Melbourne, Australia, 16 August 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Harry Garside is an Australian boxing champion.

The Melbourne-based athlete was won multiple national championships and secured a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Garside created history with his bronze medal-winning effort at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, becoming the first Australian in more than three decades to win an Olympic medal in boxing.

He also proved a fan favourite on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! earlier this year, finishing runner-up on the reality television program.

In our Celebrity Match series, Garside names the tennis stars who inspire him …

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

I played for a few months when I was around seven years old. I found it hard as I am left-handed and right-footed, so I was really confused about what was my dominant hand. In the last two years I have started playing again for fun. I absolutely love having a hit, although I am very average.

What is your best shot and why?

I am actually quite proud of my serve, although it is very much below average.

What is your earliest tennis memory?

I grew up in Lleyton Hewitt’s prime time, so my earliest memories were screaming ‘C’mon!’ every time Lleyton or even myself did something good.

Do you have a favourite tennis memory?

For me, it has to be Ash Barty winning the Australian Open in 2022. Ash is a massive idol of mine and to see her win and retire on top was something so special.

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

I was very young and I can’t remember names, but I had a ground pass to the Australian Open when I was about seven. Unfortunately I didn’t see Lleyton that day, but I do remember walking around the courts and being amazed.

Who is your favourite tennis player to watch and why?

It has to be Novak Djokovic. I just think he is the ultimate competitor. I’ve been fortunate enough to see him live twice and he was something really special.

Harry Garside with Australian tennis star Ajla Tomljanovic at Australian Open 2023. Picture: Tennis Australia

As a Piper-Heidsieck ambassador, you’ve been fortunate to sit courtside at the Australian Open. What was the highlight of that experience?

Being so close to the action gave me the utmost respect for how gruelling and tough the sport of tennis is. It was amazing to see the intensity the players bring to every point and rally.

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

After reading his book and falling in love with him, it has to be Andre Agassi. He was an exceptional athlete, but I love what he has done outside of sport with the school he has set up.

Finally, can you please finish these sentences …

The best part of the Australian Open is … it’s in my home state every year, meaning I’m only a little trip away from the tennis and enjoying the atmosphere of the tournament.

Tennis is fun because … we all want to be the next Ash Barty!

> Check out more interviews from our Celebrity Match series

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