Seeds in CAPS: 1-N DJOKOVIC (Srb) v D Goffin (Bel) I Dodig (Cro) v G Pella (Arg) A Kuznetsov (USA) v L Pouille (Fra) A Falla (Col) v 26-G DIMITROV (Bul) 22-A DOLGOPOLOV (Ukr) v D Tursunov (Rus) B Tomic (Aus) v V Hanescu (Rou)’s Bolelli (Ita) v Y-H Lu (Tai) Qualifier v 16-P KOHLSCHREIBER (Ger) 12-T HAAS (Ger) v G Ruffin (Fra) Qualifier v G Garcia-Lopez (Esp) A Kuznetsov (Rus) v R Harrison (USA) C Berlocq (Arg) v 19-J ISNER (USA) 29-M YOUZHNY (Rus) v P Andujar (Esp) F Delbonis (Arg) v Qualifier F Verdasco (Esp) v M Gicquel (Fra) N Mahut (Fra) v 8-J TIPSAREVIC (Srb) 3-R NADAL (Esp) v D Brands (Ger) M Klizan (Svk) v M Russell (USA) Qualifier v L Rosol (Cze) Qualifier v 27-F FOGNINI (Ita) 24-B PAIRE (Fra) v M Baghdatis (Cyp) L Kubot (Pol) v Qualifier G Zemlja (Slo) v’s Giraldo (Col) J Levine (Can) v 13-K NISHIKORI (Jpn) 9-S WAWRINKA (Sui) v T de Bakker (Ned) Qualifier v H Zeballos (Arg) K de Schepper (Fra) v R Haase (Ned) A Ramos (Esp) v 21-J JANOWICZ (Pol) 28-F MAYER (Ger) v D Istomin (Uzb) F Serra (Fra) v N Davydenko (Rus) Qualifier v Qualifier’s Stakhovsky (Ukr) v 7-R GASQUET (Fra) 5-T BERDYCH (Cze) v G Monfils (Fra) E Gulbis (Lat) v R Dutra Silva (Bra) I Sijsling (Ned) v J Melzer (Aut) J Zopp (Est) v 32-T ROBREDO (Esp) 20-A SEPPI (Ita) v L Mayer (Arg) B Kavcic (Slo) v Qualifier M Alund (Arg) v E Roger-Vasselin (Fra) Qualifier v 11-N ALMAGRO (Esp) 14-M RAONIC (Can) v X Malisse (Bel) Qualifier v M Llodra (Fra) Qualifier v E Donskoy (Rus) Qualifier v 23-K ANDERSON (Rsa) 31-M GRANOLLERS (Esp) v F Lopez (Esp) J Sousa (Por) v G Soeda (Jpn) Qualifier v A Montanes (Esp) M Matosevic (Aus) v 4-D FERRER (Esp) 6-J-W TSONGA (Fra) v A Bedene (Slo) J Nieminen (Fin) v P-H Mathieu (Fra) R Bautista Agut (Esp) v G Muller (Lux) B Becker (Ger) v 25-J CHARDY (Fra) 17-J MONACO (Arg) v D Gimeno-Traver (Esp) V Troicki (Srb) v J Blake (USA) R Stepanek (Cze) v N Kyrgios (Aus) P Petzschner (Ger) v 10-M CILIC (Cro) 15-G SIMON (Fra) v L Hewitt (Aus) A Mannarino (Fra) v P Cuevas (Uru) J Hacek (Cze) v Qualifier L Lacko (Svk) v 18-S QUERREY (USA) 30-J BENNETEAU (Fra) v R Berankis (Lit) T Kamke (Ger) v P Lorenzi (Ita) Qualifier v Qualifier Qualifier v 2-R FEDERER (Sui)
Wembley: The stage is set for the lucrative play-off final Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Watford or Crystal Palace can still expect to receive 120million if they are relegated from the Premier League after just one year of top-flight football.
Next Monday’s Championship play-off final has been given even more importance this year due to the improved Premier League TV deal, which will see top-flight clubs pick up 55million a year.
The new deal also increases parachute payments to relegated clubs, meaning even if the Hornets or Eagles last just one term in the league, they will still earn a sum of around 120million.
As a result, Deloitte said the Eagles and Hornets will be playing for “the biggest financial prize in world football” at Wembley next week.
Adam Bull, senior consultant in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, added: “The winners can expect a revenue increase of more than 60million in 2013-14.
“The vast majority of this uplift, approximately 55million, will be from broadcast income as the Premier League enters the first year of its greatly enhanced three year TV deals.
“Based on existing distribution methods, even if a club is relegated after one season in the Premier League, it will be entitled to parachute payments over the following four seasons of around 60m.” Over the past decade 17 of the 30 promoted teams retained their top-flight status in the first year.
