The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 18 July 2012


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The Independent Online

McIlroy pledges to learn lessons after last year's outburst

Rory McIlroy feels better pre-pared to cope with conditions at the championship following his outburst at Sandwich last year. "Those comments were pure frustration," he admitted ahead of this year's Royal Lytham tournament. "Having high expectations going into it, coming off a major win [the 2011 US Open], really wanting to play well and not doing that, was tough."

McIlroy had suggested that the conditions were to blame for his poor showing in Kent last summer. "Blaming the weather, the draw, my luck, was just frustration," the 23-year-old continued. "Looking back, I just didn't play well enough and didn't handle the conditions." MORE

Westwood rested and ready for duty

Lee Westwood is confident of a maiden major after preparations for Royal Lytham went well. "I played the course last week, which was a genius move because it was nice weather," he said. "Preparations have gone well. I had a week off, did some practice. My game is in good shape." MORE

Deng: Team GB out to prove a point

Luol Deng admits the British men's basketball side feel they have a point to prove at the Games. "We feel a little disrespected we didn't get the automatic home place," he said. "Since we got together we've been knocked down, whether by other coaches or fans." MORE

500,000 football tickets withdrawn

Half a million tickets for the men's and women's football tournaments have been withdrawn from sale following poor sales. Cardiff and Glasgow have proven particularly hard sells, with the Millennium Stadium in Wales set to host some matches with a closed top tier. MORE

Blake increases pressure with win

Yohan Blake continued to pressure compatriot Usain Bolt ahead of next month's London meetings, by winning the 100m in Lucerne in a time of 9.85sec. Blake beat the world-record holder, who was not racing in Switzerland, over both the 100m and 200m at last month's Jamaican trials. MORE

Robson tumbles out in first round

Britain's Laura Robson was unable to build on last week's semi-final in Palermo as she went out in the first round of the Swedish Open. The 18-year-old lost in straight sets to third seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, going down 6-4, 7-6 in Bastad.

Anderson prepared for 'intense' series

James Anderson says there will be no room for error in the Test series with South Africa. "There's not going to be time to ease in," he said. "We're going to have to be on top of our game from the first minute. It's going to be an intense few weeks." MORE

Schleck out after failed drugs test

Frank Schleck withdrew from the race last night after failing a doping test. The Luxembourg rider, of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, finished third last year but has tested positive for a banned diuretic. He was 12th overall ahead of today's 16th stage. MORE

Fergie confident of United recovery

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed his side to bounce back from losing their title to neighbours City. "Recovery is so important," the Scot said. "Exactly the same applies this season. There's no difference." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Victory at The Open would return Tiger Woods to world No 1. Somebody asked if he was surprised at the possibility of such a swift resurrection. His eyes narrowed only slightly when he said: "No." MORE