Sport Damir Dzumhur, world No 188, has reached the third round

When the Grand Slam tournaments upped their prize-money for players knocked out in the early rounds, they were thinking of people like Damir Dzumhur. Listen to the 21-year-old Bosnian's story and you appreciate that there is much more to this sport than the jet-setting world of multimillionaires such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Marc Wilson (right) tries to stop Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic

World Cup qualifiers round-up: Anders Svensson makes Irish suffer while Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick saves Portugal

The Republic of Ireland’s hopes of  securing a World Cup play-off place suffered a grievous blow last night when they let slip a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 to close rivals Sweden in Dublin, the veteran midfielder Anders Svensson getting the Swedes’ winner.

Fulham striker Darren Bent

Darren Bent backed to provide Fulham with cutting edge

Pajtim Kasami expects new arrival to make a difference

Chris Coleman remonstrates on the touchline with Gareth Bale as Wales take on Scotland

Transfer news: Tottenham winger Gareth Bale would adapt well to life at Real Madrid says Wales manager Chris Coleman

The 24-year-old's national boss, who spent time managing in Spain, has admitted his belief that Bale would fit in should he complete a move to the La Liga club

Stunningly repugnant: Elpida Hadzi Vasileva's installation for the Republic of Macedonia at Venice Biennale is made from albino rat skins, butterfly cocoons and 4 live rats

Art review: 55th Venice Biennale, Various venues outside the Giardini, Venice

Artist Alfredo Jaar makes the point that while 28 countries own national pavilions inside the Giardini, the remaining 60 are kept outside. Chile, his own country, has to rent its pavilion.

Lord Hanningfield is well-known as the MP who fiddled his expenses

Andy McSmith's Diary: Tories’ Essex man is a gift to Ukip

On an exceptionally good day for Ukip, one of their most extraordinary results was in Essex, where they had no county council seats until today but now have nine. The Tories lost 19 seats. There was a local issue at work here, a leading Essex Tory tells me: the “Hanningfield factor”. Lord Hanningfield is well known in Essex as the former council leader jailed for fiddling his Lords expenses.

Blood feuds are becoming a theme of Aminatta Forna’s work

Review: The Hired Man, By Aminatta Forna

Step-by-step DIY guide to ending a Balkan blood feud

Roberto Mancini said Vincent Kompany should remember who pays his wages
Vincent Kompany is back to his imposing best for City

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany could play for Belgium this week

Defender has not played since January

Fernando Torres missed several good chances for Chelsea

Match Report: Rafa Benitez leaps to defence of Fernando Torres after Eden Hazard saves Chelsea's skin

Chelsea 1 Sparta Prague 1 (Chelsea win 2-1 on aggregate)

Goran Popov spitting has caused more headaches for WBA manager Steve Clarke

Goran Popov makes apology for spitting

West Brom defender spat during his side's defeat to Tottenham

Goran Popov spitting has caused more headaches for WBA manager Steve Clarke

Popov Goran spits away West Brom's chance against Tottenham as woeful week worsens

West Brom manager Steve Clarke was scathing about his full-back's behaviour

Bold intent: Vladimir Jurowski conducting the LPO

IoS classical review: LPO/Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London
London Sinfonietta, Purcell Room, London
LSO/Bychkov/Kavakos, Barbican Hall, London

Death and grief prompt searing scores, interpreted with pathos and passion

Scotland manager Craig Levein

Craig Levein's days are numbered but who would replace him as Scotland manager?

The Scottish Football Association has a decision to make. With Scotland bottom of Group A, and six hard games left, their chances of reaching the 2014 World Cup have gone already. They look unlikely to catch Macedonia or Wales, to say nothing of Belgium and Croatia in the top two spots.

Scotland manager Craig Levein

Endgame for Craig Levein as defiance of Scotland manager peters out

Belgium 2 Scotland 0

Barcelona midfielder Pedro scored a hat-trick for Spain

International round-up: Ukraine draw a blank to lift England

Ukraine managed to produce just three shots on target as they drew 0-0 away to Moldova in the other game in England's Group H.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there