|   April 12, 2015   12:40 AM ET

Andy Murray has wed his long-term girlfriend Kim Sears in the tennis star's home town.

The couple, both 27, said their vows in front of family and friends during a ceremony at Dunblane Cathedral led by the Rev Colin Renwick.

On a day of showers and hailstones, the rain held off as the couple exited the 300-seat cathedral to cheers from the large crowd gathered outside.

The British tennis number one sported a blue and green kilt for the occasion while Sears wore an embroidered white gown with three-quarter-length sleeves and a long veil.

Among the guests were Murray's brother Jamie, parents Judy and William, grandparents Shirley and Roy Erskine and former British tennis number one Tim Henman and his wife Lucy.

The ceremony will be followed by a reception at Cromlix House, Murray's luxury hotel near Dunblane.

Guests lined the path from the cathedral doors and bells rang as the couple left the church and were showered with confetti.

The bride was accompanied by four bridesmaids in long pink gowns.

The couple left the wedding venue for the reception at Cromlix in a grey car decked with ribbons and were cheered by crowds lining the streets.

It has been described as "Scotland's royal wedding", with hundreds turning out for the event.


Earlier Murray tweeted a preview of the day in emojis which included pictures of a church, a ring, a kiss, cake and drinks as well as hearts, a face throwing a kiss and several Zzzz icons for sleep.

Commenting on the changeable weather his mother Judy tweeted:

And then, a few hours later:

Murray told BBC Sport last month: ''I am actually not nervous about getting married because we've been together like nine-and-a-half years and we've lived together for six or seven years as well.

''So, I don't think a whole lot's going to change. I kind of feel like we have been married already in terms of the way we spend our lives together and live together.

''I think I will be more nervous about starting a family because that would be more life-changing, in a good way.''

Ryan Barrell   |   March 11, 2015    5:08 PM ET

A child got the unique opportunity to rally with tennis ace Roger Federer on Tuesday, and he did exceptionally well.

Simply wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, the boy was able to keep up with the world number two before lobbing the ball out of Federer's reach and just within bounds.

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came for the small child during an exhibition match between the Swiss player and Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov at Madison Square Garden.

Ryan Barrell   |   March 9, 2015   10:10 AM ET

Read More: UK Sport, andy murray, tennis

Tennis ace Andy Murray gave a rare lighthearted interview on Eurosport Live on Sunday, departing from his usual grumpy style to crack jokes with his fellow players.

But the British sportsman may have taken the banter too far, getting teammate Dom Inglot in a spot of bother with his girlfriend back home.

When asked how his teammates would be celebrating the victory over American John Isner , Murray said Inglot would be spending some time with his "little girlfriend on the go here in Glasgow".

andy murray eurosport interview

Little did Murray know, Inglot's long-term girlfriend was watching the live broadcast at home.

"You've actually landed me in this," Inglot responded. "Because I actually have a girlfriend who's going to be watching this."

Either laughing at his own joke or caving under severely awkward pressure, Murray broke down and giggled hysterically, offering his apologies.

It's unclear if Inglot was really cheating on his girlfriend or if he was just victim to the British number one's attempts at banter. For his own sake, we're hoping it's the latter.

Murray beat the USA's John Isner 7-6, 6-3, 7-6, securing Britain a place in the Davis Cup quarter finals.


Opportunity and Accessibility: Two Essential Elements Required for Ensuring Sport Is Woven Into the Very Fabric of All Our Children's Lives

Tim Henman   |   February 5, 2015   12:00 AM ET

Election year is always a time to reflect on where we are as a country and on the things that really matter to us. What do we care about? And what can be done to make things better. As a sportsman and now as a father, I have always believed passionately in the power of sport to improve the lives of young people. I know from my own personal experience and from the achievements of the thousands of youngsters I have encountered throughout my professional tennis career, that sport has transformative qualities. This is not just in terms athletic prowess and increased fitness but in teaching the life skills so vital to our children fulfilling their potential, These include commitment, leadership, making friends, initiative, understanding how to be healthy, building relationships, self belief, learning how to compete, responsibility... the list goes on.

