A rare few gave him a chance. But Andy Roddick silenced his critics, most of the pundits, and so many of the hoping fans by defeating Andy Murray on Centre Court in four breathtaking sets.
6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5).
Stat of the match? Roddick won more and a higher percentage of return points than Murray and he converted 2 of 5 break points.
As a fan of tennis and as a fan of Roddick, I haven't been this emotional over a tennis match in 6 years. I really can't write what I want to because it's not fit for this blog. Nothing over-the-top, or anything like that, it's just too personal. Sometimes that's what tennis does to me. I love this sport because it's like life. And so when I see the first player I ever followed closely and the first player of whom I became a true fan overcome so much in his career to make another Slam final, at Wimbledon of all places, I take it personally.
I'll leave you with what a subdued but emotional Andy said after the match and the report of a touching moment I wish I could have witnessed.
“Throughout my career, I've had a lot of shortcomings but trying hard hasn't been one of them.
“I had to play my best tennis out there to win today. I can’t say enough good things about Andy’s game, but I can play some tennis sometimes. Not many people were giving me much of a chance at all. I knew if I could stay the course, I’d have a shot. That’s all you can ask for.
“Make no mistake, Andy's been a much better player than I have for the past year - I was just a bit better than him today.”
Roddick heads up the clubhouse stairs post-interview, sinking to his knees on the staircase, head in hands again. Club members applaud.
I'll drink to that as I shed a few more tears.
(Thanks, Pamela, for the YouTube link. You got me going all over again...)