Your Woman in Wimbledon: Day Thirteen

8 Jul

“On the road to Mandalay
Where the flying fishes play
And the Dawn comes up like thunder
out of China ‘cross the bay”

Why this song? Frank Sinatra’s
Mandalay, not Robbie Williams’.

Because instead of sitting in cottage in Sussex watching the Wimbledon men’s final on a wickedly large screen from a comfy couch we’re in the Mandolay Hotel (different spelling), Guildford.

The not so clever people who schedule major road and bridge repairs chose the hottest weekend of the year to close the A3, a major route to the south coast. The three lane traffic jam stretched several kilometres. We inched along for hours and watched the clock ticking towards match time. Passed poor bastards broken down by the roadside and dads walking alongside their cars with their kid while mum drove.

At the first opportunity we turned off and hunted for a pub with a TV screen. The Mandolay is really a wedding venue, the largest in Surrey according to their publicity blurb. No British bride is silly enough to be married on the final day of Wimbledon so it was blessedly quiet and cool in the brasserie and bar. We settled in for lunch and the match.

I was backing Novak and Stuart, of course, was for Andy. When the first set went to Andy I wasn’t perturbed, Novak is used to coming back. But when Novak started to lose the second set I became concerned. I’d had enough disappointment for one weekend with the Lions trouncing the Wallabies yesterday. We decided to sprint to the cottage to see the end. Foolish. Country roads in Sussex follow their own logic not a sensible grid so we drove up hill and down dale to reach West Marden.

Shock horror, it was two sets to love and Novak was being outplayed in the third. The entire Centre Court seemed to be screaming for Andy and he was responding. What happened to the man who could clutch defeat from the jaws of victory?

Hollywood hunks, Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper, dressed like twins in blue suits to match their blue eyes, were jumping up and down, plastic Posh Spice looked slightly animated, Mum Judy was keeping her cool but clenching her jaw, and Andy’s girlfriend was visibly trembling with nerves. Even the British PM got into the act, ‘just think of the reflected glory’ was writ large in his smile.





When match point came, and went, three times, I was still hoping Novak could lift his game but it was not to be. It was over finally with yet another Novak ball into the net. Wimbledon erupted. Then something surprising happened.

I saw Ivan Lendl smile. The only time this Wimbledon. That says it all.





Novak takes it on the chin.

And makes time for his fans.

Henman Hill has been rechristened Murray Mound.


3 Responses to “Your Woman in Wimbledon: Day Thirteen”

  1. Heather Watt July 8, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    Andy Murray magic , can’t beat the Scots

    • Sharon Tickle July 8, 2013 at 8:13 am #

      Yes, Andy was charmed yesterday Heather. Played his best match of the tournament. sxx

      • Heather Watt July 8, 2013 at 9:58 am #

        That was George’s comment.
        My comment: Oh Andy Murray, when will we see your likes again, you fought and won for, a’ wee bit o’ Dunblane…….
        The rugby was sad for Aus and they have sacked the coach

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