2019, the year in sports: Highlights of May, June, July, August

From England's maiden cricket world title to Liverpool's Champions League heroics, here are the top highlights from the world of sports between May and August 2019.

The men behind England's historic victory at the World Cup have been recognised in the 2020 New Year Honours list, with Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler and Trevor Bayliss all awarded titles for services to cricket.   -  GETTY IMAGES

ICC World Cup (May 30 – July 14) [Cricket]:

The 2019 ICC World Cup is the 12 edition of the quadrennial tournament. It is hosted by England & Wales. This edition follows a different format with 10 teams playing each other in a round-robin stage followed by the semifinals and final. It is similar to the 1992 edition where there were nine teams. India tops the points table at the end of the league stage, while Australia finishes second. Host England and New Zealand complete the last-four spots. In the semis, England knocks out defending champion Australia and 2015’s runner-up New Zealand beats India to set up a final that guarantees a new winner. The summit clash takes place at the Lords’ Cricket stadium in London. On July 14, England wins its first Men’s World Cup title after beating New Zealand in a thriller on boundary count-back since the scores were tied even after the Super Over. Kane Williamson, the Black Caps skipper, is adjudged player of the tournament.

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India tour of West Indies [Cricket] (August 3 – September 3)

Jasprit Bumrah dazzled with the ball during the Test series against the West Indies.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

India and West Indies both play their first series after the 2019 ICC World Cup. The series begins with two T20 Internationals at Lauderhill, Florida, in the US, both of which India wins. India then wins the third T20I at Guyana by seven wickets to complete a whitewash. The first ODI in Guyana is washed out. India defeats West Indies in the second and third ODIs in Trinidad to claim the series 2-0. Next up is the Test series – the first outing for both sides in the World Test Championship. India wins the series 2-0 to claim the full 120 points.

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The Ashes (August 1 – September 16) [Cricket]:

Tim Paine of Australia lifts the Urn after Australia drew the series to retain the Ashes during day four of the 5th Specsavers Ashes Test between England and Australia at The Kia Oval on September 15, 2019 in London, England.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The 2019 Ashes cricket series between England and Australia begins in Edgbaston, Birmingham on August 1. The visitor Australia wins the opening Test match by 251 runs. The second game at the Lords’ cricket ground in London ends in a draw. The home side levels the series at Headingley, Leeds, after a thrilling one-wicket victory. After the fourth Test at Old Trafford, Manchester, Australia takes an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series with an 185-run win. With this win, Australia retains the Ashes urn as it had won the previous 2017-18 Ashes series at home. Tim Paine becomes the first captain to retain the Ashes since 2013. However, England wins the fifth test at the Oval in London by 135 runs to draw the series level at 2-2. This is the first drawn Ashes since the 1972 series in England. Steve Smith, with a mammoth 774 runs and 12 catches, is the player-of-the-series and he wins the Compton-Miller medal. Ben Stokes is adjudged England’s man-of-the-series for his 441 runs and eight wickets.

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Premier League, England [Football] (May 12)

Manchester City wins final league game away to Brighton to retain its title. City matched its own record of 32 wins over a single season. Liverpool fails to overcome City by one point.

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Ederson Moraes, Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Danilo of Manchester City celebrate after winning the Premier League title following the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester City at American Express Community Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Coppa Italia final [Football] (May 15)

Juventus, the four-time defending champion, loses 0-3 to Atalanta in the quarterfinals. In the final, Lazio beats Atalanta 2-0, thanks to late goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Carlos Joaquin Correa, to win its seventh Coppa Italia trophy.

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FA Cup Final (May 18 – Manchester City vs Watford) [Football]:

The FA Cup is the oldest football competition in history. The 2018-19 season of the tournament is its 138th edition. Chelsea FC is the defending champion, while Manchester United is the losing finalist from last year. However, both the teams fail to make the semifinals this time around. The last-four consist of Premier League and League Cup winner Manchester City, Brighton and Hove Albion, Wolves and Watford. City takes on Brighton in the first semifinal. A solitary fourth-minute Gabriel Jesus goal was enough to take Pep Guardiola’s Citizens to the final. In the other last-four outing, Gerard Deulofeu inspires Watford to an extra-time victory over Wolves. In the summit clash at the Wembley stadium, Man City thumps Watford 6-0 to win its sixth FA Cup title, thereby completing a domestic treble in the season.

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Copa del Rey final [Football] (May 25)

Barcelona, playing in its sixth consecutive final and seeking a record fifth straight title, loses 1-2 to Valencia, which won its eighth Copa del Rey final.

