杭州夜生活

David Jones’ new owner makes big changes

Sales at David Jones have soared under its new South African owner, which says it wants to turn the retailer into one of the world’s best.

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South Africa’s Woolworths bought David Jones for $2.1 billion in 2014, and after taking control in August has significantly improved its sales performance and delivered an operating profit of $161 million.

David Jones’ last annual profit reported as a publicly listed company was $95 million, in 2012/13.

Sales grew 10.7 per cent in the six months to June, as almost 200 brands were taken off David Jones’ shelves and excess stock was reduced.

The amount of floor space dedicated to Woolworths-owned labels, including Country Road, Witchery and Mimco, was also increased.

Woolworths chief executive Ian Moir said he has big plans for David Jones, including huge improvements in customer service.

“The customer experience has got to be the best in Australia, and as difficult as this sounds we want it to be the best in the world,” he said.

“We’ll be spending a lot of money, achieving that is more important than anything else.”

New stores will also be opened, but with different formats than many customers are used to, such as the recently flagged concept store at Sydney’s new Barangaroo harbourside precinct.

“We see real growth for that business and we see ourselves driving a better relationship with the customer, driving much higher turnover, taking more market share and employing many more people,” Mr Moir said.

Plans to sell the company-owned flagship Market Street store in Sydney’s CBD and Bourke Street store in Melbourne are continuing, with the funds to be used for a major transformation of those sites once they are leased back.

“What we want to do is we want to have bigger businesses, with more on offer, more exciting environments, with a higher turnover than we currently have,” he said.

While the Australian economy appears set for challenging times, the higher income consumers David Jones is targeting are proving resilient, Mr Moir said.

杭州夜生活

Folau wins second straight Eales Medal

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau has added to an already bulging portfolio of accolades and awards by becoming the first player to win the John Eales Medal in successive years.

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NSW Waratahs star Folau polled 138 votes on Thursday evening to beat two flankers, the Brumbies’ David Pocock (113) and NSW’s Michael Hooper (108).

NSW utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper (98) and Western Force back-rower Ben McCalman (95) rounded out the top five.

Folau, only in his third year of playing rugby after time in the NRL and AFL, is just the third player to win the medal twice after flanker George Smith (2002, 2008) and lock Nathan Sharpe (2007, 2012).

The medal is voted for by the Wallabies’ match-day squad on a 3-2-1 basis after each Test match.

The voting period for this year’s medal took in the Tests from the 2014 spring tour to the second Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand earlier this month.

The three-code footballer recently signed a new three-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union and the Waratahs.

Folau received the medal at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse just two days before the Wallabies leave Australia for a Test against the United States in Chicago on September 5, which will be their final hitout before the World Cup starts later that month in Britain.

He also picked up the award for Super Rugby try of the year after being deemed most responsible for Tolu Latu’s match-winning round-six five-pointer against the Brumbies.

Pocock, Hooper and fellow back-rower Sean McMahon were among other winners on the night.

Hooper won Australia’s choice for Wallaby of the year for a third straight year after polling the highest fan vote on the Rugby杭州桑拿会所,杭州桑拿网, website.

Pocock capped off a successful return from back-to-back season-ending knee injuries by winning the Australian Super Rugby player of the year award.

Melbourne Rebels star McMahon followed up his haul of three awards last year by being named Wallabies rookie of the year.

The Waratahs and their coach Michael Cheika were named Australian Super Rugby team and coach of the year respectively after they earned a second straight Australian conference title.

Towering Brumbies lock Rory Arnold was named Australian Super Rugby rookie of the year.

Other winners included Ed Jenkins (men’s sevens player of the year), Sharni Williams (women’s sevens player of the year), Ariana Kaiwai (women’s player of the year) and Queensland flanker Michael Gunn (Australian under-20s player of the year).

Inducted into the Wallaby Hall of Fame were pre-World War Two hooker John ‘Jock’ Blackwood, post-war halfback Cyril Burke and modern era centre, Tim Horan.

“It’s a huge privilege for me to get this award,” Folau said.

“What’s most rewarding for me is being recognised by my teammates – it’s a huge thing for me.

