Tag Archives: single

The Masters: Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus in our five of the best at Augusta National

The Masters: An old Golden Bear and a young Tiger plus Faldo, Mickelson and Crenshaw – five of the best at Augusta

PUBLISHED:

08:59 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:59 GMT, 8 April 2013

The Masters almost always produces dramatic golf worthy of the beautiful backdrop of Augusta National.

Here, Sportsmail picks out five of the most memorable tournaments starting with the legend that is Jack Nicklaus way back in 1986.

1) 1986 – Jack Nicklaus

Nicklaus was 46, had not won a tournament in two years or a major in six, and was being written off as a spent force. But the Golden Bear produced one more back-nine charge in the 50th Masters, coming home in 30 for a final round of 65 to beat Greg Norman and Tom Kite by a single shot.

Nicklaus went eagle-birdie-birdie on the 15th, 16th and 17th as Seve Ballesteros squandered the lead by hitting his approach to the 15th into the water short of the green.

Dry Spell: Jack Nicklaus' win in 1986 was his first victory in a major in six years

Dry Spell: Jack Nicklaus' win in 1986 was his first victory in a major in six years

Handing over: Bernhard Langer (left) hands Nickalus his sixth Green Jacket

Handing over: Bernhard Langer (left) hands Nickalus his sixth Green Jacket

2) 1997 – Tiger Woods

Kite was again the runner-up 11 years later, but this time by an incredible 12 shots as Woods tore up the record books to claim his first major title. That had looked distinctly unlikely as the 21-year-old played the front nine of his opening round in 40, but he came back in 30 to lie just three shots off the lead.

A second-round 66 took Woods three clear of Colin Montgomerie, a lead he extended to nine shots after round three and a record 12 after a closing 69 made him the youngest ever winner at Augusta.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Passing the torch: Tiger Woods tore up the record books to win his first title at just 21-years-old

3) 2004 – Phil Mickelson

'I don't think any Masters will ever compare to the '86 Masters but, for me, this one does.'

That was the verdict of an emotional Mickelson after he had broken his major duck at the 47th time of asking. Mickelson had shared the lead with Chris Di Marco heading into the final round, but struggled to a front-nine 38 before a brilliant back nine of 31, culminating in a decisive birdie on the 18th, was enough to beat Ernie Els by a shot after the South African's excellent 67.

Crowd Pleaser: Phil Mickelson broke his major duck at the 47th time of asking

Crowd pleaser: Phil Mickelson broke his major duck at the 47th time of asking

Only just: A decisive birdie on the 18th hole gave Mickelson the title by just a single shot

Only just: A decisive birdie on the 18th hole gave Mickelson the title by just a single shot

4) 1995 – Ben Crenshaw

At 43, Crenshaw was not quite as old as Nicklaus in 1986, but his second Masters title in 1995 was equally remarkable and emotional.

Harvey Penick, who was Crenshaw's golf coach since he was seven years old, had died the week before and Crenshaw spent the Tuesday of Masters week at Penick's funeral in Austin, Texas.

The image of Crenshaw doubled over in grief and happiness after his final putt dropped – he did not have a single three-putt in 72 holes – has become an iconic Augusta image.

Ben Crenshaw

Ben Crenshaw

Emotional: Ben Crenshaw is hugged by his caddy Carl Jackson after winning for the second time at AQugusta National. Harvey Penick, who had coached Crenshaw since he was seven, died a week before the tournament

5) 1996 – Nick Faldo

Greg Norman had finished third behind Crenshaw in 1995, but it was the manner of his second-place finish to Nick Faldo the following year which was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Norman led from the outset after an opening 63, the joint lowest score ever in a major championship and only the second 63 ever at Augusta, and after adding rounds of 69 and 71 he was six shots clear of Faldo heading into the final round.

However, his lead was down to two shots by the turn and a back nine of 40 – despite two birdies – meant a closing 78 to Faldo's 67 and a five-shot winning margin for the Englishman.

Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo

Picking up the pieces: Nick Faldo took advantage of an awful final round from Greg Norman to win in 1996

Harry Redknapp – Footballers" Football Column: La Liga is better than the Premier League

HARRY REDKNAPP: Life as a football boss is scary… A few bad results, the chairman goes to his golf club, his mates tell him the team's rubbish and the manager is sacked!

