Australian great Rosewall feeling better

Published May. 17, 2011 1:00 a.m. EDT

Australian tennis great Ken Rosewall said Tuesday he wanted to assure friends and fans he was "not at death's door," the Australian newspaper The Advertiser reported Tuesday.

Speaking from his hospital bed in Rome, the 76-year-old said he felt fine despite collapsing from a stroke on Saturday.

When news of his illness spread across the world, Rosewall said he was overwhelmed by the flood of support from people concerned he was about to die.

"I feel fine. It was a bit of a scare but I will be back home soon," Rosewall told The Advertiser.


The eight-time grand slam winner was in Rome with wife Wilma to attend a Masters tournament where he was due to receive a prestigious Golden Racket for his achievements in tennis.

But just hours before he was due to accept his award, he collapsed at the breakfast buffet in his hotel.

"We were having breakfast in the buffet when I suddenly felt a bit wobbly," he said. "I got back to the table where I was glad to sit down again and then I was finding it hard to swallow.

"I lost my balance and luckily for me there were some doctors at the hotel attending a conference.

"They checked me out and said I should go to hospital for some tests.

"I was awake the whole time. It was a fright but now I feel fine."

Rosewall, who won 132 singles titles, including four Australian Opens, two French Opens and two US Opens during a 20-year decorated career, was to receive the Golden Racket alongside former world No. 1 Monica Seles.

On Tuesday, he was on his feet and greeting visitors at the San Camillo Forlanini hospital. He said he planned to leave the hospital Wednesday, once doctors inserted a stent in his neck artery.

"We should be back in Australia by the end of the week," he said.

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