“I feel pretty lucky to get the award because there’s definitely guys within the squad who I personally think deserve this.”

Asked what parts of his game had improved since his medal win last year, Folau said: “I think probably trying to be a bit more consistent in the way that I’m playing and injecting myself in the game at the right time.

“This season, I haven’t scored as many tries and a lot of people have been talking about I haven’t been playing as good.

“But, for me, I’m really worried about just doing my job and I was really happy with the way things turned out regardless of how many tries I scored this year.

“For me, it’s not about that – it’s about playing consistent rugby and making sure I’m doing my role for the team.”

杭州夜生活

Stars back but Cotchin out in AFL teams

Lance Franklin, Matthew Pavlich and Jeremy McGovern are key inclusions this weekend but Richmond captain Trent Cotchin is a surprise omission from side to face Essendon.

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Cotchin will sit out the must-win match against the Bombers with a back complaint as the Tigers look to keep driving their top-four campaign.

The inspirational skipper will be missing for the first time in two and a half seasons.

With their season on the line, Geelong have recalled Daniel Menzel after an incredible four years out with successive knee injuries.

When Menzel, 23, last played the Cats were two matches from hoisting a premiership cup in 2011, while against Collingwood they’ must win to keep their finals hopes alive.

He told the club’s website he was “feeling every emotion possible”.

“I still am extremely excited but I guess the nerves and everything else will kick in pretty soon too,” he said.

With his AFL future undecided, James Kelly also comes into the Cats side for George Horlin-Smith (omitted) and Josh Caddy (knee).

Collingwood have swapped defenders, with Nathan Brown and Matt Scharenberg included at Jack Frost and Alan Toovey’s expense.

Both North Melbourne and Western Bulldogs have made changes in their potential elimination final preview.

The Dogs have decided Zaine Cordy will make his debut and have recalled Matt Boyd, Jordan Roughead and Liam Picken among six changes.

Assistant coach Brent Montgomery said Cordy, brother to team-mate Ayce, was a “fierce competitor”.

“(With) pretty strong bloodlines with the family, he knows what its all about, he’s hit the ground running since he’s been here,” he told the club’s website.

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has kept Daniel Wells back from a senior return for another week, swapping Jack Ziebell and Taylor Garner for Luke McDonald (sore) and Lindsay Thomas (foot).

In the wake of Luke Hodge’s suspension, Hawthorn have resisted the temptation to rest senior players for their trip to Tasmania to face lowly Brisbane.

Will Langford will play his first match in eight rounds, with David Hale and James Silicy joining him in the 22 at the expense of Ryan Schoenmakers (dropped) and Paul Puopolo (ankle).

A pair of wantaway stars are included for Saturday’s remaining matches, with Chris Yarran recalled amid Carlton’s injury crisis and Charlie Dixon overcoming his ankle woes for Gold Coast.

The table-topping West Australian sides play on Sunday and both have some big inclusions in their extended squads.

Fremantle look set to offset Nat Fyfe by returning Pavlich to face Melbourne, while McGovern has been named by the Eagles to travel to Adelaide.

For Sydney, Franklin could return alongside Tom Mitchell and Gary Rohan against St Kilda.

Swans coach John Longmire said he would give the trio “every chance to prove their fitness”.

They did various things and all what was required of them. The good news is its all looking positive for all three of them at the moment,” he told the club’s website.

杭州夜生活

Woodside expected to cut dividend

Woodside Petroleum shareholders are bracing for a big cut to their dividends after the energy giant flagged up to $US1.

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2 billion in writedowns due to the slump in oil prices.

The company has lowered its short and long term price assumptions as oil prices slide to 13-year lows, meaning Woodside expects to take an impairment charge of between $US1 billion ($A1.45 billion) and $US1.2 billion ($A1.74 billion) against its asset values.

That is expected to slash its 2015 net profit by between $US700 million and $US850 million when the oil and gas producer releases financial results in February.

Woodside made a net profit of $US2.4 billion in 2014.

Analysts say the damage caused by plunging prices will push dividends lower and could also affect the development timeline of Woodside’s key growth project, Browse, in north Western Australia.

