Sky Sports highlights: Andy Murray, Laura Robson impress, Casey wins in Ireland but Lions lose

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH.   Last Updated: 01/07/13 11:30am

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After another incident-packed week of sport it's time to pick out the best and worst efforts from around the globe and decide who deserves praise and who should be hanging their heads in shame.

Seeds have been tumbling, sometimes literally, out of Wimbledon, but the week could hardly have gone better for Britain's two big guns in remain right in the hunt.

We had a role reversal on the huge Lions tour in Australia while tyres and drivers became a massive issue in both the Formula One at Silverstone and also for differing reasons at the start of the Tour de France.

Here's our pick of the bunch this week...

Good Week

Andy Murray

Murray has enjoyed the perfect first week at Wimbledon, having won his three matches against Tommy Robredo, Benjamin Becker and Yen-Hsun Lu without dropping a set so far.

The British No 1 will now stride out onto Centre Court again on Monday to fight for a place in the quarter-finals against Russia's Mikhail Youzhny - who, seeded at 20, represents Murray's most challenging assignment before the final.

The draw had handed Murray a tough route through, but with Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all amazingly being knocked out it has blown the door wide open for Murray to end Britain's 77-year wait for a men's Wimbledon champion.

It may look too good to be true for last year's beaten finalist, but the path to a showdown with Novak Djokovic looks clear cut and he will arguably never have a better chance of making history.


Brazil sent their football-crazy public wild as they claimed the Confederations Cup after thrashing world and European champions Spain 3-0 in a one-sided final at a raucous Maracana Stadium.

Fred scored twice and Neymar once for the rampant hosts while the stunned Spaniards endured a miserable night, missing a penalty and finishing with 10 men.

The final got off to an incredible start when Brazil took the lead after just 95 seconds, Fred alertly lashing the ball into the net from close range as he lay on the ground, a cross to the back post having bounced off Neymar.

Jesus Navas came off the bench for Spain and quickly won a penalty when he was tripped by Marcelo but Sergio Ramos's spot-kick was just wide of the left-hand post, while Gerard Pique saw red for a foul on Neymar as the last line of defence.

Paul Casey

Paul Casey has been through some dark times in his golfing career over the last couple of years, but he got back into winning ways in style as he claimed the Irish Open at Carton House.

The Englishman was without a win on Tour since Bahrain 29 months ago, but he shot a second successive round of 67 in difficult conditions to finish on -14 and win by three shots.

Casey briefly opened the door for his rivals by giving shots back at 15 and 16, but a solid par at the short 17th followed by that putt at the last ensured the former Ryder Cup winner would be celebrating for the first time early 2011.

Casey even managed to seal his 12th win on the European Tour by sinking a monster putt for eagle on the last.

Laura Robson

Laura Robson has already been through a lot, and it's only been the first week! It's not often a British woman survives into the second week at SW19 but Robson has done herself proud already.

The 19-year-old caused an upset when she dumped out 10th seed Maria Kirilenko in the first round, before ousting Mariana Duque Marino and producing a wonderful comeback against Marina Erakovic.

With barely an hour on the clock, the 25-year-old Kiwi stood on the edge of victory when serving for a place in the last 16 at 5-4, but Robson fought back for an epic victory, and her reward is a last 16 tie with Estonia's Kaia Kanepi.

With a possible showdown with Serena Williams the prize, it could yet get even better for Robson as she continues her Wimbledon adventure.

Bad Week

George North gives Israel Folau a lift


It was a role reversal for the Lions in Australia who, after winning last week thanks to two missed late kicks, this time lost out when Leigh Halfpenny could just not muscle his effort over the posts from halfway.

The Lions had been leading and on the way to a series victory before Adam Ashley-Copper's try five minutes from the end broke the touring team's hearts and drew Australia level at 1-1 with a tense 16-15 success.

It was a bitterly disappointing result for the Lions having been in front, but they had their backs to the wall for most of the second half as the desperate hosts piled forward, and it now sets up a massive decider in Sydney next Saturday.

Garikoitz "Gary" Atxa

It's not often a bus driver makes our list, but Atxa does just that this week after he made a huge impression on the Tour de France on his very first day driving for the Orica-GreenEdge team.

Atxa managed to get his bus lodged under the finish line of the very first stage of the 100th Tour in Corsica - leading to worried organisers deciding to bring the finish forward by three kilometres.

The move caused confusion in the peloton and led to a nasty crash six kilometres from the end of the stage, in which around 25 riders came down.

The bus was eventually moved, in time for the race to finish at the pre-planned spot after all, but Orica-GreenEdge were fined nonetheless.

"I'm feeling terrible," said the driver. "This was my first day driving the bus so it wasn't a good start. What else can I say but 'I'm sorry'? I just hope my team have faith in me."

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy cut a dejected figure after missing the cut at the Irish Open, but insisted he would emerge from his slump sooner or later this year.

McIlroy started his second round well with a birdie on the first, but then made five bogeys and only four more birdies to finish his round on level par and remain on two-over for the tournament.

That was not enough for the two-time major winner to make the cut at Carton House in his home championship, and he was bitterly disappointed with yet another sub-standard event.

Pirelli tyres

Sadly, the tyres used in Formula One this year have caused as many, if not more, talking points than the cars or drivers on the track - and at the British Grand Prix they hit the headlines yet again.

Four drivers suffered high-speed blowouts during the race at Silverstone, including home hope Lewis Hamilton who saw his left rear tyre explode whilst he was leading the race.

After another three left-rear tyres failed at high speed in the race at Silverstone, it is understood that FIA President Jean Todt has summoned F1's tyre manufacturer to appear at a meeting with team bosses and other relevant parties at the Nurburgring on Wednesday.

Sky Sports F1 understands Pirelli have been called by the FIA to attend a meeting of the Sporting Committee ahead of next week's German GP at the Nurburgring.

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