Tag Archives: victoria

Australian Open 2013: Victoria Azarenka beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1

Defending champ Azarenka through to semis after overcoming tricky Kuznetsova

with a wonderfully creative display – mixing clever angles with raw power.

But it was not enough to derail Azarenka who, having edged the first set, ran through the second to register her 12th successive win in Melbourne, 7-5, 6-1.

The defence continues: Victoria Azarenka celebrates her win over Svetlana Kuznetsova

The defence continues: Victoria Azarenka celebrates her win over Svetlana Kuznetsova

'She played really well throughout the whole match,' said Azarenka. “I know what kind of tennis she is capable of and in the beginning it took a little bit of adjustment because she has a very different game.

'I am glad I could produce my best tennis when it was needed.'

Azarenka needs to retain the title on Saturday night to stand any hope of keeping her number one ranking and it looked as though that position was under severe threat in the early stages as Kuznetsova came out firing, displaying the kind of tennis which saw her win the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open crowns.

Tough test: Azarenka faced a challenge in the first set

Tough test: Azarenka faced a challenge in the first set

At full stretch: Svetlana Kuznetsova struggled to match her first set performance in the second

At full stretch: Svetlana Kuznetsova struggled to match her first set performance in the second

This was no typical crash, bang, wallop encounter, with Kuznetsova particularly inventive.

Deft with the drop shot and imaginative from mid-court, she tried to move Azarenka off the baseline from where she can do the most damage with her brutal groundstrokes.

And for a while it worked. The Russian broke for 3-1 and after holding, an upset seemed on the cards.

But Azarenka roared back, playing some smart tennis of her own.

Famous fan: LMFAO musician Redfoo supports Azarenka

Famous fan: LMFAO musician Redfoo supports Azarenka

Eye on the ball: Azarenka serves to Kuznetsova

Eye on the ball: Azarenka serves to Kuznetsova

She broke back for 3-4 and then ramped up her performance level even further at 5-5, with a big forehand on break point edging her ahead for the first time in the match.

She served it out and then maintained the momentum by breaking in the opening game of the second.

Kuznetsova hit back immediately but she could not win another game as the top seed advanced to a last-four clash with either Serena Williams or Sloane Stephens.

All over: Azarenka and Kuznetsova shake hands after their match

All over: Azarenka and Kuznetsova shake hands after their match

Australian Open 2013: Svetlana Kuznetsova beats Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 2-6, 7-5

Former world No 1 Wozniacki crashes out as Kuznetsova finds her form to make the quarter-finals

PUBLISHED:

02:53 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

03:21 GMT, 21 January 2013

A resurgent Svetlana Kuznetsova stunned former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki in an absorbing encounter on Rod Laver Arena to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-2 2-6 7-5 victory on Monday.

The former U.S. and French Open champion, unseeded this year after an injury-disrupted 2012, prevailed in a highly competitive 75-minute third set and wrapped up her victory with a backhand volley at the net.

Shock: Svetlana Kuznetsova got the better of former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki

Shock: Svetlana Kuznetsova got the better of former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki

Kuznetsova saw her streak of 40
straight Grand Slam appearances broken last year when a right knee
injury forced her out of the U.S. Open.

The 27-year-old Russian made 41
unforced errors but 52 winners were enough to claim a place in the last
eight for the third time in 12 appearances at Melbourne Park.

Getting to the ball: Wozniacki gets her backhand over the net

Getting to the ball: Wozniacki gets her backhand over the net

Fast start: Svetlana Kuznetsova dominated the first set

Fast start: Svetlana Kuznetsova dominated the first set

The former world No 2 will play the
winner of the next match on Rod Laver Arena between defending champion
Victoria Azarenka and Elena Vesnina.

Australian Open 2013: Victoria Azarenka wins first round

Azarenka not firing on all cylinders but world No 1 battles through opening test

By
Jon Fisher, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

04:01 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:37 GMT, 15 January 2013

Top seed Victoria Azarenka survived a second-set scare to see off Monica Niculescu in the first round of the Australian Open.

