The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 14 June 2011

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The Independent Online

Potential legal fight over McLeish

Aston Villa told Birmingham City last night that they were entitled to talk to Alex McLeish about their vacant manager’s job. Birmingham responded by threatening to take the issue to a Premier League commission, and said they would sue for compensation. MORE

Hamilton holds talks with Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton held talks with the Red Bull principal, Christian Horner, during the Canadian Grand Prix at the weekend, creating the possibility of the English driver joining the team when his McLaren contract expires at the end of this season. MORE

Mavericks claim first-ever NBA title

Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Championship early yesterday morning, beating Miami Heat 105-95 to win the best-of-seven final series 4-2. It is the first championship in the Mavericks’ 30-year history. MORE

Melville to throw hat in the RFU ring

Nigel Melville has signalled his intention to apply for the chief executive’s role at the Rugby Football Union, a job available since John Steele’s departure last week. Melville has been performing a similar role in American rugby for the last four years. MORE

Review system has helped me – Swann

Graeme Swann believes that the decision review system (DRS) is to thank for some of his success in Test cricket. “They seem to be more willing to give them out in Test cricket,” he said. “It’s not just the reviews, but I think that has played a massive part.” MORE

Els: Westwood can enjoy major week

Ernie Els has backed world No 2 Lee Westwood to win his first major at the US Open. “Lee totally understands how to play majors,” he said. “You’re going to get your bad breaks, but you’ve got to move on and be mentally tough. That’s the test.” MORE

Fryston Warriors banned for abuse

The Castleford amateur club Fryston Warriors have been banned from the Challenge Cup for two years after crowd trouble at their ground. The club were found guilty over racist and homophobic chanting by the home crowd at recent ties. MORE

Palmer’s grandson earns spot on merit

Sam Saunders will contest the US Open, 51 years after his grandfather Arnold Palmer won it. This will be 23-year-old Saunders’ first major, and his eighth appearance on the PGA Tour this season. “To have earned this just feels really good,” he said. MORE

Farah: I am in the form of my life

Mo Farah feels he is in the best shape of his career ahead of the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, this year. Farah broke the British and European 10,000m record this month, and said: “I didn’t know I was going to run that fast.” MORE

Opinion: Chris McGrath

The success and smart dealings, such as the cheap recruitment of Alexis Sanchez, by Udinese – based in a city of 100,000 people – offer hope to all those clubs that depict themselves as marooned by financial disparities. MORE

Murray fights back to win Queen’s

Andy Murray triumphed in the final at Queen’s yesterday, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets. Murray won a hugely entertaining match 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, to take the title for a second time. It was Murray’s first tournament win since the Shanghai Masters eight months ago, and will send him to Wimbledon, which starts in six days’ time, full of confidence. Tsonga gave Murray a much harder contest than Andy Roddick did in Saturday’s semi-final. The powerful Frenchman broke Murray in the sixth game, and took the opening set 6-3. The second set went with serve but Murray won the tiebreak 7-2, and seized the momentum. Murray took the third 6-4, including a trick-shot through his legs to go 5-3 up. The triumphant Scot paid tribute to his opponent afterwards. “He was playing a different sport to me in the first two sets,” he said. “I’ve never seen someone dive so much on the court. He’s so much fun to watch. I enjoy watching him myself but he wasn’t fun to play.” MORE

Serena ready for her next chapter

Serena Williams is relaxed ahead ofWimbledon, as she recovers from a serious injury which could have ended her career. “I’m not preparing for today or Wimbledon,” said the tournament favourite, “I’m preparing for the rest of my career.” MORE

Frankel favoured on first day of Ascot

Frankel is the favourite in the St James’s Palace Stakes this afternoon on the opening day of Royal Ascot. The colt, which won the 2,000 Guineas, could well prove the best of recently knighted trainer Sir Henry Cecil’s 25 Classic winners. MORE