PUBLISHED:

09:32 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 15 March 2013

Harry Redknapp

QPR manager Harry Redknapp was hotly tipped to replace Fabio Capello as England manager. That job went to Roy Hodgson and Harry now finds himself battling relegation at Loftus Road. Redknapp enjoyed a magical four-year spell at Tottenham during which he took Spurs on a Champions League adventure. In his Footballers' Football Column, Redknapp looks at why there are no English clubs in the last eight of the Champions League, explains why he believes La Liga is better than the Premier League and why foreign owners need to give English managers a chance….

One-on-one with Harry Redknapp

DM.has('rcpv2227104100001','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'title' : “One-on-one with Harry Redknapp”,
'videoId' : 1002408,
'adsEnabled' : true,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv2227104100001”,
'videoPlayer' : “2227104100001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2293689/Harry-Redknapp–Footballers-Football-Column-La-Liga-better-Premier-League.html”

});

If I am honest, at the start of the year, I don't think you could see an English team winning the Champions League. You looked at Manchester United and thought they might go close. They were unlucky against Real Madrid – the referee's decision to send off Nani cost them.

It has been one of those years for
English clubs in the Champions League. We've not got a single club in
the quarter-finals, but I'm sure next year will be different.

I think we will probably see a stronger Chelsea and a stronger Manchester City. The
Barclays Premier League is exciting, it is probably the most exciting
league in the world. But in terms of actual football, I think the
Spanish league takes some beating.

When you watch a La Liga game, you will always see two teams who are technically very good. Our league has the excitement, every game is a tough game.

It isn't always pretty, but on any given day, you can see an upset in our league whereas you don't get that so much in Spain.

Crashing out: Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie look on after Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid

Crashing out: Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie look on after Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid

Turning point: Nani was controversially sent off against Madrid when United were ahead in the game

Turning point: Nani was controversially sent off against Madrid when United were ahead in the game

Turning it around: Lionel Messi helped Barcelona overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit to AC Milan to progress

Turning it around: Lionel Messi helped Barcelona overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit to AC Milan to progress

A real force: Borussia Dortmund's have progressed in recent years under Juergen Klopp

A real force: Borussia Dortmund's have progressed in recent years under Juergen Klopp

More from The Footballers' Column…

The Footballers' Football Column – Luther Blissett: People say Watford have exploited a loan 'loophole' but Zola has established us as a force really quickly
12/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Martin Allen: There is nothing wrong with Harry taking his squad to Dubai… I took my players to France but only let them play Monopoly and Pictionary
12/03/13

Steven Reid – The Footballers' Football Column: Liam Ridgewell went to a Justin Bieber gig… he didn't even have the excuse of taking his kids – he went with one of the other West Brom lads!
09/03/13

Curtis Davies – The Footballers' Football Column: I knew I'd score against Blackpool, I always get goals when I play the B-teams
07/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Mark McChrystal: I haven't given up hope of winning my first full cap… And don't judge James McClean unless you know him or understand Northern Ireland
05/03/13

Ruud Gullit – The Footballers' Football Column: German teams are doing better in Champions League because they have homegrown players… English clubs have too many overpaid foreigners
02/03/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Brian Clark: Newcastle's 28m super scout on discovering the Ameobi brothers… oh and a chubby lad called Gascoigne
28/02/13

The Footballer's Football Column – Carolyn Radford: Life in non-League It's all fast cars and 70-year-old club secretaries
25/02/13

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The top teams dominate in Spain. They've got two fantastic teams in Barcelona and Real Madrid. They have also got Atletico Madrid who are outstanding.

For me, technically, La Liga is a better league than the Barclays Premier League. The football they play, the passing of the ball; it's of better quality than the Barclays Premier League.

Why is is it a better league technically Because they don't play like we do.

They don't put crosses into the box too often, they don't have teams taking long throws, they don't have teams just booting the ball up the pitch.

They all play. They play out from the back, pass the ball and their movement is good. But you can see that style coming into our league now.

Look at the way Swansea and Wigan. It's no secret that a Spanish manager, Roberto Martinez, started the Swansea philosophy.

And he has done the same at Wigan. Yes, they are struggling but they have spent no money and Roberto has got them playing to the best of their ability.

As well as Spain, I also think the Bundesliga has come on leaps and bounds. Their two top teams, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, are excellent.

You saw that in Dortmund's Champions League group. They were in with Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax but came out on top in that group of death.

