It would have been okay had he won the title before. It would have been okay if he was a dreamy eyed newbie wandering into the spotlight for the first time. It would have been completely okay if he was just a talented bloke too lazy to give a damn. It would have been okay had he not improved so much and still fallen short. It would have been okay had he crumbled after the 2nd set tie-break and praised the other man’s greatness.(It would have been okay had he been that freak from Mallorca who evokes little, if any, compassion)
But had he been any of those, would we still be clapping and crying and writing about him. That number 15 might have meant a great deal before the match started but once it was achieved it was nothing but a statistic paled out in comparison to the exhibition of the human resolve. The masses would have decried the cruelty of the sport in greater numbers and louder voices had the Conqueror not been the greatest and the finest Gentleman.
Back in the school days, there was a chapter dedicated to the agony and anguish faced by Ivanisevic in his pursuit of the elusive Wimbledon crown. He had, at that time of publishing, lost 3 finals and was visibly vexed with his plates’ collection. That story had a fairy tale ending much later when least expected. No one can say Roddick deserves any less and when he does win, I hope he celebrates by throwing his shorts into the crowd much like Ivanisevic did (on arriving in Croatia).
Andy put a lot of effort and grit in engaging Roger for that long but holding back those tears at the end of the match must have required greater effort. Nevertheless, the sight of his despondent frame towards the end of the match is a moment one will never forget.
Roger, for his part, was quite sure of clinching victory towards the end. He was so sure of his “date with destiny” that he didn’t even break down on winning!. Cruelty towards an opponent is an evil, but necessary, weapon in the armour of a Champion and well, what can you expect from a guy who is the Champion of the Champions.
Let’s all pray and hope for the day when Andy will finally lay his hands upon the Wimbledon crown. Until then, don’t forget to keep lifting your sleeves up your shoulders 🙂