Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Andy's triumph

I'm exhuasted! I'm exhausted from watching tennis, from watching the championships at Wimbledon. What a series of clashes, what rivalry, what an outcome. It's nice to have someone to specifically root for for a change. Fantastically well done Andy!

I watched as much of the tournament on TV as I could, including the women's competition. In that area I was disappointed when my favorite, Maria Sharapova, was dispatched and I was as surprised as anyone when Sabine Lisicki defeated Serena WIlliams. Most surprising was the ascension of Marion Bartoli. I have never liked her style, her serve seems awkward and her antics of jumping around and rehearsing strokes between points always seemed comical. But, I have to admit she is a very determined player and on the day she won the final fair and square from the less aggressive Lisicki.

Andy Murray seems to like to come back from behind, it serves his mental nature. The quarter final with Juan Martin Del Potro was a great example, where he lost the first two sets, but then won the next three. He had his fans biting their nails to the end. But, in the semi-final with the giant (6 ft. 8 in) Jerzy Janowicz, he only had to lose one set before he turned the tables. Finally, in the final against Novak Djokovic, the no. 1 rated player in the world, Andy lost no sets and played superlative tennis, using his natural defensive play and also becoming aggressive when it counted. No doubt this was due partly to his exceptional coach Ivan Lendl.

Andy Murray, seeded No. 2 at Wimbledon, had in the past few years overtaken Roger Federer (no. 3 in the world), Rafael Nadal (now no. 5) and finally had to challenge Djokovic, whom he had defeated in the past, but not the recent past. Nadal, the winner of the French Open, went out in the first round at Wimbledon to unknown Steve Darcis, and Federer was defeated in the second round by unknown Sergei Stakhovsky. So Andy faced Djokovic in the final and played so well, that he had a minimum of unforced errors, half those of Djokovic, and with great skill and amazing athleticism was able to triumph in three sets (6-4 7-5 6-4).

Yes, it is the first time a Brit has won Wimbledon in 77 years. But, note that above I have not mentioned the nationalities of the players. Of course, Andy is a Scot, Del Potro an Argentinian, Janowicz a Pole, Djockovic is Serbian, Federer Swiss, Nadal Spanish, Serena Williams is American, Lisicki German, Shrapova Russian and Bartoli is French. Yet is doesn't really matter, there are relatively little nationalistic overtones in tennis. That's what I really like about it, it's an individual sport, one individual matched against another. Who cares where they are from. But, it may not have escaped notice that seated behind British PM David Cameron in the Royal Box at Wimbledon, was Scottish PM Alex Salmond, and he was waving the Scottish flag.


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