Tryst with destiny

Finally, a British man – Andy Murray–held the Wimbledon trophy aloft on the hallowed greens of the All England Club to the merriment of a whole nation that had waited 77 long years to see that moment.

Last time a Brit became the Wimbledon champion was in 1936, and our world and society have undergone an immense transformation since Fred Perry achieved that feat. Even tennis – once an amateur pastime – has become an intensely competitive professional sport and Wimbledon remains its pinnacle, a championship coveted by players across the eras and nations. And there have been several great champions – Rod Lever, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.

But there never was one from Britain since Perry. Tim Henman kept a nation perennially on the throes of anticipation but never quite managed to fill that big void. To be fair to Henman, he was a very good player but never had it in him to beat Sampras and then Federer. The Henman Hill – just outside the main stadium in South West London – reminded the futility of the right-hander’s attempts to win the Wimbledon. Then came Murray in 2007. The Scot is a new generation tennis player who believes in an all-round game. He has a big serve, though predominantly a baseline player, he can serve-and-volley to good effect. During the last six years, Murray has been a permanent fixture in the business end of the Wimbledon, but failing to go past the formidable trinity—Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Murray seemed to fall short on mental toughness – the staunchest ally of champions in tough situations. Last year, he lost to a fast-fading Federer in the final, underlining his lack of big-match temperament. Murray tried to add that ingredient into his game by drafting in Ivan Lendl – an eight-time Grand Slam winner – as his coach. The move worked wonders as Murray has learned the significance of attaining optimum levels of physical fitness. Djokovic was in splendid tough in this year’s Wimbledon, entering the final without dropping a set, and the Serb was the outright favourite. Murray, however, never allowed those thoughts to hinder his game, overpowering Djokoivc from the backcourt, displaying superb stamina and tactical superiority. Perhaps, it’s the beginning of the Murray era.

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