Tennis Ace Pat Cash

150 150 Rob McGibbon

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Published: 2 August 2014

Tennis Ace Pat Cash:

"I’m a Reiki Master and heal people by channelling the universal energy"

We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. Here, former Wimbledon Tennis Champion Pat Cash serves up his answers…

The prized possession you value above all others... Three electric guitars given to me by great rock guitarists – Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest and Mick Cocks of Rose Tattoo. I play guitar and music is my big passion in life. Those guitars are all black and make a lot of noise.

The biggest regret you wish you could amend... Losing a match point against Ivan Lendl in the US Open semi-final in 1984. That haunted me for years, but it ultimately helped motivate me to beat him in the Wimbledon final in 1987.      

The temptation you wish you could resist... Kettle chips. I always have a bag in my pantry. If I need to lose weight they’re the first things I sacrifice.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint... I’d ask Jesus, Buddha and Krishna for advice on how to save the world from the mess we’re in.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance... A Course In Miracles by Helen Schucman. It’s has 365 daily lessons to help your spiritual transformation. It’s helped me be a happier person.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you... I’d love to learn to fly a small plane and then jets.   

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise... Shoes left by the front door. My kids [Pat has four: Daniel, 28, and Mia, 26, by a former partner, and twins Shannon and Jett, 19, by his ex-wife] did that for years. I’d walk in and the door would hit them and rebound in my face. They knew Dad was home when the shoes got kicked around!

The film you can watch time and time again... Forrest Gump. It’s funny but sensitive too, with real depth.

The person who has influenced you most... Two tennis coaches guided my career and my life – massively. Ian Barclay got me through to the Wimbledon final. And recently Brad Langevad has kept me injury-free and still playing.  

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again... The coolest chunky silver bracelet I bought in Mexico. It’s the only bit of expensive jewellery I’ve ever bought, but it was stolen.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child... Trust your instincts and try not to judge yourself too harshly.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity... I’m a Reiki Master, which is a form of healing by channelling the universal energy. I got into it in the late 90s – I’ve helped a lot of people but I don’t practise it as much these days.

The unending quest that drives you on... To understand the big questions in life. I may never find the answers, but I’ll learn while looking.

The poem that touches your soul... I’ve never really got poetry, but songs move me. One Of These Nights by The Eagles has really powerful lyrics.    

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it... I’d go back to the 2000 presidential vote in Florida and rig it so Al Gore won, not George Bush. Bush caused irreparable damage with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’d like to see what the world would be like if he hadn’t become president.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase... That I’m an outspoken loudmouth. In Australia anything I say gets turned into a ridiculous headline. I speak my mind, but I don’t say anything for the sake of it.

The event that altered the course of your life and character... Winning Wimbledon. I was 22 and my dad said I could live off it for the rest of my life. He wasn’t far wrong!

The song that means most to you... Exciter by Judas Priest. I heard the roaring guitar of that song when I was 16 and it changed my attitude to music. I’ve loved rock ever since.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Man for a day... I’d hang out with tigers – without the fear of being eaten.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions... I’d have breakfast at home in south-west London. I make great wheat-free pancakes with maple syrup. I’d then go hiking in Bryce Canyon in  Utah. I love its stone sandcastles whipped up by the wind. I’d meet up with all my kids and my two grandchildren [Mia’s children, Talia, four, and Patrick, one] in St Anton in the Austrian Alps, which is beautiful. Later, I’d go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, then have a few beers on a beach in St Vincent in the Caribbean. In the evening, I’d go and see the American rock group Cheap Trick play at the House of Blues in LA. I got the idea for the chequered headband I wear for tennis from them. I’d waste the night away watching them rip it.  

The happiest moment you will cherish forever... When my son Daniel was born on my 21st birthday. Watching him arrive was astonishing.

The saddest time that shook your world... The three years between 1996-98. My marriage was falling apart, my career was coming to an end, and I was deeply depressed.

The philosophy that underpins your life... This too will pass.

The order of service at your funeral... I’d have a simple service in Melbourne where I was brought up, with some great music, wine and food. I’d like my ashes scattered on the ocean.

The way you want to be remembered... As a great dad and a loving friend.      

The Plug... Pat is part of family festival Sportfest, sponsored by Weetabix,  on 2 and 3 August. Visit Download Pat’s Tennis Academy App via