Friday, July 13, 2012

Federer's Triumph and Murray's Heartbreak

Roger Federer has had a pretty good summer so far: 7 Wimbledon titles, 17 Grand Slam titles, and back to his position of the number 1 player in the world. 

I don't think I've ever been so equally excited and heartbroken after a grand slam match. On one hand I wanted Federer to win another slam—something that many people, including myself, were not sure he would ever do again—but another part of me wanted to see Andy Murray silence all his critics and finally win a grand slam title himself.

As usual, Roger outplayed Andy when it mattered most, and Federer won the title 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. Murray played well, and I was happy that the British crowd enthusiastically cheered him on, but you knew that this loss was going to be devastating for Andy.

His post-match on-court interview was difficult to watch. Much like Federer after his loss to Nadal at the 2009 Australian Open, Murray broke down in tears and needed to take a few deep breaths before he attempted to speak again. His mother Judy could be seen crying onto a friend's shoulder, and his girlfriend Kim Sears looked on from the crowd with her hand over her mouth—tears streaming down her face.

Murray's past defeats in grand slam finals have often led to sub-par play for a few months after the tournament—many speculating that Andy had trouble mentally getting over the losses. But I hope that this time it's different. He's never had so much support from the British crowd before, and he's never taken a set off anyone in a grand slam final—until now. Perhaps this time he'll be able to take the positives from his results at Wimbledon and finally make a breakthrough at this year's US Open.

And as for Federer, I think he's made it pretty clear that he's going to go full out for the gold medal at the Olympic Games in a few short weeks from now. And since the matches are being played at Wimbledon—on the exact same surface that he just won his latest grand slam title on—I'm thinking the rest of the players should watch their backs.

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