Having cruised through the opener Azarenka's game inexplicably came off the rails in the second before she reasserted her superiority to win 6-1 6-4.

It seemed plain sailing for the defending champion on Rod Laver Arena as she raced into a 4-0 lead, seemingly at ease with her own game and that of her opponent, whose quirky sliced forehand marks her out from the rest of the crowd in the women's game.

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Defending champion: Victoria Azarenka survived a wobble in the second set to beat Monica Niculescu

A minor blip saw Niculescu break back but the Belarusian simply raised her level once again to take the first set in 31 minutes.

There appeared little chance of a Niculescu comeback but the Romanian surprised everyone inside Rod Laver Arena by swiftly establishing a 3-0 advantage. It almost became 4-0 but Azarenka clung grimly on to her serve by staving off two break points.

It proved a turning point as the world No 1, roared on by close friend Redfoo from the band LMFAO, hit back.

Watching brief: Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of LMFAO watches Azarenka and Niculescu in Melbourne

Watching brief: Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of LMFAO watches Azarenka and Niculescu in Melbourne

She drew level at 3-3, prompting a frustrated Niculescu to crack her racket into the court – an act which earned her a warning from the chair umpire.

Azarenka then broke again for 5-4 as Niculescu's challenge waned and she served it out to advance.

It was her first appearance on RLA since her thrashing of Maria Sharapova in last year's final and Azarenka admitted she was pleased to have avoided an embarrassing return.

Game over: In the end,, world No 1 Azarenka had too much in her locker for Niculescu

Game over: In the end,, world No 1 Azarenka had too much in her locker for Niculescu

Monica Niculescu

'It's great to be back, there were a lot of overwhelming emotions out there,' she said.

'I started really well but the second set was a struggle. I am pleased to get through.'

Azarenka had to pull out of the warm-up event in Brisbane due to an infected toe but she insists the injury is now behind her.

She added: 'I am running without pain and am just trying to focus on the next two weeks.'

Australian Open 2013: Maria Sharapova wins first round

Sharapova begins Melbourne campaign with double-bagel win over compatriot Puchkova

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

01:41 GMT, 14 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:03 GMT, 14 January 2013

Maria Sharapova dispelled any uncertainty over her fitness with a ruthless demolition of Olga Puchkova at the Australian Open today.

The Russian was forced to pull out of the warm-up event in Brisbane after suffering a collarbone injury shortly before Christmas.

But in her first competitive match of 2013 she showed no signs of rustiness by brushing aside her Russian countrywoman 6-0 6-0 in just 55 minutes.

Signed, sealed, delivered: Maria Sharapova eased through to the second round in Melbourne

Signed, sealed, delivered: Maria Sharapova eased through to the second round in Melbourne

Sealed with a kiss: Maria Sharapova cruised to victory against Olga Puchkova

Sharapova's dominance was only threatened in the early stages when Puchkova, ranked 107 in the world, held two break points in the opening game but the second seed gave an early demonstration of her physical state with two booming aces to avert the danger.

From there on in it was a procession as the first match of the tournament on the main show court – Rod Laver Arena – ended in a disappointing no-contest.

Sharapova reached the final last year before being crushed by world No 1 Victoria Azarenka and she is hoping to go one better this year and repeat her Melbourne triumph of 2008.

She said: 'After a couple of close games I started to concentrate a bit better.

Sealed with a kiss: Sharapova had too much in her locker as she crushed compatriot Olga Puchkova (below)

Sealed with a kiss: Sharapova had too much in her locker as she crushed compatriot Olga Puchkova (below)

Plenty to ponder: Puchkova was hopelessly outclassed by Sharapova

'I didn't want to focus on the fact I hadn't played a lot of matches but just focus on what was ahead of me and really be aggressive.

'Today was a good scoreline.'

Although she didn't drop a game, Sharapova insisted there was still room for improvement.

'It's tough to feel completely satisfied,' she said.

'You always want to improve on things and work on certain things that you feel will help you in the later rounds towards the end of the second week.

'But overall I was happy with the way I started considering I didn't play any matches coming in.'

