Olympic24: Semi-final for Murray - Brits charge at Badminton

Olympic24: Semi-final for Murray - Brits charge at Badminton

09 May 2015 / 09:47

Andy Murray sets up a final-four clash with Kei Nishikori at the Madrid Masters, while William Fox-Pitt and Oliver Townend put themselves into contention at the 2015 Badminton Horse Trials. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Andy Murray beats Milos Raonic in straight sets
  • William Fox-Pitt and Oliver Townend sit second and third respectively at Badminton Horse Trials
  • Liam Phillips hoping for more BMX Supercross World Cup success
  • Jazz Carlin marks one year to go until London hosts European Aquatics Championships

Murray into Madrid semi-finals

Andy Murray saw off Milos Raonic in straight sets to advance to the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters.

The British number one broke once in each set to overcome the Canadian, who was hampered throughout by a trapped nerve in his right foot.

Murray will play Kei Nishikori after the fourth seed beat home favourite David Ferrer.

"I didn't know he was injured before we came out, but I saw early on he was struggling,” 27-year-old Murray said.

"The problem was he was still serving at 230km/h an hour and pulling out all the stops on second serves, which put me on the back foot.

"Thankfully I was getting in a high percentage of my own first serves today and was able to get him moving around the court, with the drop shot working well."

Fox-Pitt and Townsend close in on Nicholson

Former winners William Fox-Pitt and Oliver Townend have put themselves in prime position to potentially end Britain's barren run at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

While New Zealander Andrew Nicholson preserved his opening day lead on a score of 37.8 penalties aboard Nereo, Friday's dressage action ended with Fox-Pitt and Townend breathing down his neck.

Fox-Pitt lies second overnight with his world and European individual bronze medallist Chilli Morning on a score of 39.0, while Townend and Armada - a horse previously ridden by Nicholson - are just 0.6 penalties further back in third.

"It was frustrating to have a couple of mistakes in the changes - you can't afford to do that here," Fox-Pitt said.

"He is a horse that is very solid in his changes, so it was just one of those things. What can we say? They are not machines.

Phillips prepared for Papendal

Liam Phillips admits the Papendal track is very different to the one in Manchester – but that isn’t stopping him from aiming high this weekend.

Phillips kicked off his BMX Supercross World Cup campaign in style last time out by storming to victory in the opening round in Manchester – following wins at the National Cycling Centre in 2013 and 2014.

Next up is a trip to Arnhem, the expansive track offering a different challenge compared to the tight course in Manchester.

But despite the differences, Phillips is eager to pick up where he left off, especially with Rio 2016 Olympic qualification points up for grabs.

“I’m feeling really good, it’s fantastic to come off the back of such a strong performance at the opening round in Manchester,” the 26-year-old, who finished third at Papendal last year, told British Cycling.

“I’m excited to go to Papendal and try and recreate that same level of performance.

“It’s different. Manchester is a track I train on and am familiar with but I’ve raced Papendal a few times now and I’m looking forward to going there and trying to perform as best I can.”

One year until London hosts European Aquatics Championships

Swimmer Jazz Carlin insists she can’t wait to compete in the capital again with today marking one year to go until the 2016 European Aquatics Championships kick off at the London Aquatics Centre.

Reigning 400m and 800m freestyle champion Carlin won these titles in London at last month’s British Swimming Championships – also picking up the 200m gold too.

That secured her a place at this summer’s World Championships in Kazan, but she admits she can’t help but turn her attentions to a busy 2016.

“I’m really excited for the European Championships coming to London in a year’s time. I won my first European titles in Berlin in 2014 and there is no better place to try to defend them than in a home pool,” said Carlin.

“The London Aquatics Centre is an amazing venue and having a home crowd will hopefully push myself and the GB team to do great things.

“It was fantastic to have the British Championships back in the venue this year and the next time I swim competitively in the pool will be at the Europeans.

“It will be an incredible year of sport in 2016 and – along with this summer’s World Championships – racing against the best in Europe in London will be great preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympics Games.”

Britain last welcomed Europe’s long course elite in Sheffield in 1993 while London last acted as host city in 1938 at what is now Wembley Arena with registration for exclusive access to tickets for the 2016 edition now available on the official website www.euroaquatics2016.london.

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