Fist pumper. Chip and charger. Brand name squash drinker. Perennial Wimbledon semi-finalist.
This much about tennis icon Tim Henman you will know.
With the all-England championships upon us once more, we caught up with the tennis icon and Slazenger ambassador for a few rallies (he battered us) and for a chat to unearth 15 very important things you are very unlikely to know about him - spanning oddities like what you might find in the Wimbledon locker room to his bad habits and hidden talents. Henmania lives on.
It's the guide to Tim Henman you never knew you wanted.
Slazenger has been the official tennis ball supplier to The Championships, Wimbledon for 113 years; the longest sporting sponsored_longform in history. You can purchase the Official Wimbledon Tennis Ball from Slazenger.com
Images: Rex, All Star, Slazenger]
1. HE OWNS OVER 1,000 BOTTLES OF WINE
“The most expensive bottle in my cellar is one big 18 litre bottle of red, working out to about 24 bottles in one. It’s from 2009, which is a good year.”
2. HIS FAVOURITE FILM IS WEDDING CRASHERS
“I love everything about it. Will Ferrell is also great in it as the guy crashing the funerals."
3. HE CAN JUGGLE
“I can even juggle with three tennis rackets. Four is too difficult."
4. HE WAS RUBBISH AT PLAYING WITH HIMSELF
“I remember when Andy [Murray] first joined the tour, he would always be playing the SEGA video game [Virtua Tennis] and he’d always play as me. It became a bit of a joke as he was unbelievable at it – a lot better at playing me than I was. I know he later played the guys like Rafael Nadal at football games but I was a bit old for it."
5. DRIVES A JAG
6. PLAYED OTHER SPORTS IN THE WIMBLEDON LOCKER ROOM
“There’s a putting green in the locker room at the moment, and also a basketball game. And many of the guys will play cards – backgammon is big on the tour. There are more ways to pass the time during rain delays at Wimbledon than you know about."
7. Had a near death experience on a private jet
“A few years ago we had to make an emergency landing flying from California to Miami on a jet we had chartered. We were at about 40,000ft and could smell smoke coming from somewhere. Next thing we knew the oxygen masks had been dropped. To tell you the truth we all got hysterics, we couldn’t stop laughing – which was slightly odd."
8. CRACKS HIS KNUCKLES TOO MUCH
“It’s something I’ve always done. It’s a bad habit I know.”
9. HE HAS BROKEN THE LAW (SORT OF)
“I’ve had a few speeding fines. It’s all speed cameras these days and you get it through the post."
10. Enjoys poached eggs and Bovril on toast
"Three eggs, three pieces of toast, all with Bovril on - I had this meal every morning before playing at Wimbledon."
11. Would choose Daniel Craig's film career over anyone else's
“I like James Bond, so I’d choose Daniel Craig’s career, he’s done well for himself. Sean Connery wasn’t a bad Bond either. [Bonus: he also believes Bond would win in a threeway brawl with Jack Bauer and Jason Bourne: "He has to doesn’t he? Bond never loses."]
12. Doesn’t watch TV shows or read books
“I’m not a massive reader, really. And I don’t watch many TV shows - all those 24's, The Sopranos, they’ve never really interested me."
13. His best buddy in tennis is Todd Martin
“My best friends in tennis were the ones I grew up with playing at junior level but then the British guys never made it through to the tour. I always got on well with American Todd Martin and he was a good friend of mine, still is."
14. Once got a hole-in-one...
“Fifth at Sunningdale. On the New. 167yds. 7-iron. I bought everyone a drink that day."
15. …Before the barman did the same an hour later
“His shift finished at 4 o’clock that day so he went out to play golf where he also got to the fifth hole and got a hole-in-one on it. Unreal."