I don’t normally delve into sporting matters on these pages, but I can’t not mention the history that has just been made this afternoon, only a couple of miles away from my own house. Today’s Wimbledon men’s final was a mammoth but weirdly cagey affair — certainly not as explosive as last year’s classic — between two fighters stubbornly defending their turf at all costs, before a tense crowd that included the disparate likes of Henry Kissinger, Russell Crowe and Woody Allen. (See, we’re still about the movies here.)
But when — in the 30th game of the fifth set, a record statistic in itself — Andy Roddick finally handed Roger Federer his sixth Wimbledon title with a wayward, exhausted shot, the dramatics of the match were immediately swamped by its larger significance. One man. 15 Grand Slam singles titles. That’s not a record that’s getting broken for a good long while. (Longer still, if the man to do so isn’t named Rafael Nadal.)
It’s not often one can bear witness to a fully-formed legend in the present tense — much less one who has yet to turn 30. Humbling. Hats off.