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Sporting Highlights for 2003

Here are the sporting highlights of the world of sport in 2003. Major events for this year include the Cricket and Rugby World Cups.

This year witnessed several first time grand slam winners. Justine Henin-Hardenne won the women's French Open defeating Kim Clijsters in straight sets to become the first Belgian ever to win a grand slam. Justine also won the US Open again defeating Kim Clijsters in straight sets and ended the year as the World No. 1. Serena Williams won her fourth straight Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open, completing her self-dubbed "Serena Slam,". It was the end of an era with Pete Sampras and Martina Hingis retiring.

In men's tennis, one of the greatest players of all time, Roger Federer, won his first grand slam title in Wimbledon defeating Mark Philippoussis in straight sets. It was the just beginning of his now renowned career with 17 grand slam wins. Andy Roddick won the US Open for his first grand slam title. Unfortunately for Roddick, that was the only grand slam win in his career.

There was an upset at golf's British Open when 26-year-old Ben Curtis with a world ranking of 396 triumphed over the big names including Tiger Woods. He became the first men's golfer to win the first major tournament in which he competed since Francis Ouimet won the U.S. Open in 1913. Leading female golfer Annika Sorenstam attracted a lot of worldwide attention when she entered a men's PGA Tour event in Texas, though did not make the cut.

The Rugby World Cup hosted in Australia culminated in a thrilling final between Australian and England. With the scores tied up 17-17, a drop-goal in extra time by Jonny Wilkinson took the English to victory 20–17.

Bethany Hamilton, a 13 year old professional surfer, while on a regular morning surf, had her left arm completely bitten off by a shark. She lost 60% of her blood and had to undergo an emergency surgery. In an act of sheer courage, Bethany returned to her board just three weeks after the incident. She continues to compete professional until this date even winning the first place in many competitions.

NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was arrested in July on charges of sexual assault. Though there are several rumors and gossips around the incident, there are not many known facts. The criminal suit against Kobe was dropped and the civil suit was settled out of court. Bryant to this date remains vilified by many for the incident.

In the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong won his fifth consecutive race, though in 2012 he was stripped of all his wins after doping allegations were proven correct.

The big news in sport this year was the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative) scandal in the United States - members were involved in the distribution of prohibited substances to some high profile American athletes.

The 2003 Laureus World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards went to Lance Armstrong (which was later recinded) and tennis player Serena Williams. See also the Top Earners for 2003.

Below is a timeline of some significant results in the world of sport for the year 2003.

Date Results
Jan Tennis Australia Open won by Andre Agassi and Serena Williams
Feb Super Bowl held in San Diego won by Tampa Bay
April Golf Masters won by Mike Weir
May Tennis French Open won by Juan Carlos Ferrero and Justine Henin (Belgium)
June Golf US Open won by Jim Furyk
July the Cycling Tour de France was won by Lance Armstrong (though he was later stripped of this win)
July Tennis Wimbledon won by Roger Federer (Switz) and Serena Williams (USA)
July Golf The Open Championship won by Ben Curtis
Aug Golf US PGA won by Shaun Micheel
Sep? The women's world cup, held in the USA, was won by Germany
Sep Tennis US Open won by Andy Roddick (USA) and Justine Henin-Hardenne
Oct 10 - Nov 22 Rugby World Cup won by England.
Oct The Baseball World Series won by Florida Marlins

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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