lunes, 8 de julio de 2013

Andy Murray, Wimbledon the movie, and the power of finally.

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On Sunday, Andy Murray won Wimbledon. Now, most of you already know that I’m not a big Andy Murray fan. Well, that’s putting it lightly. I don’t really like Murray, or at least, I haven’t historically liked him. I was, however, very happy to see him win on Sunday, for a whole host of reasons, including, but not limited to the fact that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were not around to win the thing, anyway, and I abhor Novak Djokovic, so, it was better to see Murray win, and also, because, well, 77 years is a very long time.

During the final, and, at specific moments during the tournament (After my two favorites quickly lost, making the thing almost un-watchable), I was reminded of the movie Wimbledon. Now, I know most people seem to either hate this movie or love it, but I’m firmly in the love it category. I think Paul Bettany is a brilliant actor, and he should make many more movies, for I’ll go see them all.

But that’s not the point. The point is, the actor, playing, GASP, a British player on a quest to win Wimbledon, has a few (many) moments of doubt. In one particular instance, we hear his internal monologue as he’s about to serve. It goes something like this.

“Don’t choke. Don’t choke. Don’t choke. DON’T CHOKE ….I’m going to choke.”

In a way, I’ve always thought that has been Andy Murray’s internal monologue for most of his career. He’s a good player. On a good day, he can probably take any of the other three elite players tennis has on this day and age. It’s just that, for some bizarre reason, he didn’t believe this. He believed they were better than him. And maybe they are, marginally better. In his mind, though, they were unbeatable. In his mind, every time he was about to beat them, doubts resurfaced. In his mind, he couldn’t do it.

For a moment there, on Sunday, I thought that Andy Murray was back. Three championship points, and then, it seemed like two seconds later, it was AD Djokovic, and I was thinking, boy, if Djokovic wins this set, Murray is done for. And, then, just like in the movie, he paused, and, quite possibly, said to himself:

“Please don't choke. Please don't choke. Don't choke.”

And, quite possibly, he replied, still inside this internal dialogue: 

“I'm not gonna choke, damn it.”

You all know how the story ends. He didn’t. Sometimes real life does have Hollywood-type endings. Sometimes you win Wimbledon on your eight try. You just gotta keep trying, I guess. Well, that, and tell yourself that THIS time, this time you’re not going to choke.

It worked for Andy Murray.

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