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HOT OR NOT: Steve Smith confirmed his magnificence within the Ashes whilst Nigel Benn go back turns out wishful pondering

HOT OR NOT: Steve Smith showed his class to put in masterful Ashes performance while Nigel Benn’s return to boxing seems wishful thinking

  • Steve Smith ensured Australia retained the Ashes with a batting masterclass
  • Kim Clijsters announced her return to tennis after a nine-year retirement
  • Brooks Koepka was pipped to PGA Tour’s top award by Rory McIlroy 

It’s Hot or Not time again as Sportsmail’s Riath Al-Samarrai reveals what’s been making him feel warm and what’s been leaving him cold this week.

Steve Smith's batting masterclass was pivotal in Australia retaining the Ashes at Old Trafford

Steve Smith’s batting masterclass was pivotal in Australia retaining the Ashes at Old Trafford

HOT 

Steve Smith 

After the abuse he faced – which was fair enough – and after the runs he then scored, he was within his rights to give a little back. We may never fully solve the mystery of what the glasses meant last Sunday, and if indeed it was a gag at Jack Leach’s expense (you can probably figure it out), but in any case, who really cares?

Kim Clijsters 

A wonderful player in her day and next season she will come out of retirement for a second time, aged 36. She says she has been inspired by other mothers, such as Serena Williams. Given three of Clijsters’ four Slams were won after her son was born in 2008, maybe Williams should look to her.

Four-time Grand Slam winnerKim Clijsters is returning to the sport after a nine-year retirement

Four-time Grand Slam winnerKim Clijsters is returning to the sport after a nine-year retirement

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Paul Scholes 

In one little pass in one little testimonial fixture, he not only sparked countless tweets and the old debate about who was England’s finest, but he also showed more quality and more genius than the majority of the Manchester United squad combined across the past six years since he retired.

Man United legend Paul Scholes showed he's still got it during Vincent Kompany's testimonial

Man United legend Paul Scholes showed he’s still got it during Vincent Kompany’s testimonial 

NOT 

Brooks Koepka 

Absurdly overlooked in favour of Rory McIlroy for the PGA Tour Player of the Year award, as voted by the tour’s players. That being the same McIlroy whose Major results in 2019 read: T21, 8, 9, cut. And that being the same Koepka whose results read: T2, 1, 2, T4. Golf. It’s uniquely weird.

Brooks Koepka was unfortunate not to be crowned PGA Tour Player of the Year this week

Brooks Koepka was unfortunate not to be crowned PGA Tour Player of the Year this week

Christian Coleman 

Escaped a doping rap for three ‘whereabouts’ violations on a technicality and now, in a 22-minute YouTube video, he has called for a public apology and accused the US Anti-Doping Agency of going after a ‘big fish’. A big fish? Not sure about that one. But slippery? Oh yes.

Christian Coleman has launched an extraordinary attack on the US Anti Doping Agency

Christian Coleman has launched an extraordinary attack on the US Anti Doping Agency

Nigel Benn 

Everyone loves a comeback and not many 55-year-olds look as sharp or dangerous as the former two-weight world champion. But it is for good reason that the British Boxing Board of Control won’t give him a licence and likewise that his son, Conor, would rather he stayed retired.

 


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