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January 2023 – sporting excellence, record breakers, and big spenders

Many great sporting moments occured in January, but none come close to the nine-darter battle between Michael Van Gerwen and Michael Smith.

Djokovic’s tenth Australian Open comes in a close second and Chelsea’s spending spree is an honourable mention.

The greatest leg of darts of all time

In the final of the PDC World Championship between Michael Smith and Michael Van Gerwen, Van Gerwen was leading one set to none and they were tied one all in the second set.

A nine darter is the toughest achievement in Darts, it involves throwing back-to-back 180s and checking out a 141.

Van Gerwen threw first and was followed straight away by Smith.

Both with 321 remaining, Van Gerwen through a 177 to leave him 144, with Smith responding with another 180, leaving him on 141.

Van Gerwen then scored two treble 20s, leaving him with double 12 but he missed leaving the door open for Smith to achieve the nine darter.

Smith took his opportunity and calmy took out the 141 sparking pandemonium amongst the crowd.

Wayne Mardle’s commentary of the famous leg of darts elevated the moment into one of the greatest moments ever in sports.

After Smith clinched the leg with double 12, Mardle repeated “I can’t speak”, which was a reference to a viral YouTube clip of where a Rugby League commentator uses the phrase.

Djokovic wins tenth Australian Open

On January 29 Novak Djokovic won his tenth Australian Open championship and equalled Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles.

Djokovic finished with a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) victory over Stefanas Tsitsipas.

The Serbian, who had feared a hamstring injury may end his tournament early, only dropped one set all tournament.

With the win, Djokovic extended his winning streak at the hard-court tournament to 28 matches.

Chelsea spend big in January transfer window

Chelsea secured eight signings in the window, including Enzo Fernandez signing for a then club record of £105million.

The world cup winner joined the squad alongside, Malo Gusto, Joao Felix, Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, Mykhailo Mudryk, Andrey Santos and Noni Madueke

The West London club spent £303million on signings in January, not including the £9.7million fees on Joao Felix’s sixth month loan from Atletico Madrid.

The huge investment into the club failed to amount to league success as they finished the season 12th.

(Featured Image credit: Unsplash/Simon Reza)

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