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