US crude touched a low of $US26.30 overnight after the International Energy Agency warned the market could “drown in oversupply”.

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman remains upbeat, saying the company is now seeing the benefits of its work to boost productivity.

“The recent significant fall in oil and gas prices has highlighted the quality of our low cost production and approach to balance sheet risk management,” he said.

Fat Prophets Resources analyst David Lennox said the large writedowns were to be expected given weak oil prices.

“Woodside’s net profit will definitely be lower so one would expect that their dividend would be lower,” he said.

Woodside has previously maintained an 80 per cent dividend payout ratio.

Mr Lennox said if Woodside and its Browse partners decide to rationalise capital in the low oil price environment, they would need to consider delaying a final investment decision on the project.

“Because that project has a long lead time they may just put it on the backburner for a little while,” Mr Lennox said.

Mr Coleman said cost savings are being delivered in the front-end engineering and design phase of Browse, and the project remains on track for a final investment decision in the second half of 2016.

Woodside said its 2015 sales revenue dropped more than a third to $US4.5 billion ($A6.53 billion), due to lower oil and gas prices.

Revenue for the December quarter fell by a similar amount to $US1.1 billion, compared to the previous corresponding period.

Woodside shares dropped 39 cents to $25.00.

杭州夜生活

Ivanovic shaken by Aussie Open patron fall

Ana Ivanovic was left shaken after a patron fell down a flight of stairs during her Australian Open win over Anastasija Sevastova on Thursday.

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Ivanovic was leading 4-3 in the first set when play was delayed for 26 minutes while the spectator received medical attention from a health professional in the crowd before a first aid team arrived.

The players remained on court for most of the delay but were headed for the locker room when they were advised to return as the fan was stretchered from the area.

Play resumed after a three-minute warm-up, with the world No.23 regaining her composure to advance to the third round with a 6-3 6-3 win over the Latvian qualifier.

“I felt really bad, I was actually shaking, because the sound of the lady falling was really loud … I stopped immediately,” Ivanovic said.

“Maybe it’s not a good tendency to think of the worst but it didn’t sound so good. I just hope the lady is fine.

“It was actually good to wait a little bit because I was really shaking.

“I could imagine that it was not so nice and then they told me that she was bleeding … I hope she’s well.”

The patron was stretchered from the stadium and taken to a first aid post for observation and further treatment.

The incident comes just two days after Bernard Tomic’s first-round match against Denis Istomin was delayed for 20 minutes while a woman received medical treatment in the crowd at Hisense Arena.

“It was something I’ve never experienced in a match, so it was very unfortunate,” Tomic said.

“It was a very difficult situation to be in … even the referee I spoke to said it never happened before.

“At one stage I was looking directly at the lady. It was not a good moment to be in for me. I felt very sad.”

The woman was later said to be okay.

杭州夜生活

Australians warned about Mexico travel

The US government has updated a travel warning for Mexico after two Australian surfers and more than 100 Americans were murdered in the past year.

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Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, both 33 and from Perth, were driving along the Benito Juarez Highway in the early hours of November 21 in crime-ridden Sinaloa state, home to recently captured drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Sinaloa authorities said bandits dressed in fake police uniforms pulled the Australians over and when Mr Coleman resisted he was shot in the face, but survived.

The pair was then allegedly held at gunpoint, driven to a deserted farming area, murdered and their bodies and van torched.

The US State Department’s updated advisory includes details of restrictions placed on the travel of US government personnel in Mexico.

Last year 103 Americans were murdered in Mexico.

“US citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery by organised criminal groups in various Mexican states,” the State Department warns.

For the west coast state of Sinaloa, the US government advises non-essential travel should be deferred except for the cities of Mazatlan, Los Mochis and the Port of Topolobampo “where you should exercise caution”.

“One of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organisations is based in the state of Sinaloa, and violent crime rates remain high in many parts of the state,” the US advisory states.

The Australian government, in its latest Mexico travel update on January 15, advises “Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico”.

“The level of this advice has not changed,” it states.

“Travellers should be aware of risk of violent crime and from instances of civil unrest when travelling by road in rural areas.”

