At the beginning of Wimbledon 2009, nearly everybody (including me) was seemingly ready for Roger Federer to break Pete Sampras’ record of 15 Grand Slams (well, maybe except for the British people who were expecting Andy Murray to claim this one ). And for the first few rounds, it seemed that nobody would be able to withstand Fed-Ex’s determination to get to No.15.
Somehow as the tournament went along, Andy Roddick’s story started to grow on me. For so long, he has been one of the most consistent men on the ATP tour, and yet a lot of people seem to have written him off, partly due to his big serve making him seem like it’s the only thing in his game, and partly because of the rise of the other names like Nadal, Murray and Djokovic.
One thing that Roddick never did though, was quit. He just kept on persevering, re-inventing his game bit by bit, and just played the game. When he reached the semi’s, few would’ve thought he’d have a chance against Andy Murray, the British crown favorite and rising star. I thought to myself at that point, “Roddick probably cannot win this one, but if indeed his game has evolved and he’s playing better than ever, maybe there’s just a slight chance that it’ll be Federer vs Roddick on Sunday, coz the guy just keeps on fighting”.
Well then, Roddick did indeed beat Murray to earn the honours of facing Federer in the final, and what a magnificent one it was. 5 sets where neither man backed out, and ending with a 16-14 set. On that day, I really wished Wimbledon could award a “double champion” pedigree, because I really thought both men deserved it. But in the end, it seemed destined that Federer would win no.15, and he truly is a Greatest Of All Time candidate.
At the beginning of the tournament, imagining someone other than Federer winning Wimbledon 2009, with history so close for the making, would just sadden me. But seeing Andy Roddick and his never say die attitude, incredible work ethic, and amazing perseverance, fight toe to toe against Federer, I honestly wouldn’t have felt to bad had Andy won this match.
Hats off to you Andy, you truly have the heart of a champion.
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