Wimbledon: Carlos Alcaraz through to quarter-finals after hard-fought four-set win over Ugo Humbert | Tennis News

Wimbledon: Carlos Alcaraz through to quarter-finals after hard-fought four-set win over Ugo Humbert | Tennis News

Carlos Alcaraz was again made to sweat on Centre Court before booking a quarter-final spot with a 6-3 6-4 1-6 7-5 win over stubborn 16th seed Ugo Humbert.

Having fought back from two sets to one down to defeat Frances Tiafoe in the previous round, Alcaraz seemed to be enjoying a much easier time of it as he stormed the opening two sets, only for Humbert to produce some sublime tennis thereafter.

The Frenchman too would have felt aggrieved to lose the second set, in fact, as he squandered four break points on Alcaraz’s serve in the fifth game. And then, having only coughed up four points all set on his own serve, Humbert was suddenly broken out of nowhere to lose the set 6-4.

Alcaraz vs Humbert: Tale of the Tape

Alcaraz Match Stats Humbert
14 Aces 10
6 Double Faults 1
66% 1st serve win percentage 67%
43% 2nd serve win percentage 47%
24/34 Net points won 26/41
6/8 Break points won 5/13
45 Total winners 47
33 Unforced errors 35
121 Total points won 117

He was not to be deterred, though, as he proceeded to break the Alcaraz serve on four straight occasions over the course of a dominant third set and early into the fourth.

The defending champion appeared to have no answer for Humbert’s immaculate return game, the 16th seed hitting thumping winners with regularity and mixing in the odd heavy ball to the back of the baseline to do for the flat-footed Spaniard.

That said, Alcaraz himself twice broke Humbert to start the fourth set, but things were back on serve by the end of the sixth game as the determined Humbert continued to dig his heels into the Centre Court grass.

More thunderous groundstrokes off the left-hander’s racket helped set up three break points in the eighth game of the fourth set but, as in the second, a wasteful Humbert would ultimately rue spurning every single one of them as three games later it would be Alcaraz who’d earn the crucial break before serving things out.

Paul wins to set up Alcaraz quarter-final showdown

American 12th seed Tommy Paul raced against the fading light on Court Two to dispatch of Spanish veteran Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 and set up a quarter-final clash with Alcaraz.

Tommy Paul is in good form, having triumphed at Queen’s in the lead up to Wimbledon

The 27-year-old took just over two hours to beat Bautista Agut who was bidding to reach his second Wimbledon quarter-final in his 10th appearance here.

Paul, whose grass game is finely tuned after he won the Queen’s Club warm-up event last month, had just too much power and variety for the 36-year-old, now ranked 112.

Bautista Agut made the American work in the second set but a couple of unforced errors lost him the chance to draw level and Paul raced through the final set, clinching the match with an ace.

The players had arrived on court late because of rain showers and the shadows were long across the court when they finished.

“He (Alcaraz) plays amazing tennis on grass but I’m playing pretty good too,” said Paul, who is on a nine-match winning streak. They have split their four previous career meetings, winning two each.

Elsewhere in the men’s singles, world No 5 Daniil Medvedev advanced through to the last eight after 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov was forced to retire with a leg injury while trailing 5-3 in the first set.

He will face world No 1 Jannik Sinner next after the Italian made light work of promising American youngster Ben Shelton, beating the 14th seed in straight sets 6-2 6-4 7-6 (11-9).

What’s coming up on Sky Sports Tennis?

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British GP: Lewis Hamilton opens up on post-2021 difficulties and Silverstone tears after stunning win | F1 News

British GP: Lewis Hamilton opens up on post-2021 difficulties and Silverstone tears after stunning win | F1 News

An emotional and reflective Lewis Hamilton opened up on what it meant to finally win again in Formula 1 at the British Grand Prix – admitting there had been times since the controversial conclusion to the 2021 season when he had “wanted not to continue” in the sport.

Hamilton was brought to tears at the end of Sunday’s enthralling wet-dry Silverstone race after a stirring and historic drive brought up a record ninth victory at a single Grand Prix.

Although it also represented Hamilton’s record-extending 104th win in F1, it was the 39-year-old’s first for 57 races in a drought that stretched back to the Saudi Arabian GP of December 2021, the race before that season’s infamous finale in Abu Dhabi when he missed out on a unique eighth world title and Max Verstappen won his first.

Hamilton has rarely even been in contention for victories since then with Mercedes falling from the sport’s summit in the wake of new regulations introduced from 2022. The two races that the team had won in that time were claimed by George Russell, most recently last week in Austria.

Having cried on team radio after taking the chequered flag, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1: “It’s surreal. My heart is racing.

“I had so many amazing times here in the past but when I came across the line, something released in me that I have been holding onto for a long time.

Hamilton says his incredible ninth British GP victory is the ‘most emotional’ he has had

“It was the most emotional end to a win I have ever experienced. I always wondered why I never cried! You see Rubens Barrichello crying and I was like ‘that doesn’t happen to me’ but it hit me hard.

“After such a difficult 2021, just trying to continue to come back but we as a team had a difficult time.

“There were so many thoughts and doubts in my mind along the way to the point, at times, I wanted to not continue.

“To arrive and continue to get up and continue to try and finally succeed is the greatest feeling I can remember having.”

