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My sporting month: July 2010

With the World Cup nearing its conclusion and the start of the new Premier League season over a month away, July is still a busy month in the sporting world which includes The Open golf and the start of a Test series against Pakistan (who will warm up for this by playing two Tests against Australia in England first).

Here are the top five sporting events that I will be watching over the coming month:

1. Wimbledon men’s and ladies’ singles finals (3rd & 4th)

Andy Murray will face Rafael Nadal for a place in Sunday's men's singles final (image courtesy of Ian D)

We have been spoilt watching the men’s singles finals over the past two years, with two epic matches between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (in 2008) and Andy Roddick (last year) ranking among the greatest spectacles the championships have ever seen. With both Roddick and Federer gone, will Andy Murray ever have a better opportunity?

The ladies’ tournament, however, is overdue a great final. The last three have been won by either Venus or Serena Williams, with the most recent two being all-Williams affairs. Nothing against the sisters, but I’m glad it won’t be three in a row this year.

2. Tour de France (starts 3rd, ends 25th)

Defending champion Alberto Contador

The crown jewel in the cycling calendar celebrates 100 years of racing in the Pyrenees this year with four torturous stages taking in many of its most famous climbs, including two ascents of the famous Col du Tourmalet. Defending champion Alberto Contador looked in ominous form at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné.

British interest will be fuelled by Bradley Wiggins, who leads Sky‘s maiden Tour challenge, and green jersey contender Mark Cavendish, winner of ten stages over the past two Tours.

You can find parts 1 and 2 of my four-part race preview here and here.

3. World Cup final (11th)

Naturally. My pre-tournament prediction was for Holland to beat Argentina in the final. It remains a possibility. Then again, I also had England down as semi-finalists. D’oh!

Read my thoughts on England’s exit from the World Cup via the following links:

England players must shoulder blame as Germany tame Three Lions

Something is rotten in the state of England

My ten-week, ten-point plan for avoiding Euro 2012 disaster

Lewis Hamilton (image courtesy of Paul Woolrich)

4. British Grand Prix (11th)

Silverstone has produced some dull races in recent years, but the current closeness of the field and the championship battle – just 24 points (i.e. less than a race win) separate the top four –  should ensure an unpredictable weekend, with Britain’s McLaren pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button likely to feature at the front end.

5. England v Pakistan, First Test (starts 29th)

The opening instalment of an intriguing four-Test series should be a closely-fought affair between two evenly-matched sides who are as flawed as they are talented. England remain a work in progress, and the selection and subsequent performance of the team will provide some crucial pointers towards the composition of the Ashes squad for this coming winter.

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About Tim
Father of three. Bit of a geek. That's all, folks.

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