So it’s finally happened. I know there will be a thousand posts about the tennis tournament, people wishing Andy the best of Luck, pinning their hopes on one game. For those of who you aren’t clued up for the first time in 76 years an Englishman is in the final of Wimbledon.I say Englishman, there has always been a lot of contention surrounding Murray, when he’s losing he’s Scottish, when he’s doing well he’s England’s next best thing, that I guess is the way of the media, they want to sell papers, make controversial headlines and if they back what they think is local opinion or put something that will cause debate on front page, well then they will. I guess poor Murray’s just had enough stick.
Either way, he is our guy, born on bred on these shores, if not down the Southern End. Watching todays seminal final, the sublime first two sets and then the third, him crumble under the pressure, Tsonga suddenly come out with some strokes of pure genius and the fight that was the last set. It was one of those moments I can appreciate what all the fuss is about. I was out of my seat, cheering, urging him on, heart pounding, feeling his pain, his stress, urging him to do well.
What’s more, is I’m not fussed about the title for England or for us, but for him. To see a grown man cry and breakdown at making the final, that shows how much it means to him. I was so pleased for him, for his achievement, for his victory after struggling for two sets. I just, want him to do well, because you can see it’s all he’s ever wanted, the Wimbledon title, for a year at least.
For those of you who don’t understand what all the fuss is about, Wimbledon is kind of, an English Thing. It’s an event and tournament everyone loves, not like football where you support a team or if your female, normally don’t have that much time for. The Tennis on those greens, on centre court, on the outside lawns is, somewhat of a treasure. It’s all very English, Tennis; like Cream Tea’s and scones, bowling and croquet; it’s the old school Englishman, with his walking stick and wife with her parasol. It goes back to a time when we were great, when we were undoubtedly English.
Wimbledon itself is the centre of the summer for many. There have been films on it, endless coverage on telly and in the papers, it’s our thing. The grounds are famous; all players from around the globe know of the lawns, of playing at Wimbledon, what it means. They’re the best grass courts in the world, and there the place that everyone wants to do well, just because its Wimbledon, not because it’s a grand slam or because it’s another tournament, there is something special the place itself.
It’s the atmosphere. There is a buzz, tennis, comes alive. Everyone after watching that wants to be tennis pro, sling a cable knit sweater over their shoulders and a polo shirt, eat strawberries in the sun and watch a marvellous sport. We all want to be in whites, serving for set, there with the crowd cheering, that sense of achievement. We want to be sat up on Henman hill or in the stands staring down, cheering along, sighing and applauding every forehand and backhand, lob and slice. It doesn’t matter who’s playing either, it’s about the tennis, the amazing matches.
There have been some epic games in recent years, some amazing titles, the never-ending Federer- Nadal battles, Djokovic last season and to date last year’s champion, for two more days at least. But of course, we all remember the record-breaking match of Isner and Mahut. The longest, ever recorded and ever played tennis match, in history. It was Wimbledon 2012, The American took on the Frenchmen in the first round, both eager to make a good start and move on. It had been a close match all the way through. It came down to a tiebreak in the final set, incredibly tense, each man matched well. It was only the first round and both men burned each other out, knocking each other out of the competition, one by defeat, one from sheer exhaustion. The match totalled an incredible 11 hours five minutes and finished up, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(7-9), 7-6(7-3), 70-68. Yes that was Seventy, Sixty eight, a total of 183 games. It was an endless battle; each man served over 100 aces that day, and made history.
Its events like that, not just of that grand scale, but that level of tennis, that desire to win, to strive to do well on those courts, that atmosphere that make Wimbledon what it is. We all desire to go, to be there, in the crowd, to soak up that atmosphere, to see anyone, everyone, the big seeds and the freshers coming in that season.
It’s another one of those events that reminds us of our national pride, that thing I was talking of the other day, it’s something I am proud is British, that I treasure each year, it makes a British summer, along with the rubbish weather, endless coastlines and seaside holidays. So can you imagine, to have someone representing our country, in the final. The last man to do so was, in 1936 by Fred Perry, who had also won the two previous years. Standing at Wimbledon, a statue to the legend still stands today, and since then, no Englishman has been able to reach the title. We had Henman and he never made it, now we have Murray, and we all pray they’ll be a statue in his name soon. He’ll be the player we all remember for breaking the English Wimbledon Winners drought, the man we’ll consider the treasure of our tennis history.
I’m not going to sit here and say Murray should win, there is enough pressure on him after all, but, Wouldn’t it be fantastic? It would make 2012 the UK’s true sporting sensation. He’s on good form, there’s a sense of timing, of things coming together, a glimmer of hope for all us Wimbledon and Tennis Fanatics, could this be our time? I’m too jumbled with nerves, elation, pride and ecstasy to even write reasonably, with clarity and cohesion let alone start predicting scores and pinning the hopes of a nation on the racket of one man. I’m just proud he’s got this far, proud to have the chance at winning and for his personal achievement, proud to have sat sharing that experience with my nation, all watching and enthralled all the same. Come Sunday my only hope, is that he plays well, to give it the best shot, I hope he is as proud as we are for him taking us all to a final we won’t forget, whatever the outcome.
Come Sunday the country will be sat, glued to their telly’s, with munchies and refreshments ready, hardly daring to go to the loo, to glance away from the screen, to breath, desperately urging the our nations hopeful on. I’ll be there, talking to Andy, Yelling Murray Chants at the top of my lungs, jumping up and down, crying out in elation, and hopefully, hopefully…Triumph. Whatever Sunday holds, a records already been broken and It’s a match, no of us will miss.