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'How I Learned to Stop Being A Snowflake and Won Wimbledon', by Piers Morgan

ATHLETES these days. Bunch of feeble-minded snowflakes, the lot of them. Back in my day, tennis players were fortresses, capable of defeating anything, mental or physical. Read carefully: I'm going to tell you all a little story about how I overcame my demons and became Wimbledon champion.

It was 1986, I think. I was in my pomp; a spunky, hunky machine of a man, bursting at the seams with testosterone and vigorous youth. I was around 21 years of age, not much older than Britain's new tennis darling, Emma Raducanu.

A gigantic difference between the younger me and Little Miss Gen Z, however, is the way we respond to pressure. One of us folds, crumbles and walks away in the face of a challenge; the other one is me.

It was a beautiful British summer, the clearest of blue skies matched only by the flawless green courts of SW19. Bag on shoulder, racket in hand, I made my way out to Centre Court just like any other tennis legend, putting one foot after the other and waving to the frantic crowd, presumably thrilled to see me.

Following me to the court was a steely, Aryan-looking German, the defending champion, Boris Becker. I didn't see what all the fuss was about, to be honest. I remember thinking "this is who I have to beat? He's just a kid. He looks like Charlie Bucket with big, hairless thighs". But after a couple of minutes of warming up I realised this kid wasn't in London looking for a golden ticket; he could really play tennis.

I must admit, Becker's serve was mildly impressive. When we started playing for real, I almost didn't return a couple of them. In fact, little doubts started creeping into my mind, voices asking "are you really going to be able to beat this guy", telling me "you're not even a tennis player, Piers. This is just a little exhibition to entertain the crowd, an interlude between matches. You're only here because you're an aspiring journalist." But did I let those thoughts stop me putting the hurt on this man? Did I f**k.

I took all that negative energy, the pressure from the onlooking fans who would leave disappointed if I were to lose, the thoughts of letting everyone down, letting myself down, and I channelled them into possibly the greatest performance of my life, perhaps second only to the time I singlehandedly chased Meghan and Harry out of the country armed only with my astounding intellect.

I hit a serve at a blistering speed, surely a record at the time (though I'm sure faster serves have been hit nowadays with improved racket technology; I'm not a braggart), straight into German's body, and the only response he could muster in time was a lofted block towards the sky, which I routinely finished off at the net with a smash, and that was that. After only 5 minutes, Becker trudged towards the net and held out his hand in acceptance of his defeat. I had beaten the Wimbledon champion. Despite all the doubts, the mental struggle, the unfathomable pressure, I did it, at the tender age of 21.

So, the next time someone questions me for calling out a pitiful little snowflake like Emma Raducanu who doesn't know what it takes to be a champion on the biggest stage, remember this story. Remember that Piers Morgan has done it all and knows exactly what he's talking about.



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