Lions thrash Australia to take test series as Bartoli takes the Wimbledon title

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An epic sporting weekend kicked off in style yesterday as the British and Irish Lions thrashed the Wallabies 41-16 in Sydney to win their first test series since 1997.

The criticism leveled all week at Warren Gatland for his controversial omission of Brian O Driscoll faded into ecstasy as the Lions tore though Australia, achieving full spectrum dominance in the scrum, the breakdown and the contact zone. Prop Alex Corbisiero displayed unexpected agility to spin across the line in the third minute, and from there, their masterclass in scrummaging told as the penalties kept coming and man of the series Leigh Halfpenny kept delivering three points. The Wallabies scored a try at the stroke of half time and a penalty within seconds of the restart and for a moment it looked like a comeback might indeed be imminent.

But some inspired play from the three quarters saw Jonny Sexton, the immense George North and Jamie Roberts all run in superb tries, two of which were due to superb tactical running and timing by Halfpenny and as the Australian fans slunk slowly out of the stadium, the night belonged to the Lions. The Australians were a class act in defeat with none of their customary arrogance on show as captain James Horwill paid tribute and even the Australian press accepted that the Lions thoroughly deserved the win.

Meanwhile, at Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli dismantled Sabine Lisicki in straight sets to win her first ever Grand Slam and be crowned Wimbledon ladies champion. Lisicki, who had looked so promising, not least after her stunning defeat of Serena Williams, crumbled in the face of the occasion and seemed to be on the verge of tear throughout the match as her unforced error count mounted. But that is to take nothing away from Bartoli, who having lost a final in 2007 against Venus Williams and who has been beset by personal problems, played an immaculate power game to take the title.

With all eyes on the All England Club this afternoon as Novak Djokovic takes on Andy Murray, we could be shaping up for a classic match.

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