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Man’s Life HOT or NOT List – September 2021

Emma Raducanu
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The World of Sport continued to dazzle in September with new stars and underdogs taking their place in the spotlight and making themselves household names across the globe. From British sensation Emma Raducanu & the lesser-known FC Sheriff to the dominant Chennai Super Kings who all ran HOT to a few others that had a September to forget, we’ve got you covered right here in our Man’s Life Hot or Not List for September 2021:

HOT

▶ Emma Raducanu

 

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Emma Raducanu is the teen sensation that sent shock waves through the sporting world in September while putting a smile on every one of our faces and her own along the way. In sensational fashion, the 18-year-old did not drop a single set in 3 qualifying matches and 7 main draw matches and made history as the only qualifier of any gender ever to win a Grand Slam title. The teenager completed perhaps the greatest underdog title triumph in tennis history and became the first British woman in 44 years to win a Grand Slam after beating 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez in the final in straight sets.

▶ McLaren F1

 

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It was clearly a good month for British underdogs as McLaren F1 had a blistering month with Daniel Ricciardo taking the iconic team to their first Formula One win in 9 years at the Italian Grand Prix which was made even sweeter with teammate and British sensation Lando Norris finishing in 2nd spot. Ricciardo had last won a race in Monaco in 2018 while McLaren’s last win came way back at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2012, thereby giving the team and its fans plenty of reason to celebrate. The team could have gone back to back in Russia with Lando leading up until the final moments of the race, only for a strategic error to not change tyres in the wet conditions causing Lando Norris to spin and lose the lead of the race to Lewis Hamilton after dominating every lap until then. Overall, however, an excellent month for the Papaya outfit in F1.

▶ Chennai Super Kings

 

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The Chennai Super Kings were the only IPL team to go completely unbeaten in the month of September as they won all four games in convincing fashion and are sitting pretty at the top of the points table. After suffering a tough time out in the UAE in IPL 2020, CSK has come out all guns blazing in 2021 with the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, and Ravindra Jadeja all putting in match-winning performances while Thala MS Dhoni continued to exert his Midas touch on the field.

▶ FC Sheriff Tiraspol

 

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You may not have heard of FC Sheriff Tiraspol a few weeks ago, but the Moldovan champions pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Champions League history with their 2-1 victory over 13-time winners Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. The club based in Tiraspol is the first Moldovan team to have ever qualified for the Champions League and after two rounds of matches, FC Sheriff is currently topping their group which consists of European giants Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and Shaktar Donetsk.

▶ Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski

 

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Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski secured one of his best career wins against Brian Ortega at UFC 266. With that unanimous decision victory, Volkanovski became only the fifth UFC fighter in the history of the promotion to start his UFC career with 10 consecutive victories. His 10-fight win streak is the third-longest active streak on the UFC roster, behind Amanda Nunes and Kamaru Usman. The UFC Featherweight champion also celebrated his victory with a traditional “shoey” which was made popular by Australian F1 rider Daniel Ricciardo.

 

NOT HOT

▶ ECB – English Cricket Board

The English Cricket Board had a month to forget in September after several players across the globe criticised the Board for over the cancellation of the men’s and women’s teams’ tour of Pakistan recently. West Indian legend Michael Holding wasn’t one to mince his words saying, saying “Had it been an India tour, they would not have had the guts to tell the Indian cricket board they would not tour the country.” The ECB had cited “increasing concerns about travelling to the region” and that it would add “further pressure to a playing group who have already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments” although, several players suggested that they were not asked and were ready to travel given the choice. The ECB also put a cloud over England’s participation in the Ashes Down Under at the end of the year, further dampening the spirit of English cricket fans.

▶ Mumbai Indians

 

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Although it is an unwritten rule that Mumbai Indians lose the first game of a new campaign, the defending champions find themselves in the ‘not list’ in September after losing three of their first four games in the UAE. The biggest worry for MI has been the lacklustre batting displays with only Kieron Pollard striking at more than 130, and the likes of Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and surprisingly even Suryakumar Yadav struggling to meet bat on ball.

Tottenham Hotspur

 

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After winning their first three league games by a 1-0 margin in August, Tottenham Hotspur were brought back down to Earth in September as they lost all three of their Premier League fixtures. Spurs started September with a pair of 3-0 defeats against Crystal Palace and Chelsea before ending the month in humiliating fashion with a 3-1 loss in the North London Derby against Arsenal where they were completely torn to shreds and made to look like an amateur football side.

▶ Anthony Joshua

 

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One of the biggest upsets in the world of combat sports in the month of September was Anthony Joshua’s loss to Oleksander Usyk which resulted in the Brit losing his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO belts. AJ who is one of boxing’s largest stars trailed on the judge’s scorecards after losing rounds to a much smaller and craftier challenger. The emphatic last round took Usyk to a unanimous decision to win in a fight most fans expected AJ to win. The judges scored the bout 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113, all for Usyk.

▶ Jon Jones

 

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After getting inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame for his bout against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165, Jon Jones did something only he could’ve done – get arrested. The #2 pound-for-pound fighter who hasn’t stepped in the octagon since UFC 247 was spending his night in Las Vegas was reported for a domestic disturbance at Caesars Palace after a call stating that a female adult who was later identified as Jones’ fiancee Jessie Moses was bleeding from her nose. Once Jones was arrested, out of frustration he put his head through the front hood of the Police vehicle which caused a huge dent on the car. Later on, he was also charged with damaging a vehicle as well, which is considered a felony in Nevada!

 

[Image Credit: Emma Raducanu]

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