Phil Mickelson, Best sporting moments of the year
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Best sporting moments of the year: Mickelson and Raducanu shine in 2021

| 27.12.2021

Sporting highlights of 2021

It has been another astonishing year of sporting drama, featuring Champions League glory for Chelsea, a stunning tennis triumph for Emma Raducanu and the most dramatic F1 season in living memory.

Here, we look back on five of the best sporting moments of the year while we have also picked out the worst sporting moments of the year.

Raducanu’s fairytale in New York

Emma Raducanu was ranked 150th in the world when she entered US Open qualifying, yet 10 matches later she was clutching the trophy after becoming the first British woman to win a grand slam singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977.

Wade was watching from the stands at Flushing Meadows as the 18-year-old Raducanu defeated fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 in the final, just three months after completing her A-levels.

Raducanu went on to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year for her New York exploits and is 6/1 co-favourite with Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka to repeat her sucesss in the United States.

Olympic high jumpers decide to share gold

The delayed Tokyo Olympics provided many memorable moments from a British perspective, with Tom Dean and Adam Peaty both winning two gold medals in the pool and team-mate Duncan Scott becoming the first British athlete to win four Olympic medals in a single Games.

However, arguably one of the best sporting moments of the year came when high jumpers Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Essa Barshim decided to share the Olympic title rather than face a jump-off.

Mutaz Essa Barshim, Gianmarco Tamberi, Best sporting moments of the year

Tamberi was thrilled with Barshim’s offer and instantly accepted before jumping into his rival’s arms.

Verstappen snatches controversial F1 title

After an incident-packed season, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton amazingly went into the final race in Abu Dhabi level on points in pursuit of a first and record eighth drivers’ title respectively.

Verstappen started from pole but was beaten off the line by Hamilton and the British driver appeared to be cruising to victory until a safety car was required with five laps remaining.

The 24-year-old Verstappen pitted for fresh tyres and, with the lapped cars between the Dutchman and Hamilton controversially allowed to get out of the way, Verstappen surged past his rival on the final lap to seal an extraordinary victory in one of the best sporting moments of the year.

Hamilton is evens favourite to get his hands on an eighth title next seasson, with Verstappen priced at 2/1.

Chelsea win the Champions League

Chelsea turned a season of turmoil into the ultimate triumph as Kai Havertz’s ice-cool finish sunk Manchester City 1-0 to swipe Champions League glory in Porto.

Chelsea, Champions League winner odds

Mason Mount’s inch-perfect assist stunned domestic double-winners City at the Estadio do Dragao, as Chelsea claimed their second Champions League title to etch boss Thomas Tuchel’s name into the Stamford Bridge annals, just 124 days after he had taken over following the departure of Frank Lampard.

Mickelson makes history

Nine days after accepting a special exemption for the US Open, Phil Mickelson rendered it unnecessary in amazing fashion by becoming the oldest winner in major championship history.

Mickelson held his nerve during a pulsating final round at Kiawah Island to win his sixth major title in the 103rd US PGA Championship, 16 years on from lifting the Wanamaker Trophy for the first time.

The 50-year-old was a 280/1 outsider at the start of the week but a closing 73 was enough to finish two shots ahead of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen. Mickelson is available at 80/1 for a successful title defence.

Julius Boros had been the previous oldest major champion, claiming the US PGA title in 1968 at the age of 48.

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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication



Warren Barner