After nearly five hours of tennis, and 30 games into the fifth set, Roger Federer broke Andy Roddick’s serve for the very first time, and it won him a Wimbledon title.
In sort of a Rocky versus Apollo Creed match, tennis took a back seat to survival, as each competitor played not so much to succeed, as not to fail.
Brilliant play that was so evident during the first four sets turned into a slogging game of stare down, with each contestant peeking from their own post, hoping the other would blink, and make the mistake that created the opening for victory.
In the end, it was Roddick who blinked, who found himself hitting the ball into the net, and then into the air on a miss-hit on consecutive points, turning a great championship run into a nightmare that will follow him throughout his career.
And, it is Federer who can now say he didn’t lose.