The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 31 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Murray begins against Indian

Andy Murray makes his bow at the US Open today against the 26-year-old Indian Somdev Devvarman. Murray’s compatriot Elena Baltacha went through last night, as American Jamie Hampton retired when trailing 2-6, 6-2, 5-1 in their first-round tie. MORE

Young England face India in T20

Stuart Broad will get the chance to develop his T20 captaincy skills tonight as England play India at Old Trafford in a one-off international. A young England squad of 13 for the game includes the inexperienced Ben Stokes, Alex Hales and Jos Buttler. MORE

Armitage: I won’t let England down

Delon Armitage hopes to take his chance of playing for England in the World Cup. “I thought I’d messed up my chances,” said the London Irish full-back. “I want to play for my country. I don’t want to let the side down.” MORE

City ‘train at level above Arsenal’

Samir Nasri has described his integration at Manchester City as “ideal”. “I know that training here every day, I will improve,” he said. “There is a lot of intensity. It’s the level above Arsenal. When we finish the session with a game, it feels like a competition game.” MORE

Ennis is beaten to heptathlon title

Jessica Ennis could not retain her heptathlon World Championship gold yesterday, taking silver behind Russia’s Tatyana Chernova. “Hats off to her,” said Ennis. “I’m not going to beat myself up. I’ve not shed any tears but I might do soon.” MORE

Wenger moves for £10m Mertesacker

Arsenal continued their rebuilding yesterday as they closed in on a £10m deal for German centre-back Per Mertesacker. South Korean forward Park Chu-young signed from Monaco for £3m and Brazilian left-back Andre Santos is also close to arriving. MORE

Greene has eyes on first British gold

Dai Greene comfortably won his 400m hurdles semi-final yesterday, providing hope for a British gold medal after Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah slipped up. “I’ve got to aim for the top of the podium,” said the Welshman. “I’m going to give it everything.” MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

England manager Martin Johnson says he “trusts” his players to conduct themselves properly at the World Cup in New Zealand. But the England cricket team’s professional approach shows the path to success. MORE

City make surprise move for ex-United man Hargreaves

Manchester City will seek financial agreement with Owen Hargreaves today and tomorrow after making an unexpected move for the free-agent midfielder. Hargreaves left Manchester United at the end of last season, and is available on a free transfer. His time at Old Trafford was disrupted by injuries; he played just five games in his last three years. City are keen to sign him though, and he underwent a medical at a Manchester hospital yesterday, to show that he is now fit. City were sufficiently satisfied to enter discussions over a “pay-as-you-play” deal. With Patrick Vieira retired, and Yaya Touré away for as long as six weeks at the African Nations Cup, City want a new back-up defensive midfielder. As Hargreaves is a free agent, he would not need to be signed before the deadline at 11pm tonight. MORE

Rooney ‘enjoying’ United life again

Wayne Rooney spoke yesterday of how content he feels since his decision to stay at Manchester United last year, and his improved form: “I am enjoying it and I am in a happy place both on and off the pitch. I am looking forward to every game that comes.” MORE

So You Think may stay in Europe

So You Think, trained by Aidan O’Brien, is such a favourite for Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes that attention has turned to his next challenge. He may not go back to Australia for his third Cox Plate, but race for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe instead. MORE

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