Kevin Mitchell

Author's details

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

Latest posts

  1. Hughie Fury sets sights on Joseph Parker and being best of the rest | Kevin Mitchell — September 22, 2017
  2. Jake LaMotta was not a great champion but one of the toughest, a boxing beast | Kevin Mitchell — September 21, 2017
  3. Golovkin v Álvarez: the real deal after the Mayweather v McGregor sideshow | Kevin Mitchell — September 13, 2017
  4. Andy Murray out until new year to focus on slow recovery from hip injury — September 6, 2017
  5. Hungover Roger Federer tells tennis’s next generation to attack old order — July 17, 2017

Author's posts listings

Sep 22

Hughie Fury sets sights on Joseph Parker and being best of the rest | Kevin Mitchell

Tyson Fury’s cousin can win the WBO heavyweight title on Saturday but neither he nor New Zealander Parker look in the same league as Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder

The electricity that normally runs through the leadup to a world title fight has barely flickered in Manchester this week, although Hughie Fury’s circuitry sparked into life when he shoved the amiable New Zealander Joseph Parker at the weigh-in on Friday.

After a week that began with Parker’s promoter, David Higgins, being escorted from a press conference for supposedly upsetting the hosts by demanding a neutral referee then settling his differences with Fury’s father and trainer, Peter (to everyone’s smiling satisfaction), normal boxing service was resumed with some unsubtle histrionics the day before they fight for real at the Manchester Arena.

Related: Hughie Fury: ‘I’ve had no teenage life, no drinking or friends. I’ve sacrificed everything’

Related: Jake LaMotta was not a great champion but one of the toughest, a boxing beast | Kevin Mitchell

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/sep/22/hughie-fury-joseph-parker-wbo-heavyweight-title-boxing

Sep 21

Jake LaMotta was not a great champion but one of the toughest, a boxing beast | Kevin Mitchell

The fine details of his brief reign as world middleweight champion are not always absorbed in recollections of his career, mainly because one of the greatest films of all time painted him in classically Shakespearean mode

Jake LaMotta should have been in Las Vegas to watch Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Álvarez, two distinguished middleweights pitched together to echo the deeds of the division’s glorious past, a fight reckoned to restore boxing’s faltering image. LaMotta, who knew a lot about the game’s sullied reputation, would have given it a wry smile.

The fight did not quite do its job. It was a terrific rather than a truly great contest and dreadful misjudgment by one of the officials overwhelmingly in favour of Álvarez returned a split draw, drowning out all other post-fight sentiments. So, unfairly but inevitably, Golovkin-Álvarez will be remembered only slightly more fondly than the theatrical crossover fight in the same ring three weeks earlier between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

Related: Jake LaMotta: a flawed character alchemised by Raging Bull into a mythical figure

Related: Jake LaMotta obituary

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/sep/21/jake-lamotta-not-great-champion-but-one-of-toughest-boxing-beast

Sep 13

Golovkin v Álvarez: the real deal after the Mayweather v McGregor sideshow | Kevin Mitchell

The upcoming fight in Las Vegas between the aggressive Kazakh and the wily Mexican has the look of a bout from boxing’s golden age

It is time for boxing to fix its house. Two weeks after Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor did each other a mutual favour in a cross-discipline public spar that delivered them an estimated $400m to share (the Irishman getting a quarter slice), Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Álvarez meet in the same ring on Saturday night to decide who is the best middleweight in the world.

Related: Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather the only ones enriched by this fight | Kevin Mitchell

Related: Golovkin and Álvarez start the hard sell for middleweight title defence in Vegas

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/sep/13/golovkin-alvarez-fight-real-deal-mayweather-mcgregor-sideshow

Sep 06

Andy Murray out until new year to focus on slow recovery from hip injury

• Scot decides against surgery and will rest until 2018 season
• Murray will miss Beijing and Shanghai tournaments

Andy Murray’s decision to skip the rest of the season, leaving the window only slightly ajar for a highly unlikely return to competition before the 2018 campaign, has received wide approval across tennis.

The former British No1 Greg Rusedski, who took six weeks out with a damaged shoulder towards the end of his career, was among those who welcomed Murray’s decision to let his painful hip injury heal slowly.

Related: Juan Martín del Potro epic hints at repeat of 2009 win against Roger Federer | Kevin Mitchell

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/06/andy-murray-injury-rest-of-season-tennis

Jul 17

Hungover Roger Federer tells tennis’s next generation to attack old order

• Wimbledon champion celebrated title in bar until 5am
• Federer calls on young players to play more attacking tennis

Roger Federer, hungover after partying until 5am to celebrate his eighth Wimbledon title, had enough lucidity on Monday morning to throw down a challenge to the next generation to play more attacking tennis if they want to dislodge the old order.