Hamilton celebrates his ninth victory at Silverstone with his Mercedes team and the crowd!

Speaking in the immediate aftermath of the race as he took the acclaim of the 164,000-strong race-day crowd, Hamilton said there had been periods during his time away from the podium’s top step when he questioned whether he was both still “good enough” and if he would ever get back to winning ways.

“It’s so tough, I think for anyone, but the important thing is just how you continue to get up and you’ve got to continue to dig deep even when you feel like you’re at the bottom of the barrel,” he said.

Hamilton and his engineer Peter Bonnington celebrate on the podium together following his emotional British GP victory!

“There have definitely been days between 2021 and here where I didn’t feel like I was good enough or I was going to get back to where I am today. But the important thing is I had great people around me, continuing to support me. My team, every tine I turned up and saw them putting in the effort, that really encouraged me to do the same thing.

“Otherwise, my fans, when I see them around the world, they have been so supportive. So a big, big thank you to everybody.”

Hamilton on the ‘glimpse of hope’ that keeps fire burning

Hamilton, who decided at the start of the year he will continue in F1 until at least the end of 2026 by signing an unexpected and blockbuster deal with Ferrari, was given a Union Jack flag from a marshal on his slow-down lap at the end of the race and celebrated with it in front of the Silverstone crowd when he got out of his Mercedes at the end of the race.

He also shared embraces in parc ferme with his mother, Carmen, and his father, Anthony who were both at Silverstone to see their son’s return to success.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with his mother after winning the British Formula One Grand Prix race at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with his father after winning the British Formula One Grand Prix race at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

On the huge support he receives from fans, Hamilton said: “I definitely know for sure that I couldn’t do what I do without the fans I have. The people I interact with and meet around the world, particularly here in the UK.

“I grew up in Stevenage. My dad came around the corner to give me my first helmet.

“I always thought my parents would be my only followers. It’s very incredible to have that support because that really does lift you up when you see people.

“They are so generous with gifting you something or just pumping out positive energy.

Race highlights from Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.

“That’s one thing that keeps me going. And the other is just that glimpse of hope.

“Even if it’s the tiniest spec, I just try to not ignore that and continue to focus on my inner peace day by day.”

Hamilton, who has the motto ‘still I rise’ tattooed on his back, added: “Never give up. It’s so important. It’s the easiest thing to do but you should never do it.”

Next up for F1 is the Hungarian Grand Prix from Budapest on July 19-21. You can watch every session live on Sky Sports F1. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

Joshua Zirkzee: Manchester United reach broad agreement with Bologna striker amid increased optimism over deal | Transfer Centre News

Joshua Zirkzee: Manchester United reach broad agreement with Bologna striker amid increased optimism over deal | Transfer Centre News

There is increased optimism from all parties that a deal can be finalised for Joshua Zirkzee’s move from Bologna to Manchester United.

Extensive talks have taken place with Zirkzee’s representatives and there is a broad agreement on terms with the player.

As was reported by Sky Sports, United have made it clear they will meet the 23-year-old’s £34m release clause.

Discussions are ongoing internally over whether United will pay the clause in full or negotiate a structure with Bologna.

Zirkzee is with the Netherlands squad at Euro 2024 and made his first appearance of the tournament in Saturday night’s quarter-final win over Turkey, coming on as a late substitute.

Arsenal and AC Milan are also interested in Zirkzee, who has two years left on his contract with Bologna.

Juventus are another club keen on Zirkzee but are currently working on other targets, and they would need to sell a striker to bring one in.

Why is Zirkzee in demand?

Zirkzee is also on Arsenal’s radar

Zirkzee graduated through Bayern Munich’s system and had spells with Parma and Anderlecht before joining Bologna in the summer of 2022.

The forward received limited game time in his first campaign in Serie A, scoring only two league goals from 808 minutes.

Last season he scored 11 league goals and the shot map below suggests he is most lethal from the left-of-centre region.

Joshua Zirkzee

The heat map below also shows how the forward typically plays deeper than a conventional striker.

Joshua Zirkzee

He also ranks among the top five players in Serie A for creating big chances, attempting dribbles and regaining possession in the final third.

Indeed, the radar graphic below reveals he ranks among the top five per cent across Europe in those three metrics.

When does the summer transfer window close?

The 2024 summer transfer window in the Premier League will close on August 30 at 11pm UK time in England and at midnight in Scotland.

The Premier League has brought forward Deadline Day to link up with the other major leagues in Europe. The closing dates were set following discussions with the leagues in England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.

