ANDY OVERCOMES HIS GREATEST OPPONENT…

I knew Andy Murray was going to be all right this year when I found I could watch him without writhing in my seat. Even when he was two sets down against the awkward Verdasco I never doubted that he would come back. There was a maturity about him which had been absent in many of his earlier Wimbledon encounters. He was still getting frustrated, even in that mesemrizing final, as any player would under the circs, but it was out and gone. No energy was expended on what had past, all energy was directed to the next point. It is probably the most important thing that Lendl has instilled in his man. It was curious that Andy never really played that brilliantly in the quarters and semis, except for that purple patch he put together against the Pole, Janowicz. But from the off against Djokovic in the final you could see you were in the presence of a completely different man. He had his mission and nobody, not even the massive reputation of the World No. 1, was going to take it from him. He marshalled himself for that moment. For those of you who haven’t read David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’ I can recommend it for some of the tennis insights, which is not such a different game to writing, as anybody who has faced themselves over the blank page can attest. Tennis is a game in which your opponent turns up in order that you can battle against yourself and hopefully come out on top. It’s interesting that the most difficult point to win is Championship point because you have reached that moment of potential triumph and are exposed to the greatest fallibility and only you can tip the balance. And so it was that Andy Murray finally overcame himself. I detected a certain sadness in myself, because it was this that so entranced me about the man, to note that his particular struggle was now over. The striving is everything, and once you’re there the reaching seems beside the point.

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