Andy Murray won"t complain about OBE

OBE The fantasy league is my goal, says Murray on back of stunning year

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UPDATED:

00:17 GMT, 30 December 2012

Andy Murray would have every right to feel aggrieved for receiving ‘only’ an OBE in the New Year’s honours, but you will not find Britain’s best tennis player complaining about it — his focus is firmly on 2013, when he says his main aim, aside from winning matches, will be to retain his Fantasy Football title.

Murray’s historic 2012 included Olympic singles gold and the US Open title (the first Slam title by a British man for 76 years) in tennis’s greatest era for quality bar none, as well as being voted into third place in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Yet Murray’s OBE was two tiers down from the award handed to Bradley Wiggins (knighthood), a tier below the CBEs handed to Mo Farah, Jess Ennis, Victoria Pendleton and Kath Grainger, and on the same level as up-and-coming cyclist Laura Trott and dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin.

Main man: Andy Murray was honoured with an OBE after his winning season

Main man: Andy Murray was honoured with an OBE after his winning season

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Murray, 25, will be unruffled because his sport comes ahead of any resulting baubles, although he has already been installed as the favourite to win the SPOTY award in 2013. England cricketer Alastair Cook is second favourite in what will be Ashes year, ahead of Ennis, Farah and Chris Froome, a possible winner of the 2013 Tour de France with Team Sky.

Murray outlined his 2013 targets, including retaining the fantasy league title he contests among friends, in a debut Twitter forum hosted by football’s world governing body, FIFA.

In the same session, Sir Geoff Hurst invited Murray to watch England play football in 2013 — and Murray accepted. Murray also disclosed that ‘purely on satisfaction’ his Olympic gold meant more to him than his US Open title.

He also said that if he had not been a tennis player, his dream would have been to play football for Arsenal, rather than Hibernian, the Edinburgh team he supports.

Jess a Twitter millionairess

Jessica Ennis’s army of Twitter followers reached the one million mark on Christmas Eve, prompting the heptathlon star to tweet: ‘That’s mad! Thanks guys. I’d better start tweeting some interesting stuff.’

Golden moment: Jessica Ennis won the heptathlon at the London Games

Golden moment: Jessica Ennis won the heptathlon at the London Games

Ennis becomes only the third British Olympian to pass 1m followers after diver Tom Daley, who has 2.1m people following his tweets, and Andy Murray, with 1.33m. Mo Farah (710,000) is next closest to the tally, Sir Chris Hoy is on 430,000, Becky Adlington has 311,000, Victoria Pendleton attracts 237,000 and gymnast — and ‘Strictly’ winner — Louis Smith is on 195,000.

These numbers are dwarfed by Britain’s best-followed footballers Wayne Rooney (5.5m) and Rio Ferdinand (3.7m).

Mum Julie flies to Crowe’s nest

Four Yorkshire brothers, who have all been signed to play for the Sydney-based rugby league club owned by film star Russell Crowe, will celebrate the New Year as a family after their mother, Julie, flew to Australia to begin a new life Down Under with them last week.

England and Great Britain international Sam Burgess, 24, as well as older brother Luke, 25, and twin siblings George and Tom, 20, have been signed by the South Sydney Rabbitohs, owned by Crowe, 48, since 2006.

Helping hand: Russell Crowe

Helping hand: Russell Crowe

Widowed Julie has been a friend of Crowe’s since the club signed Sam in 2009, with the other brothers following. ‘He’s always very hospitable and looks after the boys. He loves being part of our family, he likes to look after us,’ said Ms Burgess earlier this year.

Once in Sydney, she tweeted: ‘Hello Australia! I’ve arrived and couldn’t be happier!’

Sam Burgess has played down suggestions of a romance between Crowe, who recently split from his wife, and his mother, insisting they are ‘just mates’.

BT warned

Sunset+Vine, the award-winning company who have bagged the contract to produce the live sports programming for BT’s new sports channel, including Premier League games from summer 2013, will face financial penalties in the event of any broadcasting cock-ups, say sources.