Match Report – Canada 12 – 73 Scotland Sky, Sports, Rugby, Union, News, Guinness, Premiership, Magners, League, Heineken, Cup, Six, Nations, Live, Tri Nations, Danny, Cipriani, London, Wasps, Irish, Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Harlequins, Leicester, Tigers, Newcastle, Northampton, Sale, Sharks, Saracens, Worcester, Club, World, Cup, Munster, Leinster, Ospreys, Cardiff, Perpignan, Dragons, Biarritz, Stade Francais, Ulster, Scarlets, Watch, video, fixtures, results, scores, aviva

Match Report – Canada 12 – 73 Scotland Sky, Sports, Rugby, Union, News, Guinness, Premiership, Magners, League, Heineken, Cup, Six, Nations, Live, Tri Nations, Danny, Cipriani, London, Wasps, Irish, Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Harlequins, Leicester, Tigers, Newcastle, Northampton, Sale, Sharks, Saracens, Worcester, Club, World, Cup, Munster, Leinster, Ospreys, Cardiff, Perpignan, Dragons, Biarritz, Stade Francais, Ulster, Scarlets, Watch, video, fixtures, results, scores, aviva

Scotland begin their Americas tour by inflicting a heavy 73-12 defeat on Canada; Scotland rested a host of key players and had to come back from an early deficit but did so in style, scoring 11 tries in the process

Last Updated: 07/07/24 9:44am

Arron Reed races away to score for Scotland

Scotland overwhelmed Canada, winning 73-12 at the start of their Americas tour.

The Scots, resting a host of their key players, fell behind initially but soon took charge and debutants Arron Reed and Gus Warr, two of five uncapped players in the Scottish line-up, scored two tries apiece.

Canada’s Lucas Rumball scored an early try but any prospect of an upset was snuffed out from the moment Josh Bayliss went over for the first of Scotland’s 11 tries at TD Place Stadium, Ross Thompson adding five conversions and Ben Healy four.

Jamie Dobie looks to offload out of a tackle

Canada’s Peter Nelson is tackled by scrum-half Gus Warr

Warr reinforced Scotland’s lead after the break, first dancing through the line and, while Canada briefly held out, the scrum-half collected the ball again and dived over the ruck for a debut try.

Kyle Baillie’s converted try gave Canada respite from the onslaught, but the impressive Paterson and Warr combined for the latter to shrug off a couple of challenges and touch down.

Scotland looked a threat every time they pushed forward and Reed grabbed his second of the match after barrelling down the left wing and barging past a couple of defenders before going over.

Scotland breached the 50-point barrier just after the hour mark when Paterson deservedly got on the scoreboard following some excellent interplay, while Dobie touched down underneath the posts after being teed up by Reed.

McDowall also went over underneath the posts following some deft footwork to evade several challenges, while Steyn gratefully accepted Healy’s offload to round off the scoring.

Coral-Eclipse: City Of Troy delivers workmanlike win for Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien at Sandown | Racing News

Coral-Eclipse: City Of Troy delivers workmanlike win for Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien at Sandown | Racing News

City Of Troy produced a hard-fought victory in the Coral-Eclipse, which didn’t replicate the impressive nature in which he won the Derby as he lugged across the course.

The Derby winner City Of Troy, who bounced back at Epsom having failed to land a blow in the 2000 Guineas, was the 1-4 favourite under Ryan Moore.

For trainer Aidan O’Brien he stalked along in the slipstream of stablemate Hans Andersen, but when asked to quicken he did not produce the turn of foot perhaps expected.

He still took up the lead, however, and was able to hold off a late challenge from 11-1 shot Al Riffa to triumph by a length.

It proved a nervy watch for the master of Ballydoyle, who revealed after the race that the testing ground in Esher gave connections plenty of anxiety.

“We were very worried about the ground, we walked it before and it was very soft and tough deep ground, softer than it was in the Dewhurst,” he said.

“He was pitched into unknown territory today and I remember before the Dewhurst we were very worried and took the chance but to walk it today, it was deeper, way deeper.

“It is always tough to watch because the difference between winning and not winning can be massive and I’m delighted for everyone.

“In all fairness to the lads, 15 years ago they would have taken him out, they wouldn’t have run him, but we’re so lucky they enjoy their racing so much now that they wanted to be here and they wanted to run him.

“To walk it I was very afraid, but the lads made the right decision – it was a long discussion.”

O’Brien felt the victory came in spite of the going, which would not be the obvious surface for a horse with an American dirt champion for a sire.

Ryan Moore partners the Derby and Eclipse winner

The trainer said: “He’s a beautiful good ground horse, a real fast ground mover and he has won despite the ground. It would have been easy to take him out but the lads all came and they wanted to run him. It was tough because that is specialist ground and it didn’t go to plan because of the whole thing.

“He won quite well in the end. Dylan (Browne McMonagle, on Al Riffa) said coming in that he had him and then he went again. He said he thought he had him, but he was always maintaining.”

City Of Troy was unchanged in the market for the Juddmonte International and the Breeders’ Cup Classic with bookmakers Paddy Power and Betfair, whereas William Hill eased him from 6-4 to 2-1 for the former race and from 6-1 to 8-1 for the latter.

On future plans, O’Brien said: “I don’t know what the lads will do but I would imagine they will have a look at either the Juddmonte International Stakes (at York) or the Irish Champion Stakes.

“After that we will maybe look at America. Everything about him is good ground or better. I would imagine he could finish off in America in the Classic. That is what he is bred to be, his dad was a dirt horse.”

Moore admitted he had expected the win to be more convincing and pointed to the going to echo O’Brien’s assessment of the race.

He said: “I suppose in reality everyone was expecting him to win and probably be more impressive, and so was I. But the ground was an inconvenience for him.

“I was happy enough with where I was but halfway round the bend the ground was a little bit loose and he just lost his action for a stride.

“Ghostwriter took a length out of me and I wasn’t going as comfortably as I should have been, it just took me a while to organise him.

