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Federer finds surface issues

tennis: Six-time champion Roger Federer said a slower court may be to blame for the one-sided scores at the ATP World Tour Finals, the showcase event on the men's tennis tour.

The first five matches between the top eight players in the world all went the same way: straight sets.

"The court plays somewhat slow," Federer said after US Open finalist Kei Nishikori took just five games from him.

"The serve doesn't have that much of an impact," Federer said. "Whoever's better from the baseline has the upper hand, then dominates. I think that's why we're seeing heavy scorelines, because it's just hard to serve your way out of trouble. It's almost not possible time and time again."

McLaren clock ticking

formula one: McLaren racing director Eric Boullier is to sit down with CEO Ron Dennis this week for a final round of talks in a bid to resolve the team's driver line-up for 2015.

Discussions have been ongoing for some time as they mull over who should partner the returning Fernando Alonso, who is due to be confirmed by the end of next week.

As to his team-mate, Boullier and Dennis have a difference of opinion, with the Frenchman favouring Jenson Button, whilst the latter prefers Kevin Magnussen.

With Dennis promising in early September to deliver an answer by the end of the campaign in Abu Dhabi, the clock is ticking, although he ultimately has the final call.

Froome hints at Tour

cycling: Chris Froome's stance on riding the 2015 Tour de France appears to be softening after he initially indicated a reluctance to ride the race.

The 2013 winner had suggested he may skip the Tour to instead target May's Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana, which begins in August. However, Froome has suggested he wants to lead the Tour once more.

"Looking to next year, my key goal is just returning to good condition and being at the front of a race again," the 29-year-old said.

"Whether it's the Tour or any other race, it's what I love."

Mullen going nowhere

CYCLING: Ryan Mullen Irish National Champion will spend another year with the An Post Chain Reaction Seán Kelly team for the 2015 season ahead.

The 20-year-old, who missed out on the gold medal by hundreths of a second in Spain in September at the World Time Trial Championships, has ended speculation by pledging his future to the Irish outfit.