The Sports Matrix: Thursday 16 June 2011

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England draw again in Denmark

England drew their second game of the European Under-21 Championship last night, managing only a 0-0 draw with Ukraine. Danny Sturridge came closest when he hit the bar with a volley in the first half and Danny Welbeck missed a good chance later on. MORE

Lerner meets McLeish about job

Villa owner Randy Lerner’s meeting last night with Alex McLeish in London was said to have progressed positively, despite fan protests at Villa Park. The Scot’s succession to Gérard Houllier as manager could be announced as early as today. MORE

Europeans can continue success

Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, world Nos 1 and 2 respectively, can continue the recent European supremacy in golf at the US Open, which starts today. Steve Stricker has admitted the Americans “are on the ropes a bit.” MORE

Watson on way up as Robson slides

Britain’s best two young female tennis players, Laura Robson and Heather Watson, are travelling in different directions. Watson has broken into the world’s top 100, while Robson has parted with her coach Patrick Mouratoglou and is ranked down at No 257. MORE

Vieira to leave City to keep playing

Patrick Vieira has decided that his Manchester City career is over, ending his successful time in English football. City may offer him a coaching role at the club but Vieira wants to continue his playing career and has offers from Qatar and the MLS. MORE

Serena stunned as Venus prospers

Serena Williams lost to Vera Zvonareva yesterday in the Aegon International at Eastbourne, her second game since her return from injury. Serena served for the match in the second set but lost 3-6, 7-6, 7-5. Serena’s sister Venus beat Ana Ivanovic. MORE

Nasri likely to stay at Arsenal this year

Talks between Samir Nasri and Manchester United have come to nothing and the player now appears likely to remain at Arsenal for another season and decide on his future at the end of his current contract, which has one year left to run. MORE

Riaz rout helps Kent to T20 victory

Kent beat Gloucestershire by 8 wickets in T20 cricket last night after Pakistani seamer Wahab Riaz took five wickets in seven balls, as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 166. Kent made the target thanks to an unbeaten 106 from Azhar Mahmood. MORE

Dettori shocks So You Think at Ascot

So You Think was sensationally defeated at Royal Ascot yesterday in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. It was the strong favourite but Frankie Dettori’s Rewilding won instead. Detorri, though, was handed a nine-day riding ban for excessive use of the whip. MORE

Interview: Maria Sharapova

“I don’t spend a lot of my time in the locker room. That’s my least favourite place in the world. I do my job. I play my matches. I do what I have to do. I prefer to live my life away from the site rather than talk tennis all day.” MORE

Strauss: I know it is my time to shine

Andrew Strauss realises that he is in need of runs going into today’s third Test with Sri Lanka. He has scored a total of 24 runs in his last three Test innings, and admitted that it was “his turn” to start contributing runs after a poor spell. Strauss has converted only one of his last 11 fifties into a hundred, while his average since the beginning of the 2009 summer is down to 37. “I’m not sure it is right that someone is always under the spotlight, but that is the fact of it,” he said yesterday. “I was frustrated with my returns at Lord’s and it is the nature of the beast as an opening batsman. Sometimes you get a couple of good balls early. But I’m very comfortable with my own game and I’m very comfortable with us as a batting unit with six out of seven being in great fettle in the first two Tests. Now it is my turn to come to the party.” England, who have the upper hand after the win in Cardiff, only need to avoid defeat to win this opening series of the summer, in Hampshire’s Rose Bowl’s first ever Test match. MORE

Sangakkara is the reluctant captain

Sri Lanka will be captained today by Kumar Sangakkara, who has reluctantly agreed to return to the job he quit for this one Test. “When I was first approached to captain the side I wasn’t ready to take it on,” he said. “The fact was I had given it up.” MORE

Fame and Glory is Gold Cup favourite

Fame And Glory is the favourite at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot today. His trainer, Aidan O’Brien, has been successful in the Gold Cup before: he led Yeats to four consecutive victories between 2006 and 2009. The strongest competitor is Blue Bajan. MORE

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