Friday, 6 July 2012

Wimblemund 2012: day 11

Roger Federer (CH) bt. Novak Djokovic (RS) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Andy Murray (GB) bt. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (F) 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5

There was a moment during the first set of today's first Men's Singles semi-final match which I found very instructive. Roger Federer was serving and the camera angle, flat and low over the net towards Novak Djokovic, revealed a startling truth.

Because all the pre-match build-up - including several of those wretched, wretched, Hollywood film trailer-style preview pieces that now so festoon television coverage of live sport - would have us believe that we were about to witness two gods. Two gods stood atop a mountain peak each, perhaps on different continents. Pure diamond (nay, uranium) rackets in hand, they ream ball after ball back and forwards towards each other with cosmos-shattering power. Maybe it wouldn't even be a ball. Perhaps it would be a rock, the moon, or a bundle of oxen? Either way, they'd probably both be doing so while roaring; a deep and resonant murmur from the very core of the earth and tops the heavens. Flames licking out from around the bottom of their shorts, lives would be lost depending on the result, the cowed masses all yearning for a victory by their chosen one.

What we in fact saw was that the world's number 1 tennis player is in fact a gangly young Serb with fuzzy black hair, a face like Screech from Saved By The Bell and legs like two bits of spaghetti.

The human frailty of the great sportsman does not diminish their achievements at all, however. In fact, it portrays them in a more impressive light. I wish that televised sport would try and remember this just once in a while. Before the Olympics, at least. I'm not sure I can cope with any VT of Philips Oduwu punching a horse.

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