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DFB-Pokal final [Football] (May 25)

Bayern Munich thumps Leipzig 3-0 in the final to win a record-extending 19th DFB-Pokal title, with Robert Lewandowski scoring a brace and Kingsley Coman the other goal.

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UEFA Europa League Final [Football] (May 29)

In the 10th instance of two clubs from the same association meeting in either the Europa Cup or UEFA Champions League final, Chelsea beats fellow Premier League side Arsenal in the 2018-19 Europa League final 4-1 to win its second title.

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UEFA Champions League Final (June 1 – Liverpool vs Tottenham) [Football]:

Liverpool's players celebrate on board an open-top bus during the UEFA Champions League victory parade, after winning yesterday's final against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid, on June 2, 2019 in Liverpool, England.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Three-time defending champion Real Madrid is eliminated by Ajax as early as the round of 16. Liverpool overcomes a 0-3 first-leg deficit against La Liga champion FC Barcelona to qualify for the final. Tottenham, on the other hand, pips Dutch team AFC Ajax on away-goals to reach the summit clash. The 2018-19 UEFA Champions League final is contested between the previous year’s finalist Liverpool FC and fellow Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. In the final at Atletico Madrid’s home turf – the Wanda Metropolitano – Liverpool beats Tottenham 2-0 riding on goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi to win its sixth Champions League title. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the top-scorer of the tournament with 12 goals.

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FIFA Women’s World Cup (June 7 – July 7) [Football]:

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is held in nine cities across France. The tournament consists of 24 teams split into six groups of four each. The top two teams from each group advances to the round of 16, while the four best third-placed teams also make it through. Host France was eliminated by defending champion United States at the last-eight stage. England, Netherlands and Sweden join USA in the semifinals. USA beats England 2-1 in the first last-four encounter and 2017 Euro-winner Netherlands edges past continental rival Sweden in extra-time to make the final. USA, guided by player of the tournament Megan Rapinoe, wins its fourth World Cup after beating the Dutch 2-0. In the third-place playoff, Sweden defeats England 2-1.

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African Cup of Nations (June 15 – July 13) [Football]:

The 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is hosted by Egypt. This is the 32nd edition of the biennial tournament and the first-time ever the competition is held during June/July instead of the original January/February window. The total number of participating teams is also increased to 24 from 16. The event follows the same format as the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2016 Euro Championship. Cameroon is the defending champion and it is knocked out by Nigeria in the round of 16. The host and 2017’s runner-up Egypt is eliminated by South Africa in the last-16 stage as well. Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria and Nigeria make the semifinals. Senegal and Algeria beat Tunisia and Nigeria respectively to reach the summit clash. Nigeria defeats Tunisia 1-0 in the third-place playoff, while Algeria beats Senegal by the same scoreline to claim its second AFCON championship.

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Durand Cup (August 2 – 24) [Football]:

Gokulam Kerala won the Durand Cup on debut this year.   -  Twitter/@GokulamKeralaFC

 

The Durand Cup is Asia’s oldest football competition. The 2019 edition of the tournament begins on 2 August. The 16 participating teams are divided into groups of four each. The four group winners – East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Real Kashmir and Gokulam Kerala reach the semifinals. Gokulam Kerala edges past East Bengal in a penalty shootout in the first semifinal, while Mohun Bagan pips Real Kashmir after extra-time in the second last-four outing. The final takes place at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. In the summit clash, Gokulam Kerala beats Mohun Bagan 2-1 to win its first-ever Durand Cup title. Marcus Joseph, the title-winning side’s skipper, ends the tournament as the top-scorer with 11 goals.

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FA Community Shield [Football] (August 4)

The 2019 FA Community Shield is contested between Premier League and FA Cup champion Manchester City and Premier League runner-up Liverpool at London’s Wembley Stadium. Raheem Sterling hands City the lead in the 12th minute. Joel Matip equalises for Liverpool in the 77th minute. The match ends 1-1 after full-time. Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum is the only player to miss during the penalty shootout as City claims back-back Community Shield titles.

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UEFA Super Cup [Football] (August 14)

The 2019 UEFA Super Cup is contested between the 2018-19 season’s Champions League winner Liverpool and Europa League champion Chelsea at Vodafone Park in Istanbul. Sadio Mane opens the scoring for Liverpool and Olivier Giroud equalises for Chelsea. The game ends 1-1 at full time. Mane completes his double, while Jorginho finds the goal that levels the score once again in extra time. Liverpool beats Chelsea 5-4 on penalties for its fourth UEFA Super Cup title.

