Can Hamilton get his season back on track?

Practice is already underway at Silverstone as the excitement builds for what could be a crunch British Grand Prix this weekend. Both current World Champion Lewis Hamilton and arch rival and team-mate Nico Rosberg are desperate to win this one. Hamilton needs to reassert his dominance and reestablish his lead at the top of the standings. Rosberg wants to continue his excellent recent form and chip away at Lewis’ lead at the top and push him all the way by taking a third chequered flag in four race weekends.

Already, both drivers are showing signs of pressure. Hamilton started his first practice session in a similar vein to Austria, with a half-spin on the exit of Stowe corner, whilst Rosberg had to pull off track just after Copse due to a loss of hydraulic pressure and end his session. As things stand, Hamilton is now fastest with a 1:35.391 lap time, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen slotted into second three tenths back, with Rosberg third. Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari is fourth, albeit well off the current fastest lap times.

With the weather set to be hot over the coming days, averaging 25ºC and the race day set to be well up into the high twenties, things are certainly hotting up. Qualifying starts tomorrow for what could be a decisive pole position scrap. Lose it and Hamilton could be facing a massive fight this season to lift another world title. Grab pole and he has the chance to reclaim top spot on the podium at his home race.

The race is due to be shown live the BBC and now, you can sit back and enjoy the coverage in glorious HD from the comfort of your own armchair, anywhere in the world using our superb Blade Stream box, complete with our recently introduced Freeview Ultimate HD package. Want to get your hands on one? Then sign up today and sit back and enjoy the British Grand Prix this weekend wherever you are!

Nadal slumps to defeat once again at SW19

We’re used to seeing champions fade away in all kinds of sports however, the sharp decline in the tennis fortunes of 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal is simply incomprehensible. Yesterday, he slumped to yet another early round defeat at Wimbledon, this time to Germany’s Dustin Brown who played a style of tennis that harked back to the eighties. His serve and volley approach, combined with power, flair and height enabled him to dominate the Spaniard who had no answer to his aggressive tactics. Nadal was again simply outplayed.

In fairness to Brown, he thoroughly deserved his win, as the stats clearly showed he was the better player offensively and defensively. However, the manner in which Nadal’s confidence and shot making has declined is stark. This was the fourth year in a row that he left SW19 and checked out of his hotel room far earlier than anyone could have expected. Even with recent indifferent form and a ten year ranking low point, many thought this could be his chance to rebuild his season. Instead, it appears we have witnessed the end of an era and with this being his last tournament in his twenties and the body not being what it once was, winning more slams in the future looks highly unlikely.

For fans of Murray, Federer and Djokovic, Nadal’s exit may come as welcome news but to tennis fans, Wimbledon 2015 will certainly be worse off without him.

As for the Brits, we’ve had a fairly good tournament to date. Murray looks assured as he easily dispatched Holland’s Robin Haase and Murray’s good friend and fellow Gunners fan James Ward also progressed to the third round with a solid performance to beat the Czech Jiří Veselý.

Today, all eyes will be on the women’s draw as Britain’s Heather Watson has the unenviable task of facing 20-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams on Centre Court; a third round match. Without any doubt, the American is the favourite so this encounter will be a tough test for Watson, who should use this match to see where her game is at and hopefully, trouble the reigning US, Australian and French open champion at best she can, who’s looking to complete her personal slam.

As always, coverage is across the BBC for the next two weeks until Sunday, 12 July. Most believe that the tournament only really starts during week two so if you want to catch the best matches as the latter rounds develop, get yourself ready for every game, set and match and sign up to DemandUKTV.

 

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