British number two Heather Watson is one of a select few to make it through to the second round of a home tennis tournament this week, namely the AEGON Classic in Birmingham.
Still recovering from an early-season bout of glandular fever, Watson struggled at the French Open but has since shown some semblance of form, beating Hungary’s Melinda Czink in straight sets, 6-4 7-6. She was joined in the next round by Australian import Johanna Konta, a wildcard at the grass event, who defeated Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-2 6-4.
Not so great news for other British women, as Tara Moore lost both her singles and doubles matches, the latter alongside Melanie South, whilst Laura Robson teamed up with American Lisa Raymond – as they will at Wimbledon – only to lose in straight sets. Not much tennis was actually played down at Queens Club in London, with rain meaning that only youngster Kyle Edmund succumbed to defeat, losing to Russian Greg Zemlja. Elsewhere, Dominic Inglot partnered Treat Huey to make it into the next round of the Gerry Weber Open at the expense of Germans Mayer and Stadler.
Apologies for yesterday – I published results for the Men’s Trap event at the Nicosia World Cup, but it was only the first day of competition. As it happened, Aaron Heading, Mark Shaw and Daniel Tarrant all slipped further down the standings to end their weekend’s participation.
The English and Scottish squash teams will unfortunately face each other in the first knockout round at the World Team Squash Championships after both won their final group matches. The England trio of Adrian Grant, Nick Matthew and Daryl Selby dropped no games yesterday against Namibia and only four all week to top the group. Scotland also brushed aside Kuwait to set up the Last 16 showdown against the second seed English. Dougie Kempsell and his team will know they face a hard task to triumph against England, especially with James Willstrop to come back into the side.
UEFA’s European Under-21 Championships may be well under way, but England’s participation is already over. Stuart Pearce’s side failed to grab a single point in the woeful campaign and their only goal came courtesy of a Craig Dawson penalty – awarded when England were already losing 3-0 to Norway. Questions aplenty have already been asked about the manager’s ability and the state of English football, so I won’t go on about it here.
At the Tour de Suisse, several of Team Sky finished safely in the peloton as Luke Rowe secured 12th place on Stage 4. The British & Irish Lions continue to crush all opposition with a 64-0 demolition of the combined New South Wales/Queensland XV. Lucy Boulton and Zara Dampney’s success at the Montpellier Satellite was short-lived as they were knocked out in the first qualification round of The Hague Grand Slam.
Naomi Folkard enjoyed a positive start at the second Archery World Cup event of the year in Antalya, ranking 15th in the recurve qualification, whilst Ashe Morgan did the best for the men in 65th place. The pairings of Chris Langridge/Heather Olver and Chris Adcock/Gabby White both made it through the second round of the Indonesian Badminton Open with little difficulty. Finally, Dwain Chambers secured first place at the Moscow World Challenge with a time of 10.32 seconds. Michael Rimmer and Abigail Irozuru earned third place in the 800m and Long Jump respectively.