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Tyson Fury vs Tom Schwarz [Boxing] (June 15)

Boxer Tyson Fury(R) hits Tom Schwarz as he goes down during the second round at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 15, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tyson Fury took the win by TKO after the fight was stop in the second round.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

In the fight in Las Vegas, Tyson Fury purposely backs up against the ropes and lets Schwarz unload, using head movements to evade strikes and generating applause from the 9,000 people in attendance. After being in complete control in round one, Fury finishes off the undefeated Schwarz in the second round by technical knockout to take Schwarz’s WBO InterContinental Title.

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Pro Kabaddi League [Kabaddi] (July 20 – October 19)

The seventh edition of the 12-team Pro Kabaddi League is conducted in a double round-robin plus knockout format. The top six teams in the group stage – Dabang Delhi, Bengal Warriors, UP Yoddha, U Mumba, Haryana Steelers and defending champion Bengaluru Blls – make the playoffs. Delhi and Bengal make it straight to the semifinals as the top two in the standings. Bengaluru overcomes UP in the first eliminator, while Mumbai gets the better of Haryana in the other. The defending champ is eliminated after losing to table-topper Delhi in the first semifinal. Meanwhile, Bengal beats Mumbai in the second last-four fixture. In the final, Bengal defeats Delhi to win its first-ever PKL title.

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Ultimate Table Tennis [Table Tennis] (July 25 – August 11)

The third season of the Ultimate Table Tennis league in New Delhi features Dabang Delhi T.T.C., Puneri Paltan Table Tennis, Chennai Lions, U Mumba TT, RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata and Goa Challengers. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Goa make the semifinals. The home team overcomes U Mumba 8-7 in the first semifinal, while the Lions beat the Challengers by the same scoreline to reach the final. Chennai dominates defending champion Dabang Delhi 8-1 in an extremely one-sided final to win its first UTT title on August 11.

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BWF World Championships [Badminton] (August 19 – 25)

AUGUST 2019: P.V. Sindhu poses with the gold medal after her victory over Japan's Nozomi Okuhara during their women's singles final match at the BWF Badminton World Championships in Basel. She became the first Indian to win gold at the championships.

AUGUST 2019: P.V. Sindhu poses with the gold medal after her victory over Japan's Nozomi Okuhara during their women's singles final match at the BWF Badminton World Championships in Basel. She became the first Indian to win gold at the championships.   -  AFP

 

The 2019 BWF Badminton World Championships is conducted at St Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland. Japan’s world No. 1 Kento Momota beats Anders Antonsen of Denmark to win the men’s singles gold medal, while India’s Sai Praneeth wins the bronze. Meanwhile, P. V. Sindhu of India defeats Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the women’s singles final. Mohammad Ahsan and Henra Setiawan, the No. 1-ranked duo from Indonesia, win the men’s doubles gold, and the Japanese pair of Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara claims the women’s doubles crown. Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong from China win the mixed doubles event.

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US Open (June 13 – 16) [Golf]

The US Open is one of the four major Golf championships of the year. The 2019 tournament is the 119 edition of the major. Brooks Koepka of United States is the two-time defending champion heading into the competition and he looks set to win a third straight title at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. However, Koepka’s countryman Gary Woodland puts up impressive performances in the last three rounds to claim his first major title. Woodland edges past world number one Koepka by three strokes in a stunning finish.

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French Open (May 26 – June 9) [Tennis]:

Rafael Nadal of Spain kisses his trophy after beating Dominic Thiem of Austria in the men's singles final at the French Open in Paris on June 9, 2019 -- his 12th Roland Garros title.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The 2019 French Open is the 123 edition of the premier Clay court spectacle. In the men’s singles event at Roland Garros, Spaniard Rafael Nadal defends his crown in style and wins a record 12 French Open title (18 Grand Slam in total). He beats Dominic Thiem in a repeat of the 2018 final to claim the top honour. Ashleigh Barty becomes the first Australian player since Margaret Court in 1973 to win a Roland Garros singles title after she beat Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova in the women’s singles summit clash. The German duo of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies win the men’s doubles crown, while Hungary’s Timea Babos and local favourite Kristina Mladenovic bag the women’s doubles title. Last but not the least, Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig become the first duo in Open Era history to successfully defend the French Open mixed doubles title.