Despite promises made that London 2012 would be used to 'Inspire a Generation' and make sport more accessible to everybody, my heart sank when I read that the Youth's Sports Trust recently reported PE lessons in schools have dropped to below two hours a week. I have three young daughters and through them can see the draw of screen time. Getting them outside and involved in physical activities and playing games is really important.

This week I am taking part in the annual Andrew Reed Debate at Guildhall in London, it is hosted by Reed's School, the school I was fortunate to attend on a tennis scholarship. Reed's was founded in 1813 by social reformer and philanthropist Rev Dr Andrew Reed who was committed to improving the lives of orphans by giving them access to support, care and education, a tradition that the school continues to uphold through its bursary awards, tennis scholarship scheme and work with schools in disadvantaged areas and children's charities.

The theme of this year's debate is the role of sport to help overcome deprivation and disadvantage amongst children. Sport is transformative in this area, I have experienced it first hand through my work with the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative (WJTI) run by Wimbledon head coach Dan Bloxham, which for the past 13 years has taken tennis directly to young people by visiting them in their local schools and, for those that show keen interest, providing the opportunity of extra coaching at Wimbledon. About 165,000 children have now come through the programme and for many it would have been the first time they had ever held a racket.

HSBC Road to Wimbledon is another longstanding initiative I have been involved with - 20,000 kids that play nationwide in their local schools, parks and clubs with the final played on grass at Wimbledon. This year we partnered with the All India Tennis Association (AITA) for the second year running with qualifying events taking place now in four cities - Kolkata, Chandigarh, Delhi and Mumbai, followed by a Masters event in Delhi in April.

By taking tennis directly to the children, these initiatives are providing what I believe to be the two key elements required if we are to successfully harness the power of sport to support disadvantaged young people - opportunity and accessibility. We must invest at grassroots level to ensure our young people have the means to find sport easily.... and prioritise sport in the lives of all of our young people.

Tim Henman is speaking at the second annual Andrew Reed Debate hosted by Reed's School on Thursday 5 February 2015, which this year is discussing how sport can change lives of disadvantaged children, for more information visit: andrewreeddebate.org

Blood, Sweat and Tennis - The Great Period Debate

Jenny Laville   |   January 27, 2015   12:00 AM ET

Tennis player Heather Watson is now the poster girl for menstruation and sport. Bit embarrassing, but less so compared to the other famous tennis poster girl doesn't wear pants and scratches her arse. Besides, we don't have to be embarrassed anymore about our *whispers* women's issues, because now other female athletes are joining in to tell us of their favourite 'when I was on the rag' story which is quickly turning into a version of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch.

Radcliffe: When I was on my period I broke the world record at the Chicago Marathon.
Pavey: That's nothing, I'd just had a baby when I won Gold at the European Championships, I slung the umbilical cord over my shoulder and went for it, had no choice.
Grey-Thompson: In my day we couldn't afford periods. I had eight of them one year and I thought myself lucky.
Croft: You lot don't know you're born. We weren't allowed to have periods. I had to win three tournaments before I was allowed to ovulate, and then it was only for five minutes on a Sunday.

