The Blog

Tears On The Tennis Court At Wimbledon

I don't think that anyone watching the men's finals at Wimbledon between Marin Cilic and Roger Federer expected there to be tears on the court. But tears they were, and while we can't really look into the souls or emotions of others so easily, I doubt we really know the reasons why both of them, separately, shed tears.

Wimbledon and the hype in the run-up to the event is indeed an emotional roller coaster, not only for the thousands of people who come to SW19 to watch every year and pack the grandstands, but more especially for the players and their families.

Viewed from a television screen and often in the comfort of one's own sofa or easy chair, those in the player's box or even the Royal Box, mostly look calm and collected. But underneath that exterior, the nerves and emotions - anger, excitement, pride, defeat and finally the smiles of success - have to give way occasionally.

Don't you often wonder whether the players tell their family, trainers and members of their inner team to remain calm and not show any emotion, particularly warning that the cameras can be focussed on them.

When Cilic was treated by his medical team for what turned out to be a blister on his foot, the cameras were quite intrusive I thought. Dr Ian McCurdie, trainer Alejandro Resnicoff and tournament referee Andrew Jarrett were on hand to offer their support. It's then when the tears erupted - one doesn't know whether it was from pain or fear that he would have to be eliminated immediately from the game.

Ironically, one punter discussing the match afterwards who has an interest in these matters and the state of one's feet, remarked to me: "...And did you notice the state of his feet? He might have neglected them and needs to go to a chiropodist for some help."

When the match was soon won by the mighty Federer, his eighth title at Wimbledon and becoming the oldest male champion in the Open era.

As the crowds roared and he raised his hands to acknowledge their adulation, he took a towel to wipe his brow and look up to the player's box. There he must have caught the eye of his family, including his daughters, Myla and Charlene and young boys, Leo and Lenny, both in matching blue blazers and white trousers. Did they really know what was going on and the significance of it all? Did they know their father was a super hero in his chosen field of sport? Does he hope they too will one day follow in his footsteps?

But he looked, he gaped and paused. Who knows what came over him, but he too was in tears.

After all, we are all human beings, and being allowed to cry and show our emotions in public is, in my humble opinion, a very good thing. Certainly, more preferable to the stiff upper lip approach.