Having carried the weight of an expectant nation, Andrew Murray struggled to make his loser’s speech on Sunday. Britain had waited 76 years for a British champion and it took Murray an additional minute to compose himself and answer the interviewer’s question as he fought back the tears. He had just lost the men’s single final to the, now, seven times winner, Roger Federo. Murray’s words were magnanimous. He congratulated Federo in the most noble manner. Here is what he said:
“Right I’m going to try this and it’s not going to be easy…..” he swallowed tears, gasped for air & composure. “Firstly I’d like to congratulate Roger, mmmm (fighting the tears) …I was getting asked the other day after I won my semi finals, ‘is this your best chance …you know Roger is 30 now?’……well…he’s not bad for a 30 year old. He played a great tournament though he had some struggles earlier on with his back. He showed what a fight he still has left in him. Congratulations you deserve it.” In the audience stood the world’s greatest tennis player, former multiple champion, Rod Laver who was also in tears.
Nice guys do come first
Britain did have a winner in the men’s double, as Jonathan Marray (GB) & Frederik Nielsen (Den) won won the men’s doubles but not before Marray called a foul on himself, in the final, when his racket touched the net although the umpire didn’t see it. Nice guys do come first.
He seemed happier
Arguably the world’s greatest women’s tennis players, Martina Navratalova, commented the previously week that “Andy Murray does seem to be happier. He’s happy and it pays off’.” He made it to his first Wimbledon final. Happiness or Enjoyment is one of the 7 Pillars Of Sportsmanship.
The Pillars Of Sportsmanship (download from Spread The Moment)
Multi-Major winner & American tennis champion, Jim Courier, once said, “Sportsmanship for me is when a guy walks off the court and you really can’t tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way.” Look at the photos of Murray & Federo it’s hard to say whether Murray won or lost. See our facebook post
When the World Number 2, Rafael Nadal, was well beaten by the relatively unknown but absolutely brilliant, Lukas Rosol, Nadal being a great sportsman himself, later applauded the young Czech by saying: “In the fifth set he played more than unbelievable.”
Although Andy Roddick beat Britain’s 200+ ranked outsider, Jamie Baker, in 3 straight sets Roddick spent most of his post-match interview applauding Baker. “Jamie played really well out there. I was not comfortable at any point” said Roddick as he admired the relatively unknown underdog who really did play some great tennis too.
Bad tennis sportsmanship loses
Yes a lack of sportsmanship can seriously hurt people, lose a match, be booed by the crowd and get fined – it just ain’t worth it – David Nalbandian kicks advertising hoarding in Queen’s club tennis final disqualified after the incident, which left an official nursing a bloody leg. The trophy was handed to his opponent, Marin Cilic of Croatia. Please read our Code Of Conduct and win games, competition, prizes, admiration whilst enjoying yourself!
Stop War, Start Tennis
Although they didn’t play together in Wimbledon this year, we have covered Aisam and Rohan (they call themselves the ‘Indo-Pak Express’ as) as they wear their “Stop War, Start Tennis” slogan on their tracksuits. Representing India and Pakistan, they really do unite two countries and promote peace in a beautiful way. (See our full story ) Remember ‘Sport Can Change The World’.
Enjoy every second
Finally, here’s some wise words, which apply to all sports from a great world tennis champion, Martina Navratalvoa; “The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.”