The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 5 July 2011

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The Independent Online

Serbs offer hero’s welcome to No1

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon champion and new world No 1, returned to Serbia yesterday and said he is “still euphoric” after his recent successes. “I have Davis Cup coming up this weekend, then after that I have two weeks of rest. Then I might reflect.” MORE

Hamilton keeps faith in McLaren

Lewis Hamilton admits that this year’s title “is a long way away”, but refuses to blame his team for it. “I know how hard the team are pushing,” he said. “We’ve moved on massively since 2007 and ‘08, and our biggest quality is our ability to bounce back.” MORE

Powell advocates life-long drug bans

Mike Powell, the long jump world record holder, said yesterday that athletes caught using banned drugs should never be allowed to return to competition.“I think if you are using drugs, you should be banned for life,” he said. MORE

Old Trafford plan approved in court

Three judges in the Court of Appeal yesterday decided to allow a planned £32m redevelopment of Lancashire’s home ground of Old Trafford. They can now improve the 150-year-old ground, in the hope of staging a 2013 Ashes Test match. MORE

Winker Watson set for July Cup return

Winker Watson is set for an ambitious comeback in Saturday’s July Cup at Newmarket, after two seasons on duty as a stallion. “When he came to us earlier in the season he astounded me,” said trainer Mick Channon. MORE

Villas-Boas starts with Cole support

Chelsea manager Andre Villas- Boas will meet his new players for the first time tomorrow, as Ashley Cole pledged his support. “Age is just a number, he has experience of being at Porto, a big club,” said Cole. “Whatever manager comes in we respect him.” MORE

Monty: Rory took too long a break

Colin Montgomerie thinks Rory McIlroy should have had a shorter break between the US Open and the Open: “I can understand having two out of three weeks off, but I would like to have seen Rory play a competitive tournament between the two majors.” MORE

Nasri could be sold for £25m fee

Arsenal are considering allowing Samir Nasri to leave for £25m. Arsène Wenger will today try to convince him to stay, but he will not offer him a £120,000-per-week deal. Both Manchester clubs, both Milan clubs and Chelsea are interested in the midfielder.

Matterson leaving Casat season’s end

Castleford are looking for a new coach after Terry Matterson said that he is leaving at the end of the season. “I think it’s time to move on,” said the Australian, “I’ve had a great time at Cas and I’m proud of the growth the club has experienced in my time.” MORE

Clichy departs ‘collapsed’ Arsenal

Gael Clichy completed his move to Manchester City last night, saying that Arsenal had “collapsed” at the end of last season, and insisting that he joined City “because [he] wanted to win things”. Clichy will get a near 60 per cent pay rise to £90,000 per week. MORE

Cavendish dreams hit by Farrar run

Mark Cavendish’s aim of a 16th stage win of his career fell apart in the final kilometre yesterday after Tyler Farrar sheared away for his team’s second win in as many days. Cavendish was also stripped of 20 points he had won for an intermediate sprint.

James Lawton

Rory McIlroy was entitled to breathe the Wimbledon air so filled with excellence. His performances, and those of Novak Djokovic, may nourish a new generation and remind us of what can make sport worthwhile.

Scholes: What’s the point of Arsenal’s pretty football?

Manchester United’s Paul Scholes has questioned the worth of Arsenal’s commitment to attractive football. On the day that Gaël Clichy (below) left the club, and with Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas possibly to follow, Scholes queried the effectiveness of their approach. “They may play the prettiest football, but it doesn’t always produce the results they need,” Scholes said. “It does not irritate me [that people say they’re the best footballing team], because while they are doing that, we are winning games. They do play the best football to watch at times, but what is the point of that if you are not winning anything? Not only that, they are potentially going to lose their best players, in Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy.” Scholes, who retired from football in May, said that he had been so far been impressed by the new Chelsea manager Andre Villas- Boas. “The way he has spoken and addressed the media has been impressive,” Scholes said. “He comes across as someone who knows exactly what he wants from his players, and he has had a good grounding.” MORE