Annabel Croft

Last updated

Annabel Croft
Annabel croft head.jpg
Annabel Croft in 2011
Full nameAnnabel Nicola Croft
Country (sports) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain
Residence Kingston upon Thames [1]
Born (1966-07-12) 12 July 1966 (age 52)
Farnborough, Kent, England
Prize money$201,254
Career record49–68
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 24 (31 December 1985)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (1984, 1985)
French Open 2R (1986)
Wimbledon 3R (1984)
US Open 3R (1986)
Career record13–36
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 126 (21 December 1986)

Annabel Nicola Croft (born 12 July 1966 in Farnborough, Kent) is a former professional British No. 1 female tennis player and current radio and television presenter. As a tennis player she won the WTA Tour event Virginia Slims of San Diego and represented Great Britain in the Fed Cup and the Wightman Cup.

Tennis ball sport with racket and net

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to maneuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.

Television presenter person who introduces or hosts television programs

A presenter is a person who introduces or hosts television programs. Nowadays, it is common for personalities in other fields to take on this role, but some people have made their name solely within the field of presenting, particularly within children's television series, to become television personalities.

The WTA Tour is a worldwide top-tier tennis tour for women organized by the Women's Tennis Association. The second-tier tour is the WTA 125K series, and third-tier is the ITF Women's Circuit.


After retiring from tennis, she turned to television presenting, with such shows as Treasure Hunt and Interceptor . In 2005, she appeared in the ITV programme Celebrity Wrestling and went on to win it.

<i>Treasure Hunt</i> (UK game show) UK game show

Treasure Hunt was a UK game show, based on the format of the French show La Chasse au Trésor, created by Jacques Antoine. It appeared on Channel 4 between 28 December 1982 and 18 May 1989 and was revived by BBC Two between 16 December 2002 and 2 August 2003.

Celebrity Wrestling was a British television programme, broadcast on ITV in 2005. It involved two teams of celebrities, competing against each other in wrestling style events. The series was presented by Kate Thornton and Rowdy Roddy Piper. British mixed martial arts fighter Ian Freeman was the show's referee and American sports presenter Jim Nantz was the commentator.

Most recently she has been a presenter for Eurosport, Sky Sports and the BBC.

Eurosport is a pan-European television sports network, owned and operated by Discovery, Inc. Discovery took a 20% minority interest share in December 2012, and became the majority shareholder in the Eurosport venture with TF1 in January 2014, taking a 51% share of the company. On 22 July 2015 Discovery agreed to acquire TF1's remaining 49% stake in the venture.

Sky Sports is a group of subscription-television sports channels operated by the satellite pay-TV company Sky, a division of Comcast. Sky Sports is the dominant subscription television sports brand in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It has played a major role in the increased commercialisation of British sport since 1991, sometimes playing a large role in inducing organisational changes in the sports it broadcasts, most notably when it encouraged the Premier League to break away from the Football League in 1992.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.


Tennis career

After winning the Wimbledon and Australian Open girls' tournaments in 1984, Croft won the Virginia Slims of San Diego tournament in 1985, beating Wendy Turnbull in the final in straight sets. [2] In December 1985, she achieved a world ranking of 24. [1] She played for Great Britain in the Fed Cup in 1985 and 1986, and in the Wightman Cup from 1983 to 1986. [1]

The Southern California Open is a WTA 125K series affiliated professional women's tennis tournament held at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California.

Wendy Turnbull,, is a retired professional tennis player from Australia. During her career, she won nine Grand Slam titles, four of them in women's doubles and five of them in mixed doubles. She also was a three-time Grand Slam singles runner-up and won 11 singles titles and 55 doubles titles.

The Great Britain Fed Cup team represents the United Kingdom in Fed Cup tennis competition and are governed by the Lawn Tennis Association. They currently compete in the Europe/Africa Zone of Group I.

After tennis

Despite her potential and being amongst the world's top 25 players, Croft retired from professional tennis at the age of only twenty-one, tired of the relentless travel and keen to start a family[ citation needed ]. Reflecting on her retirement in 2011, she noted that the tour was stressful as it was like "having an argument every day and preparing for another one tomorrow"[ citation needed ]. Immediately after her retirement, Annabel became the new face of Channel 4’s prime time show Treasure Hunt , following Anneka Rice's successful run. This was followed by her own show on ITV, Interceptor . [3]

Channel 4 British public-service television broadcaster; TV channel

Channel 4 is a British public-service free-to-air television network that began transmission on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially- self-funded, it is ultimately publicly-owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the station is now owned and operated by Channel Four Television Corporation, a public corporation of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which was established in 1990 and came into operation in 1993. With the conversion of the Wenvoe transmitter group in Wales to digital terrestrial broadcasting on 31 March 2010, Channel 4 became a UK-wide TV channel for the first time.

Anneka Rice Welsh broadcaster

Anne Lucinda Hartley Rice, known professionally as Anneka Rice, is a Welsh actress and broadcaster.

In 1990, Croft released her own fitness video entitled Annabel Croft's Shape Tape[ citation needed ].

She has been involved in coverage of Wimbledon Tennis Championship for the BBC, Radio 5 Live and GMTV, and has also worked for Sky Sports and Eurosport as a tennis pundit. She has appeared on UK lifestyle TV shows such as The Wright Stuff , The Entertainment Show, GMTV , Out and About and This Morning . [1]

In June 2009, Annabel Croft was one of five volunteers who took part in a BBC series of two programmes Famous, Rich and Homeless about living penniless on the streets of London. [4] After Famous, Rich and Homeless Croft did a follow-on Radio 5 Live radio show which was broadcast on 24 and 25 December 2009, entitled James: My Alcoholic Friend, where she tries to track down the rough sleeper with whom she had spent a night on the streets.

