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Author Archive for Tim Lewis

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Doping in bridge is a reminder that no sport will ever be free of cheating | Tim Lewis

From EPO in cycling to cocaine in pétanque, cheating will always go on if the rewards are big enoughGeir Helgemo is sometimes called “the bad boy of bridge”. And, to be fair to the smiley 49-year-old Norwegian, he does live up to his billing, seeming p…

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Katelyn Ohashi proves smiling can be a serious asset to elite athletes | Tim Lewis

Gymnast’s joyful routine is a happy alternative to putting on that grim ‘game face’ in a business where smiling is, well, frowned uponBetween Brexit and Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year, aka this Monday– it’s not always been easy of la…

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The growing pains of Andy Murray have lasted for most of his career

Since he was diagnosed with a split kneecap at 16 Britain’s leading player has had his battles off the courtAndy Murray is in pain. That his right hip has been causing him profound physical discomfort for some time is no secret. In 2018, the 31-year-ol…

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Walks on the white side: bold, impressive … but what’s the point? | Tim Lewis

Two men are racing across the Antarctic but what is the value in these polar adventures?Been feeling some anemoia of late. If I were 20, this nostalgia for a time I’ve never known might have led me to listen non?ironically to the Spice Girls or to buy …

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Carlsen and Caruana deadlocked in battle of Mozart and Killah Priest of chess

The captivating rivalry at the World Championship in London may finally bring the game in from the coldNorth-west India, the sixth century. Two men play a board game on an eight?by-eight grid. The pieces are divided into four ranks, representing milita…

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On the verge of F1 greatness: now Lewis Hamilton targets glamorous new empire

He is racing to clinch his fifth title – but now there’s his fashion and music tooIn two social media posts last week, the British racing driver Lewis Hamilton showed where he has come from and how far he has travelled. The first was a link to an eight…

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Farewell to father of British basketball who discovered Luol Deng

Brixton Topcats coach Jimmy Rogers dies leaving an All-Star legacy and thousands of winners in the game of lifeMeeting him, that voice is what you’re going to notice straight away,” says “Marvellous” Marvin Addy, a British basketball player, now coach….

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England win causes barely a ripple amid Wimbledon’s tight rules

Football is banned by the All England Club, which studiously ignored the gameMuch was made of the estimate that 30 million people would tune in to watch England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden. But, if that was true, half the country weren’t w…

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Why Laird Hamilton is still making waves

Laird Hamilton found fame and fortune surfing the world’s biggest breakers. But, as he tells Tim Lewis, his daredevil streak could easily have led him down more dangerous paths as a young man. Plus, he reveals his life secrets for staying ahead of the …

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Double first: the twin sprinters with the Tokyo Olympics in their sights | Tim Lewis

Champion athletes Cheriece and Shannon Hylton only started running competitively five years ago. Now both sisters aim to represent Britain in 2020. By Tim LewisWhen the Hylton sisters were teenagers – they are now 21 – they were netball ninjas, terrori…

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Infirmity and age pose threat to quality at Australian Open trainwreck | Tim Lewis

Long list of absences including Serena Williams and Andy Murray means less-known talent could bring some unwelcome surprises in MelbourneHard to believe, isn’t it, but we will soon celebrate the 16th anniversary of a very strange tennis match. In late …

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José Mourinho mistakes with De Bruyne, Lukaku and Salah haunt Chelsea | Tim Lewis

Portuguese’s name should be mud for allowing the Premier League’s three best players at the moment to slip through the Stamford Bridge net. Another Chelsea talent drain must not be allowed to happenDick Rowe, the head of A&R at Decca Records in the…

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Better haircuts, wiser shots: Wimbledon veterans turn back Centre Court clock

Venus Williams lifted her first Rosewater Dish in 2000; Roger Federer won his first title in 2003. But it’s been a great year for both

Tony Blair, bright-eyed and puppy-eager, had not long strode into Downing Street when Venus Williams, her hair braided with purple and green beads, played her first match at Wimbledon. Princess Diana was still alive. There have been 10 changes of Italian prime minister in the Williams era. It is a measure of the 37-year-old American’s extraordinary longevity that three of her opponents in the past fortnight, all of whom she mercilessly thrashed, were actually born in the year of her debut: 1997.

But there was no fairytale ending yesterday under the Centre Court roof as Williams attempted to become the oldest women’s singles champion in Wimbledon history. The 23-year-old Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza lived up to her hashtag nickname – Muguruthless – to win the final, comprehensively in the end, 7-5, 6-0.

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Better haircuts, wiser shots: Wimbledon veterans turn back Centre Court clock

Venus Williams lifted her first Rosewater Dish in 2000; Roger Federer won his first title in 2003. But it’s been a great year for both

Tony Blair, bright-eyed and puppy-eager, had not long strode into Downing Street when Venus Williams, her hair braided with purple and green beads, played her first match at Wimbledon. Princess Diana was still alive. There have been 10 changes of Italian prime minister in the Williams era. It is a measure of the 37-year-old American’s extraordinary longevity that three of her opponents in the past fortnight, all of whom she mercilessly thrashed, were actually born in the year of her debut: 1997.