“I got to the two furlong marker and I had to go and I thought he did well because I wasn’t really happy up until then. He found plenty and it never really felt like he was going to get beat.

“I still think we are learning about him and I thought the ground was an inconvenience so I’m happy he has won but I do think there is more there. I thought he would probably beat them by 10 lengths today and I wouldn’t be surprised if he does it next time.

“These conditions are not what he wants, he has an extravagant action and slow ground into a headwind is not easy. I think he will be better in a higher-tempo race.”

On the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Moore added: “I’ve never ridden a Breeders’ Cup Classic horse so I don’t know what that takes. I think this horse has the engine and the ability but we have to work out if he has the right action for it.”

Makorova went one better than last year
Makorova went one better than last year

Makarova serves up Coral Charge success

Makarova pounced late to go one better than 12 months ago and land a deserved victory in the Coral Charge at Sandown.

Ed Walker’s five-year-old has been a consistent performer in all of the major sprinting events but was registering her first success at Group level in the hands of Hector Crouch.

It looked destined to be the progressive Desperate Hero who would land the spoils when he went for home with just over a furlong to run, but he was reeled in by both Makarova and Andrew Balding’s Purosangue late in the day, with the former keeping on best to register a three-quarter length success at 9-2.

Makarova was cut to 10-1 from 16s by Paddy Power for the King George Stakes after the race and Walker confirmed that the Goodwood sprint assignment would be on the radar.

He said: “This year she has been super consistent and she started off rated 67 or something. She was so laid back and never looked like a sprinter in the early days. She just kind of woke up and learned to sprint. She’s a legend.

“I wasn’t confident at all she would get there today and not once did I get excited watching it. But you knew she would come good and the only time she hasn’t come good is at Ascot with the blinkers on.

“In the blinkers she sat right on the tail of Big Evs at Ascot and paid the price at the end, it is the first time she has failed to finish off her race over five furlongs.

“I think they had the desired effect of sharpening her up a bit and today back in the cheekpieces she was back to her old self, just racing behind the bridle a bit and finishing strong.

“We’ve chanced our arm a lot and unfortunately she is only a Listed winner, so it is important we have now made her a Group Three winner and we will try and make her a Group Two winner if we can.

“She will probably go to the King George and maybe then another crack at the Nunthorpe or the race at the Curragh (Flying Five Stakes). After that there is the Prix de l’Abbaye and races like that.

“This will be her last season racing, especially now she is a Group Three winner. We’ll try pick up some more black type this season and then she will go home.”

Cicero's Gift landed more Saturday success for Billy Loughnane
Cicero’s Gift landed more Saturday success for Billy Loughnane

Cicero’s Gift completes Coral Challenge comeback

Cicero’s Gift provided a reminder of his quality when making a winning return in the Coral Challenge at Sandown.

Charlie Hills’ four-year-old was last seen suffering plenty of interference when finishing down the field in the 2023 St James’s Palace Stakes and was sent off 11-2 back down in handicap company after 382 days off the track.

Nursed into the race by young weighing room star Billy Loughnane, the class of the colt came to the fore in the closing stages as he secured a half-length verdict over Karl Burke’s Holloway Boy.

Cicero’s Gift’s trainer was eyeing taking his charge to a conditions race at Goodwood next but now sights may have to be raised, with an ambitious tilt at the Sussex Stakes a possibility.

“He’s a very special horse and on his second start he beat Docklands giving him 9lbs, he has tremendous ability,” said Hills.

“It wasn’t really my plan to come here and there was a perfect race for him at Glorious Goodwood over one-mile-one, a conditions race for horses who have never won a Group or Listed race. My dad (former trainer Barry) rang me up and said it might be very hard to win that race first time, so why not give him a spin at Sandown?

“The fact he has gone and won is full testament to this horse. He’s not fully wound up and to win a race like this off top-weight is a tremendous achievement.”

He went on: “We’ve some money in the pot now so we might have to supplement him for something. The main thing is to keep him on something with a bit of cut in the ground. If the ground came up soft we could supplement him in the Sussex.

“I just can’t believe he has been able to win today with the work he has done, it astonishes me really.”

Gareth Southgate: Did the England boss get lucky or does he deserve credit for Euro 2024 win over Switzerland? | Football News

Gareth Southgate: Did the England boss get lucky or does he deserve credit for Euro 2024 win over Switzerland? | Football News

England’s prospects looked bleak when Breel Embolo poked in Switzerland’s 75th-minute opening goal in Dusseldorf. Gareth Southgate, overseeing his 100th game in charge of the national side, was staring at the very real possibility of it being his last.

Later, in the warm glow of victory, he would talk up the performance as England’s best of the tournament so far. But at that point, a goal down with 15 minutes to go, his side were yet to even muster a shot on target. Improved, maybe, but with little to show for it.

As in the last-16 against Slovakia, though, when Jude Bellingham’s overhead kick forced extra-time, England only needed one to make the breakthrough, Bukayo Saka the scorer this time as his stunning strike, having cut inside from the right, crashed in off the post.

It felt like he had got Southgate out of jail. This, even more than Bellingham’s goal against Slovakia, came out of nothing; a flash of individual brilliance in another blunt collective display.

