If the 2017 Wimbledon gentlemen’s final could be described in only one word, it would be human.
Human, as it showed both the frailty and the strength that makes us what we are, albeit amplified by the stage on which the drama was played.
To watch the start of the match, the nerves clearly visible in both players, showed this humanity which we are referring to. For instance, Marin Cilic as well as Roger Federer holding their serve with difficulty for the first four games.
Then came the click in the Swiss. Having fought and saved break points in his second game, he went on to break his rival to take a 3-2 lead, which he kept until the end. Federer broke a second time in the ninth game to take the set, 6-3.
Physical and emotional pain
In the second set, he quickly got up to a 3-0 lead. At that changeover, Cilic could not hold it anymore. From pain, both physical and mental, the Croatian completely broke down. He did not appear to struggle physically, yet, he was. During his semifinal match, he blistered his left foot, and the pain, combined with Federer’s game and the nature of the event, had, simply, become too much.
The scenes on Centre Court were completely heartbreaking.
However, the seventh seed continued on valiantly. If he could not keep the match within his reach, he would still fight until the bitter end. After all, never has he retired from a match, and it would not start now!
Fighting he did, even though the result would never be in his favour.
Wimbledon champion, but first and foremost: family man
After Roger Federer sealed his eighth Wimbledon championship with an ace and a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 victory, his celebrations were very subdued.
However, the magnitude of what he had just accomplished, and who was there to witness it, hit him when he finally sat down in his chair. There, his four children came out to join the rest of the party.
And the Swiss could not hold his emotions any longer:
Happiness and emotion mingled, making this great champion even more human. As if there were any doubts remaining!
Once the match has been played, once the sweetness of victory and the bitterness of defeat have been tasted, once the trophies have been handed, what remains in our memory is how human this sport is.
We don’t need an epic match to feel for both players. Simply knowing that they are human is enough.
(Photo: Getty Images)