The Sports Matrix: Thursday 28 June 2012

 

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The Independent Online

Wonderful Watson saunters into third round at SW19

Heather Watson continued her progress into the latter reaches of the women's singles yesterday, racing to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over the American Jamie Lee Hampton. Watson's victory on Court Two makes her the first British woman in the third round for 10 years, since Elena Baltacha reached that stage in 2002. "As soon as that last point was over for me, it was like an explosion of happiness," the 20-year-old said. "I just love it when the crowd is so loud at the end. It's an amazing feeling.

"I don't think Jamie was at her best at the beginning and I tried to take advantage of that," Watson added. "All I was saying to myself [at match-point] was 'don't double-fault', but I stayed calm and focused and knew I had to go for it."

Elsewhere in the women's draw the fifth seed, Australian Samantha Stosur, followed her male compatriots through the exit door with a 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 loss to Arantxa Rus, while the former world No 1, Caroline Wozniacki, also went out, losing 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 to Tamira Paszek in the first round. MORE

Löw impressed by Hodgson's England

Germany manager Joachim Löw believes England will perform better at the 2014 World Cup. "The English were much better in this tournament than in 2010," Löw said following England's quarter-final appearance. "Hodgson has brought order and has done a great job." MORE

Farah in form as Games draw near

Mo Farah extended his fine form in taking the 5,000m at the European Championships in Helsinki yesterday, with just a month to go before the start of the Olympics. The Londoner has won all five of his races in this outdoor season. MORE

Diamanti given chance to sparkle

Italy's manager Cesare Prandelli is ready to hand former West Ham forward Alessandro Diamanti a starting place in tonight's semi-final against Germany. The forward, who scored the winning penalty against England in the quarter-final, has just three caps. MORE

Bolt starts London bid with home run

He may be the biggest draw at the Games, but Usain Bolt must still qualify for London 2012 at the Jamaican trials, which begin in Kingston today. He must finish in the top three in the 100m and 200m if he is to defend his titles next month. MORE

Bale extends stay to boost Spurs

Gareth Bale has committed himself to Tottenham for four more years, following reports linking him with a move away. "I love the club and the fans," the Wales midfielder said. "I want to play my part in trying to get us back into the Champions League – where we belong." MORE

Federer, Djokovic progress with ease

Roger Federer cruised into the men's third round, breezing past Italian Fabio Fognini with almost embarrassing ease with a victory that took just 74 minutes. Defending champion Novak Djokovic joined Federer in round three, beating Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. MORE

Bulls to be allowed to complete season

Bradford Bulls will be allowed to complete their season even if the club enters liquidation before its end, so that their results will not need to be expunged. The four-times Super League champions currently sit ninth in the table, with nine matches left. MORE

Watson relishing mini-Ashes battle

Shane Watson is looking forward to the mini-Ashes ODI series that begins tomorrow at Lord's. "It's such a passionate rivalry," the all-rounder said. "It is a special thing to be involved, whether it's an Ashes series or a one-day series." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Jawohl, Germany – the team who ever since 1966 have been setting standards, evolving, replacing one major player with another, beyond the dreams of their conquerors – don't you love them? MORE

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