The Reuters global sports blog
If American golf is in crisis then it is a crisis every other nation would like a taste of as the sport’s most dominant country made a determined assault on the 140th British Open at Royal St George’s this week.
They came up short as Darren Clarke secured a third major triumph in 14 months for Northern Ireland but the final leaderboard was otherwise littered with the Stars and Stripes as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson shared second and Americans filled five of the top seven places and 12 of the top 24.
Clarke’s victory means that American golfers have failed to land any of the last six majors — the worst run since the Masters was launched in 1934 and the first time since 1994 that the sport has had a year without an American holding at least one of the four grand slam crowns.
Throw in last year’s defeat in the Ryder Cup and the fact that Europeans occupy the top four spots in the world rankings for the first time in 20 years, and something was surely rotten in United States golf.
Cycling has changed a lot in the last 15 years. Once the team had just 12 riders and there was just one captain for the whole season. At almost every race all the team worked for the same guy, because the same guy could win every kind of race, from Paris Roubaix to the Tour de France. Think about Merckx, Moser, Hinault and Co.
Now the sport has changed radically — between 25 and 30 riders per team, super light bikes, while wheels and training methods have improved a lot. The average level of every rider has increased. And top riders have started to have fewer targets during the season.
To mark the one year countdown to the London Olympics, Thomson Reuters will hold a Newsmaker on July 21 at 18:30 BST with four-time Olympic medalist and chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Sebastian Coe and Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP.
The event will begin with a speech by Coe, who won gold in the 1500m at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, followed by a Q&A session with both guests, moderated by me, Global Sports Editor Paul Radford. The Newsmaker will be streamed live to the Reuters website and we'll provide rolling coverage of the event as it happens.
This year’s Wimbledon Championships had a lot of interesting stories. On the men’s side it was all about the top 4 players in the world. On the ladies it was about Sharapova, the Williams sisters, and whether or not any of the young pretenders could win the Championships.
All of the top 4 cruised into the men’s quarter-finals. Only Rafael Nadal was a bit of a worry hurting his foot against Juan Del Potro in the first set. After the match he said he would have to take painkillers for the rest of the tournament and possibly miss the next 6 weeks after Wimbledon finished. This brought hope that possibly Andy Murray could beat Nadal if they both reached the semi-finals which they both did easily. Expectations were reaching fever pitch now with a real belief Murray could make the finals.
Djokovic even took a shining to the hallowed Wimbledon turf, describing his post-win snack as “well kept”, but in all seriousness the Serb is winning fans left right and centre and on Monday will be confirmed as world number one for the first time.
from Photographers' Blog:
Rafael Nadal is hurt. A physio and a doctor have arrived on court to inspect his left foot. I scramble to position myself directly across the court from his chair to capture what could be a crucial moment in the match. It is towards the end of a tense first set. Temperatures have only cooled slightly from a sweltering 33 degrees C (91F).
In my haste to capture Nadal's injury I had left my original position with just a 300mm lens and Canon Mark 4 body, knowing I had to be agile as I joined a crush of photographers.
The Williams sisters found the going tough and their so far impressive comebacks hit the buffers, while women’s number one Caroline Wozniacki’s route to a first grand slam title also came unstuck, but in the men’s draw there were no real dramas as the top four all hit their straps and made the quarters.
from India Insight:
Australian umpire Daryl Harper might have done what months of persuasion could not -- to make the Indian cricket board see logic in the Decision Review System (DRS).
The elite cricket committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC), which includes the team's former World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten and former captain Ravi Shastri, recommended mandatory use of the technology in all three formats, a suggestion that seems to have the backing of most boards.
from India Insight:
Newly appointed India cricket coach Duncan Fletcher's recent prediction -- that the team would rule the sport in the next five years -- has been well received in a country that seems to take the team's global domination for granted.
While the European Tour celebrated its fifth successive major champion after Rory McIlroy’s astonishing eight-shot victory at the U.S. Open, American golf grappled with an unprecedented title drought.
For the first time since the Masters was launched in 1934, U.S. players have failed to triumph in five consecutive majors. Not since 1994 has a year gone by without an American holding at least one of the four grand slam crowns.