I was wrong.
I imagined it would go to five sets, but declined to predict a winner.
Instead the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Final was decided in just four sets. And Roger Federer claimed the title for the seventh time. It can’t be easy to take on such a dominant player, but Andy Murray gave a commendable performance.
Federer is an unparalleled tennis genius, but what a worthy loser we have in Murray! In the nicest possible way, how wonderful to see some emotion, and tears, in his post-match tribute to Federer and the fans.
Now, sadly, the British player will be known again as Scottish until he next shows great promise. Despite making history with his appearance in this Wimbledon final, even winning the first set, it will not be enough to silence the disappointed British fans.
We should be more supportive.
The last time a British man played in the singles final was in 1938. He was Bunny Austin, who also played Charlie Chaplin socially. The last time a British man won the singles final was in 1936. He was Fred Perry, who played in long trousers as was customary at the time.
Until yesterday, 1936 was the last time a British man won any Wimbledon title in a men-only contest. We must celebrate the moment Jonathan Marray and Frederik Neilsen (Denmark) claimed the 2012 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Doubles trophyafter a 76 year British drought. That victory has been glossed over by the media in the excitement over today’s match.
Of course, we should not forget that a British woman, Virginia Wade, claimed the Ladies’ trophy in 1977 and Andy Murray’s older brother Jamie won the Mixed Doubles trophy in 2007 with his Serbian partner Jelena Janković.
It was three sets to one, but today’s match was remarkably close. I thought it would be, but I was unprepared to predict a Murray victory. However, he’s still young, perhaps he’s still to reach his peak. He will win a Grand Slam one day and I hope we will see him again in a Wimbledon final.
In the meantime, bring on the Olympics!