The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 7 October 2014


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Courtois cleared for Belgium duty

The Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been cleared to join up with Belgium this week, despite being involved in a collision with Alexis Sanchez during Sunday’s win over Arsenal. The 22-year-old remained on the field at first, sparking criticism of the Premier League leaders, before later going to hospital for checks. The club said there was no outstanding issues with the player.

De Gea enjoying new lease of life

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea believes he is “playing the best football of his career” after a stunning display in Sunday’s win over Everton. The Spain stopper came in for criticism during his early months at Old Trafford – “it was difficult” – but is now happy with his role. “Now I am ready for anything,” the 23-year-old continued. “I believe I have become stronger.”

Tait latest name on Tigers’ injury list

Leicester do not expect Mathew Tait to return to action for at least a month, with the back being ruled out after injuring his neck during defeat at Gloucester last week. Fellow full-backs Scott Hamilton and Niall Morris are also struggling for fitness, with the Tigers set to turn to Jersey for reinforcements, including Tommy Bell. Over 20 players are currently unavailable for Richard Cockerill’s side.

Fragapane leads Britain into team final

Great Britain’s women qualified for the team final at the World Artistic Championships in Nanning, China yesterday. Becky Downie, Ruby Harrold, Gabby Jubb, Kelly Simm, Hannah Whelan and Commonwealth Games sensation Claudia Fragapane ended fourth, with the top eight nations going through.

Harrold also made the individual all-around final, alongside Fragapane, who also made the vault and floor finals. Downie and Harrold reached the medal event on the bars.

“It was amazing to perform with the girls,” 16-year-old Fragapane said, “We can’t wait for the final.” Britain’s men will compete in their team final today.

Davis Cup to lose ranking points

The standing of the Davis Cup will take another hit with the ATP to stop awarding ranking points for matches played in the event, giving players less incentive to take part. The fairness of the system has been questioned, with only World Group matches garnering points.