BT are desperate for their new content to be perfect and a schedule of fines is aimed at making sure there are no bloopers like the one made by ITV during the 2010 World Cup, when viewers missed Steven Gerrard’s goal for England against the United States because of an advert break. BT declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Jake Humphrey’s appointment to front BT’s Premier League coverage has led to joy for petrolhead pin-up Suzi Perry. The 42-year-old presenter will replace Humphrey as the face of BBC1’s Formula One coverage. Gary Lineker is among those who tweeted his congratulations, saying: ‘Great choice, she’ll be brilliant.’

Rory McIlroy"s girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki arrives in Australia with diamond encrusted ring

Woz that an engagement ring McIlroy's tennis star girlfriend Wozniacki arrives in Australia with a sparkling diamond encrusted ring

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UPDATED:

11:31 GMT, 28 December 2012

Caroline Wozniacki touched down in Brisbane to begin her preparation for the Australian Open sporting an eye-catching diamond encrusted ring on her left hand, presumably from boyfriend Rory McIlroy.

The northern Irish golfer was by his girlfriend’s side as she practiced at the Queensland Tennis Centre ahead of the Brisbane International, which begins on Sunday.

Wozniacki said of boyfriend McIlroy at the airport: ‘He leaves me alone to just let me do my thing.’

Bling: Wozniacki shows off her ring

Bling: Wozniacki shows off her ring

Happy: The Dane was in a good mood as she arrived Down Under

Happy: The Dane was in a good mood as she arrived Down Under

McIlroy has had a year to remember as he won his second major title at the PGA Championship in August as well as claiming the world No 1 spot.

Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Aussie Sam Stosur are also taking part in the Brisbane tournament with the first major of the year in Melbourne just weeks away.

Belarusian Victoria Azarenka is the reigning Australian Open champion after she thrashed Sharapova 6-3 6-0 in the final last year.

Spectator: McIlroy watches his girlfriend train

Spectator: McIlroy watches his girlfriend train

Going for glory: Wozniacki is preparing for the Brisbane International on Sunday in the lead up to the Australian Open

Going for glory: Wozniacki is preparing for the Brisbane International on Sunday in the lead up to the Australian Open

Peter Ndlovu "out of danger" after horror car crash kills his brother Adam Ndlovu

Coventry legend Ndlovu 'out of danger' after fatal car crash kills his brother

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UPDATED:

21:01 GMT, 16 December 2012

Former Premier League forward Peter Ndlovu was in a Bulawayo hospital with serious injuries on Sunday night after a car crash which claimed the life of his brother and fellow Zimbabwe footballer Adam.

Peter Ndlovu, 39, had playing spells in England with Coventry, for whom he starred in the top flight, plus Birmingham, Huddersfield and Sheffield United, before returning to African club football in 2004.

The crash that caused his brother's death occurred late last night. The skilful attacker left Highlanders in his homeland to join Coventry in 1991, and stayed at Highfield Road until 1997.

Horror: The smashed-up BMW X5 on the side of the road that was reportedly driven by Adam Ndlovu

Horror: The smashed-up BMW X5 on the side of the road that was reportedly driven by Adam Ndlovu

Horror: The smashed-up BMW X5 on the side of the road that was reportedly driven by Adam Ndlovu

A statement from the club, now in
npower League One, read: 'Coventry City Football Club is saddened to
hear of a tragic road accident in Zimbabwe that has left former striker
Peter Ndlovu in a critical condition and claimed the life of his brother
Adam.

'It has been reported that both were
travelling from an away match between Chicken Inn FC and a local side
when Ndlovu's car suffered a tyre blow-out which caused the car to veer
off the road 20 kilometres outside Victoria Falls.

'Ndlovu achieved iconic status during
his six years with the Sky Blues where he netted 39 goals in 176
(league) appearances for the club.

'Coventry City sends its best wishes and condolences to the Ndlovu family who will be in our thoughts.'

Zimbabwean media carried pictures of a
severely damaged car, reported to have been the vehicle carrying the
Ndlovu brothers home from a football match.