Penalty decision-making, tactical plans and England’s streetwise nature were on the agenda during Gareth Southgate’s press conference after the game

But it should be noted, too, that it would not have occurred at all had his manager heeded widespread calls to move Saka to the left rather than persist with him on his preferred side.

So, did Southgate get lucky or does he deserve credit?

Maybe both things are true. Maybe it doesn’t matter anyway. The key point, after all, is that, following a penalty shootout in which the coolness of England’s takers bore stark contrast to the nerves of those watching, they are in the last four, the dream still alive.

Fans are entitled to wonder, though, why, as Switzerland boss Murat Yakin made early changes, Embolo’s opener arriving roughly 10 minutes after the introductions of Steven Zuber and Silvan Widmer, Southgate again delayed, not making his first substitutions until England had fallen behind.

This apparent inertia has become a feature not just of this tournament but Southgate’s tenure as a whole. And yet, as against Slovakia, when he himself admitted Ivan Toney’s displeasure at only being sent on in stoppage time, it all worked out in the end.

Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett delivers his verdict on England’s win over Switzerland

Southgate could point to Toney’s role in Harry Kane’s extra-time winner in that game. Against Switzerland, he can point to the fact that, in Cole Palmer, Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold, three of his substitutes, once they finally made it on, scored in the shootout.

Should it be this difficult? Southgate has been at pains to point out that performances and playing style only count for so much at major tournaments. But England, while successful to this point, have made the supposedly easy side of the draw look anything but.

For all their attacking talent, they remain oddly listless in front of goal. England are semi-finalists and yet they rank 12th among the 26 teams at the tournament for shots on target, below four sides who played fewer games. They rank in the same place for expected goals.

The numbers look even less inspiring when taking the two knockout ties in isolation. England have generated chances worth a meagre combined total of 2.18 xG despite twice going to extra-time. Their three goals have come from only five shots on target in 240 minutes of action plus stoppage time.

England have only won one of their five games in 90 minutes and even that, the 1-0 victory over Serbia in their opening group fixture, felt like a struggle after a promising start. Most fans would agree it has felt like a struggle watching the subsequent games too.

At times, Southgate has seemingly floundered.

Captain Harry Kane praised Bukayo Saka’s mentality after he converted his penalty

His Alexander-Arnold midfield experiment was abandoned after two games. The chosen replacement, Conor Gallagher, only lasted 45 minutes of the goalless draw against Slovenia.

Some of his consistent calls, such as his continued use of Kieran Trippier on the left and his persistence with an out-of-sorts Kane up front, have invited even more scrutiny.

Ultimately, though, for Southgate, and regardless of what happens next, England’s presence in the last four represents a continuation of a fine record at World Cups and European Championships.

England have never previously reached the quarter-finals of four consecutive major tournaments, as they have under Southgate. This is the third time he has led them to a semi-final. There is frustration that silverware is yet to arrive but his achievements already outstrip those of his more illustrious predecessors.

England players celebrate their penalty shootout victory

His in-game decision-making remains an area of concern and it will be more sternly tested by a stronger opponent in the Netherlands. But England’s coolly-dispatched penalties underlined the quality of their preparation and the manner in which their mentality has been overhauled. Another late comeback showed their spirit.

Southgate has issues to address and questions to answer but he is responsible for that preparation. He has fostered that spirit.

This England side are far from perfect. The truth is they have progressed to the last four in spite of their performances rather than because of them. But they are there, with a chance of going further. Southgate will make it to 101 games as a minimum.

British GP predictions: Sky Sports F1 pick Silverstone winner from George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen | F1 News

British GP predictions: Sky Sports F1 pick Silverstone winner from George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen | F1 News

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, the Sky Sports F1 team predict who will come out on top in Sunday’s race at Silverstone.

For the first time at Silverstone, three Brits occupy the first three slots on the grid after George Russell beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris to pole.

While the crowd will rightly show up hopeful of a British victory, it’s far from guaranteed with world championship leader Max Verstappen waiting to pounce on any opportunity from fourth place, while Norris’ McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri cannot be discounted from fifth.

With which team has the fastest car not completely clear following interchangeable conditions through the weekend, the race will begin as one of F1’s most difficult to predict for a long time.

Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and fans celebrate England’s win over Switzerland on penalties to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2024.

Throw into the mix that the unseasonable weather is set to continue, and an absolute classic could be on the cards at the famous circuit.

With such an enticing prospect in store, the Sky Sports F1 team shared their predictions for Sunday’s race following qualifying:

Karun Chandhok, Sky Sports F1 pundit

Winner: George Russell

I think that he’s really on a good run of form and I think the Mercedes is really suited to this circuit. He’s just driving really well and I have this gut feeling he can hold off the other three. But I would say that Verstappen in fourth is probably the biggest threat.

Ted Kravitz, Sky Sports F1 pit lane reporter

Winner: Max Verstappen

I think George is going to lead away at the start. Max is going to come through in his repaired car and fight with Lando and Lewis. I’d expect the rain will hold off and it will come down to a fight between Russell and Verstappen, with Max getting it in the end. At the finish: Max, Lando, George.

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz looks back at all the big talking points from Qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Naomi Schiff, Sky Sports F1 pundit

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

The good news is all the Brits have a chance to win. But if I had to put my money on anyone, it would be Lewis Hamilton. I think what we would really like to see is a sixth different winner this season, and he can be the driver to deliver that.

