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The Sport Matrix: Thursday 3 July 2014

Fallen Murray vows to work even harder

Andy Murray promised to work “harder than ever” after suffering his worst defeat at Wimbledon for eight years, losing 6-1, 7-6, 6-2 to Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. Murray reflected afterwards: “I need to go away and make a lot of improvements in my game.” MORE

Djokovic battles back to beat Cilic

Novak Djokovic came back from two sets to one down to defeat Croatia’s Marin Cilic, as the top seed won 6-1 3-6 6-7 6-2 6-2 to earn his passage to a 23rd Grand Slam semi-final, equalling the output of Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras. Djokovic will face Grigor Dimitrov. MORE

Stokes returns in England Test squad

England have included Ben Stokes in their 13-man squad for the first Test against India at Trent Bridge. The all-rounder is in the party – that includes Moeen Ali but no front-line spinner – which gathers in Nottingham on Sunday. MORE

Federer marches on as Kyrgios goes out

Roger Federer is still on course for a record eighth Wimbledon men’s singles title after he beat Stanislas Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 to progress to tomorrow’s semi-final against Milos Raonic, who beat wonderkid Nick Kyrgios 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6. MORE

Bouchard faces Halep in semis

Rising stars Eugenie Bouchard and Simona Halep meet in today’s women’s semi-finals after both earned straight-sets wins. Bouchard defeated Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-4, while Halep overcame last year’s finalist Sabine Lisicki 6-4 6-0. MORE

QPR owner sells his stake in Caterham

Tony Fernandes has finally brought an end to his troubled ownership of F1 team Caterham, selling it to a consortium investors. The owner of Queen’s Park Rangers had spent more than £250 million on the operation.

Nick Bollettieri 

Eugenie Bouchard is one cool cat and faces Simona Halep at Wimbldeon today. Bouchard is an all-rounder but the Romanian will chase everything down – like an old sheriff hunting a gunslinger. MORE

Zabaleta reveals Argentina’s plan: Give ball to Messi

Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta has revealed the team’s plan for winning this World Cup: give the ball to Lionel Messi.

The full-back was responding to criticism of his nation’s overdependency on the player deemed by many as the world’s best. But instead of denying that Argentina are a one-man team, Zabaleta said they are banking on him.

“We know he is our main player, our captain, the best player in the world,” Zabaleta said. “This team is playing for him as we know how important Messi is for this team. Every time we recover the ball we try to pass to him as he is the best player we have in the team and he will score goals.” MORE

Hazard warns Messi’s Argentina

Belgium’s win over USA took them into a first World Cup quarter-final since 1986, and Eden Hazard is confident heading into the tie against Argentina, saying: “We can make history. I hope we can win. We know the best player in the world is in this team, but we are not afraid. We can win.” MORE

Howard earns presidential praise

Tim Howard’s superb display for the USA against Belgium was in vain as Jurgen Klinsmann’s side went out, but the keeper’s heroics prompted huge acclaim. US Vice-President Joe Biden said: “Proud that our guys, just like our country, never gave up. Tim Howard – most valuable player in the World Cup.” MORE

Neymar and James under the spotlight

Brazil face Colombia in the much-anticipated quarter-final tomorrow, with the spotlight burning on Neymar and James Rodriguez. Neymar has endured huge pressure, carrying a dysfunctional Brazil side through a home tournament they are expected to win, while James has shone in every match. MORE

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