Bull added: “The continued increase in the value of promotion to the Premier League provides newly promoted clubs the opportunity to make strategic investment on and off the pitch.
“Inevitably, the short-term priority is usually investment in the playing side of the business, but clubs need to also look to the medium and long-term.” A sell-out crowd of 90,000 will watch the two teams face off at the national stadium on Monday afternoon.
Rhys Hanbury: New three year deal for Widnes star Widnes utility player Rhys Hanbury has ended speculation about his future by signing a new three-year deal with the club.
The 27-year-old former South Sydney and Wests Tigers player was out of contract at the end of the season and he had been linked with big-spending Salford.
Hanbury has scored 157 points, including 22 tries, in 36 appearances since joining Widnes from Crusaders 18 months ago and he says his decision to stay with the Vikings was not a tough one to make.
“It’s good to get my future settled,” he said.
“It was an easy decision to stay at the club and in the Super League competition but returning home was definitely another big option for me and my partner.
“When I first arrived in this country, the original plan was to just give it a go for a couple of seasons at most but we’ve been over here for four years now and we’re still enjoying ourselves.” Coach Denis Betts added: “Rhys has really come on this year and is enjoying his rugby.
Before he got injured, he was definitely one of the form players in Super League.
“Being out of contract, we know that he could have chosen a number of clubs to go to.
“Ultimately, the decision was down to him and he chose to remain at Widnes.
We’re really pleased that he will be contributing massively towards the future of this club.”
Rob Webber: Bath hooker to captain England against Barbarians Bath hooker Rob Webber will captain England for the first time when he leads the side out for the match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.
Gloucester-bound flanker Matt Kvesic and London Irish wing Marland Yarde, who are both 21, will make their debuts in a youthful side that contains nine players aged 24 or under.
Wasps wing Christian Wade, voted the players’ player of the season on Wednesday night, starts on the right wing and is the only other uncapped player in the starting XV.
Other newcomers named among the replacements for the non-cap game are Bath centre and former England rugby league international Kyle Eastmond, former Sale lock Kearnan Myall, Exeter scrum-half Haydn Thomas, Sale prop Henry Thomas and Wasps No 8 Billy Vunipola.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster, who is without England’s British and Irish Lions contingent plus those from Aviva Premiership finalists Leicester and Northampton, said: “We’ve selected a young and exciting side.
“This is a great opportunity for these players who have shone in the Aviva Premiership this season to step up in front of passionate home crowd at Twickenham Stadium.
“Taking on a very experienced Barbarians team is the first challenge they face this summer with matches in Uruguay and Argentina to follow and this sequence of games is a key part of our development as a team.
“Rob Webber finished the season strongly with Bath and I know his leadership qualities well.
I am sure he’ll show the way backed up by the other senior players in the team.” England: Brown, Wade, Joseph, Twelvetrees, Yarde, Burns, Wigglesworth, Corbisiero, Webber (capt), Wilson, Launchbury, Attwood, Johnson, Kvesic, Morgan.
Replacements: Paice, Marler, Haydn Thomas, Myall, Vunipola, Henry Thomas, Eastmond, May.
Greatwood: Could have sights lowered Greatwood could have his sights lowered in a bid to get his career back on track following a disappointing performance in the Dante Stakes at York.
Connections had hoped the Luca Cumani-trained colt would book his place in next week’s Investec Derby with a big run in one of the Classic trials.
However, nothing went right for the Manduro colt.
He was pulled out of the Lingfield Derby Trial at the last minute after ground conditions deteriorated, while he could finish only seventh in the Group Two at York.
“Everything couldn’t have gone worse.
Just missing the break badly was a real issue for this horse because he lost a few lengths and Kieren had to get him into a faster gear and the horse raced far too freely for the first couple of furlongs and confused him,” Harry Herbert, managing director of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing told At The Races.
“It was an annoying blip because he had worked so well going into the race and the annoyance of missing Lingfield, but he’ll be back.
“Luca wants to go steady and get him back into a relaxed rhythm.
We’ll probably look to go into a Listed race, if we can find the appropriate one, and then step back up.”
Eddie Ahern: Launched appeal against ban Eddie Ahern has lodged an appeal against the decision of the British Horseracing Authority to suspend him from riding for 10 years.
Ahern was found guilty of conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice along with former footballer Neil Clement at a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.
The rider stated his intention to appeal and has now completed that process, as has James Clutterbuck, son of trainer Ken, who was banned for 30 months after being found guilty of passing on inside information.
The BHA tweeted: “Eddie Ahern lodges appeal against decision of Disciplinary Panel to find breaches of several Rules of Racing, as well as penalties imposed.
