Andrew Castle on Wimbledon and What Makes a Champion
Andrew Castle is a former British tennis champion, now best known for presenting on GMTV. His background in tennis means Andrew knows exactly what it takes, the level of grit and determination needed to become a champion. We caught up with him to find out about some of the adversities he overcame in his journey to the top. As we are now in the midst of this summer’s Wimbledon Championships, Andrew also shared his predictions for who will win the grand slam events and be crowned 2017’s champion.
You can boast of being a tennis champion, what qualities do you feel make a world-class champion?
Strength of character and a thick skin. To be the best at what you do takes individuality, but also the ability to choose who to work with and who to trust. If you can't take criticism or if your performance is affected negatively by what outsiders think of you, then you are not likely to top the rankings.
Iconic Courts of Wimbledon
That is really interesting, we can imagine a lot of world-class athletes must have struggled with this on their journey to becoming a champion. But, for you personally, what hurdles and adversity did you overcome in your rise to the top?
Well I gave blood out of my arm to pay my rent in Kansas....does that count?! I'm also from a working-class background, we didn't have much money so filling the car with petrol or paying for coaching or indoor courts always meant something had to be sacrificed. I'm lucky enough to have had parents, brothers and a sister who were willing to give things up for me, so that I could have a shot at the professional game.
What are your predictions for Wimbledon this year?
I would love to see Federer do well, he's one of the sports stories of the year already. Murray will find his form I'm sure, his early exit is no reason to panic. Djokovic is all at sea at the moment, I don't expect him to win. Nadal could do it if his knees hold up. Watch out for Dimitrov, and also for a brilliant young Canadian called Denis Shapovalov.
Andrew Castle would love to see Roger Federer do well this year
In the women's it's great to see Petra Kvitova back after surgery to her left hand, which she had to repair injuries sustained defending herself from a burglar. Jelena Ostapenko is only 20 but just won the French Open. No Serena this year, perhaps her sister will win for a 6th time, she's often overshadowed by her younger sister. I'm not going to miss Maria Sharapova, the manner of her comeback and the lack of contrition has been offensive.
Thank you Andrew, with great interest we will be watching the games.
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