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Sporting Highlights for 2019

There were many major sporting events held in 2019, full of sporting highlights. Major events for this year were the FIFA Women's World Cup, Asian Games, African Games, Pan-American Games, Cricket World Cup, IAAF World Championships, Rugby World Cup, the inaugural World Urban Games and World Beach Games, as well many more annual events.

There were hints of changes in world tennis, with the end of an era approaching with the big three, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic nearing the end of their careers. However, they are not finished yet. At the Australia Open, Novak Djokovic was too good for Rafael Nadal, winning in straight sets for a third consecutive major title. He just needed to win the 2019 French Open to complete the "Novak Slam" (a non-calendar Grand Slam). However, Nadal won that event for the 12th time, then later won his 19th Major title and 4th US Open title. Djokovic was able to retain his Wimbledon title in an epic five-set showdown with Roger Federer. Less than a month shy of his 38th birthday, Roger Federer became the second-oldest man to reach a Wimbledon final, after 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974.

In the women's game, the dominance of the Williams sisters is also waning. At the US open, Bianca Andreescu won her first Grand Slam title, defeating Serena Williams in the final. Andreescu became the first Canadian player to win a Grand Slam singles title. At Wimbledon, Cori Gauff, 15, the youngest player in the draw, had a first round upset, defeating Venus Williams, 39, the oldest.

In the new format for the Davis Cup played over a week, Spain won their sixth title, defeating Canada 2–0. Rafael Nadal won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

Who said cricket was boring. The final of the Cricket World Cup was won by England in a nail-biter, possibly the greatest one-day cricket game ever. The scores were tied after full time, then in the tie-breaking super-over the scores were equal again. England was awarded the championship based on the number of boundaries scored throughout the game. You don't get any closer than that.

There was high drama at the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Maximum Security led all the way, only to become the first winner disqualified for interference in the race's 145-year history. After a long wait, long-shot Country House was declared the winner. Country House paid 65-1, the second-highest odds for a winner in Derby history.

Controversy at the 2019 Kentucky Derby

Controversy at the 2019 Kentucky Derby

In the NBA finals, the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors, four games to two, earning the franchise its first NBA championship as well as the first won by a team based outside the United States. This was the first finals since 2010 not to include LeBron James, who played in the past eight finals with Cleveland and the Miami Heat.

Team USA saw its 58-game winning streak in international tournaments featuring NBA players end with an 89-79 loss to France in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup in Dongguan, China. Team USA's last loss with NBA players on its roster came against Greece in the semifinals of the 2006 world championships.

Tiger Woods won his first major title in 11 years, winning the Masters for the fifth time. It was one of sport's greatest-all-time comebacks to end an 11-year major title drought, Woods having endured and overcome controversy then crippling injuries.

The highest-paid sportsman in 2019 according to Forbes Magazine was footballer Lionel Messi, with earnings totaling US$127 million. Serena Williams was the only woman in the top 100 list for 2019, ranked 63rd.

The Stanley Cup was won by St. Louis Blues, beating Boston Bruins 4-3. Until this year, the Blues were the oldest franchise to have never won a Stanley Cup.

If the two-hour marathon record mark had been broken this year, it would be one of the highlights of the sporting year. Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge did run a sub-two hour marathon, though not officially as it was not run under race conditions. He ran the marathon in 1:59:40, during the staged Ineos 1:59 Challenge, but it won't be recognized as a record because of various assistances he received.

The most famous sports people for the year, according to ESPN, were Cristiano Ronaldo and Serena Williams.

The 2019 Laureus World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards went to Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic (his 4th win) and US gymnast Simone Biles.

Deaths in the sporting world for 2019 include Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykänen, a legend of his sport with four Olympic gold medals, English cricketer Bob Willis, Basball hall-of-famer Frank Robinson, New Zealand running champion Peter Snell, and Motor racing legend Niki Lauder died aged 70.

What was your highlight? Take the poll of the Greatest 2019 Sporting Highlight.

Below is a timeline and summary of some many of the results in the world of sport for the year 2019.

