Tennis Prose



Biofile: Pat Cash Interview

The rock star handsome net rushing Aussie hero bested Lendl to win Wimbedon in 1987, his only major title. His colorful career, wounded by injuries and surgeries, would produce five more singles titles and a best ranking of no. 4. Notably, Cash invented the now popular tradition of climbing into the stands to celebrate his win at Wimbledon, so often imitated by modern champions.

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: 1987 Wimbledon champion. Winner of six career ATP singles titles. Currently co-coaches Brandon Nakashima.

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 185

DOB: May 27, 1965  in Melbourne, Australia

Childhood Heroes: “Were all Aussie Rules Football players. The ones I enjoyed were Lee Matthews who was a Hawthorne football player, now a coach of the Lions. And Peter Knights – another Hawthorne player. So I was a mad Aussie Rules supporter. In tennis, probably three guys particularly – Borg, McEnroe and Connors.”

Nicknames: “Just Cashy or Butcher. Other than that probably Dickhead or Asshole, something like that. I respond to any of those [smiles].”

Hobbies/Interests: “Play guitar, play golf – when I can, not very often though. Just try and spend some time with my kids.”

Early Tennis Memory: “Going to Kooyong, when I first started getting tennis lessons down there which was a thrill. That’s the earliest memory I’ve got.”

Favorite Movies: “It would have to be all comedy movies. I try to make a collection of great movies like Spinal Tap and Monty Python’s Holy Grail. One of the funniest of mine was Kung Pow which is a piss-take of Hong Kong karate movies. It’s very funny. Dumb & Dumber. I like comedy movies, but not exclusively. But other than that, Braveheart. Forrest Gump, I loved that movie.”

Musical Tastes: “Lots of stuff, mainly Guitar or Blues, Funk to full on Death Metal.”

First Job: “I had a little paper route, delivered weekly newspapers. I just did it with my mate. Really we were just hanging out on the bikes. That was my first job. Since then, I’ve only been employed a couple of times – by some Tour players. And not sure if I’ll be doing that again.”

First Car: “That I bought – a Mercedes 300E (blue). I still got it (from) six, seven or eight years ago. Bought a couple of little ones since then.”

Favorite Meal: “I’ll say black miso cod – they call it – at a restaurant Nobu which is around the world now. It’s fantastic. Best thing I ever had.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Not a big ice cream eater. But I’m quite happy with vanilla.”

Pre-Match Feeling: “It just varied, depending on the match and the circumstances. These days I just try and think about keeping the ball in the court. But it varied from being very nervous to not nervous at all. It’s always good to be a little anxious, but not overly anxious.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Greatest moment – probably winning Wimbledon (76 62 75 over Lendl in ’87). Followed very closely by Davis Cup – winning Davis Cup matches in Melbourne.”

Most Painful Moment: “I’d have to say there’s been plenty of painful memories, mentally and physically. But mine was at the U.S. Open when I made a comeback and I injured my back and couldn’t play. Had to default. (Against who?) The Russian guy Olhovskiy (in ’95). I couldn’t move. I had qualified and hurt my back in the last match of qualifying. I would have played Philippousis after that. And I thought that was the end of my career. And it was after working so hard to get back. As it turned out, I was only out for about six weeks or so. But I thought I hurt my disc again. So that was one of my worst memories for sure.”

Closest Tennis Friends: “From tennis? I couldn’t say one is closer than the any other one. I’m still friends with most of the guys. Don’t catch up with them that often though. Probably Dean Barclay, he’s my original coach’s (Ian Barclay) son.”

Funniest Players: “Scott Davis has got a great sense of humor. Geez, I wouldn’t know the modern players. John Lloyd. A lot of the older guys have got real good senses of humor.”

Toughest Competitors: “Geez, there’s plenty of those [smiles]. Jimmy Connors is right up there. Michael Chang was always tough. Becker – always had problems with Becker. Edberg. All the champs, that’s what makes them so good.”

Favorite Vacation Spot: “I try and vary it just about every year. I’ve been to a lot of great places. The last really nice one I had was in the Cook Islands. That was really good. It’s in the South Pacific, just beyond New Zealand.”

Funny Tennis Memory: “Well, I have a lot of laughs these days with the guys on the circuit. I can’t really think of a funny memory. I was always pretty serious when I was on the court. I can’t honestly think of one.”

Childhood Dream: “Aussie Rules Football player – for the Hawks. And then I always wanted to be a rock star [laughs]. So I’ve blown those two opportunities [smiles].”

Favorite Players To Watch Today: “I like watching Agassi. Federer and Henman – guys who come to the net a little bit. There’s not many of them around, unfortunately. Some players to watch…I think Mario Ancic is a good player, he’s exciting. He comes to the net a little bit. Serve-and-volleyers are a dying breed unfortunately. Hopefully they won’t all be gone.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Honesty. I think honesty. Honesty is rare, not around too often these days.”

Rock the Pat Cash 1980s classic tennis attire

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