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Week In Review, January 22 To 28, 2024: Jannik Sinner Wins Australian Open, England Beat India In First Test

Jannik Sinner overcame Daniil Medvedev from two sets down to win his first Grand Slam. Elsewhere, India got knocked out of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 with a defeat against Syria. Here's the week in review, January 22 to 28, 2024

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Jannik Sinner of Italy holds aloft the trophy after winning the Australian Open 2024 mens singles Photo: AP
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The end of January 2024 brought with it the conclusion of the Australian Open, with the young Jannik Sinner emerging from a crowd of hopefuls to claim his first Grand Slam victory. Elsewhere, the Indian football team, too, reached the end of their journey in the AFC Asian Cup, albeit prematurely, as they exited the competition without so much as a goal to their name. Indian cricket fans, meanwhile, would also like to forget the last days of January, after England defeated them in Hyderabad to lay claim to the first of five Tests between the pair. (Sports News)

Here's all that and more from the week of January 22 to 28, 2024.

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Tennis 

The Australian Open 2024 came to a screeching halt with an unexpected winner in the mix. Jannik Sinner, seeded fourth for the tournament, beat Daniil Medvedev to collect his first Grand Slam crown, just days after the Italian had claimed, perhaps, the biggest scalp of the men's singles event, Novak Djokovic

While his victory was enough in itself, the manner in which he achieved it at the Rod Laver Arena made Sinner an instant hit with the Melbourne crowd. Trailing by two sets to nil and staring at a losing game in the third, the Italian retained his composure, fought valiantly for every point on offer, and broke his opponent's resolve to win the final three sets to two. 

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A day earlier, India's Rohan Bopanna became the oldest men's Grand Slam winner, when he paired up with Australian Matthew Ebden to win the men's doubles event. Bopanna and Ebden defeated Italian pair Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori in straight sets in the final, 7-6, 7-5. At 43 years old, Bopanna is now guaranteed to become the oldest number-one in tennis history, when he climbs atop the rankings in the coming week. 

Meanwhile, Aryna Sabalenka beat Qinwen Zheng to win the women's singles title at the Australian Open 2024. She did so without losing a set across the tournament, and is now a two-time AO winner! 

Cricket

India's five-game Test bout, which will be played in its entirety on home soil, began with a whimpering defeat in Hyderabad - much to the shock and dismay of the home crowd. Despite mounting what looked like an unassailable total in their first innings, India succumbed to their own shortcomings, giving runs away cheaply in the field and failing to get things going in the second innings.

For England, meanwhile, the win was a massive boost and a due reward for brilliant displays with both the bat and the ball. They will now take a 1-0 lead with them into the second Test in Visakhapatnam, hoping to land another blow to India's World Test Championship final qualification hopes. 

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There was, however, a reprieve for the Indian cricket fans, provided by the Under-19 team competing in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2024 in South Africa. The reigning and record champions, India won all three of their group games, beating Bangladesh, Ireland, and the United States of America, without breaking a sweat, and will take on New Zealand and Nepal in the Super Six round next. 

Football 

Apart from the obvious action around the top European leagues, the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 continued their slow march toward their mid-February completion. Partaking in the former, the India national football team disappointingly exited the competition with a 100 per cent loss record, losing the last of their three games to Syria on January 23, 2024. Furthermore, Igor Stimac's men exited the contest without scoring a solitary goal. 

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Back home, with the regular domestic season paused, the Kalinga Super Cup held matches all the way to the final, which East Bengal won on January 28, 2024. The Red and Gold Brigade beat Odisha FC in the Bhubaneswar-based final, collecting a first major trophy in 12 years. 

East Bengal escaped the group unblemished, winning all three games with a combined goal difference of plus four. They, then, beat Jamshedpur FC in the semi-finals, before dispatching reigning champions Odisha with a 3-2 added-time win in the trophy clash. 

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