A spokeswoman for the Mater Dei
Hospital in Bulawayo, where Peter Ndlovu was being treated, said she
could offer no details of his condition, following reports he had broken
both legs.

Legend: Peter Ndlovu

Legend: Peter Ndlovu

Hero: Peter Ndlovu starred for Coventry (left) in the Premier League before joining Birmingham

Ndlovu's former agent Winston
Makamure told BBC Sport: 'Peter is now out of danger. He is now
conscious and is communicating. 'He has internal injuries, head
injuries, broken ribs and a broken leg.'

Adam Ndlovu, who was 42 years old,
also began his playing career with Highlanders before moving to Europe,
in his case spending seven years in Switzerland between 1994 and 2001,
culminating in a spell with FC Zurich.

Peter Ndlovu's second club in
England was Championship side Birmingham, who released a statement which
read: 'The thoughts of everyone associated with Birmingham City
Football Club are with Peter Ndlovu and his family following news of a
serious car crash in Zimbabwe.

'Peter was a very popular player during his time at St Andrew's and we hope he pulls through this difficult time.'

Tragedy: Adam Ndlovu - who played for Zimbabwe - died in the car crash

Tragedy: Adam Ndlovu – who played for Zimbabwe – died in the car crash

Ndlovu made 137 appearances and
netted 28 times in all competitions for the Blues. He joined
Huddersfield on loan over the winter of 2000-01, scoring four goals in
six games for the Yorkshire club, and left Birmingham on a permanent
basis in February 2001 when he joined Sheffield United on a free.

He played 154 times for the Bramall
Lane club, scoring 29 goals, and left them in July 2004 when he returned
to African club football.

The Blades released a statement on
their official Twitter feed which read: 'Our thoughts are with former
player Peter Ndlovu, who has been critically injured in a car accident
in his native Zimbabwe.'

Peter Ndlovu was capped 100 times by
Zimbabwe, and his country's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, sent his
condolences to the family via his official Twitter account.

'I am deeply saddened at the passing
on of soccer legend, Adam Ndlovu, who was taken away from us in the
horror crash that left his young brother, Peter, in hospital,'
Tsvangirai said.

'I wish Peter a speedy recovery.
'Adam and Peter were part of our national football Dream Team in the
1990s and have continued to impart their skills to other young
Zimbabwean footballers. They have made a significant contribution to
culture in Zimbabwe.

'My prayers are with the Ndlovu
family, the football fraternity and the nation at this sad loss. 'On
behalf of my Office, my family and on my own behalf, I join with so many
others who knew Adam, in offering our deepest sympathy on his passing.'

VIDEO: A classic Peter Ndlovu goal from 1995 – a contender for MOTD goal of the season…

Peter Ndlovu fighting for his life after horror car crash kills his brother Adam Ndlovu

Coventry legend Ndlovu fighting for his life after horror car crash kills his brother

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UPDATED:

13:46 GMT, 16 December 2012

Former Coventry star Peter Ndlovu is in a critical condition in hospital after a horror car crash which claimed the life of his brother.

Ndlovu, who also played for Birmingham, Sheffield United and Huddersfield during a 13-year career in England, is in a coma after his sports car crashed in Zimbabwe.

Adam Ndlovu, also a former footballer who played for Zimbabwe, died in the incident near Victoria Falls.

Horror: The smashed-up BMW X5 on the side of the road that was reportedly driven by Adam Ndlovu

Horror: The smashed-up BMW X5 on the side of the road that was reportedly driven by Adam Ndlovu

Horror: The smashed-up BMW X5 on the side of the road that was reportedly driven by Adam Ndlovu

Pictures from the scene of the crash show the smashed-up front of the BMW X5 by the side of the road. According to reports in Zimbabwe, Adam was driving the car as they returned from watching a local match.

Peter Ndlovu was a favourite among
Coventry fans during the 90s. He scored 39 goals in 176 matches before
leaving for Birmingham. He had a short loan spell at Huddersfield before
joining Sheffield United.

Coventry wrote on Twitter: 'All our thoughts and wishes go out to former Sky Blue Peter Ndlovu and his family. Keep strong Nuddy.'

