Q& A with

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - John New­combe

JOHN New­combe thought he was out of his prized TV gig when Chan­nel 9 an­nounced last July it was quit­ting Wim­ble­don af­ter 40 years. How­ever, Chan­nel 7 picked up the TV rights and quickly hired the Aussie cham­pion as an ex­pert com­men­ta­tor. This year

marks the 40th an­niver­sary of New­combe’s third and last sin­gles’

vic­tory at the All Eng­land Club. Q. You must have been mighty pleased to be head­ing to Wim­ble­don this year?

A. I was re­ally happy to get the gig with Seven. I did 22 years of Wim­ble­don at Nine. I’m go­ing to do a cou­ple of matches at the Aus­tralian Open for Seven as well. Q. You have had a cou­ple of health scares over the years. How are you track­ing these days?

A. The small stroke on the left side of my brain left me with mi­nor dam­age. I couldn’t write with my right hand for four months, but that got bet­ter. I wasn’t left with any [ per­ma­nent] dam­age. The face thing was un­for­tu­nate. The [ skin cancer] roots had gone an inch down my nose and an inch across my face. You can’t see it [ the scar] now un­less you look real close. I treat it as a lit­tle battle scar. Q. Did those health scares change the way you live? A. The stroke did me a big favour be­cause I was be­ing a naughty boy. I had some bad habits; I was overindulging. I con­sider it the stroke I had to have. I have obeyed all the warn­ings and now I’m a good boy. I mon­i­tor my blood pres­sure and watch my choles­terol and have reg­u­lar check-ups for lit­tle cancer things that come from be­ing out in the sun too long. Q. Who are you pre­dict­ing to win Wim­ble­don? A. I’m think­ing [ Rafael] Nadal. Ob­vi­ously you can’t count out [ Roger] Federer and [ No­vak] Djokovic. Federer is not com­fort­able against Nadal these days. Djokovic has had such an amaz­ing six months. You won­der when he will go off the boil. The women’s event is wide open. You can’t say there’s a favourite. There are half a dozen women who could win.

COLIN VICK­ERY

Wim­ble­don ( week 2), South­ern Cross, nightly from 11pm; 7TWO from 10pm.

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