If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed that I am the biggest ever Tennis fan. Tennis season is my favourite time of year and the highlight for me is always Wimbledon. So to celebrate Wimbledon starting this week I was so lucky and got to speak with former British number 1 tennis player Mark Petchey. Mark was also Andy Murray's coach back in the day (seriously that picture, how funny and awesome is Andy's hair) so I thought who better to talk to about all things Tennis and Andy Murray, enjoy the interview and let me know who your backing to win this year in the comments....
1. You were Andy Murray’s coach at the beginning of his career. Was it very clear from the start that Andy had the potential to be one of the best players in the world?
I saw Andy when he was 16 in Edinburgh and it was clear even then he had something special. He had a quality about him and time on the ball you can’t really coach. Plus the fire he had to win every point was something that came very naturally to him. That fire was going to see him overcome any obstacles that were going to present themselves.
2. Andy has obviously has extreme media scrutiny put on him in the past few years. Do you think this has affected him or do you think he has managed to come through the attention unscathed?
One of Andy's strongest qualities is his desire to be true to himself. He is very authentic. He has clearly learned that there are times to be somewhat diplomatic but for the majority of his time in front of the media he is just himself. It makes things easier for him and I feel people really appreciate that.
3. Wimbledon is often described as the best Grand Slam in the world, as a former player, coach and now commentator you must have travelled to all the tournaments, why do you think this one stands out so much?
To be honest I love Wimbledon because it’s the first Slam I ever went too but I do love them all for all their different qualities. However, I do feel Wimbledon is special from all the others particularly because of Centre Court. It is a truly magical place to play and watch tennis.
4. This year Britain has a new hopeful in the form of Aljaz Bedene. There has been a lot said on the issue of him now representing Britain, what do you think of that situation and what do you think his chances are for Wimbledon?
Aljaz is clearly a very good player and will be a asset for British tennis over the years. I personally am not a fan of players, sportspeople switching nationality no matter the sport but it happens all the time so the fact is he is British. He is a very nice person and a extremely hard working professional which are all positives for him to win the support from British crowds in time.
5. Andy has been playing some of his best Tennis this year, what do you think his odds are for scooping the Wimbledon title?
He starts as a co-favourite along with Novak and Roger in my opinion. There is however a lot of great players in the draw with the same ambition. It won't be easy but he is certainly playing at the level he needs too to win it again.
6. There are so many young players having real big moments this year, are there any players you think could give us some shock results at Wimbledon, who should we look out for?
Not sure the next few young players are quite ready to make the breakthrough this year. I feel its more physical than anything else right now for them. If you look at the time it took for Dimitrov, Raonic and Nishikori to get to a place where they can be a real threat, it took a few years. It will be the same for the next wave but they will get there.
Mark Petchey was talking at the David Lloyd Leisure All Stars tennis pop-up at South Bank, London.
If you'd like to get into tennis and for more information, go to: www.davidlloyd.co.uk and watch a video all about the event HERE