Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thursday's F1 gossip column

BBC Sport brings you a regular round-up of the gossip in newspapers and on specialist websites around the world.

Jenson Button is thrilled to be driving the ex-Alain Prost 1986 McLaren-TAG Porsche MP4/2C at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend.
Full story:

Organisers of a United States Grand Prix risk penalties if the race does not go ahead in 2012.
Full story:

Italy's motor racing sanctioning body has backed Ferrari's complaints about the outcome of the European Grand Prix.
Full story:

Sauber are working on understanding why they are slower in qualifying than races after Kamui Kobayashi's fourth place at the European Grand Prix.
Full story: Sauber

This story will be updated throughout the day

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Indian takes over as ICC president

Sharad Pawar
Pawar is a former Indian defence minister

Sharad Pawar has taken over as the new president of the International Cricket Council after succeeding David Morgan.

The ex-head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India will serve for two years, including the 2011 World Cup.

The 69-year-old assumed his duties from Welshman Morgan at the ICC's annual conference in Singapore.

Pawar's appointment comes shortly after former Australia prime minister John Howard's bid to become the next vice-president was rejected on Wednesday.

Pawar's promotion means the next vice-president must come from Australasia as part of the ICC's rotating policy of presidents.

However, both New Zealand and Australia were told to come up with an alternative candidate after Howard's application was rejected by the ICC's executive board, which consists of the 10 chairman from Test-playing nations.

Both countries have until 31 August to submit an alternative candidate, with New Zealander Sir John Anderson heading the list.

Pawar, who served as Morgan's understudy for two years, becomes the second Indian to hold the president's after Jagmohan Dalmiya, who held the post between 1997 and 2000.

The former chief minister for the state of Maharastra served as president of the BCCI between 2005 and 2008, when he was succeeded by current incumbent Shashank Manohar.

He takes over from ex-England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Morgan, who became ICC president in June 2008, overseeing two successful World Twenty20 tournaments.

"David Morgan has set the principles by which the ICC operates and now it is our responsibility to build on his legacy," said Pawar, who becomes the seventh ICC president.

Morgan wished his former vice-president luck and added: "In the past few days many people have thanked me for my contribution to cricket.

"All I would say is that cricket has been kind to me - it has given me much more than I have given back."

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Live - Wimbledon 2010

To get involved, please use Twitter, 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate)

By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

0940: Murray, impressively, didn't shy away from a question about Britain's epic wait for a men's singles champion at Wimbledon. "It's obviously been a huge, huge wait for us, and it's still going on now. It's something that's kind of joked about amongst players and people within tennis about how long it's been since someone British has won at Wimbledon. It's something that you just learn to deal with. It doesn't affect the way that I play. It's not something that you're thinking about when you're on the court at all."

0931: To be fair to the nation's scribes, there is plenty of realism around. Nadal hasn't lost at Wimbledon since a five-set defeat by Federer in the 2007 final, winning all 12 matches since. And as the Telegraph's Mark Hodgkinson points out: "British men are on a nine-match losing streak in Wimbledon semi-finals. Mike Sangster lost one, Roger Taylor lost three, Tim Henman lost four, and Murray lost one last summer, when he was stopped by a superb performance by Andy Roddick. Before he can emulate Fred, he must first emulate Bunny [Austin, the 1938 finalist]."

0920: The women's semi-finals begin with Zvonareva v Pironkova at 1300 BST, to be followed by Serena v Kvitova. Hard to pick a winner this year isn't it? Is it? Before that, let your eyes wander to Court 12 where Britain's Oliver Golding meets ninth seed Renzo Olivo of Argentina in the boys' quarter-finals. Then it's an ALL-BRITISH girls' quarter-final between Laura Robson and Tara Moore. Actions starts at 1200 BST there. Before even that, stick around here for more fall-out from the men's quarter-finals - and if all else fails, there's always brand new Hacker the Dog for 2010.

0911: It may be women's semi-finals day, but Perry, 1936, 74 years of hurt, and all that, is all over the newspapers this morning after Andy Murray saw off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the semi-finals for the second year running. And with Roger Federer out of the way, what can possibly go wrong? And who is this Nadal fella anyway?

It's good news for a Briton
0900: Good morning. Eleven days in, and I think it's time to give in to the inevitable and say it loud and proud: FRED PERRY.

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Thursday's gossip column

Transfers Other gossip And finally


Manchester City are ready to take their summer spending towards £90m by attempting to lure England midfielder James Milner in a £25m move from Aston Villa.
Full story: Daily Telegraph

City are expected to lodge an improved bid for Milner in the next seven to 10 days after having an initial £20m offer for the England international rejected by Aston Villa, and have not given up hope of landing Bosnia-Hercegovina striker Edin Dzeko despite Wolfsburg's £50m asking price. (The Times)

Liverpool-bound Roy Hodgson wants to spend the £15m transfer budget he will be handed when he checks in as boss at Anfield on midfielder Gilberto Silva, defender Brede Hangeland, forward Rafael van der Vaart and midfielder Danny Murphy.
Full story: Daily Mail

Barcelona will launch a £25m bid for Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano as soon as Yaya Toure completes his move to Manchester City.
Full story: The Sun

The Catalan club look set to beat Arsenal to the signing of Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil. Barcelona are reportedly ready to offer £18m for the 21-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of next season, and allow him to stay at his current club Werder Bremen on loan next season.
Full story: Daily Star

After spending much of the World Cup warming the bench for Spain, Barcelona transfer target midfielder Cesc Fabregas may stay at Arsenal after all.
Full story: Daily Mirror

The Gunners are eyeing a move for £10m-rated Germany defender Per Mertesacker and are already close to finalising an £8.5m deal for defender Laurent Koscielny from French club Lorient.
Full story: The Sun

