Monday, 15 July 2013

LONG LIVE ANDY MURRAY

It’s been a few weeks now and I still can’t stop smiling. At last, we have a British winner of Wimbledon.

After 77 years of waiting. On the 7th day of the 7th month and after Virginia Wade won the Women’s title in 1977, and this being Andy Murray’s 7th grand slam final, the lucky number 7, romped home a winner.

Number 7, (what’s it all about. Numerology experts are having a field day...)

As a tennis fan, I can’t help myself but take stock of Any Murray’s fantastic achievement.

WOULD YOU HAVE BELIEVED IT?

At the start of the tournament, cynical old men wouldn't have given Andy Murray a chance. After all, we've been praying for a British player to win Wimbledon for a life-time and nothings happened.

Yes, hopes were high due to Andy Murray’s Gold medal at the London Olympics and the pundits had us believing that with a Gold medal under his belt, the seed of success had been sown.

But did anyone really believe it was possible?

After Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were knocked out, everybody did. 

All of a sudden Andy Murray was deemed good enough to reach the final, but still, doubts lingered whether he could beat the world’s number one, Novak Djoković.

As the national memory persisted, British tennis players just don’t win Wimbledon.

As always the nation will sit in front of their televisions and watch the final, just as we've done for so many years.

Whether Andy Murray could actually win was still a dream rather than a sure bet. John Lloyd, Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman, to name but a few, all came within varying distance of a Wimbledon final and all failed.

THE ROAD TO GLORY

Benjamin Becker
Yen-Hsun Lu
Andy Murray sent the nation’s pulse racing on route. His first round game against Germany’s Benjamin Becker, was plain sailing. And so it should be in the first round, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Round two against Yen-Hsun Lu from Taiwan went equally well, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.

Tommy Robredo
Mikhail Youzhny
Third round straight set win against Spain’s Tommy Robredo, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5, lead smoothly to a fourth round win against Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny, 6-4, 7-6, 6-1.

All three set wins against opponents ranked well below Andy’s number two world ranking.

Then the Quarter final against Spanish Fernando Verdasco and the nation tutted in despair as once again the inevitable began to unfold before our eyes.

Fernando Verdasco
First set LOST 4-6, second set LOST 3-6. 

I’ve got two kids at home who have trouble finding a tennis match at all interesting, so I let them turn over to watch one of their favoured cartoons.

After-all, two sets down and being a British player, I had grown used to the failure of British players and believed that Andy Murray’s time was up and a flood of tears would follow.

Luckily adverts interrupted my kid’s cartoons and I was able to check on the match.

Andy Murray was making a come-back. Third set, SMASHED, 6-1, fourth set 6-4 and the fifth and deciding set 7-5.

'Well done Andy Murray, you've got the passion and resolve to make it', I thought.

Hope was flourishing and the dream could continue, but still, Novak Djoković loomed on the horizon.

Onto the Semi-Finals.

History had seen Andy Murray lose to the American Andy Roddick in 2009 when he last reached the Semi-finals. The same happened in 2010 and 2011, where he was knocked out both times by Rafael Nadal.

Jerzy Janowicz
The nation’s expectation was for Andy to reach the final like he did in 2012, and pray for a miracle from the Heaven’s above to beat Novak.

The semi-final against Polish giant Jerzy Janowicz started well enough. 6-7, 6-4. A wobble in the third set losing it 6-3, but a convincing bounce back winning the fourth set 6-3, put Andy Murray into a Wimbledon final for a second year on the trot.

THE FINAL

Novak Djoković
Getting off to the perfect start he earned three break points in the opening game. Bish-bash-bosh, Andy Murray’s wins the first set 6-4.

The flicker of destiny burned brighter into a steady flame.

Second set sees Novak fighting back with an early break. But Andy stands firm and doesn’t panic.

Having watched him play throughout the tournament, I’ve seen him mess up simple returns, but not today. Every shot was on target.

The rallies from the first game to the last wowed the crowd. Andy was looking supreme and winning the second set 7-5, had the whole nation believing that this is the year.
Ivan Lendl

All that stood in the way of history was Novak…

The third set dawned with anticipation. Before we knew what was happening Andy was up 2 games to love.

Getting the third break seemed elusive but perseverance paid through. Andy, under the guidance of Ivan Lendl (the greatest player to never win Wimbledon) stayed calm and collected.

THE LAST GAME

In a blink of an eye, Andy stood tall and proud at 40-0 - Championship point, ready to make history.

“The sheer will and determination to get to the ball before it bounces twice”, remarked Tim Henman.

Andy was serving for history and the nation were holding their breath and silence engulfed the land.

A great rally ensues of friendly forehands and back strokes. Back and forth, back and forth and Andy hits the ball into the net.

40-15

Andy serves and Novak returns an unbeatable return which Andy watches fly pass.

40-30

Andy Serves and another awesome rally is played out to everyone’s delight.

Andy smashes the ball into the net.

40-40

Another awesome rally, but which Andy loses.

40-A

Novak earns a break-point to save the game and bring heart-ache to the nation.

Andy serves, Novak returns and the ball is out.

40-40

Andy serves, Novak returns with a volley, screams from the crowd, the ball hits the net and trickles over, Novak steams in and plays a drop shot which Andy has no answer.

40-A, and Novak once again has the chance to save the game.

Andy serves and hits the net. Serves again and another classic rally is played out before the excited audience. Andy comes to the net and smashes the ball to earn a deuce.

40-40

Andy serves, Novak returns, Andy cuts and Novak answers with a return hit at an angle which Andy has not chance of returning.

40-A

“Sporting immortality doesn’t come easily” remarks Andrew Hardcastle.

Andy serves, a rally ensues and Novak returns outside of the lines.

40-40

The crowd scent Murray’s determination, the chant is heard across the land, ‘MURRAY, MURRAY.

Andy serves and hits the net, and then serves again.

The best tennis of the tournament is played out. A rally of epic proportions is savoured by the expectant crowd. This is what makes tennis such a great and entertaining game, the will and determination against another’s will and determination.

Tennis is a test of character and a fight of who wants it more> It's the ultimate test of one’s inner resolve and dedication, over the opponent.

Andy wins the point after Novak returns the ball into the net.

A-40 – Championship point.

“He won an Olympic Gold with an ace, how about one here” says Tim Henman.

Kim Sears
Andy celebrating Victory
Andy delivers a strong first serve which Novak returns with a back hand stroke. A woman from the audience screams out thinking the return is going long. Andy returns and Novak hits it back into the net.

History is made and Andy is ecstatic. Pumping his fists in celebration, he drops his racket and flips off his cap.


Andy Murray has done it. He’s won. Long live Andy Murray for going all the way and winning the Wimbledon.

A special mention of thanks goes out to Kim Sears, his girl-friend of 7 years (number 7 again!)

Novak Djoković congratulates Andy Murray
I LOVE ANDY MURRAY


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