“The date of the hearing will be announced in due course, as will the date of the James Clutterbuck appeal.”
Peter Whittingham: Part of Cardiff’s plans for the Premier League Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Cardiff manager Malky Mackay insists the club will not be selling midfielder Peter Whittingham this summer.
The 28-year-old found himself out of the first-team towards the end of last season as Cardiff secured the Championship title and promotion to the top flight.
But Mackay believes Whittingham’s craft will be vital as Cardiff attempt to make a positive impression in the Premier League, and the Bluebirds boss is determined to keep the player.
Mackay said: “We will not be listening to anyone about Peter Whittingham.
He is totally part of my squad.
He is very much part of my plans for the Premier League now.
“He is a fantastic player and a tremendous young man to have at the club.
He’s someone who is involved in everything we do and a player who has a very big part to play for us.
“He’s signed three contracts for me and he’s under contract right now and that is the way things are going to stay.
“He’s going to be playing in the Premier League with Cardiff.
He is going to get his chance and he thoroughly deserves it after everything he has done for Cardiff City.”
Tom Cleverley: Manchester United midfielder says the England squad are “fearless” Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley says that England are ‘fearless’ as they prepare for their forthcoming friendlies.
Roy Hodgson’s side host the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday before travelling to Brazil on June 2, a game which they hope will put them in good stead for next year’s World Cup.
England are unbeaten in their three games so far this year and Cleverley believes the good atmosphere amongst the squad can help them to success.
“A lot of us know each other from the Under-21s and we’re enthusiastic and fearless,” he told The Mirror.
“We’ve got to make sure we qualify first, but if we do that I don’t think we’ll be scared of anyone.
We proved that by beating Brazil earlier this year.
“Knowing each other, coming through the ranks together and having that bond would make it even more special if we could do something big.
“Add to that the experience of senior players like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, and you’ve got a great mix.
“When we’re away the team spirit is so good.
You can see the passion is there and what it means to players when we don’t win.
“We can take massive confidence from what Spain have done,” the 23-year old added.
“They’ve got a lot of players who have come through the ranks together as well, from Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“I think there were seven of us from United picked in the last England squad, so it does help, knowing the players inside out and training with them every day.
I’m sure that’s helped Spain in terms of what they’ve achieved.
“It would be hard to do what Spain have done, but we can take confidence from the fact that 10 years ago they hadn’t won anything, but look what they’ve done.”
Tom Werner: Backing Brendan Rodgers to succeed at Liverpool Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Liverpool chairman Tom Werner admits the club’s board have been pleased with the efforts of manager Brendan Rodgers in his first season at Anfield.
The Reds finished seventh in the Premier League this season – one place higher than in 2011/12 – but Werner believes they are well placed to improve on that next term.
Rodgers began strengthening for the future by adding Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho to his squad in January, and Werner is optimistic Liverpool will continue to advance.
“I think Brendan has made remarkable progress,” Werner said.
“He’s a great strategist and has shown strong leadership as he has led the team through this season.
“Obviously there is disappointment that we didn’t finish higher in the table but the team has certainly improved as the season has gone on.
“To see the new additions in January, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, perform so well has been very positive to see.
“We scored a lot more goals than last season.
The 38 away league goals was the club’s highest number in a league season since 1990.
“The club is definitely moving in the right direction under Brendan.
Our intention is to strengthen the squad further this summer and as owners we’re very optimistic and excited about the future.”
Starspangledbanner: Retired for second time Starspangledbanner is set to stand at Rosemont Stud in Australia after being retired from racing.
The seven-year-old was a Group One performer in Australia before being purchased by the Coolmore team and switched to the care of Aidan O’Brien in 2010.
He won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot that year as well as the July Cup before eventually being retired that autumn.
However, he returned to training last season after suffering fertility problems but failed to recapture his best in six starts, most recently finishing well down the field in Dubai.
Despite Starspangledbanner’s previous problems, Rosemont principal Anthony Mithen is optimistic about his chances of a successful career at stud following the resurgence of another stallion, Foreplay, who also suffered fertility issues.
He said: “We will be trying some new fertility techniques that weren’t available when Star last stood at stud.
He is a little older and more mature and we take some real heart from the job that was done on Foreplay.
“Our bloodstock manager Dean Harvey oversaw the transformation of Foreplay from a sub-fertile stallion to a real commercial option, now batting at close to 80% fertility.
Stem cell treatment really helped and from what we understand, Starspangledbanner and Foreplay’s areas of concern are very similar,” he told www.rosemontstud.com.au.
Starspangledbanner will serve a limited number of mares and his fee has yet to be decided.