Olympics.

He attributes much of his success to Lendl. During an on-court interview he joked that Lendl is relaxed ``in front of the cameras, yeah,'' but, ``behind closed doors he works me very hard.''

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A TRUE FAN: It was a first-round match so important for Caroline Wozniacki that it kept her golf star boyfriend, Rory McIlroy, awake at night.

The former No. 1-ranked Wozniacki came back from 3-0 down in the final set to win the last six games of the match against big-hitting Lisicki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

McIlroy got up at 3 a.m. to watch from Abu Dhabi, where he's preparing to play in this weekend's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championships. He was coming off a busy day himself after the announcement of his lucrative multi-year contract with Nike.

Of course, the multimillion dollar golf contract became a topic of conversation.

``It wasn't really a big surprise to me. I kind of knew,'' she said to laughter in her post-match press conference. ``I felt bad for him because I think he went to bed at midnight their time and woke up at 3 and watched me and then back to sleep for a couple of hours.''

``That's a true fan,'' she added.

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Associated Press writer Justin Bergman contributed to this report.

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS