From the moment Andy Murray announced his premature ‘retirement’ from tennis in early January, it has proved to be a rollercoaster of emotions in the sporting world throughout 2019.
Tiger Woods completed an emotional comeback to the top of world golf by winning his fifth Masters title in April, his first major in 11 years, before England triumphed over New Zealand at Lord’s in the first of two World Cup final appearances in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Ben Stokes dominated the summer and grabbed the limelight with a redemptive hundred against Australia at Headingley, while there was finally global success for Katarina Johnson-Thompson at the Athletics World Championships in Doha.
Lewis Hamilton became the second-most decorated Formula One driver of all time with his third successive world title, moving just one behind the legendary Michael Schumacher.
And in December Anthony Joshua bounced back from his shock defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr in New York by beating the Mexican in a rematch in Saudi Arabia to reclaim his belts. Sportsmail take a look back through an eventful year in pictures…
Nine jockeys pictured racing in the Liwa 2019 Moreeb Dune Festival in the Liwa desert on New Year’s Day, 2019. The festival attracts participants from around the Gulf region and hosts a variety of races including cars, bikes, falcons, camels and horses aimed at promoting the country’s folklore.
Andy Murray breaks down in tears during a press conference on January 11. The former world No 1 said: ‘I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months. I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I’m not certain I can do that.’ He feared the Australian Open would be his last tournament but he underwent hip resurfacing surgery later that month. He returned to win the doubles title at Queen’s with Feliciano Lopez before beating Stan Wawrinka in Antwerp to win the European Trophy, his first ATP Tour singles in over two years.
Cardiff City CEO Ken Choo pays tribute to Emiliano Sala on January 25, outside the Cardiff City Stadium. The 28-year-old’s private jet taking him from his old club Nantes to Cardiff crashed into the Channel on the night of January 21. After an initial three-day search was abandoned, two subsequent private searches resulted in the discovery of the wreckage on February 3. Sala’s body was recovered four days later as tributes poured in across the world of sport.
A black and white image shows Mohamed Salah walking onto the pitch before Liverpool’s clash with West Ham in February. Jurgen Klopp’s side were held to a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium and were beaten to the title by Manchester City by a single point.
A pile-up of cars at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17
A shot of German skier Johannes Rydzek leaping off the slope during ski jumping training for the Nordic Combined ahead of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships on February 19 in Innsbruck, Austria
Football fans pay their respects in memory of Gordon Banks at the bet365 Stadium ahead of the former England goalkeeping legend’s funeral on March 4 in Stoke. Banks won 73 caps for his country in a career spanning 20 years and was part of England’s World Cup winning side of 1966.
Fireworks are let off during the opening ceremony of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 3. After months of delays, Spurs finally moved into their state-of-the-art 62,303-seater stadium and beat Crystal Palace 1-0 thanks to a goal from Son-Heung min in their first home game since leaving White Hart Lane in May 2017. The entire project cost £1billion.
Tiger Woods is cheered on by the crowd at Augusta after sinking his putt on the 18th green to reclaim the green jacket and win his fifth Masters title. It was Woods’ 15th major and his first in 11 years. Woods had admitted to being close to retirement due to a chronic back problem but surged up the pack on an emotional final day to win by a shot.
Hayley Carruthers crawls over the finishing line at the London Marathon in April. The 26-year-old fell to knees as she sprinted down the mall towards the line. She ran a new PB, finishing in just 2:33:59, 15 minutes behind the winner, Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei.
Lionel Messi curls a free kick from distance into the top corner for his 600th goal for Barcelona to give them a 3-0 lead over Liverpool in their Champions League semi-final. Messi was powerless to prevent an astonishing comeback from Liverpool in the second leg as they won 4-0 at Anfield to reach the final in Madrid.
Fireworks are let off at the Etihad Stadium as Manchester City fans celebrate clinching a second successive Premier League title. Pep Guardiola’s side won their last 14 games in a row to beat Liverpool to the crown by just a single point.
Dust flies up from the dirt track as Finnish driver Janne Ferm competes during the shakedown of the World Rally Championship in Portugal on May 30.
The emotion is etched all over the face of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson as he embraces manager Jurgen Klopp at the final whistle after Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid on June 1. It was Liverpool’s sixth European Cup thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi in the second all-English Champions League final.
Crowds numbering 750,000 greeted the victorious Liverpool players as they paraded the European Cup on an open-top bus parade through the city on June 2. Jordan Henderson can be seen dangling the trophy over the front of the bus as his team-mates salute the supporters gathered in the streets below.
On the same night as Liverpool’s success in Madrid, Anthony Joshua’s world comes crashing down in New York. Andy Ruiz Jr produced one of the biggest shocks in the history of heavyweight boxing to rip AJ’s IBF, WBO and WBA world titles from his grasp. Joshua had been a 1-25 favourite with the bookmakers but was floored four times en route to a seventh-round stoppage at Madison Square Garden.
Sebastian Vettel swaps the signs for first and second-placed drivers around after being beaten by Lewis Hamilton at the Canadian Grand Prix on June 9. ‘This is not the sport I fell in love with’, complained Vettel as he accused stewards of stealing victory from him after a five-second time penalty deprived him of victory.
Tyson Fury nails his colours to the mast as he makes his grand entrance into the ring as he prepares to fight Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas on June 15. As well as the robe in the style of the American flag, Fury wore shorts with the American stars and stripes and entered the ring to James Brown’s Living in America. He went on to produce a ruthless display to stop the previously undefeated Schwarz in the second round.
Rhiannan Iffland of Australia dives from a 21 metre cliff at the Snakehead on Islet Vila Franco do Campo during the first competition day of the fourth stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on June 20 at The Azores in the Atlantic Ocean
15-year-old American Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff drops her racket and leaps into the air as she celebrates reaching the fourth-round of Wimbledon. Already the youngest player to ever qualify for the main draw, she saved two match points in the second set to beat Polona Hercog 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, much to the elation of the crowd on Centre Court. She was knocked out in the last-16 by Simona Halep.
Alex Morgan leaps onto the shoulders of Megan Rapinoe after she opened the scoring for the USA in the final of the Women’s World Cup against Holland in Lyon on July 7. The USWNT won 2-0 to lift the trophy for the fourth time. Rapinoe was awarded the golden boot for finishing as top scorer with six goals and earned the Golden Ball for best player of the tournament.
Lewis Hamilton crowd surfs on top of his adoring fans after winning at Silverstone for a record sixth time on July 14. Hamilton went on to win his sixth world’s drivers’ title to become the second most successful Formula One driver of all time, behind only Michael Schumacher.
Pandemonium in the stands at Lord’s as Jos Buttler runs out Martin Guptill off the final ball of the super over to give England victory over New Zealand in a gripping Cricket World Cup final. It was England’s first victory in the 50-over competition, sealed in the most dramatic of circumstances after the tournament hosts replied to New Zealand’s 241 for eight with 241 all out. The super over also finished in a tie, with England winning by boundary count.
A black and white shot of the 18th stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France as it goes through Valloire on July 25. Egan Bernal of Team Ineos claimed the yellow jersey as 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas finished second.
Deontay Wilder screams into the camera lens with his mouth wide open as he poses for a photo during media access at Fitzroy Lodge Gym on July 26. Wilder fought twice in 2019, defeating Dominic Breazeale in May and then Luis Ortiz in November, both by knockout.
American gymnast Simone Biles competes on the balance beam during the US Gymnastics Championships at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on August 9. She placed first in the all-around, with a two-day combined score of 118.500.
Jos Buttler tends to Australia batsman Steve Smith after the former captain was left lying on the deck at Lord’s after being hit on the back of the head by a Jofra Archer bouncer during the second Ashes Test. Smith retired hurt before returning to complete his innings before he was out for 92. Smith was forced out of the rest of the Test match, and the third at Headingley after suffering delayed concussion. Smith was player of the series after hitting 774 runs.
Joy Hart, a former director of Bury Football Club, handcuffs herself to Gigg Lane stadium, the home of Bury FC as the club faces expulsion from the Football League on August 22. Five days later the EFL announced that Bury’s membership of the league had been withdrawn after a takeover bid from C&N Sporting Risk collapsed.
Ben Stokes roars as the Headingley crowd cheer in the background after hitting Pat Cummins for four to seal an astonishing one-wicket victory for England in the third Test against Australia. After being bowled out for 67 in the first innings, England were 286 for nine when No 11 Jack Leach joined Stokes at the crease still needing 73 to win and draw level in the five-match series. Stokes launched an incredible assault, ending unbeaten on 135 not out as they chased an English record 359 to win.
A giant Chinese national flag can be seen during the Chinese Super League match between Guangzhou Evergrande and Wuhan Zall at Tianhe Stadium to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The night lights of the city of Guangzhou can be seen in the background.
Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson lies on the track at the Khalifa International Stadium with a towel over her forehead after winning gold at the women’s heptathlon at the 2019 Athletics World Championships in Doha in October.
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge makes history as he breaks the two-hour barrier for the marathon on a specially prepared course in a huge Vienna park. With an unofficial time of 1hr 59min 40.2sec, the Olympic champion became the first ever to run a marathon in under two hours in the Prater park with the help of laser guidance, 41 pace-makers and groundbreaking shoes.
Tyson Fury kicks Braun Strowman in the head during their WWE Crown Jewel showdown at Riyadh on October 31. It was the Gypsy King’s first foray into the world of wrestling, a venture that reportedly earned the heavyweight boxer £12million.
England’s players line up in a ‘V’ formation as they stare down the New Zealand haka ahead of kick-off in their Rugby World Cup semi-final in Yokohama on October 26. Eddie Jones and his men made history with a 19-7 victory over the back-to-back champions and earned plaudits for their formation that faced the All Blacks’ ritual routine. World Rugby took a dim view and England were fined ‘a four-figure sum’, despite Kiwi coach Steve Hansen calling it ‘brilliant and quite imaginative’.
Siya Kolisi, the first black captain in South African rugby history, lifts aloft the Webb Ellis trophy as he makes history in Yokohama. South Africa won their third Rugby World Cup after beating England 32-12 in the final.
Quarterback Mason Rudolph of the Pittsburgh Steelers scraps with defensive end Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns during a fiery clash at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on November 14. The Browns beat the Steelers 21-7.
An aerial view of Estadio Monumental in Peru during the pre-game show prior to the 2019 final of the Copa Libertadores on November 23. Flamengo went on to beat River Plate 2-1 thanks to two late goals from Gabriel Barbosa.
Alistair Overeem had his lip brutally torn open during his TKO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in their heavyweight bout during UFC Fight Night in Washington on December 7. Overeem had been just seconds away from victory when a savage right hand caused a huge split in his lip and required urgent medical attention.
Anthony Joshua completes his road to redemption as he lands a right hook on Andy Ruiz Jr on his way to victory in Saudi Arabia on December 7. Six months on from the night Ruiz stunned boxing, a leaner Joshua won on points to reclaim the world heavyweight titles he had lost in New York.