I watch plenty of lower division football and you see the ball being booted up the pitch a million times in 90 minutes. The ball is booted from one end of the park to the other so many times the ball must have a headache.

It gets booted up the pitch, one team heads it away and vice-versa. There's too much of that; we need to encourage teams and players to play football.

Nurturing kids to play a passing game has to start from park football. Kids games on Sunday mornings are geared too much towards winning the game.

The priority for them is to win. That absolutely has to change. You need to be able to let kids take chances when they play.

Rio Ferdinand was 17 when he played for me at West Ham, I told him to play. I wanted him to come out of defence with the ball and pass it.

If he made a few mistakes, it wasn't a problem for me. But when you've got parents on the sidelines ranting and raving at their kids because they lose the ball, that's when it becomes very difficult.

Encouraged to pass: Harry Redknapp says he wanted Rio Ferdinand to play from the back when he was at West Ham

Encouraged to pass: Harry Redknapp says he wanted Rio Ferdinand to play from the back when he was at West Ham

Hope for the future: St. George's Park will help develop the future of English football

Hope for the future: St. George's Park will help develop the future of English football

Hopefully, the introduction of St George's Park can improve our elite kids technically. We'll see, let's hope we've got the right coaches in there, that is the key.

The identity of how this country wants to play football has to come from the very top. We have to pick a way of playing and stick with it.

Are we going to play out from the back Are we going to ask the centre backs to spilt and let a midfield player pick the ball up from a goal kick Are we going to try and play our way through

If that's what we want then we need to coach our kids to pass, pass, pass, pass and pass again.

Or are we just going to boot it up to the big centre-forward If England want to do that then what's the point in coaching the kids to pass the ball

Not to be: Redknapp says he does not think about being England manager

Not to be: Redknapp says he does not think about being England manager

The great escape Redknapp is trying to mastermind QPR's survival in the Premier League

The great escape Redknapp is trying to mastermind QPR's survival in the Premier League

Out identity needs to come from the top. We need to pick a way to play and stick with it all the way through the system. Otherwise there is no point.

The problem we've got is that it's difficult to see an end to that cycle of playing long-ball. We are in a results business. We all need results.

We don't have time. It might take a year to change the attitude of the players and change the philosophy. But do you get that sort of time with chairman at half of the football clubs

After a few bad results, the chairman goes to his golf club; his mates tell him the team's rubbish and the next thing you know the manager's sacked. It's scary.

It's like a merry-go-round. How are you supposed to improve teams in six months

Brian McDermott did a great job at Reading and they sacked him, how can you get your head round that decision Nigel Adkins earned two consecutive promotions and still got sacked. ]

Brian McDermott

Nigel Adkins

Out of work: Both Brian McDermott and Nigel Adkins were sacked after winning promotion last season

In many ways, for managers in the Championship, it seems like there is no point in getting promoted because you've got more chance of getting the sack in the Barclays Premier League.

When you're in the Barclays Premier League, unless you've got the resources, you're going to come back down again. And if it looks like you're going to be relegated then the manager is in trouble.

It's crazy, but that's how it seems to work.

British managers just don't get a chance in the top league anymore because of the number of foreign owners. This country will eventually have all foreign owners.

That's why I think it's great to see people like Dave Whelan do so well at Wigan, or if you look at West Ham, they have got David Gold and David Sullivan.

The right people: David Sullivan and David Gold are West Ham fans and Redknapp says football needs more owners like them

The right people: David Sullivan and David Gold are West Ham fans and Redknapp says football needs more owners like them

Going about it the right way: Harry Redknapp is full of praise for Roberto Martinez at Wigan

Going about it the right way: Harry Redknapp is full of praise for Roberto Martinez at Wigan

They are West Ham people, West Ham are their club. We need more people like that in our game,

All the foreign owners are successful people, they are all billionaires. They think whatever they are involved in they should be winning.

They think if they are winning in business, why aren't they winning in football They can't understand it if their team aren't winning every week or top of the league. That's the problem.

They only see they are not winning, they don't think about why they are not winning. They don't think to themselves: 'We haven't got the players.'

They only see they aren't winning games. They don't understand why, so they sack the manager.