Now that we're talking about them, here are some very important things everyone should know about periods:
1. The idea that women should 'take a break' every month is due entirely to marketing, having a period each month seems more 'natural'. This has become common wisdom, although doctors do now say that it's fine to only have four breaks a year. Don't know how they come up with this figure. It may be a massive conspiracy by the makers of sanitary products and the government because.....
2. The government charges VAT on sanitary product because it is a luxury item. This is so wrong that all women should shun these 'luxuries' and bleed all over the place until they change the law, but every time I suggest this people look at me like I'm mad.
3. Despite what teenage girls around the country tell their PE teachers it's fine to go swimming when you're on your period. Even if there's a shark in the pool as they are attracted to sweat and other bodily fluids too so they are just as likely to attack your male classmates. Actually, probably best not to go swimming with a shark just in case.
4. There are roughly 2 million euphemisms for menstruation, which seems like a lot, but if men had periods there would be 6 million.
5. Just over a hundred years ago doctors were still discussing if menstruating women could turn bacon rancid. Just because you're a doctor doesn't mean you're not a moron.
6. In 2005 Gian Franco Kasper, president of the International Ski Federation said that there were restrictions on the women's sport on medical grounds- 'It's like jumping down from, let's say, about two metres on the ground about 1,000 times a year, which seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view.' He seems to be implying that it might break their wombs. The bacon thing suddenly seems a little bit less stupid in comparison.

Opening up a debate about periods would be great as long it doesn't descend into questioning if should women be allowed to fly military jets, rule countries or handle pork products.

I know this is a nuisance, but the thing is that there are loads of us women. Not all periods are the same. Some women just have a day of cramps and are fairly regular. Others can come on at any minute and will stab you in the eye/ burst in to tears of you look at them funny. Generally though it's probably true to say most of us manage to incorporate periods into our lives without huge effect. Sometimes they cause problems, making you more likely to snap at someone, ruin a white sofa or lose a major tennis tournament. We should all be grown up enough to be able to say, 'Sorry about that, got the painters and decorators in' and get on with our lives. It's not an excuse, it's just how it is sometimes.

I tell you what though, when it comes to physical limitations and sport, aren't those blokes doing remarkably well? I'm not being sexist, but in all honesty with their most vulnerable area dangling front and centre, they are not really designed for sporting activity are they? With all the swinging, kicking and flaying about they could really hurt themselves and not be able to have babies and if they can't have babies, what's the point of them? However, those lovely chaps have largely managed to overcome this with cups and straps and a gentleman's agreement to keep things 'above the belt'. Good for you for overcoming your physical disadvantages, but do be careful now.

Rachel Moss   |   January 22, 2015    6:59 PM ET

Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard cruised into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, but that wasn't important to one TV presenter.

The sexist male in question wasn't interested in talking tactics or training regimes. Instead, he thought it was more appropriate to focus on how Bouchard looked in her tennis dress.

During an on-court interview, Channel 7 interviewer Ian Cohen asked the 20-year-old Quebec tennis player: "Can you give us a twirl?"

An embarrassed Bouchard replied with, "A twirl?," and the presenter went on to explain, “A twirl, like a pirouette, here you go.”

eugenie bouchard

Bouchard awkwardly did a twirl, then buried her face into her hands and laughed.

“It was very unexpected,” Bouchard said after the incident. “I don’t know, an old guy asking you to twirl. It was funny.”

On Tuesday, Cohen reportedly made a similar request of Serena Williams.

serena williams 20

Speaking to The Guardian, Williams said: "A commentator asked me to twirl. I wouldn’t ask Rafa or Roger to twirl. Whether it’s sexist or not, I don’t know. I can’t answer that.

“I didn’t really want to twirl because I was just like, you know, I don’t need all the extra attention. But, yeah, it was fine.

“I don’t think and look that deep into it. Life is far too short to focus on that. We have so many other problems we want to deal with that we should focus on. Whether I twirl or not, it’s not the end of the world. It’s about being positive and just moving forward.”

Many on Twitter have labelled Cohen's request for a twirl as sexist...

...and we have to agree. It's hard to imagine a presenter focussing on the "prettiness" of a male athlete in the same way.

The comments come after UK number one Heather Watson attributed her defeat in the first round of the Australian Open this week to her period.

Watson's comments sparked debate about issues facing women in sport that are seldom spoken about by committees.

Currently tennis players can only take a toilet break once a set. Tara Moore, the current British number five, said she thinks committees need to re-think this rule for women, as it can be particularly stressful if you're on your period and a set lasts four hours.

It seems like we seriously need to talk about how women in sport are treated across the board.

  |   January 22, 2015    1:31 PM ET

It's an occupational hazard, probably.

