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Australian Sporting Highlights in 2019

There were many sporting highlights for Australia in 2019, which included major events such as the FIFA Women's World Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the Rugby World Cup.

It was a breakout year for Brisbane born tennis player Ash Barty. Barty won the French Open, becoming Australia's first Roland-Garros singles champion for 46 years. She became the first Australian woman to reach the top of the rankings since seven-times grand slam champion Goolagong Cawley reached the sport's pinnacle for two weeks in 1976. She also won the WTA player of the year award, and at the AIS Sport Performance Awards she was awarded the Australian Female Athlete of the Year, Sport Personality of the Year and Sporting Moment of the Year.

In other tennis results, Australia lost the Federation Cup final against France. The team was hoping to break the drought, having not won since 1974, when Evonne Goolagong, Dianne Fromholtz and Janet Young defeated the United States 2-1 in Italy.

The Cricket World Cup will be remembered for the nail-biting finish in the final between England and New Zealand. Australia had lost its semi final to England. Fortunately, the Australian team was able to redeem themselves in an entertaining Ashes Test series. The highlight was Steve Smith's comeback to Test cricket, his series total of 774 runs at 110.57 had him working his way back on top of the rankings and being compared to Don Bradman.

Our national women's football team, the Matildas, had a disappointing Women's FIFA World Cup tournament. They were favourites to win their group, though started badly with a loss to Italy in last seconds in their first match. They still made their way through to the final 16 of the World Cup, thanks to an inspiring effort by captain Sam Kerr, who scored four goals in their match against Jamaica. Kerr made history becoming the first Aussie, male or female, to ever score a hat-trick in a football World Cup. Despite the team's disappointing finish to the tournament, Kerr cemented her position as one of the world's best women's footballers. She was again shortlisted for the Ballon D'or award.

In front of over 52,000 screaming fans at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, the Boomers created history, defeating the USA basketball team 98-94 for the first time in their 55-year history, America's first loss in 13 years and 78 games. Starring for Australia was San Antonio Spurs star Patty Mills. They followed up this form at the basketball World Cup, just falling short of reaching their first World Cup final after European giants Spain claimed a thrilling 95-88 double overtime victory in their semi-final.

For the third consecutive year, Rio 2016 weightlifter Tia-Clair Toomey was crowned the "Fittest Woman on Earth" claiming three Crossfit titles across 2017, 2018 and 2019. Toomey is the first woman to ever achieve that feat.

It was a black day for Australian rugby league but a bright one for Tonga, with the Pacific Islanders shocking the Kangaroos 16-12 at New Zealand's Eden Park in an International Test Match. The loss was Australia's first defeat to a side other than New Zealand, England or Great Britain since going down to France in 1978.

Australia's Ariarne Titmus shook up the swimming world order, upsetting American great Katie Ledecky to claim the 400m freestyle gold at the World Swimming Titles in South Korea. However, more media attention was focused out of the pool, with Mack Horton refusing to share the podium with the winner of his race, Sun Yang, who had faced accusations of doping.

An Australian world champion that is not well known is professional ten-pin bowler Jason Belmonte. He plays on the PBA Tour in the United States and one of Australia's most successful athletes. In 2019, was named PBA Player of the Year for the fifth time, and this year won his 11th major championships.

Aussie surfer Sally Fitzgibbons became world number one, while seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore made history taking out her 31st Championship Tour title.

The 2019 Don Award, which recognises the sporting achievement of the year which has inspired the people of Australia, was awarded to tennis player Ash Barty. This year's nominees include tennis grand slam champions Dylan Alcott OAM and Ashleigh Barty, 2018 NRL premiership hero Cooper Cronk, three-time Tour de France stage winner Caleb Ewan, 2018 world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore, Bathurst 1000 2018 winner Craig Lowndes OAM, Ashes winners Ellyse Perry and Tim Paine, and swimming world champion Ariarne Titmus. Also at the awards, Louise Sauvage became the first Paralympian to be anointed a Legend of Australian Sport.

2019 also marks the end of a successful athletics career for hurdler Sally Pearson. After injuries have hampered her performances in recent years, she announced her retirement.

Notable deaths in Australian sport for 2019 include Tennis great Peter McNamara, and AFL legend Polly Farmer.