West Ham are closing in on a deal to sign Brazilian wonderkid Neymar on a season-long loan, before the 18-year-old Santos forward then joins Chelsea in a year's time.
Full story: Daily Mail

Sunderland are close to signing Nigeria striker John Utaka from Portsmouth in a £2m deal.
Full story: Daily Mail

The Black Cats have bid £7m for England defender Matthew Upson - an offer that may tempt cash-strapped West Ham.
Full story: Daily Mirror

Former England defender Sol Campbell, 35, has stalled on joining Celtic because he is holding out for a new deal at Arsenal. (Daily Mirror)

Fulham have rejected a £6m bid from Birmingham for striker Bobby Zamora, while Burnley striker Robbie Blake has joined Bolton on a free transfer.
Full story: Daily Mail

Fulham have targeted West Ham striker Carlton Cole as a ready-made replacement for Zamora, who is set to follow manager Roy Hodgson out of Craven Cottage.
Full story: Daily Mirror

Alan Curbishley could be set for a players' revolt if he replaces Hodgson as Fulham manager as Danny Murphy, Paul Konchesky, John Pantsil and Zamora could demand moves from the Europa League finalists.
Full story: Daily Star


Roy Hodgson's two-year contract as Liverpool manager, which is expected to be signed on Thursday, will not contain a release clause allowing him to take the England job.
Full story: Daily Telegraph

Disarray within the Football Assocation could hurt England's chances of successfully bidding for the 2018 World Cup, with Fifa unhappy that interim chairman Roger Burden did not attend England's defeat by Germany in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
Full story: Daily Telegraph

David Platt is being lined up as Roberto Mancini's number two. The former England midfielder has been friends with the Manchester City manager since they played at Sampdoria. (The Sun)


Former Manchester United playmaker Eric Cantona is being lined up to play an evil alien in cult BBC sci-fi hit Doctor Who.
Full story: Daily Star

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Thursday's World Cup round-up

Robin van Persie and Bert van Marwijk
Van Persie was unhappy after being substituted against Slovakia

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk called a team meeting after reports in the Dutch media claimed Arsenal striker Robin van Persie said midfielder Wesley Sneijder should have been substituted instead of him in their last 16 win over Slovakia.

"I will never accept anything that could upset the next match," Van Marwijk told Dutch national broadcaster NOS.

"I spoke to Robin and he is supposed to have said something about Wesley.

"I've spoken to Wesley and after that I called the team together... told them what I think and then drew a line under it."

Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson is desperate for a chance to prove himself in the Premier League.

Kingson was released by Wigan in May after two years at the DW Stadium, where he made four first-team appearances.

"I have to prove myself in the Premier League. It is an unfulfilled mission for me," said the 32-year-old.

"I was waiting for my chance and it did not come. Now I am at the World Cup. I am playing, I am comfortable and I am happy. Everyone can see what I can do.

"I would still like to stay in England because I know I could play every week in the Premier League."

The newly-renovated Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was lit up by green and yellow lights to show support for the nation's football team ahead of their quarter-final clash with the Netherlands on Friday.

Updated throughout the day.

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Baines signs new Everton contract

Leighton Baines
Baines joined from Wigan in 2007

Defender Leighton Baines has signed a new five-year deal with Everton.

The 25-year-old was part of England coach Fabio Capello's provisional World Cup squad of 30 players but failed to make the final 23 for South Africa.

"It was simple - it would've been done sooner if I hadn't been on holiday," said the left-back, who joined Everton from Wigan in 2007 in a £6m deal.

The Goodison outfit have also signed French teenager Magaye Gueye from Strasbourg on a five-year deal.

The French Under-21 international, who turns 20 next week, scored nine times for the French second division side last season and arrives at the Premier League club for an undisclosed fee.


Gueye becomes Everton's third signing of the summer following the arrival of strikers Jermaine Beckford and Joao Silva.

Meanwhile, Baines joins Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman in agreeing to long-term deals with the club this summer.

"I still had two years left so wasn't really thinking about it but the manager [David Moyes] said to me at the end of last season that I had done well and he wanted to reward me with a new contract, which was great," added Baines.

"It is nice to have it sorted before we go away to Australia [pre-season tour] because I can focus on the football and not have anything going on in the background.

"I'm fully-focussed on the trip to Australia and hopefully that will be a good trip leading to a good season."

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Woods will make Ryder Cup - Pavin

Tiger Woods, file image
Tiger Woods finished in the top five at the US Open

Tiger Woods will make the United States Ryder Cup team on merit after a recent improvement in form, according to team captain Corey Pavin.

He says Woods is seventh in the points race with eight players guaranteed a place and four more captain's picks.

"I'm not concerned about whether he'll make the team on points - it'll be fantastic, I want him on the team," Pavin told the BBC.

The US and Europe face each other at Celtic Manor in October.

Woods returned to competitive golf in April after several months off following revelations about his extra-marital affairs.

Initially he struggled to make an impact, but his form has begun to improve and he finished only three shots off the lead at the US Open.

"He's the number-one player in the world. There's something wrong with you if you don't want him on the team," said Pavin.

"I want him to be playing well. He's finished in the top five in the last two major championships and he's put himself on the team right now - as it stands he's seventh on the list.

"I expect him to go up on that list and improve his position and he'll make the team no problem."

Despite his major wins, Woods has not enjoyed the best of fortunes at the Ryder Cup with a record of 10 wins, 13 losses and two halves from five events.

He has been on the winning team only once, in 1999, and was absent recovering from knee surgery when the Americans ended a nine-year drought by winning the event in 2008.

The biennial encounter takes place between 1 and 3 October.

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Aussies prevent England whitewash

Fourth one-day international, The Oval:
Australia 290-5 (50 overs) beat England 212 (42.4 overs) by 78 runs
Match scorecard

Paul Collingwood
Australia celebrate the key wicket of Paul Collingwood

By Oliver Brett

Australia won the fourth one-day international by 78 runs to end England's eight-match winning streak.