A
tweet from the Blades read: 'Our thoughts are with former player Peter
Ndlovu, who has been critically injured in a car accident in his native
Zimbabwe.'

Legend: Peter Ndlovu

Legend: Peter Ndlovu

Hero: Peter Ndlovu starred for Coventry (left) in the Premier League before joining Birmingham

Tragedy: Adam Ndlovu - who played for Zimbabwe - died in the car crash

Tragedy: Adam Ndlovu – who played for Zimbabwe – died in the car crash

Birmingham's own statement read: 'The thoughts of everyone associated with Birmingham City Football Club are with Peter Ndlovu and his family following news of a serious car crash in Zimbabwe. Peter was a very popular player during his time at St Andrew's and we hope he pulls through this difficult time.'

Former Birmingham co-owner David Gold tweeted: 'Peter Ndlovu is one of the nicest footballers I ever met. We are all thinking of you Peter, get well soon.'

Former Coventry team-mate Darren Huckerby wrote: 'Terrible news about Peter Ndlovu and his brother, hope he pulls through.'

Mick Quinn added: 'Sad news about my former team-mate Peter Ndlovu involved in a car crash. He is in a coma, sadly brother Adam dead, thoughts and prayers to them.'

Peter has been working as a coach for the Zimbabwe Young Warriors Under 23 team.

VIDEO: A classic Peter Ndlovu goal from 1995 – a contender for MOTD goal of the season…

Paula Radcliffe decision to keep on racing welcomed by UK athletics chief

Radcliffe decision to keep on racing welcomed by head of UK athletics

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UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 10 December 2012

UK Athletics head coach Peter Eriksson has welcomed Paula Radcliffe's determination to resume her career next year, insisting only she knows when it is time to retire.

Radcliffe was unable to compete in the marathon at this summer’s London Olympics due to injury, and lost her Lottery funding as she is no longer seen as a realistic medal contender in global championships.

But despite turning 39 next Monday, the marathon world record holder said she is 'desperate' to return to competition in 2013.

Flying the flag: Radcliffe has vowed to continue racing

Flying the flag: Radcliffe has vowed to continue racing

'I know she had an operation on her foot and it will take some time for her to get back to running, but I see it as very positive if she is still hungry to perform,' Eriksson told the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Radio Five Live.

'If she does the right things and doesn’t push it too hard, I think she will be fine.

'The athletes know by themselves when it’s time to retire and they have to come to terms with that on their own, it’s nothing you force people into.

'She is a very talented athlete and if she is hungry to race then I think that’s great for us.'

Eriksson was appointed in October and is helping to oversee UKA’s plans for a single high performance institute in Loughborough.

Loughborough will be used as 'the engine' of British athletics according to Eriksson, but the Swede acknowledged that the likes of Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Adam Gemili will not be required to use the facility on a full-time basis.

Greek tragedy: Radcliffe pulled up during the marathon at 2004 Olympics

Greek tragedy: Radcliffe pulled up during the marathon at 2004 Olympics

Gemili’s coach Michael Afilaka lost his
full-time position with UK Athletics recently and the 19-year-old world
junior champion does not want to move from his London base to work with
another coach in Loughborough.

'I talked to him and he is very
comfortable in his environment,” Eriksson said. 'We have supported his
coach this year and we will find a way to do that in the future.

'We are having coach-based support so there will be some funding going towards Adam’s coaching. He is really keen on staying where he is because he goes to the university, he is close to the training facility and has his coach there so I don’t see a reason to change that at all.

Tough cookie: Radcliffe is desperate to return to competition next year

Tough cookie: Radcliffe is desperate to return to competition next year

'We need to ensure that each athlete and their coach get as much support as we can give them and we need to build a team, but in addition to that we also have a lot of athletes coming up in under-18, under-20, under-23 age groups that are performing really well.

'We need to have those and turn them into medallists and that’s why we try to hire the best coaches and have one central hub that is the engine of the sport.

'You don’t want to take an athlete out of their environment where they are comfortable and have good support, but we also want them to come and be part of the centre. They can come and go, they don’t have to live there, to move anywhere.

