Major sporting events to look forward to in 2020
The year 2019 was highly anticipated by cricket fans, as it marked the return of the quadrennial ICC event – the ODI World Cup.
The final of the tournament between England and New Zealand was unarguably the most talked about game of the year gone by, but the calendar was marked by many other sporting events too: the four tennis grand slams – Wimbledon in particular, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup among others.
A New Year has dawned upon us, so here’s listing out the major sporting events to look ahead to in 2020.
The first Grand Slam of the year and the 108th edition of the Australian Open will be played from January 20 to February 2 at the Melbourne Park. Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic are the defending champions in Women's Singles and Men's Singles, respectively. In the Men’s Doubles, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut are the current champions, and their female counterparts are Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup
The 11th edition of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup will be played from February 21 to March 8 in Australia. The 10-team tournament will be played in the Robin Round and Knockout format. The hosts, who have won the coveted silverware four times, are the defending champions, while India and England are the other strong contenders of the trophy.
World Snooker Championship
The most prestigious snooker tournament in the world – The World Snooker Championship – which was first played in 1927, will be returning for its 86th edition this year. For starters, the competition is slotted for the same time each year – starting in April, it is played across 17 consecutive days with the final scheduled for the first Monday in May (May Day). Like every year, the championship will be played from April 18 to May 4 (May Day) in England. The title defender is Englishman Judd Trump.
The biggest sporting event in France – the Roland Garros - is the second Grand Slam of 2020. The 124th edition of the extravaganza will be played from May 24 to June 7 at Stade Roland-Garros in Paris. Rafael Nadal is the current champion in the men’s singles mix, while Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies in the doubles. Coming to the women, Ashleigh Barty will be defending the title in the Women’s Singles, while Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic are the current champions in Women’s Doubles.
Tour de France
Cycling is yet to become one of the most-watched sports in the world, but for lovers of the two-wheeler, the tournament cannot be omitted from this list. This will be the 107th edition of Tour de France, one among cycling’s three grand tours. The tour will begin from Nice and span across June 27 to July 19. Colombia’s Egan Bernal is the defending champion.
The oldest and the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon will return for its 134th edition in 2020 in London. It will be played from June 29 to July 12. The current champions are – Novak Djokovic in the Men’s Singles, Simona Halep in the Women’s Singles, Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah in the Men’s Doubles and Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strýcová in the Women’s Doubles.
Tokyo Summer Olympics
The biggest sporting event of 2020 is the Olympics, which is back with its 29th edition to be held in Tokyo, Japan from July 24 to August 9. As many as 206 nations are expected to participate in the event and an estimate of 339 events in 33 sports to take place. Freestyle BMX, Madison Cycling and 3x3 Basketball will be making their debut in the prestigious event.
Tokyo Summer Paralympics
The 16th edition of the Tokyo Summer Paralympics – a multinational sporting event for the specially-abled athletes – will be played from August 25 to September 6 in Tokyo, Japan. 4400 athletes are expected to participate in the event which will see an estimated 540 events in 22 sports. Badminton and Taekwondo are the new entrants in the competition this year.
The fourth and the last Grand Slam of the year is the US Open, to be played in New York, the United States from August 31 to September 13. The title defenders for the 140th edition are – Rafael Nadal in the Men’s Singles and Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah in the Men’s Doubles. In the women’s category, Bianca Andreescu won the Women’s Singles in 2019, while Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka won the Women’s Doubles.
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
The seventh edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be played from October 18 to November 15 in Australia. 16 teams will fight it out for the most coveted trophy in cricket’s shortest format. A total of 45 games will be played across various venues in the country, with West Indies looking to defend their title.
Please see: Other notable events in 2020 include the various Grand Prix, The Champions League, the La Liga, the ATP Cup and the Asian Championships.
For sports lovers in India, the major sporting events except for the ones aforementioned are these: Hobart International (Badminton), India vs New Zealand and Indian Premier League (cricket), FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, Indian Super League and AFC Cup (Football)
So mark your calendars already!