The 35-year-old Swiss could easily return to No1 in the world and win his third slam of the season in New York next month after coming through Wimbledon without losing a set. He won in Melbourne, too, in vastly different circumstances, and he looks and sounds as content as when he was dominating the game alongside Rafael Nadal, then, in recent years, competing with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray for supremacy.

Related: Graceful Roger Federer transcends statistics to rebuild mystical aura | Kevin Mitchell

Related: Roger Federer stands tallest of all as Wimbledon’s history man | Sean Ingle

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/17/roger-federer-hungover-tennis-next-generation-wimbledon

Jul 15

Roger Federer vows to attack in final against big hitter Marin Cilic | Kevin Mitchell

The Swiss master has been in imperious form at the All England Club but is wary of his Croatian opponent’s ace card and promises to go on the offensive

Marin Cilic played probably the match of his life when he beat Roger Federer in straight sets in the semi-finals of the US Open three years ago, on his way to lifting his only slam title to date, a performance he hopes to emulate in his first Wimbledon final on Sunday. The 28-year-old Croat is enjoying an excellent summer on grass and has the game to win a second slam, of that there is little doubt, but he is playing someone who is in his 29th grand slam final, his 11th at the All England Club, where he has already prevailed seven times.

That Flushing Meadows triumph was Cilic’s sole win over the Swiss in seven attempts and Federer has it hard-wired into a tennis memory that stretches back seven years further than his opponent’s debut, in February 2004. Two weeks before Cilic beat one Ivaylo Traykov in a Futures tournament in Zagreb that day, Federer was winning the second of his 18 slam titles, getting the better of the mercurial Marat Safin in Melbourne.

Related: Roger Federer refined but ruthless as he glides towards eighth Wimbledon crown | Jacob Steinberg

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/15/marin-cilic-roger-federer-wimbledon-final

Jul 01

Victoria Azarenka ‘fitter than ever’ for Wimbledon after maternity break

After the birth of her first child in December, the Belarusian targeted a return at the US Open but decided she could not wait for her grand slam comebackAs John McEnroe was reminded when he blundered into his sexism row with the heavily pregnant Seren…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/01/victoria-azarenka-wimbledon-tennis

Jul 01

Andy Murray fit and hopes to have last laugh against Alexander Bublik

The world No1’s hip injury will not prevent him from beginning the defence of his Wimbledon title but he may be troubled by Kazakhstan’s Bublik – if the 20-year-old lucky loser can strike a balance between jokes and consistent tennis

The good news is Andy Murray, who progressed from limping to something like his familiar ambling gait on Saturday, is in decent enough shape to begin the defence of his Wimbledon title on Monday after days of agonising over a sore hip. But the world No1 has an altogether different challenge waiting across the net from him on Centre Court.

Murray will be familiar with the off-court eccentricities of lucky loser Alexander Bublik because the 20-year-old Kazakh of precocious talent and untamed joie de vivre interviewed him this summer on behalf of the ATP’s NextGen experiment. It was an hilarious interlude.

Related: Wimbledon 2017 women’s form guide: the players to watch at SW19 | Jacob Steinberg

Related: John McEnroe: ‘A knack for creating controversy where there is none’

Related: Victoria Azarenka ‘fitter than ever’ for Wimbledon after maternity break

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/01/andy-murray-fit-alexander-bublik-wimbledon-first-round

Jun 29

Two matches, a tumble and tears but Konta past world No1 Kerber at Eastbourne

Konta sees off Ostapenko 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 and world No1 Kerber 6-3, 6-4Fears of concussion after bang to the head led to uncontrollable sobbingJohanna Konta needed a statement win after some worrying slippage since her Tour breakthrough in Miami nearly th…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/30/konta-eastboune-slip-blow-head-kerber-tennis

Jun 29

Andy Murray pulls out of Hurlingham match as hip problem persists

• World No1’s Wimbledon preparations suffer further blow
• ‘My hip is still sore and I need to rest it,’ says Andy Murray

Andy Murray has pulled out of his exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club on Friday, but the world No1 insists he will be fit to defend his title at Wimbledon, which starts on Monday.

“Sadly I won’t be ready to play at The Hurlingham tomorrow,” he said on Thursday. “My hip is still sore and I need to rest it today, and likely tomorrow.”

Related: Wimbledon reinvented: how All England Club stays ahead of the game

Related: Michael Downey: I should have spent more time trying to talk to Andy Murray | Donald McRae

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/29/andy-murray-hurlingham-hip-problem-wimbledon

Jun 28

ITF gambles with World Cup of Tennis rebrand of Davis Cup and Fed Cup

• Two competitions to be combined into World Cup from November 2018
• New finals event to be staged for three years in Geneva

The rebranding of the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup finals as a combined World Cup of Tennis in Geneva from November next year is a gamble born of necessity and will either recapture the magic of the struggling competitions or pitch them back into confusion.

