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

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