December 29th, 2010
05:03 PM ET

What were the top tennis moments of 2010?

This year, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut battled out the longest match in tennis history.
This year, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut battled out the longest match in tennis history.

As the end of 2010 is upon us, I thought I'd share with you my top 10 tennis moments of the year. It has been a year of change in the sport, with the women's game more open than ever, while the balance of power has once again swung Rafa Nadal's way in the men's game.

These are my 10 for 2010 - I hope you agree with them! FULL POST

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Filed under:  Tennis
December 29th, 2010
12:12 PM ET

Will Wenger's genius finally bring success back to Arsenal?

Arsene Wenger has won three English league titles with Arsenal, but none since 2004. (Getty Images)
Arsene Wenger has won three English league titles with Arsenal, but none since 2004. (Getty Images)

Let me clear up one thing before I get started: I am not an Arsenal supporter. Never have been, never will be … but, and please keep this on the down-low, I am a bit of a fan!

The English club's manager Arsene Wenger can be a bit of a moaner from time to time, but he is also a genius, and like very few in football these days, puts his club before himself.

Plenty of people have questioned why the Frenchman hasn’t bought bigger stars and broken the bank to bring in a reliable goalkeeper. Plenty have said that Arsenal have plenty of style but no substance. Plenty have said a five-year trophyless run should have meant the end of Wenger’s long and storied Arsenal career. They are all wrong.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
December 27th, 2010
05:27 PM ET

Football's best and worst of 2010

Who produced the highlights of the past 12 months, and who let the side down? (Getty Images)
Who produced the highlights of the past 12 months, and who let the side down? (Getty Images)

It's time for a look back at a year that featured many firsts in the football world. The first African World Cup, the first Italian team to win a treble and the first African club to reach the final of the Club World Cup, just to name a few.

I was fortunate enough to report on many of 2010's biggest football stories, and now here's my verdict on who was hot and who was not in the past 12 months.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
December 23rd, 2010
11:47 AM ET

What next for the NBA's 'ownerless' team?

Will New Orleans be able to keep the Hornets basketball franchise in the city? (Getty Images)
Will New Orleans be able to keep the Hornets basketball franchise in the city? (Getty Images)

After being utterly devastated by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, New Orleans has rallied around its sports teams for inspiration. In fact, the NFL Saints’ Super Bowl triumph earlier this year is used as a symbol of how the city has come back from the disaster stronger than ever.

New Orleans fans have also loyally supported its only other professional sports franchise - the NBA's Hornets. But while the Saints may march on to another Super Bowl run this year, the future of the basketball operation is murky after becoming the first team in history to be owned by the NBA.

Hornets fans face the painful possibility of losing their team to another city – an all-too normal occurrence in U.S. sports. After all, the Hornets themselves moved to New Orleans from Charlotte in 2002. So how did the sale to the NBA come about?

FULL POST

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Filed under:  U.S. Sport
December 20th, 2010
04:09 PM ET

Rafa Benitez's old tricks backfire in Italy

Rafael Benitez faces losing his job at Inter Milan after only six months in charge. (Bongarts/Getty Images)
Rafael Benitez faces losing his job at Inter Milan after only six months in charge. (Bongarts/Getty Images)

New country, same old tricks. Not for the first time, Inter Milan coach Rafa Benitez seems to be using the media to influence his club owner’s plans – and it’s putting the Spaniard’s future at the Italian team under threat.

At English side Liverpool, Benitez had the full support of the fans when he suggested that American billionaires Tom Hicks and George Gillett needed to buy more players. They were unpopular owners and have now been replaced.

But it’s a different story in Italy, where Massimo Moratti has emulated his father’s presidency by overseeing Inter’s capture of Italian, European and world titles.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
December 18th, 2010
04:49 PM ET

Is Nadal's battered body his biggest threat?

Rafael Nadal won three successive Grand Slams despite his injury problems in 2010. (AFP/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal won three successive Grand Slams despite his injury problems in 2010. (AFP/Getty Images)

CNN's World Sport will be broadcasting its predictions for 2011 in upcoming shows between December 31-January 2. In the final of a series of preview blogs, Candy Reid investigates who will be on top in men's and women's tennis.