Date(s) Sport Event Location Results
Jan 5-Feb 1 Football (Soccer) AFC Asian Cup UAE won for the first time by Qatar, who defeated Japan 3–1 in the Final.
Jan 10-27 Handball World Championships (men) Germany & Denmark Denmark, in a clean sweep, won their first title by defeating Norway 31–22 in the final.
Jan 14-27 Tennis Australia Open Melbourne, Australia Novak Djokovic won the men's singles, defeating Rafael Nadal. Naomi Osaka defeated Petra Kvitová in the women's singles.
Jan 24-27 Extreme Sports Winter X Games 23 Aspen, Colorado, USA athletes competed in 6 skiing events, 8 snowboarding events, 1 snowmobiling event and 5 snow bike events
Feb 1 - Mar 16 Rugby Six Nations UK, Ireland, France & Italy Wales won for the first time since 2013, beating defending champions Ireland, and also achieving a Grand Slam.
Feb 3 Gridiron/Football Super Bowl Atlanta, Georgia The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3, in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl game in history
Feb 5-17 Skiing Alpine World Ski Championships Åre, Sweden Norway and Switzerland shared to most medals, each with 2 gold and 4 in total
Feb 20-Mar 3 Skiing Nordic World Ski Championships Seefeld in Tirol, Tyrol, Austria Norway dominated the medal tally with 25 medals (the next best was Germany with 9)
Feb 27-Mar 3 Cycling World Track Championships Pruszków, Poland Netherlands and Australia both won 6 gold medals
Mar 2-12 Multi-sports Winter Universiade Krasnoyarsk, Russia For the first time bandy and ski-orienteering were included, with Bandy having bigger crowds than any other sport.
Mar 14-21 Multi-sports Special Olympics World Summer Games Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates featuring 200 nations and more than 7,000 athletes.
Apr 6 Horse Racing Grand National Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool won by 4/1 favorite Tiger Roll, the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win back-to-back Nationals.
Apr 11-14 Golf Masters Augusta, USA Tiger Woods won his fifth Green Jacket. It was his fifteenth major, his first in more than 10 years.
Apr 20-May 6 Snooker World Snooker Championship Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England Won by Judd Trump, who defeated John Higgins 18–9 in the final to claim his first World Championship.
Apr 21-28 Table Tennis World Table Tennis Championships Budapest, Hungary Chinese athletes won all five gold medals on offer
May 2 Horse Racing Kentucky Derby Louisville, Kentucky, US Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, though after a protest the race was awarded to long shot Country House
May 10-26 Ice Hockey IIHF World Championship Bratislava and Košice, Slovakia Finland won their third title by defeating Canada in the final
May 16–19 Golf US PGA Bethpage State Park, Black Course, Farmingdale, New York Brooks Koepka won his 2nd PGA Championship by two strokes ahead of Dustin Johnson. He became the first player to successfully defend both the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open in a career.
May 18 Football (Soccer) FA Cup final Wembley Stadium, London Manchester City beat Watford 6–0, the joint largest winning margin in an FA Cup Final
May 26 Auto Racing Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis, USA Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske won the race from the pole position, a record-extending 18th Indy 500 victory for the team.
May 26-Jun 9 Tennis French Open Paris, France In the men's final, defending champion Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem in a rematch of the 2018 final. In the women's singles, Australian Ash Barty won her first Grand Slam singles title, defeating Markéta Vondroušová.
May 27 – Jun 12 Ice Hockey Stanley Cup finals St Louis and Boston, USA St. Louis Blues defeated Boston Bruins 4-3 to win their first championship
May 30–Jun 16 Basketball NBA Finals USA/Canada Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors 4–2, their first NBA championship and also the first win by a team based outside the USA.
May 30-Jul 15 Cricket World Cup England England and New Zealand played in a thrilling final which ended in a tie, followed by a Super Over which was also tied, the title awarded to England on a countback.
Jun 1 Football (Soccer) UEFA Champions League Final Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain Played between two English sides, Liverpool defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2–0 in the final
Jun 7-Jul 7 Football (Soccer) Women's World Cup France USA defended their title with a 2–0 victory over the Netherlands in the final.
Jun 13–16 Golf US Open Pebble Beach, California Gary Woodland won his first major title by three strokes over world number one Brooks Koepka.
Jun 15-16 Auto Racing 87th 24 Hours of Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France The race was won by the No. 8 Toyota of Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, their second consecutive Le Mans victory.
Jun 15-Jul 13 Football (Soccer) African Cup of Nations Egypt Algeria defeated Senegal 1–0 in the final, winning their second title
Jun 21-30 Multi-sports European Games Minsk, Belarus The 2nd European Games featured 200 events in 15 sports (23 disciplines). The medal tally was dominated by Russia.
Jun 28 - Jul 7 Beach volleyball World Championship (men/women) Hamburg, Germany Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov defeated the German team of Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler to win the men's title. The women's title was won by the US team of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, who defeated Canadians Alix Klineman and April Ross.