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Wimbledon (July 1 – 14) [Tennis]:

In the 2019 Wimbledon Championships held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, a standard tie break rule when the scores are tied 12-all in the final set is introduced. Defending Gentlemen’s singles champion Novak Djokovic defends his title by beating Roger Federer in the final. Simona Halep has it easy against Serena Williams in the women’s singles summit clash. Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia overcome the French pair of Nicholas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin to bag the top honour in men’s doubles. Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova win the women’s doubles title, while Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan claim yet another mixed doubles crown.

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses with the Wimbledon Championship trophy as he celebrates winning the gentlemen's singles final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland (not in picture) on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2019 in London, England.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

US Open (August 26 – September 9) [Tennis]:

The main draw of the final Grand Slam of the year – US Open – begins on August 26. Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are the men’s and women’s singles top seeds respectively. They are also the defending champions. Both the number one seeds are surprisingly knocked out in the fourth round. Spaniard Rafael Nadal beats Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men’s singles final to claim his 19 Grand Slam title. In the women’s singles event, Serena Williams reaches a record 10th US Open final, where she loses to teenager Bianca Andreescu who becomes the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title. Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah cruise to their second straight men’s doubles Grand Slam triumph, having won the 2019 Wimbledon as well. Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka come out on top in the women’s doubles category, while Jamie Murray and Bethanie Mattek-Sands clinch the mixed doubles crown at the Flushing Meadows.

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Tour de France (July 6 – 28) [Cycling]:

The 2019 Tour de France is the 106 edition of the cycling spectacle. Great Britain’s Geraint Thomas of Team Ineos is the defending champion. However, his teammate Egan Bernal of Colombia wins the 2019 Tour general classification championship. Netherland’s Steve Kruijswijk of Team Jumbo-Visma bags the third place. The secondary points classification is won by Slovakia’s Peter Sagan of Team Bora-Hansgrohe.

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FINA World Aquatics Championships (July 12 – 28) [Swimming]:

The 2019 World Aquatics Championships is hosted by South Korea across four venues. There are various events related to Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Artistic Swimming, High Diving and Open Water Swimming at the Championships. China ends the competition with the most gold medals and displaces 2017-leader United States (USA) at the top of the medals tally. China has 16 golds, 11 silvers and three bronze (30 in total), while USA manages to win 15 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze (36 in total). Russia occupies the third spot in the table, retaining its place from 2017, with 12 gold, 11 silvers and seven bronze (30 in total). USA’s Caeleb Dressel, with six golds and two silvers, and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, with one gold, two silver and two bronze, are crowned the swimmers of the meet.

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British Open (July 18 – 21) [Golf]:

The 2019 British Open or Open Championship is held at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. This is the fourth and final major golf championship of the year after the Augusta Masters, PGA Championship and the US Open. Francesco Molinari of Italy is the defending champion heading into the tournament. However, he finishes a tied 11 with a 3-under par 281 this time around. J.B Holmes of United States is leading in the first two rounds and Irish golfer Shane Lowry claims the lead from him in the third round and keeps hold of it till the end to win his first-ever major championship. Lowry beats England’s Tommy Fleetwood by six strokes at the British Open.

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FIBA World Cup (August 31 – September 15) [Basketball]:

The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup is the 18 edition of the tournament. It is hosted by China and is expanded from 24 to 32 teams. The defending champion United States finishes a disappointing seventh after losing to France in the quarterfinals and to Serbia in the 5-8 classification game. Argentina, France, Spain and Australia are the last four teams. Argentina beats France 80-66 to become the first team to make the final. On the same day, Spain edges past Australia in double overtime to enter the summit clash. In the final, Spain dominates Argentina in a 95-75 win to claim its second FIBA World Cup title. Ricky Rubio of Spain is adjudged the most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament.

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NBA Finals (May 30 to June 16 – Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors) [Basketball]:

The Toronto Raptors pose for a photo on stage with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after defeating the Golden State Warriors in Game Six of the NBA Finals on June 13, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The 2019 NBA Finals is contested between two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors and first-time finalist Toronto Raptors. The Warriors are the Western Conference champions, while the Raptors came out on top in the Eastern Conference. This is the first season in which some of the Finals games are played outside United States. In the end, Toronto beats Golden State 4-2 to become the first non-USA team to win the NBA title. Kawhi Leonard, who was named the Finals’ Most Valuable Player when San Antonio Spurs won the championship in 2014, wins his second career NBA Finals MVP award in 2019.

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COMPILED BY MANASI PATHAK AND DOMINIC RICHARD