Kevin Mitchell

Author's details

Name: Kevin Mitchell
Date registered: October 13, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/golf

Latest posts

  1. Gervonta Davis talks a good fight but Floyd Mayweather Jr steals limelight — May 19, 2017
  2. Andy Murray is struggling and anxious – it may be a good thing | Kevin Mitchell — May 17, 2017
  3. Maria Sharapova’s lustre dims as French Open shuns expedient option | Kevin Mitchell — May 16, 2017
  4. Roger Federer to miss the French Open to prepare for grass of Wimbledon — May 15, 2017
  5. Limbo of Sharapova and Djokovic adds intrigue to the grand slam summer — May 9, 2017

Author's posts listings

May 19

Gervonta Davis talks a good fight but Floyd Mayweather Jr steals limelight

Mayweather’s protege might be the one going into the ring to defend his WBO title against Liam Walsh, but during the long run-up to the fight it has seemed that the semi-reitred multimillionaire is the real star of the show

Professional boxing operates on a simple principle: destroy all harmony. It has been that way for a couple of centuries and it is not altogether a mystery given it is a sport that accommodates raw, if legal, violence.

That it is why casual observers were pleasantly surprised when Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko refused to “get in the gutter” before trying to knock each other unconscious in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley two weekends ago.

Related: Roberto Durán: ‘Fighters would take one look at me and crap in their pants’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/19/gervonta-davis-floyd-mayweather-jr-boxing

May 17

Andy Murray is struggling and anxious – it may be a good thing | Kevin Mitchell

A worrying air of caution has returned to Andy Murray’s game but the Scot has often been at his best when scrapping against the odds, and it is not too late to get things in order for the French Open

It is easy, and dangerous, to underestimate the depth of Andy Murray’s dilemma after another unexpected setback in his meandering season: bundled out of second round of the Italian Open he was defending for the first time. He is, after all, still No1 in the world.

But check the descent. This time last year Murray, who had not long become a father for the first time, was driving Novak Djokovic to distraction on Campo Centrale, ignoring a steady Sunday afternoon drizzle and uneven light as he forged on to win one of nine titles that would garland his 2016 campaign. He had not lost a set all week.

Related: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer the great survivors just keep on rolling | Sean Ingle

Related: Andy Murray admits to ‘not playing good tennis’ after Italian Open exit

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/may/17/andy-murray-struggling-kevin-mitchell

May 16

Maria Sharapova’s lustre dims as French Open shuns expedient option | Kevin Mitchell

The decision to deny Maria Sharapova a wildcard is a bold statement by the new FTF president and one that has embarrassed the Russian all over again

Maria Sharapova has had to fight for virtually every point in her tennis career, every break in her curiously combative life, whatever the misguided perception of the Russian as a bird in a gilded cage.

Nothing changed for her on Tuesday night. With the unexpected weight of moral probity falling heavily on her neck, the former world No1 was denied a wildcard of any kind – qualifying tournament or main draw – into the French Open at the end of the month.

Related: Maria Sharapova denied wildcard for the French Open after returning from ban

Related: Limbo of Sharapova and Djokovic adds intrigue to the grand slam summer

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/may/16/maria-sharapova-french-open-kevin-mitchell

May 15

Roger Federer to miss the French Open to prepare for grass of Wimbledon

• Federer posts message saying ‘Roger to skip Roland Garros’ on his website
• World No2 will instead prepare to play in grass and hard court tournaments

Roger Federer is out of the French Open and Maria Sharapova will learn on Tuesday if she even has a chance of getting into the qualifying tournament at Roland Garros.

Federer confirmed on Monday evening he will not play at Roland Garros this month and instead prepare to play on grass and hard courts later this season, posting a message on his website which read: “Roger to skip Roland Garros”.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/15/roger-federer-miss-french-open-wimbledon-maria-sharapova

May 09

Limbo of Sharapova and Djokovic adds intrigue to the grand slam summer

Locker-room goodwill played its part in the Russian’s derailment at the Madrid Open while the Serbian is looking for a whole new support staff after 10-years

Unintentionally, of course, Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic have injected the tennis scene with an overload of drama.

Related: Eugenie Bouchard edges out Maria Sharapova in thrilling grudge match

Related: Novak Djokovic goes for nuclear option in bid to arrest worrying slump | Kevin Mitchell

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/may/09/maria-sharapova-novak-djokovic-limbo-grand-slam-summer-madrid-open

May 08

Canelo Álvarez v Gennady Golovkin – finally the fight we all want to see | Kevin Mitchell

The two have yet to agree on venue, money-split and weight but these details will not concern fans before what Golovkin promises will be a ‘big drama show’

Finally boxing has the fight the industry badly needed and the fans have loudly craved for the past couple of years: Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on 16 September, probably in Las Vegas, with other bidders surely lurking.

