The Sport Matrix: Friday 4 July 2014


Bouchard bounces into maiden final

Eugenie Bouchard reached her first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon yesterday, beating Romanian Simona Halep 7-6 6-2. The 13th seed, who also reached the last four at the Australian and French Opens this year, becomes Canada’s first Slam singles finalist. MORE

Cavendish: UK will embrace Le Tour

Mark Cavendish feels Great Britain will relish hosting the start of this year’s Tour de France, which begins in Leeds tomorrow. “The support is tremendous,” he said. “People don’t realise just how big this is going to be.” MORE

Froome primed for tricky title defence

Defending champion Chris Froome is not expecting an easy defence of his Tour de France crown. “I will say I’m going to give it absolutely everything,” the Brit rider said. “But it won’t be a walk in the park.” MORE

Kvitova Czechs into another final

Petra Kvitova. the 2011  champion, will return to the Wimbledon final tomorrow after overcoming Lucie Safarova in straight sets in her semi-final yesterday. The sixth seed won an all-Czech tie 7-6 6-1 to maintain a perfect record over her  compatriot. MORE

Whole team to blame, says Button

Jenson Button feels the blame for McLaren’s difficulties this season lie across the team as a whole. “We all need to work harder as a team,” the 2009 champion said ahead of the British Grand Prix. “And not be pointing the finger at any individual.” MORE

Murray: I’ve lost winning feeling

Andy Murray has admitted a lack of tour titles has affected his performances at the Slams. The Scot’s last title came at SW19 last year. “The best way to prepare for majors is by winning a lot of matches,” he said after his quarter-final exit this week. “I have not done that.” MORE

Sporting move a “dream come true”

Ryan Gauld has admitted his dreams have come true after completing a £3m move to Sporting Lisbon from Dundee United. “Going abroad is what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “Hopefully, it will live up to all my expectations.”

Rafa Benitez

There is a problem with Argentina at this World Cup. There is too much dependency on Lionel Messi and it is very risky. You can never know that he will always be able to do things. MORE

Löw: England should learn from German approach

Germany manager Joachim Löw believes England will continue to struggle in major tournaments due to the number of foreign players in the Premier League. Löw’s side take on France in the last eight today, while England’s campaign ended with a humiliatingly early group-stage exit.

“Their league has a disadvantage because of a higher percentage of foreigners,” he said. “It becomes difficult for the national coach to get things moving. We have changed over recent years, with lots of young German players in German clubs given an advantage over foreigners, and we’re benefiting from that. I’m not unhappy if players are abroad.” MORE

Start could cap Griezmann rise

Antoine Griezmann is in  contention to start for the French in their Maracana  quarter-final against Germany this afternoon, which would continue the remarkable ascent of the Real Sociedad midfielder. He was only eligible to play for the country from the start of this year. MORE

Scolari helps with plight, said Fred

Brazil striker Fred says manager Phil Scolari helps the players deal with the pressure of expectation as host nation. “Everything we do makes the country depressed or rejoice,” he said ahead of tonight’s last-eight tie with Colombia. “Big Phil helps us cope with our fear that people will die if we don’t win.” MORE

Spirits high despite injury worries

Spirits in the Costa Rica camp are high ahead of tomorrow’s quarter-final with the Netherlands, despite injury concerns. Roy Miller is out and Oscar Duarte suspended, while Keylor Navas and Joel Campbell are doubts. “They are all tired but happy in their hearts,” physical trainer Erick Sanchez said. MORE