Michael Clarke hit 99 not out and Ricky Ponting 92 in Australia's 290-5, the first of two dead rubbers after England had claimed the series on Sunday.

Michael Yardy made 57 but England had a poor day with the bat and were bowled out for 212 in 42.4 overs, with fast bowler Ryan Harris picking up 5-32.

That left it 3-1 to the hosts with the finale to follow at Lord's on Saturday.

England had successfully chased Australian totals in each of the first three matches, and Andrew Strauss chose to repeat the formula in this 1300 BST start at The Oval.

But for once he found himself chasing a stiff target when he and Craig Kieswetter marched out to face Shaun Tait and Doug Bollinger in the late afternoon sunshine.

Australia's score had been built around a partnership of real class between Ponting and Clarke, accruing 155 in 25.4 overs.

Skipper Ponting, who became the third man to move past the 13,000-run mark in this format, hit 10 boundaries in the 93 balls he received, gave no chances and did not take undue risks either.

Craig Kieswetter was bowled by Ryan Harris
Craig Kieswetter fell to Ryan Harris early in England's chase

Not usually known for the most modern shots in the batting repertoire, he even exhibited a perfectly-executed reverse sweep off Yardy.

Clarke was dropped on five by James Anderson at short extra cover off Graeme Swann, and looked busier than he has done of late, but a failure to hit regular boundaries towards the end cost him his century as he took a single to reach 99 off the first ball of the final over, and did not get back on strike.

The only other Australian batsman to pass 20 was opener Shane Watson, who was 41 when hitting a catch straight to deep mid-wicket off Swann to leave both himself and non-striker Ponting mystified by the shot selection.

England's most profitable periods with the ball were the first 10 overs, in which Australia were restricted to 38-1, and the batting powerplay, taken between the 43rd and 47th overs, in which Ponting holed out to extra cover off Anderson.

As Clarke ran out of steam over the finish, Steve Smith struck a very handy unbeaten 18 from four balls.

Kieswetter and Pietersen, so good for England in the World Twenty20, continued their modest series when dismissed for 12 and eight respectively.

The Somerset opener was bowled through the gate by Harris, who also sent Pietersen on his way via an lbw decision from umpire Richard Kettleborough, with which the batsman, to judge by his meaningful stare down the wicket afterwards, was unimpressed.

Ricky Ponting sweeps as Craig Kieswetter looks on
Ponting batted beautifully at The Oval

Replays, however, suggested the ball would have crashed into middle-and-leg. But the lbw verdict awarded by the other umpire, Aleem Dar, against Paul Collingwood with Smith bowling his leg-breaks, was another matter.

The ball struck the right-hander outside off-stump, but worse still, it was spinning further away from the stumps. Collingwood, to his credit, did not linger - but England were in poor shape when he trooped back to the dressing room.

With Strauss (37) having edged Tait behind in the 14th over, Collingwood's demise left England in difficulties at 90-4 in the 20th.

England have come to rely on Eoin Morgan and with three effortlessly-driven sixes, all off James Hopes, he again showcased his phenomenal talents. But a typically enterprising knock of 47 came to an end when a thin edge off a drive to a wide delivery from Harris was easily held by wicketkeeper Tim Paine.

Realistically, that put the kibosh on England's chase with 151 still wanted, five wickets in hand and a required rate of seven runs an over.

Luke Wright has lost his number six spot to Yardy for the time being, and soon lost his way against Smith, bowled meekly behind his legs as he attempted to defend.

Yardy and Tim Bresnan needed 100 off the last 11 overs when taking the batting powerplay, with Australia already heavy favourites.

Three wickets then fell in the space of nine balls to Bollinger and Harris to leave number 11 James Anderson having to face the Aussie pace attack for the first time in the series.

And when Stuart Broad chipped a catch into the off-side in the 43rd over, the floodlights had barely started to take effect.

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Serena heads semi-final line-up

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Live on BBC One and Two, HD, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary online and on mobile phones; watch again on BBC iPlayer Full details of BBC coverage

Wimbledon day 10 preview

Wimbledon day 10 preview

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Serena Williams will be expected to take another step towards a fourth Wimbledon title when she heads Thursday's surprise semi-final line-up.

Vera Zvonareva plays Tsvetana Pironkova in the first match on Centre Court at 1300 BST, before defending champion Williams faces Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova faces a daunting task against Williams, who has yet to drop a set.

World number 82 Pironkova shocked Venus Williams in the quarter-finals, while 21st seed Zvonareva beat Kim Clijsters.

Williams thrashed the 20-year-old Kvitova for the loss of just three games at the Australian Open in January but the left-handed Czech has been in superb form on the Wimbledon grass, beating 14th seed Victoria Azarenka and third seed Caroline Wozniacki for the loss of just 11 games.

Asked if she could win the tournament after saving five match points to beat Kaia Kanepi in the quarter-finals, Kvitova said: "I don't think so.

Honestly, I still cannot believe that I reached the semi-finals, this is truly like a dream to me

Tsvetana Pironkova

"Serena is a very good player and she won here I don't know how many times. I lost against her in the Australian Open, it was very quick.

"But I'm not favourite, so I can play just my game and enjoy, so we will see."

It would appear that Williams has a higher opinion of Kvitova than the Czech herself, the American saying: "She's a good player. I've actually thought she would get through in the early rounds. I'm not surprised that I'm playing her. She is lefty. She's really, really good."

And Williams was quick to play down any talk that she has had one hand on the trophy after the other leading names went out.

"It's not mine to lose, it's mine to win if I can get it," she said. "There's three other people that are vying to win it. They have just as good a chance as I do."

Most experts had predicted an all-Williams final, but Pironkova dismantled five-time champion Venus's game in the quarter-finals.

