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Posted at: Jul 16, 2019, 6:44 AM; last updated: Jul 16, 2019, 6:44 AM (IST)

Super Sunday in London

Cricket, tennis touch new heights
Super Sunday in London

Two venerable sporting arenas in London, situated within miles of each other, became theatres of the amazing on Sunday, and a winner was picked only because there was only one trophy to be presented. At Lord’s, England edged New Zealand after the match was tied at 241 runs each, and then the resultant Super Over tiebreak was tied too, with the two teams at 15 runs each. England were named the winners because their batsmen had hit more boundaries than New Zealand’s — 26 against 17. Late evening at Lord’s, lit by the rays of the setting sun, saw heartbreak for New Zealand, on the basis of the flimsiest of margins. England celebrated their first win in the World Cup, ending a wait that dates back to 1975; New Zealand’s own 44-year wait for the World Cup must extend by at least another four years, when the tournament will be played in India.

Even as this glorious contest was being fought at Lord’s, another tense, nail-biting encounter was taking place a few miles down south in London, at Wimbledon. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer fought blow for blow for close to five hours before the final set, match and tournament were decided — through, yes, a tie-breaker. Djokovic, the unflappable Serb, won 6-7(5) 6-1 6-7(4) 6-4 13-12(3) in a match that lasted four hours and 57 minutes, the longest-ever final at Wimbledon. Eleven years ago, Rafael Nadal — the third man in this incredible troika — had beaten Federer in five sets in the final, in four hours and 48 minutes. That match is often called the greatest match in tennis — the 2019 final had everything to rival the 2008 clash. The golden troika of tennis is still going strong, and sport’s lovers must cherish this.

The beauty of sport was in full display. Rivals fought hard and fair, the spectators went through a churn of emotions as they witnessed two epic encounters. The winners were magnanimous in victory, the losers gracious in defeat. But everyone deserved the winner’s trophy, because sport won in London on Sunday.

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