Osaka and Djokovic triumph in Australia, New IPL millionaires, and more…8 min readReading Time: 6 minutes
Here is the round-up of all the action from the world of sports last week.
The Top Two
Osaka and Djokovic win Australian Open
World No.1, Novak Djokovic won against Danil Medvedev in straight sets to lift his ninth Australian Open title and his 18th Grand Slam Trophy at the Rod Laver Arena. Only Roger Federer (20) and Rafa Nadal (20) have won more Grand Slams than the Serbian.
Djokovic was battling injuries during the course of the tournament and had even gone on record that if this wasn’t a Grand Slam, he would’ve withdrawn at the end of the third round.
However, he slowly built momentum as the business end of the tournament approached and in the final, he gave his Russian opponent, who was playing only in his second Grand Slam final, no chance. Medvedev who was on a 25-match winning streak going into this game was outclassed in under two hours.
Third seed Naomi Osaka beat Jennifer Brady in a 6-4, 6-3 win to claim her second Australian Open title and fourth Grand Slam at the Rod Laver Arena.
Osaka clinched six straight games to take the first set and raced to a 4-0 lead in the second. She went on to serve out the game in style and claim the Championship.
Earlier in the tournament, the Japanese international was down match point in her fourth-round match against Garbine Muguruza. Apart from that scare, she was largely dominant throughout the tournament including an incredible performance against Serena Williams in the semi-finals.
Osaka is now the third player, male or female, in the Open Era to have won on their first four Grand Slam final appearances. The others are Roger Federer and Monica Seles, who won her first six Grand Slam finals.
LeBron James hits 35,000 career points
Only Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) are ahead of LeBron James(35,017*) on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
James reached the milestone of 35000 points last week, during a game against Brooklyn Nets. This is the champion’s 18th NBA season and he is on course for another 25-point per game average this season.
New Millionaires Emerge as IPL Owners Throw Cash at Players
South African all-rounder Chris Morris joined Rajasthan Royals, shattering Yuvraj Singh’s record at the 2021 IPL auction. He was picked for INR 16.25 crore.
New Zealand fast bowler Kyle Jamieson Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for INR 15 crore, making him the highest-paid New Zealander. Australian T20 star Glenn Maxwell joined big spenders RCB for INR 14.25 crores.
The newly christened IPL franchise Punjab Kings went big into the market, shelling Rs 14 crore for Australian pacer Jhye Richardson. Among uncapped players, Tamil Nadu’s Shahrukh Khan was bought for a whopping INR 5.25 crore.
New Zealand Beat Australia at Christchurch
New Zealand 184/5 in 20 overs (Devon Conway 99*, Glenn Phillips 30; Jhye Richardson 2-31) beat Australia 131 in 17.3 overs (Mitchell Marsh 45; Ish Sodhi 4-28, Tim Southee 2-10) by 53 runs.
Hosts New Zealand put up a great performance in the opening T20I of the five-match series. Top-order batsman Devon Conway starred in the match, making an unbeaten 99 that set up the game for New Zealand. His innings helped the Kiwis recover from 19/3 to 184/5.
In the chase, Australia lost early wickets and were never able to recover. In the middle overs, the flow of runs was plugged as leg-spinner Ish Sodhi picked up four wickets.
Inter Milan beat AC Milan in derby win
Inter Milan opened a four-point gap at the top of the table in Series A after beating arch-rivals AC Milan at the weekend. Lautaro Martinez’s brace and a goal from Romelu Lukaku sealed an impressive 0-3 derby win.
Striker Lukaku became the first Inter player to score in four consecutive Milan derbies in Serie A since Benito Lorenzi in 1950. Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma marked his 200th Serie A appearance in that game, becoming the youngest player to achieve this feat.
Everton Triumph at Anfield for the First Time in 22 Years
Goals from Brazilian striker Richarlison and skipper Gylfi Sigurdsson helped the Blues beat local rivals, Liverpool, away from home for the first time in the 21st century.
Liverpool has won just two of their last 11 league games and is in danger of missing out on Champions League football next season. The Reds are languishing in sixth place and are five points adrift of the top four spots.
Manchester Lead the Race
Manchester City made it 13 victories in a row after beating Arsenal 0-1, courtesy of an early goal from Raheem Sterling. The Citizens now have three of the six longest winning streaks in English football history. All those streaks have come under Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City lead neighbours Manchester United by ten points. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men recorded a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United.
Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernades made it to the scoresheet.
Goal of the week:
Erling Haaland is a goal-scoring machine. Apart from having the knack of being at the right place at the right time like a true striker, he also has the ability to score jaw-dropping goals. Just like the scissor kick he scored against Schalke this past weekend. Have a look:
The 20-year-old has 27 goals in just 25 appearances across all competitions, this season.
2021 NBA All-Star Game starters announced
The first names in the team sheet for the NBA All-Star game were selected by the fans, current NBA players, and a media panel.
LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard and Luca Doncic will start for the West All-Star team. Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal and Kyrie Irving will be the East All-star starters.
The game will be played on the March 8.
Timberwolves sack head coach Saunders
The Minnesota Timberwolves have fired head coach Ryan Saunders after a league-worst record of 7-24 left them at the bottom of the Western Conference standings..
They made the announcement after their 103-99 loss to the New York Knicks.
Toronto Raptors’ assistant coach Chris Finch is expected to take over the reins at Minnesota next.
ROC and not Russia at the 2021 Olympics
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that Russian athletes will compete under the acronym ROC at the Tokyo Olympics this year, as part of sanctions for the doping scandals.
The full name of the Russian Olympic Committee could not be used and team flags would bear the logo of the committee.
If the word Russian could not be removed, the term ‘Neutral Athlete’ must be added to the uniforms.
Well, that’s all for this week, folks. Let the games continue, until next week!
Author’s Note: Adithya G is a freelance writer who is passionate about sports.
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