Three men, who Sinaloa prosecutors said were “part of a criminal group”, were arrested two weeks after Mr Coleman and Mr Lucas were murdered.

杭州夜生活

Woodside expected to cut dividend

Woodside Petroleum shareholders are bracing for a big cut to their dividends after the energy giant flagged up to $US1.

杭州桑拿

2 billion in writedowns due to the slump in oil prices.

The company has lowered its short and long term price assumptions as oil prices slide to 13-year lows, meaning Woodside expects to take an impairment charge of between $US1 billion ($A1.45 billion) and $US1.2 billion ($A1.74 billion) against its asset values.

That is expected to slash its 2015 net profit by between $US700 million and $US850 million when the oil and gas producer releases financial results in February.

Woodside made a net profit of $US2.4 billion in 2014.

Analysts say the damage caused by plunging prices will push dividends lower and could also affect the development timeline of Woodside’s key growth project, Browse, in north Western Australia.

US crude touched a low of $US26.30 overnight after the International Energy Agency warned the market could “drown in oversupply”.

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman remains upbeat, saying the company is now seeing the benefits of its work to boost productivity.

“The recent significant fall in oil and gas prices has highlighted the quality of our low cost production and approach to balance sheet risk management,” he said.

Fat Prophets Resources analyst David Lennox said the large writedowns were to be expected given weak oil prices.

“Woodside’s net profit will definitely be lower so one would expect that their dividend would be lower,” he said.

Woodside has previously maintained an 80 per cent dividend payout ratio.

Mr Lennox said if Woodside and its Browse partners decide to rationalise capital in the low oil price environment, they would need to consider delaying a final investment decision on the project.

“Because that project has a long lead time they may just put it on the backburner for a little while,” Mr Lennox said.

Mr Coleman said cost savings are being delivered in the front-end engineering and design phase of Browse, and the project remains on track for a final investment decision in the second half of 2016.

Woodside said its 2015 sales revenue dropped more than a third to $US4.5 billion ($A6.53 billion), due to lower oil and gas prices.

Revenue for the December quarter fell by a similar amount to $US1.1 billion, compared to the previous corresponding period.

Woodside shares dropped 39 cents to $25.00.

杭州夜生活

Senex Energy eyes more hedging gains

Junior oil and gas producer Senex Energy has suffered a 36 per cent fall in December quarter sales revenue to $18.

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1 million, as its numbers were hit by a slump in oil prices.

But the company has been largely shielded from the falls by a strong hedging position.

Compared to the September quarter, however, its revenue dipped just four per cent despite crude oil prices declining 11 per cent in the three-month period, with the company benefiting from hedging gains and a lower Australian dollar.

Under its current hedging contract, Brisbane-based Senex is guaranteed an average Brent crude floor price of $A75 a barrel for one million barrels of oil sales over the 2016 financial year.

Crude oil prices tumbled 35 per cent in 2015, and this week slid further to a 13-year low of $US26.30 a barrel.

“We are actively monitoring the market to take out further hedging contracts for FY17 and beyond,” chief financial officer Graham Yerbury told an analysts call on Thursday.

The company’s production and sales volumes dropped by more than a quarter to 0.26 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), but were largely flat on the previous quarter.

Senex, which has operations in Queensland’s Surat Basin and the Cooper Basin in South Australia, expects to achieve its FY 2016 production guidance of 1.0 to 1.2 mboe.

The company said it has strengthened its financial position after signing a large gas sales deal with Santos’s GLNG venture in Queensland in September. It currently holds $100 million in cash.

Despite its cash-rich position, managing director Ian Davies told analysts the company was holding back capital expenditure plans in the current low price environment.

In August, the oil and gas producer nearly halved its capital expenditure guidance for 2015/16 to $35 million to $45 million, and says it will spend only where critical.

It expects to achieve its production guidance of 1.0 to 1.2 mmboe for the financial year.

Senex Energy shares closed 0.5 cents, or 4.2 per cent higher at 12.5 cents.

杭州夜生活

Crews battle 70 fires across Tasmania

A rapidly growing fire at Lake McKenzie that could threaten homes and bushwalkers is worrying Tasmanian firefighters as about 70 fires burn across the state.

