Novak Djokovic was having to repeatedly dismiss rumours that his best was behind him and then he arrived at Wimbledon. 18 months ago, Rory McIlroy was made a very rich man by Nike but his career was apparently over. And as recently as May, the German football team could only dream of being the first European nation to win the FIFA World Cup on South American soil.
Now, Djokovic and the Duke of Kent are reacquainted, Mcilroy is one of the most popular winners in the history of The Open and not one word of dissent has been heard over Germany's world champion status.
FIFA's Brazilian football extravaganza proved to be a surprising sporting treat . Off the pitch political and social issues didn't affect the matches themselves. It was a glorious showcase for the highest level of the beautiful game where even the rare goalless draws were entertaining. Luis Suarez and his teeth, England's impotence, the Spanish Inquisition and the home nations latter-stage meltdowns were talking points but they didn't overshadow matters for long. Germany earned themselves a well deserved fourth star above the crest on their shirts.
2 months ago the Northern Irish, former world number one golfer was still trying to explain that his game was "close". Cynical journalists were writing him off as a burnt out prodigy. Whether his sudden Facebook relationship status change was relevant or not, he immediately won the flagship European Tour event at Wentworth and now has the grandest title of them all, Open Champion. It would be a foolish pundit who didn't suggest this years Race To Dubai is now his to win again.
The Serbian national hero with a racquet was quietly building up a recent history of runner-up medals. The return to action of Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray's ability to close out a couple of Grand Slam finals, was forcing Djokovic to reassess his own mortality. But facing arguably the greatest player of all time on the famous grass of centre court, he overcame Roger Federer in an epic and put himself back into the serious tennis conversations.
I would include Lewis Hamilton's British Grand Prix win here were it not for the fact that this season more than any previously, the engineers seem to be the talent in Formula One. Mercedes mechanics won the championship before the first race of the season got the green light.
But in a year so far where underdogs and unknowns have often been the story, it's reassuring to me when the favourite does indeed come through as the winner. Anyone can win once, but to stay at the top and even comeback after a dip in form, takes true talent.
Graham is the TV Sports anchor for Emirates News, every night on Dubai One.
Interested in all aspects of sport and keen for local events to gain publicity and support. Lucky enough to have interviewed a lot of big names such as Beckham, Charlton, Viera, Federer, Murray, Montgomerie, Westwood, Botham, Ponting and Flintoff to name a few.
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