But there was no fairytale ending yesterday under the Centre Court roof as Williams attempted to become the oldest women’s singles champion in Wimbledon history. The 23-year-old Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza lived up to her hashtag nickname – Muguruthless – to win the final, comprehensively in the end, 7-5, 6-0.

Continue reading…

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Wimbledon, cricket and strawberries: the joys of summer’s ‘odd years’

The ‘even years’ of a decade – 2010, 2012, and so on – are packed with Olympic drama and World Cup heartbreak. But 2017 has a different rhythm

They are sometimes called “the odd years”. The “even years” – those that end in 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 – snaffle the most prestigious, watercooler, down-the-pub sporting events: football World Cups, the Euros, Olympics. The odd years, meanwhile, are stuck with just the solid perennials: Wimbledon, the Tour de France, Test matches.

But there are pleasures to be had in the odd years, in the same way that strawberries taste better when bought from a roadside stall in June than when they’re shipped halfway round the world in February. Summer in Britain should, in the natural order of things, be dominated by tennis, cycling and cricket. Men’s football can handle being knocked off the back pages every once in a while.

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Frank de Boer arrival at Crystal Palace embodies summer’s flicker of hope | Tim Lewis

This moment in the season is by far the most enjoyable for many fans, and Crystal Palace’s will be glowing after the appointment of De Boer as manager

This part of the football season is my hands-down favourite. The all-too-brief lull between the fixtures being announced and the transfer market getting serious is just so fecund with hope and potential. We live in an acquisitive, consumerist age where any problem can be solved with a shiny new toy. So Liverpool fans can believe that if only they can bring in Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk their defence will no longer buckle against teams in the bottom half. Wengeristas will feel confident that buying Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon will stop Arsenal being such snowflakes. Football really does have a fantasy element right now: Bournemouth, Brighton and Burnley are all squatting in the Champions League spots, albeit only alphabetically. Anything is possible.

Related: Frank de Boer arrives at Crystal Palace with proven vision to pull off grand plan

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Bradley Wiggins in The Jump? Let’s cut him a bit of celebrity slack | Tim Lewis

The cycling legend’s entry into the Channel 4 reality show will be seen by some as a sell-out, but we can’t expect our sporting heroes to have impeccable legacies

Cycling fans have long been inured to being let down by their heroes. Even still, there has been a special pang of say-it-ain’t-so-Joe disappointment with the announcement from Bradley Wiggins that, starting next month, he will be going head-to-head with Towie’s Lydia Bright and Spencer Matthews from Made in Chelsea to see who’s better at giant slalom. At stake, the prestigious Cowbell Trophy.

“Skiing is a big passion of mine,” said Wiggins, revealing that he would be one of 14 competitors on Channel 4’s reality show The Jump. “It was a mix of that and the other committed names this year that made me want to sign up. Major retiring Olympians such as Sir Steve Redgrave have also trod this path. I see this as a sporting challenge and want to go out there and win it. Just don’t call me a celebrity.”

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Bradley Wiggins in The Jump? Let’s cut him a bit of celebrity slack | Tim Lewis

The cycling legend’s entry into the Channel 4 reality show will be seen by some as a sell-out, but we can’t expect our sporting heroes to have impeccable legacies

Cycling fans have long been inured to being let down by their heroes. Even still, there has been a special pang of say-it-ain’t-so-Joe disappointment with the announcement from Bradley Wiggins that, starting next month, he will be going head-to-head with Towie’s Lydia Bright and Spencer Matthews from Made in Chelsea to see who’s better at giant slalom. At stake, the prestigious Cowbell Trophy.

“Skiing is a big passion of mine,” said Wiggins, revealing that he would be one of 14 competitors on Channel 4’s reality show The Jump. “It was a mix of that and the other committed names this year that made me want to sign up. Major retiring Olympians such as Sir Steve Redgrave have also trod this path. I see this as a sporting challenge and want to go out there and win it. Just don’t call me a celebrity.”

Continue reading…

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Sporting nicknames were obligatory but are they suffering a slow death? | Tim Lewis

Greg Rutherford, like many of Britain’s recent Olympic heroes, is short of a nickname so it’s time for sports fans to raise their game

My allotted time with semi‑pro ballroom dancer Greg Rutherford was up. It wasn’t his agent tapping an expensive, oversized watch face, the internationally recognised signal; instead, it was a two-year-old called Milo cruising into Rutherford’s kitchen, pushing a fire engine. Milo wanted to muck about in the garden in the sand, which, unbeknown to him, also happens to be an IAAF-approved long jump pit.

Related: Greg Rutherford: ‘Strictly helped me to not dwell on the Rio Olympics’

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Sporting nicknames were obligatory but are they suffering a slow death? | Tim Lewis

Greg Rutherford, like many of Britain’s recent Olympic heroes, is short of a nickname so it’s time for sports fans to raise their game

My allotted time with semi‑pro ballroom dancer Greg Rutherford was up. It wasn’t his agent tapping an expensive, oversized watch face, the internationally recognised signal; instead, it was a two-year-old called Milo cruising into Rutherford’s kitchen, pushing a fire engine. Milo wanted to muck about in the garden in the sand, which, unbeknown to him, also happens to be an IAAF-approved long jump pit.

Related: Greg Rutherford: ‘Strictly helped me to not dwell on the Rio Olympics’

Continue reading…