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Sister hails ‘down to earth and funny’ tennis star ahead of Wimbledon match

Sarah Beth Grey in action (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Sarah Beth Grey in action (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Sarah Beth Grey’s older sister has given a personal insight into the Liverpudlian tennis star’s childhood, her secret artistic side-talent, and how she qualified for Wimbledon just four months after undergoing heart surgery.

Grey will be playing alongside fellow Briton Yuriko Miyazaki, known as Lily, against America’s Asia Muhammad and Japan’s Ena Shibahara in the women’s doubles on Wednesday afternoon.

Britain’s number 12 was told she had a potentially dangerous, abnormal heart rhythm after a routine check-up, and underwent cardiac ablation to fix it in February this year.

Tennis star Sarah Beth Grey with her family (Family handout)
Tennis star Sarah Beth Grey, second left, with sisters Amy, 29, left, and Emily, 30, right, along with their two nieces Fleur and Felicity (Family handout/PA)

Incredibly, she recovered quickly enough to make her third appearance at the Championships this year.

The 26-year-old, who goes by her middle name Beth, is from West Derby in Liverpool and is one of seven children – three older sisters, one younger brother, and two younger half-brothers.

She is especially close with her 29-year-old sister Amy Grey, who told the PA news agency that they shared a bedroom as children and were home-schooled together.

Rothesay Classic Birmingham 2022 – Day Four – Edgbaston Priory Club
Great Britain’s Sarah Beth Grey in action (Martin Rickett/PA)

When asked how she was feeling for Beth ahead of her first Wimbledon 2022 game, Amy told the PA news agency: “I’m feeling a mixture of really excited for her and a bit nervous as well because it’s a big deal, playing at Wimbledon.

“I spoke to her this morning, she’s feeling excited to get out there and compete, and I know she’s playing with Lily who’s obviously really talented and played in the main draw yesterday and did really well.”

Amy added that Beth’s heart problem came as a shock to the family.

“She’d had a couple of instances of fainting during the pandemic, but you could put that down to a lot of things, so I don’t think she expected it, but she sensed that maybe something wasn’t quite right,” she said.

Sarah Beth Grey, second right, with siblings Cliff, 23, Emily, 30, second left, Amy, 29, centre, Chloe, 32, right, and their nieces Fleur and Felicity (Family handout/PA)

“It was quite shocking and quite scary, my mum was really worried.

“We were all just really hoping for the best for her, because we know how hard she works and how passionate she is about playing tennis and when you hear that might not be possible any more… we all felt relief when it was sorted.

“She did recover really quickly, I remember worrying that she wouldn’t in time.”

Amy described her sister as “really down to earth, upbeat and funny”.

“She’s always made people laugh around her and I know she’s got a lot of close friends,” she said.

Wimbledon 2019 – Day Three – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Sarah Beth Grey, right, and Eden Silva during the women’s doubles in Wimbledon 2019 (Victoria Jones/PA)

She added that aside from tennis, the athlete is also “really good at drawing”.

“When she’s not training, she likes to draw to wind down,” she told PA.

“It’s always been something that she’s done – sketching, that sort of thing – when she’s not competing.

“She does cartoons and stuff like that, really random, but she’s really good at them.”

Amy said that all their siblings – who range in age from 10 to 32 – will be watching Beth’s Wimbledon game from scattered locations around the UK, as will their parents Joanne Grey and Cliff Askew.