"Honestly, I still cannot believe that I reached the semi-finals," said the Bulgarian. "This is truly like a dream to me, and I will try to enjoy it as much as I can.

"I really hope that I have more to offer. I'll just try to do all the right things: to rest well, to prepare well for the next match. I'll just try to do my best and we'll see what happens."

Tsvetana Pironkova

Venus crashes out to Pironkova

Zvonareva won just two games in her only previous match against Pironkova in Moscow last year, but the Russian has been showing the kind of form at Wimbledon that made her a fixture in the top 10 in 2008 and 2009.

"I always believed in myself and I believed I could be here," said Zvonareva. "But obviously when you go through a lot of injuries in your career, it puts a lot of doubts in your head. It is very difficult to come back after an injury. You lose a lot of confidence.

"But I know as soon as I feel 100%, I will be able to play good tennis again. It's just matter of time."

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Aguirre resigns as Mexico coach

Former Mexico coach Javier Aguirre
Aguirre has left Mexico after his second spell in charge of the national team

Mexico coach Javier Aguirre has stood down after his team failed to make the World Cup quarter-finals in South Africa for the fifth time in a row.

Mexico did well to get out of the group stages but were soundly beaten 3-1 by Argentina in Johannesburg on Sunday, failing to get past the last-16.

"I have to leave, it's the most honest thing to do," said Aguirre.

The 51-year-old, who succeeded Sven-Goran Eriksson in April 2009, was Mexico's fourth coach in four years.

He also coached the team in the 2002 World Cup, but was replaced after Mexico were eliminated by the United States.

The future is in the hands of our young players

Javier Aguirre

"Everything I did, I did thinking of the well-being of Mexico," added Aguirre, who said the next coach appointed by the Mexican Football Federation should be retained for the entire four-year World Cup cycle - which will end with the 2014 finals in Brazil.

"I'm the person responsible. I had a commitment to reach the fifth round. We didn't qualify for the next round, and because of this one can consider it a failure."

Citing players such as the attacking trio of Javier Hernandez, Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela, Aguirre continued: "The future is in the hands of our young players."

Aguirre took over from Eriksson a few weeks after being fired by Spanish club Atletico Madrid but has suggested that he may now be out of work for a while.

In the group stages, Mexico opened with a disappointing 1-1 draw with hosts South Africa before beating France 2-0 and then losing 1-0 to Uruguay.

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Klitschko set for Povetkin bout

Wladimir Klitschko, file image
Wladimir Klitschko taunted David Haye in a video message earlier this year

Wladimir Klitschko will defend his IBF heavyweight title against Alexander Povetkin from Russia, delaying an expected bout with Briton David Haye.

Klitschko's management firm announced it would promote the fight, but did not confirm a date or location.

"I am very happy that we have won the bid and will promote the fight," said Klitschko on his firm's website.

In April, WBA champion Haye announced that he was in talks with Klitschko to stage a title fight.

The announcement came shortly after Klitschko, 34, had taunted Haye in a video message.

Haye has also said he wanted to fight Wladimir's older brother, WBC champion Vitali, in an attempt to unify belts.

But little has been heard of either of the proposed clashes since April.

And Wladimir Klitschko's decision to fight undefeated Povetkin, the IBF's number-one ranked challenger, means a fight with Haye is unlikely to happen until next year at the earliest.

Povetkin, 30, and Klitschko had arranged a fight in 2008, but it was called off after the Russian injured his ankle.

While Povetkin has won all 19 of his fights so far, Klitschko has registered 54 wins and three defeats.

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French politicians deny meddling

Raymond Domenech (left) and Jean-Pierre Escalettes
Domenech (left) and Escalettes prepare for Wednesday's parliamentary hearing

France's government says it has not meddled with its football federation.

Fifa criticised the government after it summoned manager Raymond Domenech and the French federation's former president to a hearing on Wednesday.

"There was never any question of the French government interfering in the affairs of the French Football Federation," said spokesman Luc Chatel.

France came bottom of their group after infighting within the squad led to the team refusing to train.

It is normal for members of parliament to try to find out exactly what happened because it is a topic that preoccupies French people

French government spokesman Luc Chatel

Domenech and former French Football Federation (FFF) president Jean-Pierre Escalettes, who resigned on Monday, appeared before a parliamentary commission to explain what went wrong in South Africa.

Striker Thierry Henry held talks with French president Nicolas Sarkozy last week to explain his side of what went wrong.

France's problems began after their 2-0 defeat to Mexico, when striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for verbally insulting Domenech.

The following day the entire French squad refused to train in protest at the decision and Manchester United defender and France captain Patrice Evra had to be separated from fitness coach Robert Duverne after an argument.

Domenech dropped a number of the squad's senior players, who were seen as being behind the problems, for their final group match against South Africa which they lost 2-1.

There were accusations that French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot had interfered with the FFF by calling on Escalettes to resign, a claim Chatel denies:


"She indeed indicated that she personally believed his resignation was unavoidable but she did not ask for his resignation," he said.

"It is normal for members of parliament to try to find out exactly what happened because it is a topic that preoccupies French people."

Fifa rules state that national governments must not interfere with the affairs of their football federations.

Any country whose government does interfere with the running of their federation is liable to have its national and club sides banned from international competition.

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Nadal hits back to beat Soderling

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Live on BBC One and Two, HD, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary online and on mobile phones. Full details of BBC coverage

Rafael Nadal in action during his match against Robin Soderling
Nadal was unable to defend his title last year because of injury

By Ian Westbrook
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal hit back from a disastrous first set to beat Robin Soderling 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 on Court One and reach his fourth Wimbledon semi-final.

Soderling raced 5-0 ahead in the opening set after just 18 minutes and took it despite a brief Nadal rally.