No sooner had Álvarez completed a dominant, untroubled points win over the disappointing Julio César Chávez Jr in Las Vegas on Saturday night than Golovkin, the unbeaten holder of all the relevant world middleweight belts, emerged from the crowd to confirm the news of the showdown. Álvarez said in the ring, “Yes sir, it’s done” – they have yet to agree on a venue, money-split and weight but at least they have committed to a date.

Related: Cracks in Gennady Golovkin’s armour give hope to Álvarez and Saunders | Kevin Mitchell

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/may/08/canelo-alvarez-gennady-golovkin-fight-boxing-drama

May 06

Novak Djokovic goes for nuclear option in bid to arrest worrying slump | Kevin Mitchell

In dispensing with the close-knit support team that helped him to 12 slam titles, Djokovic looks desperate to end his struggles since last year’s French Open

It will be surreal in the extreme when Novak Djokovic goes on court in defence of his title in Madrid next week, glances up at his box and the growling, comforting countenances of his fiercely loyal Serbian friends are missing. The troubled world No2 called the nuclear clearout of his support staff on Friday “shock therapy”. And it does have the unmistakeable ring of a psychiatrist’s formula, a decision reached after a deep discussion about life and tennis. It also has the ring of desperation.

Related: Novak Djokovic parts company with coaching staff in ‘shock therapy’ move

Related: Lack of power and passion hint at the possible decline of Novak Djokovic | Kevin Mitchell

Related: How Andy Murray chased down Novak Djokovic to end 2016 on top of the world | Andy Bull

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/may/06/novak-djokovic-support-staff-struggles-boris-becker

May 03

Ilie Nastase banned from Wimbledon’s royal box but Sharapova return likely

• All England club confirms Romanian will not be invited after Fed Cup row
• Sharapova will discover if she has been awarded wild card on 20 June

It’s looking very much like Maria Sharapova will return to Wimbledon this summer in a very British embrace, but Ilie Nastase, the new villain du jour, need not bother queueing up.

The All England Club still hope the Russian will be the architect of her own resurrection at Madrid, Rome and the French Open before they need to decide, but hinted as strongly as decorum would allow on Wednesday that there ought to be no moral impediment to her coming back to a tournament where she announced her arrival in 2004 by beating Serena Williams in the final.

Related: Andy Murray says events ‘will do what is best for them’ over Sharapova wildcards

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/03/ilie-nastase-wimbledon-royal-box

May 02

Andy Murray says events ‘will do what is best for them’ over Sharapova wildcards

• World No1 joins critics who believe Sharapova wildcards unmerited
• Murray denies knighthood or ranking has caused dip in form

Andy Murray will not be alone on Maria Sharapova’s list of people to step lightly around as she builds a head of steam in her comeback but the world No1, a fierce anti-drugs campaigner, doubts the Russian will have any problems getting into either the French Open or Wimbledon.

Sharapova returned from her 15-month ban with a convincing run to the semi-finals in Stuttgart last week and Murray said on Tuesday: “She is obviously playing well. It looks like there’s a good chance after Madrid or Rome she will definitely be inside the qualification ranking for Wimbledon.

Related: Andy Murray beaten by Dominic Thiem as Maria Sharapova comeback stalls

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/02/andy-murray-maria-sharapova-wildcards

May 02

Anthony Joshua looks to inspire next generation as golden future beckons

The British heavyweight champion insists he will not leave his Watford roots behind as his horizons expand ever greater

Whatever happens to Anthony Joshua, life will never be the same for him.

Freshly crowned and adored after destroying Wladimir Klitschko in front of a vast TV audience in 140 countries, not to mention 90,000 paying customers at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night, the humble young champion has perhaps a decade of glory in front of him, with titles, adulation and impossible wealth the prizes as he strives to cash in on two powerful fists and a personality of disarming alacrity.

Related: Anthony Joshua aims to ‘keep it real’ and rival Wladimir Klitschko’s long reign

Related: After flooring Klitschko, Anthony Joshua now has the world at his feet

Related: Anthony Joshua beats Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley – in pictures

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/02/anthony-joshua-heavyweight-win-inspire-youth

May 01

Anthony Joshua aims to ‘keep it real’ and rival Wladimir Klitschko’s long reign

• World heavyweight champion wants to rule division for a decade
• He admits: ‘I’ve got to stay away from any problems, any trouble’

Anthony Joshua, who has joined Andy Murray as one of Britain’s most globally recognisable sporting celebrities, admits his next big fight is “keeping it real” as the power-brokers, hangers-on and grassroots fans jostle for a piece of the most bankable asset in boxing.

