My late mother was a huge tennis fan (and a good amateur player as well) and she passed her obsession on to me. Tennis was the first sport I watched at home, followed closely by cricket (Mum again) and Formula 1 (Dad’s favourite sport). One of earliest sporting memories is of watching Arthur Ashe win Wimbledon in 1975. Then there were the Connors / McEnroe / Borg years, followed by Becker v Edberg, before the long run of Pete Sampras. After that it’s largely been Federer v Nadal. On the ladies’ side I watched Virginia Wade winning in 1977, followed by Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and then one or the other of the Williams sisters. Great times, fondly remembered. But at no time until now has there been, since Virginia Wade, any British player who really looked like he or she might win.
If memory serves, Jo Durie made the quarters once. Tim Henman had about 4 trips to the semi-finals but lost every time and never really looked like getting to the final. He blew his big chance when he was up against Goran Ivanisevic – Sampras was already out and he could probably have seen off Pat Rafter, a hard court specialist, in the final. So tomorrow I will be glued to the telly, passing on my own aspirations to my little girls. Had the opponent tomorrow been Djokovich or Nadal, I don’t think Andy Murray would have had a chance. Roger Federer on the other hand is the most talented man to have picked up a tennis racquet in my lifetime, but he is coming to the end of domination of the men’s game, and so Andy Murray must have a slight chance. Fingers firmly crossed…..