That slow-motion just makes it so much worse.

Bouchard's Twirl: Sexist? Or Just Another Athlete Bullied By the Camera?

Carrie Armstrong   |   January 22, 2015   11:11 AM ET

Eugenie Bouchard celebrated her victory on court at the Australian Open by having a little pirouette for the millions of lads and lasses watching at home.

Not because she wanted to. But rather because a man asked her to. A man with a captive audience and a microphone. The kind of man she's been trained to be nice to, just as surely as she practises her backhand.

The type of man she feels powerless to say no to.

Tomas Berdych is also ranked number seven in the world right now. Any good at twirling? Entirely possible. Maybe its just the poor lad has never been asked. And if he was asked to, would he feel the need to oblige?


Eugenie Bouchard is exceptionally talented at a sport that has managed to achieve what few others can ever boast: an almost equal footing with its male counterpart. Yes, a tennis match is still defined first and foremost by the sex of the person playing it, but tennis has an almost equal audience across the board. Equal billing with television coverage and in the sporting pages of our newspapers. Just as many people queuing to watch it live. All factors we are far from seeing in women's football or golf.

Along with this success in women's tennis comes fame. And along with fame comes media. And along with media comes presenters. People paid to push a microphone in an athletes face and get them to dissect their own performance. A presenter reporting from the sidelines of any sporting event knows that they are dealing with a person who is very, very tired. And it's quite difficult to get a tired person to talk to you.

The presenter also knows they are very pushed for time. That they need to get their precious few words from that athlete before they leave. Possibly most importantly? They are scared to ask a question so inane as to deem them totally replaceable by the countless other presenters standing in the studio wings all desperate to take their place.

The male presenter saw that Serena Williams likes to have herself a little twirl, so he quite wisely incorporated it into his own little interview with her. And it worked very well, as any truly genuine personal touch always does. But to try this same little trick with Eugenie was lazy. Its the sign of an individual who can't be bothered to do their research and find out the essence of their subject. And male or female, there is no excuse for that in our industry.

It isn't sexist to ask a woman to twirl for a camera. It's just sh*t presenting. What is worrying is the fact that this young woman with the world at her feet (and all of the power that goes with it?) felt powerless to refuse this action she clearly felt very uncomfortable doing. That this man was allowed to publicly push her to a place she truly did not want to go. That she submitted to the pressure and complied.

This pressure comes from all of us. Not just the presenters that force female and male athletes to become performing seals just because we can't be bothered to see them as individuals, but the collective pressure of millions of singular people with twitter accounts. Who share the outrage publicly, letting our sporting stars know with a simple "@" exactly what we thought of their performance on and off the court.

Public opinion matters now. In ways that it never did before. Athletes live in fear of their behaviour being misinterpreted as difficult. It affects their sponsorship and livelihood. Nobody can afford that to happen in a career that is so short. And we know it does matter. Because the same people Eugenie and her peers are so very afraid of are playing out their outrage right now in the very way she was trying to avoid by submitting to the presenters request in the first place.

If we want our athletes to be true to themselves and not feel used by the media, pressured by lazy presenters and cowed into submission by the public? We need to leave them alone a bit more. Give them a chance to feel like human beings again.

Everyone deserves that. This basic human right is a totally equal opportunity.

The Road to Wimbledon

Tim Henman   |   August 22, 2014    4:33 PM ET

What a week! I've been lucky to have a career that has taken me around the world and enjoy some incredible experiences but the last few days have really been something to treasure.

It's always a pleasure to spend time at Wimbledon but over the last week I've been watching the next generation of tennis talent competing on the famous lawns of the All England Club. The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Finals is now in its thirteenth year - it's always great to be involved but what made this year special for me was the fact that for the first time the invitation was extended to players outside of the UK with four Indian players joining the field of 148 players.

