Kevin Mitchell Honoured With 2020 Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award

Malawi-born journalist covers tennis and boxing for The Guardian

The Guardian’s Kevin Mitchell was recognised with the Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award in the 2020 ATP Awards. The Malawi-born journalist was selected by the ATP for the honour, which was presented by ATP Tour’s SVP of PR & Marketing Nicola Arzani, and John Dolan and Ben Wiseman of LTA at the Nitto ATP Finals on Thursday.

“I really appreciate the gesture by my peers and the other people in tennis,” Mitchell said. “It’s really nice to be appreciated like that. It’s a really tight-knit sort of world and everyone gets on pretty well, so it was very nice for them to do that.”

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Born in Malawi and educated in Australia, Mitchell’s journalism career sent him to the United Kingdom where he went on to work for Hayters, the London Daily News and the Sunday Times before arriving at the Observer as one of the most prominent boxing writers in the country covering everyone from Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson. Mitchell won the UK’s Sports Journalist of the Year award in 1999 and he eventually became chief sports writer at the Observer. 

Mitchell began covering tennis at Wimbledon in the 1980s as a general sportswriter, eventually becoming The Guardian’s boxing and tennis correspondent. Mitchell has also written numerous books, including co-authoring boxer Frank Bruno's autobiography.

“There’s been many great moments,” said Mitchell. “We’ve all enjoyed Andy [Murray]’s rise — from a British perspective that’s been terrific — but also, the many great fights between [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal on clay and grass. The finals at Wimbledon between the two of them was just extraordinary. I remember a reporter from a Spanish paper asked me beforehand to write a preview for them and who did I think would win, and I was pretty uncertain. I thought, he’s from a Spanish paper, if I say Rafa, I’ll get the gig. So I picked Rafa to win and it worked out that way.”

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