July 7th, 2008

Wimbledon Men's Final

It was the longest final ever. It started after lunch and didn't end until after 9.00. There were delays for rain, of course. We got rain here too - thunder and lightning, very, very frightening. At 5.45- waiting for the weather to brighten- I switched over and watched Time Team. I'm glad I did, because it was an episode all about Roman stuff and I love Roman stuff. After a minute or two I had one of those existential moments of truth and realised that if I had to chose between tennis and archaeology I'd chose archaeology every time. Or to put it another way; tennis is fun- more fun ,say, that anything involving Bruce Forsythe, but not so much fun as watching a bunch of eccentrically garbed lads and lasses dig holes in the ground. On which note I'd like to say how excited I am about the new BBC show Bonekickers which starts on Tuesday. It's about lovely, sexy, eccentrically garbed archaeologists digging up knights templars and it looks like it could fill a Dr Who shaped hole.

Anyway, little Tony and his gang finished digging up their Romans and I switched back again and play had recommenced and Federer had saved the third set and there didn't seem any real reason why the match shouldn't carry on all week. It was good. I thought Federer had the moral edge and would probably win- Nadal just didn't seem to be able to make good on his break points- but in the end youth and strength vanquished maturity and tricksiness. Nadal's a nice lad and I liked how he went one better than Pat Cash and climbed all over the architecture and walked on roofs to get to his family and the Spanish royals (I'd have laughed if he'd fallen off) but he's less interesting to watch than Federer, because with him it's all about the muscles and the spin he puts on the ball whereas with Federer you get every shot in the book plus some he's made up on the spur of the moment. And I do love a man who volleys!

It's sad to see an old champion go down, but it's like the first chapter of the Golden Bough; there's always a young king aching to take the crown. No-one's won six Wimbledon titles in a row since the 19th century (when things were a leetle different) and it looks like we'll have to wait a while before anyone does it again. So Federer and Borg continue to top the modern game with five straight wins. Borg was in the crowd with his relatively new wife and looked like a man at peace with himself and perfectly happy to have his record taken away- so perhaps I'm glad that it wasn't .

Federer promised to be back next year. I'll be watching, hoping that he gets his cup back- just so long, of course, as it doesn't clash with any archaeology.