He looks older than me! Redknapp says he is not contemplating retirement yet and says he looks younger than Arsene Wenger

He looks older than me! Redknapp says he is not contemplating retirement yet and says he looks younger than Arsene Wenger

BARCLAYS TICKET OFFICE

Harry Redknapp was speaking on behalf of Barclays Ticket Office.

Every 90 minutes throughout the season, Barclays is offering fans the chance to win free tickets to Barclays Premier League matches by going to a Barclays ATM and requesting a receipt, or by visiting barclaysticketoffice.com

People always say I should be managing England rather than be in a relegation fight with Queens Park Rangers now, but I don't look back at what might have been. I don't think like that.

What
happened last year has gone, that's life. Even when I've called it a
day, I won't look back and regret not managing England.

I'm looking forward to the game against Aston Villa on Saturday, that's all. I've been very lucky to have managed in the Barclays Premier League all these years, doing something I love and getting paid for it. It's a fantastic life.

I'm 66-years-old, but I'm not even contemplating retirement at the moment, I'm still enjoying it. Just look, at Sir Alex Ferguson, he is's older than me.

Arsene Wenger is around the same age…even though he looks older!

Six Nations 2013: Tom Croft and Joe Launchbury named in England XV for Wales game

Launchbury passed fit and Croft returns for England's Grand Slam decider with Wales

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

10:16 GMT, 14 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:12 GMT, 14 March 2013

England today named key forward Joe Launchbury to start against Wales on Saturday despite the lock sustaining an elbow injury last Sunday against Italy.

The inform Wasps lock has had treatment all week on an elbow injury raising concern that he would miss out on England’s attempt at winning a first Grand Slam 2003.

But Launchbury was given the all-clear
this morning for a Cardiff showdown which will see England field a team
showing four changes to the one which started out in the disappointing
18-11 win over Italy.

Scroll down for video

Back in action: Tom Croft is set to start for England for the first time since breaking his neck

Back in action: Tom Croft is set to start for England for the first time since breaking his neck

As predicted by Sportsmail, fly half
Owen Farrell, scrum-half Ben Youngs and flanker Tom Croft all return
while prop Joe Marler has won the vote ahead of Mako Vunipola at loose
head.

The four players who miss out – fly
half Toby Flood, scrum-half Danny Care, flanker James Haskell and
Vunipola – are all included on the England bench.

England's head coach coach Stuart
Lancaster said: ‘We want to finish well on what will be a fantastic
occasion in Cardiff. It will be a great experience for our English team.

'Every single player, whether they are
in the 23 or not this Saturday, has contributed to getting us in this
position and they should be proud of that.

'The support of the country has been great throughout the tournament and I am sure they will be right behind us come 5-o-clock.'

He added: 'Tom's extra lineout
presence will hopefully give us an advantage. He is clearly a quality
player and he has had a great impact since he has come back into the
team.

Ready for battle: Croft will try and help England win the Grand Slam

Ready for battle: Croft will try and help England win the Grand Slam

Ready to go: Launchbury has been passed fit to face Wales

Ready to go: Launchbury has been passed fit to face Wales

England team

'I see it as an 80-minute game. James Haskell's impact coming off the bench will serve us better.'

Lancaster took the same approach to his decision to start with Marler and use Mako Vunipola as a high-impact replacement.

“Both props will play a big contribution. We believe Joe will give us the solidity in the scrum and then as the game wears on Mako will come on and do his thing.”

Although Flood kicked all of England's points against Italy and did little wrong, Farrell has reclaimed the fly-half jersey after shaking the thigh injury he sustained against France.

The Saracens fly-half did not enjoy his best day against Les Bleus but he will bring control and defensive ferocity which England will need in the cauldron of the Millennium Stadium.

“Clearly Wales will target that area and they will be coming down that channel and I am sure Owen will be ready for some work. We have got a big challenge coming our way but we will be ready for it,' Lancaster said.

Farrell and Youngs managed the game expertly against Ireland in Dublin earlier in the tournament and Lancaster will want them to replicate that performance.

England are chasing their first Grand Slam in a decade but Saturday's clash is a genuine title decider, with Wales capable of retaining their crown.

Inside Line: Season 3, Episode 9

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv2223591728001','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-thinArticle”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'title' : “Inside Line: Season 3, Episode 9”,
'videoId' : 1002186,
'adsEnabled' : true,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv2223591728001”,
'videoPlayer' : “2223591728001”,
'width' : 470,
'height' : 264,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-2293179/Six-Nations-2013-Tom-Croft-Joe-Launchbury-named-England-XV-Wales-game.html”

});

Lancaster is yet to lose an away game in the Six Nations and he believes those experiences and the memory of beating New Zealand at home in December will stand his men in good stead.

