Sunday, 8 July 2012

Wimblemund 2012: day 13

Roger Federer (CH) bt. Andy Murray (GB) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4

Well, bugger.

But Andy Murray played very well, let's give him that. I have serious doubts now that Murray truly believes he can win a Grand Slam match against one of the top three players, and it is true to say he has been grotesquely unfortunate to come along in the era of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Sadly for him, come along then he did. It's unthinkable to imagine a set of circumstances where all three fail to make it to a Grand Slam semi or final for the forseeable future, so barring a massive outbreak of rabies or SARS in the locker room, it's something he is nevertheless going to have to rise above. It will certainly make him a better player. And if it makes him a good enough player to finally nick one then no-one will be able to argue he didn't deserve it.

But now Andy Murray stands alone as the most losingest male player in Grand Slam tennis history, with four unsuccessful final appearances. Whilst that is not quite as impressive as some of the marks in history that Roger Federer can boast - indisputably now the greatest player in the history of men's tennis - it could be a lot worse for old Scotchcakes McFlapwing. This generation of British fans is lucky to have such a player to support in our now standard relentless waves of wild dreams and oestrogen, especially considering some of his predecessors in the role of Great British Male Tennis Hopeful. Roger Taylor and Tim Henman were affable yet ultimately doomed; Jeremy Bates wasn't really up to much and Buster Mottram combined uselessness with, as it later turned out, white supremacism. And even dour old Andrew Murray is loveable compared with that.

He made for a terribly exciting tournament.

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