Sports in 2021: A look at the top sporting events of the year
First Published Jan 2, 2021, 3:41 PM IST
The year 2020 was marred by tournament delays and cancellations owing to the current COVID-19 pandemic. As 2021 continues to reel from this misfortune, sporting fans worldwide hope for things to get regular, as they look forward to their favourite sporting events of the year.
A new year has kicked in. However, sports fans wonder if things would be the same and get back to normal, especially after 2020 gave humanity a tough time in the form of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Nonetheless, as the world continues to recover and hopes for things to get back to normalcy, the sporting world, too, aims to resume its regular duties. On the same note, we take a look at the top sporting events of the year.
Australian Open: The opening Grand Slam tennis event of the year would be held between February 8-21. Usually held in January, the prevailing restrictions have led to delay in organising the tournament. The Slam would see some of the top tennis stars, including defending champion Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams.
IPL 14: Not exactly an international series for Team India, but the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most significant domestic Twenty20 (T20) tournament in the world. As per the tentative window announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it is scheduled between April-May.
French Open: The second Grand Slam of the year, French Open would go ahead as scheduled, from May 23-June 6. Rafael Nadal continues to remain the record 13-time defending champion, as he would be looking to win his 14th, which would also make him the record Slam winner (21), going past Roger Federer's 20.
UEFA European Championship: One of the biggest football tournaments of the year, the UEFA European Championship is slated to be held thins year, between June 11-July 11. The competition was scheduled to be held last year, but the pandemic led to the delay. It would be held in across 12 venues in Europe, while Portugal is the defending champion.
Copa América: Alongside the European competition, Latin America will have its quadrennial event, as Brazil would host the Copa America. The tournament, too, was a victim of the pandemic delay. It would be held at the same time as the Euro, while Brazil is the defending champion.
Wimbledon Championships: The third Slam of the year, Wimbledon would take place between June 28-July 11. The event was cancelled last year owing to the pandemic. Djokovic is the defending champion.
Asia Cup: India is to travel to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup. Although the tournament was scheduled to be held last year, the pandemic led to its postponement. India is the defending champion, while the competition would be played in the T20 format, to warm-up for the ICC World T20.
ICC World Test Championship final: The ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in the final Test series for India in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship. Provided it wins the series, India would be in strong contention to play the final, to be held at Lord's, in June. As of now, India is placed second, based on the percentage of points won, while Australia tops the table.
Tokyo Olympics: The most prominent global sporting event of the year would undoubtedly be the Olympic Games, to be held between July 23-August 8. The event would be held in Tokyo. It was scheduled to be held last year but was a victim of the pandemic delay.
US Open: The final Slam of the year, US Open would be held in New York from August 30-September 12. Dominic Thiem happens to be the defending champion, while Naomi Osaka is the champion for women.
ICC World T20: India would then travel to Australia for the WT20, the same month. The tournament would be held after a gap of five years. Although initially scheduled to held last year, the pandemic led to the postponement. Windies is the two-time defending champion of the same.