Editors' Picks: Tiger Woods returns, massive Premier League clash and big tennis weekend


Editors' Picks: Tiger Woods returns, massive Premier League clash and big tennis weekend

Sinner is looking to add to his Australian Open title in Rotterdam
Sinner is looking to add to his Australian Open title in RotterdamProfimedia, Flashscore
It may be a slightly quieter weekend on the footballing front, but there is still plenty of action from around the sporting world. A golfing icon makes his return, India and England continue to slug it out in the cricket, while some of the world's best tennis players target glory in Rotterdam and Doha.

Friday, February 16th

India vs England Third Test

The third Test between India and England got underway on Thursday, and it looks set to be another intriguing battle over the coming days in what has been a hugely exciting series so far.

England clinched the first Test in remarkable fashion, while India fought back to level things up in the second. The hosts, who are unbeaten on home soil since 2012, are currently in the ascendency in the ongoing Test, with skipper Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja notching superb centuries.

However, the pitch is far more benign and flat than what we saw in the opening Tests, so England won't be afraid of chasing down a big total - something they have done on a number of occasions under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

Such is the nature of cricket in the sub-continent, in addition to England's ultra-positive approach, the momentum of the match can change very quickly, with twists and turns always in the offing.

Genesis Invitational

Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Tour for the first time in almost a year at the Genesis Invitational - a tournament he hosts.

The golfing great has been out since the Masters last year, after going through ankle surgery and lingering leg issues following a serious car crash in 2021.

The tournament will take place in Riviera, the course Woods has played on the most times (12) without winning. He has been paired with fellow major winners Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland.

It is unlikely that he will be able to make much of an impact on his return, but seeing the 15-time major winner back in action will be great for all the fans.

The Genesis Invitational begins on Thursday and ends on Sunday, and is a Signature Event. A Signature Event is one of the eight limited-field PGA events with increased prize money and FedExCup points, so expect to see some high-quality golf over the coming days.

Jon Rahm is the reigning champion, however, he will not be taking part this year due to his move to LIV Golf.

Saturday, February 17th

WTA Qatar Open Final

The opening WTA 1000 event of the season comes to an end this weekend, with world No.1 and two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek eyeing up a third title.

The Pole has been in fine form in Doha, defeating both Ekaterina Alexandrova and Victoria Azarenka so far. However, to reach the final, she will have to beat the resurgent Karolina Pliskova, and potentially the relentless Elena Rybakina.

Swiatek was victorious in Doha in 2023
Swiatek was victorious in Doha in 2023Profimedia

Rybakina has often looked imperious in 2024, picking up two titles already, making her shock defeat in the second round of the Australian Open all the more surprising. The world No.4 and former Wimbledon champion has never won more than two titles in a season, but looks well on course to surpass that tally this year.

Rybakina's relentless ball-striking has been on display all week, with Leylah Fernandez and Emma Navarro two of her victims.

A final between Swiatek and Rybakina would be a great match-up to end a great week of tennis.

Manchester City vs Chelsea - 18:30 CET

Two of the Premier League’s most successful clubs in recent history meet in a blockbuster clash on Saturday evening, with both sides desperately needing points for different reasons. 

After a somewhat inconsistent start to the season (by their own lofty standards), Manchester City have found a new gear since winning the FIFA Club World Cup in December - registering six consecutive league victories to close in on Liverpool and Arsenal at the top of the table. 

Chelsea, on the other hand, have flattered to deceive in Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in charge, sitting 13 points adrift of the top four after 24 matches. Back-to-back away wins over Aston Villa and Crystal Palace in the past week have provided some much-needed positivity, and they’ll be keen to build on that ahead of the Carabao Cup final next weekend

Unfortunately for the West London outfit, a trip to the Etihad Stadium is arguably the most difficult fixture in world football at the moment. However, Pochettino and co. can draw belief from the reverse fixture earlier in the season when the two played out a thrilling 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have also taken points off both Liverpool and Arsenal this season, so who knows what kind of performance they’ll produce against the reigning champions. Either way, it’ll be a fascinating watch! 

Sunday, February 18th

ATP Rotterdam Open Final

The ATP 500 tournament in Rotterdam got underway on Monday, with a host of star-studded names in the draw - including Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev

A number of top seeds have all progressed through the opening couple of rounds, setting up a fascinating few days over the weekend as the tournament reaches the business end of proceedings. 

Sinner, fresh from winning a first Grand Slam title in Melbourne Park, is looking in unplayable form after victories over Botic Van De Zandschulp and Gael Monfils.

Jannik Sinner striking the ball in his opening match against Botic Van De Zandschulp
Jannik Sinner striking the ball in his opening match against Botic Van De ZandschulpAFP

The Italian will take some stopping as he looks to continue his momentum going into the Sunshine Double next month (Indian Wells and Miami).

However, with Rublev, as well as Alex De Minaur and Grigor Dimitrov still left in the draw, it won’t be plain sailing for the world number four. 


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