Good Week/Bad Week
Tom Lewis and Andy Murray tasted glory, while Wales were left to rue a red card at the World Cup.
By Rob Lancaster
Last Updated: 17/10/11 7:09pm
It has been an eventful seven days in the world of sport to say the least.
On Sunday there was joy for two bright young things from Britain in Andy Murray and Tom Lewis, but there was tragedy on American soil when Englishman Dan Wheldon died whilst competing in an IndyCar race.
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It may be coming to the end of the 2011 season but Andy Murray is finishing his campaign in fine style, claiming a third straight title as he defended his crown at the Shanghai Masters.
The 24-year-old saw off Spaniard David Ferrer 7-5 6-4 at the wonderfully-named Qi Zhong stadium to follow up his successes in Bangkok and Tokyo.
The Scot has now won 25 of his 26 matches since mid-August, the only loss coming to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
Murray's current hot streak means he has now moved above Roger Federer into third place in the world rankings, the duo now being separated by 45 points having played the same number of tournaments.
Having won the Silver Medal as the highest placed amateur at this year's Open, Tom Lewis needed just three tournaments to claim his first win as a professional, triumphing at the Portugal Masters.
The 20-year-old from Welwyn Garden City carded a closing 65, including five birdies in his final seven holes, at Vilamoura to finish on 21-under-par, two clear of Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello.
To put his achievement into perspective, it took Tiger Woods five events to land his first professional title while Rory McIlroy had to wait until his 38th European Tour event.
Lewis will now get plenty more opportunities for further wins as he now has a two-year exemption on the European Tour. He also picked up a cheque for €416,660, which is always nice.
Frankel signed off for the season in style with a four-length win in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, stretching his unbeaten record to nine races.
The Sir Henry Cecil-trained colt has captured the imagination of the racing public and was the star attraction on the inaugural QIPCO Champions Day.
He proceeded to light up the £3million showpiece, racing with his usual exuberance and drawing a spontaneous round of applause from the packed grandstands as he bounded clear of his toiling rivals which included Group One winners Excelebration, Immortal Verse and Dick Turpin..
The good news for his fans - and the sport in general - is he races on in 2012.
Not only did James DeGale have to get past Piotr Wilczewski to claim the European super-middleweight title, he also had to prove his doubters wrong.
Having lost his last outing to bitter rival George Groves, the Olympic gold medal winner knew he had to prove that the reverse was just a blip in his professional career, rather than the beginning of the end.
But while DeGale again demonstrated his undoubted boxing skills in beating tough Pole Wilczewski he also showed tremendous heart and bravery, particularly in the fifth round when he appeared to be in serious trouble.
In the end 'Chunky' was given the nod 115-113 by two judges, with the third at ringside scoring it a 114-114 draw. It was close, but he had done enough to earn what could turn out to be a crucial victory.
When Alain Rolland considers where next to go on his next holiday, he should definitely rule out a trip to the beautiful Llandudno or Rhyl, or any other destination in Wales for that matter.
The referee made himself public enemy No.1 in Wales when he dismissed Sam Warburton 18 minutes into the first half of the World Cup semi-final against France. It was not a good challenge by the flanker on Vincent Clerc, but few others except Mr Rolland thought it deemed a red card.
Without their skipper Wales battled bravely before eventually succumbing 9-8, despite them scoring the only try of the contest through scrum-half Mike Phillips.
Had Stephen Jones managed to land the conversion, or Leigh Halfpenny's long-range penalty had enough on it to get over the bar, it would be Wales - rather than the French - who would be facing New Zealand on Sunday.
The tragic death of Dan Wheldon at the Las Vegas Indy 300 has led to concerns being raised over the safety of drivers in IndyCar Racing.
Englishman Wheldon was killed after being involved in a massive 15-vehicle crash which saw his car fly over another and clip the catch fencing during lap 13 of the final race of the season.
The accident has led to some, including Tony Jardine and Keith Huewen, questioning whether it too dangerous to ask cars to travel at such high speeds on oval tracks, as well as raising issues over the high numbers competing in IndyCar races.
Formula One drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton led the tributes to Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who leaves behind a wife and two children.
The first stoppage loss in Bernard Hopkins' never-ending career came in controversial circumstances on Saturday night.
The evergreen 46-year-old was defending his WBC light-heavyweight title against Chad Dawson when he was lifted off feet in the second round, causing the champion to fall through the ropes and land awkwardly on the ring apron.
Hopkins immediately clutched his left shoulder in pain and was unable to continue, leaving referee Pat Russell to wave off proceedings and bring the bout to an unsatisfactory end.
However, instead of ruling the fight a no contest Russell declared that Dawson had won on a technical knockout and thus was awarded the belt. Hopkins was accused of faking it by his rival, though he insisted he was being set up.
After a summer of success on home soil England's cricketers are finding life a little tougher on their travels.
Just two matches into a busy winter tour schedule and they already up against it in the one-day series with India, who were the side to suffer the most at the hands of the English in recent months.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men recorded a 126-run win in the opening game on Friday in Hyderabad, England's eighth largest defeat in 50-over cricket terms of runs.
It didn't get much better in match two either, India cruising to an eight-wicket triumph on Monday, knocking off the tourists' below-par total of 237 with a massive 13.2 overs to spare. Things can only get better, surely?