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Virginia Wade: Dealing with the press


 

Originally published on: 19/06/12 00:00

Wade on press attention
"You don’t mind dealing with any sort of attention when you feel good about yourself. Winning Wimbledon in 1977 was such a major accomplishment for me – and such a confidence booster because I achieved what I had set out to do. It gives you this tremendous feeling of deep satisfaction that you actually did manage to do it, which therefore boosts your confidence enormously. You become very tolerant of all the media attention! There was a huge amount of attention that year."

Wade on the pressures of constant attention
"There was a dedicated press core who travelled everywhere with us. They paid attention to everything we did – the good, bad and the ugly – so I totally understand the pressures it puts on people. If you’re not feeling good about yourself they never let you go. Problems get magnified. Someone like [Roger] Federer, as he’s getting to the end of his career, must get so fed up of everybody asking him if it’s going to happen for him again and when he’s going to retire. You try to be objective about it but it’s hard when the press go on about one thing in particular."

Wade on bonding with the media
"I had some really close friends in the press. There were one or two people I used to hang out with. They were my buddies. As long as you like somebody and trust them, it’s nice to be able to be friends with somebody who isn’t a player. But that was the exception rather than the rule and in general you had to bring yourself not to totally trust them because there was always that feeling that you might get stabbed in the back."

Wade on Murray’s approach to the press
"[Andy] Murray is very neurotic about what is written about him. He’s paranoid. Right from the beginning he would be phoning up the press and saying ‘why did you write that’? I think he started off wanting them all to like him but now that he realises that’s not the way it works, and he’s more secure about himself, he can separate himself. They have to do their job. They have to be critical and some of them are going to make big stories at your expense. It’s not necessarily much fun."

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