Weekend Talking Points: Dons lead cupsets, as Djok, Osaka and Rose win
We round-up all the weekend’s sporting action
A busy weekend of sport saw Premier League clubs go tumbling in the FA Cup, England get a humbling in the West Indies and Novak Djokovic land a record-breaking seventh Australian Open.
There was also success for Naomi Osaka and Justin Rose, while Cheltenham Trials Day gave us plenty of pointers ahead of the Festival in March. You can read about it all in this weekend’s talking points.
Dons lead the way in weekend of Cupsets
20 Premier League clubs entered the FA Cup at the third round stage. 13 have already been eliminated. Arsenal, Burnley, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur are amongst the latest batch of sides to be sent packing from the competition.
That quartet all suffered defeats by fellow top-flight opposition. The same cannot be said of West Ham United and Everton. The Hammers were humbled 4-2 by League One side AFC Wimbledon, while Everton were downed 3-2 by Millwall at The Den.
Djokovic and Osaka do the business Down Under
Can anyone stop Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka? Judging by the weekend’s Australian Open Finals it would seem not. Djok racked up a straight sets victory over Rafael Nadal to make it a record seven tournament wins Down Under, while Osaka won in three sets against 8th seed Petra Kvitova.
It means the pair have each won the last two Grand Slam titles in the Men’s and Women’s Singles competitions. Can they make it three apiece at the French Open in May? Djokovic is 15/8 for Roland Garros success, with Osaka an 8/1 shot behind Simona Halep and Serena Williams.
England’s travel sickness strikes again
There’s not been a great deal for the Barmy Army to shout about of late. England’s surrender against the West Indies was just the latest in a long line of disappointing performances overseas.
A first innings collapse of 77 set the tone for a contest in which England’s dismal bowling performance allowed Jason Holder to bag a double hundred as the Windies racked up 628. Stuart Board is likely to be recalled as a result, with the Three Lions 8/15 to win the next Test.
Rose wins to break Faldo’s record
There was added significance to Justin Rose’s two-shot victory at the Farmers Insurance Open over the weekend. It meant the Englishman surpassed Sir Nick Faldo’s tally of nine PGA Tour victories, moving him onto ten for his career.
Rose carded a final total of -21 to leave him two in-front of Adam Scott and five ahead of Hideki Matsuyama and Talor Gooch, both of whom carded -16. He’s now 12/1 to win the Masters in April.
More Cheltenham pointers after Trials Day
Can you hear that? That’s the sound of the Cheltenham roar drawing closer. There’s still plenty of time to go between now and 12th March. But Trials Day on Saturday gave us plenty of interesting pointers ahead of the Festival.
Frodon and Bryony Frost were as game as ever to win the Cotswold Chase and leave Paul Nicholls to contemplate a potential Gold Cup tilt, where his raider is now 16/1.
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