Reading Roman philosophy, investing in cryptocurrency and playing miniature golf are among the favorite pastimes of British tennis stars at Wimbledon this year.
Top British players Ryan Peniston, Alastair Gray and Yuriko Miyazaki spoke to the PA news agency about what they do off the pitch.
Good friends Gray and Peniston have fulfilled their childhood dream of playing a men’s doubles together at the championships this year.
As underdogs, they were defeated by American Jackson Withrow alongside Joran Vliegen – but both took victories in their first singles.
Their wins put a combined prize of £56,000 in the pot for the house they plan to rent together in the Wimbledon region.
After playing with young children in the SW19 region on Saturday at a community tennis event, the players revealed what they will be doing in their new home.
Southend-born Peniston, 26, said: “I’m a pretty big TV nerd, movie nerd, so I watch a lot of Netflix and I’m a huge Marvel fan.”
Gray, 24, of Twickenham, said Peniston brought him into the Marvel franchise and is slowly working his way through all 28 films.
He said: “I always ask him for recommendations and he always answers, yes, and gives a scale out of 10.
“I’ve been through the Marvel series now, since it premiered, and I’m with Thors now. I also like the Iron Mans.
He said his favorite movie to date was Spider-Man: Homecoming, starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker.
Gray said one of his main interests was following cryptocurrency after his coach urged him to invest digitally.
He told PA: “It’s a bit of a roller coaster.
“Learning about different projects and, it will sound corny, but the future finances of the world, it’s exciting, that’s what interests me.
“My trainer Devin Bowen is a crypto guru and he teaches me the methods.
“Like him, I try to be a little bit informed.”
The couple said they also enjoy playing mini golf and enjoying “a cup of tea and a snack” at local cafes.
Born in Tokyo, Miyazaki moved her sporting allegiance from Japan to Britain in March, having spent most of her life in the UK.
The 26-year-old wildcard said she had the support of her mother, Akiko, 57, a former professional pianist, and her father Yoichi, 62, who works in finance, on her Wimbledon debut this year.
“They’re really, really supportive,” she told PA.
“They have had to sacrifice a lot for my tennis from an early age and I am very grateful to them for that.
“It’s been my dream to play at Wimbledon since I was very young, so I think they enjoyed every minute of it too.”
Miyazaki said that in the little free time she has outside of school, she enjoys playing the piano, golf and reading about Roman philosophy.
“Lately I’ve been busy with philosophy books, stoicism and all that,” she says.
“At the moment I am reading Meditations by Marc Aurèle.
“I like to read many different kinds of books.”
When asked if she had applied any of her philosophy lessons to her tennis game, she replied, “Maybe, yes.
“It gives you useful perspectives on life, and it also applies to my tennis.”
The players took part in a community event at Wimbledon Park on Saturday, hosted by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), the sport’s governing body.
All three were eliminated from the tournament this year after good performances, but they hope to return even stronger to the grass pitches at Wimbledon 2023.