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In brief: Murray receives boost at Queen's

Andy Murray's efforts to shake off his niggling ankle injury ahead of Wimbledon received an unexpected boost yesterday, when he booked a place in the Queen's Club semi-finals in London without swinging a racket.

The Scot secured his passage to the last four after Marin Cilic withdrew from their quarter-final tie because of his own ankle problem. Murray will play America's Andy Roddick, the four-time champion, today.

Ana Ivanovic reached her first semi-final since October by beating Mirjana Lucic 6-3 6-4 at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, with the Serbian only dropping three points on her service games in the first set.

Meanwhile, Amy Bowtell's bid for a brace of titles came up short yesterday in the ITF Women's Circuit event in Amarante, Portugal, WRITES Paddy Hickey.

After clinching places in the singles semi-final and the doubles final, she exited from the individual event when she suffered a 6-4 6-3 defeat to the host country's Magali De Lattre.

But the Greystones 17-year-old can focus all her attentions on her quest for her first adult world-ranking title in today's doubles final.

In the decider, Bowtell and Britain's Yasmin Clarke, who are unseeded, face the No 4 seeds, Austria's Katherina Negrin and France's Constance Sibille.


Loreto opened with a 4-1 win over Austrian side HTC Wein in first game of the EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge in Lille, overcoming a slow start to finish well in control at the finish.

After a shaky start Loreto paid the penalty when Wein slipped in an early goal, before parity was restored with an equaliser from Nikki Symmons to leave it all square at the break.

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Loreto showed a more positive approach throughout the second half, with Ali Meeke scoring a second goal. Symmons, however, then failed to score from the penalty spot, her shot clearing the crossbar, before Nikki Keegan and Hannah Matthews wrapped it up for a convincing win. Ireland take on the hosts Lille this afternoon.


An Post Sean Kelly rider Gediminas Bagdonas has continued the excellent run of form which saw him win the An Post Rás last month by claiming Stage 2 of the Ronde de L'Oise (2.2) in France yesterday.

Bagdonas was third in the overall classification going into yesterday's second of four stages -- 186.2km from Pierrefonds to Le Plessis Belleville -- and his big finish saw him take not only the stage win, but he also leads the general classification and points going into today's penultimate stage.

It was an excellent day all round for the An Post team. Four riders -- Bagdonas, Peter Ghyllebert, Niko Eeckhout and Irishman Ronan McLaughlin -- attacked with 50km to go and Bagdonas and Eeckhout were part of a five-man leading group going into the final kilometre.

Bagdonas just took the stage win, with Eeckhout finishing second.

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