The Sport Matrix: Friday 10 April 2015

 

Spurs sack helped me, says Sherwood

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood believes Tottenham did him a favour by sacking him as he prepares to return to White Hart Lane tomorrow. The 46-year-old was dismissed last May after five months in charge. “They’ve been very good to me over the years,” he said. “I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for Tottenham. I was pleased with what I did but I respect the decision made.”

Burgess called up for Bath back row

Sam Burgess has been selected in the back row as Bath seek to bounce back from the end of their European dream by beating Newcastle. The 26-year-old has played most of his union games at inside or outside centre, but head coach Mike Ford will examine his credentials as a blind-side flanker at Kingston Park. The former rugby league player has struggled to make an impact in the midfield since converting to union.

Murray coach to become a mum

Andy Murray’s coach, Amélie Mauresmo, announced last night that she is pregnant. Mauresmo, 35, made the announcement on Twitter: “Baby will be here in august ! #pregnant So happy”. It is not known at this stage how Mauresmo’s news will affect, if at all, Murray’s schedule this season. The baby, though, is due weeks after Wimbledon, when Murray will try to reclaim the title he won in 2013.

Evans makes solid start in Crucible bid

Reanne Evans made a solid start against the 1997 world champion Ken Doherty yesterday as she attempts to become the first woman to play in the World Championship main draw. England’s 10-time women’s champion, 29, trailed 5-4 after yesterday’s opening session of the first qualifying round, but had led twice before Doherty, 45, went  in front.

Graeme Dott, the 2006 champion, took a 6-3 lead at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge against fellow Scot Mark Owens.

Each of the winners must get through two more qualifying rounds to reach the main event, which starts on 18 April.

England’s Peter Ebdon, world champion in 2002, beat China’s Lu Ning 10-6 on yesterday and Scot Alan McManus, twice a Crucible semi-finalist, won 10-5 against England’s Michael Wasley.

Steve Davis admits his own swansong hopes look forlorn. “If me or Jimmy [White] qualify for the Crucible, it’s arguably as big a win as we’ve ever had,” he said. “I’ve got a little bit of a desire to do it, but Jimmy would love to get back to the Crucible.”

Red Bull could pull out over engines

Red Bull’s owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, has confirmed the company will quit Formula One if engine supplier Renault cannot build “a competitive” engine. “We’ll only stay in Formula One if we have a competitive team, and we need a competitive power unit for that,” the Austrian said. “If we don’t have one, we can race with the best car and the best drivers and still have no chance of competing for victory.”

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