The Sports Matrix: Friday 1 July 2011

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The Independent Online

Nick Bollettieri's A-Z of SW19

U is for US Open. Now I love Wimbledon – absolutely love everything about it, but here’s a confession: if you were to push me, I would have to admit my absolute favourite tournament is the US Open.

V is for volley. Man, do I love a volley. In this day of baseliners it is becoming a rare thing but never forget what Becker, Sampras, McEnroe and Co achieved here with that shot. MORE

Bresnan hopes to avoid 2006 repeat

England play Sri Lanka in an ODI at Headingley today, where they were heavily defeated in one of Tim Bresnan’s first England games in 2006. “We got nailed,” said Bresnan, now a key part of the one-day side. MORE

Sharapova battles back to reach final

Maria Sharapova recovered from an early break of serve to beat wild card Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-3 and reach her second Wimbledon final. The Russian trailed her German opponent 3-0 at the start of the first set before turning the match around. MORE

Fulham start with comfortable win

Fulham began their European campaign last night with a 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands’ NSI Runavik. Damien Duff put the hosts ahead in the first half, and after the hour-mark Danny Murphy converted a penalty. Andy Johnson grabbed the third.

Cool Kvitova fights past Azarenka

Eighth seed Petra Kvitova will contest her first Grand Slam final on Saturday, after winning her semi-final against Victoria Azarenka. The 21-year-old from the Czech Republic started strongly and overcame the Belarussian fourth seed 6-1, 3-6, 6-2. MORE

United and City consider Nasri bids

Arsenal are preparing for a bid from Manchester United for Samir Nasri next week, while Manchester City may also make an offer. The French midfielder has one year left on his current deal, although Arsène Wenger will fight to keep him. MORE

Djokovic: Tsonga athreat to top four

Novak Djokovic is not underestimating his opponent today, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, despite his position outside the top four. “It’s not only about the top four,” said Djokovic. “There are other players that are able to play great tennis, and Tsonga has proved it.” MORE

Clichy set to clinch lucrative City move

Arsenal’s Gaël Clichy will nearly double his wages with a likely move to Manchester City. The deal is almost done, and will be for roughly £10m excluding add-ons. The left-back will move from a weekly wage of £58,000 to over £90,000 at Eastlands. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

For Andy Murray to beat Rafael Nadal today, he will need the conviction that this is his time, his moment. He must create the optimumcircumstances of self-belief. For too long he has struggled to grasp just how good he is. MORE

Nadal: Murray deserves a Slam

Andy Murray goes into today’s semi-final knowing that his opponent, Rafael Nadal, would love him to win it if he could not. “If I have to say one player who I want to win a Grand Slam if it’s not me, I would say it’s Andy,” the world No 1 told i. “He deserves it. He’s playing really well this year. When you look at his career he deserves to win one.” Murray and Nadal are close friends and the Spaniard paid tribute to his opponent. “I know him as a person,” he said. “I like him. He’s a good guy. That’s why I think it would be fair if he won a Grand Slam.” If Murray wins, he will end Nadal’s 19-match unbeaten run at Wimbledon; the Spaniard has won in his last two visits to SW19. Nadal has beaten Murray in 11 of their 15 meetings, including both of their matches at Wimbledon. MORE

‘Expectation’ will weigh on Murray

Nick Bollettieri writes in i that Andy Murray has more than just Rafael Nadal to deal with today. “There’s the expectation, and don’t Wimbledon and Britain expect?” the American tennis coach writes. “It’s been a long wait, hasn’t it?” MORE

I will ‘smash’ Vitali next, claims Haye

David Haye is confident he will fight Vitali Klitschko later on this year after he has “smashed” Wladimir tomorrow. “There’s nobody else I want to fight,” said Haye, who plans to retire in October. “I’m confident I’ll fight Vitali in September.” MORE

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