Well done Andy Murray
After a week of fairly disappointing results on the sports field, including England's exit from the World Cup at the hands of Portugal, a country which is one of our oldest allies, many British spirits wer probably lifted by Andy Murray's superb performance at Wimbledon yesterday.
It will be interesting to see how many of the politicians who were trying to climb on the England bandwagon now try to clamber onto Andy Murray's instead.
Anyone who doesn't do tennis jargon should skip ahead two paragraphs for the translation, but for anyone who does follow tennis and was still drowning their sorrows after the England result, here is a recap of Murray's straight sets win against Roddick.
I can't ever recall seeing a British tennis player take apart one of the best players in the world as comprehensively as Murray demolished Roddick yesterday. His victory in straight sets came against one of the most formidable servers in the history of tennis, and Roddick was not playing badly. His famous 150 mph serve was able to win him about twenty aces, and and he won the great majority of points on which his first service was good.
But Murray won a clear majority of points against Roddick's second serve, and held his own service games without much difficulty almost throughout the match. Roddick did not manage to win a single game against Murray's serve in either of the first two sets: when Roddick finally managed one service break in the third set, Murray almost immediately broke back to level the set and went on to win it, and the game, with no sign of nerves or stress.
Here is a translation of the two paragraphs above. Roddick is very good indeed and was playing on form. Murray was better.
I was never a "Henmaniac" but as Andy Murray seems to be taking on the mantle of Britain's leading tennis player, I hope he will be treated better by the British press and public than Tim Henman was. For decades before Tim Henman's first Wimbledon we had not produced a player of anything like his quality or consistency. Year after year every single British singles player went out by at best the third round.
If you had predicted in about 1990 that a British player would soon come along who would be ranked well inside the world top ten and reach four Wimbledon semi finals, nobody would have believed you for a moment. If you had added that the British press and public would pour scorn on that player as a failure because he never actually won Wimbledon, you would have been laughed at.
If Andy Murray can continue to turn out performances like yesterday's, nothing will be beyond him. Sadly it is a safe bet that, because we love to destroy our idols, even if he wins everything in sight, some people will find some excuse to pull him to pieces. I hope I am wrong to make that prediction. Pulling people down is a bloodsport parliament can never make illegal, but we still ought to grow out of it.