'When you look at this Welsh side, there are not many weaknesses,' Lancaster said.

'It will take an outstanding effort but we have done it before, we have been to away games and won. We have played the best side in the world at home and won.

'We have to deal with the occasion and play with composure and accuracy. There is a quiet self-belief.'

Cycling: Mark Cavendish wins Tour of Qatar

Golden boy Cavendish sprints home to glory with Tour of Qatar triumph

PUBLISHED:

15:31 GMT, 8 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 8 February 2013

Mark Cavendish sealed overall victory at the Tour of Qatar with a fourth win in a row.

The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man triumphed on the sixth and final stage, the 116-kilometre route from Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche to claim the race winner's golden jersey with a second stage race success of his career.

'I'm over the moon,' Cavendish said.

Six of the best: Former team Sky cyclist Mark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the line in stage six of the Tour of Qatar

Six of the best: Former team Sky cyclist Mark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the line in stage six of the Tour of Qatar

Six of the best: Former team Sky cyclist Mark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the line in stage six of the Tour of Qatar

'We come here every year almost guaranteed an overall victory with Tom Boonen but he's recovering from an injury. So it put a little bit of pressure on me and I was a bit nervous.

'But I'm really happy to get the win. The guys worked incredible here. They really looked after me so, so well here and delivered every single day.

'I am so happy and proud I can bring it home again for the team.

Over the moon: Cavendish has enjoyed a new lease of life since joining Omega Pharma-QuickStep

Over the moon: Cavendish has enjoyed a new lease of life since joining Omega Pharma-QuickStep

'We've won the Tour of Qatar six times, and I don't know how many stages, so I am happy to be a part of that.'

It was a fifth win of the season for Cavendish to fully justify his close-season move from Team Sky to Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

The 10-second bonus for the stage win saw Cavendish triumph by 25 seconds from American Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing).

Golden boy: Cavendish lights up the peloton in the golden jersey

Golden boy: Cavendish lights up the peloton in the golden jersey

Golden boy: Cavendish lights up the peloton in the golden jersey

Stephen Kelly signs for Reading

Ireland defender Kelly switches Fulham for Reading as Jol chases Huddlestone

By
Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

17:01 GMT, 11 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:35 GMT, 11 January 2013


On the move: Fulham defender Stephen Kelly

On the move: Fulham defender Stephen Kelly

Reading have completed the signing of right-back Stephen Kelly from Fulham – while Cottagers boss Martin Jol has admitted that he is interested in Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone.

Kelly was a main part of Jol's team last season but struggled for games this campaign. Fulham would not reveal how much the transfer fee for the Republic of Ireland international was.

The defender has become Reading's third signing in the January transfer window after the arrivals of Hope Akpan from Crawley and Daniel Carrico from Sporting Lisbon.

Jol said: 'We won't lose any other players. It's one single player who could go in this transfer window. Kelly is the only one.

'I thought it was good for him because he wanted to play. Last year he played all the games almost so I thought it was good for him to talk to Reading and they decided to take him and he decided to go there. I never say never but the players I want to keep here will be here after the 31st.'

Jol is still keen to strengthen his squad in the transfer window and clearly sees Fulham's midfield as an area he needs to improve.

On the radar: Martin Jol is still tracking Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone

On the radar: Martin Jol is still tracking Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone

He is still interested in defensive midfielder Derek Boateng, who is at Ukrainian club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and also Tottenham's Huddlestone, whom he has monitored for years.

The 56-year-old added: 'Over the last six years I had an interest in Tom Huddlestone but he was injured and then went to Stoke. I think he failed a medical there but I am not sure, so he went back to Spurs.

'If Tom is fit, he is always in the back of my mind but as I told you before, I won't speculate on names. I can't say Tom is not on my list because I like him.'

Andy Murray into Brisbane International final after beating Kei Nishikori

Murray looking good as he makes Brisbane final after Nishikori retires from semi

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

08:12 GMT, 5 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:43 GMT, 5 January 2013

Top seed Andy Murray advanced to the final of the Brisbane International as his Japanese opponent Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw in the second set of their last-four clash.

