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Sporting Highlights for 1990

Here are the sporting highlights of the world of sport in 1990. The major events from this year were the FIFA World Cup held in Italy and the Auckland Commonwealth Games.

Mike Tyson was this year's highest earner with earnings of 28.6 million USD, even though Buster Douglas defeated Tyson by a knockout in round 10 to win the world’s unified Heavyweight title, in what many consider boxing’s biggest upset ever. Douglas then later agreed to defend his title against Evander Holyfield for $24 million where he was dethroned by Holyfield in a third-round knockout in Las Vegas.

West Germany beat Argentina 1-0 for football’s 14th World Cup in Italy in 1990. The USA had qualified for the first time in 40 years, though lost all three of its first-round games.

For the first time since the Open era of tennis began in 1968, the men's and women's Grand Slam events were won by eight different players, including some of the new guard in tennis. The US open tennis championships crowned their youngest ever champion when 19 year old Pete Sampras who was ranked No. 81 only a year before beat Andre Agassi to win the title. We also saw the first appearance of Jennifer Capriati, turning pro at age 13, establishing herself as a threat to dominate women's tennis in the near future.

Nick Faldo won the golf masters (his second win) and went on to win the The Open Championship and became the second man since Tom Watson in 1982 to achieve this feat. At age 45, Hale Irwin emerged as the United States Open's oldest champion in a 19-hole playoff against Mike Donald.

Jari Kurri set a record for scoring in a Stanley Cup Finals game, registering three goals and two assists in game 2 against the Boston Bruins, on the way to victory for the Edmonton Oilers, winning their fifth Stanley Cup in seven years.

1990 was a year where many future legends of the game were born. Players like German world cup winner Toni Kroos (football/soccer) who scored a hat trick against Brazil in the semifinal of the 2014 soccer world cup. Former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki (tennis) was also born in 1990. The woman who has taken world cricket by storm, Australian Ellyse Perry was also born in 1990. Other notable people born were Mario Balotelli (football/soccer), John Tavares (ice hockey), and Tao Li (swimming).

In 1990 we lost Hank Gathers who was the second player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring and rebounding in the same season. In March of 1990, Gathers collapsed during a game against Portland and never regained consciousness. David Longhurst also died in this year. He was an English footballer who played for Nottingham Forest, Halifax Town and York City among others. York City later named one of the stands at the Bootham Crescent stadium after him. Other notable deaths include that of James Collins (soccer), Bronislau "Bronko" Nagurski (football), Leonard Hutton (cricket) and many others.

Date Results

Tennis Australia Open won by Ivan Lendl and Steffi Graf


Super Bowl held in New Orleans won by San Francisco

Jan 24 - Feb 3 Commonwealth Games held in Auckland, New Zealand

Golf Masters won by Nick Faldo (2nd win)


Tennis French Open won by Andres Gomez and Monica Seles


Golf US Open won by Hale Irwin

June 8 - July 8 FIFA World Cup (Football) tournament was held in Italy, won by West Germany.
July the Cycling Tour de France was won by Greg LeMond
July Tennis Wimbledon won by Stefan Edberg and Martina Navratilova

Golf The Open Championship won by Nick Faldo


Golf US PGA won by Wayne Grady


Tennis US Open won by Pete Sampras and Gabriela Sabatini.

Oct The Baseball World Series won by Cincinnati Reds.

Please note that the dates for past events are not always known, and are sometimes just placed in the month that the current event is held. If no exact date is listed, then it is just an estimated month that it was held.

If you have a correction or know of events that should be included here, please let me know.

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