'Anybody who thinks they're happy all the time is probably lying': Under the microscope with Greg Rusedski
01:22 GMT, 26 June 2012
The former British No 1 tennis player, 38, on eating junk food, his fear of flying and the reality of being a sportsman
'I retired four years ago and the nice thing now is that I can be more sociable with my friends,' said Greg Rusedski
IS YOUR DIET LESS HEALTHY NOW YOU’VE RETIRED
A lot of people think professional tennis players have a phenomenal diet. It’s true it has to be balanced, but you can still have junk food and sweets because you burn so many calories on court. I retired four years ago and the nice thing now is that I can be more sociable with my friends.
YOUR BIGGEST VICE
Cheddar crinkle-cut crisps and a pint at my local in South London.
do you have a hangover cure
I’m lucky that I don’t usually get a hangover, but if I do, I drink lots of water and go for a run the next day.
I had horrendous food poisoning in 1991 when I was playing at a tournament in the Far East. In one week I lost 10lb. I had to be put on a drip so I could be fit to play the following week.
POP ANY PILLS
Some people take supplements without really understanding what they need. After retiring I had blood tests done that helped pinpoint potential deficiencies — I take a B complex and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), which is a naturally occurring sulphur, for energy production.
HAPPY WITH THE WAY YOU LOOK
I don’t think I need it, but I can understand why men get hair transplants to make them feel better. Luckily, mine’s growing OK right now. I had so much surgery on my feet and my knees during my career that I don’t really like having anaesthetics.
SO WHICH WAS THE WORST OP
Definitely the first in October 2002. I had a bursa (fluid that builds up at a pressure point) removed from my left foot. This surgery is done only in extreme cases — and I didn’t feel I was back to my best for almost a year afterwards. Sometimes it takes longer for the mental scars to go away after an op because you end up doubting yourself.
Ironically, given how much I travel, I hate flying. I’ve actually walked off flights when there have been delays due to technical issues. My wife, Lucy, always tries to calm me down using breathing techniques.
'Handling the ups and down, both physically and mentally, as a sportsman can be difficult,' said Greg
WITH A YOUNG FAMILY, DO GET MUCH SLEEP
I’m in bed by 10.30pm normally and the kids — John, two, and Scarlett, six — get up between 7am and 7.30am. That’s only interrupted if Scarlett’s been watching too much Scooby-Doo, from which the scary people give her bad dreams, so she’s up around 3am.
Last year John was diagnosed as gluten-intolerant, so we have to be careful with his diet. I’m very conscious of how much sugar can creep into kids’ diets, because it can affect their behaviour and sleep.
EVER BEEN DEPRESSED
Handling the ups and down, both physically and mentally, as a sportsman can be difficult, but you’ve got to be realistic that you’ll be down about things sometimes. Anyone who says they’re happy all the time is probably lying.
Greg Rusedski is one of the BBC’s Wimbledon commentators.