But Nadal went 3-0 up in the second and went on to close it out.

He took the third on a tie-break after Soderling called for the trainer when he was about to serve for the set and rattled through the fourth to seal it.

"I started so slow but Robin was playing very long, powerful shots so it was very difficult to have control of points," Nadal told BBC Sport afterwards.

"After that, I have some problems in the first game of the second set, I saved a break point, and after that the match changed a lot.

"I'm feeling great. To be in the semis here another time is a dream for me. It's a very important moment of the season for me after the clay season. I think I'm playing better and better every day."

Soderling started off in amazing fashion by racing through the first five games.

He lost just one point in his opening service game and then trailed 40-15 on Nadal's serve in the next before the Spaniard whacked a shot into the net and was then beaten by a forehand by the sixth seed, who broke at his second opportunity when the world number one double-faulted.

A quick hold from Soderling was followed by another break as a sliced backhand from Nadal failed to clear the net - and when the Swede was untroubled in yet another service game he led 5-0.

He had a set point in the next game but the world number one dug himself out of trouble to finally get off the mark.

Inspired, Nadal broke for the first time when Soderling double-faulted and he then held again to put his opponent under pressure but although the first point of the next game went to the Spaniard, the 12th seed regained the initiative to take the set on his second set point.

There was a stormy start to the second set as the umpire awarded a point to Soderling in the opening game as Nadal was still playing a shot. After a lengthy argument with the official the fired-up Spaniard resumed - saving a break point and going on to take the game.

More to follow.

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Live - Tsonga v Murray

To get involved, please use 606, Twitter or text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate)

By Tom Fordyce
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Tsonga 6-6 Murray
Splendid under pressure. There's an ace, a delicate half-volley, a rock-wristed backhand - we'll march into a breaker...

Tsonga 6-5 Murray *
Tension starting to ratchet up now. Murray sitting very deep to receive serve, jumping up and in as the ball is tossed high - slight sniff at 30-30, but that's a rock-solid overhead from the 25-year-old Frenchman. First time in the tournament so far that Murray's had six games taken off him in a set. Steady now - it doesn't have to be an omen.

* Tsonga 5-5 Murray
Murray content to be cautious here, and I'm not sure that's always the wisest tactics against such a feisty, aggressive player. Blistering forehand down the line from Tsonga at 0-15 - it's called in, and Murray will challenge... Lordy, out by by a millimetre of ball fuzz. Almost an action replay next up, but this time with the ball fractionally further in - break point. Big first serve, scamper to the net, one put-away.... and another, scare averted. Deuce. Ah yes - ace down the middle for Murray ad, followed by another to bring us level again. Nervy times.

Tsonga 5-4 Murray *
Suddenly the gloves come off. Counter-punching backhand from Murray, J-Tson left wrong-footed, and we'll have our first break point... no, saved with a rapid first serve that can only be fended into the tape. Big booming serve - out wide, this time, and it's called out - Tsonga will challenge, rightly so, and Hawk-Eye shows that it nibbled the outermost crust of the line. Murray must hold serve to stay in the set.

* Tsonga 4-4 Murray
All about the serving so far. Murray never troubled in that one, the re-filling Centre cheering him back to his towel on another scorching, sweaty SW19 afternoon.

Tsonga 4-3 Murray *
A line of youthful spectators in neon pink, blue, green, yellow and white t-shirts (one in each, not some dreadful melange) - I think they might be spelling something out, but they're facing the wrong way for me to see. Tsonga rumbles through his service game like a runaway dumper-truck.

* Tsonga 3-3 Murray
Encouraging early signs on the Murray serve, much more 3rd round v Simon than 4th v Querrey. He's landing the first ones, controlling the points and dashing in to flick a gossamer-touch drop-shot cross-court when JWT has the temerity to slice in a forehand tempter.

Tsonga 3-2 Murray *
Two very different sets of tactics out there, if expected - JWT looking for polish points off as soon as possible, punching big forehands from all around, Murray preferring to stay in the points with slice 'n' dice. The Frenchman's paying off a touch better at the mo - hold to love, few dramas.

* Tsonga 2-2 Murray
Muted atmosphere out there at the moment, the aftermath of the the Federer shock still silencing the spectators, the reserves of adrenaline taking time to be replenished. Murmurs as Murray slices a backhand into the net, but Tsonga then goes long with a sliced approach. Murray at 40-30 - mmm, ace down the middle for parity.

Tsonga 2-1 Murray *
A fact to calm the nascent nerves: Murray has won his last 20 matches against French players. One to wobble them: the last one to beat him was Tsonga. Solid hold from the Ali-alike, the seats now starting to be filled again as the players park up for the changeover.

* Tsonga 1-1 Murray
They've met three times before, these two, with Murray 2-1 up - but we all remember that first round shock at the Aussie Open two and a half years ago. First ding-dong on grass. Jo-Tso doesn't like to mess about, and a punchy backhand from mid-court takes him to 30-30, only for an over-ambitious thrasher to gift any sniff of a break away.

Tsonga 1-0 Murray *
Barely anyone left around Centre - no-one moved for the last two sets of Berdych's dethroning of Federer, and there's a whole lot of leg-stretching and bladder-emptying that needs to be done. It's not quite as Murray would have pictured it. Tsonga up first to serve, and a couple of big crashers pull him away from a potential pickle at 30-30.

* denotes next server

1553: I can't quite believe what we've seen at this Wimbledon. I'm not just talking about Federer crashing out - I've just popped to the gentlemen's toilets on Centre, and there are ladies in there Not at the urinals, not yet, but it's surely only a matter of time.

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Nigeria president suspends team

Dejected Nigeria players after being knocked out of the World Cup
Nigeria managed only one point after drawing 2-2 with South Korea

Nigeria's president has suspended his nation's football team from international competition for two years after a poor showing at the World Cup.

