The MCC's Rob Fahey will vie for a record 11th real tennis world championship title when he takes on Steve Virgona in London from April 24-28.
The 44-year-old, originally from Tasmania, has been the world champion since 1994, which makes him one of Australia’s most successful sportsmen.
A modest man known by his peers as "the Roger Federer of real tennis", the world number one’s achievements are extraordinary.
He has won 11 Australian Opens, 13 French Opens, eight US Opens and 10 British Opens. Not to mention three grand slams (2000, 2001 and 2008) and three world doubles titles!
The Championship Challenge, to be held at Queen's Club in London, will see Fahey go head-to-head with Virgona, a man 10 years his junior who he defeated to win the world title in Melbourne two years ago.
Fahey visited the Long Room at the MCG this week to collect the trophy, which has been on display for MCC members to view for nearly two years, to take with him to London. Hopefully, it is returned to its rightful place at the MCG very soon.
Speaking to mcc.org.au, Fahey described the preparation that goes into a world championship defence, including on court practice 5-6 days per week, along with 3-5 gym sessions.
He says his opponent Virgona is a tough competitor, and the two have had many long duels over the years, the results of which have gone both ways.
When asked how many world championships he would like to win before he retires, he very modestly replied, “I’m just focusing on winning this one.”
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