Posted by: alexswallow | July 7, 2013

Murray and 77 years of hurt erased

The death of King George V.  The completion of the Hoover Dam. The reoccupation of the Rhineland by Nazi Germany. The first ever Butlins opens. The birth of John McCain, Berlusconi, Buddy Holly and Pope Francis. What links these events? The year 1936, the last time a British man won Wimbledon.

Now, Murray has attained sporting immortality. I’m afraid I wasn’t one of those who believed, I thought Djokovic was too strong. I actually think Murray is a more skillful player than the Djoker but until today I wasn’t sure that he could go in for the kill like that with the pressure of the nation upon him. It is a pressure almost without equal in world sports. Perhaps golfers go through it but in golf even the top players lose many more times than they win and an unknown can come from nowhere and triumph. In tennis- Federer (my favourite sportsman of all time), Nadal, Djokovic and now Murray dominate all of the big events. With the pressure of playing at the home of tennis, in front of his fans, in 40-degree court heat, at the end of an energy sapping tournament, Murray exhibited nerves of steel. He went toe for toe with Djokovic and ground him down, forcing him into mistakes.

Even right at the end I was nervous. Murray with three Championship points, gave all 3 away and then Djokovic had advantage twice. But Murray kept his composure and rained down a couple of serves in an action he must  have gone through a million times since birth- and then it was all over, and relief as well as joy flowed forth.

Some people seem to have forgotten about the achievements of Virginia Wade, but in recent times we have never had a female player who could really make an impact. One day Heather Watson or Laura Robson may get there and we will be able to celebrate all over again.

As the Lions got their first series win for 16 years, this is one of the best weekends of sport I can remember.

So I hope you will join me in savouring an event that I thought I might never see in my lifetime.

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