Men do cry when their dreams are broken. Andy Murray was no different.
And moreover when it wasn’t just his dream, it was the dream of an entire nation that was looking forward to end a Grand Slam drought on a court which holds the most prestigious major tournament every year. The Centre Court at the All England Club is a place where the United Kingdom has seen men from all over the world come and win trophies. On Sunday, the local crowd anticipated history being rewritten by their local boy, Britain’s No. 1 Andy Murray, but unfortunately, history was rewritten, but once again not for them, but for the greatest player of all times.
It wasn’t Murray’s fault. He did something which even the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic couldn’t do against the majestic Federer, which was to compete. Federer would have realised in the first set that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk for him. Murray made sure that the King of Grass had to sweat for his seventh Wimbledon title. The 25-year-ol
d did all that to perfection, but the trophy he held at the end of the match wasn’t the championship trophy.
It was held by the man who had been waiting since 31st January, 2010 to win another major tournament. It was held by the man who was being questioned every single time he held a racquet, of late.
The pressure of playing against a man who had won 16 Grand Slam titles in a Wimbledon final is no joke. And when your country expects you to rewrite history after seven decades, the situation is all the more difficult. But the 25-year-old didn’t let any of these thoughts hamper his game in the initial phase of the match.
Murray commanded the proceedings in the first set. The crowd which included the likes of David Beckham, David Cameron, the British Prime Minister and several others who had travelled a long way anticipating Murray’s historical moment, cheered each and every effort of the local boy.
As the match began, Federer was clearly the favourite. But the way Murray played in the first set, everybody must have thought that he was there to make a point. And all of a sudden the British crowd and all the Murray supporters began to think whether he could actually conquer Federer in the mouth-watering final.
Murray continued to give a neck-to-neck fight even in the second set and it was once again a rain-interruption that changed the course of a Grand Slam final. When the play resumed, Murray had lost the rhythm, as he made a lot many unforced errors. Federer did just the opposite. He composed himself in the break and was all set to make history.
Federer had whistled past Djokovic in the first semi-final, a match which the Serbian ended up losing trying to match the pace with which it was being played. Deep within, we all knew Federer would win the final – and that too in a flash. But it was Murray’s resilience, which made the entire Centre Court crowd stand on their feet to cheer up the boy from Dunblane, who is undoubtedly ‘getting closer’ to a Grand Slam.
It was Federer who first broke into tears, followed by Murray, and then most of his supporters. Britain and Murray’s supporters should be proud of him as he played fantastic tennis against the King of Grass. The result of the match turned out to be what most of us had expected, but not before Britain’s local boy made the winner fight for every game and run all over the court.
Towards the end, Murray who began the proceedings on a determined note couldn’t control his emotions as he thanked the local crowd with a choked throat. It was more because of the support he received from entire Britain, than ending up as the runner-up, which made him cry.
When we analyse what happened at the Centre Court on Sunday, all we would want to say to the brave Briton is “Well done Murray, we are extremely proud of you. It wasn’t your fault, you were playing against Roger Federer.”
(The views expressed by the author are personal)