1987 Wimbledon Champion and Davis Cup legend Pat Cash will be one of the eldest players at the Aegon Masters commencing on 1st December at the Royal Albert Hall, but the 44-year old isn’t giving up hope of winning the tournament.
Cash said, “It’s a tough ask as I’m probably the oldest guy in the field this year and I’m in the same group as Rafter and Goran, but I’m still in pretty good shape, I’ve played some tennis coming in and I’ll definitely give it my best shot.”
Though Cash will be trying to win, he says that whilst important, it is not the only reason behind playing the event.
“Once we get on court, we always want to win. It’s the only way we know. But at the same time we want to make sure that people coming to watch have a good time, so we’ll have a laugh and a joke as well as playing our tennis. It’s a great field this year, with Pat Rafter and Mark Philippoussis playing for the first time, and Goran Ivanisevic, Stefan Edberg and Greg Rusedski as well. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Cash is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest Davis Cup players and holds the record for the youngest player to win a singles match in the Davis Cup aged just 17. It’s the Davis Cup that holds some of his fondest memories from a career spanning 15-years. His greatest Davis Cup moment?
“Winning the 1983 Davis Cup for Australia. That was a real turning point for me because it showed me for the first time that I could win under extreme pressure. I was only 18, we were leading Sweden 2-1, and I needed to beat Joakim Nystrom in front of my home crowd in Melbourne to win the Davis Cup for Australia. I was petrified. I couldn’t eat that morning – I was just trying to force cereal into my gob! I knew that it could be a make or break moment for me in my career, because if you don’t come through situations like that you may never recover. I won 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 and it was like I became a man right there and then.”
Cash though is best remembered for winning Wimbledon in 1987 and embarking on his trip to the family box after the match – he reveals, that is was pre-planned. “People remember my Wimbledon title probably more for the way I celebrated than the actual match itself. Nobody had ever climbed into the stands before. It’s more than twenty years ago now, but I still get people telling me that it was the most emotional thing they have ever seen in tennis, and how much it meant to them. I had made up my mind about six months earlier that if I ever won it, I would climb into the stands to share the moment with the people that really mattered to me – my family and my coach. I liked the way that they are able to do that in boxing so I wanted to do it. But then I forgot all about it throughout Wimbledon and it was only the day before the final that I remembered my plan. I nearly chickened out when I actually won the match, and it was only when they were rolling out the red carpet and bringing the trophy out that I decided to go for it. I didn’t plan it very well though and got stuck halfway up – I had to climb onto the commentary box roof to get into the players’ box! Princess Diana was on the court that day and it’s something we would speak about whenever we saw each other after that.”
See Pat Cash compete at the Royal Albert Hall in the Aegon Masters this week along with other Aussie legends Pat Rafter, Mark Philippoussis, Peter McNamara and Mark Woodforde as part of the ATP Champions Tour.