Former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich hosts his own show as part of BBC Radio 5 Live's Wimbledon coverage
Michael Stich At Wimbledon
Monday 23 June BBC Radio 5 Live
Former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich returns to the All England Club for the fifth consecutive year as a much-loved BBC Radio 5 Live pundit at the world's premier tennis event.
Known for his humour and outspoken opinions on the world of tennis, this year Michael is happily anticipating digesting play at the world-famous, grass-court Grand Slam in a series of six of his own shows – Michael Stich At Wimbledon.
Michael won the men's singles title at Wimbledon in 1991. He also won the men's doubles titles at both Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, and was a singles runner-up at the US Open and the French Open.
Michael and his wife, Jessica Stockmann, established the Michael Stich Foundation for HIV/AIDS-affected children in 1994 and have since been actively involved in rendering assistance to such children and their families.
Michael talks tennis with Radio PI, tells of his plans for his new show and, inevitably, shares his views on Euro 2008. Not surprisingly, he has high hopes for his home nation's chances...
Are you enjoying the
tennis so far this year?
"I have found the tennis so far this year exciting because Djokovic can challenge Federer and Nadal a little bit. The thing that I don't like is that we have had a lot of injuries and a few players pulling out of the big events, which is a shame. But, in general, tennis is looking good and it is more exciting than the other years because there is a challenge at the top."
As well as working as an expert pundit on BBC Radio 5 Live, this year at Wimbledon you have your own series of six evening shows – what do you have planned for these?
"Our guests will include top tennis names, obviously, current and former players as well as names from other sports. We'll talk about tennis as well as sports in general. Of course, I hope that Germany will still be part of the European Football Championship so that I can give everyone a very hard time – I'll certainly talk about soccer then! And we'll also tackle whatever comes up and just have a good time and try to give the listeners a little something extra."
What do you enjoy most
about working in radio at Wimbledon?
"I just love the team, I think that Radio 5 Live really has a great team – they are young and creative and they give me the freedom to do what I want to do. Also, I like it because you have the freedom not just to commentate on what you see but to create stories – you can add to stories and that is what I really like about radio."
How did you end up working
"I don't really know, to be honest, and I think this is my fifth year now! Radio is just a great medium. The BBC wanted to use me for both radio and TV and then I realised that I really enjoyed radio. I decided that I would love to do more radio and ended up doing more or less only radio – which has been absolutely fine with me."
What is the worst thing
about Wimbledon, either as a player or a broadcaster?
"The worst thing is the
same for both players and broadcasters and that's when the rain
stops play. When it rains, there is absolutely nothing to do. At
least, as a radio broadcaster, you can talk. But, as a player, you
just have to sit around and wait..."
What is the best thing
"The greatest thing is the atmosphere – the All England Club is a very historic and energetic place. I think that the changes that have been made over the last couple of years are great. The new No. 1 Court and the new Centre Court were much needed but it still feels like Wimbledon – they have retained the unique atmosphere. The history of the place is fascinating – to see all the old members that have been there for the last 50 years is great. It is like a little community and I really enjoy that."
So, do you have any
tips for who will win or who to watch out for this year?
"Well, we have the obvious favourites. And then you have a guy like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who did so well at the Australian Open. I think he's got a big challenge ahead this year. And there's Richard Gasquet, he did well last year. He is better prepared this year than he was last, so he may do well. Other than that, for Wimbledon, I have a tough time predicting! Let's wait and see..."