Note: If you’re not a sports fan, or think that my previous posts about Real Madrid CF, the Spain football team or Andy Roddick are silly, then you might want to skip this post.
One of the saddest things in life is realizing that one of your dreams is never going to come true. We’re talking “realizable” dreams, here, nothing related to marrying Prince Harry or Andrea Casiraghi. And it’s all the more painful when that dream was literally inches away, yet it still slipped through your grasp.
In the early morning of July 6, 2009, that is exactly what happened. Serving at 14-15 down, Andy Roddick hit his second straight forehand error to hand the 2009 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles title to his long-time foil, Roger Federer. Andy was playing the best tennis of his life (no exaggeration here, I promise) and came within a single point to take a commanding two sets to love lead and a vital break up in the fifth, yet he still went home with the Wimbledon runner’s up plate.
I cried the hardest I’ve ever cried in recent memory after that final forehand error. I was actually sobbing in earnest and was doing that hiccup-y/gasping-for-breath thing you do when you are crying so hard. I was heartbroken. Gutted. Depressed. Inconsolable. I actually had trouble sleeping a couple of nights afterwards. It was THAT. BAD.
I thought, along with a lot of tennis (not just Andy Roddick) fans, that if there was any justice in the world, a sense of fairness, a God, then Andy would win the 2010 Wimbledon title. I know it was naïve to think that way, but he was so close and played SO, SO well, against THE Federer in 2009, it was only right that he won the next one… Which of course didn’t happen.
Andy lost in the quarterfinals from then unheard-of (and never heard from again) Lu Yen Hsun. I should’ve known then that the dream was fading. But the thing with tennis (and most sports) is that, in most cases, you are entitled to think “there’s always next year.” But alas, Andy has crashed out of Wimbledon 2011, losing to the lefty Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in the third (third!!) round.
With Andy not getting any younger, his game not getting any better (Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim actually said his game was regressing) and his opponents getting tougher, it’s time to face the inevitable, but nevertheless painful, truth. Andy Roddick will probably never win Wimbledon.
Andy pretty much admitted it himself, but it’s still hard to swallow for me. I know it seems overdramatic to be so affected by this, it is, after all his career, his life, his dream. But years of supporting an athlete/sports team will do that to you. Their successes become yours, and their failures even more so. As stalker-ish as it may sound, I know how important it is for Andy to win that second slam, and Wimbledon (along with the US Open) always represented his best chance of doing that. To have come so unbearably close two years ago and never to get past the quarters since must be maddeningly frustrating and disappointing. I know it is for me, and I’m not the one holding the racket.
And so, with a heavy heart, I have concluded that it’s time to let the Wimbledon dream go. I’m not entirely sure it’s possible, but I will force myself not to get my hopes up every time Andy heads to SW19. I will no longer wait for the draws with anticipation and not analyze Andy’s chances based on the said draw. I will stop obsessing over the online scoreboard when I can’t watch a match live and I will not keep myself up until 2 in the morning on weekday even if I can. To save myself the disappointment, I will no longer hope, I will no longer expect.