Simon Lazenby, Sky Sports F1 presenter

Winner: Max Verstappen

I think Verstappen will win because he had a damaged floor in qualifying. Whilst I hope for the fans that they get a British winner, I feel that Max is on a mission and will be very quick with a repaired floor. We haven’t seen his true pace yet.

George Russell says being on pole at his home Grand Prix is the ‘best feeling’ he has ever had after a qualifying session.

Craig Slater, Sky Sports News reporter

Winner: Lando Norris

Lando and Verstappen are the two best right now in terms of form, and in terms of car speed over race distance, and they will emerge eventually at the front. The Mercedes cars might lead for a while but over race distance the Mercedes is not yet able to compete even in these more favourable conditions. I take Lewis to win the battle with George for the final podium spot.

Nigel Chiu, Sky Sports F1 digital journalist

Winner: Lando Norris

Lando Norris was great throughout Friday and I think McLaren will have a pace advantage over Mercedes. Norris must keep Verstappen behind at the start, then he can use pace and strategy to overcome the two Mercedes cars. If it’s wet, I also think Norris will show his class and make up for coming close in Canada.

Lando Norris says he expected Mercedes to be his main contenders for pole and will look to bring the fight to them from P3 tomorrow.

James Galloway, Sky Sports F1 digital journalist

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

If there’s going to be at least one more big day in the glittering Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes story, then perhaps this Silverstone Sunday is going to be it. While he missed out on what would have been a record-extending eighth home pole to his team-mate, a front-row start still leaves Hamilton very handily placed.

His qualifying may have underwhelmed for much of his final Mercedes campaign so far, but race days have still usually proved a little more fruitful. Of course, no one knows better than Hamilton how to win around Silverstone and as his ongoing run of 10 consecutive podiums show, he tends to find a way on home ground.

Sam Johnston, Sky Sports F1 digital journalist

Winner: Lando Norris

Lando Norris and his McLaren team have been oozing confidence throughout the weekend, even after an error in qualifying cost him a shot at pole on Saturday. He and the team will need to show they have learnt from moments in recent races that have cost them victory, but with a clean race I suspect the papaya car has the pace to get past both of the Silver Arrows.

Have your say!

Sky Sports F1’s live British GP schedule (all F1 sessions on Sky Showcase)

Here’s what you can look forward to during coverage of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Sunday July 7
8:15am: F3 Feature Race
9:50am: F2 Feature Race
11:50am: Porsche Supercup
1:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday – British GP build-up
5pm: Chequered Flag: British GP reaction
6pm: Ted’s Notebook

F1’s summer triple-header concludes with the big one, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Watch every session live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Showcase, with Sunday’s race at 3pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

England 1 – 1 Switzerland

England 1 – 1 Switzerland

England advanced to the semi-finals of Euro 2024 with a penalty shootout win over Switzerland as Jordan Pickford’s save from Manuel Akanji’s spot-kick proved decisive following a 1-1 draw.

Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold converted their penalties unerringly with Pickford thwarting Akanji, Switzerland’s first taker, to clinch a 5-3 shootout win and set up a last-four showdown with either Netherlands or Turkey.

England had looked at risk of limping out of the tournament in normal time when Switzerland’s Breel Embolo stole ahead of Kyle Walker to poke in Dan Ndoye’s deflected cross from close range in the 75th minute.

But Saka, England’s most dangerous player in an unfamiliar right wing-back role, found a leveller shortly afterwards when he cut inside and curled an outstanding finish in off the post from outside the box.

Saka’s goal came from England’s first shot on target and they continued to labour in extra-time, surviving heart-in-mouth moments when Xherdan Shaqiri struck the woodwork directly from a corner and Zeki Amdouni had a shot parried.

But none of that mattered as they held their nerve in the shootout to exorcise the demons of their Euro 2020 final defeat on penalties to Italy to go through to the semi-finals.

Stats: Story of the match

Who plays who in the semi-finals?

England vs New Zealand: Sarah Glenn stars as spin proves pivotal in 59-run opening T20I victory | Cricket News

England vs New Zealand: Sarah Glenn stars as spin proves pivotal in 59-run opening T20I victory | Cricket News

England’s strong spin attack proved pivotal as they cruised to a 59-run victory in the first T20I of the five-match series against New Zealand at the Utilita Bowl in Southampton.

Five wickets fell in the space of 11 balls as spinners Charlie Dean (2-28), Sarah Glenn (3-16) and Sophie Ecclestone (1-27) combined to decimate the New Zealand middle order as they chased down the tough 198 target set by England.

That target was secured by some impressive displays with the bat, especially Danni Wyatt (76) who raced to her total from just 51 deliveries, smashing the boundary for 11 fours and a six to leave New Zealand needing to muster what would have been their biggest run chase ever.

Heading into the clash off the back of a 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand in the ODI Series, Heather Knight’s side are now using these T20I matches as key preparation for the T20 World Cup in October in Bangladesh, the four spinners in the outfit a surprising choice but one that reaped rewards.

Check out the best shots as Danni Wyatt passed 50 in the first T20 against New Zealand

Glenn takes three-fer as spin powers England

With England opting for the four spin options of Dean, Glenn, Eccleston and Linsey Smith (1-26), the bowling attack took time to find their feet in the Powerplay before the breakthroughs finally came thick and fast.

