Novak Djokovic is already in the groove, having beaten Rafael Nadal in the first tennis grand slam of the year. Luckily, the 2019 sporting calendar still has much more to offer: two World Cups (Cricket and Rugby Union), Formula 1 Grand Prix racing, the Tour de France and much more. See some of the highlights below:
1. 11-14 April: Golf - The Masters, Augusta
One of the four great championships for golf professionals, 2019’s event will be the 83rd occasion the Masters tournament has been held in Augusta. As always, the course will be the Augusta National with its famous Amen Corner. Even at this early stage, there is a bookies’ favourite: You may know the American golf player, Tiger Woods, either from his well-publicised affairs, as a great blackjack player, or as the greatest golfer of all time. It is really no surprise the 14-time major winner is the betting favourite to win the Masters 2019. He won the Tour Championship last month to secure his first PGA Tour victory since 2013.
2. 1 June: Football - Champions League final, Madrid
With a Champions League final to be held in Spain, it’s hard to believe we won’t see at least one of the great Spanish teams – Real Madrid, Barcelona or Atlético Madrid – there to grace the occasion. Nevertheless, the betting seems to place Manchester City as firm favourites, with Ronaldo and his new Juventus team installed as third favourites. So will it be Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema, Sergio Aguero, or someone completely different who gets their hands on the trophy?
3. 30 May-14 July: ICC Cricket World Cup - England and Wales
During this momentous English cricketing summer, eleven venues across England and Wales will host matches in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. But which country has the best chance of winning the trophy? No one can discount cricket heavyweights such as India and South Africa, or even Australia now that they have so much to prove. And only a fool would suggest that Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are not formidable opponents on their day. But surely Owen Morgan’s England will make home advantage pay, won’t they?
4. 1-14 July: Tennis, All England Club, Wimbledon, London
When July arrives, Wimbledon will be ready to host the third grand slam of the 2019 tennis season. But already there are questions to be answered: Will we even see Andy Murray, especially after this recent surgery? Will the men’s and women’s events go to form? Or are the likes of Roger Federer, Serena Williams and others about to have their supremacy challenged?
5. 12-14 July: Formula 1 - British Grand Prix, Silverstone
The scene is set for another titanic struggle at Silverstone. Will Lewis Hamilton profit once again from home advantage? Or will Sebastian Vettel, Räikkönen, Verstappen or Bottas have something to say about that? And will this be yet another event which sees Ferrari once more going toe-to-toe with Mercedes?
6. 6-28 July: Cycling - Tour de France
The 21-stage Tour de France, arguably the most prestigious cycling event of the year, will see competitors set off in Brussels and finish in the heart of Paris. But even in a strong international field, all-British sub-plots are becoming more common. And after Geraint Thomas triumphed over his Sky teammate Chris Froome last year, will we see Froome going all out for what would be a record-equalling fifth Tour title? It may all depend on what happens at the summit finish in Val Thorens on the penultimate day.
7. 28 Sept-6 Oct: Athletics - World Championships, Doha
The lack of major global competitions in 2018 means we could see some new faces emerge at Doha. And with the 2019 World Championships representing the first chance to make their mark, there are several young sprinters who will be vying for the tag of world's fastest man. And how will some of Britain’s leading stars – Dina Asher-Smith, Laura Muir and others – cope with exposure on the global stage?
8. 20 Sept-2 Nov: Rugby union - World Cup, Japan
Beyond doubt, this is rugby’s most eagerly anticipated event of recent times, with all fans waiting to see whether the Northern hemisphere can, at last, overcome the dominant Southern hemisphere teams. Having beaten the mighty New Zealand All Blacks twice in recent times, Six Nations Champions Ireland will not lack ambition. And what about the enigmatic challenge posed by Owen Farrell’s England team? Or will Wales or Australia manage to ‘blindside’ the opposition?
9. Autumn 2019: American Football - NFL London series, Wembley and Tottenham
With a record crowd of 85,870 attending last years’ game at Wembley Stadium, where Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-18, everyone is looking forward to the 2019 NFL London series. The NFL has confirmed that London will host four regular-season matches, with two games staged at Wembley and two more at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. More event details will be released soon.
10. 6 April: Horse racing - Grand National, Aintree
British horse racing’s biggest day will see tens of thousands of fans pack Aintree and millions of pounds spent in the bookies by punters. In 2018, Gordon Elliott’s Tiger Roll triumphed in a gruelling finish, and there is every chance the horse will be entered for the 2019 race too. If so, he will be seeking to become the first back-to-back Grand National winner since the great Red Rum achieved the feat in 1973 and 1974.