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Sports

July 14, 2018

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Soccer WC, Wimbledon champs to be decided Here comes the ‘Big Sunday’

ISLAMABAD: The ‘Big Sunday’ is coming up. July 15, 2018 would be an extraordinary day for sports when the two champions would emerge on two different playing fields.

The soccer field would see favourite France taking on the surprise package of the extravaganza – Croatia - in what could be billed in a final that was never on cards when predictions started pouring in ahead of the start of the mega show.

Before the soccer final would kick off at Luzhniki Stadium Moscow at 11pm (PST), in all probabilities we would be knowing well with so much excitement who is new king of Wimbledon in absence of all time great Roger Federer, who was knocked out in the quarter-finals from virtually winning position.

But let us first peep into the World Cup of upsets that saw one after another quality team tumbling out, some even as early as in the first round, leaving their fans in utter disbelief and shock.

Defending champions Germany got second shock of the preliminary rounds when outsiders Korea sent them packing. Earlier, Mexico had better of them to put them on the brink. Second defeat in three matches and that too against World Cup minnows Korea threw the field open for the rest.

Then came Argentina’s turn; Unfortunately the South American team set the date in round of sixteen against a team that is now ranked favorite to win the World Cup. France put curtains on an outfit that even had the services of goal scoring machine Lionel Messi. That machine never got going in the World Cup resulting in early exit of Argentina that was heavily dependent on Messi.

The football powerhouse Brazil was the next casualty. The country that has produced so many legends in the past went tumbling out in the quarter-finals losing to another fast improving soccer nation Belgium. The soccer World Cup quarterfinals also broke the heart of host nation Russia. Though Russian team showed promise at the outset, handling pressure at the crunch time turned out to be a difficult proposition for inexperience side.

Few would have predicted about the World Cup final teams that would see France playing against Croatia in a dream battle for title.

The Big Sunday would also throw up Federer’s successor in Wimbledon. A record eight time Wimbledon champion tasted a rare defeat at his favorite grass surface as South African Kevin Anderson edged past him in a five-set thriller to win a place in a semis. Unlike soccer World Cup where favourites bowed down meekly, in Wimbledon top seed and one of all time great Federer took Anderson down to the wire and even had two match points before succumbing to fatigue and exhaustion. The 37-year old aging tennis icon even had tried to make it a real battle against a much younger opponent.

So those who have been waiting for quality international sports, this Sunday provides them with everything. Stay glued to your TV sets as missing a minute would make a sports lover repent.

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