Best of the Weekend: June 24-25

Vettel Hamilton press conference

There was a titanic tussle between Formula 1’s two leading lights this weekend in Azerbaijan which in the end saw both contenders fail to make the podium, but there were plenty of other winners as we round up the Best of the sporting Weekend.

Ricciardo wins amid rivals ruckus

Daniel Ricciardo was the main beneficiary of a right royal row between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku on Sunday.

Ricciardo snuck into the lead after the ‘clash of the titans’ left Hamilton and Vettel both in need of a time-out for different reasons.

Ferrari’s Vettel was slapped with a 10-second stop-and-go penalty by stewards after he made contact with Hamilton’s twice while under the Virtual Safety Car. First when he slammed into the back of Hamilton as he braked, and then again as Vettel drew alongside Hamilton’s Mercedes, bumping wheels and gesticulating at his title rival. Hamilton, meanwhile, had to pit to fix a loose headrest.

The delays left the affable Aussie a ‘shooey-in’ for the win and some more celebratory champagne shenanigans.

Lewis Hamilton later called Sebastian Vettel’s driving “disgusting” and “disrespectful.”

But for Formula 1 fans, disgusting and disrespectful translates as ‘exciting’, with most left hoping there is more to come.

The Doctor delivers a Dutch delight

The weekend’s other motorsport action saw Valentino Rossi return to form as he took the chequered flag in the Dutch TT at Assen.

The win was the 115th of the legendary Italian’s MotoGP career and puts him right back in the championship mix in third place.

Rossi now lies just seven points behind Leader Andrea Dovizioso and three behind Maverick Vinales in a congested title race.

Just what the doctor ordered!

Spieth’s super sand shot saves the day!

Jordan Spieth pulled off a sensational win at the Travelers Championship on Sunday as the 23-year old collected his 10th PGA Tour title with a playoff win over Daniel Berger.

Spieth found himself in a sand trap at the first playoff hole, but proceeded to hole the bunker shot for birdie as his disbelieving opponent watched on.

The win means Spieth becomes only the second player in modern golf to win 10 PGA titles before turning 24.

Pretty impressive stuff, finished off in impressive style, unless your name happens to be Daniel Berger!

Meanwhile, the LPGA Tour saw it first multiple winner of the year after Ryu Yeon So followed up her course-record 61 on Saturday with another great round of 69 to win the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship by two shots with a record low score of 18-under par.

The previous 15 tournaments on the tour had produced 15 different winners, although a staggering seven of them have been South Koreans.

Ryu’s win was her second after the first major of the year at the ANA Inspiration and sets her up perfectly for the second major of the year next week.

Ryu is also now the new world number one!

Federer and Kvitova look ready for London

Roger Federer continued to roll back the years on Sunday with a devastatingly efficient victory over young pretender Alexander Zverev at Halle.

Federer took home his ninth title in Germany and looked imperious as he prepares for the start of his favourite tournament Wimbledon next week.

The Swiss master is now the overwhelming favourite to pick up his eighth title in SW19 next month, and in this form it is hard to bet against him!

Another player now looking forward to Wimbledon is two-time ladies champion Petra Kvitova, who completed a remarkable comeback to win in Birmingham just six months after suffering a career-threatening injury in a knife attack.

Kvitova defeated Australia’s Ash Barty in three sets to claim the Aegon Classic even though she said she did not expect to win.

With no female player in dominant form ahead of the year’s third Grand Slam, a fairytale comeback for Kvitova in London could yet be on the cards.

UFC Oklahoma ends in controversy

Kevin Lee pulled off a career-defining win over Michael Chiesa at UFC Fight Night in Oklahoma on Sunday night, winning with a first-round submission – only it wasn’t.

Although the fight will go down as a win for Lee, most people will be talking about the referee after Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight early before Chiesa had tapped out after getting caught up in a rear naked choke.

Chiesa, and the crowd, were not happy about the decision – the latest in a string of controversial reffing decisions by Yamasaki – who was perhaps eager to make up for previous fights where he’s been criticised for not acting quickly enough.

Either way, Lee won, although he may just have to face Chiesa again in order to earn the bragging rights thanks to Yamasaki’s error.