By Alex P. Vidal
LOS ANGELES, California – I thought I would be seeing for the first time a great professional athlete agonizing in defeat and crying without tears.
Tears did not flow from Andy Murray’s eyes until he was able to finally hiss a plethora of “aaaaaah” and “hmmmm” while holding the microphone during the awarding ceremony as crowd that included some of the most prominent figures in London cheered him.
My heart goes out for Murray who finally let loose his tears following his failure to nail this year’s Wimbledon title in Wimbledon, England losing to Roger Federer in a nerve-tingling 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 championship Sunday, July 8.
The championship appearance against the same man who subdued him in three other major titles was too much for the 25-year-old British right-hander as he was under tremendous pressure to conquer the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world as host player.
It was apparent the Scotland-born Andy, who began playing at three, was emotionally burdened when realization that he had been conquered in his own territory beckoned.
As a Briton, he was expected to record history and create a stir in the most prominent grass court in the world especially that the World Summer Olympic Games was scheduled to unwrap weeks later. A young and charismatic tennis player with 22 singles career titles, what a feting honor for Great Britain had he won this year’s Wimbledon title while the universe awaits the opening of the biggest summer sports conclave weeks later.
Inside the stadium, Prince William’s wife, Kate, sat in the Royal Box along with David Beckham, British Prime Minister David Cameron and a slew of former Wimbledon champions.
Many of them left a bit disappointed as well.
With his victory, Federer regained the No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic, allowing him to equal Sampras’ record of 286 weeks as the top-ranked player.
At the start of the match, Murray was the one dictating play and winning the tough points. He broke Federer in the first game of the first set, and then broke again late before serving it out. It was the first — and only — set Murray has won in his four major finals.
The second set was much more even, and both had early break points that they couldn’t convert. Federer, however, finally got it done in the final game of the set, hitting a backhand drop volley that Murray couldn’t get to.
Both held easily to start the third set, but then the rain started abruptly, suspending play for 40 minutes. Shortly after they returned, it turned into a one-man show.
With Federer leading 3-2, they played a 26-point, 20-minute game in which Federer finally converted his sixth break point — after Murray had slipped on the grass three times. Federer lost only five points on his serve in that set.
Murray’s mother, Judy, is a former Scottish national coach and father, William is a retail area manager. He has one older brother Jamie (born Feb. 13, 1986), who also plays on the ATP circuit. Andy grew up playing soccer and tennis and once was offered to play with Glasgow Rangers. His favorite musician is 50 Cent.
Based in Barcelona since age 15, Andy won US Open junior title (defeating Stakhovsky) and advanced to doubles SF (with brother Jamie) in 2004. He finished No. 10 in world junior rankings in 2004 and won the Canadian Open junior title in 2003. He also finished No. 6 that year.
Andy considers the US Open as best place he has played and was awarded the 2004 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Standing six feet and three inches, Andy was twice named LTA’s Young Player of the Year. His favorite surface is hard and he considers his serve as best part of his game. He admits he is a big fan of TV comedy show, “Entourage” and played first full men’s singles match with roof closed at Wimbledon on June 29, 2009 vs. Wawrinka. Andy works with fitness trainers Matt Little and Jezz Green, physiotherapist Andy Ireland and is coached by former World No. 1 Ivan Lendl since January 2012.