It has been a wild ride for sports fans through the first five months of the 2022 calendar, making score predictions challenging to assess. We’re not even halfway through the year, and there have already been significant upsets in prominent events and many other memorable moments.
The Olympic Winter Games in China were held as scheduled despite concerns about whether the event would take place. Those Games involved incredible moments for the world’s premier amateur athletes, but the world of professional sports has provided equally memorable moments.
Nadal Wins Record-Breaking 21st Grand Slam
Entering the 2021 Australian Open in January, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic were tied with 20 career Grand Slam victories. These three legends have dominated the sport for more than 15 years, barely allowing other players to have even so much as a sniff at a Grand Slam title.
Federer, unfortunately, underwent surgery after Wimbledon in 2021 and is still sidelined. That left only Djokovic and Nadal on the field with the chance to compete for a record 21st Grand Slam.
Djokovic, the tournament’s defending champion, was later ruled ineligible to compete due to not being vaccinated against COVID-19. Nadal took advantage of both players’ absence and reached the final, where he defeated Russian Daniil Medvedev in an epic, come-from-behind, five-set battle (2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5).
Nadal later cemented his edge over Djokovic with a victory over the Serbian tennis star in the quarter-finals of the 2022 French Open.
Rams Win Super Bowl LVI
The Los Angeles Rams won its first Super Bowl since relocating from St. Louis to California and second in franchise history at Super Bowl LVI. While the absence of Tom Brady (and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers) was noticeable, the game between the Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, led by second-year quarterback Joe Burrow, gave NFL fans a fresh and exciting matchup.
Burrow emerged as a star during the regular season and appeared ready to take the next step in his career and lead the once-lowly Bengals to its first Super Bowl; the team lost in Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XXIII. Yet, it was Matt Stafford who led the Rams to a come-from-behind 23-20 victory.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp scored the game-winning touchdown with just over a minute left to play and was named Super Bowl LVI MVP.
Scottie Scheffler’s Victory at Augusta
The betting favorite rarely comes into a golf tournament and wins it relatively easily, especially when that tournament is The Masters at Augusta National. Yet, that’s just what world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler did at the 86th Master’s Tournament from April 7-10.
Scheffler had only won his first PGA Tour event two months prior at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. However, he won two more occasions (the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play) before the Masters.
Scheffler held a record-tying five-stroke lead following the second round and maintained the lead until the end of the tournament. He faced opposition from Australian Cameron Smith in the final round but pulled away on the back nine to record a three-stroke victory.
Real Madrid Win 14th Champions League Final
The UEFA Champions League, previously known as the European Cup, is the premier tournament to crown the best football (or soccer, if you’re American) team in Europe. The event has been held annually (with some exceptions) since 1955 to 56.
Spanish side Real Madrid won each of the first five European Cups and claimed its 14th UEFA Champions League title on May 28 with a 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Stade de France in Saint-Denis, France, before 75,000 fans. Real Madrid also beat Liverpool in the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League final, while Liverpool won its fourth title in 2018-19.
The final match was an intense battle that was scoreless at the half and featured great saves by both keepers. Brazilian Vinícius Júnior etched his name into the record books by scoring the winning goal in the 59th minute of the second half.