INTERVIEW WITH TIM HENMAN
Tim Henman, one of Britain’s most-loved tennis players, has been running tennis camps here on Mustique for a few years now. While he was here this summer, he shared tennis tips and his views on why tennis is so integral to life on Mustique.
When did you first come to Mustique and what keeps you coming back?
My wife and I first visited Mustique about six or seven years ago, when a friend of ours was celebrating a big birthday. They invited eight couples, so we were 18 in total, and we stayed in Shogun. From the moment we landed on the island, and I saw the bamboo airport, I knew it was going to be a special place. We were a big group but were so well looked after with the amazing villa and team to take care of everything we needed. It was always such a relaxed atmosphere wherever we were, with no need to get dressed up if you didn’t want to and people so friendly. It’s almost as if you become a part of one big Mustique family when on the island.
What is your favourite part of your Mustique tennis week?
My favourite part of the Mustique tennis week is coaching the kids in the morning, and then working out who has had the most rose wine at lunch in the Adults’ evening session!! And always a highlight are the great battles of “105” where two teams race to get to 105 points first, by getting rewarded with different numbers of points for different types of winners. Simply the best game out there!
What is your top tip for any budding kids who dream of playing tennis professionally?
My best advice for young kids who want to be professional players in the future is practice doesn’t make perfect… practice makes permanent. If you practice good habits, they will become permanent. But if you practice bad habits, they will become permanent too. So, whenever you are on the court, ingrain the right habits, and that goes for technical, physical, as well as mental.
Why do you think tennis is such an important social aspect of Mustique?
It has so many benefits. Firstly, it’s a great game that you can play for your whole life. Secondly, it’s a great way to meet people. And thirdly, there are so many health benefits of staying active and healthy around the game.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
The advice I would give my 18 year old self would be – on court stay aggressive at all times, and you are only as good as your 2nd serve.
Pimm’s, Champagne or Rum Punch?
I have always loved Champagne so would definitely choose a glass or two to celebrate our next arrival on Mustique.
Apparently, backgammon is a very popular game in the Wimbledon locker room, how do you fancy your chances in the weekly Cotton House tournament?
Before we had roofs at Wimbledon, we used to play a lot of backgammon in the locker rooms whilst waiting for the rain to stop. It’s great fun and I have taught all three of my daughters to play the game. I think I will need to get some practice in if I am going to try my luck at the Cotton House though!
When you are not playing tennis on Mustique, where is your favourite spot on the Island?
My favourite spot on Mustique would either be an early morning swim at Gelliceaux or late-night dinner on the beach with family and friends.