The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 27 June 2012


Pirlo: England were too conservative

Andrea Pirlo has slammed England for playing in a "conservative way," during Sunday's quarter-final defeat to Italy. "They were sitting back like Chelsea in the Champions League final," he said. "As far as they were concerned, getting as far as penalties was a good result." MORE

Giroud confident of settling in N5

Olivier Giroud feels he will settle quickly after completing a move from Montpellier to Arsenal. "I have the weapons to do well," the forward said. "I think I will adapt. I am not worried about integrating [as] there are a few French players here." MORE

Ronaldo the main danger to Spain

In their attempt to become the first side to win three consecutive international tournaments, Spain are wary of the dangerman in the Portuguese side they face tonight. As Madrid newspaper Marca wrote: "When Cristiano [Ronaldo] gets into a good run, he's unstoppable." MORE

Powell: Games will benefit women side

England women's coach Hope Powell believes the women's game will benefit from having an Olympics on home soil. "It's massive, I really can't express it," she said. "The fact it is on home soil will raise awareness and put us in the spotlight." MORE

Five alive as Brits make round two

James Ward, Elena Baltacha, and Anne Keothavong all joined Andy Murray in the second round, following Heather Watson's win on Monday. Great Britain's five places in round two – with James Baker yet to finish his opening match – is the best showing since 2006.

Kvitova begins with shaky win

Defending champion Petra Kvitova recovered from a 4-1 first-set deficit to make the second round, squeezing past Akgul Amanmuradova 6-4, 6-4. Elsewhere in the women's draw, there were wins for four-time champion Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. MORE

Farah criticised over 'showboating'

Mo Farah has been attacked over his showboating antics following last week's Olympic trials. "It is disrespectful to the athletes working their backsides off," Anthony Whiteman, who was behind Farah in the home straight, said. MORE

Warne slams ECB over KP retirement

Shane Warne has criticised England for allowing Kevin Pietersen to retire from limited-overs cricket. "Any team that hasn't got [him] is significantly weaker," Warne said. "It staggers me. I'm surprised the ECB didn't try and negotiate that better." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Cristiano Ronaldo is, as he frequently points out, a truly fabulous creature, beautiful, self-obsessed and for some years now the single most imp-ortant occupant of his extre-mely singular world. MORE

Majestic Murray makes short work of dire Davydenko

Andy Murray began his latest quest for a Grand Slam with as comfortable and routine a victory as he could have hoped for, easing past the Russian, Nikolay Davydenko, in straight sets on Centre Court last night.

The Scot came into the championships on poor form, losing three successive warm-up matches, and troubled by a back complaint, but any doubts were quickly dampened as Murray surged to a 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Davydenko, above, in just an hour and 35 minutes. The fourth seed exhibited some stunning tennis, in particular an improved forehand.

Davydenko was broken six times and was repeatedly forced into errors by Murray, who made only four unforced errors. "I've been desperate to get going because there's so much talk," Murray said. "It's never easy in the first round at Wimbledon, but it was a good start."

Murray will discover his second-round opponent today, when Ivo Karlovic resumes from two sets up against the Israeli Dudi Sela. MORE