The Weekend in Sports

By: Maxim Lewerenz

Photo taken by George Groutas

Football:

Celtic are still on track on winning their first SPL title in four years and doing so possibly by a record margin. The ten point deduction of archrivals Rangers means Celtic can reclaim the points lost at last weekend’s Old Firm match by beating St. Johnstone on Sunday, with second and third placed Rangers and Motherwell taking each others points.

In the Barclay’s Premier League Manchester City will face Sunderland at home without star striker Sergio Aguero. A win would mean the Citizens would overtake Manchester United by their superior goal difference. At least until Monday, when United will travel to Blackburn.

QPR will host the rejuvenated Arsenal at a London derby on Saturday.

On Sunday traditional sides Newcastle and Liverpool will battle for a place in Europe.

Tennis:

Today at 3pm Andy Murray will face Rafael Nadal at the Semi-Finals of the Miami Open. World number one Novak Djokovic will meet 21th ranked Juan Monaco later on at 7pm for a place in the final on Sunday.

Golf:

At the Shell Houston Open the World’s Number 10 Carl Petersson and  Argentinian Angel Cabrera are  currently tying at the top of the field. Ernie Else, who needs to win the Open to gain a place in the Masters, is one under after two.

Rugby:

Edinburgh Rugby take on Scarlets tonight in the RaboPro Direct league at Murrayfield. They will be hoping to end their losing streak when the match kicks off at 7.35pm. Glasgow Warriors meanwhile have had a fairly successful season and will be aiming to continue their good run of results when they play Cardiff Blues tonight. Kick off is 7.35pm at Firhill.

 

For more on Edinburgh Rugby’s misfortunes and the return of their international players, click here.

Round up of weekend sports fixtures

After the drama of last weekend’s Six Nations’ climax, the next two days promise a much quieter weekend of sport.

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Football

In the SPL, Hibernian take on Dundee United on Saturday, while Perth side St. Johnstone face Hearts. Other matches include Aberdeen v Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Dunfermline v St Mirren and Kilmarnock v Motherwell. The kick off for all matches is 3pm.

On Sunday, there is an Old Firm clash as Rangers play Celtic at Ibrox. Kick off is at 1pm.

Rugby

In the RaboDirectPro12 rugby league, Edinburgh take on Welsh side Newport Gwent Dragons tonight at 7.30pm at Murrayfield Stadium. The Scottish team will be hoping to get over their recent run of losses.

Glasgow Warriors also take on Aironi at Firhill at 7.35pm tonight.

Motor sport

On Sunday, the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix takes place in Kuala Lumpur. Scot Paul di Resta will be aiming for another top ten finish after his tenth place at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

Tennis

Andy Murray will face Colombian Alejandro Falla later on today in the Miami Masters. For more on this, click here.

Murray to take on Falla in Miami

By: Pamela Paterson

British Number One Andy Murray will be hoping to forget his early exit from the Indian Wells Masters when he takes on world number 71 Alejandro Falla in the second round of the Miami Masters later on today.

Murray lost to Guillermo Garcia Lopez in the first round of the championship in California earlier this month and will be aiming to avoid making the same mistakes when he takes on Falla.

Murray has won 14 of his 17 matches this year. He has beaten the 28-year-old Colombian during both of their previous matches.

Murray is aiming for his 23rd career title, and with his new coach Ivan Lendl, hopes to achieve his first grand slam win this year. He is currently ranked fourth in the world, behind Djokovic, Nadal and Federer.

Earlier this week Murray called for tennis players and other athletes to be given regular heart tests, after footballer Fabrice Muamba’s suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday. The Bolton player collapsed during his team’s match against Tottenham in the FA Cup quarter-final, but is now showing signs of recovery.Murray believes that players in every sport should have screenings in order to be able to compete.

He told MSN Sport, “This has happened too many times. Here in the States it’s happened in high school and college basketball games and, of course, it’s happened a few times in football. With all the pressure and stress of modern sport you have no idea how much you are pushing yourself on the pitch or court, I think it’s something that’s just got to be done.”

