Saturday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11 would go down in the hearts of many as days never to be forgotten – thanks to the joy it brought for some. Some others, however, would consider it a weekend immemorable due to the pain it caused them.
All Baller Zone every Monday relive the sports stories that dominated the headlines over the cause of the weekend, with this weekend, focused on four happy champions, and one proud winner.
5: UNSTOPPABLE NOVAK: Djokovic Wins 20th Grand Slam With Sixth Wimbledon Triumph
For Djokovic, trophies keep accumulating following his consistency on the court. He on Sunday levelled up with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slams apiece after defeating Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the finals of the 2021 Wimbledon.
The 34-year-old Serb who has now won all three Grand Slam men’s titles in 2021, needs only one more title in New York to confirm his status as the greatest player in the sport’s history.
4: FIRST TIMER: Barty Beat Pliskova To Win Her Maiden Wimbledon Title
25-year-old Barty won her second grand slam title by riding her nerves in a desperately tense contest between two world number ones, recovering after failing to serve out the match in the second set, to beat Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3.
With her first Wimbledon title in her kitty, Barty became the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon since Goolagong Cawley did in 1980. Barty’s first grand slam victory came at the French Open in 2019.
3: FINALLY, CAMPEONES!: Argentina Beat Brazil 1-0 As Messi Wins First-Ever Copa America
28 years after Argentina’s La Albiceleste last won the Copa America, Saturday
ended in tears of joy and shouts of victory for the South American nation thanks to a 1-0 win over Brazil in the final of the 2021 tournament in Rio de Janeiro.
For Messi, it was an even happier moment as the star player’s glittering career finally got the one honour it was missing in his 16 years with Argentina: a major title with his national team.
2: IT’S COMING ‘TO ROME’: Italy Beat England On Penalties To Win Second European Championship
The Euro 2020 tournament came to a memorable end on Sunday with the trophy not heading to Football’s ancestral home – England, but Rome, the Italian capital after the Azzuris defeated England’s Three Lions 1-1 (3-2 on penalties).
Consecutive misses from Marcos Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in a tension-soaked penalty shootout was what it took Italy to beat England and end a 53 years wait for a European Championship title on Sunday in Wembley. For England coach, Gareth Southgate, it was deja vu, as his penalty miss against Germany when they hosted in 1996 was what prevented the English team from making the final.
1: ‘E SHOCK YOU?’: Nigeria’s D’Tigers Stun US 90-87 In Pre-Olympic Exhibition
A Saturday night international Basketball shocker occurred in Las Vegas ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, as Nigeria’s D’Tigers beat the US 90-87. With the Tokyo Olympics expected to be kicking off in less than a month, any expectation of invincibility for the Americans heading into the Basketball competition is already gone.
Nigeria lost to the US at the 2012 Olympics by 83points, and then again four years later in an exhibition, that time by 44 points. But Saturday was going to be different as the Coach Mike Brown-led side held on to defeat the NBA-studded opposition – the first time an African side would ever achieve such feat.