BERLIN - The sporting year of 2017 did not contain an Olympic Games or football World Cup but there was no shortage of memorable moments or controversy for fans over the world.
Here are 10 of the year's defining events.
January - Tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal duelled out a five-set thriller in the final of the Australian Open, with the Swiss prevailing for a fifth title in Melbourne. He later claimed a record eighth Wimbledon for his 19th grand slam while Nadal's historic 10th French Open preceded his 16th overall slam win at the US Open. Serena Williams defeated sister Venus for a record 23rd open era grand slam in Australia - a victory it was later revealed achieved while she was in the early stages of pregnancy.
February - The New England Patriots mounted a 31-point comeback to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, giving quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick their unprecedented fifth trophy. Atlanta led 28-3 but Brady inspired a record-breaking fightback to level deep in the fourth quarter and the Patriots sealed the American Football title in overtime.
March - American ski prodigy Mikaela Shiffrin clinched her first World Cup overall title to go with Olympic slalom gold from 2014 and world titles from 2013, 2015 and 2017. Shiffrin also won her first downhill World Cup later in the year and is only a super-g victory away from joining an elite group to have wins in every alpine skiing discipline.
April - Spaniard Sergio Garcia ended his long, long wait for a major golf victory by winning the Masters in a play-off from Justin Rose. The former wonderkid Garcia had been a four-time major runner-up and missed a putt on the 18th at Augusta National to claim his maiden title. But he showed nerves of steel on the first play-off hole moments later to secure a greatly desired green jacket.
June - Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as Real Madrid crushed 10-man Juventus 4-1 to become the first team to defend the Champions League in the modern era. Real secured a record-extending 12th title overall in the elite event and a first Spanish league/European cup double since 1958. AC Milan were the last team to win successive titles but their success 1989 and 1990 came before the event changed format to the Champions League in 1992-93.
July - Britain's Chris Froome clinched a third straight and fourth overall Tour de France title and later became the first cyclist to win the Spanish Vuelta and Tour in the same year since Bernard Hinault in 1978. But he has been left fighting for his reputation after it was revealed in December he returned an abnormal drug test result during the Vuelta victory.
August - Brazilian footballer Neymar signed for Paris Saint-Germain in a world record 222-million-euro (263-million-dollar) transfer from Barcelona. The Qatari-backed French club got their man despite the Spanish football league first rejecting an attempt to pay Neymar's buy-out clause because they claimed it impinged financial fair play rules. The transfer proved beyond doubt that PSG now belong to the mega-clubs of the world.
August - Sprinting great Usain Bolt ended his career injured on the London Stadium track at the world athletics championships. The 11-time world champion and eight-time Olympic gold medallist pulled up with hamstring cramp in the men's 4x100-metre relay, days after he was beaten into bronze by Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman in his final 100m race.
September - Paris was awarded the 2024 Olympics and Los Angeles the 2028 Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the first double allocation in almost a century. It gives the IOC security for many years and time to change the bid process against the backdrop of many, mainly western, cities losing interest in hosting the Games because of the high costs. LA previously held the Games in 1932 and 1984 while Paris will also become a three-time host after 1900 and 1924.
December - The IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee in connection with systematic doping practices but said Russian athletes can compete as neutrals at the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February 2018. Former Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, now deputy prime minister of Russia was given a life ban from the Games. Mutko has now suspended himself from his duties as head of the Russian Football Union for up to six months and has resigned as 2018 World Cup chief organizer as well.