A Great British Tradition
Well it's come round again. The great British summertime tradition of living and dying with Tim Henman on Wimbledon's Centre Court. Every year we hear that he's had it, yet every year we're there either physically or in televisual spirit to urge him on. And he gives us everything he's got. I have rarely watched anyone squeeze such determined, plucky heroism out of every move he makes. Ten years this has been going on, and he's still at it! What is summer, after all, without that evening match from Henman, playing like the true English soul that he is, looking near to defeat and then suddenly rallying back. It happened again today. Don't expect anything from Henman, all the commentators told us - he's 78th., only won two matches etc. What do they know. On a partially washed out Wimbledon first day he gave us all the drama we needed to start this excellent fortnight, carrying on until he and Moya both quickly acceded to the referee's suggestion of a finish at 9.20, 2 sets all, 5 games all. Could it be any closer??
No wonder we like Henman. He represents the English soul better than any other sportsman I know (although, to be fair, I don't know many!). John Lloyd used to be the plucky English player, but never on quite the heroic scale of Henman. So Henman will be back on court tomorrow to finish off. And yet again, we desperately want him to win, but somehow can't quite believe he'll do it. He's reached semi-finals with that sort of backing - but not this year, I think. We should enjoy it while we can. All we need tomorrow is a fainting ball boy and the tableaux will be complete!