Hockey, tennis, soccer: Summer 2011 in sports

The Tech looks back on what you might have missed in the world of pro sports

This past summer was an eventful time in professional sports. From the French Open in June to the PGA Championship in August, champions were crowned in everything from tennis to soccer to golf. Here’s a summary of some of the notable results from the past three months.

June 5: Paris, France — Tennis: Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer in four closely-fought sets (7-5, 7-6, 5-7, 6-1) to win his sixth French Open. The victory marked Nadal’s 10th grand slam title, bringing him closer to Federer’s record of 16 men’s Grand Slam singles titles.

June 12: Dallas, TX — Basketball: The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat, 105-95, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win their first championship. Incapable of living up to the championship hype of their star-studded team this year, the Heat hope to prove to their fans that this is just a beginning, not an ending.

June 15: Vancouver, Canada — Hockey: The Boston Bruins triumphed over the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. After the home team won each of the first six games, the Bruins found a way to steal Game 7 in Vancouver and become NHL champions. The loss came to the serious dismay of some Canuck fans, as evidenced by the riots and fires which ensued on Vancouver’s streets.

June 19: Bethesda, MD — Golf: Twenty-two year old Irishman Rory McIlroy won the U.S. Open with a comfortable eight stroke advantage over second place finisher John Day of Australia. After a couple of top finishes at the British Open and the PGA Championship, this marks McIlroy’s first major championship.

June 25: Pasadena, CA — Soccer: Mexico defeated the U.S. (4-2) in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which included teams from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. At one point in the match, the U.S. had a 2-0 lead, but it was unable to maintain the advantage, conceding four goals before the final whistle sounded.

July 3: London, England — Tennis: Novak Djokovic defeated defending champion Rafael Nadal (6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3) in a tough, long-rallied four-set match to win his first Wimbledon title. Djokovic is having a phenomenal year, as evidenced by his 57-2 singles match record. Having won the Australian Open this year as well, Djokovic hopes to win his third Grand Slam this year at the U.S. Open, which started on August 29.

July 10: Mexico City, Mexico — Soccer: Mexico defeated Uruguay 2-0 in the finals to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Julio Gomez, star mid-fielder for Mexico and winner of the tournament’s Adidas Golden Ball (the most valuable player), led his team to the finals by scoring twice against Germany in the semifinal despite suffering a bloody head injury. Although this prevented him from starting in the finals, he did attract the admiration of the fans, who wore bandages over their heads to recognize his intense play and honor him.

July 17: Frankfurt, Germany — Soccer: Japan rallied back, after being down twice in regulation, to defeat the U.S. in penalty kicks (3-1) to become FIFA Women’s World Cup champions. The U.S. showed to be a strong team from the brilliant play of forward Abby Wambach and goalie Hope Solo throughout the tournament, but could not finish on several promising opportunities and fell short in the finals.

July 22: Sandwich, England — Golf: Darren Clarke won the 2011 British Open with a three-stroke lead over second-place finisher Phil Mickelson. Before this victory, Clarke had not competed in a major in ten years, was not eligible for the previous three majors, and was not even ranked in the top 100.

July 24: Paris, France — Cycling: Cadel Evans of Australia won the 98th Tour de France with a time of 86 hours, 12 minutes, and 22 seconds in the 23-day race. Finishing in second and third, respectively, were Andy and Frank Schleck, brothers from Luxembourg.

July 31: Indianapolis, IN — Auto racing: Paul Menard held off four-time Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon by about .725 seconds to win the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Averaging just over 140 mph, Menard earned his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory.

August 14: Johns Creek, GA — Golf: Keegan Bradley outplayed fellow American Jason Dufner in a playoff to win the PGA Championship. Starting the year ranked number 329 in the world, Bradley contributed to his sudden rise to No. 29 with this victory.

August 20: Bogota, Colombia — Soccer: Brazil defeated Portugal (3-2) in the finals to win the FIFA U-20 World Cup. This venue boasted one of the most festive atmospheres in the history of the U-20 tournament, breaking the previous record with over 1.3 million spectators.