This year belonged to Rafael Nadal. There’s no doubt about that - three Grand Slam titles and the world's No. 1 ranking. The question now is, can the Spaniard follow it up? I have my doubts.

To me he’s a bit like (but better) Lleyton Hewitt was in his prime. The Australian generally had one good year, one not so hot. And it’s much to do with the way they play. Rafa like Lleyton, fights for every single point. His desire and passion is immense, and so is the toll on his body.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Tennis
December 17th, 2010
03:34 PM ET

Will sprint star Bolt tackle new frontiers?

After a quiet 2010, Usain Bolt will be seeking to reassert his dominance next year. (AFP/Getty Images)
After a quiet 2010, Usain Bolt will be seeking to reassert his dominance next year. (AFP/Getty Images)

CNN's World Sport will be broadcasting its predictions for 2011 in upcoming shows between December 31-January 2. In the fifth of a series of preview blogs, Paul Gittings takes a look at sprint star Usain Bolt's prospects at the World Athletics Championships.

The 2011 track and field season will be crucial in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics, and the sport’s top stars will want to lay down a marker with their performances in the major championships.

The question on everyone’s lips will be: Can Usain Bolt repeat his triple triumphs at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2009 Berlin world championships - and again break world records to boot?

FULL POST

December 16th, 2010
12:47 PM ET

Can Tiger turn the tide in 2011?

Tiger Woods, right, lost to Graeme McDowell in a playoff at the charity tournament he hosts. (AFP/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods, right, lost to Graeme McDowell in a playoff at the charity tournament he hosts. (AFP/Getty Images)

CNN's World Sport will be broadcasting its predictions for 2011 in upcoming shows between December 31-January 2. In the fourth of a series of preview blogs, Don Riddell takes a look at Tiger Woods' chances of becoming a major force in golf again.

When someone dominates a sport, the question is not so much will they win major tournaments, but how many. For the last decade, that has been the question for Tiger Woods every season: will it be one, two, three or all four? The smart money used to be reserved for at least two of those career-defining golf trophies. At his peak, barely anyone else got a look-in. How things have changed.

You’d never have thought that a run of top-15 finishes would have been positive for Woods, but such were the depths that the former world number one plumbed in 2010, a run of such results was good news.

FULL POST

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December 15th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Will Australia's one-day cricket reign end in 2011?

England's cricketers will be seeking to win the 50-over World Cup for the first time next year.
England's cricketers will be seeking to win the 50-over World Cup for the first time next year.

CNN's World Sport will be broadcasting its predictions for 2011 in upcoming shows between December 31-January 2. In the third of a series of preview blogs, Terry Baddoo takes a look at the contenders for next year's Cricket World Cup.

On present form, I wouldn’t put much money on Australia claiming their fourth consecutive World Cup title next year. In fact, in their current state of mind it’s going to take a Herculean effort for the Aussies to even make a fist of it on the Indian sub-continent when the four-yearly event starts in late February.

At the time of writing, not only do they trail England in the Ashes series, but there seems to be a massive loss of confidence in their leadership, with serious questions being asked about skipper Ricky Ponting for the first time I can remember. But the one-day game is not Test cricket, and if it becomes a question of guts, you cannot rule the Aussies out - especially as they are still the top-ranked team in the 50-over format.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Cricket
December 14th, 2010
02:02 PM ET

Can the All Blacks shed 'World Cup chokers' tag?

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw will seek to make up for his 2007 World Cup disappointment. (AFP/Getty Images)
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw will seek to make up for his 2007 World Cup disappointment. (AFP/Getty Images)

CNN's World Sport will be broadcasting its predictions for 2011 in upcoming shows between December 31-January 2. In the second of a series of preview blogs, Alex Thomas takes a look at the contenders for next year's Rugby World Cup.

After nearly two and a half decades of being both the planet’s best rugby side and its biggest chokers, New Zealand will finally banish their demons and be crowned world champions on home soil in October.

The All Blacks have been the team to beat for far longer than a quarter of a century, but it wasn’t until 1987 that rugby union’s first World Cup was staged. Suddenly, the sport’s leading side was determined by a single tournament instead of dominance over a period of time.

FULL POST

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