The Sports Matrix: Monday 27 June 2011

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The Independent Online

Vettel on cruise control once again

Sebastian Vettel extended his championship lead after winning his sixth race out of eight this season at the European GP in Valencia. The Red Bull driver finished ahead of Fernando Alonso and now leads Jenson Button by 77 points in the standings. MORE

Powell aware of need to improve

Hope Powell has admitted England need to improve on recent performances as they begin their World Cup campaign against Mexico tonight. “If we play how we played in our last two games we’ll go out,” she warned. MORE

England errors bode ill for ODIs

England’s dismal display in Saturday’s Twenty20 defeat against Sri Lanka in Bristol does not bode well for the one-day series against the same side. Ravi Bopara looked out of form following the surprise omission of Ian Bell, while Samit Patel failed to perform. MORE

Contador ‘doesn’t deserve kerfuffle’

British cyclist David Millar believes the ongoing situation with Alberto Contador’s drug test could overshadow the Tour de France. “Contador is a phenomenal cyclist,” he said. “Neither the sport nor he deserves this ridiculous kerfuffle.” MORE

Becker: Federer has edge over rest

Former champion Boris Becker believes the variation in Roger Federer’s service will give him a big advantage this week. “Federer can serve in all four corners with speed, slice, power and twist,” Becker tells i. “That’s where he has an edge over others.” MORE

Yeaman recovers after epileptic fit

Hull centre Kirk Yeaman has made a swift recovery after suffering an epileptic fit during halftime of yesterday’s match at Wakefield. “He was sitting up and talking, so he is going to be fine,” coach Richard Agar said. Hull won 52-18. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

As they face increasingly dangerous opposition, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray cannot push away the prospects of Nadal and Federer standing on the other side of the net, or, to put it another way, on top of the mountain. MORE

Murray hoping for repeat showing against Gasquet

British No 1 Andy Murray was in confident mood yesterday as he prepared for today’s attempt to reach the last eight at SW19 for a fourth consecutive year. The Scot takes on 17th seed Richard Gasquet in the opening match on Centre Court this afternoon having twice before faced the Frenchman in Grand Slams, coming from two-sets down on both occasions to prevail, including a four-hour epic at the same stage at Wimbledon three years ago. He also trailed the Frenchman in the first round at the French Open last summer before a stirring recovery. Murray admits those previous come-from-behind victories could have an impact on proceedings today. “It’s good to have in the back of my mind in a match like this,” he said. “Even if I go behind, I know I can come back against him.” The majority of the Centre Court will probably just be grateful for a routine three-set victory, given the Scot’s stumbles in the opening three rounds. MORE

Nick Bollettieri's A-Z of SW19

M is for mind. You got to think to win. All of the ability counts for nothing if you don’t have it up top. You have to look ahead in a rally and dictate how it develops.

N is for Nadal. Oh boy, what a player he is. He has the lot on any surface – as two Wimbledon, one Australian, one US and six French titles by the age of 25 attest. MORE