Hi Katie and all,
You've taken the words right out of my mouth.
I can't imagine Andy, assuming he had any say in it, going for the idea of a statue at all. I suspect he'd find it quite mortifying, and can you imagine what the reaction of his team would be, something along the lines of
I imagine lol.
I do think something would be nice to mark the fact that the Olympic tennis was at Wimbledon, and that Andy won it. A plaque would be nice, or something along the lines of the table of Wimbledon Champions at the entrance to Centre Court. Maybe a table of all the Olympic Champions would be good. I know it went years without being an Olympic event, but still, that isn't Andy's problem. I know it hasn't been at Wimbledon each time, but that seems irrelevant to me. Personally I like the idea of a table of Olympic Singles Champions where Andy's name is right there as a Champion and Federer's is nowhere to be found...She says, reminding herself not to gloat!
I would agree wholeheartedly with those of you who have spoken about the way the Olympics has shown Andy as a real team player. I love the way he has completely embraced the whole experience, and yet done it in a way that showed he was there to play, not just enjoy the atmosphere. Before the Olympics, in all the media stuff that was done, and even during Wimbledon when it was mentioned, it stood out a mile for me that Andy couldn't wait to get started. He was raring to go. I have to give credit though, for Andy to still be so up for it in the aftermath of losing the Wimbledon final says so much for his strength of character. I don't know about anyone else, but I do think some within tennis thought that it was a 'plucky' loss that may will trigger the end of Andy's chances as a real contender, and that maybe a slide down the rankings would start. Well, he has thrown any sense of that out of the window. The 'big three' is well and truly a 'big four', without a shadow of a doubt.
I loved Andy's reaction to winning the Olympic Gold. It looked to me like he couldn't quite take it in at first. I loved the way he instinctively went to be with all of the team. They really do see everything, the ups and downs, the wins, the losses, and they have the job of putting him back together, helping him be the best he can be. I'd like to think Lendl was watching somewhere, because although he couldn't honestly take much satisfaction out of a GB Gold in itself, I'd love to think he would take satisfaction from the way Andy played, both in the semi and the final. Rarely, if ever before, have I seen Andy play in such a way that responded so beautifully to any inkling of threat. It was like he went out there and made it quite clear that he was winning and no one was going to take it away from him, no one. Look at all the break point chances Federer had in the final. Andy could have caved, could have gone in to his shell and reverted to defensive play, which is what Federer might have expected. Instead, with his game, Andy seemed to say, 'You can get off, this is MINE', and he came through. It was awesome, absolutely breathtaking. It chokes me up to think of it.
Yesterday I bought a newspaper for the first time in ages. I couldn't resist the photo of Andy on the front of the Telegraph. That great leap he did in to the air when the realisation of what he'd done sank in really caught my imagination. More than that though, the look of sheer unadulterated joy on his face said it all. I think that has carried him through in his interviews. On the TV interviews I've seen Andy has a gleam in his eyes, a smile I would say, that says it all. He does seem more relaxed, more at ease with himself. Dare I say it, he looks like a weight has been lifted from him.
I'm sure an air of caution about the future is wise. Andy will have to be careful in the days and weeks ahead not to get silly or carried away. I have no doubt on that score he will be fine. Naturally, at the USO and beyond there will be competition. No one is going to hand Andy a major now. I won't go in to all the potential threats, we all know who they are. However, something tells me that something has shifted. My feeling is that Andy, with Lendl beside him, has completely prioritised the majors now, and for me the Olympics fits in to that, even if it doesn't in terms of ranking points. I am not overly concerned about the Masters tournaments just now, as long as Andy feels he has done well enough. In terms of the majors though, Andy played so well in Australia, he so nearly had Djokovic in that semi. The French was a blip, although a quarter final when you aren't 100% fit (because he wasn't at that point, not at all) was a credit to him. He was truly outstanding at Wimbledon. I will never forget the way he took Davydenko apart, withstood Karlovic's bombs, beat Baghdatis and the clock, utterly confused Cilic, fought the good fight with Ferrer, overcame a Tsonga fightback and came through a 1966 'they think it's all over', moment against the same, and then took it to Federer for almost two sets. Then there was the Olympics, and apart from the nervy moments with Baghdatis Andy played beautiful, beautiful tennis, again with a tough draw. You know, it makes me think he might well have beaten Berdych after all, but thank God we didn't have to find out. God bless Darcis
. As long as I live I will never forget the way he beat Djokovic and Federer. I just wish I'd recorded the final. I ended up with the DVD Recorder on the wrong stupid channel!
I don't know, and I don't like to tempt fate, but the way Andy has progressed this year, both in his game and in his mind, does not feel like a fluke to me. I know Nadal has been out of the picture lately, but to be fair even without him the competition isn't easy, and Andy has come through. It really does feel to me as if Andy has at last opened that door and is standing on the edge of his destiny. I really think he believes now. I think the next phase will be fascinating to watch.