Nishikori started the semi-final strongly against the world No 3 but was 6-4, 2-0 when he threw in the towel because of a knee problem.

Murray, who beat the 23-year-old in the quarter-finals of last season's Australian Open, was a break down in the first set but won five games in a row seal it against his fifth-seeded opponent.

Looking good: Andy Murray was on course for victory before Kei Nishikori retired from the match

Looking good: Andy Murray was on course for victory before Kei Nishikori retired from the match

That's it: Murray shakes hands with Nishikori after he retired from their men's singles semi-final match

That's it: Murray shakes hands with Nishikori after he retired from their men's singles semi-final match

Nishikori took a medical timeout at the end of the set, but took the court for the start of the second.

Murray broke in the first game, however, and backed it up by holding his service game, at which point Nishikori decided enough was enough.

In the final Murray will face Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3, 5-7, 7-6, (7/5).

Whereas
Murray was off court in 45 minutes, the Bulgarian, ranked 48th in the
world, was pushed to the limit in a little under two and a half hours of
tennis against Baghdatis.

Feeling the pain: Nishikori receives treatment before retiring injured

Feeling the pain: Nishikori receives treatment before retiring injured

Staying strong: Murray is looking good ahead of the Australian Open

Staying strong: Murray is looking good ahead of the Australian Open

'I've served pretty well for the majority of the tournament and I've moved better every single match,' Murray told reporters.

'Grigor plays with a lot of variety and he can play a lot of shots. He's one of the few guys coming through with a single-handed backhand as well, so he uses a lot more slice.'

Murray admitted, however, that he was wary of Dimitrov after he beat former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7/5) to reach the final.

All smiles: Murray was off court within 45 minutes of his game starting

All smiles: Murray was off court within 45 minutes of his game starting

The 21-year-old represents a breed of
young players beginning to make their mark and has already accounted
for fellow rising star Milos Raonic and Jurgen Melzer this week.

'From my point of view I hope there
isn't a few coming through because then it means I'll be one of the ones
losing out on my spot,' Murray said.

'I have no idea whether he'll be nervous tomorrow or he'll enjoy the occasion. We'll find out.

'Everyone deals with certain situations differently.'

Sheffield Wednesday X Charlton X – match report

Sheffield Wednesday 2 Charlton 0: McCabe and Helan make it two on the spin for Owls

PUBLISHED:

17:32 GMT, 22 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:32 GMT, 22 December 2012

Rhys McCabe struck his first senior goal and Jeremy Helan was also on target as Sheffield Wednesday climbed out of the bottom three of the npower Championship with a second successive win.

Scottish midfielder McCabe, a summer signing from Rangers, slammed home a superb volley from the edge of the penalty area midway through the first half and Frenchman Helan marked his final game for the Owls before his return to parent club Manchester City with the second in the fourth minute of time added on.

Charlton, who lost their first league game in eight at Bolton last week, turned in a disappointing display and mustered only two efforts on goal throughout the match.

On the rise: Rhys McCabe gets the plaudits after firing Wednesday's opener

On the rise: Rhys McCabe gets the plaudits after firing Wednesday's opener

Match facts

Sheff Wed: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, Reda Johnson, Antonio, McCabe, Prutton (Lines 67), Helan, Madine (Sidibe 87), O'Grady (Lee 74). Subs not used: /12/22/article-2252075-169FD686000005DC-440_468x308.jpg” width=”468″ height=”308″ alt=”Getting to grips: Anthony Gardner brings down Ricardo Fuller” class=”blkBorder” />

Getting to grips: Anthony Gardner brings down Ricardo Fuller

Chances at either end after the break
were few and far between, with only Gardner's 56th-minute header
threatening Hamer, who then held on to O'Grady's angled drive, while
Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland remained completely redundant.

The Addicks, who had failed to score
in two of their last three matches, had still not had a single shot by
the hour-mark and boss Chris Powell withdrew Salim Kerkar in the 63rd
minute and sent on fellow striker Ricardo Fuller, returning to action
after a four-game lay-off due to a hamstring injury.

Wednesday were dealt a blow when Prutton was forced off injured and replaced by Chris Lines in the 67th minute.

Fuller had the visitors' first shot
two minutes later, but his 25-yard effort was blocked by Llera and with
12 minutes left Powell sent on forward Rob Hulse and midfielder Danny
Green for Danny Haynes and Emmanuel Frimpong respectively.