In May 2012, Croft gave a speech at the Oxford Union in which, after talking about her tennis and media presenter careers, she spoke at length of her 3-day experience of living on the streets and the friendship she had formed with James during that time.[ citation needed ]

She is a presenter for Sky Sports, including the 2012 US Open. She has also presented Game, Set & Mats on Eurosport during Grand Slam weeks of tennis.

In October 2012, Croft launched a company called DiaryDoll with TV presenter Carol Smillie, retailing waterproof pants for periods, post-maternity and pelvic-floor weakness, with an aim to be pretty, feminine, breathable and washproof whilst reducing stigma of the topic of women's pelvic health. [5]

Personal life

Croft is married to Mel Coleman, a former international yachtsman and current investment banker. The couple live in Coombe, near Wimbledon, in the London borough of Kingston, with their three children. [6]

Croft is active in raising awareness of child obesity, and is a supporter of the children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent. [7]

WTA Tour finals

Singles: 1 (1–0)

Finals by category
Grand Slam Titles (0–0)
WTA Championships (0–0)
Titles by surface
Hard (1/0)
Clay (0/0)
Grass (0/0)
Carpet (0/0)
Winner22 April 1985Virginia Slims
Virginia Slims of San Diego, United StatesHard Flag of Australia.svg Wendy Turnbull 6–0, 7–6(7–5)

Performance timelines


Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open Q1Q2 1R 1R NHA 1R 0–30 / 3
French Open AQ1 1R 1R 2R 1R A1–40 / 4
Wimbledon 1R 1R 3R 1R 1R 2R A3–60 / 6
US Open Q2 1R 1R 2R 3R 2R A4–50 / 5
Win–Loss0–10–22–41–43–32–30–18–180 / 18
Year-End Ranking161 [8] 138 [9] 82 [10] 24 [11] 82 [12] 141 [13] 265 [14]


Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open 1R 2R NHA0–30 / 3
French Open 2R 1R 1R 1R 1–40 / 4
Wimbledon A 1R 1R 1R 3–60 / 6
US Open 1R 1R 1R A4–50 / 5
Win–Loss0–10–22–41–48–180 / 18
Year-End Ranking114 [15] 62 [16] 126 [17] 292 [18]

Mixed doubles

Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open ANHA0–00 / 0
French Open A 1R A 1R A1–40 / 4
Wimbledon 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R 3–60 / 6
US Open 1R 1R A4–50 / 5
Win–Loss0–10–10–22–41–48–180 / 18

Fed Cup

1985 Federation Cup Main Draw
DateVenueSurfaceRoundOpponentsFinal match scoreMatchOpponentRubber score
6–14 Oct
Nagoya HardR1Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany 3–0Singles Myriam Schropp 6–3, 6–1 (W)
R2Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2–1Singles Etsuko Inoue 7–6(9–7), 6–7(4–7), 6–3 (W)
QFFlag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 1–2Singles Manuela Maleeva 2–6, 2–6 (L)
1986 Federation Cup Consolation Rounds
20–27 Jul
Prague ClayR1BYE
R2Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 3–0Singles Petra Thoren 6–4, 3–6, 6–4 (W)
Doubles(with Anne Hobbs) Suonpaa/Thoren 6–0, 6–1 (W)
QFFlag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 3–0Singles Suzanna Anggarkusuma 6–2, 2–6, 6–2 (W)
Doubles(with Anne Hobbs) Anggarkusuma/Basuki 6–2, 4–6, 6–2 (W)
SFFlag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 3–0Singles Csilla Cserepy 6–4, 6–2 (W)
Doubles(with Anne Hobbs) Cserepy/Szikszay 2–1, ret. (W)
WFlag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 2–1Singles Larisa Savchenko 6–4, 6–0 (W)
Doubles(with Anne Hobbs) Egorova/Parkhomenko 2–6, 1–6 (L)

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Annabel Croft" (PDF). Celebrity Tennis. 30 January 2005. Archived from the original (pdf) on 12 September 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  2. Flatman, Barry (12 June 2005). "The top 10 great white hopes of British tennis". The Sunday Times. London: Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 May 2008.
  3. "Interceptor - Behind the Scenes - Annabel Croft".
  4. BBC page about Famous, Rich and Homeless
  5. "Knickers to period problems: Carol Smillie on the range of underwear for girls she launched with friend Annabel Croft". dailyrecord. 9 November 2014.
  6. "Fame and fortune: Annabel Croft". The Telegraph. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
  7. "Annabel Croft Launches New Challenge Event for CLIC Sargent". CLIC Sargent. 12 May 2008. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  8. "1982 Year-end singles rankings" (PDF).
  9. "1983 Year-end singles rankings" (PDF).
  10. "1984 Year-end singles rankings" (PDF).
  11. "1985 Year-end singles rankings" (PDF).
  12. "1986 Year-end singles rankings" (PDF).
  13. "1987 Year-end singles rankings" (PDF).
  14. "1988 Year-end singles rankings" (PDF).
  15. "1984 Year-end doubles rankings" (PDF).
  16. "1985 Year-end doubles rankings" (PDF).
  17. "1986 Year-end doubles rankings" (PDF).
  18. "1987 Year-end doubles rankings" (PDF).