They certainly made an impact. In fact, 14-year-old Siddhant Banthia won the boys' singles final - not a bad way to make your debut at the home of tennis! He also found time to win the boys' doubles final with compatriot Adil Kalyanpur. I knew that the two boys and two girls from India would have an incredible experience at Wimbledon but their performance has been way beyond my expectations.

I should explain that India holds a special place in my heart - this year marks twenty years since I made my breakthrough on the Indian satellite circuit, winning eighteen successive singles matches. This was to be a massive springboard for me and I really hope it's the same for Siddhant and the other Indian youngsters.

It was a memorable week all round - the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 14 and Under National Challenge is the UK's largest national junior grass court tournament and it's so fantastic to see the standard just get better and better each year. Thousands of young players take part in all but one who really took my eye was 14-year-old Nell Miller from Kent who won the girls' singles final with a really stylish performance. She's definitely one to watch.

I'm an ambassador to the initiative so it's really rewarding to see how these young players progress - myself and Wimbledon Head Coach Dan Bloxham were out in Delhi and Mumbai in January to launch The Road to Wimbledon in India and witnessed first-hand the passion for tennis and Wimbledon in that part of the world. I know this win can inspire Indian tennis to even greater things and it's going to be fascinating watching it unfold.

Tim Henman is an ambassador of the HSBC Road To Wimbledon. To see how he and the participants of The Road To Wimbledon got on visit Youtube.com/Wimbledon.

  |   July 30, 2014    3:49 PM ET

Sabine Lisicki hit the fastest ever serve in women's tennis but lost her second round match with Ana Ivanovic at the West Classic in Stanford.

Lisicki served a 131mph beamer at 5-5 in the first set on Stadium Court, however the 2013 Wimbledon finalist was beaten 7-6 (7/2) 6-1 by the Serbian, who will meet Canada's Carol Zhao in the second round.

Venus Williams was the previous record holder, having hit an unreturnable 129mph serve at the 2007 US Open.



  1. 163.7mph: Samuel Groth, Aus, 2012 Busan Open Challenger
  2. 160mph: Albano Olivetti, Fr, 2012 Internazionali Trofeo Lame Perrel-Faip
  3. 156mph: Ivo Karlovic, Cro, 2011 Davis Cup
  4. 155.3mph: Milos Raonic, Can, 2012 Rogers Cup
  5. 155mph: Andy Roddick, US, 2004 Davis Cup


  1. 131mph: Sabine Lisicki, Ger, 2014 Stanford Classic
  2. 129mph: Venus Williams, US, 2007 US Open
  3. 128.6mph: Serena Williams, US, 2013 Australian Open
  4. 126.1mph: Julia Görges, Ger, 2012 French Open
  5. 126mph: Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, Neth, 2007 Indian Wells Masters

  |   July 21, 2014   11:03 AM ET

Now 5'9" - or 175cm for younger readers - doesn't seem unduly short to us but in this day and age size often does really count for athletes.

And for one 175cm tennis player, Dudi Sela, size was a 'problem' when he had to congratulate his opponent, Ivo Karlovic, who was more than 30cm taller.

Croatian player, Karlovic (6'11") beat Sela at the Claro Open Colombia in Bogota last week but far from trying to hid from his defeat, Sela turned loss into a sportsmanlike victory.

We honour his higher aspirations.

Venus Williams' Naked ESPN Cover: Why I Can't Stop Looking At That Magnificent Bum

Brogan Driscoll   |   July 10, 2014    1:20 PM ET

After lamenting at Beyoncé being pictured in her underwear for her recent Time magazine cover, I'm about to concede that I can't stop looking at Venus Williams' bum. And I applaud her for getting her kit off.

But before you attempt to tar me with the double standards brush, let me explain.

Venus' behind appears on the cover of ESPN's annual Body Issue, which has a long history of celebrating the bodies of talented sportspeople.

venus williams

For the 2014 issue, Venus joins six other world-renowned athletes including Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson, Texas Ranger first baseman Prince Fielder, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka and Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.

