Clash of the titans: sporting rivalries in 2017

Clash of the titans: sporting rivalries in 2017

The biggest and fiercest rivalries in sport are built over years of close competition

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England v Australia

This year’s Ashes series in Australia promises to be one of the hardest fought in its history as the two sides are on level pegging, having both won and lost 32 matches and drawn five since the international clash began in 1883. England currently hold the prized trophy after an outstanding win at Edgbaston in 2015 thanks to an epic spell from Stuart Broad but after poor form in India at the end of 2016, they’ll have to work hard to retain the urn against a strong Australian side.

The story of the ashes began in 1882 when England were beaten at home for the first time by Australia. The defeat shocked the sporting world so much that The Sporting Time printed a satirical obituary for English cricket, saying the body should be cremated and the ashes sent to Australia. One of the bails was subsequently burnt and the ashes were put in an urn which was given to the Australian team.

Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic

Throughout history, top-flight tennis has created a number of fierce on-court rivalries, but few have been as sustained and dramatic as the battle between Murray and Djokovic. With only one week between them in age, the pair have been playing each other ever since they attended the same training camp as juniors and now meet each other in the final rounds at the biggest tournaments.

Since their first professional match in Madrid in 2006, they have met in 19 tour finals, including seven Grand Slams, and Djokovic leads 11-8. However, the tide may be turning in Murray’s favour and we expect the heat to build this year after the Scotsman toppled the Serbian from the world number one spot at the end of 2016.

If you’d like to see either player in action, contact us to discuss tickets options to all the major tournaments this year, including Wimbledon and the ATP World Tour Finals at The O2. We have access to debenture, hospitality and travel packages.

El Clásico

Real Madrid v Barcelona is arguably the fiercest rivalry in club football, between sides from Spain’s two largest cities. Featuring many of the greatest footballers to ever have played the beautiful game, every intense encounter is watched by billions around the world.

There have been 232 matches between the pair – the first in May 1902 – and Real hold a slender advantage with 93 wins to Barcelona’s 90. Since the turn of the millennium the rivalry seems to have stepped up a notch with Real’s policy of signing ‘galácticos’ in stark contrast to Barcelona’s philosophy of producing homegrown talent. On the pitch, the battle of the attacking trios makes every game a hard-fought battle, with Messi, Suarez and Neymar trying to out-do Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The next meeting will take place at Madrid’s Bernabéu stadium on 23 April – contact us to discuss general ticket sales, hospitality options and travel packages.

Cambridge v Oxford

The 163th Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race takes place on Sunday 2 April, starting at Putney Bridge and ending at Mortlake, between Kew and Barnes. The race was first held when Charles Merivale of Cambridge University challenged Oxford’s Charles Wordsworth in 1829. Since then, Oxford has won 79 times and Cambridge 82, there has been one dead heat and a total of six sinkings. Whichever of the blues you’re supporting this year, we know all the best points and venues to catch the best of the action.

Putney Bridge and the Embankment – which stretches half a mile up the Thames – are great places to see the start of the race, with views up to the Fulham bend. A 10-minute walk further up on the south side, the concrete landing stage at Barn Elms Boathouse allows spectators to get close to the boats as they head for the Mile Post, but be sure to wear wellies as the wake can cause wet feet otherwise. Chiswick Bridge, situated just past the finish line, is a fantastic spot to catch the thrilling final minutes of the race.

Pictured: photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for JEANRICHARD

Last updated on 16 February 2017


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