But it was Wednesday who threatened
again. Helan, pushed up into midfield in his last match for the Owls,
fired a shot straight at Hamer from the edge of the box and although
another Fuller effort was blocked by Owls defender Lewis Buxton, Helan
made the game safe for the Owls by stabbing home from close range in the
fourth minute of injury time.

Sunderland fans spur on manager Martin O"Neill

Sunderland faithful spur on manager O'Neill as 2,000 fans make trip to Southampton

PUBLISHED:

22:17 GMT, 21 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 21 December 2012

More than 2,000 Sunderland supporters will make the 300-plus mile trip to Southampton on Saturday.

The away allocation is sold out and
manager Martin O'Neill says such commitment to the club's cause, just
three days before Christmas, is one reason why he is desperate to
succeed for the club.

Focused: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill

Focused: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill

O'Neill said: 'That really sums it up. Last year we went down and played Tottenham and then a couple of days later we played at QPR a couple of days before Christmas and we filled the stand behind the goal which is absolutely remarkable support.

'They're travelling down to Southampton in their numbers three or four days before Christmas shows you all you need to know about this club. It's great motivation for us to achieve something for the club.

'You work every single day to try and put a mark on the club and try and improve results and it's for people like that who're the heart and soul of the football club.'

Sunderland have recalled Republic of Ireland international David Meyler from his loan spell at Hull City.

The midfielder has scored twice in a successful month at the Championship club with former manager Steve Bruce.

O'Neill added: 'At least if he gets on the field of play with us, which I imagine he will, his fitness levels won't worry me as much as it might have done before.'

Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto return for Tottenham v Swansea

AVB ready to welcome back Parker and Assou-Ekotto against Swansea

|

UPDATED:

18:32 GMT, 14 December 2012

Andre Villas-Boas has been given a boost with the return of Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto to first-team training ahead of Tottenham's clash with Swansea on Sunday.

England midfielder Parker has not played a single match this season after suffering an Achilles injury during Euro 2012.

Scroll down for video

Back in business: Scott Parker (left) has not played a single game this season

Back in business: Scott Parker (left) has not played a single game this season

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (left) returned to first-team training a couple of days ago

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (left) returned to first-team training a couple of days ago

But Spurs' player of the year last season has featured at reserve and U21 level this week and is in contention for the Swans visit to White Hart Lane.

Manager Villas-Boas hinted that the returning players are likely to start from the bench rather than as part of the first team.

Assou-Ekotto meanwhile has only been able to play three matches this term, the latest of those on September 1, thanks to a knee injury.

The 28-year-old left-back tweeted: 'Training with the team today! I hope I'll remember the name of everyone.'

Centre-back Jan Vertonghen has been playing in his position and although he has coped well, will be happy to move back to his regular spot sooner rather than later.

Gareth Bale will train on Saturday but his hamstring injury is likely to keep him out of the match, along with Younes Kaboul who has a knee problem.

However centre-back Michael Dawson is likely to play after beating his own hamstring injury.

Provisional Spurs squad

Friedel, Lloris, Gomes, Cudicini; Walker, Naughton,
Assou-Ekotto, Gallas, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen; Lennon, Sigurdsson,
Townsend, Falque, Carroll, Mason, Livermore, Sandro, Huddlestone,
Dembele, Parker; Dempsey, Adebayor, Defoe.

VIDEO: Parker and Assou-Ekotto could be ready for Swansea

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv32455','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-thinArticle”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv32455”,
'videoPlayer' : “2036242498001”,
'width' : 470,
'height' : 264,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2248186/Scott-Parker-Benoit-Assou-Ekotto-return-Tottenham-v-Swansea.html”

});

Darren Barker beats Kerry Hope

Barker puts on brutal display to see off Hope and eyes second world title fight

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

22:06 GMT, 8 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

23:48 GMT, 8 December 2012

Darren Barker made a spectacular return to the ring and set himself up for a second world title shot next year with a convincing win over Kerry Hope.

The 30-year-old middleweight had been out of action for 14 months since losing to Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City last October. But he made short work of fellow former European champion Hope at London's Olympia.

Barker has had a year to forget after undergoing surgery to fix a long-standing hip injury before a return against Italian Simone Rotolo in September was shelved after he suffered torn tendons in his arm.

