MEMPHIS – This is the match that never ends. It goes on and on my friends.
Andy and Roger started playing, not knowing when it’d stop. And they’ll just keep on playing for a Grand Slam, just because. This is the match that never ends ...
Seriously, did anyone think that match was going to end? I thought Rafael Nadal’s 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-7 (8-10), 9-7 victory was intense, but this bordered on painful.
Roger Federer’s 15th major win put him past Pete Sampras, who was in attendance Sunday at Wimbledon.
For the past eight weeks, I have been writing this column from my cramped flat in central London, only about an hour away from the All England Lawn & Tennis Club.
But as of Saturday, I had come home. It’s ironic I returned to America the same day the country celebrated its independence from a country that I considered home for two months. And ironic that I was in England for all of Wimbledon, save for the last match.
Now that I’m back, my daily sports news will be filled with MLB scandals, NBA trades and NASCAR. I won’t pick up a paper or go online to see news of rugby, cricket or football – wait, soccer, that is.
I sat in my kitchen watching Wimbledon, an event that I had the opportunity to attend in one of my last weeks in London.
I cannot imagine what the atmosphere is like in Centre Court, but I can imagine what the weather is like, how everyone is probably sweating through their polos and sundresses. I can’t imagine how those fans sat through a four-hour match, let alone how Federer and Roddick competed in it.
But I already feel like I’m back. In London I watched Wimbledon from our lumpy red couches on BBC1, with no commercial interruptions. Here I watched on NBC with Geico and ING ads every few minutes, disrupting the coverage of Roddick and Federer’s epic five-set heartbreaker.
It’s strange watching Wimbledon in the United States. This is England’s most prestigious sporting event, but it’s also one that Americans care a great deal about. Both ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports have Federer or Roddick as their main image, as do The Guardian and the BBC Web pages.
Watching Federer win was painful, but it seemed almost inevitable. Just as Roddick couldn’t break serve against Federer, I couldn’t extend my trip.
After getting his runner-up trophy, Roddick spoke with a sideline reporter who told him the game of tennis is “cruel, sometimes.” He responded, “No, I’m one of the lucky ones.”
That’s how I felt. Though it was sad to leave London – my third home after Memphis and Bloomington – I was lucky enough to live in one of the greatest cities in the world for two months.
And while Roddick can’t be sure of when he’ll return to the finals of Wimbledon, I have no idea when I – and my wallet – will be able to go back to London. But there are always other things to look forward to, other matches for Roddick.
But next time, Andy, keep it short.