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75 Years - and Counting... (Final Review: Part 1 of 2)

Fed v Murray Final Re-cap (sets 1 and 2)

July 08, 2012 | 10:57 PM

As long as Fed is around at Wimbledon, the Brits may regret the decision to roof Centre Court.

The decision to close the roof after the 2nd set wasn't debatable - the last few points of the 2nd set were played during the flicks of 20,000 umbrellas unfurling (Henman Hill and another show court were full of Brits who queued for hours for a chance to be part of the atmosphere once removed from Centre Court, watching on a big screen).

What would happen after the 36 minutes it would take for the roof to be closed?

All the Kingdom and tennis fans everywhere, casual and fanatics alike, had time for tea break to bat that ball around. The 76 year wait had been suspended over the Islands with the tantalizing possibility that, just perhaps, it was soon to be no more.

Their Andy was dead even with the Great Federer, a set apiece after almost two hours of grueling tennis, and they were loving it as only a nation would that excels at waiting. The overnight queue madness, affecting thousands who camp outside the grounds for a chance to get a grounds pass throughout the event, has no the American equivalent: the atmosphere may resemble our tailgating tradition, but who tailgates at the ball park if they don't have a ticket for the game?

The Brits also love tennis like no nation on earth, at least when it takes place on their island paradise, the All England Lawn Tennis Club, a place so exclusive that they can accept few members, charge a pittance - hardly more than an affordable fitness club membership - and allow them to rub elbows with royalty. Part insanity and part national character, tennis embodies something both elitist and gladiatorial, connecting the two in modern times. Like Roman slaves, whose ancestors may have been brought to England when the island was first civilized, they share cells under the colosseum before being led into the arena to fight to the death in front of the emperor, tennis players wait with each other in a very confined space in the AELTC waiting to be walked to Centre Court (the youth who have accompanied the finalists to the court were absent this year's pageantry, perhaps a nod to global awareness that children holding hands with non-family adults can now appear troubling). There a game who's nature bears many similarities to a tug-of-war, a former Olympic sport in which England won a gold medal in the last London Games in 1908, will be played until there is a loser.

The first two sets resembled a tug-of-war, with some very long points and games starting from 0-2 in the 1st when Federer struggled to get into the match with a service hold and then broke from down 40-15 on Andy's serve to even the score at 2-2. The set went back and forth to 4-4 when Fed had what would be his only lapse of the match and was broken at 15. This followed a very long game on Andy's serve in which he'd had two chances to break and no changeover time to transition back to serving. Andy served out the set at 15 with strong 1st serves and one of his 4 aces in the set.

At 2-2 in the 2nd SET Fed went down 15-40 on his serve but served and attacked his way out of the hole to hold. At 4-4, Murray was once at double break point, but lost the game. At 5-6, Fed was ready to attack, and with a series of brilliant volley reactions and placements, he broke Andy at love to even the match.



Part 2 to follow:

- overview of the 3rd and 4th sets, including narrative of the GAME OF THE TOURNAMENT

- the teary awards ceremony

- looking back at what was achieved by each man

- looking ahead to the summer

Wimbledon Day 13, 7.8.12

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