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Mitchell Johnson talks about his Wimbledon dream

914   //    07 Jul 2016, 13:28 IST
Mitchell Johnson
Although a formidable bowler, Johnson’s first passion was for tennis (Picture: Tennis World USA)

It is tennis season again and already a couple of huge upsets have taken place in this edition of the Wimbledon. The excitement is clearly getting to players of other sports. Mitchell Johnson, who is inarguably a fine bowler, talks about his huge love for the game and a childhood dream that he harboured of playing in the Wimbledon.

Mitchell Johnson's deftness at tennis is quite well known. The fast bowler had earlier spoken of his tennis idols which included the legendary Pete Sampras. Johnson and teammate Steve Smith have repeatedly been quite vocal in expressing their excitement for major tennis tournaments. Steve Smith, who is an unabashed supporter of Roger Federer, has often taken to Twitter to express his admiration.

Mitchell Johnson retired from all forms of International Cricket last year after registering appearances in 73 Tests and more than 180-limited overs games for Australia. It seems now, aged only 34, Johnson has enough time to see at least part of his dream through.

Also read: Mitchell Johnson: The tennis player who never was

The only time Mitchell Johnson has come close to playing pro tennis was in 2010 when the Australian Cricket team was at Hobart for a Test match against Pakistan. He and teammate Shane Watson were invited to participate in a friendly in the ongoing Hobart Women's Tennis open where the duo teamed up for a doubles match against Alicia Molik and Sania Mirza. Alicia Molik is a former World No. 8 tennis player who had previously won the Australian Open and French Open Doubles Titles with Mara Santangelo as her partner. Sania Mirza, of course, needs no introduction.

Johnson comes from a country that has seen magnificent tennis players emerge since nearly the beginning of the game. Rod Laver, Roy Emerson. Pat Rafter, Pat Cash and Lleyton Hewitt are some former players from the country as are Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios and Casey Dellacqua. Interestingly, despite being a left-arm bowler, Johnson was a right-handed tennis player.

“I had idols like Pete Sampras and Stefan Edberg, I remember when I was quite young watching him (Edberg) play although I wasn’t a serve-volleyer. I used to love watching Pete Sampras, the single-hand backhand and his serve and I wanted to go to Wimbledon,” Johnson told recently.

Well, it is never too late to realise your dreams, is it? And judging by his game, he seems quite good and efficient.

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