The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 15 June 2011

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Frankel winson first day of Ascot

Frankel won the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot yesterday, although not by the margin many had expected. The 2,000 Guineas winner looked likely to win by a distance but slowed down in the final furlong, but held on by three-quarters of a length. MORE

Villa confirm McLeish talks

Aston Villa announced yesterday that they would not be swayed by their fans when it came to interviewing former Birmingham manager Alex McLeish for their vacant post. Villa said they will speak to McLiesh ‘imminently’ despite a legal battle. MORE

City will not pay Sanchez premium

The Manchester City chief executive, Garry Cook, refuses to be drawn into an auction for Udinese’s Alexis Sanchez, after his £25m valuation for the Chilean winger fell short of the Italian club’s £31m asking price. MORE

So You Think a strong favourite

So You Think will start at odds-on for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot today. The strongest oppostion should come from Planteur, whose form at Longchamp last month was solid. Rewilding and Twice Over are also contenders. MORE

Shearer in talks to take over at Cardiff

Alan Shearer has emerged as the surprise favourite to become the next manager of Cardiff City. The former Newcastle striker, and interim manager, is in talks to take the job recently vacated by Dave Jones after their Championship play-off defeat. MORE

Anderson: I have to lead the attack

Jimmy Anderson hopes to be fit for the third Test, which starts tomorrow, and recognises his duty to lead the attack. “Having extra responsibility means I must set the tone when I take the first over,” he said. “I’ve got to lead from the front.” MORE

Pearce ready to change his team

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce is prepared to make changes for today’s European Championship match with Ukraine. He said there were “one or two positions I need to sleep on”, after a poor performance in the 1-1 draw with Spain. MORE

Players warned over rise in dissent

County cricketers have been warned about dissent, after five players were found guilty this week. “There is more dissent than we would like,” said ECB official Alan Fordham. Rob Key and Murray Goodwin were among the recent offenders. MORE

Norwich close in on Bennett capture

Norwich City were last night on the brink of completing the transfer of Brighton midfielder Elliott Bennett. The club’s website said that the 22-year-old would soon join for an undisclosed fee. Manager Paul Lambert said he was “young and exciting”. MORE

Interview: John McEnroe

“I can tell you from experience that Andy Murray is wasting a lot of energy which he should be saving for when he takes on Nadal or Djokovic. It doesn’t take someone like Einstein to realise that anger isn’t helping.” MORE

Serena back and recovers towin

Serena Williams returned to competitive tennis yesterday with a victory, nearly one year after her last game. Williams lost her first five games to Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the Aegon International at Eastbourne but recovered to complete a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory. The 2010 Wimbledon winner had not played since that final, after needing two foot operations following an accident. She later needed a blood clot removed. At Eastbourne yesterday she was understandably rusty, and lost the first five games, before finding her best form again to win. “It wasn’t an easy match,” she said afterwards, “but I think more than anything I wanted to win.” MORE

Murray revels in famous trick shot

Andy Murray enjoyed his famous trick shot in Monday’s Queen’s final, and hopes to perform it again. “It was fun,” he said. “I’ve never missed that one in practice. People enjoy seeing stuff like that, it’s fun if you can throw in those reactions and skill shots.” MORE

Gullit sacked by Chechen president

Ruud Gullit’s spell as Terek Grozny manager ended last night as the legendary former player was sacked after another defeat in the Russian Premier League. Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen president and club owner, said: “Terek has never played so badly.” MORE