And what's more all of them are starkers. This isn't some lads' mag trying to sell covers by objectifying women. In fact, there more naked men and than women.

From warrior-like to more slender, ESPN champions the various physiques of athletes from different disciplines.

And there's no question to which category Venus falls into.

The former no.1 seed and seven-time Grand Slam champion is known for her strength and speed (she has the fastest serve ever recorded by a woman at 129mph), is ferocious on court and has a body to die for.

So, it's no surprise that the 34-year-old looks completely at ease in the shoot (more pictures here). The images are empowering, elegant, simple and, as I've mentioned, I just can't take my eyes off of her bottom.

And Venus isn't the only one promoting a 'fit not thin' body type.

Recently there has been a surge of fit women on social media changing the conversations around body image, linked by a range of fitness-inspired hashtags.

Their toned abs, pert bottoms and slender legs have been crafted by hard work and nutritional awareness - as opposed to cutting calories, food groups and unhealthy attitudes.

Fashion magazines are lambasted for featuring emaciated women on their covers and rightly so. According to figures, there are currently 1.6 million people in the UK affected by an eating disorder and the vast majority (89%) are female.

ESPN shows that it's possible to have a beautiful body that is also healthy.

If it's a toss up between Venus Williams or a triple zero celebrity, I know which body I'd prefer to have.

Equal Play for Equal Pay?

Tom Mellor   |   July 9, 2014   12:17 PM ET

Regardless of how good the matches, the debate of gender equality in tennis still rears its head every Grand Slam, even seven years after men's and women's winnings were made equal. The physical comparisons are indisputable; men play faster, they play for longer, they are the better tennis players. But is that what we are compensating?

Prize money is a reward, not a salary. It is given for the dedication and commitment that it takes to dominate the opposition in the toughest tournaments and to get to this point it will have taken a lifetime of sacrifice. Travel, coaching and equipment all cost the same regardless of gender, hotel rooms and plane tickets are no cheaper for women. There are no concessions when hiring a top coach or joining a club based on a player's sex.

If women were not worthy of being on the same court how could they allow mixed doubles? If anyone would want to argue that men should be paid more than women in a modern progressive society, that would raise some questions in itself.

Grand Slams are the only time where men are asked to play five sets and looking at the results it is evident that half the men's first round matches are won in straight sets. All other Tour competitions throughout the same long, gruelling season (for both genders) are battled over three sets. Perhaps the business end of the men's tournament can be exhibitions of attrition and stamina that you will never see in the women's game but whether this always adds to the quality and entertainment of the match can be debated.

Outside the top 50 ranked players riches are scarce. The number of women earning more than $500k a year is a third less than the men, (37 women to 58 men in 2013) and the ones lucky enough to climb the rankings work just as hard outside of the few weeks they are on our TVs. Women are just as valuable a commodity from a sports marketing perspective, perhaps even more so in the world of celebrity.

Ultimately why are people so offended by equal pay? Who is wronged by professional players being offered the same prize? The improved women's pot did not come out of the men's, in fact they have both increased dramatically since equal pay was introduced in 2007 from £700k to £1.76m in 2014. If you do not like watching women's tennis there is a very simple solution; turn over or don't go.

Some of the quotes attributed to critics of the financial parity have proved a sports public relations rally to equal any match. Gilles Simon, a previous top 10 player and now part of the ATP players council, was criticised for saying "I believe men's tennis is more interesting than women's tennis. You have to be paid on that basis." Maria Sharapova's response that "more people watch my matches than his" perhaps a fitting end to the argument.

Roger Isn't Over or Out.

David Fearnhead   |   July 8, 2014    3:48 PM ET

Credit: Scott Heavey/AELTC (Wimbledon.com)

One image haunts me from this year's Wimbledon. It is that of Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player of his generation, and probably of all time. He cuts a forlorn figure as he stands clutching his silver salver. A finalist, not a champion. This isn't the Roger Federer who blubbed his way through his speech after defeat to Rafa Nadal in the 2009 Australian Open Final. On that occasion he was trying to match Pete Sampras' record of 14 career grand slams, and the emotion was raw and untamed. This was different. Federer's emotion seemed all the greater for being contained. He wiped away a single tear which rolled down his right cheek, though the sadness in his face could not be swept away so easily. He was still chasing records, an unprecedented eight title at the All England Club.

