The crowd on court Phillippe Chatrier was treated to a final to remember on Sunday afternoon as Novak Djokovic was denied his first French Open title and a chance of completing a career Grand Slam by the Swiss number two Stanislas … Continue reading
It has taken 34 barren races, two years and the arrival of a 4-time world champion but finally Ferrari have returned atop the F1 podium. Amid the sweltering, humid heat in Sepang, Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix, surprising and … Continue reading
We’re on the eve of the opening game of the FIFA World Cup, the global spotlight is firmly on Brazil and what can we see? Enraged protestors, tear gas spreading from police canisters and the Brazilians showing the world their … Continue reading
Surely if the world-renowned theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking tells you that England can win the World Cup, then it must be a possibility? On Wednesday morning, at an exclusive press conference at the Savoy Hotel in London, and after … Continue reading
So, the 2014 Formula One season is officially under way, and if the first qualifying session was the precursor for the action to come, fans should be ready for a vintage year of racing. Pre-season was dominated by talk of … Continue reading
Watching Stanislas Wawrinka’s stunning performance at this year’s Australian Open has been one of the highlights of 2014 so far. If his victory in the final was arguably spoilt by the injury of Rafael Nadal, nobody could deny his brilliant win against four-time victor Novak Djokovic.
He has been a player in great form. Having seen Wawrinka play Nadal at the O2 finals in London at the end of last season, it was clear that he was a player brimming with self confidence. Nadal managed to beat him 7-6 7-6 on the day, but the Swiss clearly had the shots to really trouble the world number one. Just a couple of months on and Wawrinka has turned those missed chances into defining moments.
As 2013 nears its end, there seems to be an abundance of sports documentaries for fans to savour during the festive period. The recently released The Class of ’92 is just one of the documentaries that has been on the Christmas list of most sports fans. It looks back on the careers of the Manchester United youth team that went on to form the treble-winning United team in 1999. In celebration of this great film, which should be on your list of “must-sees”, here are two more programmes that have to be seen before the New Year celebrations are over.
Keane and Viera: Best of Enemies
Two Premier League greats, two fierce competitors and one fractious rivalry. This is a must-see documentary for all football fans as Roy Keane and Patrick Viera are reunited to look back on their infamous dual. Continue reading
This season marks ten years since Arsenal won the League title at their invincible best and Saturday’s 4-1 win at Norwich had the same flair and prowess of Arsenal’s past. After a disappointing home defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season Arsene Wenger’s side has blossomed into title contention. Seven games on and Arsenal have surprised everyone by heading the Premier League table.
At the Emirates on Saturday, the home team’s attacking play was purposeful, creative and clinical, as has been the case throughout this season. Wenger’s side entertained the crowd with their team play as his attacking players wove together exquisite passes to expose the Norwich City defence. Continue reading
It was this time last year that London 2012 began its Paralympic legacy, with record crowds coming together for an inspiring two weeks of sport. Olympic fever had swept the nation and sporting fans were all hoping that the Paralympics would continue the party.
The Paralympics more than delivered. I visited the Olympic stadium on “Thrilling Thursday” and witnessed an unparalleled sporting atmosphere. It was electric. (Read the article here)
This was just one night amongst a fortnight of incredible stories. However, Alex Zanardi’s victory in the handcycling at Brands Hatch was one of the great moments of the games. The Italian’s story is made for a Hollywood script. His life journey has been epic and courageous but at last year’s Paralympics, his sporting journey reached its pinnacle.
Zanardi raced in the world of motorsport for a decade. He was a charming character, respected by his peers during his brief spells in Formula One and, in CART racing, Zanardi proved himself to be a winner. His “donut” celebrations became infamous with fans across America.
It was in 2001 that he experienced the devastating crash that resulted in both of his legs being amputated. The charismatic Italian almost lost his life but has never let that accident thwart his love of racing. He helped to design his own custom-made prosthetic legs so that he could return to the track. His positivity and determination never waivered and, in 2006, he won his first race since his crash in the World Touring Car Championship.
Zanardi’s handcycling career began in 2007, when after only a few weeks of training he raced his first marathon in New York and finished in fourth place. It was soon after that he continued to cycle and made the London 2012 Paralympics his target.
Fast forward to 2012 and Zanardi returned to Brands Hatch looking for Paralympic glory. The setting was perfect, the Italian had raced before at Brands Hatch, but never won a race in his car. Returning to the famous motorsport circuit in his handcycle, he won the hearts of the nation as he claimed gold in both the individual H4 time trial and the individual H4 road race in emphatic style. With his handcycle waived high above his head and joyful tears streaming down his face, the Italian’s emotional post-race interviews and celebrations encompassed the spirit of London 2012.
What makes the buoyant Zanardi stand out from the crowd is his unrivalled determination to succeed in sport. His next goal is to win more medals at the 2013 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships this weekend. At 47, he is adamant that Rio 2016 is his next target, and nobody should doubt him.
It’s been a vintage year at SW19. Favourites have fallen, the unknown talents have made their mark and now the home favourite Andy Murray has spectacularly won the tournament. Great Britain is ready to celebrate, after 77 years, they finally have a male tennis champion to lead the way.
The three sets were played almost impeccably by the world number one Novak Djokovic and Murray, but the final games of the match showed the sheer grit and determination that is needed to win the Championships.
It was a tense third set. The Serb had broken Murray’s serve and looked to take the match into a fourth set at 4-2. Yet, the crowd rose to their feet as the Scot was able to break back and stay in this gripping final set.
Murray won his service game with a stunning final point. Djokovic looked to hit a winning slice before the Scot burst forward from the back of the court to strike the ball past the 2011 Wimbledon champion.
Then at 4-4, came a superhuman game from Murray. His defence was astonishing. At the very limits of his defence, he was able to sprint towards the net and then keep his composure to pass Djokovic for another winner. The open-mouthed expressions of Hollywood heartthrobs Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler spoke a thousand words.
The final points of the match, were just as thrilling. The eternal fighter Djokovic was able to play his best tennis to save three championship points. Both men were pushing each other to the edge, from one side of the court to the other. However, it was Murray, the best player on the day, who triumphed in this three-set thriller.
It has been a superb comeback from Andy Murray after losing in last year’s final to Roger Federer. This win was truly deserved. Now, tennis fans will relish the thought of a rematch at the US Open 2013. Has Murray taken the lead in this epic rivalry with Djokovic? We’ll find out soon enough.