Heart-warming stories, individual brilliance and outstanding team-work have all been to the fore in the world of sport this week.
1. Lions outclassed despite superb try
The All Blacks were too good for the Lions in the first Test but at least Sean O’Brien scored a wonderful try for the tourists.
New Zealand had dominated the opening stages and looked set for an easy win until, in the 35th minute, Liam Williams started a move deep in his own 22. Elliot Daly then swerved past a couple of men before going back inside to Jonathan Davies who picked out O’Brien to score one of the greatest tries in Lions’ history.
Unfortunately the prospect of losing at Eden Park for the first time since 1994 galvanised the All Blacks and they went on to seal a 30-15 victory and the Lions are now 17/4 with ComeOn! to win the second Test in Wellington on Saturday.
2. Superb Spieth sinks Berger
Jordan Spieth produced one of the shots of the year to beat Daniel Berger in a play-off and win the Travelers Championship.
The 23-year-old, winner of the Masters and US Open in 2015, sealed his second win of the season and tenth PGA Tour title in dramatic style.
Spieth, 12/1 to win the Open Championship in three weeks’ time, had appeared to be easing to victory when he built up a three-shot lead on the final day only to falter on the back nine and finish with an even-par 70.
Berger forced a play-off with three birdies in his last six holes and looked set to triumph when Spieth’s approach shot at the first extra hole caught the left bunker.
However, the precocious American holed his shot from the bunker to emerge victorious in dramatic style at TPC River Highlands.
3. Bravo silences his critics
It may have surprised many Manchester City fans but Claudio Bravo was the hero as Chile edged past Portugal in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.
After a dull 120 minutes of football Bravo, much criticised by City fans after an error-strewn first season at the Etihad Stadium, saved all three of Portugal’s penalties in the shoot-out to send Chile into the final, which they are 20/27 with ComeOn! to win.
4. Kvitova’s fairytale triumph
Even the most cold-hearted cynic must have been pleased when Petra Kvitova sealed an emotional victory over Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston.
Playing in only her second tournament since suffering a hand injury when she was attacked in her own home six months ago, the two-time Wimbledon champion, 5/1 to triumph again at SW19 this year, showed great spirit to clinch a 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory.
Afterwards the 27-year-old from the Czech Republic described her victory as being like a fairytale and, although she opted not to take part in Eastbourne this week, she has a great chance of winning at Wimbledon and adding to the titles she won there in 2011 and 2014.
5. Crane hits the heights
Mason Crane came through his baptism of fire in style as England defeated South Africa in a high-octane T20 series.
There was a danger that the 20-year-old Hampshire leg-spinner could have been overawed on his international debut when AB de Villiers came to the crease.
The incomparable De Villiers tried to dominate the youngster but, just as the Proteas star appeared to be on the verge of cutting loose, he thrashed Crane to Alex Hales who took the catch on the deep square leg boundary.
Cue superb celebrations by Crane as England went on to win the decider in Cardiff by 19 runs.
6. More penalty misery for England
England’s shoot-out defeat to Germany in the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship was as predictable as it was misery-inducing.
It may have been 27 years since Chris Waddle blasted his penalty out of the ground and at Euro 96 when Gareth Southgate’s weak effort was saved by Andreas Kopke, but those defeats to Germany have left indelible marks on the English psyche.
More recent penalty shoot-out losses to Argentina, Portugal and Italy have not had the same effect as those defeats more than two decades ago and when Julian Pollersbeck saved Nathan Redmond’s spot-kick was any English fan really that surprised?
7. Vettel and Hamilton trade insults
When Sebastian Vettel swerved into title rival Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix it livened up what was becoming another dull Formula One season.
The two men obviously don’t like each other but animosity between the top drivers has in the past often coincided with the sport’s most popular periods.
Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost had an epic feud while Hamilton fell out with Fernando Alonso when they were meant to be team-mates at McLaren. In addition Michael Schumacher famously barged into Damon Hill in a successful attempt to stop the Englishman winning the drivers’ title.
It will be interesting to see whether the Vettel v Hamilton spat intensifies at the Austrian Grand Prix, a race the German is 23/10 with ComeOn! to win.
8. Day breaks his duck
At the age of 37, Ryan Day finally won his first snooker title when he defeated Stephen Maguire 5-2 in the final of the Riga Masters.
The Welshman had lost all four of his previous ranking finals but, after knocking out Barry Hawkins, Robert Milkins, Kyren Wilson, Joe Perry and Mark Williams earlier in the tournament in Latvia, he held his nerve to finally lift some silverware.
Day will now team up with Mark Williams in the Wales team which is 6/1 with ComeOn! to win the World Cup.
9. Federer rolls back the years
Roger Federer can’t win an eighth Wimbledon title at the age of 35, can he?
The signs are that the classy Swiss star can do just that after he eased to his ninth triumph at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle by thrashing Alexander Zverev in a one-sided final.
Having sat out the French Open so that he could concentrate on Wimbledon, Federer is 9/4 to triumph at SW19 again and win his second Grand Slam of the year following his victory at the Australian Open.
10. Elementary for Watson
Heather Watson’s career has seen more downs than ups in the last two years but her victory against defending champion Dominika Cibulkova at Eastbourne showed that on her day the 25-year is a match for anyone.
Since coming within a whisker of beating Serena Williams at Wimbledon two year ago, it has been a downward curve for Watson who has slipped out of the top-100 after being as high as 38 in the world in 2015.
A good run at Wimbledon this year could be the prelude for a rise up the rankings again.
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