Best of the Weekend – April 29-30

Bayern 1 Bundesliga champions

Valtteri Bottas broke his F1 duck in Russia, while Rafael Nadal continued to excel in Barcelona. See who else hit the sporting heights this weekend as we round up the Best of the Weekend.

Bottas finds the inning Formula

After 81 races Valtteri Bottas finally broke through and won his first Grand Prix, taking the chequered flag in Russia in a result that no one had expected.

With most pundits expecting Ferrari to win, Bottas took everyone by surprise, including Mercedes’ own Niki Lauda, with the win.

The Iceman kept his cool to hold off Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages and make it to the top step of the podium for a change. He also threw a cat among the pigeons in an ever intriguing 2017 driver’s championship race.

Here’s to more wins, Valtteri

Bayern bag the Bundesliga – again!

From a surprise winner to an expected one. FC Bayern Munich wrapped up a fifth consecutive Bundesliga championship on Saturday when they smashed Wolfsburg for six after nearest rivals Leipzig could only draw with Ingolstadt earlier in the day.

It’s been a disappointing couple of weeks for Carlo Ancelotti’s side following exits from the DFB-Pokal Cup and, more importantly, the Champions League, so it was nice to wrap up the league in style.

Still, that style may still not be good enough to keep Ancelotti his job as the Champions League was the real prize in the minds of Bayern’s top brass.

We await news with bated breath.

Chelsea close in on Championship

Over the in EPL, leaders Chelsea took another step closer to the title with a scrappy 3-0 win (is that even possible?) at Everton.

A poor game sprang into life with Pedro’s screamer and the Blues never looked back after that.

Still, Spurs kept up the pressure with a convincing win over north London rivals Arsenal on Sunday, but it’s looking increasingly likely that Antonio Conte’s men will be the one’s celebrating on May 21.

Joshua delivers

The most-hyped fight in a while actually lived up to the hype on Saturday as young pretender Anthony Joshua and grizzled veteran Wladimir Klitchsko duked it out for 11 rounds at Wembley.

Both men hit the canvas in early rounds during an epic fight, but it was Joshua who eventually prevailed when he caught Klitschko with a superb upper cut to send the Ukrainian to the canvas in the 11th before finishing him off for the win.

Joshua added the WBA belt to his IBF title and then the talk turned to who he would fight next. Former champ and current trainwreck Tyson Fury was mentioned as a possible candidate, but given his recent past we’ll believe that when we see it.

In the meantime. Well done, Mr. Joshua!

‘Clayface’ Rafa smashes rivals

’King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal continued his superb start to the clay-court season with a stunning victory over Dominic Thiem at the Barcelona Open – his second title in a row and 10th win at the tournament.

Nadal looks in tip-top form on his favourite surface and in this frame of mind it would be a fool who would bet against him collecting yet another Roland Garros title on June 11.

Win or not in France, Rafa is guaranteed to make a splash!

Meanwhile, on the WTA Elina Svitolina took home her third title of the year with a win in Istanbul. The up-and-coming Ukrainian overpowered Elise Mertens of Belgium in straight sets to remain in the running in the Race to Singapore.

Hope to see you in Singapore, Elina!

In Stuttgart, Maria Sharapova’s conqueror Kristina Mladenovic couldn’t quite make it over the finish line, losing to Germany’s Laura Siegemund in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix.

Nomura ‘holds em’ off in Texas

Out on the greens, Japan’s Haru Nomura tamed her own demons and the Texan winds to win the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout.

Nomura led by five shots at the turn but dropped six shots coming home to lose the lead to Cristie Kerr, only managing to scrape into a playoff with a final-hole birdie.

She repeated that feat on the 18th at the sixth attempt in the playoff to edge Kerr and claim her third LPGA title.

Another playoff winner was France’s Alexander Levy, who claimed victory in the Volvo China Open after South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli frittered away a four-shot lead.

Super ‘Rea’ dominates Superbikes

On the track, Jonathan Rea continued his utter dominance of the World Superbike championships with another double at the TT Circuit Assen in Holland.

Rea now has seven wins out of eight this season and looks an odds on favourite to retain his title for a third year in succession.

There is not even a ‘Rea’ of hope for his rivals.

Oh, and by the way Rea also clocked up his 200th win in Superbikes!

Congratulations, Jonathan!