July 2021 Sporting Preview : Will It be a Historic Month for England?
If you thought May was a busy month, June even busier, well July is even better. There's everything from the Open, Wimbledon finishing and of course the climax of Euro 2020 . Oh, and there's the Olympics too.
Titles and Medals to be Won
Can England become European champions for the first time? They are through to the last eight and face Ukraine in Rome on Saturday 3 July. The winners take on either the Czech Republic or Denmark in the semi-finals. It's a lot tougher in the top half of the draw. Friday 2 July saw Spain beat Switzerland on penalties after a 1-1 draw. That was followed by Italy beating Belgium 2-1. The first semi-final took place on Tuesday 6 July and Spain came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw. It went to extra time and Spain's penalty problems reared their ugly heads again and it was Italy who went through 4-2.They play England in the final on Sunday 11 July after a 2-1 win over Denmark after extra time.
From July 23 we have the Tokyo Olympics. It's a strange little event where there is no cricket, snooker or horse racing but there are skateboarding 12-year-olds. Brits such as Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Dina Asher-Smith are both tipped to do well. We'll have more coverage of this event in the coming weeks.
Djokovic Chasing Third Grand Slam of the Year
Wimbledon is in its first week and there have been some great matches played so far when the players manage to stay on their feet that is. Hopefully there won't be too many slip-ups in the rest of the tournament. Novak Djokovic remains on course to win his third Grand Slam of the year. He's been in good form so far but is likely to face strong opposition from Roger Fededer..
The women's singles is as hectic as ever. The first four days of the tournament saw 16 seeds lose and Johanna Konta pull out on the eve of the championships. Only two of the top six seeds remain. World number one Ashleigh Barty has never won this title but has made a good start. Second seed Aryna Sabalenka is still going and improving on this surface.
The Open Returns
This is the final Maor of the year as Shane Lowry defends the title that he won two years ago. It seems an age ago but the greatest golf tournament in the world takes place at St George's from July 15-18. The last time the English course held The Open, it was Darren Clarke who won the title. Three of the last four tournaments have been won by European players. With Jon Rahm not just winning the US Open but also topping the world rankings, another European win may be possible. With it being Ryder Cup year, it's important for the Europeans to put on a good show.
There are so many contenders for this title. Rory McIlroy has been showing good form of late. Harris English won the Travellers Championship on the last weekend of June. That came straight after his third at the US Open. Bryson de Chambeau will be a strong contender with his big hitting but will he run into trouble on a links course? Other British hopes include Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey and Matthew Fitzpatrick. The winner may come from South Africa with former champion Louis Oosthuizen in good form and he could win a second Open title.