The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 4 March


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The Independent Online

Bartoli hints at return from retirement

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has hinted she is considering a return to professional tennis.

Having shocked the tennis world by winning Wimbledon in 2013, the Frenchwoman surprisingly announced her retirement six weeks later.

Bartoli cited the wear and tear on her body and, after initially saying ‘never say never’ about a comeback, shot down all talk of her changing her mind. But on Twitter, the 30-year-old wrote: “Coming back or not coming back to tennis? What do you think? Should I?”

Bartoli has worked in the media since retiring, as well as trying her hand at fashion design.

Top woman given Crucible chance

The women’s world champion, Reanne Evans, has been handed a place in the qualifiers of the, up to now, all-male World Championship. The winner of 10 successive world titles will try to qualify in April for this year’s main event at the Crucible. “So please [sic] to finally be able to say I’ve been given a place in this years world championship!!! 3 wins and I’ll be at the crucible!!!” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Storey rules out hour record repeat

Dame Sarah Storey has no intention of a repeat of the most painful hour of her life after falling short at Lee Valley last Saturday. “It’s a once in a lifetime,” she said. “I won’t be considering doing it any time soon. If I ever did it again it would be well after Rio. It’s an incredibly drawn out, painful process.”

Brownlee senior suffers ankle blow

Alistair Brownlee has suffered an injury blow on the eve of the new triathlon season. The Olympic champion was due to begin his 2015 campaign at this weekend’s World Triathlon Series opener in Abu Dhabi but has not made the trip after turning his ankle.

Brownlee has picked up a succession of injuries since his breakthrough season in 2009 and this setback will be frustrating after a trouble-free winter.

Home Nations in Solheim interest

England, Wales and Scotland have expressed interest in hosting the Solheim Cup in 2019 and are among 10 countries in the running to host the biennial event. Denmark, Holland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey have also expressed interest. A decision is expected before the end of the year. Europe will seek a third consecutive win in Germany in September, while Iowa will host in 2017.