Serena Williams, Roger Federer Wins Australian Open Title
Defying the concept that tennis is younger’s game and showing age is just a number at the Australian Open, the first tennis Grand Slam event of the year, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, both 35 years old, outlasted their younger peers to win the 2017 men’s and women’s singles titles. Federer now has a record 18 Grand Slam titles, further distancing himself from second place Pete Sampras and Nadal, both at 14 titles. Serena Williams is now in third place behind Margaret Court (24) and Steffi Graf (22).
Federer beat youngster Rafael Nadal (30 years old) in a gripping five-set final 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Williams meanwhile had a bit of an easier road, not dropping a set until beating her older sister, 36 year old Venus 6-4, 6-4 in the finals.
Supreme Court Appoints Ex-CAG Vinod Rai As BCCI Chief
The Supreme Court on January 30th appointed a four-member panel to look after the administration of the BCCI. Former CAG Vinod Rai was appointed as the head of the panel, while noted cricket historian Ramachandra Guha, IDFC official Vikram Limaye, and former Indian women’s cricket captain Diana Edulji were made members of the panel.
The Supreme Court rejected the Centre’s suggestion to name the sports secretary as part of the panel, while referring to its 2 January judgment that barred government servants and ministers from holding office in the BCCI. The Court trimmed down the list of administrators from nine to four. BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary, who had been performing the duties of the BCCI secretary since Ajay Shirke’s removal, will represent the BCCI at the ICC meeting in Dubai in February.
Arsene Wenger Predicts India Next Major Stop for European Footballers
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger thinks India will be the next to lure major European football stars. The massive wages and big money signings by Chinese Super League clubs has raised eyebrows all over the world. Many big name stars have already moved from their respective European clubs and signed lucrative deals in China. With ISL gaining popularity, can it also lure the likes of Oscar and Hulk to Indian shores?
Only recently, Brazilian playmaker Oscar, who was plying his trade with Chelsea in the Premier League, became the seventh most expensive player in football history after being bought by Chinese club Shanghai SPIPG for a reported fee of 60 million pounds. Wenger and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte have called for footballers to resist the temptation of Chinese money. Wenger now feels ISL could also be a competitor.
PR Sreejesh, Harmanpreet Singh In Fray For FIH Awards
Indian men’s hockey team stalwart PR Sreejesh and young drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh are two Indians in running for different honours at the FIH annual awards which will be given away in a formal ceremony for the first time, in Chandigarh on February 23. While Sreejesh is in the running for the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award, the 18-year-old Harmanpreet is in fray for Rising Star of the Year. The awards will honour the best players, goalkeepers, rising stars, coaches and umpires.
Sreejesh had captained India to the Asian Champions Trophy crown and a silver medal at the Champions Trophy in 2016. Harmanpreet, on the other hand, had played a key role in the junior Indian men’s team’s World Cup triumph in Lucknow. The FIH will conduct the ceremony in partnership with Hockey India.
PV Sindhu Wins Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold Title
Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu put on a dominant display as she defeated Gregoria Mariska 21-13, 21-14 in the women’s singles final to win the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold tournament in Lucknow on January 29th. Playing in her first tournament of the year, world no. 9 Sindhu cruised to victory in the final against her 120th ranked Indonesian opponent. The Indian badminton ace started well and gave little room to Mariska in the opening game, before closing it out at 21-13.
Sindhu carried the momentum into the second game and had little trouble in closing out the game. This is her maiden title win at the event. “I am very happy to win this trophy as this is the first international tournament in 2017 for me,” Sindhu said following her win.
Sarita Devi Wins On Pro Boxing Debut, Silences Zsofia Bedo
Sarita Devi settled the score against Zofia Bedo in the ring in front of roaring fans at her hometown Imphal on January 29th when the Manipuri silenced the Hungarian to win her maiden professional bout in the IBC Fight Night at the Khuman Lampak Stadium. Sarita scored a unanimous verdict.
“The Asian Games incident was very painful. I had to erase those sad memories. That was one big factor I decided to turn pro. For any mother to stay away and not to feed her child is the biggest sacrifice. I made that sacrifice for this day,” said Sarita, while hugging her three-year-old son after the victory. Having established a winning edge after three rounds, Sarita was determined to silence her rival. The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist proved her superiority over her Hungarian opponent.