Special presidential adviser Ima Niboro told reporters the decision by Goodluck Jonathan will "enable Nigeria to reorganise its football".

The BBC understands the Nigerian Football Federation is to be dissolved and an interim board appointed.

Nigeria were knocked out in the group stages without winning a game.

Niboro said: "This directive became necessary following Nigeria's poor performance in the ongoing World Cup.

Under Fifa rules, government interference with national teams is strictly forbidden.

More to follow

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Uruguay defender out of Ghana tie

Luis Suarez celebrates followed by his team-mates

Highlights - Uruguay 2-1 South Korea

Diego Godin will not play in Uruguay's World Cup quarter-final against Ghana, coach Oscar Tabarez has confirmed.

Defender Godin suffered a thigh injury in Uruguay's 2-1 last-16 victory over South Korea.

"He is not fully recovered. He is not in the team because in my opinion he is not 100% fit," said Tabarez,

Mauricio Victorino is set to replace Godin for Friday's game, with Alvaro Fernandez preferred to Alvaro Pereira in midfield.

Uruguay have only conceded one goal in the tournament so far, with Godin, from Spanish club Villarreal, playing a key role.

And it is doubtful whether he will even be fit enough to make the substitutes' bench in Johannesburg.

Despite that, striker Diego Forlan told journalists the team was well-prepared and confident they could beat Ghana and reach the last four for the first time since 1970.

Uruguay defender Diego Godin and Nicolas Anelka
Diego Godin helped shut out France in Uruguay's opening game

"We are following the instructions of Tabarez and we are confident we can reach the semi-finals to give joy to our people," he said.

Forlan scored twice against Cup hosts South Africa during the first round, but since then has been overshadowed by the performances of strike partner Luis Suarez.

"I have a good relationship with Luis and I'm happy to see him score. We have a collective objective, not personal. We just want to help the team," Forlan added.

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Federer stunned by super Berdych

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Live on BBC One and Two, HD, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary online and on mobile phones; watch again on BBC iPlayer Full details of BBC coverage

Roger Federer
Federer was bidding to reach his 26th Grand semi-final

By David Ornstein
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Six-time champion Roger Federer saw his defence of the Wimbledon title come to a shock end as he was stunned in four sets by Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych.

The Swiss top seed was beaten 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4 to give 24-year-old Berdych the biggest victory of his career.

Federer had not lost before the final at SW19 since 2002 and was bidding to win a record-equalling seventh title.

But Berdych gave a performance of the very highest order to set up a semi-final meeting with Novak Djokovic.

"It's really tough to explain how I'm feeling, it's unbelievable," Berdych told BBC Sport after leaving Centre Court to a standing ovation.


"To play on this stadium against a player as great as Roger and to be standing here as the winner is absolutely amazing.

"This was the toughest match of my career to close out, it's a big step forward and I'm so happy.

"Right now it's really tough to think about my next match - I just want a few minutes and hours to enjoy this. Then I have to get ready and prepare for my next opponent."

Berdych becomes the first Czech man to reach the last four of Wimbledon since Ivan Lendl in 1990 and he fully deserves to be there following this history triumph.

Having beaten Andy Murray on route to his first Grand Slam semi-final at this year's French Open and now dispensed with arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, the 6ft 5ins right-hander is building quite some reputation.

The result will see Federer drop number three in the world rankings for the first time since November 2003 and he must now regroup before launching his bid to reclaim the US Open title he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in September 2009.

"I don't think I played poorly but he went after it," said the 29-year-old current world number two. "I was not able to defend well enough and I didn't come up with the good stuff when I had to."

More to follow.

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Schweinsteiger wary of Argentina

Bastian Schweinsteiger
Schweinsteiger has been a key player for the Germans

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger has warned that his side must not be "provoked" by Argentina during the World Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

The midfielder believes Argentina's players set out to unsettle opposing teams and influence match officials.

He said: "It starts before the match. You see how they gesticulate, how they try to influence the referee.

"That is not part of the game. That is a lack of respect. They are like that. We should not be provoked by them."

Schweinsteiger was part of the Germany squad when they beat Argentina 4-2 on penalties at the same stage of the last World Cup after extra-time ended with the sides level at 1-1.

The referee waves the Mexico and Argentina players away

Tevez puts Argentina into controversial lead

That victory was marred by ugly scenes after the match, when players and coaches from both teams clashed on the pitch.

There was also a heated exchange between the Argentina and Mexico benches at half-time in their second-round match on Sunday, after the South American team's first goal was allowed to stand despite a clear offside.

"This behaviour shows their character and mentality," added Schweinsteiger.

"I hope the referee will pick up the feeling of who is provoking whom. We saw that again in their match against Mexico."

Meanwhile, germany coach Joachim Loew said he has detected "weaknesses" in the Argentina side which he hopes his side can exploit.

"They have great qualities - for me, they are one of the favourites for this tournament," said Loew.

"They have a lot of experience, they have an impressive attack and not just through forward Lionel Messi alone.

"We have found weaknesses in their side, but I will keep that information for my players."

Meanwhile, Germany forward Cacau looks unlikely to recover from a thigh problem in time for the game in Cape Town.

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Djokovic beats Lu to reach semis

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Live on BBC One and Two, HD, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary online and on mobile phones. Full details of BBC coverage

Third seed Novak Djokovic on his way to victory over Yen-Hsun Lu at Wimbledon
Djokovic last reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2007

By Ian Westbrook
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic produced a powerful display to end the run of unseeded Yen-Hsun Lu with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 win which secured a place in the semi-finals.

The third seed's serve dominated and he did not face a single break point against the world number 82.

Lu played well but was no match for Djokovic, who is in the last four at Wimbledon for the second time.

One break of serve in the first set and two in each of the second and third gave the Serb a comfortable victory.

