Thursday, June 23, 2005

The King Is Dead, Long Live The King

The King is Dead, Long Live the King

I had been intending to do something useful over the past couple of days but the heat combined with the tennis has just made that if not impossible then unlikely. I know that's a pretty useless excuse but I'm a recovering student, tennis + heat = nothing is going to get done. So don't ask.

As it was I felt that, by my standards at least I was pretty well behaved when the Henman exit occurred. I screamed only a little bit. I didn't cry. Not even over-enthusiastic blinking going on. But I did feel sad. Not least because of how Henman will get lambasted in the papers tomorrow. People forget he's been a top ten player pretty much consistently for the last five years. That takes a lot of doing. And the pressure he's under here - that's something he could never live up to. So maybe I was resigned to his exit and what may well be the passing of an era. I cheered Andy Murray to his victory a couple of hours later but it didn't quite feel the same. Murray and me don't yet have the history. He's something in the future, Henman's part of numerous years past. And unlike those flag wavers on Henman Hill who changed its name to Murrayfield/Mount without the blink of an eyelid, I'll still be cheering Henman. Realistically, this year's US Open - barring some major squiffy twist of fate* - is his last chance. And he's going to have to play a lot better than he has been in the past few weeks. But I didn't give the last ten years to give up when it got a little rough. So Henman - I dock my summer hat to you.

*Any tennis fan will know these happen - Sampras winning the US Open for the last time [oh, how I cried and I didn't even like Sampras but it was so right], Ivanisevic winning Wimbledon [I didn't cry at that as that year was also fated to be Henman's year and BBC scheduling and bad light apart it probably would have been] - but you can't bank on them.

3 comments:

Cat said...

I feel an era passing, maybe one day I will tell my partner's kids "ahh, but I remember when Tim Henman was a player, and not just a slightly grumpy and embittered commentator".

Val said...

You mean like I do about John Lloyd? - well, not the kids, obviously!! (though he's not embittered, and I still think he's cute!)

Shona said...

I feel the timing of Andy Murray hitting the scene and Tim having the worst Wimbledon for years seems rather cruel - Tim has been the British tennis focus for so long but the press are now just talking up Murray and slamming Henman [he has been top 10 for years] when he lost a tight 5 set match to a player playing really well.
Oh well - I hope and expect Murray will do really well in the future [maybe this year] but hope the British press and public don't build him up for a big fall.