It’s a huge weekend of sport on the American continents where the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals are both taking place, the intriguing Formula 1 season continues its global pilgrimage, the World Cup warm-ups pick up heat and the final PGA Tour event wraps up ahead of next week’s US Open.
Let’s start with the NBA where the Miami Heat will be looking to make it three Championships in a row when they face San Antonio in the Finals. Spurs really should have done the job last year when they led the series 3-2 and held a 10-point lead at three-quarter time in Game 6, but couldn’t get the job done so all eyes will be on their veterans to see if they can seal the deal this time around. Miami will be looking to LeBron James to step up but Spurs have home court advantage in four of the seven games which could prove crucial.
It’s a true coast v coast battle in the Stanley Cup Finals as the Los Angeles Kings face off against the New York Rangers for ice hockey’s greatest prize. The Kings became the first side ever to win three consecutive seven game thrillers on their way to the Finals after downing defending champions Chicago in their Conference Finals and are favored to keep the momentum going but don’t underestimate a Rangers side that has defied the odds to come this far.
The Formula 1 roadshow heads to Montreal this weekend with Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg set to continue their epic battle for the Drivers’ Championship. There is no love lost between the teammates, with Hamilton accusing Rosberg of losing control on purpose during final qualifying in Monaco to prevent him stealing pole. Either way it worked with Rosberg’s second win of 2014 enough to give him the Championship lead, so expect another epic battle in Canada. Keep an eye on Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo too to see if the young Aussie can continue his dominance of the four-time world champion.
With the US Open just a week away, the world’s top players will be looking for a good performance at the FedEx St Jude’s Classic in Memphis, Tennessee. Although Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson are enjoying a short break, there is still plenty of quality on show with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson and John Senden keen to fine tune their games before the second major of the year.
And the French Open reaches its climax with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on track for a much anticipated finals meeting in the men’s, while the women’s sees Maria Sharapova a warm favorite to win her second French crown despite the emergence of three rising stars in the semis in Andrea Petkovic, Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard.
Good luck and good punting.