63 64 76(11)
What to say, really, other than the fact that Roger was simply better in all aspects today. I prayed and hoped that Andy would come out with the aggressive, attacking game that he showed Rafa. Alas, we saw counterpunching Muzz. I guess he didn't learn the first time that you can't counterpunch Roger in a Slam. Hopefully he learns his lesson for the next time. Because, oh yes, there will be many many "next times".
This is not to say that Andy didn't haven't his chances. He had some chances to break in the first but Fed's serve was clutch today, getting him out of a lot of jams. Andy disappeared a bit in the second set but the third set was drama-filled. Andy actually served for it at 5-3 but he couldn't do it. He held on to force an awesomely tense tie-break that Fed won 13-11. Andy had 5 set points that he just couldn't convert. Bottom line, he just couldn't step up and take it when he needed to. I hate to say it, but he choked on a small handful of points that could have secured him the set. And I don't mean that as a slight to Fed. It's not like Fed won those points because Andy choked. He won them because he *didn't* choke. So, you know, congratulations and fuck you for that.
But what I will take away from this match is the hope that the Muzzard gained a few fans during this fortnight. If he didn't do it through his pretty spectacular play throughout these two weeks, he surely gained a few in his surprisngly heartfelt and emotional "loser" speech. The dude cried. Not blubbered. Just shed a few tears when he talked about being thankful for the support he's received. More importantly to me, he seemed to get really choked up when he started apologizing to the "people back home" for not being able to secure the title.
Then he threw down this gem:
"I can cry like Roger - it's just a shame I can't play like him."
It was a tremendously humanizing moment for Andy. A reluctant and very public acknowledgment that he *does* want to do this for Britain. That he feels the pressure to do this for the country. I always got the sense that Andy walled that off, that he didn't care really whether Britain had a drought or not. He was just doing this for him and his team. Clearly that's not the case and it makes his story a bit more tragic.