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The fire in Tasmania’s north has more than tripled to 7000 hectares since starting only two days ago in hot and dry conditions.

Tasmanian Fire Service regional fire controller Steve Richardson said Thursday’s weather was making conditions particularly difficult for firefighters.

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“If it comes down off the plateau in any sort of hurry, it could throw a lot of ash and embers causing spot fires,” he told AAP on Thursday.

Firefighters are also battling large blazes in the same region at Patons Road, February Plains and Cradle Mountain.

They’re aiming to protect homes and bushwalkers, while the region is also a world-renowned hiking area and holds some Hydro Tasmania electricity assets.

The fire service, Parks and Wildlife and Forestry have been sweeping the area to get bushwalkers and people fishing out of there, Mr Richardson said, with some tracks closed.

The towns considered most under threat if the fires keep growing include northern towns Mayberry, Mole Creek, Caveside, Dairy Plains and Meander.

Mr Richardson said tall timbers and very dry air were making firefighting tough.

“Combined with active fire behaviour (it) makes it extremely difficult for our crews to undertake any form of direct attack on the fires,” he said.

Of the 70 fires across the state, 60 are in the northwest – including the largest at 16,000ha – while 44 are out of control with many too dangerous and inaccessible to tackle.

A total fire ban has been declared on Thursday for the northwest including Launceston, Devonport, King Island, the west coast and northern midlands where temperatures are due to reach beyond 30C.

The weather is expected to be warm but more favourable for firefighters in the next few days.

“Over the next few days, houses are defendable providing you are well prepared,” said a Tasmania Fire Service spokesman.

“If you are not prepared or your home is not prepared, the only way we can guarantee your safety is not be in those fire-affected areas.”

杭州夜生活

Oz Minerals flies on record production

Copper and gold producer OZ Minerals has posted record production for 2015, even as global peers freeze expansions amid a commodities slump.

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The miner hauled in 32,636 tonnes of copper in the December quarter, helping it exceed a target to produce 130,305 tonnes in 2015.

Total gold production for 2015 was 113,028 ounces, much better than the 100,000-110,000 ounces it had forecast.

The company said its Prominent Hill mine in South Australia was generating significant cash flows and the group’s recent focus on driving costs down had put it in a strong position.

“We’ve had a record year of production and even with the current state of commodity prices, Prominent Hill is generating very significant cash flows with healthy margins,” managing director Andrew Cole said.

“This sets us up for another strong year in 2016.”

Shares in the company jumped on the strong performance, with the stock trading nearly 9.0 per cent higher at $3.80, by 1400 AEDT, before fading slightly to close 6.6 per cent higher at $3.73.

Copper miners have been hurt by a slump in prices to multi-year lows, although a weaker Australian dollar has cushioned the impact for local miners.

OZ Minerals’ 2015 copper output was nearly 40 per cent higher than the previous year, with the company saying its processing plant had been operating up to 25 per cent above its official capacity.

Its cost of production also came in at the bottom end of its US 70 to 80 cents-per pound guidance.

“They have been very impressive in reigning in costs. They have also been able to hit the higher grades of copper and gold at the mine,” optionXpress market analyst Ben LeBrun said.

He said investors are keenly awaiting the company’s next big decision, as it considers developing its Carrapateena copper deposit in South Australia.

Last October, private equity firm KKR & Co bought a 10 per cent stake in OZ Minerals, saying the company was undervalued.

杭州夜生活

Vic campaign to attract foster carers

Victoria is desperately seeking foster carers to take hundreds of children out of residential care.

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A 2015 report found a child in residential care was sexually assaulted every day on average, and the Children’s Commissioner called for half the 500 children in care to be taken out.

Children’s Minister Jenny Mikakos said targeted care packages had helped get the numbers down.

“To this point about 74 children have actually been removed out of residential care into home-based care options, foster care, as well as living with family members through kinship care, or even returning back home,” Ms Mikakos told AAP on Thursday.

A $3.2 million recruitment campaign for foster carers is highlighting the options people have to make a huge difference in a child’s life.

Louise Gilbert and her husband have been respite carers for eight months, looking after eight-and-nine-year-old siblings every second weekend and in school holidays – and they’re loving it.