'Mo Farah and Jess Ennis have a great environment so why change that We just have to optimise it for them.'

Eriksson also reiterated that, unlike his predecessor Charles van Commenee, he has a good relationship with triple jumper Phillips Idowu, who failed to reach the Olympic final after a controversial and injury-hit build-up.

'He is aiming to bring back a gold medal at the World Championships (in Moscow next year) and I am looking forward to seeing him back on the team again,' Eriksson added.

'If he is fully healed from all his injuries, which he is now, there is no reason why he shouldn’t perform good again so you have to say it’s over now and we have to move forward and do better.'

Charles van Commenee bemoans stars who reveal all in "boring books"

Britain's head coach quits and hits out at stars who reveal all in 'boring books'

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UPDATED:

20:24 GMT, 8 December 2012

The man whose ruthless leadership as Britain's head athletics coach helped Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah to Olympic glory has promised to resist spilling the beans on the controversies of his four-year reign.

Charles van Commenee, who will move back to Holland later this month after resigning his post as UK Athletics head coach because his team failed to meet their London 2012 medals target, roared with laughter as he said: 'I will take my secrets to the grave.'

Keeping mum: Van Commenee has turned down five book offers

Keeping mum: Van Commenee has turned down five book offers

The provocative 54-year-old Dutchman also delivered a parting swipe at athletes, including Ennis, who cash in on their fame by publishing what Van Commenee claims are 'boring' books.

And he has revealed the tough management decisions he took to give his stars their best chance of striking gold.

'I've had five offers to write a book,' said Van Commenee.

'But I promise you won't see one. They either become boring, a big ego document, or you reveal things and you look cheap. I can't see the point other than financial benefits.

'Who wants to read a book by an athlete You see pictures of them when they were babies or when they were 12. You read what their headteachers or their parents said to them or how important their coaches were and how hard they've worked. It's all the same.'

Asked if he had read Unbelievable, Ennis's autobiography, or recently published books by gold medal cyclists Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins, Van Commenee replied: 'I know what to expect, I don't need to.

Unbelievable: Jessica Ennis

Unbelievable: Jessica Ennis

'If I wrote a book, I'd have to break confidentiality because I can't help myself in that respect. I'd want to deliver quality. I can't write a book about having a nice coffee and pleasant conversation on the river bank on a rainy Monday morning.'

Two days before Christmas, Van Commenee will pack his belongings into the back of a friend's van and set sail on the final ferry to leave Harwich for the Hook of Holland that evening.

He arrived from Amsterdam to transform a flabby, disparate organisation after Britain won just four athletics medals in Beijing.

He leaves having overseen Super Saturday, the finest evening of British sport for almost half a century.

He helped to turn 25million of funding into six medals – including four golds and some historic moments – but half came from outside the traditional UK Athletics training centres of Loughborough and Lee Valley.

Van Commenee insists, however, that important decisions were taken to support Farah, who trained in Portland in the United States, and Ennis, who trained at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

'Sometimes you read, “Jess and Mo are not part of the system”, but that's incorrect,' insisted Van Comenee.

'In Jessica's case, I'm the line manager of her coach, Toni Minichiello. We direct medical support, UKA pay for the facility and I allocate the biomechanist and her massage therapist. For Mo, he had one exercise physiologist, a brilliant man there for 80 athletes.

'I sent him for almost half a year to Mo in the run-up to the Olympics, ordering him not to leave his shadow. That meant 79 athletes couldn't use him at the time. That's a management decision to increase the chance of Mo winning medals.

'We employ Toni full time to work with one athlete and it paid off, but it's quite exceptional. It was a calculated risk but it's proved to be the best decision and they both did a wonderful job.'

The head coach set a team target of eight Olympic medals, including one gold, and never considered staying in his reported 250,000-a-year role after that was not achieved.

'I'm a strong believer of having clear targets, and when one is not hit it should have consequences,' added Van Commenee.

'To remain in the job when other coaches are losing theirs would have betrayed the philosophy. It wouldn't have been right.'