It is fair to say that Plimmer (1) was at fault for her own wicket in the second over as she ran herself out for the third time in the multi-format series but then a brilliant delivery from Dean removed Amelia Kerr (18) and started New Zealand’s downfall.

Georgia Plimmer was run out for the third time during New Zealand’s tour of England as the White Ferns fell to 12-1

Glenn then made her mark and took a sensational three wickets in the ninth over, dismissing danger woman Suzie Bates (43) then Maddy Green (0) for a golden duck in the space of two balls, finishing off the over by ending New Zealand captain Sophie Devine’s (0) innings.

That left New Zealand floundering on 64-5 but the visitors just continued to crumble as five wickets in total went in the space of 11 balls, Isabella Gaze (0) falling to a stumping from a ripper of a delivery from Eccleston to finish the blitz of wickets.

Score Summary: England win by 59 runs

England: Danni Wyatt (76 runs from 51 balls), Nat Sciver-Brunt (47 runs from 23 balls), Maia Bouchier (32 runs from 26 balls), Freya Kemp (26 runs from 17 balls); Sarah Glenn (3-16), Charlie Dean (2-28)

New Zealand: Suzie Bates (43 runs from 33 balls), Jess Kerr (38 runs from 26 balls); Lea Tahuhu (2-33), Eden Carson (1-26)

Jess Kerr (38) and Brooke Halliday (13) attempted to steady the ship for New Zealand but Dean took her chance once again, rattling the stumps to dismiss the latter and leave New Zealand 110-7.

After four dropped catches, Kerr was finally caught on the final ball of the 19th over, allowing Linsey Smith (1-26) to get in on the spin wicket-taking action, Kemp (1-30) making a point for the medium pace bowlers as she removed Tahuhu (17) with the final ball of the game to secure the 59-run win.

Wonderful Wyatt shows skill with the bat

England got off to a brilliant start in the Powerplay despite the gusty conditions, Wyatt and Maia Bouchier (32) combining to put their side on 52-0 after those first six crucial overs, five fours each putting them firmly in the driver’s seat.

Maia Bouchier was caught out in the deep as England lost their first wicket against New Zealand in the opening T20

The first breakthrough for New Zealand came in the eighth over as Bouchier sent Lea Tahuhu’s (2-33) delivery up and over to the waiting Georgia Plimmer on the rope, putting England on 61-1.

However, the ever-impressive Nat Sciver-Brunt (47) was then at the crease with Wyatt and their partnership increased the pressure further, a six plus two fours in the 11th over setting the pace for them to hit the century mark in 11.2 overs and the 50-partnership in 12.4 overs.

New Zealand got a second wicket after Amelia Kerr caught out Nat Sciver-Brunt before the English batter could reach a half-century

Wyatt then brought up her fifty in the 14th over, seven fours and a six helping her onto her 15th half-century in this format.

Not long after, New Zealand found their breakthrough as Sciver-Brunt sent Eden Carson’s (1-26) delivery to the waiting Amelia Kerr (0-30) to put England on 143-2, Wyatt then finally falling in the 18th over with England on a solid score of 169-3.

England’s batter Danni Wyatt is caught out on the boundary for 76

Despite the loss of their star opener, Freya Kemp (26) and skipper Heather Knight (4) took their chance to add to the tally in the final two overs, helping their side onto a hefty final tally of 197, England’s fifth-highest-ever score in T20Is.

England vs New Zealand IT20 fixtures

Saturday, July 5 First IT20 Southampton (Won by 59 runs)
Tuesday, July 9 Second IT20 Hove
Thursday, July 11 Third IT20 Canterbury
Saturday, July 13 Fourth IT20 The Oval
Wednesdy, July 17 Fifth IT20 Lord’s

What they said: Wyatt: It was a good day | Knight: We showed brilliant intent

Danni Wyatt was thrilled after scoring 76

Player of the Match, Danni Wyatt:

“Just trying to stay calm and back myself. It’s always a nice wicket here. Today was a nice day, supported well by Bouchier and Sciver-Brunt

“It seemed to just fly with the wind. With T20 you just have to enjoy the good days.

“There’s a pretty big game on now so shall we go?”

England’s captain Heather Knight:

“Great performance apart from the drop catches, great to have so many options.

“First time we’ve tried four spinners and I thought Kemp’s figures didn’t show how she bowls, it’s nice to see her back. She was good at the death and Linsey did a really good job too.

“I think we’ve got loads of options. Left Bell out and she’s done a lot for us in T20 cricket. We just pick based on the conditions.

“I thought we started with brilliant intent, we were really smart with our options.

“The crowd was great, we get good support here.”

What’s next?

England head to The 1st Central County Ground, Hove, on Tuesday as they face New Zealand in the second T20I of the series.

Tuesday 9th July 6:00pm

Watch the second T20I between England and New Zealand on Tuesday July 9, live on Sky Sports from 6pm (first ball 6.30pm). Stream the series contract-free with NOW.

British GP: Are McLaren drivers of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri the team to beat at Silverstone? | F1 News

British GP: Are McLaren drivers of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri the team to beat at Silverstone? | F1 News

Lando Norris thinks McLaren must improve despite making a perfect start to the British Grand Prix as he topped both of Friday’s practice sessions.

