Kevin Mitchell

Author's details

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

Latest posts

  1. Hungover Roger Federer tells tennis’s next generation to attack old order — July 17, 2017
  2. Roger Federer vows to attack in final against big hitter Marin Cilic | Kevin Mitchell — July 15, 2017
  3. Victoria Azarenka ‘fitter than ever’ for Wimbledon after maternity break — July 1, 2017
  4. Andy Murray fit and hopes to have last laugh against Alexander Bublik — July 1, 2017
  5. Two matches, a tumble and tears but Konta past world No1 Kerber at Eastbourne — June 29, 2017

Author's posts listings

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

Jun 18

Andy Murray goes for sixth Queen’s title keen to play for years to come

• Murray plays Aljaz Bedene in first round at Queen’s
• Scot accepts John McEnroe’s opinion of him as fourth-best in his era

Andy Murray says the simple joy of hitting a tennis ball is what will drive him on well into his 30s – and he even harbours ambitions of winning an unprecedented third Olympic singles gold medal.

The world No1 – a husband, father, multimillionaire and knight of the realm, with more accolades than a rock star – could easily walk away from the sport he has been playing competitively for a quarter of a century.

Related: Andy Murray beats Juan Martín del Potro to win second Olympic gold

Related: Andy Murray knocked out of French Open by Stan Wawrinka in semi-final

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/18/andy-murray-sixth-queens-title-play-for-years

Jun 17

Nick Kyrgios says Andy Murray is ‘bluffing’ before start of Queen’s defence

• Murray to play British No4 Aljaz Bedene in opening round
• World No1 says he may have only two years left at the top

The notion that Andy Murray had entered the autumn of his career after accepting a knighthood and turning 30 was always one open to the loosest interpretation, and Nick Kyrgios, for one, thinks the Scot is bluffing.

Murray, who reached the semi-finals of the French Open last week despite injury, ill-health and a poor run on clay, told the BBC: “Maybe the next couple of years are the last few where I have a chance to compete for the majors and the biggest tournaments.”

Related: Johanna Konta beats Rybarikova to reach Nottingham Open final

Related: Tennis pro Isaac Frost charged with match fixing after ‘suspicious bets’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/17/andy-murray-queens-club-aljaz-bedene-tennis

Jun 13

Rafael Nadal pulls out of Queen’s but insists he will be fit for Wimbledon

• French Open champion skips Queen’s on doctor’s advice
• Nadal: ‘My body needs to rest if I am going to be ready to play Wimbledon’

Rafael Nadal on Tuesday night withdrew from the Aegon Championships at Queen’s, which starts next Monday, on doctor’s advice, but insists he will be fit for Wimbledon early next month.

Related: Rafael Nadal reveals freewheeling philosophy motivates him for Wimbledon

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/13/rafael-nadal-out-of-queens-fit-for-wimbledon

Jun 12

Rafael Nadal reveals freewheeling philosophy motivating him for Wimbledon

Spaniard won his 10th French Open playing with a rare freedom, and later explained his approach to life: ‘I do things as they come’

Rafael Nadal made an observation in Paris about his philosophy on life that sounded innocuous enough to dip below the radar of those who were correctly more concerned with the history he had just created but it describes perfectly why he is playing some of the best tennis of his career.

His words reveal, too, that the 31-year-old Spaniard, who has suffered more injuries than is good for his long-term health, is not done just yet.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/12/rafael-nadal-freewheeling-philosophy-wimbledon-approach-to-life-tennis

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