There’s no let-up in the sporting calendar this week, as world-class golf, netball, cycling, baseball, rugby union, and football fill any void left by the conclusion of Wimbledon and the Cricket World Cup. The Tour de France continues, with an assortment of relentless stages. Golf’s oldest Major takes place in Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years. Elsewhere in the UK, the battle for Netball World Cup gold heats up. The final batch of competitive fixtures before the start of the Rugby World Cup take place and the greatest football team in Africa will be crowned in the African Cup of Nation’s final.
Cycling’s most prestigious race continues, with Stage 10 of the Tour de France.
The peloton tackle yet another gruelling stage, commencing in Saint-Flour and concluding 218 brutal kilometres later in Albi. Monday will be a real test for the lungs, as the majority of the stage takes place at 1000m above sea level. There is a flat run to the finish to look forward to, so if everything goes according to plan, this will be a stage for the sprinters. With the race for the yellow jersey still finely poised - Julian Alaphilippe, Giulio Ciccone, Thibaut Pinot, Geraint Thomas and a selection of other riders are still very much in contention - another crucial day of cycling awaits.
MLB action comes from the Yankee Stadium, as the highflying New York Yankees play the Tampa Bay Rays.
This is second match in a four-game series between the two sides at the summit of the AL East Division. The Rays had led the division after a red hot start to the season. However, they have since been pegged back by the Yankees, who now sit atop the AL East, with the Rays just behind them in second. The Yankees have been living up to their Bronx Bombers nickname this season and boast one of the hardest hitting offenses this season. Meanwhile, the Rays have some of the American League’s best pitching and have already beaten New York four times this season. This is going to be a clash that could have massive implications for the American League playoff race and one you won’t want to miss.
The Netball World Cup continues with a collection of group fixtures.
The tournament has already provided an electric start. Pre-tournament favourites Australia thrashed Northern Ireland 88-24 in their opening fixture. Hosts and Commonwealth gold medallists England made light work of Uganda, coming away with a 64-32 win, while highly fancied Jamaica were similarly dominant, beating Fiji 85-29. What will Wednesday serve up? Fast-paced, end to end and high scoring netball action is a guarantee.
The final Major of the golf season begins at Royal Portrush Golf Club, as Day 1 of the Open Championships gets underway.
Home favourite Rory McIlroy returns to the course where he broke the club record aged just 15. This is the first time the Open has been held at Portrush since 1951, therefore is a unique opportunity for McIlroy to win a Major at his home course. Brooks Koepka is highly fancied to do well, having enjoyed remarkable success over the last two years, winning consecutive US Open and PGA Championship titles. With the likes of Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods and Justin Rose also in action, a fabulous four days of golf are forecast.
The African Cup of Nations reaches its climax.
Friday sees a very exciting end to the Africa Cup of Nations. Senegal, appearing in their first final since finishing as runners up in 2002, will face Algeria, who appear in their first final since winning the tournament in 1990. Both teams are packed with talent, including a number of English Premier League stars. Both teams have worked hard to get here, overcoming bigger teams they were favoured to lose to. They have defied the odds to make it to the final. However, who will lift the trophy in Cairo? Be sure to tune in to find out.
Argentina play New Zealand in the annual Southern Hemisphere tournament, the Rugby Championship.
This year’s tournament schedule has been shortened due to the upcoming Rugby World Cup. New Zealand are due to rest a number of players who were in action for the victorious Crusaders in the Super Cup Final. As a result, Sam Cane is to captain the All Blacks in the absence of Kieran Read. The Crusaders beat Argentinian outfit the Jaguares, who throughout the season demonstrated how much rugby in Argentina is growing. With the Rugby World Cup creeping ever closer, Saturday’s game will be an exciting taster before September’s main event.
The destination of the final Major of the season will be determined in an exciting final day at the Open Championships.
Could Tiger Woods repeat his heroics of Augusta to secure a 16th Major and close in on Jack Nicklaus’s record? Will Brooks Koepka add the Open Championship title to his ever growing collection? Could Rory McIlroy secure a memorable Major at his home golf club? Or will the likes of Jon Rahm, Francesco Molinari and Justin Rose be in contention? After the final day drama of the Masters in April, expect a day of twists and turns before the winner gets their hands on the prestigious Claret Jug.
Riders will continue to rack up the kilometres in the saddle, as the Tour de France continues throughout the week. The big County Championship fixture between Yorkshire and Somerset concludes on Monday and Tuesday. Netball World Cup action is a constant throughout the week in Liverpool. The sole Test Match in the Women’s Ashes takes place in Taunton, with Australia currently running away with the Series. The summer of cricket shows no signs of slowing down, as the T20 Blast begins across the UK. Dillian Whyte takes on the undefeated Oscar Rivas in Heavyweight Division Boxing, whilst Keith Thurman goes toe to toe with Manny Pacquiao for the WBC Welterweight Title. The annual commemoration of the 2012 Olympics takes place at the London Stadium, with a weekend of Diamond League Athletics known as the Anniversary Games.
A world-class week of sport awaits. Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Le Tour De France, Julian Alaphilippe, Yankees, Aussie Diamonds, The Open, Africa Cup of Nations, All Blacks
Written and information accurate on 14th July at 10pm GMT
See what else is happening in the world of sport