Tag Archives: Tim Henman

Andy Murray and the Value of Persistence.

Last night I had the pleasure of staying up late – again – to watch a sporting event taking place on the other side of the Atlantic.

Anyone who knows me well will know of my love for tennis. It’s not a game I’ve played, mind you, but I have memories of watching classic head-to-heads between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe (when he wasn’t having his own head-to-heads with match officials), Borg and Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg, et al. These gladiatorial combats struck a chord with me. On the court, they were masters of their own destinies. It was just them and the other guy. The winner took the glory; the loser dusted themselves off and tried all the harder next time around.

Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic in last night’s US Open Men’s Singles Championship. It was a tense, five set affair. But there was more than just the title (and the sizable cheque) at stake. For Murray it was about persistence. Had he lost to the five-time Grand Slam and defending US Open champion, Murray would have held a record no one in their right mind. He would have been the only player to lose their first five Grand Slam finals. I know, right?

From two sets to love up, the match went to a fifth and deciding set. And it was here that the Scot stepped up the plate/baseline and claimed victory from the jaws of what would have been, last year, an inevitable victory. You see, Murray learned from his defeats. (I won’t call them failures, because to rise to No. 4 in the world, and to reach the number of finals he had, is not the mark of failure.) From not winning a single set in each of his first three finals, he eventually took one off the current No.1 and Wimbledon champion, the legend that is Roger Federer (my idol, my sporting hero). He lost the 2012 Wimbledon final, but he learned from that bitter defeat. Enough to beat the same man a month later, in the Gold Medal match at London 2012.

Murray never gave up hope, even when the rest of us might have written him off as another Tim Henman (sorry, Tim) or golf’s Colin Montgomery (sorry, Colin). The best player never to have won a Major. In Murray’s eyes, this was never going to be an option. The tears he cried last night, winning one of the biggest prizes the sport has to offer, are in marked contrast to those he cried at Wimbledon that fateful Sunday in July. For to be a true champion, to really understand what it is like to win, you must know what it feels like to lose. You have to learn from your defeats. Well done, Andy.

On This Day…6 September

Another Monday signals another week. It is my hope that this week brings all that it should; including the winning lottery numbers.

You know where I live!

Before I head into today’s On This Day. let me first offer my congratulations to the Tipperary hurlers – they are the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Champions for 2010. Up Tipp!!

On this day in…

1492 – Christopher Columbus sails from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his final port of call before crossing the Atlantic for the first time. Perhaps he was stocking up on duty-free cigarettes and alcohol.

Henry David Thoreau, Emerson's roomie

1847 – Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and moves in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family in Concord, Massachusetts. The jury is out as to whether Ralphie charged him rent.

1901 – Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shoots and fatally wounds US President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

1944 – World War II: The city of Ypres, Belgium is liberated by allied forces.

1972 – Munich Massacre: 9 Israel athletes taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games by the Palestinian “Black September” terrorist group died (as did a German policeman) at the hands of the kidnappers during a failed rescue attempt. 2 other Israeli athletes are slain in the initial attack the previous day.

Birthdays today include:

Roger Waters

Ex-Pink Floyd frontman, Roger Waters, is 67

Rosie Perez is 46.

The Wire and Luther star, Idris Elba, is 38.

British tennis players Tim Henman and Greg Rusesdski are 37 and 36 respectively.

On this day in 2007, the world of music lost perhaps its most famous operatic star. Luciano Pavarotti, R.I.P.