Flush: Darren Barker saw off Kerry Hope with ease

Flush: Darren Barker saw off Kerry Hope with ease

Welshman Hope meanwhile enjoyed a
fairy-tale win over Grzegorz Proksa in March to win the European title
but lost it just four months later in a rematch.

The 31-year-old beat Hungarian
journeyman Norbert Szekeres over six rounds in a tune-up fight in
Nottingham last month but was no match for a rejuvenated Barker.

The opening round was a tense affair
with both boxers opting for single shots with their lead hands as
opposed to multiple-punch combinations.

Hope tried to drag Barker into
fighting at close quarters in the second session but the home favourite
ended the round well by keeping his distance and working from the jab.

Having shaken off the inevitable ring
rust, Barker began to control the centre of the ring and march Hope
down as he brought his right hand into play. And it was a hook from that
hand that all but ended the visitor's challenge in the fourth stanza.

Hope was floored against the ropes
and although he groggily beat the count, his corner threw in the towel
seconds later. 'I was a little frustrated in the first couple of rounds
due to ring rust but it was enjoyable and I was glad to be back in
there,' Barker said.

'I proved that I could still mix it;
Kerry Hope is a former European champion and I've dismantled him quite
impressively. If I had put in a bad performance, or lost, I would have
called it a day but it's given me a lot of encouragement.

Throwing in the towel: Barker (right) marked his return to the ring in style

Throwing in the towel: Barker (right) marked his return to the ring in style

'I don't want to hang about in this
game, I think I've got another three or four years left. I want the big
fights and I want to be on the world stage. I've been at world level and
I want to be back there.

'I badly want to fight Martin Murray
and Matthew Macklin and I'm sure they do too. The boxing public deserve
to see those fights, but at world level.'

Earlier in the evening, Kal Yafai
continued his seemingly inexorable march towards domestic honours and
beyond with his sixth win from as many contests against Spanish champion
Jorge Perez.

The Birmingham bantamweight missed
out on a place at the London Olympics but has taken to the professional
ranks with considerable ease.

This was his second eight-round
contest after he dispatched Pio Antonio Nettuno in just 52 seconds in
Nottingham on the undercard of Carl Froch’s world title defence against
Yusaf Mack in November.

And Yafai, 23, looked set for
another very early night when left hooks to the head and body floored
Perez at the end of the opening round.

But the Spaniard beat the count and
withstood several brutal barrages in the following two sessions only to
be rescued from further punishment when referee Mark Green stepped in
with just under a minute remaining in the third.

Rocked: Barker catches his opponent with a devastating right hook

Rocked: Barker catches his opponent with a devastating right hook

Yafai will now top the bill in his
hometown on January 19 alongside the next Prizefighter tournament and on
the same night as stablemate Kell Brook fights Devon Alexander for the
IBF world welterweight title in Los Angeles.

Also on the undercard, John Ryder
won his British middleweight title eliminator against Irish Prizefighter
champion and fellow unbeaten prospect Eamonn O'Kane.

Ryder, 24, will now set his sights on
the winner of Billy Joe Saunders' clash with Nick Blackwell at the
Excel Arena next Saturday.

The Londoner enjoyed the better of
the opening rounds and, working from a southpaw stance, landed
effectively with the right hand before a strong left rocked O'Kane in
the third stanza.

Rounds four and five were scrappy
affairs but Ryder reasserted his dominance in the sixth although O'Kane
did well to answer a powerful left with a timely reminder of a right
hand. The decisive moment came early in the eighth round when yet
another hook to the head had O'Kane struggling.

No Hope: Barker was too powerful for the former European champion

No Hope: Barker was too powerful for the former European champion

He remained on his feet but a
succession of similar shots forced referee Howard Foster to wave the
fight off midway through the session.

Meanwhile, American Carson Jones and
late-replacement Dean Byrne fought out an entertaining draw which many
ringside observers felt should have gone the way of the Dubliner.

Jones, who lost to Brook in July, was
scheduled to face Lee Purdy but the Colchester welterweight was forced
to withdraw after failing to recover from a virus.

Crowd favourite Erick Ochieng made a
third successful defence of his English light-middleweight title with a
hard-earned but largely uneventful points win against Max Maxwell over
10 rounds.

There were also four-round shut-out
victories for unbeaten novices Callum Smith and Martin J Ward while the
popular Wadi Camacho made it six without defeat.