It’s been a big year for sport, with several notable successes for both teams and individuals in 2011. England’s cricketers started a year of games with an historic win down under, securing the Ashes on Australian soil for the first time in 24 years.
In football, Manchester United once again lifted the Premiership crown, though Alex Ferguson’s team missed out on the Champions League, losing to a fantastic Barcelona 3-1 in the final at Wembley. In the FA Cup, Manchester City announced their arrival in the big time, beating plucky Stoke City 1-0 in the final.
In tennis, Andy Murray enjoyed a successful year but failed to win a Grand Slam, despite reaching the final of the Australian and the French Open and the semi final of Wimbledon and the US Open. On the court, 2011 belonged to Novak Djoković, who not only became World Number 1, but won the every Grand Slam apart from the French, marking one of the most successful seasons in tennis history. In one of the biggest surprises of the year, China’s Li Na won the women’s title at the French Open, becoming the first player from Asia to win a grand slam.
In golf, Northern Ireland's Rory Mcilroy secured his first 'major' win, lifting the trophy at the US Open. Mcilroy’s victory was soon followed by similar heroics by fellow countryman Darren Clarke, who won the Open Championship at the age of 42.
On the track, it was a disappointing season for Lewis Hamilton, despite victories in Abu Dhabi and China. Germany’s Sebastian Vettel won his second F1 Championship in a row driving for Red Bull.
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Heavyweight boxing continues to be a sport devoid of the true stars of yesteryear, but Ukrainian giant Wladimir Klitschko put on a good show against Britain’s David Haye in Hamburg in a one-sided unification bout during the summer.
Despite being disqualified in the 100 metres final for a false start, Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, still managed to set a world record in the 4x100 relay at the Athletics World Championships in Daegu.