The global world of sport never rests, with the worldwide calendar packed full of events across a host of international locations – January is no exception. As the rest of the world recovers from the Christmas festivities, sports stars and teams across the globes gear up for the start of the brand new year.
To this end, we have selected three of the most exciting events from January’s international calendar, covering a diverse range of sports including American football, tennis and the underrated rugby sevens:
Let’s start in the States, where the College Football Play-off National Championship will be contested on 9th January. This bowl game is used to determine a national college champion for the 2016 season, with the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide set to challenge for the ultimate prize.
The game will be plated at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, while it is also the third College National Championship to have been contested since the concept was first introduced. The anticipation surrounding the event highlights the popularity of college football in the U.S., with a large national audience expected to tune in live.
Arguably the stellar sporting event of January 2017, the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia marks the first Grand Slam of the year and will challenge the world’s best tennis players to produce their very best form. Both the men’s and the women’s titles should be keenly contested this year too, particularly with Novak Djokovic having recently been usurped as the dominant male player and Angelique Kerber now established as the top-performing female.
So while the brilliant Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic remain favourites for the Australian Open, players such as Milos Raonic and the often-unplayable Stan Wawrinka will also contend for honours. Similarly, Serena Williams will be keen to wrestle Kerber on the court, while Britain’s-own Johanna Konta will hope to challenge for her first major title after breaching the top 10 in the world.
As the Australian Open draws to a close, the third tournament of the 2016/17 Rugby World Sevens series will commence in Wellington. This is the eighteenth edition of the Wellington Sevens instalment, and one that will see a total of 16 teams compete at the Westpac Stadium in New Zealand.
Across two days, we will 24 action-packed matches take place as eight teams look to secure a quarter-final spot and avoid elimination. This is certainly a popular location for anyone who likes to travel while enjoying their favourite sports, while the frenetic pace of sevens rugby will make for a stunning spectacle.