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Four Wimbledon giants share their memories, marvels and mess-ups

By Louise Schwartzkoff
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Today marks the start of two weeks of Pimm's, strawberries and nail-biting tennis. To celebrate the occasion, four of the sport's biggest stars share their Wimbledon memories, tips and disasters.   

Tim Henman

Four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist; former British No 1

My favourite memory ‘My first time on Centre Court when I played against Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. He’d just won the French Open, but I saved two match points and beat him 7-5 in the fifth.’

That time it all went wrong ‘My biggest Wimbledon disaster was in 1995 when I accidentally hit a ball girl in the head with a tennis ball. I was the first player in 125 years to be disqualified at Wimbledon.’

Top tip for spectators ‘Make sure you get the chance to catch some of the action on Henman Hill.’

Where to watch if you can't be courtside ‘In your garden with a big bowl of strawberries and cream.’ 

Martina Hingis

Four-time Wimbledon champion; women's doubles No 1

My favourite memory ‘Winning Wimbledon doubles at 15 and becoming World No 1 at 16 are up there! Holding up the trophy and hearing the crowd cheering my name was the greatest feeling.’

That time it all went wrong ‘Nothing really awful has happened (so far – fingers crossed!). I really only have great memories of the tournament.’

Top tip for spectators ‘You can’t beat setting the scene with strawberries and cream and a glass of Pimm’s.’

Where to watch if you can't be courtside ‘London has so many great places to watch. I’d recommend anywhere outside to enjoy the sunshine and soak up the atmosphere. Just remember a pair of sunglasses and an umbrella.’

Andrew Castle

Former British No 1; veteran commentator

My favourite memory ‘Stepping on to court to play for the first time in 1986. I felt so honoured. Then there was 2013, when Andy Murray got to match point. Our audience for the BBC’s coverage was over 17 million. We were witnessing history. Ten minutes later he had finally won.’

That time it all went wrong ‘I was wearing shorts that split when I nicked the first set off Sergi Bruguera one year. There was no hiding place.’

Top tip for spectators ‘The matches on the outside courts tend to be closer than the ones with the star players on Centre or No ! Court. On the outside courts, you’re so close to the players you can feel their emotions.’

Where to watch if you can't be courtside ‘Sofa, with a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich. Brown sauce, of course!’  

Annabel Croft

Wimbledon girls' champion, 1984; former British No 1

My favourite memory ‘Watching Björn Borg beating John McEnroe in 1980 in one of the all-time greatest Wimbledon finals. Borg was my inspiration for picking up a racquet.’

That time it all went wrong ‘When the rain interrupted Tim Henman’s semi-final match against Goran Ivanišević in 2001. It took three days to complete. I was there, commentating on all the emotions. It was a heartbreaker for Tim and the nation. Goran went on to win the championship.’

Top tip for spectators ‘Explore the outside matches – there are always plenty of great tussles to enjoy.’

Where to watch if you can't be courtside ‘At home with friends with a glass of wine in hand. Or check out the many outdoor screens around London.’

For more tennis mania, check out our full guide to Wimbledon 2016 or hunt down the best Wimbledon tennis screenings in the city.

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