By Ritesh Gupta
Tennis is in me. It reflects. It invigorates me, strengthens me and keeps me going. It appeases me when things aren’t going my way. I want more of it, always. More on the court, more of it on my mobile, PC, tablet…it has to be in my thoughts. Yes, it’s a way of life.
But somehow I wanted all of it to stop on Sunday for Andy Murray.
I wobbled much before Murray lost the battle against now seven-time Wimbledon singles winner, Roger Federer.
It was a moment where I felt what if Murray falters in the final of Wimbledon 2012. At that point of time, I just hoped everything to get blown away as if nothing existed. Yes for Murray, not to go through what he eventually did after losing in four sets to Federer.
May be we can ask Andy Roddick what all Murray felt as he survived that half-hour or so after he shook hands with Federer to wrap up his loss at the net. But Murray, too, gave ample signs of the fact he was trodden from within, only to get crushed slowly. And when he was asked to express at the ceremony, he almost collapsed. He couldn’t look at the player’s box, which is a definite source of strength for all the professionals.
Ah, I couldn’t go on and on.
I rather go back and relive those moments where Murray just fought and fought.
So when did I feel it should stop? It was much before that spell of rain in the third set that forced Federer and Murray to stop their battle.
To be precise, it was at 15-40, 2-2 in the second set when Murray was about to break Federer’s serve and raised hopes of 2-0 lead. It didn’t happen.
Then, in the middle of the third set, Murray led 40-0 and he was all set to hold serve to square the match. It didn’t happen. In fact, in the same game, Murray slipped when he couldn’t kill a high volley and Federer’s lob winner landed on the baseline. Murray challenged the call only to lose it. Yes, all of this did happen!
From there on, it was as if whatever Murray could hurl as a boxer, the punch just wouldn’t land on Federer.
And yes, Federer looked every bit of the champion he was and is again.
That nonchalant toss of serve, that characteristic brushing aside of his hair falling over his bandana, that finesse associated with his majestic backhand…it was Federer at his best. Would it matter if I say the champion played like this when he is about to turn 31 next month. It won’t as Federer, with his larger than life persona, stands out for whatever he does at Wimbledon.
On a parting note, I wonder when Murray’s mother, Judy, and his girlfriend, Kim Sears, cried, was it enough for the Scot’s steely coach Ivan Lendl to melt for one fleeting moment at least.
I wish Lendl didn’t.
He has to push Murray to achieve what he couldn’t on Sunday and what Lendl himself couldn’t do in his career- holding that mesmerizing Wimbledon trophy at least once as a singles professional.
I wish Murray plays in the final again in 2013. And that too with the roof open. And for those raindrops, they should come down. They should fall for Murray to look into the sky and move his fingers up and down – just the way he did after each of his six victories in 2012 – only to say: “I am not closer anymore, rather I am right up there.”
For a recap of the final, please read this article on our sister site: http://www.worldtennismagazine.com/archives/7195