As Novak Djokovic lifted the trophy it was to Federer that my eyes were drawn. Even the sight of his two beautiful daughters failed to lift the deep sadness etched upon his face. He spared us the platitudes so often echoed by sportsmen who have become fathers and say there are more important things in life than winning at sports. That's not to say I doubt for a moment that Roger's love for his children is unrivalled, but I don't doubt either that he is a champion and champions win. Here was perhaps the greatest of all champions, a player still at the height of his powers, and he'd just been beaten. Some, wrongly in my opinion, saw Roger's defeat as a sign that his greatest was on the wain. I saw the five-set match as a vindication that Roger is still at his peak. Still able to compete with best of the younger players.

I admit I've not always favoured Federer. I could be won over by the swashbuckling style of Nadal, or the rubber legged antics of Djokovic, and there is always a thrill in seeing a Champion defeated and new talent emerge. Yet as time has gone on I've found myself won over. Time waits for no man, and Federer won't be around forever. Whilst his style of play may see him outlast the younger Nadal, there will come a time when we'll see Roger say farewell to Centre Court. When that sad day comes, my heart - which has been in love with this game since Becker and Edberg were duelling on court and not in the coaching box - will feel very heavy indeed.

Perhaps it was the sight of Becker, now coaching Djokovic, which brought about this feeling of premature melancholia. I still remember the day in 1997 when Boris had lost to Pete Sampras and realised his time was up. As the two met at the net Boris could be heard telling Pete that he'd just played his last game at SW19. Even though he actually returned two years later and made it to the fourth round.

Jimmy Connors asked an interesting question during the commentary,

"Do they realise what they are watching here?"
Often we don't. Nadal's 2008 victory is regarded as one of the greatest finals of all time, but it was only made great because in Federer he faced a grass court giant. It was McEnroe and Borg. One needed the other.

Tennis without Federer would be a poorer place. He is still the benchmark to which all players should aspire. His results in the majors may show that Roger's dominance in the men's game has slipped, but it's less that Federer has fallen back and more that the pack have caught up. However, like all greats we are still seeing Roger's game evolve. The addition of Stefan Edberg to his coaching set up has seen the birth of a new aspect to Roger's game. At coming forwards he is unrivalled. I consider myself highly fortunate to be born in the same generation as Federer. I've seen him win 17 grand slam titles, and be in the top ten for 12 straight years, and yet there were moments during this Wimbledon when I was left without words from the sheer beauty of his game. John McEnroe likened his movement to that of the great ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, and I can understand why. Whilst others bring a raw power, Federer seems to dance with grace and elegance. At times he elevates the sport to an art form.

People like to say players win because they want it more. It's a nice thought, often repeated, but it is an untruth. Djokovic did not beat Federer because he wanted it more, and to say so is to do a great disservice to two Champions. These were two players who gave all they had, and at the end of the day it was Nole who won more of the important points than Roger. If they were to play on another day perhaps the result would have gone Roger's way, but that is not how sport works. You can't win by want, you can only win by ability. I might want to beat McEnroe more than he wants to beat me, but at the end of the day his skills would leave me lucky to even get a game off him.

Federer turns 33 next month, it's hardly time to be writing of retirement. The Fed Express will still be running and calling at its usual stops for years to come. It is poignant that on Sunday, just like in 2009 after that Australian Open defeat Federer signed off by saying,

"See you next year,"
When he returned to Melbourne in 2010 he reclaimed the title. I have no doubt that Federer is more than capable of doing the same at SW19 in 2015. He is not done winning grand slams. And those who write him off are more than just premature, they risk looking like idiots.