Djokovic was delighted with his performance, telling BBC Sport: "Nothing is easy these days especially at this stage of the tournament but the way I played I deserved to win. I hit all the shots, played the rallies and was solid from all parts of the court and I am very happy.

"I sincerely hope I can continue with this level of my game but you never know how you are going to wake up in two days but the way I am playing match after match is very encouraging.

"You have nothing to lose in the semi-finals and definitely this time I am physically fitter than in my last one three years ago."

Djokovic showed his intentions right from the start with a love service game - one of three he produced in the opening set - and it was obvious that Lu would need to avoid being broken to have a chance of staying in the contest.

More to follow.

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Westwood hit by blood clot scare

Lee Westwood
Westwood missed the cut when the Open was last played at St Andrews in 2005

Britain's Lee Westwood has withdrawn from Wednesday's French Open pro-am with a suspected blood clot in his leg.

The world number three, 37, had been troubled by pain and swelling in his calf and ankle for two days and was taken to hospital for tests.

He will decide whether to play in the main event when test results are known.

"He has to take the doctor's decision seriously because it's a very important time of the year with The Open coming up," his manager Stuart Cage said.

Westwood was third in the Open at Turnberry in 2009 and is regarded as one of the favourites to secure his first major title when the Championship begins at St Andrews on 16 July.

He was also third at last year's US PGA Championship and at this year's Masters went one better, finishing second behind Phil Mickelson.


Westwood then won the St Jude Classic before claiming a share of 16th place in the US Open at Pebble Beach.

Explaining the background to the injury scare Cage added: "Lee felt pain in the calf and it was swollen on Tuesday. But when he woke this morning his ankle was swollen too so he decided to have it checked out in the physio's truck.

"The French doctor there thought it could be a blood clot and said Lee should got hospital for tests so he pulled out of the pro-am."

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Injury sidelines Brazil ace Elano

The injury is a major disappointment for Elano

Brazil's Elano has been ruled out of the World Cup quarter-final against Netherlands with an ankle injury and could miss the rest of the tournament.

Elano, 29, was hurt during his side's group-stage win over Ivory Coast and limped out of training on Tuesday.

Brazil's team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said: "The bone is swollen inside.

"He has been undergoing treatment which can take a few days, weeks or a month, there is no timetable. Each day we will make an evaluation."

Elano scored in Brazil's opening two World Cup games before being on the receiving end of a crunching tackle from Ivory Coast defender Cheik Tiote in the final group match.

The former Manchester City player is angry that Tiote's challenge went unpunished.

Luis Fabiano celebrates with Kaka and Robinho

Extended highlights - Brazil 3-1 Ivory Coast

"I told the referee that he didn't even give a free-kick for a tackle which could have broken my leg," said Elano.

"The same player then committed another heavy foul on Robinho for which he should have been sent off.

"They have to have another look at this type of violence, because the people who are losing out are the ones who get injured.

"In our team, we have players with different characteristics but you never see our players committing a malicious tackle, in contrast to some of our opponents."

He added: "I feel sad occasionally but it passes quickly. I'm very optimistic. I've been through a lot of difficult things in my life and this is just another rock on my path."

Elano was initially able to train and had hoped to had hoped to play against Chile on Monday, but he missed the match after complaining of further pain, which has continued to trouble him since then.

Brazil's Robinho

Extended Highlights - Brazil 3-0 Chile

Runco revealed: "He can walk and run without changing direction, the problem is the impact, when he puts weight on it.

"The treatment is to avoid impact. He can work in a swimming pool and on the exercise bike.

"He is working intensely, so we have to see if nature can give a helping hand."

Elano's absence is a blow for the Brazilians, especially as fellow midfielder Ramires is suspended and there are also doubts over the fitness of Felipe Melo and Julio Baptista.

Melo is also nursing an ankle problem, while Baptista suffered a knock against Portugal.

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Olazabal set for France comeback

Jose Maria Olazabal
Olazabal tried to make a comeback at a pro-am event in Majorca in May

Spain's injury-plagued Jose Maria Olazabal is to play his first event of the year when he contests the French Open, which starts on Thursday.

The 44-year-old, who has been sidelined with rheumatic shoulder pain, says he is well enough to play.

"I cannot say I'm feeling good or 100% pain-free but there has been some improvement in the last couple of months," he said.

"I haven't been able to practise like one should."

Olazabal's career has been dogged by injury and illness - he suffered from rheumatoid arthritis in the 1990s - and he revealed has not found a cure for his latest ailment.

The former Ryder Cup vice-captain and twice US Open winner added: "I've been in a lot of pain. When you struggle to lift a glass of water, it's quite severe.

"I've seen a bunch of doctors, been all over the place but they really can't pinpoint what is causing it."

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England were impatient - Wenger

Downcast England players

Highlights - Germany 4-1 England

England were "killed by their own impatience" in their 4-1 World Cup defeat by Germany, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Wenger believes England should have used their experience to stop Germany's counter-attacking threat.

England pulled the score back to 2-1 and had a goal disallowed but were hit on the break when hunting an equaliser.

"England had taken over the game and I think they were killed by their impatience," he told Arsenal's website.

"They came back in the second half to 2-1 and they controlled the game.

"What made me sad was that, with the experience they had, they were caught. It was free-kick for England, goal for Germany.

"You do what they did with five minutes to go OK but not with 25 minutes left."


England's disappointing performances in the tournament in South Africa has led to criticism of manager Fabio Capello, the players, the structure of the Premier League as well as increasing calls for a winter break.

However, Wenger believes the levels of expectation weighed heavily on the England camp.

"Many teams start slow in the group stage," he said.

"I remember in 2006, France were horrible in the group stage but they found momentum in the quarter-final and semi-final because they had no pressure any more.

"England suffered under pressure. They did not look sharp.

