It will come as no surprise to some of you that in the world of professional tennis I am a huge fan of Rafael Nadal. I was thrilled when he won his 8th French Open 2013 becoming a part of tennis history.
Naturally, I was devastated when he lost in the first round of Wimbledon at the All England Club just outside London, England.
I decided that I would then throw my support behind Andy Murray the Scottish lad who plays for England. My father had been a great proponent of Wimbledon for as long as I can remember and he was friends with one of the heads, Buzzer Hadringham. He donated an antique racket to Buzzer for the All England Club and attended the tournament as often as possible. My father even got tickets for my husband and me to attend in 1986.
We thoroughly enjoyed the play on Centre Court and, of course, the strawberries and cream which is tradition.
For years we watched Tim Henman of London (“our Tim”) try to win Wimbledon but although he put up a valiant effort years after year the title always eluded him.
No Brit had won the title since Fred Perry in 1936 and so you can imagine how young Andy Murray felt going into the final against the #1 player in the world, Novak Djokovic, with the weight of a nation on his shoulders.
Andy beat Novak in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 and the final game was a total cliff hanger which went from 40-0 for Andy to Novak having 3 AD points and finally Novak put a return into the net on Andy’s 4th championship point, the crowd inside and outside exploded in a euphoria and joy they had not felt in 77 years. Andy had done it. He had become the first Brit in 77 years to bring the title home. He himself could not believe it and actually received his golden Trophy from England’s Duke of Kent.
Andy then paraded around the All England Club and ended up on the balcony showing the crowds his trophy not unlike a royal appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. It was a magnificent moment not only for Andy but for all of Britain.
Andy’s life will be ever changed for the better as all of his hard work has paid off and he will now enter tennis history. This was Andy’s second grand slam title and he will defend his U.S. Open title in New York later this summer.
Marion Bartoli, a French woman, who is seeded # 13 in the world won her first major title when she beat Sabine Lisicki of Germany who had taken out Venus Williams earlier in the tournament.
I will continue to root for Rafa Nadal who moved up to #4 this Monday (he has been #1 in the past before a knee injury took him out for 8 months) but will also watch Andy Murray’s career with great interest as he represents our British heritage with great aplomb and humility.