Jul 1-14 Tennis Wimbledon London, England Defending champion Novak Djokovic successfully defended his title, defeating Roger Federer. In the women's final Simona Halep defeated Serena Williams.
Jul 3-14 Multi-sports Summer Universiade Naples, Italy About 6000 athletes from 118 nations participated, with Japan leading the medal table.
Jul 6-28 Cycling Tour de France Belgium, France The general classification was won by Egan Bernal of Team Ineos. His teammate and 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas finished second.
Jul 8-20 Multi-sports Pacific Games Apia, Samoa A total of 26 sports were contested. New Caledonia led the medal tally, ahead of Papua New Guinea and host country Samoa.
Jul 12-21 Netball World Cup Liverpool, England In a rematch of the 2015 final, New Zealand won their fifth title, defeating Australia by one goal. 
Jul 12-28 Swimming World Aquatics Championships Gwangju, South Korea China won the most gold medals, though the USA won more medals overall.
Jul 18–21 Golf The Open Championship Royal Portrush Golf Club, County Antrim, Northern Ireland Won by Shane Lowry, his first major title, and the second for a player from the Republic of Ireland.
Jul 19-28 Multi-sports Indian Ocean Island Games Port Louis, Mauritius. the leading country was Mauritius
Jul 26-Aug 11 Multi-sports Pan American Games Lima Peru All 41 members nations of the Pan American Sports Organization competed, with the USA dominating the medal table.
Aug 1-4 Extreme Sports Summer X Games Minneapolis, USA Australian athletes took home the most gold medals (though the US won the most overall)
Aug 8-18 Multi-sports World Police and Fire Games Chengdu, Sichuan, China The Games attract thousands of competitors from up to 80 countries contesting 54+ sports
Aug 19-31 Multi-sports African Games Rabat, Morocco The Games featured 26 sports, with Egyptian athletes clearly winning the most medals
Aug 25-Sep 1 Rowing World Rowing Championships Linz-Ottensheim, Austria The gold medals were spread among 15 nations, with new Zealand finishing with 4 gold.
Aug 26–Sep 9 Tennis US Open New York, USA Rafael Nadal won his 19th Grand Slam singles title, defeating Daniil Medvedev. Bianca Andreescu won the women's singles title, defeating Serena Williams, becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title.
Aug 31-Sep 15 Basketball FIBA Basketball World Cup China Argentina defeated Spain 95-75 in the final. Defending champions, the USA, experienced their worst result at a World Cup, losing to France in the quarter-finals and Serbia in the subsequent classification game.
Sep 9-21 Boxing AIBA World Championships (men) Yekaterinburg, Russia Boxers from Uzbekistan and Russia won 3 gold medals each.
Sep 13-15 Multi-sports World Urban Games Budapest, Hungary This inaugural event was designed to showcase new, urban sports 
Sep 13-15 Golf Solheim Cup Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland After the first 2 days the competition was tied at 8-all. Europe won the singles 6½–5½ to win the Cup for the first time since 2013.
Sept 18-27 Weightlifting IWF World Championships Pattaya, Thailand Chinese athletes dominated the medal table, winning half the gold medals on offer
Sep 20-Nov 2 Rugby World Cup Japan South Africa beat England 32−12 in the final, claiming their third title, equaling New Zealand's record.
Sep 22-29 Cycling UCI Road World Championships Yorkshire, UK Mads Pedersen of Denmark won the men's road race and Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands won the women's event.
Sep 27-Oct 6 Athletics IAAF World Championships Doha, Qatar world records were set in the women's 400 meters hurdles and the mixed 4 × 400 meters relay.
Sep 28 Australian Football AFL Grand Final Melbourne, Australia Richmond beat the Giants 114 to 25. Richmond's Dustin Martin was awarded his second Norm Smith Medal
Oct 4-13 Gymnastics World Championships (Artistic) Stuttgart, Germany USA, Russia and Great Britain share most of the medals on offer.
Oct 6 Rugby League NRL Grand Final Sydney, Australia Sydney Roosters defeated the Canberra Raiders The match was won by the Roosters 14–8 in a tight contest to claim their 15th premiership title.
Oct 3-13 Boxing AIBA World Championships (women) Ulan-Ude, Russia Russian boxers won three gold medals.
Oct 12-16 Multi-sports World Beach Games Doha, Qatar These inaugural World Beach Games featured 14 disciplines in 13 sports 
Oct 18-27 Multi-sports Summer Military World Games Wuhan, China over 9000 athletes competed in 27 sports
Oct 22-30 Baseball World Series Washington, D.C. and Texas The Washington Nationals beat Houston Astros 4-3, to secure their first title in franchise history.
Nov 2-17 Baseball WBSC Premier 12 Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea Japan defeated South Korea in the final, and the bronze medal game was won by Mexico over Team USA.
Nov 5 Horse Racing Melbourne Cup Victoria, Australia The race was won by Vow And Declare, ridden by Craig Williams and trained by Danny O'Brien
Nov 18-24 Tennis Davis Cup Madrid, Spain In the new format for the Davis Cup, Spain won their sixth title, defeating Canada 2–0. Rafael Nadal won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
Nov 30-Dec 11 Multi-sports South-East Asian Games Clark, Philippines A record of 530 events in 56 sports. The medal tally was comprehensively won by the Philippines.
Nov 30-Dec 15 Handball World Championships (women) Japan The Netherlands won their first title after defeating Spain in the final
Dec 9-15 Golf Presidents Cup Melbourne, Australia The US led by Tiger Woods, clawed back a huge lead on the final day to win 16–14. It was the 8th straight Presidents Cup victory for the USA.

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

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