Perth, Australia, 12 September 2020 | Leigh Rogers

Eamon Sullivan is an Australian swimming champion who once held the 50-metre and 100-metre freestyle world records. He is a three-time Olympian, winning two silver medals and a bronze at Beijing in 2008. Sullivan is also a two-time world champion and won three Commonwealth Games gold medals in his stellar career. The 35-year-old, who won reality television show Celebrity Masterchef Australia in 2009, now manages several restaurants in Perth.

In our Celebrity Match series, Sullivan reflects on his favourite tennis memories …

Tell us about your tennis experience. Have you ever played?

I haven’t played ‘officially’. I did a lot of training and kids tennis. I really enjoyed it, but never took the next step and haven’t played for a long time!

What is your best shot and why?

Apparently, I have a good open forehand.

What is your earliest tennis memory?

Going to my tennis instructor’s backyard in my own time to practice my ‘Philippoussis’ serve on a 40 degrees day. I had to jump in the pool afterwards to cool off!

Do you have a favourite tennis memory?

Lleyton Hewitt winning Wimbledon in 2002.

Do you remember the first professional match you saw live? Who played?

I can’t remember the exact one – but it was Steffi Graf and the grunting is what I remember!

Who is your favourite tennis player to watch?

I usually like watching underdogs, but to be a cliche, it would be Roger Federer. He is the epitome of a professional. He makes it look so easy, he is so calm and collected, and you can see the strategy changes he makes based on his opponent’s reactions. It makes me so jealous watching how dominant he is.

If you could meet any player, who would it be and why?

Ash Barty. She is a gun athlete and loves a beer – why wouldn’t you want to meet her?!

Finish these sentences …

The best part of the Australian Open is … the community it brings together to support the Australian tennis players.

Tennis is fun because … anyone can play and have fun! 

> Check out more Celebrity Match interviews