"Also England did not seem to be at the level to use their main strength - the huge pace they put in the game.

"Was that physical fatigue or a mental reason? I do not know but you never found the sense of English football in there."

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Celtic hold Du-Ri signing talks

South Korea's Cha Du Ri
Du Ri played in three matches for South Korea at the South Africa World Cup

Celtic are in talks with South Korean World Cup defender Cha Du Ri, who is available under freedom of contract.

The 29-year-old right-back is having discussions with representatives of the club in Glasgow but it is unlikely a deal will be concluded immediately.

Du Ri also played in the 2002 World Cup, but as a forward, and has since converted to defence and is now noted for his willingness to join attacks.

Nicknamed "The Human Weapon", he spent last season at German club Freiburg.

However, he lost his place as the team struggled in the Bundesliga and he made his final appearance on 6 March.

Du Ri has previously played for Bayer Leverkusen, Arminia Bielefeld, Eintracht Frankfurt and Mainz.

The Frankfurt-born player was given his international debut by Guus Hiddink, and was mainly used as a substitute at the 2002 World Cup while still a student, where his only start was in the semi-final against Germany.


Six-foot Du Ri seemed to lose his scoring touch at club level, managing only five in the German top flight from 2002 to 2006.

Left out of the squad for the 2006 World Cup, he switched position to right-back, but remained outside the Korean set-up during two seasons with Koblenz in the German second division.

He returned to the Bundesliga with Freiburg last summer, and his consistent form saw him called up for last October's friendly with Senegal.

His father, Cha Bum-kun, is arguably Korea's greatest player, with 121 caps and captaining the side at the 1986 World Cup, before coaching them at France '98.

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Live - Federer v Berdych

To get involved, please use 606, Twitter or text us your vi ews & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate)

By Tom Fordyce
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Federer 4-5 Berdych *
Another backhand pass from Berders, something else that wasn't in the script. Net-cord from Fed to ease the pain, followed by a chipped drop-shot that leaves the big unit floundering. Now then - can he seal the deal off his own serve?

* Federer 3-5 Berdych
Ouch - huge serve from Berders, lolloping in behind it to slap away a forehand volley. The champ can't get close to that - ace, thrasher, ace - and he must now hold serve to stay in the set. What was it Stiller as White Goodman screamed in Dodgeball? "You're going down Lafleur, you're going down like a sweet muffin!"

Federer 3-4 Berdych *
Poor approach from Fed, giving Berders both the time and angle to crack another forehand winner down the line. Fed has only won a single point on his second serve so far, and that's weak again - forehand into the tape for break point, and that's the strangest of shots - a feeble, sit-up forehand that Berders can cream deep and force a hurried waft... long, from the hurried Swiss, and the break has been snatched. Ben Stiller there, bigger of hair than normal. Will come back with some sort of Dodgeball reference/gag shortly.

* Federer 3-3 Berdych
Another famous face there in the Box - Professor Minerva McGonagall, otherwise known as Dame Maggie Smith. Was rather hoping to be able to segue from that into some sort of 'magic from the two players' line there, but it's more slugfest than sorcery so far. Big forehand from Berders to draw level.

Federer 3-2 Berdych *
Another one of those lovely dipping backhand passes from Berdych, but it's small succour against a spot-on Fed serve. Lovely ripping backhand from Roger, watched on approvingly by wife Mirka in a lemon-yellow pastel cardigan.

Text in your views on 81111
Dan via text to 81111: "Shouldn't the collective noun be 'a wrinkle of Chelsea pensioners in the crowd'?"

* Federer 2-2 Berdych
Checking the Royal Box invites list, it appears that there's also a chap in there called Mr Lee Styslinger III. What my friend Ben Dirs would give for a name like that. Federer finds himself foxed by a deep forehand that misbehaves on the bare patch just inside the baseline, but then spots a Berdych dropper a mile off and cruises in to dispatch with elan. Ah, lovely backhand pass from the Czech, dipping one up and over the net and past the stretching Federer racquet, and crashing serve - 137 mph - forces Fed to send his return long.

Federer 2-1 Berdych *
This is warming up nicely - service hold to love for Federer, going wide to the Berd backhand and cantering through at pace. Who's that in the Royal Box? Looks remarkably like Sir Michael Caine. And isn't that Jennifer Saunders?

* Federer 1-1 Berdych
The first time these two played each other, Berdych made Roger cry. Sounds unlikely I know, but so did Pironkova in the semis until Tuesday. Happened at the Athens Olympics after a defeat early in the tournament. Perfect start this time, the first serve a brutal weapon, Federer helpless under its onslaught.

Federer 1-0 Berdych *
Sunshine breaks through for the first time today as - nope, it's gone back in again. Super forehand from Berders, opening up his body to lace one down the line. Ace from Rog, and he appears to be cruising, but that's a lame backhand into the net - and now another! Gasps of astonishment around Centre, but that's a rock-solid backhand after a racing forehand approach - serve held, and a little clenched fist there from Federer. Nervous?

* denotes next server

1304: Federer prowling about in his cable-knit cardie, somehow combining knitwear and menace in a way not seen since Val Doonican last picked up a guitar.

1301: Big unit, Berdych - 6' 5", legs like racehorse, lots of weight behind that serve. A patch of red in the corner of Centre - we've got an outing of Chelsea Pensioners in place. Welcome, dapper old stagers.

1258:Come on, it's an easy put-away at the net. Berdych. Hello - here come the players!

1255: Intriguing head-to-head record between these two. Roger leads eight wins to two, including both their meetings on grass - but guess who won the last match between the two?

1250: The Champ vs the Czech, the no.1 seed vs the no.12, the Cardie vs the Hardy. Call it a pre-Muzzington aperitif if you like, but you'll be downplaying one of the tastiest snacks a tennis fan could hope for.

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