Related: Anthony Joshua eager to take on ‘a real villain’ with Tyson Fury in his sights

Related: From Joshua to Corbett: the 10 best British world heavyweight title fights

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/01/anthony-joshua-world-heavyweight-champion-wladimir-klitschko

May 01

From Joshua to Corbett: the 10 best British world heavyweight title fights

Anthony Joshua versus Wladimir Klitschko in London has instantly gone down as one of the great heavyweight title fights – here we choose nine more

1) Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko, 29 April 2017

There is an argument to put this at the very top, a choice sweetened, perhaps, by currency. But it was some effort for a 19-fight novice champion to get off the floor and devastate a former champion (who boxed his best in years) in one late round. Magnificent.

Related: Joshua v Klitschko: the moment boxing’s epicentre moved from Vegas to London

Related: Anthony Joshua wants 10 more years, says Hearn after Klitschko fight

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/01/ten-best-british-heavyweight-title-fights

Apr 30

Joshua eager to take on ‘a real villain’ with Tyson Fury in his sights

• Heavyweight champion says a Fury fight ‘would bring massive attention’
• Promoter Eddie Hearn says Joshua is in the driving seat in the division

The first day of Anthony Joshua’s reign as the best heavyweight in the world did not properly see daylight until 4.30pm on a quiet Sunday afternoon in a rented mansion of some splendour in north London. After a fight of unprecedented good manners against Wladimir Klitschko, he now craves a bout against a “real villain”, and none fits the bill better for him than Tyson Fury.

What a contrast it was in leafy St John’s Wood from his workplace the night before. By the time the world champion awoke after the longest of sleeps to embrace the scale of his achievement in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium, the dismantled legend he had dispatched was already back in Germany.

Related: Anthony Joshua wants 10 more years, says Hearn after Klitschko fight

Related: Joshua v Klitschko: the moment boxing’s epicentre moved from Vegas to London

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/30/anthony-joshua-eager-to-take-on-a-real-villain-with-tyson-fury-in-his-sights

Apr 28

Anthony Joshua thrives on calm before storm against Wladimir Klitschko | Kevin Mitchell

British fighter says ‘I want to knock him out, but I don’t hate him’ of a Ukrainian opponent who is still dangerous but not the force he was

Anthony Joshua laughs a lot. After all, he has much to be happy about. He is widely regarded as the best young heavyweight in the world, the future of boxing, we are reminded by those with a financial interest in his unbeaten progress at Wembley on Saturday night, an Olympic gold medallist and multimillionaire at 27 with celebrity friends, a posse and a back story.

This “fine young man”, as he is often and correctly described, is an entrenched hero of British sport, getting ready to test his spirit and skill against one of the all-time greats in front of 90,000 fans. So he laughs, and it is infectious. Even the stone-faced Wladimir Klitschko, who now plots to destroy him, laughs with him.

Related: Klitschko might not be a spent force – Joshua needs to pace himself | Dominic Ingle

I don’t think any fight needs trash-talking, and this was sold out very quickly. It’s an intriguing match.

Related: Anthony Joshua: ‘When Wladimir Klitschko gets beat it could be the end’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/28/anthony-joshua-thrives-on-calm-before-storm-against-wladimir-klitschko

Apr 28

Anthony Joshua: ‘When Wladimir Klitschko gets beat it could be the end’

• Ukrainian says he is a boxer who can punch, Joshua is merely a puncher
• Saturday’s heavyweight title buildup continues on its educated way

There was nothing more to say but they said it anyway. Hoovering up a few more pay-per-view clicks at the end of a long promotion ritually relies on pre-fight shenanigans but there was no chance of that when Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko stopped short of eloping together on Thursday as their world title fight on Saturday night looms.

For weeks now, the bloodthirsty wing of the sport has complained these guys were way too nice. They shook hands every time they met, they laughed at each other’s jokes – such as they were – and, even when they had their face-off on Sky recently, there were as likely to tip the table on Johnny Nelson’s head as David Haye was to go on holiday with Tony Bellew.

Related: Wladimir Klitschko’s trainer passing on lessons of the greats as Wembley looms | Sachin Nakrani

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/27/wladimir-klitschko-anthony-joshua-fight-prediction

Apr 25

Maria Sharapova’s return in Stuttgart will bring tennis to a standstill | Kevin Mitchell

There is no denying the wildcard’s box-office appeal but many, including her opponent Roberta Vinci, do not approve of her presence so soon after a drugs ban

When the most marketable player in the history of women’s tennis steps on to a court in Stuttgart on Wednesday to hit competitively for the first time in 15 months – in peak, early-evening viewing time and fully four hours after the world No7 Johanna Konta – women’s tennis will hold its breath.

If Maria Sharapova, with neither ranking nor regrets for the actions that led to her absence, can advance to the second round of this tournament by beating the 2015 US Open finalist Roberta Vinci in what is sure to be a packed and awed Centre Court, she will make as many people furious as delirious.

Related: Serena Williams accuses Ilie Nastase of racially abusing her and unborn child

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/apr/25/maria-sharapova-stuttgart-tennis-roberta-vinci

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