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Breakfast with Frost Sunday, 30 June, 2002, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Interview with Virginia Wade
Virginia Wade
Virginia Wade

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST: Well it's been an incredible first week at Wimbledon within the first few days, five of the top ten seeds were out in the men's tournament and then there were more to come but there's been good news for British tennis, in a moment I'll be speaking to the 1977 champion Virginia Wade, but first here's our correspondent Kevin Geary


DAVID FROST: And she's with us now looking very much the same as in that, as in those shots.

VIRGINIA WADE: Thank you very much for those sweet words, I wish.

DAVID FROST: And the first thing is 25 years ago Jubilee, and now we've got the Golden Jubilee and what's your expert judgement on the chances now at the end of the first week which they've survived, for Tim and Greg Rusedski?

VIRGINIA WADE: Well you know last year when it was that very bizarre and wonderful match actually that Tim played with Ivanesovic and you know it just wasn't Tim's day and...

DAVID FROST: Well no that Friday evening...


DAVID FROST: He could have won it...

VIRGINIA WADE: That's right...

DAVID FROST: And then the rain stopped...

VIRGINIA WADE: You know he just wasn't meant to win it, I mean Ivanesovic Was meant to win it last year and I sort of said to everybody well the reason he wasn't meant to win it is because next year's Golden Jubilee and that's the year he's meant to win it. The only thing is that he's got so much pressure on him, I mean they, they're almost leaving Greg to just get on and do his job but Tim, I mean it's really brutal, I mean he had a tough match yesterday and he was, you know he's, I mean I think he's, I think really in the end all the expectation might just be too much for him. He should get through the next two rounds but Hewitt has been playing very well.

DAVID FROST: Hewitt is a real problem isn't he...


DAVID FROST: And after Queen's you'd have to say that Hewitt would probably be the favourite in that match?

VIRGINIA WADE: Well he's got a very good record against Tim as well but you know Wimbledon can lift you, you know you never sort of play just towards normal game at Wimbledon, you either fail to rise or you rise above it so you know the inspiration can work for you but you have to be feeling pretty good inside. I mean Tim handles things amazingly well, I mean he handles all this barrage...

DAVID FROST: He's getting better and better at using the crowd as well, either with the old thing or just getting...

VIRGINIA WADE: Yeah I have to say that I'm not sure that that's my actual favourite thing about Tim because I like him so much and I would like to just see Tim out there just doing his business and he always looks a little bit contrived that, but you know I think he means it now, I mean I think he's really learned to think the right way. So, I mean he's certainly got a very good chance, I mean I, I have money on him so, it wasn't very good odds though.

DAVID FROST: What about Greg in the other half of the draw?

VIRGINIA WADE: You know Greg's, I've got a sort of feeling...

DAVID FROST: He's a dark horse...

VIRGINIA WADE: Yeah he is and he's, he definitely is feeling good about himself you know in his game so I think Greg's got a pretty good chance and that but there are some real obstacles, I mean..., ...and people like that are just, you know all the seeds dropped out of the bottom half but there are some very good players in there.

DAVID FROST: Well one thing that fascinated me about that this week, that, that so many relatively speaking unknown players to us anyway, knocked out people like Sampras and Agassi and so on and Safia, does that indicate a new levelling up or levelling down of talent, that people who are seeded 23 or not seeded at all can do that to the established stars or is it to do with Wimbledon or to do with grass why, why, why this year?

VIRGINIA WADE: No it's been happening at all the other tournaments as well, I mean it actually, Wimbledon has kept its seeds longer than a lot of other tournaments of the majors in the previous couple of years. But I think first of all it is sort of the end of Sampras era I regret to say, so there's that that's happening at one time. There's also, you know they always talk about the depth of men's tennis well there are an awful lot of very good players so somebody's who's on on a certain day. I think there is actually, you know they've always talked about the women's game as being too easy but there are some such outstanding champions in the women's, so they do sort of stand head and shoulders above the others whereas, I mean Hewitt might go into the mantle but at the moment I don't think that there's anybody or any three people in the men's that you can say are always head and shoulders above each other and are the real real champions.

DAVID FROST: And in terms of the women's game, I mean I suppose you'd fearlessly predict that the winner of the women's title with, will have the surname Williams?

VIRGINIA WADE: I think so, I mean I think...

DAVID FROST: Which one?

VIRGINIA WADE: You know I think Venus although I nearly always think Serena's probably a bit more ambitious and does a little bit more to her game but I think she and Serena won the French, I think that Venus feels very comfortable about having won Wimbledon twice, she likes living in the skin of a Wimbledon champion, she likes being Wimbledon champion and I think she's, you know she's such a solid match player that somehow I think that she will assert her, her right to the title.

DAVID FROST: And in terms of our women's tennis, Virginia, I mean we have a potential new star this week, Elena Baltacha this week, but apart from that why is our women's tennis so lacking in candidates for the top?

VIRGINIA WADE: I wish I could answer that, I saw Elena Baltacha and I thought finally we had somebody who could really go all the way to the top, she's a fabulous girl and she's dedicated and she wants it and she's very good. So we're going to keep our fingers crossed for that. I think it's just been a combination of a lot of things, I think way back when I was playing, when we had, you know, Sue Barker, Jo Durie, Annabel Croft, had a lot of good players, I think that quite a, it was neglected then and now I think what's happened is, I think what's very hard for young girls to, I think they get the message that it's dedication and hard work and sacrifice instead of that it's a wonderful way to enjoy your life and be creative and get inspiration and all the rest of it. So I want people to go out there, play tennis and have fun and then take it from there to be more competitive.

DAVID FROST: Virginia thanks a million.

VIRGINIA WADE: Lovely to see you.

DAVID FROST: Always great to see you, thank you, Virginia Wade there.


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