January 30, 2012
Posted: 1201 GMT
The contrast between the men’s and women’s finals at the Australian Open could not have been greater.
On Saturday, Victoria Azarenka thrashed Maria Sharapova to claim her first grand slam title and the No. 1 ranking. It was a result that suggested this year’s WTA season will be just as much as a free-for-all as 2011 was.
On Sunday, however, Novak Djokovic won his third successive major title as he overcame Rafael Nadal in one of the most amazing finals in tennis history. We can debate until the cows come home about whether it was indeed the greatest, but it was definitely the longest.
And what are the odds against the world No. 1 becoming the first man to hold all four grand slam titles since Rod Laver in 1969, when he goes to Nadal’s stronghold at Roland Garros in May? Read the rest of this entry »
January 13, 2012
Posted: 1912 GMT
There are two burning questions ahead of the tennis season’s opening grand slam in Melbourne: can Novak Djokovic repeat his stellar form from last year, and will the women’s No. 1 be a major winner ?
Djokovic’s Australian Open preparations have been relatively low-key again, an approach that worked last year as he launched a 43-match winning streak in Melbourne and ended the year as world No. 1 with three of the four coveted crowns.
While in 2011 he played in the non-sanctioned Hopman Cup mixed teams event, this month the Serbian made do with scooping $250,000 at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi. Read the rest of this entry »
January 9, 2012
Posted: 1216 GMT
With London 2012 just 200 days away, this is a significant year for the International Olympic Committee.
The British organizers of the four-yearly sporting showpiece have contended with ticketing controversies and faced transport, security and budgeting challenges in their bid to follow in the footsteps of Beijing four years ago.
Illegal gambling has also been on the rise in worldwide sport, and London chiefs have identified it as a bigger threat to this year’s Games than drugs. Read the rest of this entry »
December 5, 2011
Posted: 1820 GMT
The anticipation prior to the 1982 World Cup finals tournament in Spain was electric.
Were the rumors true? Did Brazil really have a team to match the great 1970 World Cup-winning side? Could 12 years of hurt be finally over with the "Class of '82" living up to the hype by taking the trophy back to Brazil for a fourth time? Read the rest of this entry »
April 26, 2011
Posted: 1652 GMT
Another clay-court tournament, another win for Rafael Nadal.
This part of the tennis season is becoming all too predictable, with the world number one hoovering up titles in Monte Carlo and now Barcelona with imperious ease for the loss of just one set.
It was his seventh straight title in Monaco, a record which will take some beating, and sixth in seven years in the Catalan capital. Read the rest of this entry »
January 12, 2011
Posted: 1552 GMT
The Iran vs. Iraq game was billed as one of the highlights of the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar. Two giants of Asian football with passionate support and a shared past that has been bloody and violent.
In anticipation of a bumper crowd, street hawkers gathered outside the remote Al Rayyan stadium, 15 miles from the capital Doha, to sell maroon vuvuzelas (the color of the Qatari flag), scarves, flags and packets of sunflower seeds. But business was surprisingly slow.
The supporters from both sides - largely ex-pat Iraqis and Iranians living in Doha mixed with several who had flown in from as far as Shiraz, Tehran, Oslo and London - were loud and vociferous outside the ground, chanting their teams' names as they entered the stadium. But inside, a different picture was painted. Read the rest of this entry »
October 4, 2010
Posted: 1721 GMT
Forget the rain delays or the row over ticketing arrangements for the final unexpected day of play at Celtic Manor, the Ryder Cup has cemented its status as the biggest and best one-off team event in world sport bar none.
It brings together a collection of multi-millionaires, who spend their whole year in pursuit of individual glory, to play for their country, or in Europe's case their continent, with no prize money at stake.
July 24, 2010
Posted: 1510 GMT
The alarm bells will no doubt be ringing loud and clear in Michael Schumacher’s helmet after another disappointing display in qualifying for his home grand prix.
Eleventh fastest would have simply been unacceptable for Schumacher in the past, but it is now becoming the norm.
Since his return to the racetrack for the 2010 season after a three-year hiatus, Schumacher has looked a shadow of his former seven-time world champion self and it's beginning to look like a big mistake.
May 26, 2010
Posted: 1744 GMT
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin caused quite a stir when he said Tiger Woods would not be an automatic choice in his team for the Ryder Cup clash against Europe at Celtic Manor later this year.
Pavin was reacting as Woods slipped further outside the eight guaranteed selection spots in the latest American standings, meaning if the situation remained the same the world number one would have to rely on his largesse to make the team as one of his four picks.
All-time majors leader Jack Nicklaus was unusually outspoken when saying Pavin would need a "brain scan" if he did not to pick Woods, but with respect to a golf legend, the bald facts, not to mention the world number one's current off course difficulties, do not make this so cut and dried.
Because for all his supreme talents, Woods has a losing Ryder Cup record of 10 wins against 13 defeats.