Norris was over three tenths clear of the field in second practice, with McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri being his closest challenger.

Sergio Perez was the first non-McLaren car in third but 0.434s behind, while Max Verstappen was only seventh in the sister Red Bull car.

Intriguingly, Norris pointed out the pace of Mercedes when discussing his day.

“A good start to the weekend. It wasn’t like the cleanest. It didn’t feel that comfortable this morning but through the sessions we made some tweaks and I got in a much nicer window, which is important around here,” said Norris.

“It’s quite on the nose and quite sketchy and pretty high-speed. Tricky, but I’m happy. I think we made some good progress.

“I think we’re pretty tight and even with Mercedes, they seem probably just as quick as us. They just didn’t turn up the engine and do as much in the final run. So I think we’re in a good place but we probably have a little bit more to find.”

Karun Chandhok takes a look at the top laps from practice from Lando Norris and Max Verstappen to determine if the Red Bull driver is as behind Norris as he seems

Mercedes looked good on the medium and hard tyres but Lewis Hamilton was in a group from sixth to 10th that were around seven tenths off Norris’ blistering pace on the softs.

Hamilton, who has won the British Grand Prix a record eight times, doesn’t seem to agree with Norris’ comments.

“I felt fine, generally felt good, just not as fast as the guys ahead, like the McLarens,” he said.

Norris says McLaren are ready for any weather but hopes its stays dry for his home race after topping both Friday practice sessions at Silverstone

“We don’t have upgrades this weekend. We have some small tweaks to things, but not necessarily upgrades.

“Every time we add something to the car we are going in the right direction, but the others bring upgrades at the same time.

“We were six and a half tenths off in that session. I don’t know if it’s truly exactly six tenths, but we’ve got some work to do.”

Norris open to wet weather

Rain is forecast throughout the weekend at Silverstone, which could change the already-mixed pecking order completely.

Norris is one of the best drivers in the wet as he showed in the first half of last month’s Canadian Grand Prix and when he took Sprint Qualifying pole in Shanghai earlier this year in the rain.

“I always enjoy both conditions. I would prefer if it was one or the other. And honestly, on a home race, I would probably prefer if it was just dry because we seem like we’re in a good place and I wouldn’t want to go too far away from that,” he said.

“But it’s Silverstone, it’s England, so I’m ready for everything, but my preference would probably be to stay dry.”

Here’s what you can look forward to during coverage of this weekend’s British Grand Prix

There has been talk of whether the three British drivers of Norris, Hamilton and George Russell can all stand on the podium this Sunday.

Russell comes into the weekend on the back of winning in Austria but thinks Mercedes are a little behind McLaren and Red Bull.

“First practice was really good. The car was feeling great. We struggled a bit more this afternoon,” he said.

“It got a bit windier and I don’t think we quite nailed the tyres. We are probably similar competitiveness to the last few races.”

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell reflect on Friday’s practice sessions at the British GP

Verstappen seemingly relaxed

Not for the first time this year, Red Bull appear to be on the backfoot after the Friday of an F1 weekend.

Verstappen finished second practice in seventh but set his best lap much earlier than his rivals, so had the worst of the track conditions.

“On the soft it didn’t go so well in FP2, the medium a bit better, so a bit of work to do,” said Verstappen.

“We tried a few things on the car from FP1 to FP2, so just have to analyse a bit what to do better for tomorrow.”

Ted Kravitz brings updates of the RB20’s floor changes from the pit lane

Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory is just a half an hour drive from Silverstone, so the team will be working tirelessly through the night to work out the best set-up.

Verstappen, who leads Norris by 81 points in the drivers’ championship, has only won the British Grand Prix once but didn’t rule out Red Bull bouncing back come qualifying on Saturday.

“We tried a few things so we just now need to analyse all of that and then that will give us a direction for tomorrow, where naturally with the weather it will rain a bit, so we’ll all have to take that into account,” he said.

Max Verstappen says he and the team will analyse the performance from practice to direct ahead of Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions

Perez missed out on first practice as Red Bull ran F2 driver Isack Hadjar as part of the mandatory requirement to run a rookie in at least two practice sessions this season.

The Mexican gave more away about Red Bull’s pace and admits they should have more pace to come.

“It was a solid session because we lost the whole morning. It was good. The car is feeling good,” said Perez.

“I think we need to find some balance, especially in the slow and medium speed. In the high-speed, the car feels nice. There should be some nice potential for us later on.”

Sky Sports F1’s live British GP schedule (all F1 sessions on Sky Showcase)

Look back at some of the most dramatic moments throughout the years at the British Grand Prix

Saturday July 6
9.15am: F3 Sprint
11.15am: British GP Practice Three (session starts at 11.30am)
1.10pm: F2 Sprint
2.15pm: British GP Qualifying build-up
3pm: British GP Qualifying
5pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

Sunday July 7
8:15am: F3 Feature Race
9:50am: F2 Feature Race
11:50am: Porsche Supercup
1:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday – British GP build-up
5pm: Chequered Flag: British GP reaction
6pm: Ted’s Notebook

F1’s summer triple-header concludes with the big one, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Watch every session live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Showcase, with Sunday’s race at 3pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime