Few of us thought we would see the day; and once it arrived few of us felt we would survive it! In a breathtakingly dramatic final, yesterday Scotland‘s Andy Murray clinched championship point to become Britain’s first male Wimbledon single champion in 77 years – and Britain couldn’t be prouder!
I blogged last year about our annual obsession with tennis during the Championships and this year was no different. After seeing Andy Murray reach Wimbledon final in 2012 only to lose in straight sets to the ever dominant and seven-time champion Roger Federer, Brits were holding their breath yesterday when we had a second chance to see a Brit once again lift the trophy in London. And the feat was to be no easier this year as he faced world number one from Serbia, Novak Djokovic. The win was, on paper, a straight-forward victory with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 straight sets score-line; not a tie-break or fifth set in sight! However in reality it was a tight tussle with Murray twice having to come back from a break down once in each of the second and third sets.
However, it was in the final game that the drama really unfolded; for the last few weeks we have cooked in one of our warmest Summers in a long while, but yesterday, in London‘s blistering heat, Andy Murray made us sweat for a whole new reason. Coming out to serve for the match Murray made it to 40-0 and held three consecutive championship points only for the Serbian player, with a combination of bravery, skill and a hint of luck, to edge his way back in to the game. Equalling at deuce all of a sudden what had seemed like a certain victory now hung once more in the balance. The tension was tangible in the stadium, on Henman Hill and on sofas up and down the country from the highest of the Scottish Highlands to the tip of Cornwall in England as Djokovic enjoyed three break points before Murray steadied the ship and his nerves finally clinching the victory on his fourth match point.
As Murray roared in celebration so did the British public. More than 20 million people in Britain, almost a third of the population, tuned in to watch the final – a sign of just what this historic win meant to the nation! Well done Andy Murray!
Yesterday evening most of the British population were glued to our televisions sets whilst perched on the edge of our seats as British Andy Murray made history in his Wimbledon semi-final against Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.
Annually around this time of year again we Brits become avid and obsessive tennis fans for two weeks as our television screens are filled with the sight of the prim green courts of Wimbledon Tennis Club in South West London. And each year the tournament ends leaving us with a slightly dispirited feeling of disappointment as our home players are dumped out in the early rounds with the exception of one or two who manage to make it to the latter stages only to lose against the big names of the game. So much is our obsession with Wimbledon and our national players that in the late nineties the word “Henmania” was officially recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary as a result of the annual national frenzy surrounding Tim Henman’s progress (or lack thereof) at the tournament. Tim did indeed reach the semi-finals on four occasions during his career.
This year however it will all be different! On Friday evening Andy Murray from Dunblane, Scotland, battled his opponent and the pressure of expectation of a nation, as he won his opponent and the pressure of expectation of a nation, as he won his semi-final encounter! In fact Murray is now the first British player to reach the Wimbledon Men’s Final in no less than 74 years! In that year Englishman Fred Perry won the event. Murray is also the first Brit in the men’s and women’s games to reach the finals since Virginia Wade won the ladies tournament in 1977.
So now all eyes are on Murray to seize the moment and go one better on Sunday’s final where he’ll face a stern challenge in the form of seven-times champion Roger Federer. The superstitious may have notice that Virginia Wade won the event in the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee (2012 is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee) and that Andy Murray’s and Fred Perry’s Birthdays are just three days apart and Perry was 25 when he won the tournament – Murray turned 25 in May. Also, the last time Britain held the Olympics (1908) a Brit, Arthur Gore, was champion at Wimbledon and the Olympics are coming to London in 2012. So are the stars aligning for a momentous British Wimbledon victory? Either way the British public are looking forward to a Sunday afternoon of nail biting, gut wrenching drama and will live every minute with Murray!
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