“We met a girl at a barbecue who was doing some foster care and she told us about her experience. We just thought it makes sense, let’s do it,” Ms Gilbert told AAP.

“A lot of people don’t realise you don’t have to be a foster carer full time.

“You can do it on weekends, you can do it on an emergency basis, or longer term if you want.”

Ms Mikakos said Victoria needed foster carers from diverse backgrounds, same-sex couples, single people, retirees, working families and many others.

“You don’t need to be a superhero to be a foster carer,” she said.

“You just need to have an open mind and open home.”

A $31.4 million fund to boost care allowances came into effect on January 1.

杭州夜生活

MS Dhoni shoulders blame for India loss

Not only did India help hand Australia a fourth straight one-day victory, they also gave them a taste of what’s to come in their upcoming Twenty20 battles.

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That’s according to MS Dhoni.

The skipper shouldered much of the blame for his side’s loss in Canberra on Wednesday, after falling for a duck.

The visitors were cruising towards the 349 target set by Australia, until opener Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed on 126 in the 38th over by John Hastings.

It ended a stunning 212-run partnership with Virat Kohli and was the first of nine wickets lost for just 46 runs.

While Dhoni said pressure got to his more inexperienced charges, he felt his dismissal was the turning point.

Dhoni had elevated himself to No.4 and pushed Ajinkya Rahane down the order to give him time to recover from a hand injury that required stitches earlier in the day.

The defeat leaves India 4-0 down in the five-game series, but the captain said his team would not be despondent.

“We lost. Are we disappointed? Definitely we’re disappointed,” he said.

“But you want to take the positives. If we had batted better than what we did after the 38th over, when I lost my wicket, this game could have ended in the 46th or 47th over.

“You look at it that way. You don’t want to sink into something negative.

“After the first three losses people were saying it’s going to be difficult to come back, but in this game I thought we batted really well.

“It also gives a glimpse of what you’ll see in the Twenty20s – a lot of flamboyant cricket.”

India and Australia play three T20s in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney following this Saturday’s final ODI at the SCG.

杭州夜生活

Dab hand Azarenka, red-hot Muguruza on collision course

Azarenka came to Melbourne Park on the back of a win at the Brisbane warm-up event, her first tournament since last September, and hammered Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-0 6-0 in the first round.

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On Thursday, the 26-year-old was almost as clinical with a 6-1 6-2, 63-minute thrashing of Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic on Margaret Court Arena.

Two years of injury and less than stellar form have left Azarenka languishing at number 16 in the world and that is why she is seeded to meet Muguruza as early the fourth round, if she can get past rising talent Naomi Osaka.

The Belarussian celebrated with the Dab, the “fun”, “cool” hip-hop move beloved of NBA All Star LeBron James and a string of NFL players, and said the secret of her hot streak was simply living in the moment.

“I don’t want to think of what happened yesterday or what’s going to happen tomorrow. I really want to stay present and enjoy what I do,” she told reporters.

“It comes from on court to whatever I do off court, the pre-match, after match.

“I try to play every point as if it’s my last.”

GREAT WIN

Spanish third seed Muguruza has been in almost as convincing form in her fourth trip to Melbourne Park, easing past Anett Kontaveit 6-0 6-4 in the opening round and demolishing Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 6-2 on Tuesday.

“It’s a great win,” she said. “I know Kirsten. I knew it was going to be like a complicated match, because she doesn’t have the common style of other women on the tour.

“So I’m pretty happy about my performance.”

While Muguruza will need to get past Barbara Strycova to match her best performance at Melbourne Park, Azarenka has a lot further to go to match her title-winning runs of 2012 and 2013.

“I think I’m feeling in the best shape body-wise, you know, spirit-wise, everything-wise. You know, my team around me, too,” she said.

“(But) I don’t really remember how I felt back then because I think it was different stage of my career.”

As for whether she was the in-form player in the women’s draw so far, Azarenka was not about to be seduced by such thoughts.

“Talk is just opinions,” she said. “It’s not facts. I say that you always have to go out there and you have to prove yourself. You have to play and you have to win.”

(Editing by John O’Brien)