The sporting week ahead (07/07/12)

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The Independent Online


Given the trail blazed with such ferocity by the Welsh — sorry, British and Irish — Lions, surely the Scotsman will have his day in the sun today. Well he will, of course, because temperatures are tipped to hit 30C, but Andy Murray knows he is uniquely placed to join his great mates Sean Connery and Alex Ferguson as knights of the realm. It will be a titanic clash, with the thuds likely to echo all round SW19. The place will go into meltdown if he does it, so here's hoping...


If you still can't get enough of tennis then the Hall of Fame Championships start today in Newport. That's the one in Rhode Island, not South Wales. Meanwhile, the announcement by Manchester United of a new commercial partner is officially listed as an "event" for today, which tells you all you need to know about the modern game. The words hell and handcart come to mind.


But if the start of the football season can't come soon enough then there a raft of friendlies, from Buckie Thistle southwards, taking place tonight.


Halfway through July seems late to start the cricketing showpiece of the summer, but that's how it goes with game these days. Expectations of an England Ashes series triumph – ahead of the First Test at Trent Bridge – have never been so high, so you can expect the Australians to come out with their fists flailing (or have they done that already?)


Unlike cricket, the golfing calendar retains its predictability, so the Scottish Open remains the traditional warm-up act for the Open. Ernie Els, following his recent success at the Munich Open, is this year's top draw for the Inverness event ahead of his defence of the Claret Jug next week at Muirfield.


Have Australia lost yet? No, perhaps they'll hold out until tomorrow. Meanwhile, the impressive commitment by the BBC to women's football means all England's games in the European Championship will be shown live, starting with their opener against Spain – whose women are nothing like as good as their men.


Surely they've lost now? If so, athletics will get top billing for the World Trials and UK Championships in Birmingham. Elsewhere, Luke Campbell, the Olympic bantamweight champion, makes his professional debut in his home town of Hull.