AFTER yet another phenomenal Wimbledon tennis fortnight, which has once again gripped the UK, and indeed the world, today’s men’s final saw the historic victory of Andy Murray over Novak Djokavic, in three straight sets.
This is why I love the game, and sport in general (and a thousand reasons more). A great Champion has again emerged and history has been witnessed this afternoon, uniting many (even those who are not fans), in their respect for such sublime play and an amazing achievement.
Whether you’re into sport or tennis, or not, one cannot help but engage in such a win which shatters the history books, and look on in wonder and awe at such a hard fought sweet sweep of success, displaying the character of this remarkable committed sports man.
I would even argue it could be said, perhaps, that Andy Murray is our equivalent of a 21st century Celtic warrior, (but in real British style, let’s not get carried away!).
Captivated by the moment, prepared for months, dressed for battle and physically able to cope with the horrendous heat of the hottest day of the year so far in London and triumph over it, love him or hate him, Murray displayed the ferocity of a warrior and character of a Celt as he finished off his opponent in gladiatorial style. (Watched on, of course, by thousands of admiring onlookers).
A wait of 77 years, as has been already so often quoted, has finally been ended, as Britain’s hopes of producing a worthy Wimbledon men’s winner finally got realized through Murray’s exhilarating performances.
The sturdy Scots man though, may well be forgiven for becoming hungry for so much more. At just 26 years of age, the Dunblane man has many more Championships in his sights.
Perhaps last year’s Wimbledon defeat was the best thing that could have happened to him? Now since his Olympic Gold victory last summer, the Scottish giant is going to a whole new level in his field.
The nation, and most certainly the media, may well get carried away with this incredible end to a long British drought, but in one sense, who could blame them after waiting so long since Fred Perry’s 1936 victory.
Watched by none other than the British Prime Minister David Cameron, (looking rather hot and sweaty in the sweltering heat of Centre Court sitting in his three-piece suit) and fellow Scots man, SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, Murray has succeeded where so many others before him have failed. It is perhaps somewhat premature (though not at all unfeasible), that the new Wimbledon Champion is already being quipped to become “Sir Andy” at some stage in the future.
Self-belief has played an enormous part, in his eventual historic victory here today in SW19, and it is once again a reminder to all of the power or hard work, raw talent and sweaty determination, as a powerful force to behold.
Djokovic, though, was no easy push-over, as Murray tried valiantly to overcome the Czech Republic former Champion’s dogged determination.
The greatest tennis tournament in the world has now been won by a British player for the first time in my life time and I cannot begin to imagine how amazing it must feel.
Three years ago I had the privilege and pleasure of getting to watch this now Wimbledon Champion playing a 3rd round Wimbledon match in Court No. 1. Back then I was surprised how much Murray had improved in the two prior years, and could imagine that one day he would actually achieve this dream. It was amazing to get to see him playing for myself in 2010 and I can only imagine how being present in Centre Court today must have been for those lucky enough to have obtained a ticket.
Murray said at the end of the match today, “It feels slightly different to last year year. It was an unbelievably tough game. I’m just so glad to finally do it.”
“I’ve played Novak many times. He’s come back so many times from losing positions, and he almost did the same today. I just managed to squeeze through today.
“The win was for myself, but I understand how much other people wanted to see a British Wimbledon winner. I hope you guys (the crowd) enjoyed it!”
“My team have stuck by me through a lot of tough moments’ This one is for Ivan (Lendl, his coach) as well. He did everything to try and win this one. I am glad to help him out by winning this one as a coach,” in typical dry Scottish humor.
Yesterday’s ladies’ final saw an unexpected champion crowned too, as France’s Marion Bartoli comprehensively defeated the German Sabine Lisicki.
Something deeply spiritual and emotional is conjured up by such performances and victories, and I cannot help but appreciate such God-given talent and ability. Perhaps it is no surprise so many thousands and thousands of people attend sports matches and games each week in the UK much more than church services. The passion and purity of the raw sublime nature of these sporting occasions taps into something deep within the psyches of so many residents within these British Isles. Something to ponder.
Well done Andy Murray, and well done Marion Bartoli! British Sport may never be the same again.