The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 18 March 2015


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The Independent Online

Watson’s form deserts her in final set

Heather Watson’s fine run at Indian Wells came to a disappointing end when she lost 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 to Carla Suarez Navarro. Watson (above), who beat a top 10 opponent for the first time when she knocked out Agnieszka Radwanska, served for the first set after the Spaniard took a medical time-out for an injured ankle, but failed to do so and lost it on the tie-break. She did serve out to level the match with her fifth ace, yet faded badly in the final set and did not win a point in the last two games.

Queen’s Club could stage Davis Cup tie

Andy Murray and the GB Davis Cup team are considering the grass of Queen’s Club in London for their quarter-final against France in July after Wimbledon was ruled out.

Lawn Tennis Association chief Michael Downey said: “We’re talking to the players about it. If Andy Murray wants it on grass, it’ll probably be on grass. Have we thought about Queen’s? Yes. Is Wimbledon a possibility? No.”

Hardaker released without charge

England full-back Zak Hardaker could be back playing for Leeds on Friday after the Rhinos revealed he had been released without charge by police. Hardaker, 23, was dropped for last week’s game at Warrington after it emerged that, along with team-mate Elliot Minchella, he was wanted for questioning over an alleged assault.

Alonso facing a testing week

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will drive the team’s simulator this week in his effort to return to racing. The Spaniard missed the season-opener in Australia to recover from concussion after a crash in pre-season testing.

Alonso, who is aiming to return at the Malaysian Grand Prix at the end of the month, will drive the simulator and undertake the FIA medical tests he must pass before he is allowed to race.

Adams will try out modified helmet

The Hampshire captain, Jimmy Adams, will become the first county cricketer to test the Masuri StemGuard helmet modification, developed following Phillip Hughes’ death from a blow while batting.

Adams has agreed to trial the safety attachment in practice and also in this month’s pre-season friendly against Surrey. Hughes was hit on the back of the head by a bouncer last November.