The Sports Matrix: Friday 6 July 2012


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The Independent Online

Murray unworried by history ahead of Tsonga semi-final

Andy Murray is not thinking about years of British failure as he goes into his semi-final with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga this afternoon. If he does win, he will be the first British man in the Wimbledon final for 74 years.

"When I think about Wimbledon and how long it has been since a British winner it is obviously surprising, a bit shocking too," Murray said. "But I'm very selfish when I think about Wimbledon. I really try to make sure that I want to do it for myself."

Murray is looking forward to the loud home crowd on Centre Court. "When you get out on the court, that is where you get all the benefits and that is where all the positives are," he said. "That's where the positives of home support come in. The build-up is hard and all the other things that go with it make it tough, but when you're on the court that's where you see all the positives."

It has been a difficult run to this point, so Murray is pleased with his form. "This year has been one of my toughest draws, so I've had to play some of my best tennis to get here." MORE

City relaxed about Van Persie pursuit

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is privately confident of beating Manchester United to Robin van Persie. Although United are thought to be preparing one major signing this summer, and could go for the Arsenal striker, City think they are close to success. MORE

Rodgers: I offered Gylfi Swansea deal

Brendan Rodgers said he offered the new Tottenham signing Gylfi Sigurdsson the same deal at Liverpool as he had at Swansea. "I wasn't prepared to pay anything over what I had known was agreed before," he said. "But he's decided to go to Tottenham, for whatever reason." MORE

Williams serves her way to final

Serena Williams hit a record 24 aces in her 6-3, 7-6 semi-final victory over Victoria Azarenka yesterday. "I've been working so hard," Williams said. "Victoria is a great player." Williams will face Agnieszka Radwanska in tomorrow's final, after the Pole beat Angelique Kerber. MORE

Federer hopeful of reclaiming crown

Roger Federer feels fitter ahead of today's semi-final with Novak Djokovic. Victory in the final would be his first Grand Slam for over two years and move him to world No 1: "I've been playing well for a year now. I'm not tired, I'm not injured. I'm fresh and ready to go." MORE

Bolt injury troubles continue

Usain Bolt pulled out of the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on 20 July, in what would have been his last race before the Olympics in London seven days later. His coach said the 100m and 200m champion had a "slight problem". MORE

Di Resta excited by partisan crowd

Paul di Resta is looking forward to Sunday's British Grand Prix. "Last year I got a feeling in my first British Grand Prix for what it's like to have a country behind you," said the Scot, who drives for Force India. "The atmosphere is electric." MORE

Shine: 90mph can be the new 80mph

England fast-bowling coach Kevin Shine yesterday revealed plans to increase the pace of English bowlers: "In 10 years' time we'd like to have several bowlers capable of sustained high speeds. I want 90mph to be the old 80mph." MORE

Armstrong case dominates Tour

Garmin team director Jonathan Vaughters has denied his riders will face six-month bans as part of the US investigation into Lance Armstrong. Vaughters, a former team-mate of Armstrong, said he would answer questions "openly". MORE

Opinion: Angus Fraser

At Middlesex, we knew Mark Ramprakash had a gift. But his intense desire was detrimental in Tests, and stopped him from reproducing his prolific form in first-class cricket. MORE