Olympic24: Murray loses to Djokovic but Daley seals silver

Andy Murray comes up short against an on-song Novak Djokovic while Tom Daley and Tonia Couch add to the medal tally in Dubai. Here’s out review of the last 24 hours.

Andy Murray admits he gave world number one Novak Djokovic too many openings after the Scot bowed out at Indian Wells and lost his sixth straight match to the Serb.

The last time Murray beat Djokovic was the Wimbledon final back in 2013 and he didn’t look like putting that right in California as he went down 6-2 6-3 in 88 minutes.

Three breaks in the first set from an imperious Djokovic meant Murray was up against it and the Serb showed no sign of relenting in the second.

The first set stats made unpleasant reading for Murray with just 40% of his first serves finding their mark as well as three double faults to his name and 16 unforced errors.

A break in the first game of the second set put Murray’s back against the wall and Djokovic never looked back as he booked his spot in the final.

"Obviously I didn't start either of the sets well," said Murray. "That obviously makes things difficult against the best players. Novak didn't give me any free points at the beginning of either of the sets, and I made a few too many errors early on.

"I wasn't feeling sluggish. He didn't make any errors. I didn't serve so well today compared to how I served for the rest of the tournament.”

The hard work is starting to pay off, according to Tom Daley whose silver medal at the World Diving Series in Dubai took Britain’s tally to three on the final day of action.

Jack Laugher’s 3m springboard gold got the Brits going in Dubai before Tonia Couch took bronze in the women’s 10m platform and Daley went one better in the men’s equivalent.

Daley racked up 578.25 points and put up perfects 10s for his inward three-and-a-half somersault routine to put himself top with three round to go.

But in the end China’s Qui Bo took the gold with 612.75 while bronze went to Yang Jian with 563.90.

“I’ve being doing a lot of strength work so my jumps are higher, I’m finishing things higher, everything’s easier so all the hard work I’ve put in has been really paying off,” said Daley.

For Couch the day started brightly and she led for the first two rounds before China’s strength began to show and Chen Ruolin powered through for gold and Liu Huixia took silver.

Only perfection will do in Italy for Mark Cavendish as the Briton looks to take the second Milan-San Remo victory of his career on Sunday.

The 29-year-old became only the second Brit to win the prestigious 300km Spring classic back in 2009 – Tom Simpson’s efforts in 1964 the only other success.

Cavendish goes into the race as one of the favourites for victory but knows there are plenty in contention for the crown.

And he says the only shot he has at taking the title will be if he gets everything right on the day.

“There’s no secret to winning San Remo, you just have to get everything right for 300 kilometres,” Cavendish told Cycling Weekly.

“It’s not easy to win San Remo, that’s the simplest answer.

“There’s a handful of guys probably with a chance of winning, but more than a handful who believe that they have a shot of winning, which is different to any other race.”

Freyja Prentice battled from behind to clinch modern pentathlon bronze at the World Cup in Cairo – the third British woman to clinch a spot on the podium this season.

After Samantha Murray's gold and Kate French's bronze in Florida last month Prentice made sure she wasn't the forgotten girl as she finished with 1323 points to take the third.

The 24-year-old came from seventh place to claim a medal in a thrilling finish to the combined run-shoot event having earlier put in a strong showing in the fencing.

Prentice recorded 21 wins and took 232 points in the fencing but was hampered in the standings by her performance in the swim – coming in 26th with a time of 2:25.31.

However, the full 300 points on the ride gave her seventh heading into the combined event before making her way through the field, Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania running to victory and Margaux Isaksen crossing second.

© Sportsbeat 2015