The Scot added that he has been having regular heart checks for years. “I’ve been doing my tests for three years now so I have heart scans, heart monitors and other tests,’ Murray said. “I started when these things seemed to be happening more often. It’s clear to me that all the teams should be checked. I’m not sure if they do, but I know in tennis we don’t.”

Murray also showed another side to his character while taking part in the latest advert for tennis racket company, Head. In it, he demonstrates his skills at several other jobs, when asked at a press conference what his profession would be if he wasn’t a tennis player.

 

 

National news in brief

Expenses MPs to be tried

Three ex-Labour MPs involved in the expenses scandal, including Jim Devine of Livingston, have lost their final legal challenge to facing criminal trials. They had claimed they should not be tried as they were protected by Parliamentary privilege. Nigel Pleming QC, who represented Jim Devine, said had told the Supreme Court it was not “an attempt to take them above or outside the law”.

Cameron demands prosecution for violent students

David Cameron has called for the violent student protesters who attacked Conservative headquarters on Monday to be prosecuted with “the full force of the law”, while NUS Scotland President Liam Burns warned that the issues behind the protest must not be forgotten.

Child cancer death rates fall 60%

Cancer kills 60% less children than in the late 1960s, according to research from Cancer Research UK. Nearly eight out of every ten children now survive past the five-year mark with cancer, compared to less than three out of ten in 1966-70.

Harry Potter premieres in London

The red carpet premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One took place at London’s Leicester Square last night. The film adapts the first half of the final Harry Potter book, with the final part to be released in the summer of 2011.

Facebook sobriety test released

BNP Paribas Masters

Andy Murray has reaching the quarters in Paris

The Queen can heave a sigh of relief this week as, after the creation of the British Monarchy Facebook account, The Social Media Sobriety Test was launched to help users avoid posting drunk messages. The tool allows people to block themselves from using sites like Facebook if they fail a series of coordination tests.

Murray reaches French quarter-finals

Andy Murray progressed to the quarter finals of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris last night. Murray struggled through the early stages of the match, and was given a warning for throwing a ball in anger at one point, before defeating Marin Cilic 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-3.

Murray thwarts American challenge

By Stewart Primrose

Andy Murray made a winning start as he bids to win his first Grand Slam and Wimbledon title.

The Scot won in four sets, 7-5, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, but had to endure a scare as his opponent Robert Kendrick took the second set and threatened throughout their encounter.

Murray battles through

Murray battles through

Kendrick, ranked 76 in the world, strengthened as the match went on and with his big, powerful forehand won an impressive tie break to level matters up.

Murray, who looked  passive throughout, improved in the third set, which was epitomised with some impressive serves.  He managed to take the set fairly comfortably and this was repeated in the fourth and final set.

In truth Murray did not play great, but did not need to and his performance was solid and good enough to beat an inspired opponent. He will have to up his game as the tournament goes on, but it is clear to see he does have a few extra gears he can move up to. In any case, you do not want to play your best tennis at the start. It is all about timing it and hopefully this can happen a week on Sunday in the final.

Murray now plays Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who is ranked 74th in the world.

Andy Murray’s forehand delights

Murray

Murray

Andy Murray as reached the semi-finals of the Masters Cup after comprehensively beating Gilles Simon.

Murray raced into a 4-0 lead before the Frenchman started to play causing the Scot to get up a slight sweat. The second set went much the same way with Murray dominating to win the match 6-4, 6-2.

After starting the match in great form, twice breaking the Frenchman in the first four sets, Murray started to stutter with several unforced errors which let Simon back into the game.

The second set started in the same fashion as the first finished with Simon playing the better tennis with Murray struggling to control his serve. The Frenchman was, however, unable to convert his opportunities and thus Murray was able to capitalise on two gifts to finish up and move into the last four.

Murray revealed after the game “I have played really well this year and have a great chance of winning the tournament. I would of signed up for that at the start of the year, that is for sure. I have a lot of confidence just now and want to try and keep it going. I have a great record indoors and really enjoy these courts.”

Murray joins Djokovic in the last four with the two other places still up for grabs.

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