Below is a timeline of some significant results for Australian and Australian athletes 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 Defending champions Australia were eliminated by UAE in a quarter-final. The tournament was won for the first time by Qatar, who defeated Japan 3–1 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. Ash Barty was the best performing Australia, making the quarter finals.
Feb 27-Mar 3 Cycling World Track Championships Pruszków, Poland Netherlands and Australia both won 6 gold medals
Apr 11-14 Golf Masters Augusta, USA Australian Jason Day tied for fifth, 2 strokes behind winner Tiger Woods.
Apr 27-May 4 Multi-sports Arafura Games Darwin, Australia The Games featured local, national and international athletes from 33 countries 
May 16–19 Golf US PGA Bethpage State Park, Black Course, Farmingdale, New York Adam Scott was the best placed Aussie, finishing in a tie for 8th.
May 26 Auto Racing Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis, USA Australian Will Power finished in 5th position
May 26-Jun 9 Tennis French Open Paris, France In the women's singles, Australian Ash Barty won her first Grand Slam singles title, defeating Markéta Vondroušová.
May 30-Jul 15 Cricket World Cup England England won a thrilling final against New Zealand. Australia was defeated by England in the semi-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. Australia lost in the round of 16 to Norway.
Jun 13–16 Golf US Open Pebble Beach, California Adam Scott was the best placed Aussie, finishing tied for 7th, 7 strokes behind the leader.
Jun 28 - Jul 7 Beach volleyball World Championship (men/women) Hamburg, Germany The Australian women's pair of Taliqua Clancy–Mariafe Artacho del Solar finished 4th.
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. No Aussies made either quarter finals.
Jul 3-14 Multi-sports Summer Universiade Naples, Italy Australia sent 167 competitors in 14 sports, finishing with 6 gold medals
Jul 6-28 Cycling Tour de France Belgium, France Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan won three stages
Jul 8-20 Multi-sports Pacific Games Apia, Samoa Australia sent a team in a limited number of sports, the second time they were invited to compete at the Games.
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 Australia finished 4th on the medal tally
Jul 18–21 Golf Open Championship Royal Portrush Golf Club, County Antrim, Northern Ireland There were 6 competitors from Australia, the best performer was Cameron Smith who finished equal 20th
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 25-Sep 1 Rowing World Rowing Championships Linz-Ottensheim, Austria Australia won gold in the women's coxless 4s and the women's single sculls para event.
Aug 26–Sep 9 Tennis US Open New York, USA Rafael Nadal defeating Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles. Bianca Andreescu won the women's singles title, defeating Serena Williams. No Australians made the men's or women's quarter-finals.
Aug 31-Sep 15 Basketball FIBA Basketball World Cup China Australia lost to France in the semi-final, finishing 4th.
Sep 9-21 Boxing AIBA World Championships (men) Yekaterinburg, Russia Australian boxer Justis Huni won bronze in the super heavyweight competition
Sept 18-27 Weightlifting IWF World Championships Pattaya, Thailand There were 5 competitors from Australia, though no medals won.
Sep 20-Nov 2 Rugby World Cup Japan England beat Australia in the quarter finals, then went on to lose to South Africa in the final 32−12.
Sep 22-29 Cycling UCI Road World Championships Yorkshire, UK The men's time trial was won by Australian Rohan Dennis
Sep 27-Oct 6 Athletics IAAF World Championships Doha, Qatar 57 athletes from Australia, with one medal won, a gold in the javelin by Kelsey-Lee Barber.
Sep 28 Australian Football AFL Grand Final Melbourne, Australia Richmond beat the Giants 114 to 25. Dustin Martin was awarded his second Norm Smith Medal
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 12-16 Multi-sports World Beach Games Doha, Qatar The World Beach Games featured 14 disciplines in 13 sports. 41 athletes from Australia participated, with only one silver medal won
Nov 2-17 Baseball WBSC Premier 12 Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea Japan defeated South Korea in the final. Australia finished 6th, after being second in their group behind South Korea.
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 Australia were beaten in the quarter finals to Canada, who were eventual runners up to Spain.
Dec 9-15 Golf Presidents Cup Melbourne, Australia Held in Melbourne for the second time. The US team led by Tiger Woods US clawed back a huge lead on the final day to win 16–14. It was the 8th straight Presidents Cup victory for the US.

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

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