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!