Strictly’s Annabel Croft on ‘feeling like throwing self off cliff’ during career

Annabel Croft says ‘competitive’ side will come out on Strictly


In a previous interview, Annabel Croft admitted that the losses she experienced in the world of tennis could make a young athlete feel like “throwing yourself off a cliff”.

The sport star’s eye-opening take on the competitive world of tennis back in a 2021 interview comes as she has been announced as one of the celebrities to join Strictly Come Dancing’s 2023 line-up.

Annabel, 57, will soon make her debut on the dance floor of the iconic BBC One show, which is set to return this Autumn.

As the former darling of British tennis, the successful commentator offered her perspective on what it’s like for players to lose on the court – especially at such a young age.

Speaking to Cherwell, Oxford’s oldest student newspaper, she explained: “It’s very lonely, enormous pressure on your shoulders, and you are taking 100% responsibility for what happens…

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“You feel like the world’s about to end and you’re about to throw yourself off a cliff.

“When you’re a sports person that’s never done anything else in your life since the age of seven or eight than hit tennis balls, sport it is it everything to you,” she continued.

She later added that sport “is such an amazing teacher to the individual about themselves and about life.”

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“It teaches you humility, and how to cope with defeats and disappointments,” she added.

“And that’s a really important factor in life: you can’t win everything.”

Annabel was the youngest British tennis player to compete at Wimbledon for almost a century at the age of 15 in 1984.

Now, the former junior champion and Tennis Academy founder is taking to the dance floor for a whole new challenge.

Annabel has revealed she had only found out that she had been picked for Strictly “in the last few days” and hasn’t danced for a number of years, save for the occasional TikTok routine with her daughters Charlie, 27, and Lily, 25.

Other stars to join the Strictly line-up this year include Paralympic champion Jody Cundy, journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy and actress Amanda Abbington.

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