The International Tennis Federation president, David Haggerty, knew on taking up office in September 2015 that his over-riding challenge was to persuade leading players they can fit in their commitment around an already hectic schedule on the regular Tour. It could be more than symbolic that he and his committee have settled on Roger Federer’s homeland as the first venue for the daring experiment.

Related: The Joy of Six: Wimbledon wildcards | Niall McVeigh

Related: Andy Murray injury worry part of wider picture as top players feel strain | Kevin Mitchell

Very tough for players to get back on Davis Cup mode when ITF itself is slowly killing the competition. #badchanges #daviscup

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/28/world-cup-of-tennis-davis-fed-itf

Jun 27

Andy Murray injury worry part of wider picture as top players feel strain | Kevin Mitchell

There is no cause for alarm after the world No1 pulled out of a pre-Wimbledon exhibition tournament but he, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are all feeling physical pressure

On the face of it, Andy Murray’s withdrawal from an exhibition at the Hurlingham Club in London on Tuesday, citing a sore hip, is no cause for great alarm and of a piece with his season, indeed his career.

He will, he says, play on Friday. However, taken cumulatively, the defending champion and world No1 will be at least mildly disturbed that his body is aching in more places than he might have anticipated. Since his heroic charge over the closing stages of last season to rip away Novak Djokovic’s top ranking, Murray has suffered physically, and perhaps spiritually.

Related: Andy Murray’s reign as world No1 is under threat, says Roger Federer

Related: Johanna Konta: ‘If I lose a tennis match, so what? My health is everything’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/27/andy-murray-wimbledon-warm-up-sore-hip-injury

Jun 25

Novak Djokovic’s peace mission may have neutered killer instinct – McEnroe

• Former great questions Pepe Imaz’s influence on troubled Serb
• Djokovic awaits confirmation Andre Agassi will be at Wimbledon as mentor

John McEnroe fears Novak Djokovic’s burgeoning spirituality could be draining the Serb of his “killer instinct”.

The American, who wrestled with his own volatile personality for much of his career, says of the one-time shirt-ripping beast of the Tour: “From an emotional standpoint he perhaps felt he wanted to bring in somebody who wants to give people a lot of hugs. That does not necessarily translate to having that killer instinct. It does not automatically lose it, but you don’t want to get into a situation where it is all peace and love and then have to go out and try to stomp on somebody’s head in competition.”

Related: Novak Djokovic enlists guru specialising in long hugs to help him stay No1

Related: Boris Becker: Novak Djokovic and Andre Agassi could be a winning combination

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/25/novak-djokovic-killer-instinct-john-mcenroe-andre-agassi

Jun 25

Roger Federer dispatches Alexander Zverev to secure ninth Halle title

• World No5 wraps up 6-1, 6-3 victory in statement of intent for Wimbledon
• Petra Kvitova wins Aegon Classic just six months after stabbing incident

If Roger Federer plays at Wimbledon anything like he did to win his ninth Halle title by blowing Alexander Zverev off the court in 53 minutes on Sunday, he will surely be there for the final weekend of the championships at the All England Club in three weeks’ time.

The bare numbers hardly tell the tale: 6-1, 6-3 to Federer, 58 points to 33 overall, winning 79% of his service points, 52% when receiving. He was razor sharp at the net, solid at the back, ruthless in the finish.

Related: Paolo Maldini courts new love to join grand band of sport switchers | Jacob Steinberg

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/25/roge-federer-dispatches-alexander-zverev-ninth-halle-title

Jun 24

Dan Evans’ drastic lapse followed him starting to deliver on talent

Dan Evans admitted in February: ‘I made a lot of wrong choices when I was younger,’ but his positive test for cocaine follows two years in which he had at last focused on his tennis

Dan Evans has an Oscar Wilde tattoo on his left forearm that reads: “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.”

This article could stop right there, except there are a few more nuances in the life of the player everyone knows affectionately as “Evo”, the scallywag from Hall Green in Birmingham who has just thrown his tennis career in the bin after getting busted for cocaine.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/24/dan-evans-postive-test-cocaine-tennis

Jun 23

Dan Evans reveals positive drug test for cocaine – ‘I made a mistake’

• ‘I must face up to it,’ says British No3
• World No50 says he failed drugs test in April

Dan Evans, the British No3 and world No50 tennis player, revealed in a brief and emotional statement on Friday that he had failed an out-of-competition test for cocaine. He faces a lengthy ban, probably two years.

The 27-year-old from Birmingham, who has had his funding stripped twice in the past, said in a hastily convened press conference in a west London hotel that lasted just a minute and a half: “Hello everyone, this is a very difficult day for me. I wanted to come here in person to tell you guys face to face, I was notified a few days ago that I failed a drugs test in April, where I tested positive for cocaine. It’s really important that you know this was taken out of competition and in a context completely unrelated to tennis.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/23/dan-evans-positive-drugs-test-cocaine

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