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Five of hottest sports tickets this summer
THE original summer of sport was 2012, but the action has carried on unabated and this year again it comes at us thick and fast from all angles.
FIFA WORLD CUP: (June12-July 13)
Billed as ‘the one we’ve all been waiting for’, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil promises to be one of the best ever. Apart from the football itself – and the prospect of Spain meeting Brazil makes the head spin – the colour and noise and vibrancy in the stadia should set this tournament apart.
Expectations for England are lower than they’ve been for a long time so while previous exits crushed our spirits we should be able to take this one in our strides.
England play Italy (June 14), Uruguay (June 19) and Costa Rica (June 24) in the groups.
WIMBLEDON: (June 23-July 6)
The nation nearly ground to a standstill when Andy Murray ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a home champion at Wimbledon.
He beat Novak Djokovic in straight sets under baking skies, and another run to the final is certainly not beyond him even though his world rankings have slipped because of injury.
Whatever happens, it’s bound to be excruciatingly tense - watching from behind the sofa stuff. The Scot doesn’t know any other way.
TOUR DE FRANCE: (July 6-July 17)
Always a landmark event anyway, the 2014 Tour brings with it extra appeal as it’s first three stages are England. Stage One takes a circular route from Leeds to Harrogate, Stage Two sends the cyclists from York to Sheffield before the peloton moves down from Cambridge to London on Monday, July 7. Chris Froome won the yellow jersey last year, taking it off Sir Bradley Wiggins.
But Sir Brad has recently said he wants another go at it. With Mark Cavendish providing the spearhead, there could be fireworks.
THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP: (July 17-20)
Tiger, Tiger...will he make it to Royal Liverpool or will the sport’s most recognised star again be conspicuous by his absence?
Bubba Watson won The Masters in April but the final day was low key without the best players challenging – Woods, reigning Open champion Phil Mickelson and Rory McIIroy are still the big draws and golf needs them on the front page.
What about local heroes? Justin Rose became England’s first major winner since Nick Faldo last summer while Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood and Nick Poulter all have the ability.
COMMONWEALTH GAMES: (July 23-Aug 3)
Ok, it’s not the Olympics, but it still attracts some of the best athletes in the world and the news that Mo Farah will compete raises these Games to a new level.
The World and Olympic 5,000m and 10,000 double champion hasn’t decided what events to run yet, but he won’t be the only star of the show.
Organisers said in April they were ‘95 per cent’ sure Usain Bolt would run, while Britain’s all-powerful cycling team and Olympic long-jump gold winner Greg Rutherford will also be in action.
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