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The Sports Matrix: Monday 15 October 2012

Watson ends GB's drought as Djokovic gains revenge

Heather Watson ended Great Britain's 24-year wait for a women's singles champion when she beat Chang Kai-chen to win the Japan Open.

The 20-year-old, right, saved four match points in the final set, prevailing 7-5, 5-7, 7-6, having served for the match in the second set. She becomes the first British woman to win a tour title since Sara Gomer, in 1988. "I'm going to be sleeping with a smile on my face tonight," said Watson, who has moved up to her highest world ranking of 50 as a result. "British tennis is doing amazingly at the moment."

It was a disappointing day in the Far East for the leading British male, however, as Andy Murray failed in his attempt to win a third successive Shanghai Masters title. The Scot went down to Novak Djokovic – whom he beat to win the US Open last month – in the final, blowing five match points along the way. page 46 yesterday's results

Men's Shanghai Masters final N Djokovic (Serb) bt A Murray (GB) 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 Women's Japan Open final H Watson (GB) bt K-c Chang (Ch Taipei) 7-5, 5-7, 7-6

Defoe in frame for revamped England

England manager Roy Hodgson could make up to six changes for tomorrow's World Cup qualifier in Poland: Joleon Lescott and Ashley Cole are in line for recalls, Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson are back from suspension and Jermain Defoe is pushing for a start up front. MORE

Trapattoni and Levein in firing line

England's qualifying form has not been mirrored by their Celtic cousins. Northern Ireland, the Republic, Wales and Scotland go on challenging trips this week more in hope than expectation, with the jobs of Scotland's Craig Levein and the Republic's Giovanni Trapattoni at risk. MORE

Saints recover to defeat Glasgow

Glasgow were unable to maintain their flying start as they went down 24-15 at Northampton in their Pool Four match yesterday. The Scots stormed into a 15-0 lead after half an hour, before the Premiership leaders hit back, with George Pisi going over twice. MORE

Cipriani helps Sale to thrilling victory

Danny Cipriani inspired Sale to a first win of the season as their European campaign got off to a successful start with a 34-33 defeat of Cardiff. Three tries from Alex Cuthbert put the visitors in sight of victory, before late tries from Cipriani, Mark Jennings and Tony Buckley. MORE

Lowry beats Fisher for Portugal title

Shane Lowry secured his second European Tour win and first as a professional after beating Ross Fisher by one stroke to claim the Portugal Masters. The 25-year-old Irishman hit a final-round 66, finishing 14 under for the tournament.

Vettel wins to pass Alonso in title race

Defending champion Sebastian Vettel won the Korean Grand Prix for the second year in succession to take the lead in the drivers' championship with four races left. Fernando Alonso dropped to second after finishing third yesterday. MORE

Byrne takes British title with hat-trick

Shane Byrne won all three counting races at Brands Hatch yesterday to claim a record-equalling third British Superbike crown in a thrilling finale. "I'm ecstatic, elated, excited," the 35-year-old said. Josh Brookes was overall runner-up. MORE

Armstrong could undergo lie test

Lance Armstrong may take a lie detector test to prove his innocence, his lawyer has said. Tim Herman also hopes witnesses who testified against the American would take similar tests. "I wouldn't challenge the results," Herman said. MORE

Godolphin show a pragmatic Approach

Godolphin's decision to leave the Darley Dewhurst winner Dawn Approach in Ireland with his current trainer, Jim Bolger, shows a growing pragmatism by Sheikh Mohammed over the Dubai side of his operation.MORE

Opinion: Sam Wallace

Roy Hodgson is no longer picking up the pieces left by Fabio Capello; he is building his own team with the 2014 World Cup in mind. Tomorrow night is that team's most exacting test yet. MORE

Career Services

Day In a Page

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BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

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Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

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Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment